Honest Life, An
Unlocking gay sexuality and authentic faith.
An Honest Life is a poignant memoir – much more than a gay coming-out story.
With searing honesty the author tries to discover why he first resisted a call to ordination and denied his repressed sexuality. He examines the unconscious defences and cultural pressures which kept him in a heterosexual marriage, and condemns the intolerance and hypocrisy he encountered within the established church, while applauding the support he received from some bishops.
The book is enriched by personal stories, contributions from other protagonists, and by the author drawing on a literary reservoir of fellow pilgrims' journeys of faith and evolutionary growth towards integrity over sexual identity.
Most movingly, Geoffrey Hooper tells of the joy he personally experienced when 'the love that dare not speak its name' bid him welcome and he did sit and eat.
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In this autobiographical study Geoffrey Hooper has produced a work of compelling interest. He explores with searing honesty his struggle to affirm his integrity as a married Anglican priest who has to face the ultimate inescapable truth of his same sex orientation. The profound internal struggle as he acknowledges that he is a gay man is paralleled by the complex ambivalence or overt hostility of the external world. Family, Church and wider society combine to create a context which demands every ounce of his emotional resilience and courage. This is a narrative illuminated at different stages by Geoffrey's understanding of priesthood, theology, psychology and therapeutic process. It also bears witness to his steadfast commitment to Christian faith in the face of difficulties which continually threaten to undermine him. The book is also beautifully written. ~ Professor Brian Thorne, Emeritus Professor of Counselling, University of East Anglia. Co-founder of Norwich Centre. Bestselling author.
Geoffrey Hooper exposes the appalling treatment his remarkable ministry has received at the hands of the Church. His work in Newham was transformative in a demanding context. At the same time his personal life was in turmoil as he struggled to liberate his own sexuality. The story is moving, a pilgrimage of faith and should be read by all those who are concerned at the way the Church manages to marginalise gay clergy. ~ Bishop Stephen Lowe, Retired Church of England's full-time Bishop for Urban Life and Faith.
In my Father's House, could well be the title of this eloquent memoir. It is a story of faith and faithfulness. Faith in an all loving and just God, and faithfulness to Geoffrey Hooper's own father's abhorrence of cant and hypocrisy that has enabled this man to live a life of integrity and true goodness. The human authenticity and religious authenticity are one. Geoffrey's account of his life long painful struggle to be fully human as a gay, married, divorced priest with two children - and now grand children - is a challenge and joy. Having finished reading the book, I felt like I had dipped my hands into the pockets of God. ~ Fr Bernard Lynch, Roman Catholic Priest. psychotherapist and bestselling author.
An Honest Life is the true story of a gay man of faith finding his way, his true self. Geoffrey Hooper graces the reader with a straightforward telling of his life's story without any hint of proselytizing or excusing. As a teacher of American high school students for nearly three decades, I had ample opportunity to observe teenagers begin to discover their sexuality. My experience tells me that young men are quicker to recognize their homosexuality than young women of that age. I can well imagine the comfort and validation that my gay students might have felt, had they been able to read this engaging book. ~ Jane Ready Hill, American High School Teacher.
Woven into the tapestry of this poignant autobiography are the dreams and hopes, the struggles and wounds, that characterize many of our lives at a time when our intimate yearnings undergo profound and disturbing evolutionary growth. An inspiring and prophetic read! ~ Fr Diarmuid O'Murchu MSC, Social Psychologist and widely read author.