were recommended to me by an acquaintance familiar with your
column and podcast. Lacking other resources at this particular
moment, I have decided to write to you. I am a 20-year-old
male, and as such have certain desires that almost all 20-year-old
males have (desires of a sexual nature). However, I am deeply
religious. Religion has been for me a source of strength in
my times of weakness, a rock in the times of storm, and above
all a home to return to when I have lost my path. In the teachings
of my particular religion, to indulge the particular desires
I am experiencing will condemn me to fates too grotesque to
mention. I am rational enough to realize that there is no
way that I can “pray away” these desires. My question is this:
How does one prepare for a life of celibacy and solitude (as
that is what is required of me to remain a member of this
particular faith)? Based off of what my friend has told me,
I know you have little respect for religious practices and
beliefs. However, these desires are not exactly something
I can talk about with other members of my spiritual community.
And while I am currently seeking counseling related to other
issues, I was wondering what a so-called expert on sex and
sexuality would have to say.
Acronyms Escape Me
over yourself, faggot.
If it’s possible for you to act on your unnamed-but-easily-identified
desires in an ethical manner—if you desire to do whatever
it is you desire to do with consenting adults who desire to
take their turn doing it to you—this so-called expert on sexuality
thinks you should crawl down off that cross and find yourself
a boyfriend already. (“Pray away” the gay? I’m guessing you’re
Christian, probably Catholic.) And if you experience a moment’s
anxiety the first time you stick your ass in the air—pull
the Jesus stick out first!—just remind yourself that things
have been crawling on top of each other and madly humping
away for 850 million years. Sex came first, then humanity
(200,000ish years ago), then religion came along tens of thousands
of years after that. Which may explain why religion, when
pitted against sex (really old) and human nature (pretty old),
always loses. Always.
If you’re on the cross, CAEM, it’s because you put yourself
up there. Which means you’re not some poor mortal trapped
between a cosmic rock and an existential hard place; you’re
just another closeted cocksucker with a martyr complex.
Look, kiddo, you get one life, one chance at happiness. If
it gives you a spiritual semi to fantasize about a God who
created you gay but forbids you to act on your emotional and
sexual attraction to men, knock your damn self out. But you
can have a boyfriend and Jesus, too—look at the pope—you just
have to do what people have been doing since the first terrified
idiot invented the first bullshit religion: improvise.
Find yourself a brand-new religion or sect, or jettison the
bits of your current faith that don’t work for you. If you
know anything about the history of Christianity—and it sounds
like you don’t—then you know that the revisions began before
the body was cold. No reason to stop now.
And finally, CAEM, there is no God—you do realize that, right?
No hell below us, above us only sky, etc.
I’m an only child, male, born to a single mom. I’m about
to turn 21, and I’ve been with a great guy for over a year.
I may be in love. We both have steady jobs, and we want to
move in together. He came out to his parents after we started
dating, and now I think it’s my turn. Problem is, I don’t
know how to break it to my mother. She’s a tiny Mexican woman
who isn’t afraid of smacking me. I’m afraid to tell her. She
always talks bad about the gay lifestyle because she considers
herself Christian, although not the churchgoing kind. When
and how do I break the news that she’s not getting grandkids
Only Male Offspring
mom is my favorite kind of “Christian.” She’s not the “churchgoing
kind,” as that would require some personal sacrifice on her
part (of her Sunday mornings, at least). And she certainly
didn’t let her faith interfere with her sex life (I’m assuming
your conception was something short of immaculate*). But when
it comes to other people’s lives, when it comes to your
sexuality and mine, HOMO, then her Christian values
kick into high gear.
OK, HOMO, lots of us have come out to hostile moms and dads
and watched in awe as they morphed into the loving, supportive
parents we didn’t know they were capable of being. For some
parents the process is quick, for others it’s slow, but it
can’t start until you come out.
Now here’s when you come out: The sooner the better—but don’t
come out to your mother while she has the power to harm you,
i.e., if you’re dependent on her for a place to live or if
she’s paying for your education. And here’s how: by U.S. Mail.
Don’t give your mother the chance to smack you. Write her
a letter, include the contact info for the PFLAG chapter in
your area, and tell her you’ll discuss this with her after
she attends a meeting, not before.
Finally, when I came out to my mother, the first thing out
of her mouth was, “I don’t ever want to meet any boyfriends.”
She said the word “boyfriend” like it had been dipped in shit.
On her deathbed, my mother told me to tell my boyfriend that
she loved him (“like a daughter”). My mom came around, HOMO,
and so can yours.
But not until you tell her.
My husband and I got married recently. His first pick
for best man was his older brother, “St. Paul,” a seminary
student studying to become a priest. When my husband asked,
he started crying and said he had hoped my husband would return
to the church. We are both liberal ex-Catholics. For a wedding
gift, Paul gave us a book called Man and Woman He Created
Them: A Theology of the Body, 700 pages of dogma by JP2. In
the five years I’ve known him, he has rarely said more than
one sentence to me, yet he speaks boldly in favor of the church’s
most conservative doctrines at family gatherings. How much
of his bullshit do I have to deal with? I’m a huge fan of
yours, and I know that you’ve had some issues reconciling
your own life with loved ones within the Catholic Church.
Your advice would be appreciated.
. . . so intolerant.
I’m talking about you, TS, not your brother-in-law. Don’t
get me wrong: Your brother-in-law sounds like total douchedrizzle.
But he has a right to his opinions and a right to express
them. You have a right to your opinions, too, of course, and
just as much a right to express them. When St. Paul goes off
on premarital sex or the ordination of women or the gays and
their Prada loafers, smile and tell him he’s full of shit.
But unless you live with him—and I can’t imagine you would’ve
omitted that detail—you don’t see him too often, right?
Tolerate his bullshit—that’s what family does—and count your
And don’t complain about every word that comes out of his
mouth and then gripe about how little he has to say
* Note to Bill Donohue: Yes, I’ve confused the virgin birth
with the Immaculate Conception. So sue me, motherfucker.
a new Savage Love podcast every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.