Unlike the Image in Moonlight, Gay Men Are Often Deeply in Pain

By Esther O'Reilly Published on March 6, 2017

Moonlight captured Oscar gold in memorable fashion last week. You saw how the Best Picture won Best Picture, but be honest: Did you actually see the Best Picture? Chances are good that you didn’t. Yet Christians should be aware that it marks yet another milestone in the gay lobby’s onward march through popular culture. Between this win and the subsequent announcement of Disney’s first openly gay character in the same week, Hollywood can rest on its laurels for a few seconds, at least.

For the uninformed, Moonlight is a three-act screenplay that follows the life of a black boy named Chiron, growing up in the heart of the Miami drug scene. As Chiron matures into adolescence, he is relentlessly bullied, for many reasons: his poverty, his mother’s drug addiction, and his slender quietness, which is instantly interpreted as “gay” even before he manifests any outward signs that this is his orientation. However, a romantically shot moment on the beach with another teen explicitly establishes this for the viewer. In adulthood, the two young men reconnect with each other, and the film ends on a question mark regarding whether they will be intimate again (despite the fact that the other man has married and had a child, which is apparently irrelevant).

Cast members were asked to write their own denouements after the film’s open-ended conclusion. Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali reflected that whatever happens, the viewer is left with a “hope” that Chiron can finally relax, soften and “become who he actually needs to be.” Andre Holland, who plays the lover, responded:

I don’t know … I have this image of them walking along with Kevin’s son and teaching him, either overtly or experientially, about what masculinity is and what it means to be a man, in all the variations that are possible. That, to me, is the magic of it, that there’s a young boy in the world who will grow up with a different idea of masculinity than either of them had.

Magical. Quite.

Here’s the real truth: Male homosexuality and pain are indeed intertwined, but not in the way Hollywood wants you to think, foisting the blame on forces outside the gay man’s control. The pain of homosexuality is an inherent one, and it begets pain for others in turn. But nobody has to take my word for this. One need only look at actual gay men to realize this brute fact.

Thanks be to God, there is a way of escape.

A recent case in point: Milo Yiannopoulos, the alt-right provocateur who lost several platforms in rapid succession for old comments on man-boy “love” in the gay world. They were bound up with flippant jokes about his own childhood abuse, which he had clearly never properly confronted. This revelation didn’t come as too much of a surprise: Anyone who observed Milo’s compulsively attention-hogging shtick could have sensed he was more than a bit damaged. (“I’m a little broken,” he remarked on Bill Maher in between giggles. “A little?” reacted Bill, speaking for everyone.)

Yet, paradoxically, although Milo publicly doubled down on the benefits of “rite of passage” relationships between upper teen youth and older gay men, and although he congratulated himself for improving the image of gays in fly-over states during his press conference, he has repeatedly, emphatically stated that he would be straight if he could. In this striking, six-year-old piece for a Catholic outlet, entitled “Why I’ll probably never be a parent,” he writes:

I’d describe myself as 90-95% gay. I would never have chosen to be this way. No one would choose it. You’d have to be mad. Yet there’s a view, promulgated by the mostly socially liberal media, that almost any lifestyle choice is alright these days. It chimes with, and to some degree emerges from, that vacuous milieu of bien pensant chat show psychology that says everything’s OK, as long as you’re OK with it. “Live your best life,” says Oprah Winfrey. “It’s OK, if it’s OK for you.”

But everything isn’t OK.

Elsewhere in the piece, he says the gay lifestyle (the lifestyle itself mind you, not the bigotry or discrimination we are to believe feeds the pain of gay youth), is “guaranteed to bring … pain and unhappiness.” Observing the “degrading and repulsive” behavior of queer Soho tramps, he reflects, “They see themselves as faulty, so they exaggerate their imperfections in the company of others they see as similarly defective. Ironically, it’s precisely that profound feeling of being somehow broken that means a gay man’s sexuality often comes to be the defining characteristic of his personality.” So is homosexuality wrong? “Something, somewhere inside me says Yes.”

To be clear, I don’t regard Milo as a voice of moral authority on these matters (or any matter). Acknowledging your brokenness doesn’t make you a good man. Sometimes, it just makes you a bad man who’s occasionally honest. But I present his remarks for the consideration of anyone who has lingering doubts about whether the gays are okay. This just in: They aren’t, they never have been, and despite what Dan Savage tells you, they never will be. Even outlets like the Huffington Post are being forced to grapple with the awful truth that it’s not getting better. They can still try to explain it away, they can still try to spin it, but they can no longer deny it.

But thanks be to God, this need not be the end of the story. There is a way of escape, and nobody knows this better than former gay porn actor Joseph Sciambra. Like Milo’s, his childhood was intensely lonely and alienated. Also like Milo, he decided upon reaching adulthood that the best way to come to terms with his sexuality was to work it for all it was worth. This led him down unspeakably hellish, dark paths, which he has documented extensively on his blog and in his book. Today, he is a Catholic convert who provides outreach and counseling for gay men who want to break free of their lifestyle.

In one of Sciambra’s YouTube videos, he returns to Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood to share a story, the rainbow flag fluttering behind him. It’s a story about gay porn star Joey Stefano, who was an idol of his back in the day, accruing wealth and fame in glossy “A-list” material while Sciambra begged for scraps. To make ends meet, young Sciambra “hustled” in the very parking lot where he stands now. One night, he saw a familiar face among the hustlers: Stefano. “Here was the prince of porn … picking up guys in a parking lot off Santa Monica Boulevard … Wow, I just thought. He’s not happy. He’s gotta be here too. Why is he here?”

“You can have everything in the gay world,” Sciambra concludes in the video, his voice heavy with sadness. “And you still won’t be happy. You end up here, in a parking lot, going home with anybody that will love you. Or that you think will love you.”

Joey would die of a drug overdose at age 26. He died alone, in a sleazy motel room.

Remember. Remember Joey. Remember that homosexuality is death. Anyone who tells you any different is selling something.

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