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James

November 1997

"Love, support gay children, Catholics told by bishops!"

That is the headline from a FRONT page article printed in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette in late September. Unbelievable!!! My mother sent this to me the other day. I was in shock. I had heard that the church had made some statement about gays but I figured since I had heard nothing in particular that it must have been another stupid, ignorant statement by the clueless hierarchy. I was wrong. The church has finally come to its senses on the subject of homosexuality. The church now states that being gay is NOT a choice but the way we are born. Because of this it is not immoral to be gay. The church still states that it is immoral to practice gay sex. Well, one step at a time. This isn't too bad considering it took almost 500 years for the church to apologize to Galileo for arresting him.

I am Catholic and as any religious gay person will tell you, religion has made our lives a living hell. The guilt and the personal struggle to be "holy," yet not knowing how to deal with being gay was endless for me. It drove me from the church. I hated the church until I read this proclamation. Perhaps now I can face God and accept him back into my life. Please note that the church and God are two very different things. You can hate the church and still love God. The church is just an organized means of support to help you to know God and to grow closer to Him.

I'm not sure how this is all going to affect my life but I will keep you posted. I must apologize for an oversight in my October column. I said I was going to tell you about my coming out to my parents and then forgot to do it. Well here we go: I went home in August to visit my family. I had already told my two sisters and they told my one brother. They took it well. So I wrote a note discussing the sexual abuse I experienced and my being "probably" gay. Talk about a double shot. I told them right when I got home. That gave us a week to talk about it. They were distressed but not mad or angry with me. They felt great disbelief. They said I need to give women more time. I'm approaching 30 fast, so I said how long should I wait???? I did give my parents a bit of hope by telling them I haven't ruled women out, I just don't bother with them anymore. I feel it's important not to destroy one's parents all at once. I don't know the future so it doesn't hurt for them to have a bit of hope that I am straight. They will grow used to me being gay and then it won't matter. I've never had a serious boyfriend, so I can't really say for sure that I am 100 percent gay.

Bisexuality - Is Sexuality Analog or Digital?

OK, one last major topic: bisexuality. This is always a hot topic with in the gay community. The general belief is that you are either gay or straight and bi's just can't make up their minds. I'm an engineer so excuse my title and my metaphor which I will now explain. I think sexuality is best described as a continuum. Let's take politics, for example. We have extreme liberal democrats on one side and extreme conservative republicans on the other end. In between lie most of us. I believe sexual orientation is the same. We have militant gays on one end and macho straights on the other end. Most us fall in between. I think very few of us fall on either end. I think bi's are very near the middle so it's not easy for them to choose. I have feelings for both sexes and probably could date either. I just enjoy being gay more. I find it more satisfying. You could say I am bi. I just am not interested in dating women and really enjoy being with my gay friends. So why the title, you ask? Well analog signals are continuous like the sexual continuum I described above. Digital signals are made up of one or zeros, there is no middle ground. I think sexuality is analog. We all fall some where on the continuum so we should gives bi's a break. Just as we demand that straights accept us for being gay.

My Age

One of my friends commented that he thought that it was odd that I write for Oasis since it's more for young gays. I'm now in my late 20's but I just started coming out and accepting myself as gay about 6 months ago. I am going through all the same problems and pain that every young gay goes through plus plenty of adult issues as well. I find great comfort in knowing I'm not alone by reading Oasis. I feel that I can provide a different but useful viewpoint on these problems and issues since I have the viewpoint of someone who is older and has more life experience to draw on. I'm facing these problems and issues from a more "mature" point of view and perhaps I can give another but useful viewpoint to Oasis readers. I hope you agree with me.

So I finish this month with this thought: We, all of mankind, spend most of our time looking for reasons to hate others. When was the last time you looked at a stranger and tried to find a reason to like him or her? I bet you have never done it. I know I haven't. I challenge you all this month to spend time trying to find reasons to like or love others and not reasons to hate them.

Peace,

James


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