Robert Oscar Lopez describes his torturous self-loathing in some detail, particularly if one consolidates his prior anti-gay diatribes with his current offering.

Robert Oscar Lopez

Robert Oscar Lopez has a new piece out titled: “As an Ex-Gay Cradle Catholic, I Know the Devastation That Awaits Those Who Follow Fr. James Martin.” His is a lengthy and rambling polemic including:

I immersed myself in the gay world of New York. It was a world in which youth and beauty were weapons. Sexual freedom gave everyone license to manipulate and compete with each other. It was not Catholic guilt but cancer, my loss of a muscular physique, and my falling in love with a woman in 1999 that prompted me to break out of homosexuality. Because I’d never heard the priests or other Catholics I met take a biblical (or traditional Catholic) stand against the lifestyle that held me captive, I left that church in search of answers.

Personally, I have never seen people as weapons. In somewhat of a conflict he later claims to have gotten fat to make himself unattractive to gay men. Lopez certainly knows that sexual orientation and lifestyle are two unrelated things but he is content to parrot the anti-gay conservative Christian talking point. I did not know that Lopez had a bout with cancer but to suggest that an illness was part of becoming ex-gay suggests that his being gay caused his cancer. A gay man falling in love with a woman describes a bisexual man. It’s really not terribly complicated.

I gather that the following is circa 2006:

I chose to be baptized at a Chinese Baptist church in Los Angeles. By then I was already married for seven years and had a daughter. Prior to that, I was unable to convict myself fully of my sin and finally surrender to Jesus Christ. …

Perhaps his wife is of Chinese ancestry. The insufficiency of Catholicism goes on for several paragraphs. I am sure that some people will find it informative, even interesting. I am not among those.

Eventually there is this paragraph and keep in mind that at this point Lopez was married for about 13 years and has a daughter around 12 years of age:

But ironies abound. Fast-forward to 2012, when I was forty-one years old and recently discharged from the Army. I was trying to distance myself from all my gay friends, most of my family, and any gay man who might take an interest in me. So I never wanted to hear anything about gays or Catholics ever again. I consciously gained a huge amount of weight because I thought that as a fat man I would be invisible to gays; that way I could move forward in peace. But then Ryan Anderson, a Catholic protégé of Princeton professor Robert George, asked me to write an essay about being raised by lesbians. I believe sincerely that if people with faith like theirs, good priests or sisters, had been around in my childhood, they would have led me to a godly life from the beginning. Maybe I’d still be Catholic.

Apparently Lopez was still looking for something because he enlisted in the Army rather late in life. There is no mention of him being a reservist. At this point, well into marriage, why was it so necessary for him to distance himself from gay people — so much so that he consciously and deliberately became obese? He clearly despises his gayness. He is addressing his own sexual desires which he wants to be rid of.

I did not know (but I am not surprised at all) that Ryan T. Anderson solicited a polemic. The piece, at Witherspoon Institute’s pseudo-intellectual blog was titled: “Growing Up With Two Moms: The Untold Children’s View.” I remember the dishonest piece well because Lopez didn’t actually grow up with two moms. The purpose of the piece was to undermine marriage equality. In that piece Lopez asserts that he came out as bisexual while he was in college which is somewhat of a contradiction with the present piece. Lopez seems to want to blame his being gay or bi on his lesbian mother and her distant partner (the two did not live together). Blame is necessary for Lopez (blaming nature will not do). It all makes being gay inorganic and unnatural.

Connecting the dots, Lopez would have been in the college class of 1993 or 1994 (his mother died on 1990 when he was 19). From the Witherspoon piece:

I dropped out of college in 1990 and fell in with what can only be called the gay underworld. Terrible things happened to me there.

If you have some brain cells to spare you can read that piece in full at the link above. Returning to the current offering:

Approaching middle age, suddenly I found myself surrounded by gay debates again, this time because homosexuals around the world wanted to kill me. I was also surrounded by serious Catholics, since in 2012 they were the ones working the hardest to defend marriage against the LGBT juggernaut. The five years that followed “Growing Up with Two Moms” have been an emotional roller-coaster.

I do not know whether or not Lopez means kill literally or figuratively. Lopez does not expound on that “emotional roller-coaster.” However there is more than just a suggestion that his emotional instability is cause by gay people who take exception to his anti-gay screeds.

I have a different theory. Lopez is still bisexual and he has gay urges which conflict with his religious beliefs and, presumably, the stability of his marriage. In other words he is claiming to be a victim of his own sexual orientation but presents it as victimization at the hands of gay people. Looking back it is what Lopez has been doing for more than five years.

The devastation that Lopez refers to in the title of this essay is really his internal conflict and turmoil caused by denying his sexuality. What he was seeking was a more conservative Christianity to affirm him and to keep him from straying. It is all really rather sad. Lopez is a very smart guy in tremendous pain and angry with himself. He used his anti-gay pieces as a form of self-therapy but it solved nothing. Attempting to undermine marriage equality was a very negative endeavor that only brought more attention to Lopez’s emotional impairment.

The Catholic scholars and activists who have promoted my work have helped me realize how much I share with them. And how much they have to lose if Catholic leaders decide to follow Fr. Martin off the deep end.

I’m a Baptist now, Father Martin. In fact, I teach at a seminary. I’m a happily married father. So maybe I’m not the audience that interests you. But if you don’t want more Catholics like me to wander in spiritual deserts, and emerge (if at all) as Protestants, then you’ll stop sowing confusion. Go back to the faith of St. Ignatius, of Jesus, of Moses. You know what it really teaches. Stop being coy. No one is fooled.

Right. The Church is charged with creating even more neurotic, miserable people like Lopez. None of this, either way, has any effect on the number of gay people there are. Most mental health professionals would agree that pretending to be different than your real sexual orientation is very unhealthy. Lopez provides exhibit “A.”

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.