Asexuality, LGBT, & Church Teaching


#1

I have a daughter who has had health issues throughout her young life. One very serious condition long ago required the use of a medication for which we had been informed the use of which might slow her development. She also suffered from bullying in high school - to the point where the trauma was so bad that she was becoming suicidal. She is seeing a doctor & is on meds for depression & anxiety disorder.

My daughter had expressed a mild interest in boys long ago. Her friends all have developmental struggles (such as Anxiety disorder) & identify as LGBT. My daughter has more than once said that she feels no sexual desire towards anyone, but more recently she identified as asexual (ace) & states that this aligns with the LGBT community.

I honestly don’t know what to make of this. I don’t agree that she is ace. I believe that because of her health issues & past trauma, she may not have developed that way. What she believes is a LGBT issue, I view more as celibacy - & a different calling from mine & have expressed this to her. Her alignment with the LGBT grouping though makes me wonder if this is a matter for her to consider Courage.

I’m not sure how the Church addresses this, so I am reaching out for help. She’s a baptized non-Catholic Christian but seems to be open at times about the Church.

Thank you in advance.

In Him,

kainosktisis

UPDATE: I want to add that from early on, she has leaned towards the arts & has had a very strong fascination for anime.


#2

Offering up prayers for your daughter!
May God illumine her!
And… I agree with you, LG… letters is a way of labeling people especially at young tender ages that I simply cannot accept as moral.
She is not an ace, just willing to make friends and identifying as one letter in the LG… group, while all her colleagues did it, gives her a comforting feeling of belonging.


#3

Thank you so much. She’ 21+ now, going to college, & struggles with anxiety & a strong distrust of people.


#4

It’s possible she genuinely has a very low/non-existent libido. Genuinely asexual people exist, although it’s super rare. It’s also possible that her social issues and medical problems have led her to unconsciously suppress her sex drive. If she has a hardcore fear of social interaction, this could well be a subconscious defense mechanism. Hard to say.

In her eagerness to identify as LGBT, it sounds like she’s looking for community and identity more than anything.


#5

There is truth to that. Her friends have all moved away either for college or due to families moving away, & she is very lonely. I’ve tried to encourage her to find a group where she can share interests with others, but she is resistant to this. She is lonely, & I do worry about her & how such feelings could impact her wellbeing.


#6

Yeah, I hear that. It’s tough. I wish I had better advice. I’m sure there are therapists who specialize in helping people overcome social anxiety. Maybe thats a thread worth pulling.


#7

Certain meds can interfere with the libido quite seriously.

Seems to me that we often justify or make sense of our feelings as though they are based on some underlying psychological pattern of thought when actually sometimes they have a physiological basis.


#8

There is nothing inherently gay about anime, but there is a lot of anime fans that insist on shipping pretty much every straight character with a member of their own sex whether is makes sense or not. I’d tell her to avoid fandoms in general. They are cancer.


#9

You took the words right out of my mouth!

To the original poster: I would add, it’s so important that your daughter sees a good Christian or Catholic counselor that is aware of this and isn’t pushing the social agenda.
Even a good secular counselor can spot when someone is claiming they’re gay just to fit in but it’s rare.

The most important thing is for your daughter to feel completely loved and treasured in Christ! Friends can be temporary and often disappoint, God is forever. I would do what you could to focus there. Your daughter needs help with self-esteem and there’s only one good solid source for that and it’s NOT other people.

I’ll keep her in my prayers.


#10

Asexuality is an interesting category because as Catholics, we aren’t required to fall in love or feel attraction or have sex.

She’s perfectly free to live a single life.
Not sure why she needs to put a label on it, unless she feels distress over it.

I’m really not sure why LGBT even has this under their umbrella.


#11

This is so often forgotten. My daughter is 33 and has never had a boyfriend. She is perfectly content with her horses and her cat.


#12

The Church really hasn’t caught up with the LGBT community lingo and has been MOSTLY reactive. We say we love the sinner and hate the sin, but we don’t act like that’s the case when we refuse to allow for labels that help us identify how people’s experiences are different than our own.

Now, labels are limiting. They are still boxes we put ourselves in, but we need to acknowledge the alternative messages we send people about what it’s like to be a man or a woman.

Growing up, the message I got in chastity talks was that if you’re a man, you’re expected to be a sexual pig who wants only one thing. Your intense sexual desires are almost pitiable. You need a lecture on avoiding pornography, averting your eyes and respecting a woman. If you’re a woman, you’re expected to be a hopeless romantic who is more interested in finding love than getting laid. Once you have sex, though, you’re expected to “sexually awaken” to stronger sexual feelings that will make chastity a little harder for you. But ultimately, the women’s talks focused on helping the guy avoid sexual sin by dressing and acting modestly.

Not everyone fits this mold, and when you don’t, you’re a prude, a slut (even if you’re a virgin), or you’re not manly. In the end you get shamed for not fitting the mold and you get no advice on living a chaste life in a manner that you can relate to.

We have to stop doing this or we’ll lose this battle to the LGBT community. They’re big on “This is your identity, therefore live immorally because you were made that way.” If we love the sinner and hate the sin, we should embrace the identity and reject the conclusion. Otherwise, you’re arguing that if their identity were that, their conclusion would be right.


#13

“Ace” gets entry into a social group in ways that ‘celibate’ doesn’t.

With all due respect, perhaps your daughter knows more about her ‘lived experience’ than you do…


#14

Asexuality doesn’t simply refer to a low libido. Asexuality can be high or low libido, romantic or aromantic. Some people are demi-sexual, and some people are Gray-A, meaning they feel they’re somewhere inbetween these categories.

The idea of all these labels is to help people understand that our experience with sexual desire can’t be as easily generalized as stereotypes of male and female sexual drives. People are unique. These labels allow people to identify what types of sexual desires they have to people so that they don’t have to share too many personal details (they can just provide the label) and to assist them in finding a partner they’re sexually compatible with.

Within this framework is the idea of consent-based morality. Sex between two consenting adults is the basic standard. This is where the concept of rape culture comes in. The idea is that rather than moving on to find a partner you’re compatible with, people try to coerce people into having sex they don’t want to have. This is considered immoral.


#15

I concur that someone who identifies as ‘ace’ may be motivated more by a desire to belong than by any libidinous issue per se.

Because, as was said, the Church does not require us to fall in love, feel attraction, or engage in sex, there is no reason not to take and respect her at her word.

Neither Scripture nor the Church has ever said that everybody will, or should, “find someone” or raise a family. Our LORD never did.

The ‘ace’ subsector probably should not be part of LGBT, but I get why some have assigned it there. Like LGBT, ‘ace’ represents an alternative to the heterosexually–frantic mating culture that was the expected norm through the end of the 1900s.

Let her be; she has enough on her plate.

ICXC NIKA


#16

If it helps - 30 year old largely asexual Catholic woman here (the term has its uses, especially if you don’t want to write out the same explanation 50 times). There can be some comfort in the LGBT movement. Is she otherwise not typical for what girls her age are like? I know feeling like you aren’t a “proper woman” can push things as well. Even a lot of Catholics don’t understand or accept lay celibacy.


#17

Allegedly, there was talk of including this terminology in the post-synodal document at this recent Synod. Apparently the African bishops axed it… arguing that such terminology would only cause confusion among the African faithful.


#18

Morality always follows nature and the nature of a gay person is that he or she is gay .people do not choose to be gay. So the morality of a gay person has to agree with her or his nature.


#19

Thank you so much!


#20

She’s said it multiple times that she has no desire nor romantic feelings either way. She is lonely though & has made it clear that she doesn’t feel like she belongs anywhere.


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