Letter of the month: July 2006
From: A Troubled Brother
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2006 00:29:42 EDT
Subject: Masonry Question
I have a question that has been bothering me for quite some time now.
I am 21 years old and I joined Freemasonry when I was 18 and became
actively involved in all aspects. A year after I joined, I was asked to
be Junior Warden of my lodge. Two years passed and I was elected to be
Worshipful Master and I am currently in that role now.
I have such a passion for Masonry. It has made me a better person
and I am well respected by many around me for my dedication to people,
the lodge, and the fraternity at large. I have a lot of the ritual
memorized and work parts in all of the degrees.
I was so drawn to Masonry because of what it teaches...
Acceptance... Brotherly Love...
"By the exercise of Brotherly Love, we are taught to regard the whole
human species as one family. The high and low, the rich and poor, who
as created by one Almighty parent and inhabitants of the same planet,
are to aid, support, and protect each other."
How could anyone not be drawn to something that has teachings of that
Here is my problem...I am gay. I know how certain people feel about
homosexuals and it hurts me to know that many of these people I refer to
I live in constant fear that I will be rejected for being gay...That
no matter how passionate I am about what I do, that will be overlooked
by the one thing that many people feel is a sin. We can argue and
debate the Bible all day and believe me, no one is perfect but I just
can't help but wonder if these people who I call my friends would still
be my friends if they knew I was gay.
I guess my question to you is, is there anything in Masonic history
that states that being gay is unacceptable for a Freemason? I don't
think there is but I would like to know.
I just don't know how to handle my situation and a little advice from
a caring brother would certainly help. I have always felt that I could
talk to a brother above anyone else but I feel that on this subject, the
situation is different.
I just don't want to live a lie. I would rather be hated for who I
am than to be loved for who I am not.
A close relative of mine is very high up in the fraternity and will
be running for Grand Master in a few years. I fear that he will think
less of me and will not see me as conforming to the principles of the
fraternity. I also don't want to do anything to jeopardize his chances
of fulfilling his dream.
Your input would be greatly appreciated and any information/advice
you would like to give will be taken seriously.
Thank you for your time.
"Lost and Confused"
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2006 14:09:23 -0400
From: A Page About Freemasonry <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Masonry Question
I can't tell you how troubled I am that gay men such as yourself have
to worry about their place in Masonry. You can be assured definitively
that there is *no* restriction or rejection of homosexuality in the
Landmarks or written into the constitutions of any Grand Lodge
I know about.
And yet, as you well understand, there are many Masons (just as there
are many people in general) who immediately and instinctively equate
homosexuality with immorality and wickedness, and then find a hook in
their religion or elsewhere to justify themselves and to hang their
feelings upon. To people like that, all of the teachings in Masonry
about morality are (in their minds) a direct and unmistakeable
condemnation of homosexuality.
You can't argue with people like that, as I'm sure you've learned.
In fact, when I post this letter at my website (without your address) I
can expect to get a pile of critical letters, all very carefully
explaining why the writer is absolutely certain of God's opinion on the
matter, and exactly what God wants the writer to tell me to correct my
thinking. (It must be nice to be so completely sure about the mind of The Great
Architect of the Universe.)
Your case is quite troubling to me because, while most of the
questions I get about this are from people who might want to join, you
have already joined, and given great service to your lodge and the
Craft. Serving as the Master of your lodge is a tremendous amount of
work. In accepting the position, you took a great responsibility for
the care and welfare of your brothers. I would hate to think that your
brothers, the same ones who knew your character well enough to put the
governance and future of the lodge in your hands, that those same
brothers would condemn and reject you over your sexuality.
The issue of your relative's position in the grand lodge puts another
weight on you. It shouldn't, but it does. You shouldn't have to hide
who you are from your lodge brothers, and no one should be voting for
grand master based on that, but you're probably right in thinking that
some people would.
I can't tell you whether or not you should "come out". I guess
that's a personal decision that you'd have to make for yourself. But
you can ask, "Suppose I don't come out now, and wait two years until
after the election: will that be better or worse for me, or for my
relative, or for the lodge, if people find out *after* the election?
Suppose I do come out now, and the whole thing blows over in a few
months, and has no effect at all on the election fro GM? Or if it
starts a swirl of trouble that hurts my relatives chances of running for
GM?" You can't predict these things, but you can try to think about the
alternatives, and how you feel about each.
Do you have anyone there you can talk with about these issues? Any
close friend or family member at all? A significant other? The one
thing I can say for certain is that you shouldn't have to face these
Something else to think about: Is Masonry ever going to be more
openly accepting of gays? Or will it be just as hard for someone in
your position 20 years from now, or 100 years from now? If it's going
to change, then how will it change? Who will push for the change? Is
there anyone else in a better position than you to try to do something
about it? Some confused would-be candidate somewhere, or some new
initiate, has the same questions and troubles that you have. Is there
anything you want to do for him? I'm sure that after reading your
letter and this reply, a number of gay Masons or would-be Masons would
like to be in touch with you. I'm not going to include your email
address in the web posting, so maybe you can think about ways for others
to contact you.
I guess that's more than enough for you to think about. I hope
you'll stay in touch.
-- Gary L. Dryfoos
A Page About Freemasonry
now at http://MasonryPage.org/
Another reply to this letter
I heard from this brother again two
years later, with very good news.
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