Gay author confesses in satirical Catholic memoir

by Sam Baltrusis

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Sunday June 8, 2008

Boston-based author Scott D. Pomfret insists he's overcome any lingering issues with Catholic guilt while crafting the satirical gem "Since My Last Confession: A Gay Catholic Memoir."

Well, sort of.

"I have generalized Catholic guilt," he jokes from the home he shares with his partner Scott Whittier in Boston's South End. "I feel guilty if I forget to give my mother a card on Mother's Day but I don't feel guilt about being gay. I don't feel shame about sex anymore," he says. "But a lot of people from many different faiths continue to struggle."

Pomfret continues, "I don't want to come across as some televangelist claiming I know what God wants but I've got an inkling that God wants us to laugh a little more about faith and religion and this book opened my eyes to that idea."

Known for his collaborative gay romance--or "Romentics"--novels with his partner Whittier, Pomfret flies solo with his new book, "Since My Last Confession: A Gay Catholic Memoir." His work is a funny, irreverent faith journey by a gay Catholic pursuing his Archbishop in the style of Michael Moore's "Roger & Me" that answers the perennial question, "What's a nice gay Catholic and part-time porn writer doing in a church like this?"

As a practicing Catholic in a long-term committed gay relationship with a hardcore atheist, Pomfret tries to reconcile faith with the hierarchy's bitter attacks on same-sex marriage, adoption, GLBT seminarians, Capri pants, innate style and anything else remotely gay.

"I've got an inkling that God wants us to laugh a little more about faith and religion and this book opened my eyes to that idea."

Pomfret, who works as a government attorney during the day and, with his partner Whittier, is responsible for the "Romentics" series of explicit gay romantic novels at night, says it's weird putting himself out there without relying on the Scott & Scott sobriquet.

"It's easier to do a book reading or signing with Scott at my side because if nobody shows up at least we can joke with other another about it," he remarks, adding that his next collaboration with his partner, called "E-Male," hits shelves later this year. "Now, I have to be the sole guy at the front of the room who has to face the brunt of the embarrassment alone if nobody shows up."

The 39-year-old author, who serves as a lector at Boston's St. Anthony Shrine, says the initial inspiration for "Since My Last Confession" came from the Catholic sex abuse scandal in 2002 as well as the barrage of anti-gay sentiment emerging from the Vatican.

"When I actually sat down to write the book, the heavy, serious, earnest riffs I originally planned just wasn't me ... it just didn't sing," he adds. "The Vatican itself inspired me to write a different kind of book, a funny book, when the Harry Potter Satanism thing first hit the news."

So far, Pomfret says he's had minimal backlash from zealots slamming his irreverent take on Catholicism.

"I haven't had a confrontation but I'm not sure if that's going to continue," he jokes. "Now that the book is out there and there's a physical thing to point at, the bored Catholic blogger zealots may come out in droves in the summer."

Scott D. Pomfret reads from "Since My Last Confession: A Gay Catholic Memoir" 7 p.m. Friday, June 20 at Calamus Books, 92B South Street in Boston and Saturday, June 21 at Books on the Square, 471 Angell Street in Providence. Pomfret will also read in NYC starting 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 16 at Barnes & Noble, 2289 Broadway and 8 p.m. Thursday, July 17 at Happy Endings Lounge, 302 Broome St. Visit www.sincemylastconfession.com for details.

Sam Baltrusis has worked for WHDH-TV, CW56, MTV, VH1, Seventeen, Newsweek and as a regional stringer for The New York Times. He's currently a full-time freelance editor/writer based in Boston. Check out his blog at loadedgunboston.blogspot.com.