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expected. He thought I'd understand. Perhaps I understood,

but I couldn't accept it. I loved Bob, I wanted to show that.

Love without expression

fs

not possible. But

to

express

love, sexually, to a man was perverse, criminal. It felt very

natural for me to be in love with men but homosexuality

was sinful, debased and indicated maladjustment. Never

again could I allow myself to fall in love with another man,

because my need to feel that love returned would never be

fulfilled. I began to feel incapable of being loved. I was

condemned to live in alienation and loneliness ... until I

fell in love with Frank.

The fi;st couple of months of my junior year were

difficult without Bob. He decided to leave following

sophomore year. His decision caused me to reevaluate my

own. I almost left, too. But the priesthood was my destiny,

the seminarian my identity, the loss of which frightened

me. I was determined to stay on. Frank and I grew very

close. We had a lot in common: similar goals, the need for

change, the same friends. I was becoming more political, he

more theological. We appreciated and respected each other.

Often we'd lie on top of his bed, and for brief moments

hold and touch each other. He was very handsome and I

really like staring at his naked body when skinny-dipping in

the pool. I tried not to think about having sex with Frank. I

knew he wouldn't be into that and felt that my friends

would totally reject me if they knew I was Gay. The very

thought of sleeping with a classmate scared me half to death.

It was horrible enough just have the feelings I did. But one

night, it almost happened. Frank I were both very drunk.

He was lying on top of me and I could feel his warm breath

on my cheeks. I stroked his lustrous black hair and touched

his gentle face but was afraid to kiss him. My hand was just

above his cock but I was afraid to feel him. So happy to be

with him now, I was uncertain as to what to do. I wanted

to make love. But instead of expressing what I felt, I let out

with this anguished moan and held him very tightly.

Suddenly Kevin made his way into my room. We got up

very quickly, rapped some very nervous conversation, and

within moments they were gone. Later than night, Frank

and I talked about what had happened. It was nice, he said,

but we had to be careful lest we go "too far." I nodded in

agreement without saying much. Looking back, I realized I

should have.

T

hat was almost five years ago. Dammit, I should

have told him I loved him, that we should have

made love, that I was Gay, but I didn't and

steadily we grew further apart. I was quite busy

with adult discussion and college student groups in my

senior year. I was becoming politically radical and the

church's involvement with social issues became the vehicle

through which I channeled my energies. My loneliness

became less intense. A group of us got involved with

demonstrations and pickets of various churches with a

group of interdenominational radical/liberal seminarians

called SORJ {Seminarians Organized for Racial Justice).

Kevin and I spent a lot of time with each other but I spent

much less time with Frank. Politically, he and I were

growing much further apart. Our paths were no longer the

same. He was going on to study theology; I had decided to

leave the seminary.

How do I feel about it now, my friends often ask. Well,

the seminary is not a very Gay place to be. It's taken me

two years away from that scene to fully discover that much

of my loneliness during those "closeted" years came from

having to hide from myself and from others my desires and

fears, my attraction to men, the hostility I felt towards

sexist institutionalized Christianity. The loneliness came

from the repression and sublimation none of us could deal

with. And I know that I was but one among many of the

closeted Gays at St. Mary of the Lake. I never met any

classmates at GLF meetings which I hoped I would. Maybe

some of them may read this article, discover themselves,

and open the door that's been closed for too long. God, I

hope so.

Luckily for me, a year of radical organizing in a working

class neighborhood in Chicago put me in touch with my

roots and forced me to be honest with myself. It gave me

the courage I needed to walk into a GLF meeting

{half-drunk but making it!) in August 1970. "Hello, my

name is Dan, and this is my first time here and I'm scared."

There were many of us there for the first time. Very much

like myself. Alone. Frightened. But we'd had enough.

motive