Dan Savage told us ‘It Gets Better’.
But one man’s courageous story paints a MUCH different picture… in harrowing detail.
Why is telling the world about ENTERING the world of homosexuality considered ‘courageous’ but when someone bares their soul to tell about the demons they battled while living that world, and the physical and psychological beatings that eventually drove him OUT of that same world, it is somehow NOT courageous?
His story is not one we hear, but in the telling, it becomes clear that he must not be the only one enduring what he did.
Every Hollywood depiction we are given to hear about homosexuality has a celebratory ring to it.
“They are happy and fulfilled”… we are told.
“It’s natural and healthy” … we are told.
It’s ‘normal’ … we are told.
The stories we are permitted to see seem to capture only one side of life. Which is why those stories ring hollow. Human existence — whatever your situation — is a mixed bag of joy and sorrow.
It’s obvious they are redacting the story. But the world is unknown to most of us, so we don’t know what it is we’re not being told.
Joseph Sciambra told the story of his personal journey. His outsider status growing up. The cold shoulder he got from guys growing up replaced by a form of ‘acceptance’ in the club scene.
He told about the physical and emotional effects of the life he had sought acceptance in.
He described what was promised. How it always looked like it might finally deliver … but never did.
He described loneliness. Barrenness. Desperation.
He described need. Aching. Meaninglessness.
It’s an essay that cannot be summed up, but could only be read.
…Years later, I would tragically discover that the longed for insertive form of this action was similarly shallow.
…For some reason, I couldn’t stop. It was strange – how a man inside of me caused this feeling of fullness only for the body to instinctively reject it.
…There was nothing reciprocal here. Fundamentally, it was a caricature of the marital act. But I wasn’t a woman, and I didn’t have a vagina. …and it hurt until I couldn’t feel anything.
…Practice didn’t make it perfect, and it in no way felt natural. It never got better. The constant preparation and rinsing beforehand made sex seem clinical and almost experimental. For a time, I was tenaciously bisexual and I marveled at the hormonal flow of female sexuality. […] With the ultimate in depersonalized no-name, and no-face sex, happening wherever there was an open mouth. For women, the eroticization of the pre-sex process prepared their bodies for possible penetration. No such mechanism was at work in the anus of a man.
…My live-in lover was an altar I knelt before a few times, but then I wanted to get up and walk away once my prayers for inner realization remained unanswered. The sloppiness of sodomy became overly laborious and tedious
…The most fanatical devotees were those who imagined becoming infected with HIV by a positive “gift-giver.” The utter impossibility of impregnation through gay sex left a subconscious feeling of lifelessness within all those involved. The replacement was the infusion of a charged particle within semen that could potentially penetrate the membrane of every cell. Subsequently, forever changing the recipient. This was the strange outcome of the less benign version whereby, as a young man, I attempted to reach totality through sex with other men. It never happened. Disappointed, there is a hapless quest for deeper meaning in gay sex or a further exploration of the extreme possibilities.
…My hemorrhoids became worse. They began to protrude; my rectum prolapsed As a result, I bled every time I had a bowl movement.
…For those of us who grew up constantly feeling the chill of male rejection, the welcoming warmth of male bodies is uncontrollably hypnotic. Taking part, all memories of past alienation and indifference were forgotten as if they never happened. Only, once it was over, you walked away sore and alone.
…I was being pushed onward by the collective rush of adrenalin and my need to belong…nothing else existed or mattered
Besides giving some starkly frank descriptions of the physical toll he took through injury and disease, or the horror of watching people you know die of disease, but spoke also of being driven onward anyway, heedless of risk.
In the midst of the story, he briefly touched on disease statistics, as well how few exclusively monogamous male Same-sex-marriages there are. It served as a reminder that his story was probably repeated many times over by others.
…Without even thinking, I walked into the bathroom and reached under the sink. I usually kept stock of my enema supplies. Only, that day, I had just one left. I sat on the toilet and wept. I didn’t know what I was doing, but whatever it was – I didn’t want to do it. At that moment, I felt impelled forward and almost unable to determine my own actions. I could hear a voice inside my head saying: You don’t have to do this. But my body was remote-controlled.
…During the procedure, a section of my rectum was removed due to the existence of severe internal scarring. Like an imprisoned victim of the Marques de Sade, my sphincters had been sewn shut with thick cording.
Slowly, my body healed. However, I kept soiling myself. Another surgery would follow; then another. Years later, I remain semi-incontinent. Despite the inconvenience, occasional pain, and embarrassment, I consider myself blessed because I escaped homosexuality relatively unscathed when compared to many of my friends. Some of the scars will remain as long as I am alive, but I can live with them. In a sense, they are a constant reminder of who I was and what God saved me from. Others bear the marks on an indelible scale where the HIV virus hides in every part of their body. But as the years pass by, my health problems are compounded; I feel old. The few friends that survived our previous existence are all similarly plagued. We accompany each other to doctor visits and continually send get well cards and have healing Masses said for one another. Our quest for love came to an end in unrealized dreams, damaged bodies, and the graves of the dead.
In our overwhelming desire to understand the world and ourselves, we were willing to go against Nature and God Himself. We disregarded the fundamentals of physiology and for that violation we paid dearly on an unbelievably devastating collective and individual basis. In the process, we threw our bodies and the surrounding culture into chaos; in a feeble attempt to right ourselves we demanded that society recognize our rebellion. But a law instituted by men hasn’t changed our physical structure.
His is a powerfully compelling story, and one well worth reading, whatever your understanding of LBGT issues.
Becuase his story is just as valid as every other description of life within that world.
And he isn’t leaving the awkward and embarrassing bits out of his… so it just MIGHT carry more weight and contain more truth than the other stories Hollywood would have us hear.
A quote from another article on his website sums things up nicely:
While my experiences, or anyone else’s are not meant to represent everyone, there are many like me, as witnessed in the countless brave men and women who seek out the support and truth to be found with Courage, that found life as a homosexual extremely wanting.
Visit here to read this article in full.
It is one of many on his website.