Archive → March, 2010
It’s holy week.
For believers, it’s the most solemn week of the year. A time of prayer, reflection and repentance.
It’s a time to remember Jesus not merely as man, but as God. To think of his death and glorious Resurrection–his gift to mankind.
It’s also a time for the faithful to remember to act like Jesus. To strive at all times to be Christ-like.
And so I was saddened to read in The “New York Times” that Catholic League president, Bill Donohue, chose to run an add blaming gays for the church’s insidious pedophilia epidemic instead of owning up to the Vatican’s shameful attempts to cover up abuse.
Wayne Bessen, Executive director of Truth Wins Outs, had this to say about the ad. “We should remind Donohue that there is no child sexual abuse crisis in gay community centers, neighborhoods, churches or social organizations. This nightmare has to do with Catholic pedophile priests and those who served as their enablers. The Catholic League thinks it is mounting a defense, but it is only exacerbating the pain felt by the defenseless who were taken advantage of by authority figures in the church.”
I believe that It is possible for the church to recover from even this heinous crime. But not without remembering that the church is made up of men, not God. And all men are capable of sin. Even Popes.
After we sin, at least as I was taught in Catechism, we ask for forgiveness. We do not blame others.
We take responsibility. We are humble.
We are penitent.
I hope that someday soon the church will recall its teachings.
I have a lot of friends on facebook, many of whom I’ve never met and most likely never will.
So in truth, they are not my friends. Not really. They are people who I have something in common with. We all support LGBT equality. We fight for the end of segregated marriage laws in the US.
Sometimes, though, a bond is formed with one of these strangers. A connection that feels real somehow. You care for this person. And support them. And worry for them. And joke with them. And respect them. And, in short, you feel about them the same way you do your “real” friends. I don’t have many such relationships here on facebook. But I do have a few. The one I’m thinking of now is with Jonathan Howard.
A few nights ago I had a terrible dream. I was in the doctor’s office. My partner, Marcus, was with me. The doctor whispered dire news about me into Marcus’ ear. Even though I couldn’t hear the doctor, I knew what he was telling Marcus. He was breaking the news that I had Alzheimer’s Disease. I began shaking. And I ran from the exam room through the halls of the hospital shouting, “NO!” as I glanced at sick and dying patients all around me. I awoke with a start, my heart racing, tears streaming down my face.
I guess the good news is the fact that I can recall the dream in such vivid detail probably suggests that I don’t have Alzheimer’s Disease.
The other good news: this was a rare occurrence– I’m not prone to nightmares.
Lying in bed, still upset from the dream, Marcus and the cats sound asleep beside me, I started to think about my friend Jonathan Howard. Jonathan has at times had nightmares so violent that he’s awakened beating his fists against his headboard.
This kind of violent behavior hasn’t always been the case for Jonathan. But, in August of 2008, Jonathan and three of his friends were the victims of a savage gay bashing.
For myself, and I imagine for many members of the LGBT community, being physically attacked, is a buried fear. In my case it probably developed the first time someone shouted faggot at me. As a teenager, before I’d even figured out I was gay, someone threw a bottle at me as they shouted. The bottle didn’t make contact, but it struck me all the same.
My experiences, however, don’t compare with Jonathan’s.
I was not beaten.
I did not lose consciousness.
I was not rushed to the hospital.
My life was never really in danger.
So there I was, lying in my bed post nightmare and thinking about my friend. Wondering what I could do for him.
I can not make that night in August go away as much as I would like to. I can not promise him that he’ll never have a bad dream again. (Thank God if he does have one, he has his fiance, Gregory to comfort him).
So what can I do for my friend Jonathan? Maybe I can show him in some grand way that who he is– a proud gay man– is an honorable thing. Righteous. Worthy of dignity and respect.
Jonathan has a great love–Gregory Jones. Whether you’re straight, gay or bi, there’s is a relationship to envy. To aspire to.
I would like to give a gift to Jonathan. I would like to replace his nightmares with sweet dreams.
In the new dream he’s with Gregory. It’s their wedding day. It’s beyond beautiful. It’s magical, romantic, exactly as they want it to be. And all over the country, people are sending them well-wishes. They’re aware of the nuptials because Jonathan and Gregory have won the Crate and Barrel Ultimate Wedding Contest.
I have a dilemma, much as I love my new friend, I cannot manage this gift alone. I need help. Actually, I need thousands of people to help me.
On the plus side, it’s help that will require very little effort on your part.
I’m hopelessly Hollywood. I love a tragedy into triumph story. Can you not picture it? Young gay man beaten, left for dead because of who loves, perseveres and with the help of his community wins the Crate and Barrel Ultimate Wedding Contest!!!
Will you vote–get your friends to vote?
Please will you do this for my friend?
Vote as a way of striking back at all the bastards who attack–who insist on choosing hate instead of love.
PS: as long as you are there voting for Jonathan & Gregory take an extra minute and vote for all the LGBT couples