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Catholic homosexuality

Same Sex Attraction and Moral Liberation

A Beacon for the Storm Tossed Traveler in the Modern World

Catholic homosexuality


SOME PERSONAL BACKGROUND

I have struggled with same sex attraction for as far back as I can remember (I am now 35) and have been blessed with the tremendous grace that I have found in the Catholic Church since my conversion and baptism nine years ago. My experience and background may not be the same as that of others who have same sex attraction. However, since it may resonate with some, I will set it forth here anyway. While I have acted out sexually at times in the past, I have never considered myself culturally part of the "gay" lifestyle or community. However, I have more or less learned to live with the contradiction of having same sex attraction while at the same time believing that acting out of such sexual inclinations is wrong and not in line with God's will for me.

My wonderful parents were very kind, although they did pursue a rather laissez-faire policy in bringing up my two siblings and me. We were all "good kids", so they generally trusted us to do the right thing without their micromanagement of our lives. My father in particular had a fairly reserved personality, although he was able to demonstrate affection and love in his own way. As my parents were not particularly outgoing socially, we rarely had non-relatives over to the house. I was not particularly encouraged to mingle with others, although I was not discouraged from doing so either. I have always been somewhat shy, retiring and ill at ease in social situations. I did not make friends easily and tended to find my own entertainment, much of which was of a bookish sort. I have always felt that my main problem has been social awkwardness and shyness, and that same sex attraction was merely a subsidiary problem. Despite all these issues, I did have what I would view as a very happy childhood. I was very close to my siblings and also had a series of fairly close friends in childhood, perhaps making up in quality what I lacked in quantity. I have usually done well at academics and generally have a strong intellectual curiosity.

College was a period of crisis for me. I came to the realization that I did have same sex attraction and that it was not just a passing phase that meeting the right girl would likely clear up. However, my main sexual "activity" at the time was frequent masturbation. I also experienced a series of intense secret infatuations (i.e., known only to myself - not even the objects of the infatuation were aware to my knowledge) with individuals that I would see from afar on a regular basis but with whom I never spoke or had reason to speak. I felt miserable and lonely during those years. However, I was at the same time really turned off by what I saw of the "out" scene. The closest I came in contact with the latter in college was in a choir to which I belonged. The open homosexuals in the choir would make suggestive comments to me or speak in obvious double entendres, making me feel very uncomfortable. When it became clear that I was not going to play their game, they became actually quite abusive and contemptuous of me. How I would have longed for a few friendly words of encouragement at that time of life instead of just sexual come-ons! My impression of the "gay lifestyle" has always been that it basically revolves around the selfish pursuit of sexual gratification. While the ideologues have done a good job in whitewashing the lifestyle so that it seems as decent and wholesome as apple pie with everyone pairing off into committed life-time monogamous relationships, my experiential impression of that lifestyle was never like that. I admit, though, that my experience with the "gay" community has been limited. I have never been able to bring myself to go into a bar and have always generally avoided places and people associated with that lifestyle - simply to preserve my own sense of psychological peace and equilibrium if nothing else. Maybe others do not agree or appreciate the choices that I have made in my life, but I have right to make those choices and to follow my conscience and religion.

After graduation, graduate school and entering the world of work, I basically tried to focus my energies on getting my career off the ground, although I did continue the pattern of masturbation and silent infatuations with individuals. Eventually, however, I came to the realization that my fantasies were just that, entirely a tissue of lies to myself without substance, and that I would waste my life away building personal castles in the air unless I took a more practical and realist view that such fantasies would lead me nowhere. I had also started attending a Catholic church, passed through RCIA and was baptized. In the years since then, I basically came to accept the fact that I was likely called to the chaste single life. I did pass through a period of a few years recently where I dated a woman (she had sought me out rather than the other way around), but it became clear to me that although we were fairly good friends, I could not love her in the complete way that a husband should. Perhaps with full disclosure to her and her acceptance of my sexuality and the problems it posed for a marriage, I might have been more willing to give the relationship a go, but since I could not bring myself to be open and honest, I let the relationship lapse. In any event, here I am, trying to live each day as it comes by the grace of God and trying to figure out how best to practice my single vocation in chastity and love.

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Non est hic aliud nisi domus Dei et porta caeli.

Website created February 18, 2001 and updated October 6, 2009.
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