Hi guy. I've been reading your webpage for about 3 months now and just read the April 14th entry and had to respond.
The letter your families pator sent you concerning your page is an example of why so much hate remains in our society against homosexuals and other minorities in general. For him to assume the role of "god's agent on earth" without you requesting it can only be viewed by me as immoral in the extreme. Who does this "MAN" believe he is? Jerry Farwell? Pat Robertson?
And he also mentions that his children didn't read the entire page but enough to have questions? I can only imagine the answers he gave them. I pray none of them are gay and have to deal with this man.
Your reply was outstanding and I applaud you in that. Maybe you answers will inspire some "soul" searching in him and he may just re-read the bible and see what is said about "hate":
I John 2:9-11
He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
I John 4:20
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
Anyway, keep on posting and adding enjoyment to this "soul". I enjoy your work.
I am a 49-year-old gay man, living with my husband (well, he will officially be my husband if Baehr v Miike is favorably decided in Hawaii) for the past 15 years. I love to read your diary, for inspiration (you are _so_ romantic) and to help me remember some of the struggles I went through, much later in life than you are.
I just want to say how much I appreciate your ongoing ministry to gay people everywhere, and that I especially liked your answer to your parents' pastor.
No reply to this note is necessary, Justin... I know how much correspondence you have. (Actually, I *don't* know, but can only imagine!).
Warm regards and hugs from a fan,
I just wanted to let you know of the many people I have introduced to your web page. Not a one finds you anything but fascinating, courageous, funny, sensitive, etc. KEEP UP THE EXCELLENT WORK!! If you make coming out easier for one person, ease one moment of doubt or confusion for one person then all your efforts are more than realized. Although it truly is none of my concern, the letter from your pastor incensed me. I've said it many times and I'll repeat it to you:
"God save me from a 'good' Christian!"
I enjoy reading your page and I am particularly impressed with the way you dealt with your reply to the local pastor.
Thanks for the writings, it is interesting to read and compare 'lifestyles of the gay and average' and see how things are in the US. Fortunately here in Australia the law is more responsive to our needs and in some states even vilification is an offence - not surprisingly this was initiated by New South Wales, home of Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (only 600,000 turned out for the parade this year - it was raining).
Hopefully you'll be able to visit one year, it is a month long festival so allow time!!
Again, thanks for the company and good luck in the red head hunt.
I wrote you once before... but after reading your passages about what your pastor wrote to you and I can't help but write another note about my feelings...
I completely applaud your response to his letter. Why the Christian society thinks it can nose in on everyone's life is beyond me. It's harmful, mentally painful, and confusing to someone who's trying to figure out the answer to the simple question "Who am I?"
I'm a Catholic. I went to Catholic school for all 12 years- grade school thru high school.. and was pretty much pounded with the reality that if I told anyone about my true feelings I'd be abandoned by my church and sent to hell immediately.
Fortunately, I figured out that that was complete BS. My basic philosophy is "If God didn't want us to be this way, he wouldn't have made us this way." I can't believe that God-loving people would be so ignorant as to hate other people for any reason whatsoever. It simply boggles my mind.
Your pastor really had a lot of balls to write you like he did without knowing the whole story first. I don't understand why he feels it is necessary to do such things. I would hope that your response will open his eyes and make him realize that his interference will not be needed or tolerated.
And while I have your ear... I, too, cried the first time I read your entries in the diary. I spent 6-8 hours after I first found your diary reading all of the entries, and I have checked it ever since for the updates. While I'm fairly comfortable with myself and my sexuality, for a guy that's just now realizing what his feelings mean, it's an invaluable tool in helping him realize that he is not alone, and there are others out there just like him, living through many of the same experiences. You can pass that along to your pastor.
And when are we going to see this Frank from LA? I was cheering you on when you were in the hot tub with him... and jealous at the same time! :) :)
Keep up the good work, Justin! I admire what you represent.
As a reader of the diary over the last 6 months or so, I have refrained from commenting on things that you have written about -- mostly because I believe that the more kibbutzing you get the more difficult it will be for you to react and write spontaneously and without inhibition. However, the letter from the pastor was just too much for me.
Your response was commendable. Your family's love and support is also heartwarming and refreshing. Being irreligous for most of my life, I forget the power these people try to exert over their herd. Pastors *are* just human and are in large part ignorant of their destructive influences. After all it was these same "scribes and pharisees" of which Jesus said, "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do."
I have been openly gay with my family, work, and social contacts for 15 years now. My just-coming-out cousin was not so lucky: coming from a very religious family, he hanged himself after a particularly damning sermon. My girlfriend was not so lucky: while we were both questioning our own sexualities, she believed she would never be accepted and shot her head off with a shotgun. My religious uncle was not so lucky: he has lived a loveless, closeted life for 60 years because he was afraid.
These people kill. Openness and acceptance saves lives.
I have at times been disturbed by the events you relate in your diary. It hurts to read about the pain you have unwittingly caused to others and they have caused to you. It reminds me of my life in my 20s: the pain I caused and felt, my "selectiveness" of partners, my rejection of those that didn't fit my ideal, my own rejection when I didn't fit the ideal of others (ironically, I'm a red-head with freckles :-). But it's your life and it represents the art in all of our lives. I'm glad you are living it, and sharing it with others.
Thank you for the web page. Thank you for your online diary. Thank you for the letter to a friend. Thank you for being you. Thank you for being honest. Thank you for your humor... and making me laugh. Thank you for your sincerity... and making me cry. Thank your for being committed and keeping true to those commitments.
>From your rely to the pastor....
The diary just isn't gay. There are straight people who read it and see themselves as well.
Gay.... straight... bi... or just confused. I know I fit in there somewhere.. probably one of the later. I see myself throughout your diary. It's been a while....... five and a half years.... since I've had a relationship. I had a girlfriend for two years... when she left me, it took over two years to get over her. I have feelings that most people I know would not understand... through your diary I see that I am not alone. Before reading your diary, I knew I wasn't alone... now I can SEE that I'm not alone.
I have a lot of love to give. Someday I hope to find someone to give that love to. Most guys I know equate everything to sex... heterosexual sex. While sex is darn nifty... there are other things I treasure more. Touching... caressing... feeling the warmth of another human being. Human being... not a man... not a woman... a human being. Lately I have found myself coming to terms with some feelings I have repressed and ignored for a long time. I feel that the human body is a beautiful thing... both male and female.
Loneliness is a very bad feeling. November 12, 1990.... 2:20pm... my girlfriend left me. I was a disaster for six months. I stopped going to classes... May 1991 I withdrew from college and consumed a large amount of bourbon. The next few months I spent trying to focus myself. Not a single day passed that I wasn't depressed. She was my first. My first love.... my first... everything. I was almost 20 years old when I met her... I lost my virginity less than one month before I turned 20. I had two very happy years with her. The following two years were pure hell.
It's taken a long time but I've come to terms with some aspects of my life... and I'm still struggling with others. I have not been with.... anyone.... since she left me. I haven't dated.... I haven't gone out with.... I haven't seen... anyone in 5 1/2 years. If YOU think YOU are lonely... have I got you beat! My biggest fear is that I will grow old and die alone.
Now I have a good job and make a comfortable living. One problem is that I don't have much "free" time. And when I do have "free" time.... I waste it away. I'm trying to overcome that... but where does a sexually confused and repressed 27 year old go to meet someone special? I don't exactly have great social skills.
My sister-in-law recently found out that her nephew was gay.... she saw his web page. (He had a link to your page... that's when I started reading the diary.) My page doesn't contain such revelations. Instead I hide behind my keyboard... lurking... seeing the world without being noticed... or compromised. It is very rare that I would.... expose... myself like this. I.... trust.... you. I've never met you... never talked to you... never emailed you.... but through what I have read.... I trust you. There are some things that I do not talk about to even my closest friends. You.... a "stranger"..... know more about my feelings than they do. I just hope this email doesn't end up someplace where I don't want it to. I know you won't do anything... but hey.... internet isn't the safest thing in the world. Sometimes I wonder if my email does get to where I want it to get to... and then I wonder who else saw it. Still... it's relatively safe.
I didn't mean to write all this. I don't know... I got carried away. I just really felt like I needed to say "thank you." You have made a difference in my life. If nothing else you made me feel better... especially for this one night. Maybe I'll get a good night of sleep for once.
Oh.... I'm sorry.... I'm not a red head... but I kinda wish I was :-) ...... I guess a dye-job just wouldn't do.... would it? Bummer. :-(
Thank you. God bless you. I wish you all the best in the world. And if you ever make it down to Dallas.... ;-)
Great... now I am crying.....
Very well done. I must say that you did take some time and kept your "koool" in your reply to this man. Your tact was better than the outrage I was feeling while reading his letter. You are maturing very well. You are not the same kid who started this site. Your courage is refreshing. Rob can still be a friend, and CA is just a plane trip away!
Good Luck, there are many of us who are with you!
WOW! A great response. I thought for a minute you were going to "fly off the handle" but your letter was GREAT! Thanks for sharing your feelings with the rest of us. I don't always agree and sometimes you really piss me off by some of your actions, but I really appreciate your openess and sincerity.
Take care and thanks again.
I don't know if I would put my life on the net like you do. But what the hell it is entertaining. I can't believe you pastor's letter. I though your response was great.
I just can't stand people treating sexual orientation as a disease. At the top of the list are so called moral cops of the western religion (though others are as bad or worse).
Actually, if you can forget the responsible position which is very hard to either forget or forgive, its really funny. Its sooo... typical. I hate to tell you Justin, but I really don't think there is any porn in your "Justins Life" (though we can hope).
You pictures are certainly not the focus of your page. Jesus, you know what I mean, I doubt if anyone said that the pictures were the highlight.
Frankly, your page reminds me of being young going through all the problems of finding your place in the world. That the pastor can't be touched by that reflects poorly upon him not you.
He can know the Bible, just a book really, not really that much different than history. The key is to know and love humans not books.
I agree, with you. I doubt if you will be surprised but the most powerful thing that a gay person can learn is that being gay is okay. That is the way it is, and millions of people are gay.
Whatever the consequences to your family I think the pastor did the world a favor. He tried to make not only you but your family feel guilty. As if your father had any control over your sexual preferences.
The letter and a your response shows a sharp contrast. It goes to the key of the issues. The right of a person to be free against an archaic and inflexible dogma.
I think you should put it on your main page.
Thanks for being there,
Just a quick note from a heretofor silent fan of your honesty and integrity. I just read your reply to your pastor (the sort of letter that really puts the 'past' in pastor) and I simply wanted to laud you for your courage and your candor. If there is a god, and not one who dresses in tatty white robes diddling with thunderbolts and such, then he spoke thru your keyboard to that silly, narrow little man in Kentucky who so very conveniently forgets the basic message of the new testament: 'love one another.' Nowhere does the bible say 'hate one another.' (Perhaps he should read it more carefully ...) I was never going to write you since you receive so much mail, but I really must send this or bust with pride to have you in our ranks.
I'm 43, married to and in love with the same man for 13 years. I love him like I met him yesterday. Love can and does work. Don't settle for anything less than what we have.
I've been a silent reader of your "life" entries for quite some time. You finally did an entry I feel was well worth the effort to help(maybe) set the "straight" community to thinking(I hope so anyway).
I'm almost 40 and have felt as you expressed in your response. All that guilt, etc. everything changed when I came out to my family 12 years ago. and they keep getting better. I'm now out at work and in every aspect of life. It's a lot more relaxing.
I still don't tell some people that I feel aren't ready for the reality, much like your "pastor". He has some growing up to do.
anyway, WONDERFUL letter, keep it going.
Thanks for your articulate reply your pastor's bigotry.
Never before had I felt compelled to write to you. I have been reading your diary for almost a year, and I enjoy & appreciate it tremendously. And though I already had high opinions of you, I must tell you that my admiration and respect for you shot up about 1000% after the "pastor's email" incident, and your sharp, intelligent, FIERCE esponse. I wish all gay teenagers had access to your page.
Good luck with life, USC, and the search for your red-headed knight. You deserve it. :)
God, you're articulate.