“Trust Us”, Part Deux

Amy runs this happy bit of reportage on the Cleveland diocese, while in my mailbox this AM: I get this from somebody in the trenches:

By now, it is to be hoped we all have all contacted the Cleveland Diocese and asked for the removal of the Gay Pride Rainbow Triangle from Bishop Pilla’s website:

If the Diocese contacted you at all, you were probably told that its Gay and Lesbian Family Ministry stresses chastity and is loyal to the Magesterium. [Why then the necessity to have a radical gay rights symbol on the diocese website?] Well, now we have a firsthand account of some of the things that went on at last year’s Gay Pride Parade in which the Diocese’s office of GLFM marched and which the Diocese helped sponsor! Thanks to the loyal Catholic who forwarded this to me.

This account is posted here but you need to scroll down to June 19, 2001. Some excerpts follow:

“This past weekend was the Cleveland Gay Pride parade and festival…I was a bit nervous about the idea of marching in the parade, even if it was with the Gay and Lesbian Catholic Ministry, so I opted to help watch our table at the festival during the parade and snap some pictures of the group at the end of the route.

Our table was one of the best out there, IMHO, with a lot of literature and resources available. I minded the table with Bruce, another member of the group, while everyone else was marching. Surprisingly, we had a lot of visitors from early on, and we continued to talk to a lot of people throughout the day. We had a good conversation with a high school age guy and his mother. He is thinking of entering the priesthood, so we directed him to the priest with whom I talked last year about coming out to my parents. A lot of people were surprised to see our ministry, especially with official sponsorship from the Diocese of Cleveland.

The catholic group had a very nice sized contingent. There were a whole ton of other religious groups as well, making a very strong showing. I was personally very impressed with Cleveland Pride overall.

Oh, did I mention that I am in the same video as a pornstar?! Ha Ha! It’s not really as exciting as I make it sound. The Grid nightclub had Matt Rush, one of the newest stars for Falcon Videos as a special guest at Pride. They were taking roaming video at the festival to play later at the club, and as they scanned past the sexy pornstar they continued on to catch my feet at the edge of the view while I was sitting at the Gay and Lesbian Catholic Ministry table.

Our table was almost across from The Grid’s table, so we got to watch Matt Rush shirtless signing autographs and posing for pictures most of the afternoon. I felt so uncouth sitting there ogling a pornstar and trying to be a respectable representative of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland at the same time (not like I was the only ogler at our table however). I actually went over and got an autographed picture and shook his hand. He looked like he had such an incredibly thin waist, but I think it was actually that his upper body was just so huge… built right in all the right places… Heh….I felt like such a little girl swooning or something….like Mickey when he gets in giggly schoolgirl mode I suspect.

The Stonewall Democrats had the booth next to The Grid, and they had some mighty fine shirtless guys sitting at their table too.After we took down our table at the pride festival, 7 of us from the Catholic group went out to Snickers for dinner, which is the place that Mickey went with Julie and I when he was in town. This time I ate a bit more frugally and didn’t break the bank. We had a really good time at dinner talking the evening away. We also had the same waiter that we had last time….the cute one with attitude.

It was less crowded this time, so his attitude was a bit more fun and well adjusted.After dinner myself and Bruce went to The Grid for some continuing party time. Matt Rush was supposed to be performing there at 1 AM, so we were going to stick around for that. It turned out that Bruce isn’t much about dancing, so we just sat and talked for a while.

Eventually, Brian, who coordinates a lot of stuff for the ministry, showed up. [My source believes this is Brian Halderman, the Cleveland Diocese employee who is set to join the Marianists] He and I danced for a while until the show began. I have to admit that he’s a good dancer…he was fun in that he wasn’t so entranced in himself to forget to smile and talk to me occasionally….some people get like that, which sucks. He also seems to know a good fraction of everyone….I met a few of his friends during the evening.

The Matt Rush show wasn’t all I was hoping for….it was just a single song, and our view was somewhat blocked by the tall people who were at the very front by the stage. We eventually left and headed over to Twist in Lakewood. I’ve been meaning to check it out to see if it might be someplace I could take Brian and Matt when they visit. We only stayed a short time as it was approaching 3 AM, so I have not decided if I think they’d like it….guess I’ll have to go again……hehe.I was still so totally hyped up during my drive home, and continued to be very awake for a while after that. The whole Pride experience was once again totally energising for me. I felt exactly the same way last summer in Seattle. When I start to feel very alone in my day to day life, it is nice to have that experience of being surrounded by so many gay people, just enjoying life separated from all the little fears and stressors that that surround us on a daily basis.”

We all need to continue to pray for Bishop Pilla and the Diocese of Cleveland. A first step must be the removal of that blasphemous triangle from the website. I suggest everyone e-mail Bishop Gries at rgries@dioceseofcleveland.org and ask for an explanation.

A culture of enthusiasm for gay porn stars and a culture of abuse and coverup. Obviously they have nothing to do with one another. Relax. The bishops are on top of things. Trust them. Since June 14, everything in Cleveland is A-OK. Same goes for the rest of the country. This time for sure they will handle the problem.