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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Once a Mason, Always a Mason?

I recently came this website and forum post : "Once a Mason always a Mason"... and I have been thinking again. (Dangerous, I know!), anywho, I went through the 3 degrees of The Blue Lodge and also was progressing through The Chairs (i.e. an officer of the Lodge). When I demitted, I was Senior Steward. I actively participated in the Ritual. I was First Fellowcraft. I was well liked by my Brethren and really enjoyed the Work. Then one day in 2002, I came out of the closet. I told some of the members (my closest Brethren), and things went downhill from there. It seems as though Freemasons have a "don't ask - don't tell" policy on homosexuality...

I am stuck in a sort of Masonic Hell, if I may use this analogy. I AM a Mason, I adhere to all the rules and tenets of Masonry - yet I do not feel welcomed BY Freemasonry. I miss the Lodge meetings and the portrayals, and I would like to still converse on Masonic subjects with (dues paying) members. It see,s though, that because I have demitted, I no longer am treated as a Freemason.

Should I not expect to be treated fairly? Why would an organization shun someone who was (and is ) dedicated to The Craft?

If you cam, please add your comments to this post. Thanks.

Below is a link to a webpage "Gay Masons?":

Is there such a thing as a gay Mason? Click here to find out.

Click above to read about it.


Masonic Traveler said...

I say go back to lodge, the only thing keeping you out is your own limitation.

Perhaps, though, the nature of your sexuality should not be leveraged as a means to discussion. I don't say it to mean that you should hide your sexuality, but as with anyone else, decorum should dictate that its a non issue, and perhaps your presence woudl remind the brothers of this.

Br. Greg

The Wizard of 'OZ' said...

Yeah, going forward I agree - but when you do finally come out of the closet, you HAVE to tell your friends - they deserve to know - it's complicated - but one make amends - otherwise you continue to live a lie - this time - on purpose.

Masonic Traveler said...

I believe you bro, I can't even pretend to say that I can imagine, but personally I think of it like this. Would I want to know who a philanderer is, or the alcoholic, or that someone can only have sex with their partner (of ether gender) by first having to look at some obscure blue magazines?

Its the nuances that make us who we are, and sadly jade how some see us, despite our elevated feeling of development. We still suffer our failures.

We all live with our lies, some great some minor, but its how we confront them, not how we make others confront them.

My thoughts are with you brother. Te fraternity wants you back.

STAG said...

Belonging to a group, any group, is problematical. Groups are like tribes or herds, and there is something fundamental about wanting to belong to a tribe.

I regard most cliques and groups as generally toxic. From the high school "cool kids" to the church my parents went to, to the Nazi party, most groups have an Us against Them attitude which I find deplorable. They all made up of member which keep secrets because to let that secret out would result in them being rejected from the group.

To have the strength of character to remain an individual in a group of conformists is VERY difficult, especially when one is inclined to conformity. And thats most people.

Most people will not be welcomed into most groups, so you can do what I did and simply reject them all (churches, rotarians, PTA, masons,knights, NDP party, or whatever) without necessarily demonizing them. The hard part is to be able to say to yourself "they are all flawed in some respect because they are man made, and it is not their fault".

I don't soar like an eagle....I am not a Mahatma Ghandi to boldly reject the status quo, I have just found that I can survive just fine without those guys. My quality as an individual cannot be measured by what degree I have attained from some martial arts belt factory, or how many stripes on my sleeve when I was in the military, or which pigeon hole I fit into on a chart of the Templar ranks.

Nothing is so bittersweet as the memory of a lost love, and to lose the comforting warmth of the blanket of conformity is just as bad. But nobody ever died from a broken heart.

They don't need you. You only think you need them. Live a good life, do good deeds, and make your momma proud.

The Wizard of 'OZ' said...

Thanks Traveler and Stag - I appreciate your comments - about actually returning to the fraternity - that i smost unlike-ly - that said - I willingly stay loyal to the Tenets of the Order and will always strive to be a 'better man' in all that I do. As far as 'joining groupss' - I have this to say... perhaps this is why I chose to be a solitary practioner of Wicca. I set my own rules and never hear any complaints or 'talking behind my back - real OR imagined...

I like to be social with other like minded pagans, and will never give that up. They do not judge you.

Again, Thanks for your heartfelt comments - and my Masonic certificate still hangs up noted a time when I was proud to be called a Freemason. Now I am just proud to be me.

Anonymous said...

Im sorry to hear that brother. If yo were in my lodge I would support you. I guess some areas are different than others. My lodge is in MA.

Anonymous said...

I think it should be more about the reconcilliation between being a PAGAN and a professed belief in the GAOTU than your sexual prefrences.

The Wizard of 'OZ' said...

I profess a very strong belief in a Supreme Being - The All, or The One. Just because I split the All into a male/female part does not alter my belief that the ONE/ALL is the same GOD I professs a belief in as being part Christian. So I see no issue here.

Anonymous said...

Brother, I'm sorry to hear you're having such an unwelcoming reception at your lodge. I too am in Massachusetts, and I too am a gay Mason. I was sponsored into my lodge by another gay Mason. Many brothers in my lodge and others are gay.

I have a sign in my office that says "Bigotry is Blasphemy," and I think the negative reaction to your coming out was most un-Masonic. All Brothers are entitled to respect.

Please consider visiting a lodge here in Massachusetts, or in another jurisdiction where bigotry is not practiced, just to get an experience of being in Masonic brotherhood with men who support you and accept you as a Brother for who you are. I am so sorry this is not possible in your mother lodge or in your jurisdiction, and I insist the problem is with them, not with you.

Come see us here in Massachusetts the next time you're in town. I have no doubt at all that if you call the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, say you're going to be visiting town and explain the situation, they will welcome you with open arms and will be delighted to suggest some lodges that you could visit in keeping with your schedule.

Clayboy62 said...

I just saw your posting and agree that there is nothing stopping gay men from being Masons. I am a past master of my lodge and hold my 32nd degree from the Scottish Rite. I am also a Knights Templar. I was also a member of my local Shrine Temple for 8 years, but have obtained a demit because I could not devote enough time to the organization.
The year that I was master, I wore a red ribbon in support of the fight against Aids. All my officer's also voluntarily wore a red ribbon and our local lodge held a fundraiser for the Aids Committee. Take heart, not all Mason's are stuck in the past.