For immediate release
Married or not, most of them tragically choose anonymity over acknowledging their true selves to others and, often, even themselves.
Why are these men so secretive and afraid of revealing their sexual orientation?
Because they grew up at a time when culture and society exorcised homosexuality, treating homosexual men and lesbians as lepers: sick, reprobate, reprehensible pariahs.
So their sexual behavior, orientation, and identity conflict and increasingly collide.
That's the thesis of Bruce H. Joffe, a college professor whose new tell-tale book is a memoir about myriad masked men supposedly "straight" but actually same-sex oriented.
Square Peg in a Round Hole follows the author's attempts to delude himself and loved ones, tracing his experiences rejecting, confronting, and ultimately embracing the man he now believes God meant him to be all along.
For Joffe and many men like him, the challenge required reconciling religious beliefs with his innate disposition. An enigma within an enigma, Joffe is a Gay Jewish-Christian whose academic focus for the past ten years has been on Sexual Minority Studies.
The connection enabled him to meet many men from the baby boom generation still struggling with their sexuality -- online, in support groups, at churches, and through other social networks.
"We tried to deny ourselves, hoping the burdensome secret would disappear," he shares. "But, of course, it never did." So we turned to prescription drugs, self-inflicted voodoo, and pejorative prayer." Mostly, though, we married -- expecting that wedding rings and children would add legitimacy to our lives and help keep the demons at bay." Inevitably, other people got hurt as we woefully dealt with a painful identity crisis.
Married with children or still single, politicians, celebrities, sports figures, and even evangelical leaders are now coming out and confessing -- or being forced to do so. Dropping a political bombshell, former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey announced his resignation after revealing that he is gay and that he'd had an adulterous affair with another man.
Spokane Mayor Jim West, Florida Congressman Mark Foley, and Idaho Senator Larry Craig similarly symbolized political anathema and personal grief when their suppressed sexuality became public fodder for the media frenzy. The Rev. Paul Barnes, senior pastor of Grace Chapel, an evangelical Colorado mega-church, resigned following a phone call outing him to the church.
"I have struggled with homosexuality since I was a five-year-old boy," Barnes said, according to the Denver Post. "I can't tell you the number of nights I (had) cried myself to sleep, begging God to take this away."
His resignation came just a month after Colorado Springs pastor Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, was outed by a former male escort.
"Guilt, shame, and remorse can plague many homosexual men but, especially, those who are married and lead hypocritical or duplicitous lives while cringing in the closet," Joffe says.
"Denied equal rights, respect, and even their religion, how can people with same-sex orientations lead legitimate lives?"
All too often they can't, because they won't come to grips with what they think is wrong: to be born a homosexual ... or to love someone of the same sex. The author maintains that we can't control one and the other is a natural expression of the birthright.
"Homosexuality almost always has meant second-class status, or worse." It shouldn't." Gays in society have harmed themselves --and others -- long enough," insists Bruce Joffe who, in writing this book, realized that he would pay the piper for coming out publicly.
Square Peg in a Round Hole (Hardcover: ISBN 978-1-4257-6918-5 & Softcover: ISBN 978-1-4257-6908-6) will soon be available from amazon.com and all online booksellers.
Meanwhile, more information and an excerpt are now posted on the publisher's Web site at http://www2.xlibris.com/bookstore/bookdisplay.asp?bookid=42320 where the book can be ordered immediately.
-- 30 --
Contact Bruce H. Joffe
By phone: 540.429.1869
By e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.gaydata.com Copyright © 2008 by GLINN Media Corporation