In 1973, the National Catholic Reporter published excerpts of a speech that Father John McNeill, SJ gave to a gay group in California. This was the first positive article that Joe had read about homosexuality and Catholicism. It gave him hope that there was a way of integrating his homosexuality with his spirituality. The article mentioned DIGNITY, a group he joined and with five other men, helped to form a local Columbus chapter.
In June of 1974, he attended “The Gay Christian”, a conference that changed his life. He met a man to whom he was emotionally and sexually attracted. For the first time in his life, his emotional, sexual, and spiritual worlds came together. Joe decided to accept his homosexuality as God-given and live his gay life. In 1981, he met his spouse, Leo.
All the while, this and more is chronicled in detailed journals kept by Joe: his pain, his healing, his experiences with God and with men, his advocacy, etc. God kept hounding Joe to do something with these journals. In 2005, his edited journal entries became a book, Hounded By God: A Gay Man’s Journey To Self-Acceptance, Love, and Relationship.
God is indeed good, and as a gay man, Joe is in relationship with God and with his spouse, Leo.
This book is just one of the few gay memoirs to explore the topic of faith. The author hopes to cast light on the life and faith – and spiritual struggle – of Christian homosexuals.
HOUNDED BY GOD is a genuine account of love, self-discovery, and self-identity. Regardless of how one feels about gay rights and issues, readers should digest Joseph Michael Gentilini’s story.