Relationships with Family and Religion

The poetry that Matias wrote as a graduate student at the University of North Dakota reveals his struggle to reconcile his sexuality with his faith, and his family’s reluctance to accept his sexual orientation. His poems show the effects of religion on gay relationships, such as religious pressure to have a heterosexual marriage. However, Matias demonstrates faith while being critical of Christianity’s antagonistic views on homosexuality by acknowledging God’s unconditional love for him. Although Matias describes a tense relationship with his father soon after coming out, later poems reveal that his father accepted his sexuality. The consequences of his AIDS diagnosis improved his relationship with his family as his poetry reveals his parent’s concern over his health. Some of the drafts written during this time appear in later published works.