My parents have known for a while now that I intend on going to seminary right out of high school. Recently, I had a conversation with them and they proceeded to ask me if I was gay. This really bothers me. I am 100% straight, attracted to women. The thing is, unlike my dad and a lot of his friends, I do not make remarks about women as if they are objects for my personal satisfaction. Yes, if I am in public I will notice an attractive woman. That is natural. However, I do not make rude remarks like “I’d do that.” How should I feel about all of this?
That your parents don’t really understand a vocation to the priesthood, and don’t understand why you would give up the possibility of marriage.
Are your parents practicing Catholics? Are you their only child or son? Perhaps, they always dreamed of you giving them grandchildren so they are having trouble letting go. Or perhaps, if not practicing or devout Catholics, they have a poor view of priests.
Either way, you should pray for them and be gentile in explaining that you feel that this is God’s calling for you.
Also, please keep in mind that some parents react in similar ways when they learn that their child wants to join the military, peace corp., become an actor/musician, pro athlete, be a teacher, law school, business school, etc. It’s not uncommon for parents to wish a particular future for their children, and when it doesn’t come true, they become upset or hurt.
There is no “should” about feelings. They just come…:shrug:
As for the matters you expressed.
It is sad that your parents felt the need to ask that question, but you have answered it honestly and it is best to just let it go.
As another said maybe they just don’t understand your vocation. Keep talking with them gently as time goes on. Try to involve them some in the process - especially where it can show them the great joy this path gives you.
Don’t let this deter you and make it clear to your parents that you are as straight as they get. Your parents may certainly not understand your call to the priesthood and so their reaction is one of defense. Don’t let if offend you or surprise you.
If you are ordained one day there are going to be many more people, complete strangers who might land up making crude comments about you being a priest. Take it as a way to develop your own strength of character.
What I take from that is that your parents’ (perhaps just your father?) feelings about sexuality are at a more secular and animalistic level. And that might be all that they learned from their elders. The phrases “I’m gonna get SOME”, “wish I could do THAT”, “Wish I had a PIECE” are all examples of making the opposite sex an object and not a real human. And the world is loaded with that outlook on sexuality. I’m not denying that it is quite natural in a predatory way. BUT we are called to lift above our lower nature and respect the opposite sex as human persons.
Growing up in that type of environment at school and in our communities, and sometimes even at home can be a turn-off. We sometimes have sought relationships with people who use us…they can’t see us as equals, worthy of human respect.
Pay attention to how you were raised. pay attention to your reaction to that. If you do marry, make sure the woman sees in you more than your looks or your sexuality; see that she loves you as a human, and see that you do the same for her. Don’t cut off your own God-given sexuality in reaction to others’ abuse of their own.
I once heard a bishop speak about vocations, and he said he has been asked these sorts of questions by prospective seminarians. His answer, “Do we want all of our priests to be ugly and stupid?”
Sadly, not all families are encouraging about vocations.
Follow your heart and God’s will.
Offer this up as a beautiful sacrifice to God.
I commemorate you. Its good when you find yourself with a natural and not perverted sexual desire. Its very good. Dont be offended when they ask you if you are gay, they just dont understand. As a fellow teen I advise you to pray for your parents.
The key here is to recognize that they aren’t trying to be hurtful. They’re genuinely clueless and desperately trying to make sense of you. You’re ideally situated to be a evangelical witness and example to your folks of a young man transformed by the Grace of Christ. Have a sense of humor about it and recognize that just because your folks don’t ‘get it’ doesn’t mean you’re on the wrong track. That’s harder to internalize than it sounds.
And for the record: Your poor mom!
Sometimes it feels weird to be so normal, because we live in a world that praises sexual perversions…
I don’t know your dad, but if at all possible, I would try to focus on the good in him and respect him. People are not black and white, and when it comes to parents and people who have raised us, we owe them even more latitude. Btw, that doesn’t mean I excuse crude or demeaning behavior at all. Sincerely hope you are able to work through this with him, at least if that’s possible.
This is something I’ve wondered about, since I’ve been asked if I’m gay before also.
In the bleaker scenario, your dad is trying to demean you in an underhanded sort of way. It may be that your own will to join a vocation that will demand your celibacy makes him feel uncomfortable and inferior. He should be in love with and devoted to his wife, not making vulgar comments about strangers he sees.
Or, some people are so far removed from even the concept of celibacy that when they witness it in another person, they don’t know how to explain it to themselves. In the 21st century, this might mean wondering whether or not the person is gay and in the closet about it.
You need to pray and be patient with them. Conversion is a lifelong process and you can be an instrument that will either help them or hurt them on that journey. If they are not offering the moral and emotional support that you wish they were offering, then try to find it from somebody else. Don’t try to hold up all of the weight like Atlas. You can theoretically do it, but mankind is suppose to be at each others’ disposal.
Just ignore it. They’ll forget it after a while if you don’t call attention to the slight.
BTW: congratulations on your choice!.