Shout out to Queens, New York, we’re both from Queens.""He’s the king of Queens, and I’d like to think I’m the queen of Queens.He’s a rap legend, and I have a lot of respect for that.You have to be known by those who are capable of knowing you best to become who God wants you to be. Add in a burgeoning career and toddlers and a new house and all the things life starts giving you in your late twenties and thirties and pretty soon making time for your community group is about the only thing outside of your immediate family you have time, let alone emotional energy for. Churches who ask celibacy of their gay members take on the assumption that while it might be difficult, with God, a celibate life is at least possible.Quickly, other denominations like my Catholic one caught on and began implementing this emphasis on community being your pew companions whose life looks like yours. I was often told to I shake my head so hard I get whiplash at this point because while I would never say it, I am always thinking — if you only knew how many closeted gay men from my home church have hit on me on dating apps or reached out to me to say they are happy for me and ask for advice.
My friends and family would all laugh because the priest was telling us to do something but we were too caught up to notice.He was frequently being tempted to have sex with underage boys but would one day shelter a young Jewish refugee and barely avoid taking him into his own bed which would eventually allow him to escape the Nazis and become a monk who would try to convert the antichrist right before Armageddon destroyed humanity. Most other Christian denominations I grew up around found similar formulations to reach the same conclusion — if you’re gay, you’re incapable of marriage.Heavy, I know, but thank goodness he didn’t try to have sex with that boy, huh? Not because of the antichrist or the Nazis, but because of Pawel. After years of celibacy I told people from my church that I was in the I felt them saying behind my back, and I haven’t heard from them since the days they approved of me.I was maybe twenty-two when I read it and all I could think about was becoming a lonely old bookstore owner who is tempted to invite teenage boys into his bed to keep warm. Theoretically heroic but only given some kind of meaning by the most random of impossible plot twists? A small handful who reached out to me told me they agreed with our church, but that they still loved me and this wouldn’t change a thing.I was gay and was doing my best to listen to my church, but did I have any role to play beyond silently hoping someone I wanted to have sex with might go on to save the world? It was a sentiment I held on to with everything I had.After college I got a job teaching at a local Catholic high school.It was the first time I was trying to live out a celibate life alone, and right at the age most Texans start pairing off like exotic birds on a BBC documentary.I wanted to go a year without dating any men, I hate men.But I might make an exception to the rule for him." She added: “He’s so dope…he’s such a king.I’m not claiming that every single, celibate person is living a double life, but I am definitely comfortable saying that what a married straight person sees when they look at that church member is not going to be the reality.Life experiences so divergent are incapable of recognizing what goes on beneath the surface of trying to fit into a community’s expectations of celibate normalcy.