Yoiks, and Away!

Dear Friends,

I’ve never written a letter to Everyone In The World before. I’m writing to tell you that I’m gay.

Before you proceed, please do take 39 seconds to watch and listen to this video, as it perfectly sums up my feelings about all this.

I started this blog back in 2010, partly as an outlet and partly as a writing project and partly to help people. I wanted to write the kind of thing I would have liked to read sixteen years ago, so that people who stand where I stood then wouldn’t feel as alone as I did.

The blog’s a big deal in my life, and getting bigger. More and more, writing and talking about this issue is What I Do, so it makes sense to be up front about it.

The Name

Until today, I’ve written under a pseudonym, Steve Gershom. “Steve” was because “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”, ha ha. “Gershom” was partly an inside joke with my mother (which she can tell you about in the comments if she wants to), and partly because Gershom means “stranger” in Hebrew, and I’ve spent a lot of time feeling like a stranger. Plus I like how it sounds.

Why the pseudonym? I wanted to be free to be as candid as possible, and I wasn’t ready to do that under my own name. It will probably still be weird to talk about such personal stuff in public. I think and hope I’m doing it for the right reasons, and not just to be some kind of exhibitionist, but I can’t be sure.

I also didn’t want people to know I was gay. I was ashamed of being gay, because I had been taught to be ashamed; even though it doesn’t make sense to be ashamed of something you didn’t choose, and even though it’s just one among very many weird things that can happen to ordinary human beings.

I was also scared that the people in my life, especially the men, would start to keep their distance, or pity me, or see me as Different, or not want to hug me anymore ever, or just generally be weirded out.

The Blessing

The main reason I’m not ashamed or scared anymore is the way my friends have treated me since I told each of them. You people are such a blessing to me. I mean Jamey T. and Ben L. and Amos H. and Matt D. and John C. and Josh L. and John P. and Becca L. and Rosaleen T. and Berna S. and Ellen T. and Phil S. and Mike S. and Pete C. and Matt J. and John M. and Gregg W. and Richard R. and Jon G. and, and, and…! You see how blessed I am, probably not even to be able to remember (although I really hope I did) all of the people who have shown me earth-moving amounts of love. I don’t know if half of you understand half of what you’ve done for me, but I’ll be grateful for you till the day I die, and after.

(A special thank you goes out to Simcha Fisher, who is my favorite blogger and my inspiration in seventy different ways and also, incidentally, my sister, and Leila Miller, who posted the piece that started it all.)

I guess the only thing I’m still worried about is — laugh if you want — that this might hurt my chances with the ladies,

strongbad-in-the-shower

because (if you need a label), you could call me basically gay with some straight tendencies, or basically straight with some gay tendencies, or bisexual, or Same-Sex Attracted, or a Kinsey 4 (ish). Whatever. I just mean to say that I don’t think it’s impossible that I’ll end up married to a woman. But if that’s the case, then we’re going to have to talk about this anyway, so.

The Real Bombshell

You probably know this already, but I’m celibate, because I’m Catholic. You will not hear me talking about When Oh When Will The Church Get With The Times, because that kind of talk is boring nonsense. Guys, the whole point of having the Church is having one thing, just one!, that you can depend on to always be the same. Thank God for that.

If you want a church that constantly changes to fit in with whatever’s fashionable this decade, there are a bazillion options, and you’re bound to find one that is custom-tailored to your particular set of prejudices. Happy shopping.

It’s actually harder to come out as celibate than to come out as gay. Various people have pitied me, or tried to convince me that my life is vewwy vewwy sad, or tried to talk me out of it, or even surreptitiously tried to set me up with their gay friends. If you do this shit, I will not spin-kick you in the face, but I will very badly want to.

I’d also prefer that you not go “Hey but have you heard about this reparative therapy thing,” because I have, and I have my own thoughts about all that, which I’d be happy to discuss with you.

If you think I’m wrong to take this position, that’s okay, and I’d be super happy to talk with you about that too, preferably in person and over a few beers. But remember that I believe what I believe because of sixteen years of debate, reflection, prayer, study, and hard work; and also remember that I love the Church so very much, and I don’t like it when people badmouth her, especially if all they know is what they’ve read in HuffPo and the New York Times. Puh-leez.

The Word

Some people have a problem with the word “gay”. That’s okay; I get it. I have a problem with it too. I’ve written a little about that. It’s not a perfect word, but words are like that. You have to know the context. My life is the context. Get to know me first, and then we can argue about it.

The Followup

There’s just no way I can cover everything in this post, so please talk to me! Ask me questions. It would be very hard to make me feel awkward, and if I’m not comfortable answering something, I’ll just tell you. I’d really love to hear from you, and hearing from you will help me freak out a little bit less today.

I’m being public about this, not because I need everybody to talk nonstop about my sexuality, and not because I think every gay person has some sort of duty to tell everyone just how gay they are, but because I believe that homosexuality shouldn’t be a Super Secret Scary Thing That Nobody Can Know About. This is my way of trying to bring that about.

Peace and prayers,

Joey Prever

joey

This post is dedicated to and under the patronage of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, aka Edith Stein, whose feast day is today. Dear Edith, I don’t know you terribly well, but I am asking for your special protection today, because it’s your day and you know what’s up.



477 Comments on “Yoiks, and Away!”

  1. Fmb says:

    Yours is one inspiring family, as far as we know you through your writings (you and Simcha). Mom and Dad must be proud!

  2. Sher says:

    Hey Joey!
    Thanks for the post.. it’s great. I am catholic and have a lot of gay friends that have left the church and hate it.. the big thing some of them say is “How can you be apart of a church that doesn’t accept you”…. and I get that. I think many gay and straight people struggle with this teaching of the church. Probably many of the same people that struggle with the churches teachings on sexuality in general ! haha. But I’m curious about your perspective and your answer to that… How can you live something that asks you not to ever experience what you desire?
    Thanks for being awesome.
    Sher

    1. Maryam says:

      Sher, ive also questioned that part of Church teaching in the past, but it makes more sense to me now. Joey has actually answered your question in previous posts if you look around on the site. Hes a brilliant and sincere writer, so im sure the search would be both enlightening and enjoyable. God bless you, ill pray for you!

  3. anna lisa says:

    Joey, thank you for this. How courageous of you. Putting a face upon the homosexual/bisexual Catholic man or woman is so needed. It is easy to laugh and joke about stereotypes, but once a human heart and soul reveal the humanity of a person and their struggles, it is so much easier to relate these struggles with our own, realizing that God only sees children, in all of us.
    .
    Might I add that I don’t think it is wrong or disordered to find beauty and attractiveness in both sexes? Our own catechism reveals to us that God in his wholeness, encompasses the perfections of male-ness and female-ness. (Sorry I state this in such clumsy language) I wish more study was given to this subject.
    .
    May God bless you abundantly!

  4. Fr Pecchie says:

    Blessings to you for your courage, Joey, but more importantly for your fidelity to the Lord!. I pray that you continue to be the voice that cries out in the wilderness of our culture. Be assure of my prayers!

  5. Brandon says:

    I admire your courage. I hope someday I will be able to do the same.

  6. Mark says:

    You are 1000 times more honest than the typical straight male Catholic who secretly
    has issues with lust or pornography. May God continue to strengthen and bless you!

  7. Mary V says:

    Thank you so much for all of your writings over the past few years. I am heterosexual but my husband is gay and struggles mightly to remain chaste. It’s been a difficult road to say the least. He came out to me twenty years ago when I was expecting our second (and ultimately last) child. A platonic abstinent marriage began that day, I was 25 years old. For the sake of our two children and the Catholic church whom I love love love, I stayed.
    Our children are now young men, my husband and I do not live separate lives, we are great friends and companions. We know each other better than anyone else in the world, and isn’t that a marriage?
    May God bless you Steve/Joey and your future wife if she’s out there.
    mv

    1. debora gorton says:

      wow. what a story, great admiration .

  8. Christine says:

    This is a beautiful expression of all that debate/prayer/hard work that you have done. Thank you for having the heart to be a light for those who need a voice, and an encouragement to those of us lwho also love the Church and hurt when she hurts. I am really excited about your blog, and I hope it continues to be a way for the body of Christ to learn and grow with and for one another.

  9. Lin says:

    Joey,

    have you heard of this book written by a French woman, Sophie Fontanel, a Parisian fashion magazine editor, The Art of Sleeping Alone? It’s coming out in English in the U.S. (but already available in the U.K.) It’s a secular woman’s perspective on and experience in celibacy. I can’t wait to read it. Here’s a link to an interview with her by the U.K. Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/10216298/Why-is-it-so-shocking-not-to-have-a-sex-life.html

    You can see that it isn’t just celibate gays who have it hard to come out. Tell the world you’re not having sex they immediately assume you are a victim or a fool. There’s a deep fear that you will somehow spoil the party.

    You are an inspiration. Soldier on.

  10. Christine says:

    I hope you’re not creeped out by this, but I googled your real name and found some of what you wrote for Catholic Phoenix. The articles I read were very good! No surprise there, given how great your blog is.

    Good for you for this post! You are in my prayers. May God bless you abundantly!

    (I also sent you an e-mail.)

  11. Deborah C says:

    I have been reading your posts for some time, and they have always offered me insights that have been helpful to me as a faithful Catholic who is still trying to explain and understand my faith with regards to homosexuality. I cannot thank you enough for your willingness to let “all of us” into your life, to your experiences. It has been invaluable to me and I am a better person for it. Know that I will keep you in prayer.

  12. amy byers says:

    “And the greatest of these is love.” I don’t know you, but I know I would love you if I did. You are an extremely blessed man. And so cute, to boot!! I wish you the best, Joey.

    In Christ Our Lord,
    Amy Byers

  13. LaLaLand says:

    This comment will be lost amidst hundreds of others, and I don’t think it’s even possible to put all my feelings into words here, but YOU ARE AMAZING.
    Does it sound too condescending to say “I’m proud of you”?
    Maybe it’s more accurate to say, “You’re my hero.”
    Prayers, hugs, support, et al sent your way.

    And I simply can’t leave this page without telling you that you are quite the looker — the little drawing on the site’s header just doesn’t do you justice. 😉
    ~Blessings~
    LaLaLand

  14. Brian says:

    Thanks Joey for having the guts to post what you did. Every word resonated with me. I’m thinking of taking a similar course, but don’t know yet if I have the courage to go through with it. Thanks for showing me such good example.

    1. Dear Brian — my advice is not to be in any hurry. It’s not your job to reveal this stuff about yourself unless you think it will be good for you and help you. God bless you!

  15. sarah says:

    wicked. the first real, normal, insightful stuff I have ever read about gay-ness!

  16. John says:

    This is a very refreshing read! Yes, one can have a sex drive (gay or straight), be celibate, and not expect the church to change.

    1. Jude says:

      John–Perfectly stated. Thank You.

  17. Talha says:

    As a celibate Muslim guy with SSA I can relate to everything you have said and I commend your courage and authenticity. I wish I could do the same but your post did make my day a little brighter because I feel that if I had to write what you wrote I would have written it exactly like you did. Maybe not as eloquently but definitely just as honestly. Be blessed.

    1. Maryam says:

      Talha, stay strong. I will pray for you!

  18. Jonathan says:

    Sometimes as a homosexual Catholic I get frustrated with bi-sexuals in general. The possibility is there to have a fulfilling physical and emotional relationship with a woman, yet by and large this possibility is not taken advantage of. For some of us homosexual Catholics, a deep desire for marital relations and families exist, but we cannot bring ourselves to have that kind of intimacy with the opposite sex. I am very inspired by your work and in particular this piece, but I feel that in your case being a “Kinsey 4ish” and having the luxuary of a preference for either sex (no matter how small) , this Kinsey 6+ish would take your position any day! Orate pro me ad Dominum Deum nostrum! And now off to feed my cat. I’m safe as long as I stick to one cat only!:D

  19. George says:

    Joey,

    Big bear hug! It gives me a lot of joy to put a face on the person whose blog has found a special place in my heart. You did not have to write this letter, but I am very grateful you did, and I hope it brings you nothing but blessings. Your blog does a tremendous amount of good, or at least it has done so for me. Keep at it!

  20. Suzanne says:

    I have always enjoyed your blog, and some of your posts have sparked great discussions with some of my “When is the Church going to get with the program” friends & family. Thank you for your great writing and your honesty. What a great photo, too(I think I’ve seen your sister make the same face-only without the facial hair.) Prayers for you & everyone with such a difficult struggle.

  21. tfl says:

    Figures that you don’t have the balls to post anything that disagrees with your little superstition.

  22. debora gorton says:

    hey joey, you rock. how do you cope with the negative ( ignorant ) comments? i find i’m concerned for you in a mothery way, how dare anyone say anything mean to you. xxxxx

  23. Antigon says:

    I see you’re reading Light in August. Curious what you think, & what else you’ve read of Faulkner. Also if you can riff on such a subject as well as your mad sister.

    Curious too whether you’d laugh, shrug, or snarl if you heard the line that, while same sex dabbling was once the sin that dare not speak its name, now its the one that can’t shut up.

  24. Ryan says:

    Awesome post, plus Strongbad and Daffy Duck? Well played, sir, well played.

  25. Renee says:

    Eh… thanks for coming out. No wait. What I mean is thanks for sharing your identity. Offline we don’t have conversations and share ideas with paper bags on our heads. We are able to recognize each other, that is what makes us human.

  26. Wow! 281 comments (including mine) so people have a lot to say about your post. I don’t have time to read them but I hope that the majority of them were charitable. I’ve read your blog off and on for a couple of years and really, you are an awesome writer. You also seem to be an awesome human being which is why your true friends have been giving you lot’s of love. Because really, the truth is, a person is not their sexuality. I guess it didn’t matter to me who you really were in real life because your blog is great, but it’s nice to “meet” you.

  27. Kelly says:

    May God bless you much.

  28. Alexis says:

    Nice to finally meet you. Thank you for your witness. It is so needed in this day and age. Many blessings to you!

  29. Melissa Z. says:

    I like your guts and I really like your writing. Please keep talking…protestant simpletons like me need it.

  30. F says:

    Joseph (or Steve),

    I’m proud of you. You inspire a lot of people, not only in USA. Keep up the good work.

    Peace,
    F.

  31. tsarina says:

    God Bless You. Please, never stop writing :)

  32. Dave says:

    Well done Steve. I refer to you as “our friend Steve” whenever I’m telling one of my friends about something interesting or helpful that you said. I’m in seminary and struggle in many of the same ways you have, I am most greatfull for your writing! God bless you and keep you, and Mother Mary watch over you.

  33. Mikey says:

    I too, am a Gay Catholic, and the most difficult part about this…is Celibacy, the battle against the Strong and Powerful desires, and Hormonal pull. The SSA will always be there, and the way I see it…it is either the result of, or the residue of Original Sin after Baptism. It is a heavy battle that many of us are having to deal with on a daily basis, a Daily Cross if you will. It is why I now pray the daily morning offering, the basic daily prayers along with the Rosary in order that I might in the end win the battle, and also win the release of Souls in Purgatory. By the way, I am 50 years old, and only been out as Gay since 2008. I was a Carmelite for 9 years prior to 2005. Yes, my Bishop knows about me.

    1. davis byrd longsworth says:

      I am a Vincentian Brother. I am also gay. Been in community since 1976. It is not easy. But for me it is a cross to bear. Living with other men,sharing life together has helped. I want a boyfriend at times to hold me and tell me that he loves me. But, I try to live my life chaste. Prayer is my life now, I am retired from mission work. So now I can stay with God by my prayers for other gay men,esp.Religious men and priest.

  34. JM says:

    I stumbled on your site today, and I applaud your courage. I look forward to reading more. God bless you. I wish every blessing in your journey… John

  35. Ellen Mirus says:

    Joey! You are, as always, the man. This “kind of thing” is so very, very needed — not just for those who are struggling with homosexuality but for those who are struggling with the Church’s teaching, or with bigotry, or who (like me) want to understand it all better so as to not be an idiot and maybe even say something sensible when it really matters. Thank you and God bless you for speaking out so openly and eloquently! No one else could do it like you. (P.S. I will be quoting you to middle schoolers. “Just one among very many weird things that can happen to ordinary human beings.” This is perfect, haha.) ~Ellen

    1. Thanks, Ellen, and nice to see you here!

  36. John says:

    I feel a certain kinship because I, too, like all of us, have desires to do things that are sinful. I have been beset and suffering lately by the temptation to commit mortal sin, of an unchaste kind. With no need for specifics, lets just say that Onan would understand the matters close at hand.
    I can see how, with such a temptatiion being so frequent, that I would even say it was a part of me, something I am “oriented toward”.
    So we are brothers in arms, fighting the good fight to remain chaste.
    I personallly have no desire to identify my self by my desire to commit a specific sin. Let’s say this desire is XYZ — I am not eager to call my self an XYZ-er.
    But then I suppose I do under the more general term “sinner”. I am a sinner.

  37. Kellie says:

    Thank you for this, and (as Ellen implied) even more for all the posts leading up to it. I’ve really appreciated this window into the kind of witness the world needs much more of. Also, please keep also writing (I’m sure you will) about friendship dynamics. This straight girl is so interested to learn more about what it’s like for you to be gay, but really I’d say you have good thoughts, period, about what it’s like to love and be loved in all the ways that people are.

  38. Jacob says:

    Can we all just pause for a second and recognize how well the drawing matches the picture…

  39. Searcheress says:

    Who is the man?
    Joey is the man:)
    I wish you all the best! I am looking forward to your first book. I am more than certain you will write it!

  40. DL says:

    Beautiful. Thanks so much!

    –DL

  41. Matthew Michael says:

    Hell O Joe
    I will not Judge you however you should know that there are many levels to the human condition one of them is the spirit and within that spirit there are many mansions, aspects or dimensions. I do believe that the more evolved souls are androgynous and will not leave their state of being to find another until they find there perfect mate.[which usually happens later in life when they have developed to there maximum potential]l.
    As you get older in life you will see your perspectives change on many things yet when an aspect of yourself is comfortable where it is at there is no room for change.
    Unless you discern the spirits in you with Justice, with Gods discernment and not your own you can never see the truth. If you are true to your faith you will see that we were created for procreation not to chose whether you want to or not.
    I can only see what you put forth and it does not seem like you looked into a spiritual influence moving you away from Gods plan for you.
    As a reverted Catholic from Shamanism I can tell you I have that spirit want to take me down that route and I refuse to follow.
    As a shaman I saw the spiritual world that makes up this world and it is mind boggling.
    For the sake of future regret and staining your soul with additional pain please take more time and look into what I said. If you feel you would like to go deeper you have my info.
    God Guide and Bless You.

  42. Therese Z says:

    As a faithful Catholic, I rejoice with you that you find the difficult joy of following Jesus. Your entry here is exactly why blogging has been so revelatory to me, how else would I have heard your story? Good luck to you, God’s blessings pour upon you, and your patron saints intercede for you.

    Write more!

  43. Heather Ricco says:

    Way to go! Thanks for your bravery, and thank you for your blog. I’ve been reading it because since I’ve converted to Catholicism, I’ve always felt conflicted about the Church’s stance on homosexuality. Reading it has given me another perspective. Thanks for taking another step, and making this something that should be talked about instead of hidden.

  44. Renae says:

    I praise your courage. Everyone’s life is their own and some are able to live their private life without having to include the outside world in, and the fact that you are brave enough to do so is amazing.

  45. Tricia says:

    You are embraced and sustained by Gods love and mercy. May you always be strengthened and fueled by His love which makes you complete and never wanting. =) youre one brave rare soul.

  46. Frank says:

    I am inspired by your faithfulness! Your message is so important these days and I know that your voice and story will have a tremendous impact. Let the haters hate and never be deterred from following Gods Will!.

  47. Potamiaena says:

    YOU ARE SO CUTE!! But you really look like a Steve Gershom. It takes courage to be honest and public. Keep on being strong, you make us all stronger.

  48. ioannes says:

    God Bless you brother! We all have our crosses that can be the source of transcendental joy with God’s mighty grace.

  49. Joseph, may the Lord continue to inspire and strengthen you in your online endeavors.

  50. Elizabeth says:

    What you’re doing is brave and good. So many people have made sinful choices, myself included, and wished we could help others avoid making those mistakes. You’re actually doing that,and I’ll be praying for you.

  51. Agellius says:

    I appreciate your openness to being questioned about all the issues you raise. You really give the impression that no one’s head will be bitten off for asking the wrong thing or asking it in the wrong way. I intend to avail myself of the opportunity. God bless you.

  52. Matt Davies says:

    Joey, thank you for your courage and your faithfulness. Blessings on you. I’m a transgendered Catholic, and therefore also celibate. (After much study, I am convinced that at least some cases of transsexuality have a medical etiology, including mine, otherwise I never would have undergone medical transition.) I generally don’t disclose this aspect of my medical history, except to my spiritual directors. However, I am keenly aware that by continuing to be silent, I am allowing many more vocal trans* people, who wish to do away with all gender distinctions and the Church’s whole theology of gender, to represent what it means to be transgendered to other Catholics. I’m a fairly normal person, respected in my church community. I would love to enter religious life, if possible, but for a 2001 Vatican document claiming that trans* people are too mentally unstable to make lifelong vows (a claim that I believe is based on dubious science). Too often I see Catholics claiming that to medically transition means a person believes that God made a mistake, that they’re “creating their own identity” and not submitting to the identity God has created for them (I believe that transsexuality is often a condition given by God, not an attempt to take God’s place), or that a person is now going to live the “gay lifestyle” (not even going to go into all the levels of wrong). The top canon law articles on the subject often claim that transition is a sin because it violates the Catechism’s directives against amputations except for medical treatment, therefore making the assumption that transition is not medical treatment (even though it’s the standard of practice for treating severe gender dysphoria). There’s also the recurring claim of mental instability, as well as the claim that transition cannot be accepted because while the body might be changed, the God-given personality cannot be (which begs the question – many transsexuals would agree, and would say that they are changing their body to *match* their God-given personality).

    By staying silent, I’m not helping to counter these arguments, and I’m not providing an example of a relatively sane person who’s trying to live faithful to God in His Body the Church. On the other hand, I am almost certain that my career (in theology, and working with religious employers) would be shot if I disclosed my history publicly. Please pray for me that I may become truly indifferent to what the Lord asks of me, and follow His will.

    And prayers for you, my brother. Blessings on you. Thank you for your example.

    Yours in Christ,
    Matt
    (a pseudonym)

    1. Terri says:

      God bless you. <3

    2. Joseph says:

      Matt, I wanted to respond to your comment. You were created by God to be whom you were called to be. The body is not less than the personality, but rather the Spirit and the Body go together, hand in hand. There is not a separation of the body from the spirit. Nor can you willfully place your personality above the creative hand of God. Physically changing your sexuality is not a medical necessity but rather points to a disordered longing within the heart, will and intellect that needs to be ordered to Christ. It is a privation of the gift given to you, and does violence to your very being, essence.

      In this modern age, man wills to be master over his own body, yet, only in Christ can man find fulfillment.

      Joseph

  53. Bob says:

    Joey–a few months back I emailed you about my niece recognizing in you the gifts of fortitude and wisdom. I am burdened like all others with my own attractions, in my case to avarice and ambition, so I am inspired by your spiritual journey. Thank you and God bless you and your family.

  54. E says:

    Thanks for being such a witness to Catholicism! :) It’s wonderful to see you coming out from your trials so strongly! If only we all could!
    Pray for me and I’ll pray for you!
    E

  55. Monica says:

    I have nothing profound to say except for-Joey, you are freaking awesome! You are bursting with life, and love and courage, and that’s pretty inspiring…Oh yeah, and grace! I will pray for you by name my friend!! God bless :)

  56. DCM says:

    Joesph,

    My favorite thing I’ve ever read on your site is that its hard to be Catholic AND…anything! Thank you for your inspiration!

  57. Anne says:

    God bless you. I would give you a hug and get you a beer if you were here.

  58. Kevin Rahe says:

    Joseph,

    One thing that may be relevant for you and others with a similar experience is that while it’s estimated that up to 11% of the population experiences same-sex attractions, only 2-4% claim to experience them exclusively. The mainstream media, however, usually fails to even acknowledge that folks like you exist, even while it promotes “rights” for those who (ostensibly) experience only attractions to others of the same sex.

    I hope and think that people who experience these attractions being willing to talk about them while acknowledging that they don’t grant a license to violate Church teaching will indeed help the rest of us see them as normal people who struggle with temptations, just like everyone else.

    God bless,
    Kevin Rahe

  59. Tim says:

    WE love you Joey. May God bless you! What guy hasn’t felt like the video at one time or another? You have real courage.

  60. Maurus says:

    I also have difficulty with the word “gay”. when I was getting some help to deal with my fears about homosexuality, my psychologist pointed out that officially the application of the word “gay” implied a “lifestyle” . We use this word now more as a euphemism than a choice. This is “gay” that is “gay”. Even the baby is “gay”. I wish that we would leave that word alone when discussing our sexuality. Let’s call a spade a spade and call it what it is: Homosexuality. I suppose that using that word then makes it clinical and “disordered” and a “proclivity”. Well… if the shoe fits…

    Bless you for being honest. Not everyone is as understanding as your friends and family. I lost a vocation over it as was forced out of my community. I was offered “brainwashing” at a catholic Clergy Clinic, rather than Spiritual Direction in a house full of priests, several of whom were good directors. they turned their backs and left me to burn. Today, I have a renewed Faith in the Living God and His ineffable Presence in the Blessed Sacrament. I have renewed my Solemn Vows and have returned to the peace I once knew. But never will I style myself as “Gay”.

    thanks for your blog, Joe. And God Bless you.

  61. Jude says:

    http://andamazinggrace.blogspot.com/2013/08/papal-theologian-treating-homosexuals.html
    The Pope’s theologian also explained the distinction between the words “homosexual” and “gay” and the danger to someone who identifies themselves as being “gay”.
    “…in the American language you have a distinction between the word ‘homosexual’ and ‘gay’. A homosexual is a person who has, to some extent, this homosexual condition. Somebody may have this difficulty, and his friends, his neighbors will not know about this. He’s dealing with this in cooperation with the grace of God and may come out of this difficulty and come back to normal human relationships. Sometimes adolescents, at the moment when their sexual sensibility is appearing, if they have been distorted by others they go through a phase of difficulty in this field. But as they mature they will grow out of it. Whereas a ‘gay’ is somebody who says, ‘I am like this, I will be like this, I want to be treated like this, and I want special privileges because I am like this.’ Now if somebody is not only homosexual, but a gay, declaring, ‘This is how I am, and I want this to be respected legally, socially and so on’ – such a person will never come out of the difficulty.”
    He also spoke of the danger of identifying with the homosexual condition as if it was the “supreme expression of the identity of the individual” which would deprive the individual of healing and happiness.
    The papal theologian concluded noting that Christ is both the model for a healthy humanity and the source of healing for distortions of humanity. “Christ shows us a humanity which is supremely transformed from within by the divinity, “ he said. “Now, we have access to the grace of God through our faith, through the sacraments, and, by living out the grace of God, that grace of God heals whatever distortions we may have, whatever difficulties we may have, on the condition that we initiate, we commence the pilgrimage, we start the journey of living out our lives with the grace of God.”
    See the video with all of Fr. Giertych’s comments on this issue.

  62. Tony says:

    Joey,

    As we walk the path of faithfulness to Christ, we will all stumble and fall, each in our own unique ways. I hope when I stumble, you will reach out a hand to help steady me, as I will reach out to help steady you.

    God bless,
    -Tony

  63. Bless you for your courage, your thoughtfulness, and the insights you are providing to us as a Catholic community. Love and prayers!

  64. Claire says:

    Joey,

    Thank you for taking a courageous step. I would like to ask a very serious question to you or others who are in similar circumstances. As a man with same-sex attractions & who is faithful to all Catholic teachings, how do you explain to those misguided but well-intentioned Catholics that same-sex marriage is something that is not allowed in Catholic Church nor in the civil society? Many view marriage as only a love arrangement only & can not seem to understand that it has a lot to do with precreation & any offspring that comes from this arrangement.

    Please help me to better understand because I have children & also teach catechism to children who are sympathetic to the SSM cause. These young teenagers have some friends who have same-sex attractions & who are also ostracized. I have offered many charitable ideas of my own & beliefs stated in the Catechism but nothing seems to click with these youngsters including mine.

    Please help me find the right words & ideas to share with these youngsters.

  65. Renee says:

    Thank you for writing this post.

  66. Nayhee says:

    Long time reader here and just stopping by to say cheers. I saw Simcha’s post that she is your brother and thought she meant it metaphorically or whatever and then realized she was serious! You two must have some pretty amazing parents. :)
    ps: How do you not know Edith Stein very well?? Change that immediately, you crazy loon! Waltraud Herbstrith’s bio is very good: http://www.biblio.com/details.php?dcx=603986819&aid=frg&utm_source=google&utm_medium=product&utm_campaign=feed-details&gclid=CLDJlebW-rgCFe4-MgodT2IAIg

  67. schmenz says:

    I am unable to wade through all the many comments on your post but I will offer these, if I may.

    The place for one to confess one’s sins is not on the internet, but in the Confessional. It is true that this particular mortal sin, as the Saints remind us, make one lose one’s reasoning powers, and perhaps that is an element that we have to be aware of, but that doesn’t mean we Catholic readers should suddenly cease being Catholics and not offer warnings in charity that yours is a road that will not lead to Heaven.

    Let us stop with the sophistries. No one is born queer, any more than they are born wife beaters or adulterers or car thieves. We choose our sins. And if we are sinning by 1)thought, 2)word and/or 3)deed we need to take hold of ourselves and get to Confession and try to overcome our sins. If I had just coerced my wife into aborting one of our children I would not go on the internet and “out” myself as a murderer; I would go to the Sacrament of Penance and beg Our Lord’s forgiveness via the actions of a holy priest.

    Having temptations to mortal sin is, alas, a fact of life. But trying to transform our personal sins into gifts from God is bordering on blasphemy and it is not something God will forget when we face Him on the awful Day.

    1. Hello Schmenz,

      Do you wanna try commenting again after you’ve read what I think about any of the things you mentioned in your comment?

      Peace,
      JP

    2. Maryam says:

      Dear Schmenz,

      It sounds like you were not only able to “wade through all the comments,” but you didn’t even bother to read what Joey wrote.
      I think it would be wise if you did.

      God bless.

    3. digdigby says:

      You are totally ignorant of the church’s teachings on Same sex attraction and pompous ass to boot.

    4. Joseph says:

      There is a danger in taking a bash over the head rigorist approach to sin and ignoring the human person. Each person is unique, incommunicable, irreplaceable. Yes, the physical and mental act of homosexuality is objectively a grave act. But the question is why do people struggle with the sin. Man has a longing for unity, for love, to be one with another, which ultimately points to a Unity with God Himself. In this search for unity, the movement by man can become disordered, and what is a search for unity becomes sinful. What we need to do is have man question his environment, to judge their experiences, then the true meaning of why would become known. Why does someone engage in premarital sex, why do people take drugs, what is the reason, and the answer is they long for something they do not fully understand, and that longing is overtaken by temptation, which then fills this void of searching.

      Yes, a sin is a sin, but your approach of overstating the sin is not going to convert the modern man, but rather push them further away. The answer lies in the hear and will, and it its to those things that we must speak too.

    5. Jude says:

      very well spoken! It even says that in the gospel…

  68. The Extremist says:

    We all have a our cross to bear. We are called “The Church Militant” for a reason– we are struggling/fighting for our salvation. Many people have to bear crosses related to Sexuality: porn addiction, sexual addiction, etc. I’m not gay, but my cross is of a different variety– i love women, and I desire many many women. But alas, because I struggle to follow God, and want to be with Him, I have to try and keep this desire from getting the best of me. I have no right or business to say “This is how God made me!!!”. I have the freewill whether or not to act upon my desires.

    I wish you well on your journey, and may God continue to bless you.

  69. Allison says:

    Pleased to meet you. Again! We were already thankful for your writing and the example to our sons; now even more. Warmly, the Howells.

  70. mariecarolk says:

    I applaud the shameless selfie and your blog. Go you!

    Marie

  71. Russ says:

    God bless you! You are a huge inspiration to the body of Christ!

  72. Virginia says:

    Loved your daffy duck clip! Love your courage and vulnerability. Love your love of the Church.

  73. Clara says:

    Joey, thank you for your honest and witty witness. I will keep you in my prayers.

  74. Lisa says:

    Joey. Baptized ‘Joseph’? St Joseph, foster father to the Messiah, the most chaste spouse of Mary, Virgin, Mother of the Lord, Jesus Christ, and His Church on Earth. Sounds like you have a pretty good role model and intercessor in your namesake. Ask for St Joseph to pray for you as you walk your path.

  75. Dear Mr. Prever/Gershom,

    THANK YOU! Will you please forward this to Mark Shea, as he does not yet appear to understand the dynamic that goes on with homosexuality and the people Pope Francis spoke of who are trying to live good, God-fearing lives.

    What a perfect patroness! Edith Stein knew what it was to be abandoned by family, friends, and country. I’m sure St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, O.C.D., is rejoicing in heaven that you have found people who accept you as a child of God who is trying, as all of us must – straight or gay, to lead a Catholic life of virtue in the midst of a secular society.

    1. Thanks, Dn. T.E. Brandlin.

      I usually find Mr. Shea’s stuff on homosexuality excellent and full of common sense and compassion. Actually, I’m pretty sure he posted a link to this article.

      Peace
      JP

  76. Mike says:

    Thank you for sharing your witness. It is an inspiration to all of us with same-sex attraction who love our Savior and our Holy Mother Church.

  77. Regina says:

    God bless you. It takes tremendous courage to be faithful to Christ in such an unpopular way. Keep the faith and keep blogging!

  78. rc says:

    May God bless you on your journey and keep you true to his teachings.

  79. edraCruz says:

    GOD Bless you, Brother. May YHWH ROPHEH give you HIS protection for your chosen lifestyle of celibacy. Offer it up to the LORD JESUS and HE will guide you in your endeavor. I pray for you, Brother. Take care and take courage.

  80. James says:

    Hey Joseph! Thank you for your honesty and your Catholic faith.The hardest thing in the world is to be Catholic; but it is the most richest, beautiful thing too.

  81. MightyMighty says:

    You are far braver than I am! What you’re doing is so helpful to other people.

    Here’s a thought, that perhaps someone should flesh out (Simcha?): when straight married people struggle with long periods of abstinence because of NFP/serious need to avoid pregnancy, is this an opportunity to pick up a version of the cross that we expect homosexuals to shoulder? I was reading a post by someone who treated 2-4 months of abstinence like it was horribly unfair and unbearable. I know that it may be somewhat different to abstain while you continue to live with someone you are (hopefully) attracted to/are allowed to be with, but still….I had just read some of your posts when I read this other post and was struck by the oddness of it. “Yeah, gay people should just abstain….OMG WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR 10 DAYS AND WE MAY HAVE MONTHS TO GO!”

  82. edithsteinfangirl says:

    I am no writer, but just wanted to say that i have followed your blog…and also your sister’s…i had no idea you were siblings. Love it!! I think you’re amazing and beautiful, and i am deeply inspired by your Faith and courage. May God bless you in every way imaginable. I have tears in my eyes for many different reasons…but in a good way. Thank you for that!

  83. rod larocque says:

    I also have SSA, but I have never felt the need to tell others about it, outside of a small group of friends, but I agree with you in that telling people you are celibate receives more hostility than saying you have SSA.
    In fact I would take it one step further and say, in my experience, the only real prejudice I have experienced has been due to being a traditional catholic and not from having SSA.
    The world understands sexual liscence and sin, not celibacy and purity.

    1. Jude says:

      That is so true Rod what you said “In fact I would take it one step further and say, in my experience, the only real prejudice I have experienced has been due to being a traditional catholic and not from having SSA. The world understands sexual liscence and sin, not celibacy and purity.”
      **I have the same experience by my dear friend who cannot understand my devotion to my Catholic faith but hates me for it because her son is SSA and I should embrace that instead as she does.

  84. John says:

    Bless you, brother. You have chosen a very difficult vocation and I pray that you receive spiritual comfort and fortitude in times of need.

    More than that, the courage you possess in stepping out and being an ambassador for homosexuals who are living in accordance with the Catechism is humbling.

    Again, I will keep you prayer.

  85. Ann says:

    Hi Joey! I wanted to tell you that I love this post. I also love you, as a fellow Catholic, a fellow human being, and a fellow friend dealing with SSA. Thank you for writing, sharing, and most of all, thank you for being YOU!

  86. Carol A. says:

    You are awesome Joey! God bless you for sharing this, and He Will Multiply your blessings and graces that is for sure!

    Do not fret much about opposition you are getting, as well some unencouraging comments. Be strong, you are so much loved. Jesus Love is enough and His Grace Sufficient!

    I will be praying for you to find a hetersoxual person who feels in paradise lol I am gonna have to disagree with this one now cause you are already talking to one now :)

    Union of prayers

  87. Emma says:

    Maybe it’s my age (20) or maybe because I grew up in Ca., but my reaction to this is, “So? ” We all struggle with something. I am glad for you because only when we bring our fears out into the light do they lose their power over us. I pray that you have now gained peace. It takes great courage for all of us to conquer those voices in our heads that tell us we’re unworthy. That is your victory (at least I suspect) . That you now know for sure that you are His Beloved. Keep the Faith! :)

  88. Dan says:

    In defense of Schmenz, despite untold wealth, prestige and honors awaiting the scientist who discovers the “gay gene”, it has yet to be discovered. To complicate matters even more, anyone who brings up this topic will be shouted down by the queer lobby, and unfortunately, even good Christian people who have accepted this non-truth as is demonstrated in this blog. If there is no biological condition responsible for homosexuality (or pedophilia, or bestiality) then the whole argument is moot.

  89. Jennie says:

    Been reading your blog since the beginning. SO glad you did this. Awesome!!!! God bless you! Btw, can’t imagine you’d have any trouble with the ladies! :p

  90. Anna says:

    I honour you for your courage and deep love for God. May He continue to empower you to inspire others and help you thru your struggles in the journey. You are a wonderful blessing. Thank you.

  91. Alex says:

    Thanks for your courage. Your witness through your blog is going to continue to bless the lives of many.

  92. Martin J says:

    Amazing! I can’t actually express just how exceptional, how needed, how inspirational what your doing actually is. WOW!! You clearly have a very high vocation in Gods service. God Bless you for everything you’ve done and all that you do!

  93. Mary says:

    Joey, you are awesome! I’ve written to you before and I just admire you so much! I’m kinda gonna miss the name Steve, but Joey is such a great name, I’ll adjust easily. I’m so proud of and grateful for all you do for others and for the Church. I’m proud that you are my brother in Christ and hope to meet you one day, although I’ll probably have to wait for the next life. In the meantime, you’ll continue to be in my prayers. God Bless!
    Mary
    P.S. Jennie’s right, if you ever decided you were in the market, you’d have to beat the ladies off of you and make sure just the right one found you!

  94. Scotty Gal says:

    Thank you for sharing with us. We all have struggles, but knowing that others share the same issues and are praying for us makes us all stronger. Let us never forget to pray for strength for ourselves and for one another. Thank you again.

  95. Teresa says:

    Anyone who loves the Church as you so plainly do, is my brother, for sure.
    Lots of love flowing your way, as well as prayers for non-freaking.

  96. JenMC says:

    Thank you for your honesty and candid perspective. I am oh-so-very-blessed to be a part of the Body of Christ with people like you!

  97. Helen Franz says:

    We all have crosses to bear and how we accept it makes as who we are. Our faith strengthen us. God showed us how to bear our crosses. You and I were blessed because the Cross that we bear we bear with Him. I truly sense your heart is God’s heart through your sharing and faithfulness. Love you. You are a LOVE MESSENGER.

  98. This post is getting a lot of play in the Catholic blogs – usually as “same-sex attracted blogger outs himself.” I am pleased that you say that you are gay.

    So who am I to judge? If you want to be celibate, mazel tov.

    I am one of those annoying people who loves being gay. I have had a fantastic career and I was with my late partner, the love of my life, for over 30 years.

    I hope that you find what you are looking for.

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