PHIL, The Gay Archbishop

This post was written several years ago when we lived in Palm Springs California, on a blog that was murdered by our hosting company, so I figured I'd post it again.


This is Phil:

He’s our gay archbishop neighbor who appears at our window several times a week, as shown in the pic.

I KNOW, huh? He scares the cat.

I’m not a judgmental person. This is because I’ve had people poke fun at me lots of times, so I don’t poke fun at Phil. Much.

I DID put him on BlogTV, though. The above shot is a screen-cap from the live video feed. He walked up while I was testing out my BlogTV account by doing a live broadcast with about five people in the chat room looking at me. I turned the web cam to the window and got up to about fifty people, most of whom delighted in making all kinds of disparaging remarks about poor Phil, who didn’t even know he was on cam. I don’t know if that’s legal, and it may be slightly unethical, but it sure was fun.

Phil got me to thinking about morality recently, and what’s acceptable in our culture as opposed to what’s not, and - if not WHY not - and all that kind of heavy stuff.

Oh, he didn’t bring the subject up; he just talks about gay issues, politics, and gay issues in politics. I got to thinking about it because most people can’t stand him, so I started asking myself, “Okay, what is it about this guy that makes him so creepy?”

He doesn’t walk around naked, only mostly naked, as pictured. And he doesn’t give any inclination toward anything that would make you want to hide your children when he comes around, yet I’d bet most of you would immediately shove them in a closet.

But a lot of people in the chat room started making all kinds of obscene remarks about Phil because he looks and talks funny, so I kicked most of them out.

Why do people get that way? Is it the anonymity of the Internet?

Do I even have to ask that?

Because, you know, if I invited someone into our apartment and gave them a beer, and they carried on like that - all foul-mouthed, obscene, and critical of my neighbors - I’d kick their ass out, even if they were being critical of Archbishop Phil, which is really easy to do.

Granted, I’d much rather have someone like the great tenor Plácido Domingo come to my window and sing opera to me.

That would be cool.

Plácido Domingo, NOT singing at my window, sadly enough.
But even then it’s possible I’d get irritated with Señor Domingo if he came to the window frequently and was always like, “Hey Dave, I’m working on an aria from La Boheme and I want you to hear it!” when I’m in the middle of something.

That's what Phil does only, instead of singing arias (THANK GOD HE DOESN'T SING ARIAS), he asks me if I think any of the Osmond Brothers are secretly gay, and he recites stats that support his belief that over 80% of sailors on our modern US Navy ships are gay, and stuff like that.

Since it’s Archbishop Phil who comes to the window and not Plácido Domingo, I’m left to deal with that for what it is.

I’ll start by answering some questions you may have about him, which I've based on the questions some of the people in the chat room asked the day he was on the live video:

1. Is he REALLY an archbishop?

YES. Don’t call him “Bishop” or he will correct you, every time. He said that he has bishops “under him” and I said “I’ll bet” which sounded kind of snarky, but I’m not sure he picked up on that.

2. What church is he with?

"The Independent Apostolic Church of Something Or Other," which I’ve never been clear on. I said, “I’ll BET it’s independent.” He picked up on that.

3. You have a church like that in Palm Springs?

I wasn't aware of any, but apparently we do. He’s here on a two year “sabbatical” but can normally be found standing at his neighbor’s window in the UK.

4. So he’s openly gay? AND an archbishop?

YES, we covered that. Evidently that’s allowed in his church and he says he has women bishops “under him,” which takes away from my snarky remark in #1 (since he’s not into women) and also shows that his church is just a tad more than liberal.

5. Why would an archbishop, gay or not, walk around mostly naked?

We’re in Palm Springs and there’s a pool behind Phil that you can’t see because of my lousy web cam. It’s like a thousand degrees here during the summer, and he enjoys a refreshing dip like anyone else. Also, he sometimes wears a black tunic and sometimes a red tunic, both with a clerical collar, but not in the pool, which would just be weird.

6. He lets you call him “Phil?”

No, during his first appearance at my window he requested that I call him “Your Grace” but I think he reconsidered when I shot coffee out of my nose.

7. Does he like the music you play?

No, he calls it “The Devil’s Music." I was playing Led Zeppelin one day when he walked up, and that’s what he said. I asked him how it is that he can have young men over several times a week for oral sex but he finds my MUSIC to be morally reprehensible. Yes, I really did ask him that. I keep saying things like that to him, yet he keeps coming back.

Honestly, I wouldn’t say that kind of thing to Placido Domingo.

Regarding that question about his young male visitors, that's not an assumption; he told me about it during window visit #3.

If you have any more questions, you may leave them in the comments below - but keep in mind that I’m not a Phil expert because I don’t live with him or anything like that, and I don’t know which apartment he lives in, although I think it’s the one on the left. THE FAR LEFT.

It probably goes without saying that Archbishop Phil is an unusual guy but, in a way, I’m glad he comes up to my window because I agree wholeheartedly with Nietzsche, who said, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” It's character-building!


Early yesterday morning, Phil came up to our window while we were still in bed and, with the blinds closed to within four inches of the windowsill, he shouted into our nice, quiet apartment, “Hey did you guys catch last night’s Jon Stewart?”

He then proceeded to loudly tell us about it, even though we hadn’t answered him.

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