In Hounded by God, the author writes about his struggle to integrate his homosexuality with his personality and his Catholic-Christian spirituality. Born in 1948, he grew up in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s when homosexuality was considered either a mental illness or a major sin. In 1968, he had his first homosexual experience. Feeling shame and trying to repress his feelings, he spent over six years in therapy.
Joseph Gentilini and his spouse, Leo Radel, were both born in Columbus Ohio; Joe in 1948 and Leo in 1950. Ironically, they both attended the same Catholic elementary school, although they did not know each other then. Joseph always wanted to be in a career that involved helping others. He earned his undergraduate degree in 1970 from the Ohio Dominican College (now University) in social welfare.
I took a ride to a park just to be alone and to think. I felt empty, guilty, and hopeless, and so I took my pad and pencil along to write. I had begun to put my feelings and thoughts on paper the summer before, and it was a way to release tension and put “everything” out in front of me.