Posts Tagged ‘orientation’


Sunday, January 14th, 2018


Ted Jones, campus chaplain and English Professor in downtown Denver, doesn’t need more problems. His life has been full of them. More than a few of the clergy seem to think of the church as a sex club, and those who administer the English Department are vipers. Yet, at the beseeching of the spirit of an old woman who appears floating near the stained glass window of St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church, Ted soon becomes involved with Sharon, the deceased woman’s grown granddaughter.

Damaged though she is, Sharon responds, trying to return the steadfast love that Ted offers. After her grandmother died, she lost that capacity in herself and couldn’t find it in any of the people who professed to love her.

Although Sharon and Ted’s trials are multiple, their love forms the crux of the novel. Such love reaches beyond time and space as we normally conceive them, to involve intersecting planes of existence that touch both past and future.

While fiction, and centrally a love story, it is essentially true. My experiences teaching at CU Denver and the Episcopal Cathedral stick very close to the facts. In light of the current #MeToo movement it is most timely.


The novel ends with a vision of meeting Sharon on the fields of eternity:

For a moment, my earthly sight blurred with tears, I glimpsed Sharon and me. We stood on fields of gold, there, where chronos meets kairos, and earthly time rolls into eternity.

Link to Amazon Reading the Signs page. Here you can examine the cover and read some pages of the book.

Signed copies are also available from me. See WRITING page of this site.

Who Gets to Choose Which Childhood Experiences Are ‘Appropriate’?

Friday, November 10th, 2017

Fom Christina Berchini’s thoughtful article:

Hard as some parents and guardians might try to shield their children from life’s difficulties and cruelties, other students bring adult issues to our classrooms. I certainly did. My students certainly did. An “appropriate” text, then, is also a text that honors this reality. Students who see their experiences ― however difficult ― reflected in the books they are asked to read might be provided with a coping mechanism through literature.

For example, the well-known young adult novel Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson addresses the issue of teenage rape ― a problem that Anderson’s supporters argue needs to be discussed. Children and teenagers lucky enough to live blissful lives ― the kind of lives my colleague assumed to be the rule, and not the exception ― are also served well by texts that illustrate the real trials and tribulations of childhood and adolescence. Such texts help to build empathetic classroom communities with a more complex understanding of the world, whether or not students have personally experienced such complexities.

It’s De-Lovely and marriage

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

I recently watched the film De-Lovely, a 2004 musical biopic of Cole Porter, from his first meeting with Linda Lee Thomas until his death. The Cole Porter songs throughout are a delight in themselves, and, because of the story, the ambiguity of many of the lyrics becomes clearer.

What I found most fascinating, from a counseling/coaching angle, is the lifelong love story between Thomas and Porter. By believing in him and accepting him for what he was, including his need to have sexual relations with males, she gave him himself and made him believe in himself and his talent. Creative people are a special breed with a deep need to explore various realms to foster nourish creativity. And Porter had heaps of that.

Because they had no secrets, Porter’s love for Thomas deepened and grew over time. Evidently her love for him was without strings and enduring from the start. He found that hard to believe, but she constantly proved it. (Of course she didn’t like everything he did and worried about his getting into a big scandal that would hurt both of them. But they weathered the storms and love lasted till the end.)

The importance of being open—and being able to have no secrets—with your spouse is essential. Not everyone can do that, and certainly depending upon the people involved, some aspects of character would rule out even trying. But people vary. What should destroy some relationships strengthens and deepens others and gives them themselves in much more profound ways that most might imagine.

While some people were not terribly enthusiastic about the film, Roger Ebert, I believe, grasped its significance. Read his review.

Why Heterosexuality Didn’t Really Exist Until the 19th Century

Monday, July 21st, 2014

[Hanne] Blank mentions her personal story at the beginning of her provocative new history of heterosexuality, “Straight,” as a way of illustrating just how artificial our notions of “straightness” really are. In her book, Blank, a writer and historian who has written extensively about sexuality and culture, looks at the ways in which social trends and the rise of psychiatry conspired to create this new category in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Along the way, she examines the changing definition of marriage, which evolved from a businesslike agreement into a romantic union centered on love, and how social Darwinist ideas shaped the divisions between gay and straight. With her eye-opening book, Blank tactfully deconstructs a facet of modern sexuality most of us take for granted.


How Many People Do You Know Who Are Not 100% Straight Or Gay? More Than You Think.

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Sexuality is a gigantic spectrum of endless possibilities. And get this: We can choose different ways to express our sexuality based on our sexual orientation. When I was growing up, I always thought people were either “gay” or “straight” and never realized there are actually thousands of ways to express sexuality. When we put people in boxes, we miss out on all the wonderfully diverse ways that human sexuality can change and all the different ways people of any gender or sex can be compatible with one another. The possibility of combinations is endless, and this photographer thinks it’s high time we all came clean about that.


Thomas Ramey Watson is an affiliate faculty member of Regis University's College of Professional Studies. He has served as an Episcopal chaplain (lay), trained as a psychotherapist, done postdoctoral work at Cambridge University, and was named a Research Fellow at Yale University.

In addition to his scholarly writings, he is a published author of poetry and fiction.