Sunday, June 13, 2010

The End

I've been debating what to do with this space. I've thought about consolidating all of my online activities into one or two sites. Unfortunately I'm not comfortable with officially linking these past two years of posts to my actual name. However, I don't want to delete what has been a very crucial part of my personal growth.

For now this site is going to be dormant. I started this blog to chronicle the conflicting emotions and thoughts of a confused Christian guy trying to reconcile being gay and being Christian. It's captured some of my highest highs and lowest lows. I started by casting off from the shore unsure of my destination. Now, over two years later I've arrived in a new land. At first the changes were terrifying, but I've come to realize the most important parts of who I am are the same and my fear (as it so often is) was unwarranted.

My sincere hope for this blog was that it could touch the lives of others who are going through (or have already passed through) the hell I went through. I was scared and alone and somewhat hopeless before finding this online community. I know many are still on a journey of self-discovery full of questions and fears with nobody they feel they can talk to. My hope is that this blog has been some help or at the very least a reminder you are not alone.

If you ever need anything, or want to catch up with me in real life, feel free to e-mail. I'm forever on the road so maybe we can grab some tea sometime (I don't like coffee).

Your friend,

JD (thinkrqp(AT)

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Old friends.Deep conversations. Broken hearts. Good laughs. Dancing. Drinking. Flirting. Getting a cute hipster guy's number. Madonna Glee. Whiskey sours. Too many whiskey sours. Pei Wei. Piano recitals. Poetry projects. Party planning. Alliteration. World domination. Diabetic cats. Bizarre Greek films. Mumblecore. Genocide awareness. Ice cream.

An amazing week.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Spring came upon us overnight.  Instantly everything was in bloom.  It was more forceful and beautiful than years past.  Pollen dusted every car, mailbox, and pet in the city.  Thankfully a storm the other night washed it away.  For the first time in maybe forever, I'm able to enjoy the beauty instead of curse it thanks to some amazing allergy shots. 

Today I finally finished season 3 of Mad Men.  It has been neglected on my DVR for far too long.  It did not fail to disappoint.  Honestly, I don't think I've ever seen a better television show.  The writing and acting are phenomenal.

This week has been full of reminders of both life and death.  In keeping with the Easter theme I'll even use the word resurrection.  A relationship that I feared could be dying came back to life.  Words I thought might never be said were said and for the first time in a long time things felt like they used to.  It was one of the best conversations I've had all year.

At tutoring we're working on poetry.  I'm practically having a workshop and it's tons of fun.  Maybe I'll start posting a daily haiku. 

When I close my eyes and think of the future I picture many different scenarios and wonder which will be the most fulfilling.  The more I ponder the more I think I'm just going to have to give them all a shot! 

I've not dropped off the face of the earth.  I'm here, enjoying the opportunities I have been given.  I wish you could all be here with me.  Actually, I guess I could give some of you reading this a call.  Let's do lunch or maybe a movie and some cocktails.

Happy Spring.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dowd's Common Mistake

This morning NYT commentator Maureen Dowd turned over the majority of her column to her brother Kevin, a devout Catholic, in order to get an insider's perspective on the newest sexual abuse scandals coming to light. Once again the Catholic Church is in hot water for covering up a host of "sins".
The full commentary can be found here and makes the point that the Catholic church needs to increase the priest pool and end the celibacy requirement. This idea has been around for quite sometime and is supported by a wide range of Catholic laypeople. The piece also highlighted the unfortunate consequences of so many legal battles and court settlements, which is the depletion of funds that should be supporting social programs. Below is a long excerpt that contains all of Kevin's commentary.
“In pedophilia, the church has unleashed upon itself a plague that threatens its very future, and yet it remains in a curious state of denial. The church I grew up in was black and white, no grays. That’s why my father, an Irish immigrant, liked it so much. The chaplain of the Police and Fire departments told me once ‘Your father was a fierce Catholic, very fierce.’

My brothers and I were sleepily at his side for the monthly 8 a.m. Holy Name Mass and the guarding of the Eucharist in the middle of the night during the 40-hour ritual at Easter. Once during a record snowstorm in 1958, we were marched single-file to church for Mass only to find out the priests next door couldn’t get out of the rectory.

The priest was always a revered figure, the embodiment of Christ changing water into wine. (Older parishioners took it literally.) The altar boys would drink the dregs.
When I was in the 7th grade, one of the new priests took four of us to the drive-in restaurant and suggested a game of ‘pink belly’ on the way back; we pulled up a boy’s shirt and slapped his belly until it was pink. When the new priest joined in, it seemed like more groping than slapping. But we thought it was inadvertent. And my parents never would have believed a priest did anything inappropriate anyway. A boy in my class told me much later that the same priest climbed into bed with him in 1958 at a rectory sleepover, but my friend threw him to the floor. The priest protested he was sleepwalking. Three days later, the archbishop sent the priest to a rehab place in New Mexico; he ended up as a Notre Dame professor.

Vatican II made me wince. The church declared casual Friday. All the once-rigid rules left to the whim of the flock. The Mass was said in English (rendering useless my carefully learned Latin prayers). Holy days of obligation were optional. There were laypeople on the heretofore sacred ground of the altar — performing the sacraments and worse, handling the Host. The powerful symbolism of the priest turning the Host into the body of Christ cracked like an egg.

In his book, ‘Goodbye! Good Men,’ author Michael Rose writes that the liberalized rules set up a takeover of seminaries by homosexuals.

Vatican II liberalized rules but left the most outdated one: celibacy. That vow was put in place originally because the church did not want heirs making claims on money and land. But it ended up shrinking the priest pool and producing the wrong kind of candidates -- drawing men confused about their sexuality who put our children in harm's way.

The church is dying from a thousand cuts. Its cover-up has cost a fortune and been a betrayal worthy of Judas. The money spent came from social programs, Catholic schools and the poor. This should be a sin that cries to heaven for vengeance. I asked a friend of mine recently what he would do if his child was molested after the church knew. ‘I would probably kill someone,’ he replied.

We must reassess. Married priests and laypeople giving the sacraments are not going to destroy the church. Based on what we have seen the last 10 years, they would be a bargain. It is time to go back to the disciplines that the church was founded on and remind our seminaries and universities what they are. (Georgetown University agreeing to cover religious symbols on stage to get President Obama to speak was not exactly fierce.)

The storm within the church strikes at what every Catholic fears most. We take our religion on faith. How can we maintain that faith when our leaders are unworthy of it?”

As you can see from the highlighted portion, this column makes a mistake that is made time and time again. It links homosexuality and pedophilia, implying that one is related to the other. Clearly the author had a childhood experience involving a priest and male child, so might make the assumption that the priest was attracted to men. However, pedophilia is a sexual preference to prepubescent children. It is not related to whether you are attracted to males or females. It's a completely different class. There is not a mature sexual attraction to other adults, therefore pedophiles are not what are classified as heterosexual or homosexual. The excerpt above states that "the liberalized rules set up a takeover of seminaries by homosexuals". So? This give the impression these homosexuals are the ones abusing children. However, homosexual clergy are not the ones abusing the children. Clergy that are pedophiles are abusing children. To make matters worse, a corrupt and shadowy system is working to cover up the abuse and pay-off victims across the globe.

While this seems like something easy to understand, articles like this (at the time of this post it's the #1 e-mailed article on the NYT homepage) perpetuate ignorance.

Update 1:

See post from BTB for info about the incorrect Vatican Council dates in the NYT article.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


This week marks 2 years since I began telling people I was gay. Honestly, it feels like so much longer, but my journal does not lie. This time two years ago I had moved from such a feeling of despair and anxiety to elation. Everything seemed new and different and I was beginning to love myself. As chronicled here, other unforeseen events unfolded which put a damper on my high spirits. In addition to my internal struggles I faced changes in my external circumstances. I began a full-time job, moved out of my college apartment, and became a full-time adult.

Time allows you to look back and rewrite history. Events that were trivial are sometimes blown out of proportion and things that seemed like the end of the world become silly. I refuse to look back and make statements about how and what I was feeling, because too much time has passed. Those feelings are best left to the entries of the past; snapshots in time capturing my ups and downs and hopes and fears. Looking back there are certainly things I wish I would have done differently and emotions I wish I could have avoided, but I made it through.

The thing I've learned the most over the past two years is how unbelievably powerful fear is. I'm not one to say that fear is bad or that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." That's nonsense and I've been respectful of the importance of fear ever sense seeing this episode of Batman when I was 11* (only somewhat joking). The problem with fear is when you allow it too much space. Coupled with anxiety it can and will make your life a living hell. Daily I fight to keep fear in its rightful place (helping me make intelligent decisions) and have been rather successful. So many things I once feared such as being alone forever and never being happy have simply not happened. This gay thing has turned out to be rather manageable. It's my vices (over consumption #1) that cause me real trouble.

The other thing I've realized, but have been hesitant to admit, is how much my prior beliefs caused me to hate myself. I don't know if I've actually phrased it like that before. I used to say things like I "thought being gay was a sin" and that I "prayed and prayed for change" which are both very true. However, I think to protect myself and what religious convictions I was holding at the time, I shied away from stating that my beliefs were destroying me. Certainly an obsession with a wife and kids compounded the problem, but one of the primary drivers was my conviction that God could and would heal me and that I just needed to keep on fighting my "lust"**. Now that I've let go of that I'm much more whole. I'll try to elaborate this in a later post.

I hope wherever you are that spring has sprung. The weather is stunning here and I found myself enjoying lunch al fresco this afternoon. You should do the same!

*It's odd how certain things from your childhood can have a lasting impact. I recently used a quote from Captain Planet in a work email "the power is yours!". Also, I am certain my sense of humor was strongly shaped by the Wayside Series of books.

**I didn't think my attraction to guys was homosexuality. I preferred to call it a lust. That seemed much more manageable. Just a few prayers and a bit more worship music and it would all be taken care of.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I'm in the process of prioritizing things in my life. It's a big task, but needs to be done.

Currently, I'm in the midst of working on some things that will have implications for the next few years (where I live, what I do, etc.). You will of course be kept in the loop.

In case you missed it, check out the Tufts report on non-believing clergy. I found I could relate to several of the stories.

Life is good. My two year anniversary of coming out is in a couple of days. A post is in order!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Poor Cat

I saw a cat get hit by a car on my way home tonight. There is nothing the car could have done as the cat darted right in front of it. It was a startling site and I put on my flashers and got out hoping I could do something. It's body was twitching and I hoped it was going to be okay. When I approached I saw a gruesome situation and knew it was too late. Slowly the last bit of life was gone from an animal who was probably playing with its owners an hour earlier. I wish I could have done something. At first I felt indifferent, then I felt sad. In one second a life
was extinguished. It made me think about human mortality. We're all hanging by a thread. Life is precious.

This was a major downer for an otherwise decent evening.