Bill’s Story

Joe, you posted an article entitled, ”Gay Lifestyle a ‘Sewer’ of Casual Degrading Sex, Drug Abuse and Misery.”  And you wrote, ”The article I posted describing the ‘gay life’ is, based on my extensive experience, and, I firmly believe, accurate.  Homosexuality seems to me to be a frantic pursuit of the perfect one. In this life one tires of another very quickly. Alas, the number of permanent, faithful, unions are in my experience few and very rare.”
Again, it seems to me very important that there be a national American Catholic discussion of these issues in which many authentic voices of real-life gay and lesbian persons be heard.
I seem to be a very poor example of a homosexual, if your definition of my ”lifestyle” is correct.  Though I was in college during the drug-saturated late 1960s, I’ve never in my life used an illicit drug, whether marijuana, LSD, or anything else. Haven’t ever wanted to try those options.  I was too busy during college participating in the liturgical life of my Jesuit university, teaching catechism, tutoring adolescents in a mental-care facility, and, later, distributing food and clothes to the needy to have time to take drugs.
Nor have I had any inclination in that direction since my college days, though my nieces and nephews (all heterosexual) constantly try to shame me for being the squarest person they know.
And I’ve been in a committed, monogamous relationship for almost 40 years.
I find that there’s a wide range of behavior among people who happen to be either gay or straight.  To me, it doesn’t seem any more helpful to try to define all gay human beings by the behavior of some who happen to use illicit drugs or engage in extramarital sexual activities, than it would be to define straight people by the behavior of the significant numbers of straight folks who engage in such behavior.
We who are gay come in different shapes, sizes, flavors.  Some of us are very vanilla, like me.  Others lead more exciting and interesting lives, I suspect – as with heterosexuals.  It seems unjust and unhelpful to try to identify an entire group of human beings by pointing to the shortcomings of some members of that group as characteristics of the whole group.
I fear the tendency to identify gay human beings as particularly degraded because of their use of drugs and promiscuity becomes increasingly more difficult when the voters of a state that rolls back the right of marriage for its gay citizens also liberalize its marijuana laws.  Or when one of the leading heterosexual exemplars of morality who is preaching about the immoral behavior of gay folks is discovered to have produced eight sex tapes, albeit (I understand) heterosexual ones.


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