Is It Okay To Be Gay?

Same-sex attractions are a part of my story yet today I live a joyful and fulfilling life within the Catholic Church, pursuing holiness and virtue.

How did I get here? I began asking questions, and here’s what I found:

1. God loves us, no matter what attractions or inclinations we experience.

2. We shouldn’t feel shame for experiencing attractions or inclinations we didn’t specifically choose. Though we’re invited to be honest with ourselves, this doesn’t mean that we ought to be prideful about our attractions. Nor does it imply our choices are of no effect. Every choice we make forms us in some way—sometimes influencing who we trust, which impacts who we allow intimately close to our hearts.

3. All people are called to open their hearts to growing in virtue (which includes chastity and humility). This about saying “Yes” to God, instead focusing on a list of “No’s” that are centered on the roller-coaster of mere behavior management. Huge. Difference.

4. Not all attractions or inclinations are sexual and or romantic in nature.

5. Sexual and romantic exploration might feel good, but that only means our bodies are physiologically working properly.

6. That “feeling good” is often interpreted to mean “I am” ____.

7. Our perception of who “I am” influences how we see we ought to pursue fulfillment.

8. The pursuit of fulfillment is good, but the desires of our heart ought to be examined.

9. The more we pursue the fulfillment of a particular desire, the more we desire it. However, the high of achieving it eventually diminishes, while the desire to re-live and re-experience it remains, unless the desires of our hearts are transformed.

10. If God created us this way, then to not pursue those desires would be to deny our nature. However, if he didn’t create us this way, then that changes everything. Today, with even prominent gay activists now acknowledging that “environment plays a factor in the development of our attractions,” I no longer feel powerlessly attached to the false idea that “God created me this way, and it is forever who I will be.”

Today I’m empowered with a new vision of myself. I am His, and I don’t choose to “be straight. Rather, I choose to pursue holiness and virtue. Why? Because I have encountered Christ—through the people around me serving God most humbly. Today, I realize that holiness involves respecting the art of the Divine Artist, and the order He has written into our universe—and into our bodies. Today I’m no longer powerlessly “destined” to live some cage of loneliness, feeling like I have to deny my nature “to be a good Catholic.”

The Joy of Trusting God

Trusting God has opened the door to what the Holy Spirit could write on my heart—which has included the occasional (unexpected) sexual attraction to persons of the opposite sex. If it be in God’s will that something may come of it, then may He grant me the courage to pursue it prudently, despite same-sex attractions still possibly existing. The point is that becoming a husband and father one day are holy vocations that are no longer stolen from me.

I am not “living a lie” or “feeling conflicted” in saying that, despite many people interpret it that way. Perhaps it’s just so “off the radar” that people can’t make sense of it. But I live it. That’s me being most completely honest with myself. 

So, is it okay to be gay?

Well, first of all, being “gay” isn’t who I am. And experiencing attractions is one thing, but taking on an identity is a whole different ballgame. The bigger question I ask myself is why would I focus on my attractions as the core of my identity when I could focus on something greater?

Namely:

  • It is my nature to desire unification with God.
  • fulfill my nature by opening my heart to growing in the fullness of virtue.
  • The joy I experience today surpasses what I ever had before… and I ain’t looking back!

____________________________

Andrew is a Courage member and Catholic Speaker who presents the message of joyful chastity to churches, schools, and colleges in both Canada and the United States. He is also a contributor to the Pursuit Of Truth Ministries website. He can be reached at andrew@pursuitoftruth.ca.

13 Comments

  1. AWESOME! I see this and can feel this. You describe and prioritize it so very beautifully!
    We are who we ultimately choose to be, if we have the courage to face and choose change! From the angry abuser, pedophile, sociopath, borderline personality disorder, and every spectrum of sexual orientation.
    You are and always will be greater than your origins, DNA, and even self definition.
    🙂 <3

    By Ann | 3 months ago Reply
  2. Thank you. You make so much sense.
    A dear friend is going to enter into a same sex union next month. My heart is breaking. I can’t be happy for him I’m too concerned for his soul. Of course I won’t attend but what do I say when I see him (he lives out of state but comes home for the holidays)?

    By Marybeth somoneit | 3 months ago Reply
    • I know I don’t know you, so I am not trying to come a

      I only ask you evaluate your friendship with this person. Is it really worth losing some truth of your friendship because you are not willing to put your pride and judgment aside? Think of it this way, you would be supporting your friend’s happiness by attending the wedding. You don’t have to agree with their actions personally but it is also not your place or right to say or assume what they have isn’t love. That is between the couple and God. You can accept the person even if you don’t agree. For them, it is not a sin. This is why I left the Catholic church. I am still Christian but do not associate with a denomination. There are bigger concerns in my life than worrying and judging another’s love. I am happy and proud to be bisexual. I can still serve my God the same way you do. I just kindly ask that you evaluate YOURSELF first and realize it is more Christ-like to have an open heart and mind to love. You may not recognize your bigotry, but I also said the same things you did in your post. I now realize how much I was limiting the amount of love I gave by choosing to be intolerant.

      By MaryAnne | 3 months ago Reply
      • Hi there- I think this is the saddest response I could have ever read (sad as in heartbreaking). Far too common though. When people choose to not attend, it is often due to a lengthy (and heartbreaking) process of having to choose truth over sentimentality. I know many people who have been verbally crucified by persons who are suggesting what you are suggesting- which to me reflects that we probably should have deeper discussions about what love really is, what sin really is, what holiness really is, and what virtue really is.

        While the Catholic Church does not officially have a stance on whether a person ought to attend or not, at the end of the day you are responsible for hanging the millstone around your neck of you draw someone away from virtue and or holiness, by way of drawing someone into a deepening commitment that has at its very root, the rejection of the Order of Creation; the Divine Authorship of God.

        Despite the fact that many same-sex relationships indeed can reveal a number of good human qualities and even degrees of complimentaity with regards to emotions or personality, they are still a commitment to a rejection of the Order of Creation in terms of biology (this is maleness/femaleness, and not perceptions of masculinity/femininity). While many opposite sex relationships also do things that reflect a rejection of the Order of Creation, only one type of those relationships can be fullly restored to reflect alignment with the Order of Creation to the highest degree- and that is the one that involved the physiological complimentarity– for that is simply what is written into Nature. The Church merely upholds this truth.

        I just find it sad that so many people are being dismissed as “intolorant” because they actually care about the state of someone’s soul.

        I suppose the reassuring thing is that once we die, our sentiments won’t matter anymore and what will actually will occur will occur. That, however, will be based on the truths of this universe, and not by our sentiments or experiences.

        And once we die, will those who were “wrongly” intolerant have their sin revealed, while those who “rightly” celebrated these types of unions be justified when they meet face to face with the Creator whose Order they chose to reject? It’s a good question for us to pray over. However, that’s the whole issue here; mere sentiments vs. upholding what has been authored into our universe.

        Only one of those two things is going to matter after our final breath.

        For the record, this is written with a heavy heart, for the sake of souls. And yes, I am the author of this article. And yes, it seems to prove yet again that if holiness and virtue are secondary to the idea of “behaving like a good Catholic”, there will be continued (polite) dissent as revealed in your comment, if I am reading it correctly (if not, please let me know).

        Overall, the fact that the eternal riches of the Church that can be accessed through striving to live a holy life, remain “secondary” to the temporal satisfaction of celebrating happiness of people within a same-sex relationship, reveals to me that there is a lack of trust in God that He can provide something better.

        I would prefer though, to not make assumptions, so would be happy to know your thoughts on sin, and how the temporal happiness of a couple can somehow be considered a greater priority than upholding the Order of Creation itself.

        The question I would be interested to discuss is this: How can we celebrate the rejection of the Order of Creation, yet still claim we love the Author of it?

        Seems to be like a commitment to a perpetual contradiction.

        Your thoughts?

        By Andrew | 3 months ago Reply
        • Beloved authour of the article, I can’t understand. How would the god, who as you said created us, judge us, his own creations, for who we love? I mean, isn’t it a bit shallow that a RELIGION cares more about what you hold in your pants than in your heart. Also, I would like to let you know, God himself didn’t write the Bible. He couldn’t, he doesn’ t have a body. How do you know thr Bible says exactly what god would want it to say? I believe that God doesn’t care who we love. You know whose souls should be prayed for? The souls of those who judge.

          By Felicity | 3 months ago Reply
  3. Andrew, thank you for this awesome writing. I’m sure you know that one of the most difficult things for a man that experience same sex attraction is to trust that God have a plan for him. We use to think that we have no vocation and that we have to give up in our dreams in order to follow “God’s plan”. But we are wrong when we think that way… We are called for love and to love. Our story of relationship with Jesus is unique, our story of hope is awesome and our story of change is a must hear one.

    Is a loooong way to learn how to love. Is a long way to learn that we are loved by Jesus, also by other men and woman. But I’m happy imagining that God is making an awesome work in our souls, because He’s and artist. The best one ever.

    By John | 3 months ago Reply
  4. Courage? You have no courage! If you did you wouldn’t be trying to convince LGBT people that they’re “broken” and need to be celibate to live a happy and fulfilling life. You “ex-gays” are a sad bunch. Instead of standing up for yourself and being proud of who you are, who you were born to be, you allow yourselves to be beaten down by religious fundamentalists who tell you that your god hates you for how you were born. Instead if taking responsibility for mistakes you made in the past you blame it on “The Gay,” and pretentious that you “left the gay ‘lifestyle'” and are now cured. You can sublimate your same-sex attraction but you’ll never not be gay. You’ll be a sad, lonely gay person pretending to be celibate to impress your straight Christian friends who will still think you’re icky because they’ll know you’re a liar.

    By Gigi | 3 months ago Reply
    • Thank you. You’re so right. I find it sad that people are forced to give up who they are and abandon their sexuality just to fit in. It’s said that God loves all and made everyone equal but can’t accept his creations. I gave up on believing in some almighty, all-powerful, deity that won’t accept me as bisexual. You put it perfectly.

      By Cameron | 3 months ago Reply
  5. Thank you Adam for writing such honest and personal insights from your perspective. I love when those who experience SSA come out of the celibacy closet. 😉We need more of you to speak up and speak out about the beauty of our creation as children of God. Praying for you as you continue to minister to those who need to hear this message.

    By Michelle | 3 months ago Reply
  6. Thank you so much for this! I struggle with SSA, too, and it can be so difficult to navigate how to follow the Church’s teaching without feeling ashamed about it. I’m very grateful to all the brave Catholics who speak about their experiences. You are giving us all a voice.

    By Estee | 3 months ago Reply
  7. Hi Estee, thanks for your comment – I hope that sharing gives power and that one day, when the time is right, you can help people know the truth and beauty of the Church on this topic!
    Cheers – A

    By Andrew | 3 months ago Reply
  8. This site is so tone-deaf on gay and women’s issues. I guess calling someone “same-sex attracted” is easier for your own comfort than acknowledging that they are gay or lesbian. I don’t want to follow a religion where heteros have the chance to eventually be with someone they love in a relationship both emotionally and physically but gays and lesbians don’t and are condemned for not being “pure and celibate” and/or for simply being in a relationship with a person they love. There are gay/lesbian relationships that have lasted longer than hetero relationships but I guess that’s too much for this site to acknowledge. Also, again, just because you have some “same-sex attracted” people on here, does not mean that you know everything about gay and lesbian people.

    By Anonymous | 3 months ago Reply

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