I feel a strong vocation to monasticism, and I have found a monastery that is on the point of accepting my application, and is enthusiastic about my entering. I’ve had to put it off until next summer to do one more year of school (to please my mother, a prerequisite for entry )
I was on the phone today with one of my superiors. He had a few questions to ask me last minute. One of them was about my same sex attraction.
Context: I’m attracted to the same sex, and not to the opposite sex. I’ve never been sexually active, gone on a date, or even kissed anyone. I’ve always wanted to be a monk, and always been attracted to celibacy. My SSA is really not an issue at all.
Then, I was terrified on the phone. My superior asked me if I was manly. This is a very sensitive and insecure thing for me to talk about with anyone.
I confided in him that I was attracted to the same sex, and that it was just my sinful predisposition, which I’ve chosen not to indulge. He twisted my words into saying that same sex attraction was some confusion from my past, and that if I wasn’t discerning monasticism I’d have no problem marrying a woman and having a family.
I want to be honest with him, but I don’t know how I’m supposed to when he seems to uncomfortable with the idea of a person with same sex attraction being celibate and accepting that they’ll never change. As it’s really not that big of a deal, especially since I am celibate, I don’t care too much. I could be heterosexual for all anyone knows, because I don’t express my sexuality.
But then we got to manliness. Father said that he needed manly men in the monastery, and that he valued manliness and didn’t like effeminate men.
Obviously, I’ll need to be strong and not averse to hard work. Check. But manly? I don’t understand why that’s such a big deal.
He asked me if I was manly. I didn’t know how to respond. I guess I’m manly.
Are they going to accept or reject me based on my manliness? How I walk and talk, what movies I like, and things like that?
I want to join this community so bad, and give my life to Christ. Now, I’m afraid. I’ve come so far in accepting myself, too far to let someone make me feel like I’m not good enough because I’m not “manly.” I heard that enough from my dad growing up.
What are your thoughts? How manly does a man have to be to join a monastery?