A Gay Man’s Journey to Self-Acceptance, Love, and Relationship

Joseph Michael Gentilini

Joseph Michael Gentilini

shares his memorable gay journey in an inspirational and thought-provoking memoir.


In Hounded by God, the author writes about his struggle to integrate his homosexuality with his personality and his Catholic-Christian spirituality. Born in 1948, he grew up in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s when homosexuality was considered either a mental illness or a major sin. In 1968, he had his first homosexual experience. Feeling shame and trying to repress his feelings, he spent over six years in therapy. Ultimately, however, God hounded Joe to accept his homosexuality as God’s gift and as a way to wholeness and holiness.


I was born in 1948 and grew up believing that being gay was a sin against God and that I was not accepted by God. This thought threw me into a panic because I wanted to be holy and yet ‘knew’ that I could not. In the mid-70s, I began to document my fears and desires by journal writing. This writing resulted from my drive to give flesh to my insides. Writing became a vehicle for me to touch others, myself, and God. Writing was and is a must for me.

By my painful journey over many years, I learned instead that I could only become holy as a gay man, and this included being in relationship with my spouse Leo and with God. God hounded me to accept this truth. Today I can thank God for Leo’s life in mine and mine in his, and God’s in ours.


I am in a gay and committed relationship, and I was thinking this morning that this seems to be my vocation in the world. Being gay in this committed relationship is the way I am being called to holiness. September 13, 1988

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As I sat in prayer, I often just told God that I wanted him for all eternity. I also want Leo for all eternity, and there is a connection. We are a threesome. I do not feel a need to disconnect my life with Leo from my life with God. May 15, 2001

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How God has taken care of me. He helped me to find Leo, who in a very deep and mystical way is Christ in my life. June 21, 2002

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