Saturday, June 8, 2013

Stephen F. Austin, the Father of Texas, and Saint Anthony of Padua, San Antonio's patron saint (A Note from Gene Elder)

From guest blogger Gene Elder:

It is time to just go ahead and say it. Why hasn't it been done sooner? St. Anthony was gay, and so was the Father of Texas, Stephen F. Austin.
Now, this is a tricky subject because (as far as we know, here in Texas) there is no recorded account if St. Anthony de Padua had a male lover. But lets just get our gaydar going. Looking at his life and his sermons he certainly was in step with a gay male community. We have to ask what gay men were really like at that time. There are plenty of gay men who do not have sex. We will give St. Anthony due respect. He believed in his mission as a servant of God and he lived his life as best as he knew how. BUT THIS DOES NOT MEAN HE WASN'T GAY, as we gay men and women know. Having a sexual relationship with the same sex is not what REALLY makes us gay. We want to bond with someone of the same sex more than the opposite sex. And, as fate would have it, his feast day is June 13. So just make plans to celebrate our gay patron saint during GayBLT Pride Month this year and from now on.

Stephen F. Austin, The Father of Texas, never married, never had children and there does not seem to be a female interest in his life. It is known that he had a close attachment to a gentleman who paid for him to go through law school and while he was busy helping settlers come to Texas he maintained a correspondence with a close male friend in New Orleans. There may still be letters that have not been published in the Austin family archives and in the Texas Archives in Austin. I have not had time to go to Austin and do the necessary research. And as you can imagine this would not have been the aspect of his life that Texas would be promoting. I have just maintained a healthy curiosity about him over the years and I think his life fits the gay profile. The question still has to be asked: What was a gay man like during the 1830s in Texas? Well for one thing these people rarely took baths so I wonder about their sex life.

What I do know is this: If Stephen F. Austin and Saint Anthony were alive today, they would be a part of the gay community and would be in support of gay marriage and part of the regular crowd at the Bonham Exchange, the popular gay disco next to the Alamo.

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