Please, please, PLEASE — be my straight best friend!
May 1st, 2014
The Public Discourse is a publication of the Witherspoon Institute (which financed Regnerus) and it has an odd pattern of inviting gay authors to talk about how much it sucks to be gay. These articles are accidentally revealing — I mean, brutal self-portraits if you read between the lines.
For instance, Doug Mainwaring is a gay dad who makes it clear he shouldn’t be a dad at all. Robert Oscar Lopez is an opponent of same-sex parenting who reveals he doesn’t understand same-sex parenting. And now Richard G. Evans is a celibate gay Catholic who inadvertently tells us how awful that celibate life is.
His article describes how he desperately needs Godly straight folk to befriend him.
I returned to the Church after thirty-five years away and was finally confirmed at age fifty. That night, I suppose I expected to be walking on both air and water. Stepping inside my empty apartment and realizing that I could either order take-out or not eat at all was too much for me. I felt forsaken by God, family, and friends, even though I knew that no one intentionally abandoned me. Especially not God! Still, the pain was there and acutely real.
Those who are blessed enough to be married and have families of their own can sometimes forget that those of us called to be celibate and permanently single still have a great need to connect with “family,” particularly on holidays and holy days. This applies to single people from many backgrounds: the widowed, priests, and, of course, those with SSA [same-sex attraction].
In other words, I deliberately cut myself off from intimacy and chose a community that says I’m afflicted with a tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil. So obviously I’ll need to explain that I might get lonely. I need you to help me battle that, and believe it or not, it might even benefit you!
Although there are many exceptions, men from SSA backgrounds are probably less likely to have ever changed the oil in a car or excelled at traditionally masculine sports such as football. They may prefer to listen to classical music or jazz rather than rock or rap and enjoy a nice glass of wine rather than a bottle of beer. It’s not unlikely that we clean our homes better than you do, and we might even be gourmet cooks…
No offense intended, but some of you could actually learn a few things from us in these areas!
I may indeed be able to show you better ways of organizing tchotchkes and slicing fresh mango. But beware! An openly gay man might also teach you the benefits of nonconformity, independent thinking, and being true to yourself, so be ready to change the subject if that comes up.
Meanwhile, you have something to offer me!
But we can also learn from you. For example, I was pathetic at pretty much all sports as a child. I do not mean this as an indictment of him, but if my father had ever pulled me into the backyard to throw a baseball with me, or if he had ever taken me fishing, I would have been so thrilled that I probably would have announced it in “show and tell.” I also might have learned enough grace and skill to avoid being made the brunt of many cruel “sissy” jokes and being continually picked last on every team.
Yes, if I can pull myself away from the gym and you can get your ass off the couch, you can teach me to throw a ball. And if the author’s right, after I convince you to hang out with gay men, you can teach me how to deal with guys who have to be convinced to hang out with gay men. Win-win!
I could learn other things from you, as well. Like how it feels to have a loving, committed relationship with another human being. Because my religion made me give that up. But, hey, a baseball lesson would be nice, too.
If you want to be my friend, though, I’ll need some things from you.
First, let us be emotional and share our thoughts and feelings with you. No, I do not need to pour my heart out constantly—but I sometimes do. You, I hope, have a wife with whom you can do so. I do not. I am your perpetually single next-door neighbor—the one who is not ever going to be otherwise.
See, we’re not so different. You have someone who wants to hear your thoughts and feelings, and I can have somebody to plead with (that’s you!) to listen to mine, as long as I don’t do it too much. You don’t even actually have to listen. All I ask is that you grunt every so often as you change your oil while drinking a beer and playing the rap music.
Now of course I’ll fall in love with you, but it’s no biggie.
What would you do if a woman seemed to expect more from you than you could give her? You would, I hope, be very gentle with her, state your position, and be clear that you do not reject her as a person even though you reject her advances.
I would contend that, with another male who is committed to chastity, it is even easier, not harder, to deal with such a situation. First of all, we already know that the “crush” is a transient thing and cannot go anywhere. We are acutely aware of this, trust me.
See, a woman might stalk you, but I’m too pathetic and hopeless for that. I mean, if I weren’t aware I’m such a loser, it might be a problem. But I’m acutely aware of this, trust me. And I’ll be ever, ever, ever so grateful that you put up with me even though I’m, well, me.
So like us—love us—and do not ignore us even if you have had to give us the painful truth that we need to ease off a little. But remain available. It will mean the world to us if you do.
Now, as for next steps…
So how do you begin? Start by knocking off the “gay” or “faggot” jokes. Most of them are not funny anyway, and you may be telling them in front of someone who has a secret you never dreamed of and hurting that person immensely. You may be even preventing that person from ever telling you about his or her struggles.
Sure, some of those “gay” or “faggot” jokes are hilarious, but most of them are not. So please stop. Because there’s nothing a celibate gay wants more than a straight man who’s just sworn off fag jokes. And I bet there’s nothing a straight man who’s just sworn off fag jokes wants more than a celibate gay telling him about his struggles.
One last bit of cautionary advice:
We do not need you to “fix” us. We are working on that already, or we should be. But you are, by virtue of your manhood, part of the solution.
Indeed — your manhood truly is the solution to my celibacy. And really, that’s all I want.