What Counts As Homosexual Tendencies?


#1

I am a Catholic man and all my life I have considered myself to be straight having no sexual attraction towards men whatsoever. However, I was beginning to wonder what might count as homosexual tendencies. One time saw a man and thought, “Wow this guy looks handsome. Whatever girl would have him would be lucky.” I never really thought about it because I didn’t feel sexually turned on by him or anything like that. I even felt a slight temptation from the devil inside of me after I saw him urging me to think about how good he looked. And one time when I was about 9 years old I was watching a movie and I saw a man on it and he seemed pretty attractive to me. Again I didn’t feel anything sexual towards him but I did admire him. Around this time I was just starting to get interested in girls and my sexual feelings were starting to develop. The feelings I was starting to feel with girls were not the same as the “attraction” that I had towards the man in the movie. In 19 years, those are the only two times that I can say I actually felt an “attraction” to someone of the same sex if it counts as one anyway. All my life I have never really worried about it. But lately I have been praying and discerning whether or not God wants me to join the priesthood and I read that one of the impediments to ordination is same sex tendencies, even if you ignore them and don’t act on them, it still is an impediment. When I read this I thought, “Uh oh!” I’m 19 now and have been discerning the priesthood since I was about 16. I always thought that if you’re born gay, straight, bisexual, or transgender, you’d know it from early on. Again I have never felt myself being anything other than straight, but these two incidents that happened in my life are making me question otherwise.

PS. Sorry if I put this thread in the wrong column, I wasn’t quite sure which one to put it under.


#2

I wouldn’t worry about those isolated incidents. Recognizing a man is attractive doesn’t make you gay any more than me recognizing a strange woman is attractive makes me an adulterer.

The sort of “homosexual tendencies” the Church is talking about are deep seated desires that seriously tempt you to sinful actions. If you’ve never been tempted to have sex with a man, you don’t have them.

God Bless


#3

How about if you put on "fishnet nylons, stand next to a light pole, and say “Hi handsome! New in town?”:shrug:


#4

Sexuality is a spectrum, it’s not binary.

That said, I think if you were gay you’d know it in the same way a straight person knows that they are straight. Plus, late teens to early 20’s can be very confusing. A lot of stuff going on inside you. Don’t worry about it, these kinds of worries will go away.


#5

What you describe is simply recognizing that a man looks good, which is not at all the same as being sexually attracted to him. And besides, the Church does not forbid admittance to the priesthood for all men who have ever experienced real homosexual attraction, but only those with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” (or “deeply-rooted” to use a different, unofficial interpretation of the original Italian that I’ve encountered). Privately I would be inclined to interpret “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” as meaning the man is chronically and apparently permanently sexually/romantically attracted to other men, though I understand that many vocations directors add additional factors even to that before they will consider the condition “deep-seated.” Very likely the language of the rule is deliberately vague in order to allow some room for interpretation in unusual cases. In any case recognizing the objective attractiveness of a man twice in your life, one of those times before puberty, does not even come close.

The only thing I would worry about is the fact that you have been worrying about this at all, given that you have so little cause for it. It suggests, in my opinion, some sort of lack of mental/emotional balance or sense of reality. Perhaps scrupulosity or something similar. Not that I am a psychologist or spiritual director or anything like that. Don’t take my word on what you should worry about or not. Also you are just 19; you have plenty of time to grow in maturity. But if you do have a spiritual director or just someone wise that you can trust you might want to talk with them about the irrational fears you have been experiencing and how to put them behind you.


#6

To be a Homosexual tendency, you must have a sexual desire for it (i’m pretty sure.) So since you said that you didn’t you’re in the clear! I’m in the middle of my application to the seminary, so I will keep you in my prayers!

God Bless!


#7

When I was around 18-21 I went through a weird phase where I was terrified of being gay even though I was not in any way attracted to men. It was coupled with depression and anxiety issues. Luckily I got over it on my own around 22 or so. I think moving out on my own helped a lot.

Try not to get too wrapped up in irrational thoughts and seek help if you feel it’s out of control. You can find men attractive without being sexually attracted in the same way you can find a woman attractive but not want to have sex with her.


#8

Huh. I’m 43 yo and I’ve never seen a good looking man. I’ve had girls tell me a guy was good looking and I just took their word for it.


#9

Girls think ugly men like that Twilight guy are attractive, so there’s no accounting for their tastes. :wink:


#10

What you describe sounds nothing like deep-seated homosexual tendencies. Literally every girl I know can determine whether another girl is good looking, and I highly doubt that this means we are all bisexual. It doesn’t sound like sexual attraction even entered into your thoughts here.

If this keeps bothering you, you should talk to someone. Otherwise, my advice is just to let it go and be secure in the knowledge that you’re pretty much entirely straight.


#11

One of the reasons you are wondering about this is because American culture pushes you towards questioning your sexual identity. At 19 years old, you’ve just finished high school. Modern sex ed programs shove this question in your face and hope that every little possible interest in someone of the same sex will “help” you realize that you’re “gay.”

We can’t help but be influenced by our culture. But understand that recognizing someone to be good looking doesn’t mean you’re gay. There are, however, people out there who hope that you – and several other million guys – will think it does.

Think of this: God created those two handsome men. There’s nothing wrong with admiring His handiwork!

God bless you for considering the priesthood and for wondering if you’re worthy. To those of us reading your post, you sound worthy indeed.


#12

Ahh thank you. I appreciate that. I am not quite sure about my vocation yet. I pray about it and think about it regularly though. I am also praying that, if it be God’s will, that I may meet my future wife. And I also pray, if it be God’s will, that I will be able to live a happy, simple, layman’s life. But yeah, for about 3 years now the priesthood has been in the books for me and just like all other vocations, I’ve been thinking about it. Right now I’m open to just about anything but I always say, “Jesus, take over and lead the way because wherever You lead me, it will be good good because You decided it for me.” But yeah, our society is so messed up when it comes to morality, sexuality, and chastity. We now live in a world where if you don’t accept the homosexual lifestyle and same-sex “marriage” then you’re a bigot. And if you’re not open to being gay, "You’re a bigot. And how “it’s better to be gay than be straight.” And you must take sex ed classes. And “if you don’t have sex by the time you’re 13, you’re a weirdo.” And “celibacy is for losers and you’ll be a complete failure in life if you spend you’re life single and celibate without a girlfriend and sex.” It’s scary when you actually think about it.


#13

I am not a psychologist, but I have taken many courses, related degrees and work with teens.
It speaks well of you that you, that you are trying to “do right by the church,” but I wouldn’t sweat it. Your past thoughts might even be helpful when dealing with others. A vow is a vow. As long as your willing to do that [like the rest of us on a smaller scale though] you’ll do just fine.


#14

[quote="Catholic4Jesus, post:1, topic:343535"]
I am a Catholic man and all my life I have considered myself to be straight having no sexual attraction towards men whatsoever. However, I was beginning to wonder what might count as homosexual tendencies. One time saw a man and thought, "Wow this guy looks handsome. Whatever girl would have him would be lucky." I never really thought about it because I didn't feel sexually turned on by him or anything like that. I even felt a slight temptation from the devil inside of me after I saw him urging me to think about how good he looked. And one time when I was about 9 years old I was watching a movie and I saw a man on it and he seemed pretty attractive to me. Again I didn't feel anything sexual towards him but I did admire him. Around this time I was just starting to get interested in girls and my sexual feelings were starting to develop. The feelings I was starting to feel with girls were not the same as the "attraction" that I had towards the man in the movie. In 19 years, those are the only two times that I can say I actually felt an "attraction" to someone of the same sex if it counts as one anyway. All my life I have never really worried about it. But lately I have been praying and discerning whether or not God wants me to join the priesthood and I read that one of the impediments to ordination is same sex tendencies, even if you ignore them and don't act on them, it still is an impediment. When I read this I thought, "Uh oh!" I'm 19 now and have been discerning the priesthood since I was about 16. I always thought that if you're born gay, straight, bisexual, or transgender, you'd know it from early on. Again I have never felt myself being anything other than straight, but these two incidents that happened in my life are making me question otherwise.

PS. Sorry if I put this thread in the wrong column, I wasn't quite sure which one to put it under.

[/quote]

Modern Catholic Dictionary:

HOMOSEXUALITY. In general, some form of sexual relationship among members of the same sex. From a moral standpoint, three levels are to be distinguished: tendency, attraction, and activity.** Homosexual tendencies in any person are within the normal range of human nature, whose fallen condition includes every conceivable kind of impulse that with sincere effort and divine grace can be controlled.** Sexual attraction for members of the same sex may be partly due to the peculiar make-up of certain individuals or, more often, the result of indiscretion or seduction and presents a graver problem; yet this, too, is not by itself sinful and may in fact be an occasion for great supernatural merit. When the condition is pathological, it requires therapy. Active homosexuality is morally indefensible and has been many times forbidden in revelation and the teaching of the Church. The most extensive declaration on the subject was by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, approved by Pope Paul VI on November 7, 1975.


#15

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