A gay couple just walked into Chick-Fil-A. They are currently sitting on the other side of the partition from me as I type this.
In a single moment, as I saw one of them lean back into the other while they were waiting in line, I saw so plainly the crisis of masculinity that is often overlooked. Both of these men are huge. Built that is, not morbidly obese. And they look similar.
Often in gay culture, it’s striking how partners or couples can have similar looking faces. Often, dating culture is cut throat. Masc 4 Masc, no fems, HWP (height weight proportionate) are often terms thrown around to ward off those fatties and fems that would dare to approach territory they have no right to. More so than the straight up lustful component of this, it is the true object of that lust that is most damning: that is, the man they don’t see in the mirror when they wake up every morning.
Gay men often look for mirror images of themselves in dating. They want to see someone who is like them and hope the masculinity they are looking for is there. They’ll spend hours in the gym trying to look good enough to find a man who will mirror the masculinity that they believe they are missing. In an age of images, we have been programmed to believe images of masculinity instead of the truth that God wrote into Adam. The images often capture a part of masculinity, but they lack the fullness of the truth.
Those that get left behind in gay culture, those that the good looking ones leave behind, are damaged even worse. You’ll find they are often into disgusting fetishes and drugs, and they are the most alone, the most desperate for validation and for someone to tell them that they are good in bed or that they are sexy. They’ll often end up on apps and websites that are totally devoted to finding sex right now with any man with a pulse. I know. I’ve been one of them.
I would go to dangerous places just for sex. I wanted someone to tell me I was worth it. I wanted to feel like I measured up to other men, and I never found it. It led me down a dangerous path for years, and you don’t need to know the details. Only that I had some of the most deplorable encounters and fantasies.
I hope and pray for healing, but I have deep wounds and scars from years of thoughtless sex, desperately seeking men, trying to find the man I sometimes still don’t see in the mirror. I’m better than I was, I’m getting better. I’m starting to accept that healing will involve immense pain, heart break, but most of all, rigorous and intense discipline and devotion.
The other morning, I knelt at the Sacred Heart shrine at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, as I often do when I’m there for Mass. I saw that image of the heart of the Lover of all souls. I pray everyday to be lost in that love, and that my heart may be conformed to His. I pray it happens for all those enslaved in a culture that settles for mediocrity and mere images of what we were created to be.
I’m back. God has called me. And I am bound to obey.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make our hearts like unto Thine.