There’s a topic that hasn’t been addressed on this blog in the form of a resource review or a book review and that’s abuse. I’ve addressed bullying a bit, yes, but this time I’m talking about some forms of abuse that one human can inflict on another aside from that. One of the most sickening forms of abuse is, of course sexual abuse and molestation.
I’m proud to say that I began my college career at Penn State. It’s a great University and it deserves high praise for it’s world class academic environment. The U.S. is a nation bent on the culture of sports and perhaps nowhere was that culture more visible than at Penn State under football coach Joe Paterno (may he rest in peace). JoePa’s downfall was a pedophile former assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky, who preyed on and sexually abused young boys.
Is Jerry Sandusky a closeted gay man? Possibly. Is he a pedophile? Yes. I know, I know…innocent until proven guilty but come on; the evidence is overwhelming. He needs to step up and accept his fate. Regardless, gay does not equal pedophile, despite what the ultra conservative right would attempt to lead us all to believe.
Pedophiles, whether they are gay or not, are sexual abusers. They wreak havoc on the lives of their young victims that can scar them forever. They, like Sandusky, often come from a position of trust and authority. A case in point is that of author Martin Moran who was abused for three years from the age of 12 to the age of 15 by a church camp counselor, a man 20 years his senior in a position of trust with the Catholic Church.
Martin wrote about his abuse and his subsequent life including eventually coming to terms with his gay sexual orientation in his book The Tricky Part: A boy’s story of sexual trespass, a man’s journey to forgiveness.
The book description:
Raised in a loving Catholic family in Denver, Martin Moran was a star student who imagined that he’d one day become a U.S. senator. When he was twelve years old, a camp counselor seduced him, initiating a sexual relationship that would last three years–and haunt Moran’s life for decades. He discovered a passion for acting and built a career that would take him to Broadway, but only when Moran finally tracked down and confronted his abuser thirty years later could he finally forgive himself for someone’s else trespass.
Funny and tender about growing up Catholic and gay, The Tricky Part never oversimplifies either the abuse or the vexing work of recovering from it. This powerful story carries us to the heart of a paradox: that what we think of as damage may be the very thing that gives rise to transformation, even grace.
This isn’t an easy book to read but it’s a hard book to put down. His story is upsetting and sad. It will make you cry for him and feel rage against the predator that took so much from him. Sadly, Martin Moran is one of many.