LGBTQ+ representation in the media


#1

Okay, as someone who is trying to live a virtuous life while dealing with same sex attraction, one of my biggest problems is coming across LGBTQ+ members in the media. I am a teenager and I frequently use social media and in the past I have followed a lot of people in that community because I felt I could relate to them. I also grew to like them for their personalities. It got to the point where more than half of the people I followed were somehow in this community. The problem is, now that I am trying to live a virtuous life, do I go ahead and start unfollowing and unsubscribing these people because of their sexuality, or do I just ignore that part of their lives and focus on the other reasons why I like them? Also, when I come across the stories of other people in the community, is it wrong to sympathize with them?

Btw, just some extra information if it helps: I’m female and I feel that I am (“was”) pansexual which is like bisexual aka liking people of both genders.


#2

:thinking:


#3

Honestly, get off social media.

This sounds hard; it’s not too bad. I was struggling with sin of my own a while back. I deleted my Facebook and Twitter. It felt weird at first, not having much to do on my phone anymore. But (and you say you’re trying to live a virtuous life, so I don’t think this will fall on deaf ears), without social media taking up such a large chunk of the day, you have more time for the Lord. Same principle as fasting, or giving something up for Lent. During the times where you would normally consume whatever you have up, do a Bible study, pray, read (something edifying), serve.

Sympathize because they’re in pain, they feel ostracized, and living in sin or otherwise imbalanced in their life in some respect. That’s just common empathy. I am not an illegal immigrant, but I can empathize with those being held at the border awaiting hearings. Similarly, it would be at least dangerous to sympathize with an “otherized” group because you identify with their common attribute, especially if a sinful one, rather than because they feel persecuted or put upon.


#4

Tie to take a sabbatical from social media, as it is guaranteed to have the near occasion of sin in it. It can be a sewer.

If you want to be counter-cultural, go for it and divorce yourself from social media. Tough to do?

Absolutely.

Worth it.

Ditto.

Give it a trial and see if you are not more at peace.


#5

Thanks for the advice. I’ve thought about it a lot, taking a break. I’ve often done it for one app at a time but never the whole shebang. I’m willing to try it though. I hope I don’t get bored out of my mind though, especially now that I’m out of school. I’ll give it a good shot though.


#6

Oh and yeah, its definitely more about the persecution. Thanks for that. Feel better on that part now.


#7

Thanks for the advice. I’ll try :grin:


#8

Hi Keen! I applaud your willingness to face this dilemma in your life :slight_smile:

I would suggest replacing those of the LGBT community that you’ve followed on social media with Catholic groups. For example, follow Courage and Truth & Love. I only have Facebook, but I’m sure they’re also on Twitter and Instagram. Twitter for sure. Also look up Eden Invitation, they’re focus is young adults with SSA.

What I’ve done is basically turn my social media into a kind of spiritual booster. For example, joined a prayer group on Facebook or like pages like The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Bishop Barron, different religious orders I liked, Scott Hahn, Catholic News, … Catholic Memes :stuck_out_tongue: , etc.

In short, do a find and replace. I think social media can be useful if we use it correctly. Often times, one of the groups/pages I like will have an article or just a quote or something I really needed that day.


#9

There’s no absolute answer to this one, but here are some things to keep in mind.

We’re all called to love our neighbor.
We may not give approval to sinful choices.
People are so much more than the label they identify with.

But it’s also good to unplug from the screens from time to time and look into the big wide world.
:slightly_smiling_face:


#10

You don’t have to cover your eyes and ears every time you see an LGBTQ+ person. Many such people are admirable primarily because of their accomplishments in life, and their sexuality is both their own personal business and a side note.

The only reason to stop following particular people is because you feel that continuing to follow them would influence you personally to sin. If you’re able to enjoy their TV shows, music, books, quotes, politics, style of dress or whatever without feeling motivated to run out and commit sins, then it’s not a problem.

I’m not gay, but I’m quite sure that many - perhaps the vast majority - of actors, authors, artists and musicians whose works I’ve enjoyed are not leading a virtuous sexual life by the standards of the Church. Since I’m interested in their films, books, art and music, and not in who they date or in emulating their personal lives (many of which sound pretty unhappy to me anyway - multiple affairs or divorces, that sort of thing), it’s not a problem. I might have thought, “I wish I could create a moving work of art like Artist X, this painting really speaks to me.” But I never once thought, “I would like to have a personal life like Artist X who has hundreds of groupies and three wives and an illegitimate child in Australia.”


#11

Also, regarding the whole “social media is the devil, get off of it” business:
If you need a break, take one, unplug. It’s good to get out in the world or to take care of other business from time to time. It’s good to know that social media, like television, is an option, not a “need” or an addiction.

But it’s not necessarily the answer to just get off it entirely. What are you using it for?
I’m currently using mine to follow a lot of groups that rescue animals and have pictures of animals, also I follow some prayer groups.
I keep in touch with some of my family members and friends who are being encouraging to me in a time of grief. Several of them have also had recent losses of a spouse or parent or have other issues going on in their life. Nobody is posting tons of drama, but the occasional inspirational picture or funny post about baby goats can be uplifting.

I think many people who have a negative view of social media don’t really understand the positive ways in which it can be used. Nor are the positive things about it ever covered in the mainstream media because that doesn’t “sell”.


#12

I don’t want to derail the thread, but can someone explain to me how pansexuality is distinct from bisexuality? I really don’t get it. :thinking:


#13

If they aren’t going to help you on your walk to holiness, then unfollow them.

It seems as though members of the LGBT community are over represented in the media these days.


#14

Yeah, I thought about this too last night. A lot of the people I follow are musicians or people from shows but of course my friends and family and I didn’t know how they were going to take a total black out from me. I still deleted my apps anyways, because I wanted to try it. But the truth is, I don’t only see people from the LGBTQ community online. Like I was watching America’s Got Talent with my Dad yesterday and one of the contestants was transgender. I literally had to put a pillow between me and the TV because I felt conflicted sympathizing with the person. Also I KNOW people in the community in real life and I’m friends with them and I can’t necessarily block them either.


#15

Well, pansexuality acknowledges that there are more than two genders. It doesn’t really look at gender at all. Like that isn’t a factor in deciding if you like someone or not. Bisexuality only looks at cis males and cis females. Since I was indifferent to trans people or people that felt gender fluid or nonbinary, I felt that pansexuality was a better “label.”


#16

One of the best decisions I’ve ever made was to delete social media. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. It’s almost been 5 years since I deleted Facebook. Your life will be much more peaceful and you will probably find the temptations you are struggling with mostly disappear. Social media, like the big popular ones I mentioned, are full of debauchery.


#17

There are 2 genders. Anything suggesting differently is mental illness.


#18

Good morning @Keen, It’s hard to live the life of someone who is LGBTQ+ that’s why there is so much out there like Pride fests, etc, to promote awareness and acceptance. I sense you are feeling that difficulty and I sense that you’re also uncomfortable with the way it is being approached. I’m not going to be the one who passes judgement for I am not you. What I suggest though is that when you feel uncomfortable that is telling you something and you should walk away from it. Talk with Jesus about your thoughts and I recommend you find the path to holiness first and foremost because your eternal life is more important than the here and now. And if you are directed by God, who created us and knows every hair on our heads, you will find your true self. I quote St Catherine of Sienna… ‘Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.’, Personally I know someone who is struggling maybe the same way you are with their identity and it could be that person has a higher calling to a religious vocation which involves leading a chaste life and that’s why gender doesn’t matter to them. Gods call to religious Vocations is more common than you think but you’ll wont hear about that on social media, nor will people suggest it because maybe they think its not cool but really going back I wished I considered that possibility more. Really it should be God who matters most to your heart but then peers and society have an awful pull on todays young often away from God that could be also what you’re feeling. Think of this possibility anyway… There’s nothing wrong with loving people whoever they are. That’s what we’re supposed to do. Love unconditionally…Gods peace to you.


#19

Ah, I see. Interesting, thanks.


#20

How old are you? I ask just because it’s not uncommon for these types of feelings to be a little jumbled when you’re young.

Anyway, I don’t think you need to stop appreciating artists whose talents you admire just because you don’t buy their philosophy on sexual ethics. If you listen to a bands music, all that means is you like their music. It doesn’t imply that you endorse every position they’ve ever taken.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.