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A Problem You Can Help Me With

A Kiss

(UPDATED)

I’m thinking of starting a couple of new photo blogs. Both of them would illustrate same-sex marriage; I think we need to see, to keep a record/archive of, this topic that’s so vitally important today.

Because it isn’t just a topic or a couple of Supreme Court cases, it’s people’s lives; their freedom and their future.

Their children sometimes; their families. It’s Edie Windsor and her beloved Thea; it’s some of you who read this. (It’s Barbi and Debbie, whose anniversary is today!)

And beyond you, it’s Gay and Lesbian students and elders worldwide, who don’t necessarily have access to visions of their dreams and aspirations, because of where they live and who they live with.

I have a computer file, called “Romance,” with about 300 illustrations. Some are culled from online newspapers or social media, and others are more erotic than that.

My first decision is that if I go ahead with this, I should separate the two categories – with skin and without. Some of the pictures I’ve collected show public figures – politicians, showbiz people – while others are less public, just couples whose wedding announcements have appeared in the paper. They deserve not to have their faces shown alongside images that are more sexual – even though, if our societies are going to “get” what same-sex marriage is all about, we recognize that there’s an erotic component to every one of these relationships.

Which category does this shot go in?

Walt Whitman and longtime lover Peter Doyle, from the Library of Congress.

Walt Whitman and longtime lover Peter Doyle, from the Library of Congress.

I’d say they’re pretty hot; what about you?

Now the thing is, my proposed new blogs ought to be tied together if I’m to present a full account of this moment in our relationships. Obviously it’s easy to place a link between the two, along the lines of The Slab and Slab’s Special Content. (Both of those show skin; the difference is how much.)

I find I really prefer The Slab to the X-rated stuff, because the author also includes non-Gay content that’s important to him; nature pictures, pithy quotes and political cartoons. I got this one from him:

DefilingASacredInstitution

Now here’s the rub: finding a platform, the right bloghost. I need to stay anonymous if I’m going to be posting pictures of naked guys, even if they’re not just any naked guys. I don’t do pornography; I don’t even like most porn anymore, it strikes me as typically a commodity, when it’s not downright abusive and homophobic.

I operate two very successful Christian prayer sites. I don’t want to do anything to drive people away from those.

But I have this other message, see; marriage is a beautiful thing, and now that we’re dragging the same-sex version out of the closet, let’s take a look at it, as it really is.

I’m kind of “evangelical” about this; it’s related to my vocation as a lay minister and a human being. I have one message for the general public and another, related one for LGBTs; “God is real, and loves you” for the public, and “This means you too, LGBTs.”

I would very much like to bring Gay women and men into the Church – especially those of us who grew up in it, then left in disgust with Christian homophobia.

I’m an Episcopalian; we don’t do homophobia anymore.

These guys could go on my G-rated marriage blog; one of them’s a priest, and he got married in church as well as City Hall. His hubby’s an assistant U.S. Attorney.

Daniel Noble and the Rev. Ryan Fleenor

Daniel Noble and the Rev. Ryan Fleenor

Now the question occurs to me, as I sit here writing “out loud,” why do skin at all, then? I’ve already listed two or three strikes against the idea.

Here’s my answer; it’s the same as why I wrote my most recent book, The Gospel According to Gay Guys: I think, to gain credibility with other Gay men, I have to tell the whole truth about us.

We love sex. It can be destructive to us sometimes (and Straight people find that too; boy, do they). But in the context of a relationship, sex can reveal the face of God to us, in the form of our lover.

(And once you’ve had that, it’s really kind of pointless to go out tricking anymore. Even porn-viewing loses its appeal. You can’t help but see the commerce of it, the very greed. Porn swine are completely willing to exploit your internalized homophobia, the view that Straight guys are butcher than we are, to part you from your cash.)

I just think we need to see the face of God – and it can’t all be done in iconography.

Though some of it can:

(Robert Lentz)

I love this – but see the depiction by another artist below.

I think the place to start in evangelizing Gay men (especially) is acknowledging the very physical side of our nature.

Only then is it possible to draw out our hugely spiritual side, too. To acknowledge and nurture that and celebrate it.

People can make whatever choices they’re going to make. But I don’t want Gay guys not to know they’re welcome in the Church, that we’ve got thousands of safe houses for them. And I don’t want Gay guys not to know that the wrong kind of sex can be very addictive and destructive. I mean, who got burned out faster and more completely than Donnie Russo?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My problem is that I’ve been all over the blog platforms, including Tumblr, Blogspot and here on WordPress, and I don’t know how to set up two new blogs anonymously. Any ideas? (I have only one e-mail address, and all the blogs cross-reference with each other. I’ve never had gmail or yahoo, and don’t trust them. Should I reevaluate that?)

I would like to bring Good News to LGBTs, not by preaching to them but by listening to them, telling them stories and showing them pictures of themselves. How do you think I should go about that, in ways I’m not currently doing?

Even dailyoffice.org has a Gay page, which gets a little praise or criticism every now and then, and last month with the Supreme Court cases and all the Equality signs on Facebook, I added this one to my main prayer page.

ChaliceEquality

But what I really want to do is illustrate our marriages – because for me, that’s where God is, a new and important place where God lives. Any ideas?

Because I really believe – especially for those on the outside of the Church – that this depiction of Saints Bacchus and Sergius by Anthony Gayton contains more Good News in it, for most Gay men, than the other one does.++

The very thing they hate you for - and that you hate yourself for - is your glory. God made your body, knowing that the miracle of loving would show you heaven itself.

The very thing they hate you for – and that you hate yourself for – is your glory. God made your body, knowing that the miracle of loving another person would show you heaven itself.

2 Responses

  1. Let me see if I understand. You want to portray not only our love stories but our sex acts (within the boundries of love, of course, or lust, or dating or mating for explaining)? It seems you’re reaching for a new brand of acceptance by making US CLEAR (in all aspects of our most personal, loving and intimate lives) to the thems and for ourselves to see the wonder of it all…there can’t be no darn confusion about who we are, what we do and this is either will illustrate our belovedness (which is really the same as heterosexual people except we have no previous naked Adam and Eve four color drawings to color our humaness up for all to appreciate with and without shock and awe?). Or, this is to make it absolutely stark clear to other LGBT that we mean business about being featured in real life, real movies, real Church and anywhere else as naked like them underneath our fashionable clothes? Just so we get our authentic message accross (which probably isn’t too different than anyone elses private newreels when boobs expose boobs and butts reveal butts). I know we seem unique im so many, many exciting and creative ways — afterall, we’ve survived them and ourselves and often added HUGE revenues of income, tax and common good sense laws to society…we are a very quick, sparky and loveable lot (mostly, even sometimes within our own specialty group of human beingship) and we are always GLAD for everybody else come Weddings, Anniversaries, Births, Baptisms, Confirmations and even in death we feel everyones pain — so, I guess you/we want everyone to know that we are 100% whole human and just like them, body parts and all? I probably misunderstood completely, but you seem to be reaching to express something that hardly will need explanation at all (documentation as you say, perhaps)…maybe I don’t get the need to translate who we are as we are emerging so rapidly it makes my very own head swim (even under a steamy volcano)…I see Anderson Cooper stalking/photographing crocodiles in the nile, I see sports guys popping over the airwaves and out…I see lovely lesbian families out and about…yep, just like them,..but more so. I don’t think you can catch this moment in time…like my volcano it is erupting all around us…it makes me glad. I know young lives will be spared from ridicule and hate and I know shame about who we REALLY ARE as LGBT people will fade into the sunset of lifetimes gone by…good riddance! I’m glad we can be, almost, who we really are for all to see. I love you my brother. Len/Leonardo

  2. When I go to Joe.My.God I usually end up reading lots of comments from Gay men…everywhere but primarily, at least it seems to me from the NYC area. These Gay men amaze me with their sophisticated thinking…it’s way beyond where I left off in NYC, L.A. or SFO years ago (of course I read rich comments as I’ve lived in rural Central America for a very long time and consider them mostly highbrow/thinking gay man stuff). There is very little camp (although some comments are laced with it) and it almost seems like we, as a group, have evolved way past pedestrian thinking and gay grind-it-out commoness and wit. I get to see what has become of people like me who have been Gay for a very long time…what happened, what it was like, and what it’s like now…almost a alcoholic (which I was active for 18 years) telling his story..the view is twisted early on and then the air clears and pop down from the smoky balcony to my front row seat in time. I like what I see, WE have changed…it’s not over yet but I rarely think about dark balconies (and what goes on in them) because I love being in the light (who knew). Len/Leonardo

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