This Gay & Age

Posted on March 10, 2012


PBS POV project, “This Gay & Age” by Morgan Wilcock

Watch This Gay and Age on PBS. See more from PBS Online Film Festival.

Below are a couple quotes that highlight key elements of the discussion and debate.:

Just ask yourself…if it’s true, that sexual orientation is innate and God-given, then what does it mean to the moral force of your argument? And I guess, to put it in the vernacular, I would ask, How many more gay people does God have to create before we ask ourselves whether or not God actually wants them around?

The issue of “cause” regarding homosexuality will continually be a key spoke in the wheel of the debate.

The gays have the really really tough task of taking on Christianity, which is ultimately not an enemy in any way, but ultimately a force to be reckoned with, this piece of literature that condemns who I am, apparently, against the billions and billions of people who believe it to be the word of a higher power.

Notice “condemns who I am.” This is something that is consistently lost in translation and misunderstood by Christians who continually use the phrase “hate the sin, love the sinner.” That, in homosexual circles, is nonsensical and demeaning. This is not an “orientation” issue. This is an “identity” issue.

I went to a church in kind of an outlying city of Rochester with some friends. It was a very small congregation, and they were aware of my presence, and aware of who I was, and I didn’t know any of these people. And at one point the pastor called me forward in front of the congregation, and brought me on stage, and she placed her hands on me and said, ‘Tony, the reason why you’re gay is ’cause your father didn’t love you when you were younger, and you [just][?] seek male attention.’ And then she started speaking in tongues. And the entire congregation basically, which is about 15-20 people, came forward and placed their hands on me and were praying and chanting over me trying to dispel my homosexuality, and I had just recently come out at this point. I didn’t really say anything, I didn’t know how to react. I was just completely kind of in shock at this point, standing there still, accepting this cascading drowning of prayer. And so I just left the church just flabbergasted about the entire thing and really out of sort. And it took me a long time to realize how really screwed up that was for me.”

I’m just…sorry.

In my high school I am faced with a choice. I can choose to stand back and remove myself altogether from the havoc that swarms these halls. Or I can step forward and call attention to an issue that, in this day and age, I simply cannot ignore. It is a risk I am willing to take.

This is the narrator’s/film maker’s voice, and I had a very slight quarrel with this statement. While awareness is important in a documentary, with this issue, I like to see more directed purpose and messaging in films like this.

— VIA —

I continually have conversations with friends, family, colleagues, students, family members, and peers regarding this issue. Some of the emotions and convictions are so rigorous and at times vitriolic, it causes me to wonder at times whether civil conversation can even be had around homosexuality. However, whether I am naive or stubborn, I still believe conversations not only should be had, but they can actually be fruitful, beneficial, redemptive, and transformative. “Words create worlds,” as Heschel has said. It is with these conversations, then, that we not only reflect, but we form, and in many ways we get to choose what kind of world we live in.

The film itself is a bit more rhetorical rather than argumentative, leaning heavily on testimonies and stories. However, it is still raw, real, and personal, and is another note in the symphony of discussions and ideas surrounding homosexuality.

May love be our orientation.