Gay, Catholic, and Doing Fine


#1

I believe this is technically a blog, so I am posting this in this section:

[quote=Joseph Prever]I have heard a lot about how mean the Church is, and how bigoted, because she opposes gay marriage.

How badly she misunderstands gay people, and how hostile she is towards us. My gut reaction to such things is: Are you freaking kidding me? Are we even talking about the same Church?

When I go to Confession, I sometimes mention the fact that I’m gay, to give the priest some context. (And to spare him some confusion: Did you say “locker room”? What were you doing in the women’s . . . oh.) I’ve always gotten one of two responses: either compassion, encouragement, and admiration, because the celibate life is difficult and profoundly counter-cultural; or nothing at all, not even a ripple, as if I had confessed eating too much on Thanksgiving.

Of the two responses, my ego prefers the first — who doesn’t like thinking of themselves as some kind of hero? — but the second might make more sense. Being gay doesn’t mean I’m special or extraordinary. It just means that my life is not always easy. (Surprise!) And as my friend J. said when I told him recently about my homosexuality, “I guess if it wasn’t that, it would have been something else.” Meaning that nobody lives without a burden of one kind or another. As Rabbi Abraham Heschel said: “The man who has not suffered, what can he possibly know, anyway?”

Where are all these bigoted Catholics I keep hearing about? When I told my family a year ago, not one of them responded with anything but love and understanding. Nobody acted like I had a disease. Nobody started treating me differently or looking at me funny. The same is true of every one of the Catholic friends that I’ve told. They love me for who I am.

Actually, the only time I get shock or disgust or disbelief, the only time I’ve noticed people treating me differently after I tell them, is when I tell someone who supports the gay lifestyle. Celibacy?! You must be some kind of freak.

Hooray for tolerance of different viewpoints. I’m grateful to gay activists for some things — making people more aware of the prevalence of homosexuality, making homophobia less socially acceptable — but they also make it more difficult for me to be understood, to be accepted for who I am and what I believe. If I want open-mindedness, acceptance, and understanding, I look to Catholics…
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More:
catholiceducation.org/en/controversy/homosexuality/gay-catholic-and-doing-fine.html


#2

Yes!


#3

How badly she misunderstands gay people, and how hostile she is towards us. My gut reaction to such things is: Are you freaking kidding me? Are we even talking about the same Church?

Where are all these bigoted Catholics I keep hearing about? When I told my family a year ago, not one of them responded with anything but love and understanding. Nobody acted like I had a disease. Nobody started treating me differently or looking at me funny. The same is true of every one of the Catholic friends that I’ve told. They love me for who I am.

This all seems a little disingenuous to me. Would he have gotten this same response from everyone if he had said that he was not being celibate or didn’t agree with Catholic doctrine on this issue? :shrug:


#4

Well, I think it was his point that it’s not same-sex attraction that bothers his Catholic friends, but sin. You wouldn’t get the positive reaction to someone who said they were going to be living in an adulterous (heterosxual) relationship, either. I certainly wouldn’t get a positive reaction if I told my Catholic friends and family that I was having a sexual relationship with anyone at all (since I’m not married).

One might want to call a memory of what the teachings of Christianity have always been bigotry, but that isn’t the standard definition. Even if secular society claims abortion is a right and same-sex marriage is possible, it doesn’t mean that it’s true. Sticking to the 2000-year teachings of Christianity may make you stubborn, but it doesn’t make you a bigot. Nonetheless that is what people sometimes do call us.

–Jen


#5

Beautiful… Very inspiring. Thank you very much. God bless you.


#6

Thank you for posting this. I’m a convert, and was told so many lies by anti-Catholics: that the Pope is like a dictator, that Catholics hate Jews and gays, that the Church stifles our sexual behavior by insisting on no fornication or artificial contraception. This year was my 18th “birthday” of being Catholic, and I have never found any of the lies to be true at all. The one about the Pope was so funny to me because Saint John Paul was Pope at the time and he was wonderful- so gentle, kind and loving. How could anyone see him as a dictator?

I really like hearing the perspective of someone with a same-sex attraction living celibacy. We need that witness so desperately nowadays.


#7

Excellent post. :slight_smile:


#8

I ****ed the virgin mary


#9

What a sad little person you are.


#10

The salient point is that he is both celibate and seems to be in agreement with the Church’s teaching on the subject. Why take exception to that?


#11

The part I found kind of silly was the statement:

I have heard a lot about how mean the Church is…How badly she misunderstands gay people, and how hostile she is towards us. My gut reaction to such things is: Are you freaking kidding me? Are we even talking about the same Church?

I don’t remember ever having heard anything about the Church being mean or hostile to celibate gay people. If he heard a lot about this, I’m surprised. Why would the Church be hostile towards gay people who are doing exactly what they’ve been told by the Church to do (stay celibate)? Why was he surprised that people treated him well? The gay people who have experienced hostility are the ones who are not celibate and don’t do what they’ve been told or who question Church teachings on this issue. :shrug:


#12

Hey great news!

God bless :slight_smile:


#13

I’ve never heard anyone making that distinction in the media or blogs or whatever. They say “the Catholic Church hates gay people.” They don’t say “the Catholic Church hates non-celibate gay people.” Both statements are incorrect, since it’s love that makes the Church teach against sin. But the lack of distinction makes people think that it’s the gayness rather than sinful behavior that the Church teaches against.

–Jen


#14

Gay, Catholic and NOT doing fine. I should probably start that blog.


#15

Certainly pray whether you’re being called to do so. You’ll be in my prayers. Peace.


#16

I think about it everytime I see posts from that blog. I’m glad he’s doing so fine, God bless him. Some of us have much more difficult times and sacrifice things that’ll make us feel better, so we can please God; All the while; making ourselves miserable. The priesthood has hurt me. I can’t get to Church. But yet I still refrain (most of the time) from getting into same sex relations for a Being that I am NOT happy with.

This battle hurts. But I am happy he is doing so fine. Some of us aren’t.


#17

And I just cried like I never have in my life after writing that post.


#18

My heart aches for you and the cross you bear. :hug3:


#19

MontJ, are you familiar with Eve Tushnet? She also has a blog about being gay and Catholic, and she seems to have a less rose-tinted view of it. Certainly, I have read plenty of articles by her reflecting a more difficult experience, and that arriving where she is now has not been a smooth journey. She is, for example, often critical of the way Catholics talk about gay people, and the silence where comments are needed.

I just wonder if she would be a helpful person to get to know better.


#20

I haven’t heard of her but I just looked her up. I wish there was a male perspective on this… I’m sure I’d hardly relate. But I’ll look at her stuff anyway.


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