Good morning from a rainy London where lockdown continues and where God has inspired us to make a little home gym to keep fit and healthy and kick ourselves into shape….literally!

Providence has brought a great guy called Joe our way who is quickly become a friend and personal trainer.

As I’ve said many times, healing is all about mind, body and Spirit and now with Joe we are a step closer to having an awesome healing ministry and community for LGBT community. Thank you Jesus and thanks Joe as well.

Over the last few days I wrote about some bullying that I received after mass the other day. It got me thinking of catholic schools and the bullying gay people can get there.

I was never bullied myself because I neither knew I was gay nor “looked gay” but others were severely bullied.

One such person was my best friend who I sat beside in both primary and secondary school. I guess he had certain mannerisms that made him ‘look gay’ and boy did he get bullied.

The bullying he got was a bit like Seamus. Constant name calling and mocking and taunting.

Only after secondary school did he come out as gay and sadly we lost contact after school so I haven’t spoken to him for 20 years (I sound very old and I write that).

However what people don’t realise is that there are way more gay people than those that ‘look gay’.

Stereotypically we think that the gay guy is the dainty little guy who can’t kick a football, who walks funny with an annoying squeaky voice…..and yea, some gay guys are like that but a lot are not!!

Many gays like me are described as ‘straight acting’, a term that I’ve never liked because we’re not acting at all, just we don’t stand out as much.

Those of us who are ‘straight acting’ have another dilemma. It’s harder for us to come out as gay because people presume that we are not!!

And because of the terrible bullying the other gays get we can be tempted to keep silent and to say nothing so as to avoid similar bullying.

The only problem with this is that hiding becomes a prison and our heads becomes like jail cells.

In some ways we envy the gay guys that are ‘out and proud’ because at least they are being true to themselves, even if they were forced in some ways.

Coming out forces someone to build character and to accept who they are.

For any human being to be fully happy they must be able to be able to express themselves freely and be who God made them to be. It’s just common sense.

This is why it is crucial that gay people have a ‘safe space’ in the church, schools, and in society where they can simply be.

Bullying is not acceptable nor is just avoiding the gay issue and hoping it will go away.

And so this morning as I reflect on my own education and the taboo nature of this topic I wonder who else in my class in school was gay and how have they suffered?

And as I reflect I hope and pray that the catholic education system will evolve and adapt to these important issues which will not go away so that young catholic gay people can come to terms with themselves and their sexuality or gender identities as soon as possible so that they too can become the wonderful and loving people that God made them to be.

Bless

Michael