He's gay and Catholic... how queer is that?
Just the other day I read a comment on his blog from a reader who said that those people to whom she recommended his site were turned away because of his description 'gay and Catholic'. That comes as no surprise.
That's Gershom's hook however - and it is effective. He's young, gay and Catholic - as well as faithful to Catholic teaching - and surprise - well adjusted. God bless him. He gets a lot of good press - because he says a lot of good stuff. He writes very well on The Truth About Same Sex Attraction...
It does get better.
I’m so used to being gay and Catholic, I forget how strange that sounds.Prayers and best wishes for Steve Gershom - he's been on radio and is widely read - he's doin' good! God bless him and give success to his work - but more than anything - make him truly holy.
I forget that, for some people, “homosexual” describes something like a different race, or maybe even a different gender. I forget that some Christians think I’m the worst kind of pervert (but a pervert they have to treat nicely), and some secularists think I’m the worst kind of hypocrite; the former because I’m sexually attracted to men, and the latter because I don’t do anything about it.
Read the last part again. Yes, I’m attracted to men; no, I don’t sleep with them, for the same reason that a lot of Catholics don’t sleep with people they’re not married to. But you’d be surprised how often people hear the first part (gay) and not the second (celibate) — even though the second is the only part that’s up to me.
I’m not very sensitive about the word “gay”, but some of us in the Gay Catholic business prefer the phrase “same-sex attraction,” or SSA. I find it more accurate than “gay” or “queer” or any of the others, just because it suggests that homosexuality is something I have rather than something I am. That’s the way I think of it. So the idea of gay culture, gay rights, gay marriage, gay anything really, is foreign to me. You might as well talk about gluten-intolerance culture, or musician’s rights.
I also don’t mean to trivialize the experience of having SSA. Sex isn’t everything, but as anyone with any kind of sexual dysfunction knows, it’s an awful lot. Put the sexual aspect together with the other things that homosexual men and women often experience — depression, low self-esteem, loneliness, a sense (however false) of being utterly different — and you have a heavy cross.
I’ve experienced healing in every area I mentioned above, but nobody’s healing is complete this side of heaven. Loneliness can be the worst part: not the absence of friends, I’ve got those, but the effort of forging out a way to live in a society that constantly tells us that romantic love is anyone’s only shot at real happiness, and that celibacy (not to mention virginity!) is some kind of psychological disease.
These questions are still present to me, but none of them are show-stoppers anymore. You deal with them, you pray and seek advice, you offer up the incidental pangs, and you get on with your life. And none of the things I deal with are unique to gay men or women. Being straight isn’t a guarantee of having a healthy, shiny, pre-integrated sexuality; it just means the whole beautiful, messy concerto is in a different key. Nobody gets to sit this one out.
To quote the YouTube campaign — you know the one, full of compassion and good intentions and muddled thinking — it does get better. - Read the whole thing here.