Former priest talks about being gay at holidays (Philly)
As last Saturday turned into Sunday in the back room of a dimly lit Center City gay nightspot, a pianist's fingers danced across the keys while dozens of men and a few women joined together in song.
Hours earlier, Congress had voted to repeal the controversial "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that, for 17 years, had banned openly gay and lesbian soldiers from military service, and a celebratory mood was in the air.
For the pianist, John Bickle, 57, a former Roman Catholic priest in New York and New Jersey, thoughts turned to when, at 24, he was asked about his own sexual orientation upon entering St. Anthony-on-Hudson Seminary in Rensselaer, N.Y.
"They did ask and I didn't tell," the gay pianist recalled, with a laugh. "If I'm committed to being celibate, though, I thought, 'What does it matter if I'm attracted to men, women, or porcupines?' "
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