It seems prudent to make the first thing I do in this new adventure to share a little bit about who I am: what is important to me, what shapes my life, what will shape what you will read in the future on these virtual pages. You, the reader, need to know why what I have to say is important, why I feel I need to bare my soul to you. It is a need, not for myself, but for those who are like me and cannot say anything to others or even to themselves. It is a need for the world that does not understand how someone like me can exist. It is a need for those who dismiss people who are like me but cannot speak up for themselves. I could go on and on about the reasons why this is needed.
So, then, who am I? Why is my story and my perspective important?
I am Catholic. This is one of the few things I am comfortable making an “I am this” statement about, because if one truly believes, it is all consuming. It is not turned off here or there. It is not hidden under a basket to please people. It is, it must be, the most important thing in one’s life. For me, Catholicism is my DNA. It is stamped on my immortal soul. If you took away my Catholic faith, I wouldn’t work. I decided to embrace my faith in high school at my lowest moment, at a time when I was looking for a reason to continue life. It is the reason I continue to wake up every day. For the last decade, everything in my life has been subject to change, except for my Catholic faith. Even when I was on the precipice of unbelief, I was still tethered by a thin string to Christ, and to the one true faith. Every time I have asked questions of my faith, I have eventually found every answer, reliably beautiful and true, in Christ and His Church. So above all else, I am Catholic.
I love the Mass. Of all the things I love about Catholicism, the Mass and the sacraments come above everything else. Over the years I’ve had great interest in the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), or the Extraordinary Form (EF) of the Mass. My interest is both academic and devotional. Academic in that I like to know the why and the history and the rubrics and mechanics, and devotional because I find it to be the most beautiful thing in the world. The below quote from the Constitution on Sacred Liturgy from the Second Vatican Council sums up why the Mass is so critically important to my faith.
“… Every liturgical celebration, because it is an action of Christ the priest and of His Body which is the Church, is a sacred action surpassing all others; no other action of the Church can equal its efficacy by the same title and to the same degree.” (Sacrosanctum concilium)
I also take a great academic and devotional interest in liturgical music from the Catholic tradition, particularly Gregorian chant. As a music major I learned how chant formed the groundwork for all of western music, and as a Catholic I know it is the musical basis and a spiritual anchor of the Roman Rite. As a professional musician and as a devoted Catholic, it would be difficult for me to take a job in a church where I wouldn’t sing Gregorian Chant every Sunday. I’ve done it several times now and I can’t stand being away from chant.
I also experience primarily same sex attractions. I do not date men. I do not go to gay clubs or bars. I do not participate in the gay community. I do not ascribe to any gay worldview. Therefore, I try not use the word gay to describe myself. Although it is a term I have used sometimes for convenience, I would prefer not to use it. For this and for other reasons I will elaborate on in the future, I say instead that I experience same sex attractions. It is not my life. It is not the most important thing about me. However, it is important for this blog and what I want to say, because people who experience same sex attractions and want to remain faithful to the church do not speak up. I have no fear of speaking up and sharing my experience, and I want others to be able to read these pages and find a kindred spirit.
I believe it is particularly important that those voices that speak to this issue be orthodox and not lead to any misunderstanding of the truth the faith teaches us. So many are being led astray today by false prophets claiming a Catholic understanding of this issue, and in most cases these people are either woefully misinformed or don’t care to adhere to what our beautiful faith teaches us about sexuality. I hope not to lead anyone astray by my words.
With regards to my attractions, I have made mistakes. Many, many mistakes. But everyone has a past, and I hope I’m past the biggest mistakes. I’ve put a lot of spiritual safeguards in place to ensure I don’t continue making big mistakes. I won’t pretend I’m perfect. I won’t pretend I’ve got everything figured out. But I’ll let you know about the things I have figured out and maybe even some of the things I’m struggling with.
I have an incredible group of men who surround me; men who keep me honest and accountable, and men who make me feel like I’m a man and that I belong. I’m incredibly grateful to them, and would not have had the courage to get this blog off the ground without them.
In terms of this blog, I want this to be my way to give an authentic and Catholic witness to a world that desperately needs it. That means sharing my story. That means speaking to current events. That means talking about tough issues. I want you to be challenged when you read this. I want you to learn something new. I want to cause a stir. I want to speak the truth. Come along for the journey, friends.