|Truck Darling, left, |
and Jose Ortiz,
New Haven, Conn. Oct. 2, 1020
This was especially true for Jose Ortiz when, on Saturday October 2, along with Truck Darling who is member of Other Sheep Task Force, and myself, the three of us took the Metro North to New Haven to give an Other Sheep presentation to Yale students on “LGBTQ & Religious Communities in Developing Countries.” The small Yale group of students met in Morse Fellow’s Lounge. The meeting was arranged and hosted by Bridges, Yale’s LGBTQ and Ally interfaith group led by Joan Gass.
When Jose introduced himself as a Puerto Rican from an evangelical/some-what Pentecostal background, one Yale student, also Puerto Rican, named Julio responded, “We’ve got to talk.”
|Left to right: Joan Gass, Bridges leader, Truck Darling, |
Jose Ortiz, and Steve Parelli. Morse Fellow's Lounge, Yale
October 2, 2010
Jose and Julio’s meeting is especially unique because of the small size of the denomination. Remarkable, that two gay men, Jose in his mid-forties and Julio a sophomore at Yale, having the same denominational background would meet: Jose, now traveling the world summers, empowering LGBT people of faith, and Julio an up-and-coming young man at Yale.
|Julio, Yale student, left, and Jose Ortiz.|
Morse Fellow's Lounge, Yale.
October 2, 2010
|Jose Ortiz, left, and Julio, Grand |
October 17, 2010
A couple weeks back, on September 30th, Jose turned forty-four. He received a phone call that brought tears to his eyes. It was his very best friend from his Puerto Rican church from his “youth group” days and his twenties, a friend who while always “loving” Jose found it difficult to be himself with Jose once he learned Jose was in a gay relationship, and silently stayed away, and eventually losing Jose's phone number.
Such are the common threads that gay Christians share: a Pentecostal preacher-father who can’t get past the fact that his Yale-student son is gay; and a life-long church-going best friend who doesn’t know that his now-openly gay friend is still the same wonderful “Joey.” And for Jose and Julio, this common thread of being misunderstood by those one loves dearly, runs within the same small Puerto Rican Pentecostal Christian denomination. Now that’s commonality that makes strangers quick friends; like coming home . . . together.
Julio gave permission to use photos of him, his first name, and to reference him as a Yale student, but asked that his last name and the name of his denomination not be used.
|Truck Darling, Jose Ortiz and Steve Parelli |
(third, fourth and fifth from left)
with Joan Gass (left) and three other Yale Bridges students.
Morse Fellow's Lounge, October 2, 2010.