Some 25 years ago I took a vacation in Hawaii. I spent some time on Oahu, and some on Maui. I also took a plane trip which flew us over most of the Hawaiian Islands, and included a superb view of “Madame Pele” - an active volcano on “The Big Island”.
Hawaii was O.K. in its own way, but it was no place for a single and gay man. Most of the other holiday makers were heterosexuals who were newly engaged, newly married, or celebrating a wedding anniversary.
On one night I took a “Sunset Cruise” out of Maui.
Tight-assed or obsessive as I am, I was one of the first to board. I took a seat on a bench on the starboard side of the boat.
I was soon joined by two couples. It was apparent that they were mother and father plus son and daughter-in-law, or daughter and son in law.
The younger male sat to my immediate left, with the other members of the family to his left. He half turned away from me - his body language indicating “don’t talk to us”.
Off we sailed with canned music spewing out of the cabin, and a more than abundant supply of “free” mai tais.
Other passengers would from time to time go to the prow of the boat, take a photo’ of the setting sun an immediately return to their seats and drinks. “Hmmm” I thought, “they are here to get a photo’ of the sunset, not to enjoy it”.
I took my turn at the prow and, leaning against the mast, I savoured every moment of beauty as the sun “sank into the ocean”.
On returning to my seat the younger man addressed me for the first time. “Are you a priest?” he asked. It seemed to be an odd question since I bore no identifying clothing or insignia. I granted him “yes I am a priest”.
He immediately turned back o his family as said “I told you so, I told you so. I knew he was a priest”. And he and they never spoke to me again!