Alright. I am 17 years old and i recently graduated from high school in May. I am going to UCLA in the fall. Now i was born into the Catholic faith, I have been baptized, had my communion and confirmation. I also have been going to church off and on for my entire life, mostly on than off. But something very strange happened to me the last week of high school. From that week through this past month, i have been going through a horrible time. Its been one of the worst, if not the worst, periods of my entire life. So what happened was I suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, became attracted to men. Now I am a guy so obviously this would be a homosexual attraction. Before this, I had been able to look at a guy and think ‘Thats a good looking guy’, and think nothing more of it. But for some reason, out of nowhere my mind took it even further. I would look longer, and think more in depth. I would imagine myself with a girl, as is normal with almost any 17 year old, but then my mind would replace the girl with a guy and it was almost as if it was saying to me ‘Now which one would you prefer.’ The attraction was mostly physical, though i wold think sexually what homosexuals do once in a while. Now all this is running through my head unwillingly. It felt like I was going insane. It felt as if something was making me think this, and I wanted it out. This situation is extremely embarassing, so i bottled it up inside, and turned to God. I started praying more and went to confession for the first time in two years and just tried to be a better Catholic. But that in itself confused me as well because I wasn’t a bad Catholic or a bad person to begin with. I actually thought myself to be a very good person. I dont drink or smoke, I dont party, I dont have sex, I’ve never done anything more than kiss a girl, I’m a good kid to my parents, I hardly ever lie to them, when i do its nothing real big just a white lie. And I also try to help people with community service and things like that. I didnt understand why God would let this happen to me. I know He would never make someone like this think these unnatural thoughts or have these unnatural attractions, so I went to Him and it did get better for a little bit, but then it would come back. It would go away, then come back. It was like something eating and eating at me and trying to force me to be gay. These thoughts and attractions forced me into a deep, deep depression for the past month. I didnt understand why God wouldnt let a good kid, a good Catholic kid, not be happy. If He wanted me to learn something or teach me a lesson, why this way? Why not put a physical or social problem in front of me to teach me a lesson? Why like this? I know that this lifestyle is not according to His teachings, and i will never, ever live this lifestyle for that reason, and also because i find it disgusting and repulsive, so why make me even deal with it? Why not just take out these ridiculous attractions and thoughts so I can just be a happy, normal 17 year old? Why let me be sooo depressed for such a long time? I am capable of so much within my community, and feeling like this renders me uncapable of doing anything. I lost all my confidence around girls, friends, and people in general. Though I have gotten much closer to God through this, I just wish He could have shown my through another way. My priest encouraged me to stop thinking about it, but sometimes it just doesnt go away. Its as if a demon is in me forcing this on me. Since this has been happening, I have told my parents what’s been going on and they’ve been extremely supportive of me giving me advice about life and saying its normal for most people, just people deal with it in different ways and it will pass. My priest encouraged me to stop thinking about it and put more time to my faith and more important things. I must say that now i have gotten much better. Its not nearly as bad as it used to be. But still when im out, once in a while there’s just that little thing just bugging me to look and think ridiculous, unnatural things, and its just gets soooo annoying and I just want it to go away completely. I just want my life back. I know this was very long, so i thank you for reading it. Any support or advice would be greatly appreciated. Once again, thank you very much.
First of all, I think there is good reason to be optimistic regarding this matter. When I was stationed in a parish a man came to me, convinced that he was gay because he kept hearing a voice in his mind, saying “You’re gay. You’re gay.” He called it the tape in his mind. But after questioning him about his interest in homosexual sex, it was obvious that he had never really had any homosexual desires. The “tape” he was hearing had to do with other matters in his life. He’s now happily married with a family.
I would suggest that you read about Dr. Joseph Nicolosi on the following website:
Even if you in fact do have in fact have homosexual tendencies, at your age with the proper counseling you can lead a normal sexual life.
You mention that you hadn’t been a bad Catholic, yet note that you began this post by saying that in the past you have attended Mass off and on. Good Catholics don’t skip Sunday Mass! It’s not an off and on kind o thing. So the Lord in His mercy may be giving you a wake up call. There are a lot of good Catholic kids that aren’t happy day after day. Some people carry the cross of same-sex attraction all their lives. Everyone—everyone has a cross of one kind or another. The Lord allows us to have such crosses because they are opportunities for us to turn to Him and grow in our love for Him.
I strongly encourage you to spend some time each day looking at a crucifix and thanking Him for all that He endured on Good Friday for your benefit. Allow this into your mind set. Good Friday should be the center of our lives. After all, it’s what Mass is a memorial of. The Lord may very well not will that same-sex attraction be the cross in your life. Nevertheless, there will be crosses. He is worth carrying them. It is for Him that we ought to live. Nothing should ever be more important to us than pleasing Him.
If you would like to contact me privately, just click on my name here on the forum or phone Catholic Answers: 888 291 7200. You will be in my prayers.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.