The Seminarian is a story about Ryan, a closeted gay student in his final semester of seminary studies. Despite his school’s hostile stance towards homosexuality, Ryan has two gay classmates – Gerald and Anthony – in whom he secretly confides. He is also close to his religiously devout mother who, as things stand, is unaware of his sexual orientation. Ryan needs to complete a solid theological thesis in order to continue doctoral work at the university of his dreams. As he works on his thesis ‘The Divine Gift of Love,’ Ryan begins a relationship with Bradley – a guy he has met on the Internet who seems perpetually unable to commit himself. Ryan confides in Gerald and Anthony, only to learn about their romantic struggles as well. Consequently, Ryan questions his views on God’s gift of love.
Desire stands as an essential attribute of our nature, through which we maintain our existence as a species. While almost every sexual creature seems to share in this attribute, human beings have taken it to different levels. In some respects, it is the capacity and propensity to do things out of the ordinary for love that defines us as humans: from producing art to building monuments to sacrificing our lives, all in the name of love.
Indeed, love often takes us out of ourselves. Practical concerns like survival and success are rendered unimportant, even meaningless. The inviolable need to love and to be loved remains the one necessary thing. Some say that this is a manifestation of something divine, of something given by God. Love transcends, so to speak. If God is understood as wholly Other, and if in the experience of love we touch something that lies beyond matter, then perhaps love is the one trait we have that brings us closest to God.
Yet, the complexities of people and the situational dynamics of life make finding true love a very difficult undertaking. Almost inevitably, the process entails heartbreaking pain and suffering. For many, success is never found. Instead, they find themselves laden with a lifetime of heartache — with only occasional moments of joy. Is this a gift from God?
THE SEMINARIAN is a journey of questioning and experiencing this paradox of love.