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Why I Don't Call Myself Gay: How I Reclaimed My Sexual Reality and Found Peace Paperback – June 2, 2017
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Daniel Mattson once believed he was gay. Raised in a Christian family, and aware of attractions to other boys at age six, Mattson's life was marked by constant turmoil between his faith in God and his sexual attractions. Finding the conflict between his sexual desires and the teachings of his church too great, he assumed he was gay, turned his back on God, and began a relationship with another man. Yet freedom and happiness remained elusive until he discovered Christ and his true identity.
In this frank memoir, Mattson chronicles his journey to and from a gay identity, finding peace in his true identity, as a man, made in the image and likeness of God. Part autobiography, part philosophy of life, and part a practical guide in living chastely, the book draws lessons from Mattson's search for inner freedom and integrity, sharing wisdom from his failures and successes. His lifelong search for happiness and peace comes full circle in his realization that, above all else, what is true about him is that he is a beloved son of God, loved into existence by God, created for happiness in this life and the next. Mattson's book is for anyone who has ever wondered who he is, why he is here, and, in the face of suffering, where to find joy, happiness, and the peace that surpasses all understanding.
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"I encourage many to read the following testimonial, which... bears witness to the mercy and goodness of God, to the efficacy of his grace, and to the veracity of the teachings of his Church."
— Cardinal Robert Sarah, from the Foreword; Author, God or Nothing
— Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York p>"This powerful book reminds us that we need to accompany our brothers and sisters in their struggles with compassion and love, patience and understanding. I pray that this book will help many to discover God's love and to find happiness in following Jesus Christ and his beautiful plan for creation and our lives."
— Most Reverend José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles p>"Dan Mattson is a profile in courage. This profoundly moving story of his experience of same sex attraction and his reflections on the hard-won truth that those attractions do not define him mark a way forward for others. I highly recommend this memoir to pastoral ministers accompanying our brothers and sisters in similar circumstances."
— Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, GCIH OFM Cap., Archbishop of Boston
"Saint Peter writes, 'His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature' (2 Pet 1:3). Dan Mattson sincerely embraces this promise. His story demonstrates that such a divine project is, through one's encounter with Jesus, well within our grasp."
— Most Rev. Michael J. Byrnes, Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Agaña, Guam
— Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto p>"This easy to read, encouraging and personal witness of a man who found a way to peace may mark a turning point for the Church in getting ahead of this issue of our times and in offering a quiet Gospel space where many of its sons and daughters can be free."
— Most Rev. John Keenan, Bishop of Paisley, Scotland
p>"Dan Mattson's witness is courageous and compassionate. It deserves the utmost respect."
— George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Ethics & Public Policy Center
"Mattson's book is honest, generous, wise, and very well written. This book resembles many of the spiritual classics and, indeed, may become one."
— Janet Smith, Ph.D., Editor, Living the Truth in Love: Pastoral Approaches to Same-Sex Attraction
— J. Budziszewski, Ph.D., Author, On t
About the Author
Daniel C. Mattson is a writer and a public speaker who proclaims the Good News of the Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality. His story is told in the award-winning documentary Desire of the Everlasting Hills. A professional orchestral trombone player, Mattson has performed and presented master classes around the world, including at the famed St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia.
- Publisher : Ignatius Press (June 2, 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 338 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1621640728
- ISBN-13 : 978-1621640721
- Item Weight : 13.3 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.25 x 0.88 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #723,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Review by Samuel A. Nigro, MD, retired psychiatrist, copyright c 2017
Why I Don't Call Myself Gay is a poignant illuminating testimony of author Daniel Mattson's journey into and out of homosexuality. As most, he uses the word "gay" as a benign generic term for homosexuality and sexual identity disorders of behavior.
Part One is "The Prodigal and His Return." He tells his story from birth. His earliest puzzlement and lack of self-confident-giving information about the puzzles of self (and "sex") development. Comparing himself to other boys evoked ideas with consequences linked to unhappy disturbing doubts about himself. Negative ignorant reinforcements from others provoked defenses of joking, flight, body preoccupation, projection of self as being the male to whom attracted, and rationalization of being different. Suddenly the defenses became the symptoms when cultural impositions of adulthood stir the anxieties of violence as pornographic serpents destroy the natural naivety and human-interactional-innocence of normal healthy childhood. Mattson's story is inspiring and illuminating as he found the angelic and human natures of knowing the virtues especially "courage," perhaps the one "manly" quality he knew he had. His childhood reveals a self-obsessing with no empathic "normalizing" of his maleness from others--a likely universal gay experience of inadequate reinforcement in the pursuit of manhood from all others.
Part Two is "Reclaiming Reality" --fifty-two pages of transcendence as his consciousness finds truth, oneness, good, and beauty. The chapter on "Why I Don't Call Myself Gay" is a philosophical masterpiece. Unfortunately, he falls short in not labeling the "cult" nature of "gay" when contrasted to genuine human synthesis in Nature and Nature's God which is possible with any disorder be it diabetes, hypertension, homosexuality, or any disorder not lived as a cult. "Normal people" with diseases/disorders do not do what "gays" do: enthusiastically embrace their illnesses; obsess about genitals; celebrate with genital parades and six foot penises; promote their genders totally intolerant of others; recruit the vulnerable by pornography and suggestibility; seduce children especially those developmentally immature even preventing therapeutic efforts; antagonize and entrap those who disagree; claim victimhood as they victimize others; and totally fill the definition of "cult." One cannot be one-with-humanity in a de-humanizing cult, which unfortunately, "gay" has come to mean.
Part Three is "How to Run the Race: Living Out the Daily Battle for Chastity"--virtue as part of the ultimate purposes for all humans! Jesus and the saints are better to follow than the pseudo-celebritism of contemporary frauds selling junk food and junk ideas pervading every society. Virtue works.
Part Four is "A Miscellany: Reflections on the Catechism, Friendship, and Loneliness"--an intellectual analysis of genuine humanbeingness as suffering converts to joy by transcendence of the ultimate human purposes of life, sacrifice, virtue, love, humanity, peace, freedom and death without fear.
The final Part Five is "The Most Important Things"--humility and magnanimity! Read this book! Pass it on! There is more to our beingness than struggling confusion rejecting nature and Natural Law. One gets a touch of Eternity from Mattson--a supernatural smile of the pre-BigBang Immediacy of God--the Unrestricted Act of Transcendence as revealed by that Guy who rose from the dead and this author who metaphorically did the same.
This is a Transcendent book: true, unifying, good and beautiful--the opposite, in general, of most electrono-celluloid-print promulgations of today which present self-righteous arrogant malicious targeting, negating, retaliating, lying, shaming, condemning, bad-mouthing, censoring, ostracizing First Amendment Fakery, suggestibility, and non-being--all junk if not evil. Kindly remember that a definition of "evil" is "the promotion of non-being"--My father would often remind, "Got a problem, find the lie!" Mattson expanded: "Got a problem, find the Loving Truth! and be free!". He did it and tells how.
I add a message to be learned and prayed from earliest childhood:
St. Hildegard (on the Holy Spirit, the Big Bang, the pre-Big Bang, the Statimuum, and Eternal Life):
I am that supreme and fiery force that sends forth all the sparks of life. Death has no part of me, yet do I allot it, wherefore I am girt about with wisdom as with wings. I am that living and fiery essence of the divine substance that flows in the beauty of the fields. I shine in the water, I burn in the sun and the moon and the stars. Mine is that mysterious force of the invisible wind; I sustain the breath of all living. I breathe in the verdure, and in the flowers, and when the waters flow like living things, it is I. I found those columns that support the whole earth...I am the force that lies hid in the winds, from me they take their source, and as a man may move because he breathes, so doth a fire burn but by my blast. All these live because I am in them and am of their life. I am wisdom. Mine is the blast of the thundered word by which all things were made. I permeate all things that they may not die even if they seem to die. I am life...Eternal Life. (The Statimuum: the Immediacy of All Transcendence Ever--
rejoining The Unrestrained Act of Thinking--God! or "Ur AT" only obtained by Love)
However, I felt disappointed that this book was not groundbreaking enough and was saying a lot of the same thing that others have said and in more eloquent ways, specifically Michelangelo Signorile's OUTING YOURSELF which still remains the definitive classic on the "Coming Out" process for people who have a same sex preference.
I had a hard time with some of the organization, logic and clarity in the book.
I felt that the book needs to be reorganized. The personal autobiography in Part I should come at the end of the book as a case study to support and illuminate Parts Two-Five which are really well organized. Instead I had to wade through a third of this book before I got to the essence of the book.
There were certain aspects of logic that were missing in the content of the book and a stronger
case needs to be made for why a person might not want to be called GAY.
This stronger case begins with the dictionary which is often cited as a springboard to other ideas in the book. In the etymology of the word GAY one of the root words of GAY is GAI which refers to male burlesque strippers who entertained men. This definition appeared not to be cited in the work, yet most people with a same sex orientation might resent being identified with people who degrading and defiled their bodies in a gaiety burlesque setting.
Another reason a person might not want to be called GAY is the fear of being another victim of the Homosexual Holocaust. As a group, over the vast expanse of history and civilization, it appears that society has condoned allowing homosexuals to be maimed, mutilated and murdered at more disproportionate rate than any other group. This idea needs to be brought out in the book as another possibility for debate, discussion for showing mercy and seeking forgiveness.
Last there needs to be greater clarity. In Part I, the author's friend JASON demonstrates a very Christ like approach towards the author. I was so touched by Jason's sacrifice that I wanted to know more about Jason.
Also, reading this book poses many questions but the three most compelling ones I would be like to see addressed in the review and revision are as follows:
(1) Do all people struggle to determine their sexual identity as opposed to just people with a same sex preference?
(2) If so, how will we overhaul the curriculum in our public and faith based private educational systems to address Question 1?
(3) Should this book be re-titled, WHY I DO NOT LIKE TO CALL MYSELF SINGLE?
“Jason did a remarkable thing . He cared for me more than he cared for himself . We were living outside of God’s plan for human sexuality — I recognize that now . But in that moment he showed a Christ - like act of selfless , self - sacrificial love .”
This has helped me to understand and emphasize with people who are in these kind of relationships, which is also something that Pope Francis has spoken about.
Another interesting point is his perspective on the supposed liberation provided by modern embrace of homosexuality.
“…we do injury to the free will of people to choose their own destiny by preventing people , especially teenagers , from finding help in resolving their unwanted same - sex attractions.”
The second major part of the book is an insightful discussion of Catholic theology vis-a-vis this issue. During his journey, Mattson came to see the moral claims of the Church not as onerous demands, but rather as invitations to reclaim his human dignity. In this perspective, humans have natures that must be respected and which cannot be manipulated at will (at least, not with a positive outcome), and our wills and lives will be properly ordered only when aligned with this nature, rather than at odds with it.
Top reviews from other countries
To label somebody because of their sexuality is to downgrade their identity and not look at an individual in their entirety. It is wrong to do this and this book explains beautifully why this is so. A person's real dignity is not to be found in labelling yourself according to sexuality but in each and every one of us being a child of God and for accepting ourselves as such… All individuals are flawed/wounded in some way and this is because of original sin… We all have wounds whatever they may be e.g. loneliness, depression, sexuality, the list is endless but one thing we all have is our true identity which is that of a child of God and this is the reality, this is truth, this is so very comforting to know… If we remember our true identities we can cope with anything, deal with anything, find the strength to cope with the most difficult things we might be faced with in the here and now. I'm not saying that everything will suddenly become a piece of cake and an individual will face no more struggles but knowing what our true identity is will give us the strength to deal with whatever life may throw at us.
I would recommend this book to anybody, thank you Daniel for sharing with us your journey and for revealing so many deeply personal insights through the course of writing this. This book offers so much support, hope and truth to anybody who is struggling with something in their lives whatever it may be this book will certainly point one in the right direction towards finding that fulfilment that we are all so desperately searching for in life, a deep and abiding peace, love & happiness…
Algunos cristianos también pueden aprender una o dos cosas acerca de su religión.