Editors' Note: Guest blogger Dr. Carlos T Mock is a native Puerto Rican who resides in Chicago, IL and Three Oaks, MI. He has published four books and is the GLBT Editor for Floricanto Press in Berkley, CA.
I was never molested by a priest.
To this day I feel inadequate that I did not meet the criteria--it feels like my biggest failure in life.
I grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I went to a Catholic High School. Late in my junior year I had a very public crush on a classmate. I confessed it to a priest--unbeknownst to me he was gay and reveled in all the gory details.
After that, I was invited to the night parties at the high school swimming pool. There was lots of sex going on between priests and students, but I was too afraid to act on my impulses. I was on the swimming team, so I developed a crush on a young Jesuit seminarian who was also a swimmer. At the parties, we both spent time swimming together. Let's call him Larry for sake of this article. He was six foot one, dark straight hair that he wore short and preppy. He had a Greek nose--he bragged to me that it was a "perfect" nose--he had done sexual favors to the head of the order to have it shaped by a plastic surgeon. He had the deepest blue eyes--those that looked into your soul and immediately unarmed you. To this day, those eyes haunt me.
At the pool, we had hugged and developed some sort of rapport. One night, he invited me to come to his residence for a drink. I drove my mother's beaten up station wagon. Once inside his small quarters, he offered me a drink. I told him I was in love with him and that I wanted to hug and kiss him. Abruptly, he stopped the conversation and asked me to drive him to Old San Juan. I was more than happy to oblige, excited that he was finally paying attention to me.
We went to a gay bar--of course I did not know that ahead of time. He ordered rum and cokes for both of us and, about five minutes into the conversation, he excused himself and disappeared to a back room. I got plenty of attention, either because of sympathy, or pity--since everyone in the bar saw what happened; but I had no idea what was going on and I was afraid to leave the bar without my "friend."
Finally, I walked inside the dark room with a lit match and saw him having oral sex with several people. I started to cry and told him I was going home. I ran out. He followed me and asked for a ride back, which I obliged. All the way home, not a word was spoken. I dropped him back at the seminary and cried for days--never understanding what I had done wrong. We never talked to each other again, and I never went back to the swimming pool parties.
I came out as a gay man at the age of 23 in New York City while I was doing electives in my senior year of medical school. I was helped by my uncle Henry and his lover, Peter, who built my damaged self esteem by hosting parties in their wonderful flat in the Upper West Side in Manhattan. At every party they held, they made sure I slept with the boy of my choice.
Peter even came up with the idea to write a questionnaire for people who rejected me, so I could figure out why I was being rejected and avoid future Larry's. (I published the questionnaire in my first book: Borrowing Time: A Latino Sexual Odyssey.) Slowly the damage was repaired. My confidence grew--I now was able to go to any man and seduce him. However, in all the faces attached to the bodies I had conquered, I was looking for Larry's eyes. I could not get them out of my head.
Few people pay much attention to the importance of eyes when it comes to seduction. To me, eyes are essential, just like music to a good opera, or the image captured in a painting--I needed to find Larry's eyes. I had left my soul in there! I believe that I slept with everyone available in New York during my three month stay there but I never found eyes like Larry's.
Finally I found Larry's eyes in my present lover--the day we met, I knew he had been hurt in his youth just as badly as I was. That's why we connected immediately. I finally got my soul back at age 44. Ten years together they are still there comforting me and guiding me.
The funny thing is that it was always the straight boys who had sex with the priests. Was I not good enough? Was I a burden? Perhaps because they knew I would not keep my mouth shut? I think the Church needs to address the needs of those of us who never made the cut and were crushed by their rejections. I've often thought of starting a support group--as I said I was never molested by a priest.