I was raised in a Catholic household, and have been Catholic all my life. For the first half of high school, I was determined that I wasn’t going to act out on my sexuality. This of course made me miserable, but I really understood and believed the Catholic Church’s arguments against acting on same sex attraction. I am out to my parents, but only as someone who doesn’t act on it.
Because I don’t identify as a Catholic any longer in my heart, the public is another story, I will act out on my attraction. I just keep feeling like I’m going to go to hell if I do act on my sexuality, because I still go to a Catholic high school and hear arguments against homosexuality often.
How do I get past this guilt and fear that I’m going to hell that’s been making me feels so depressed lately?
Letter submitted by:
Despite what you have been taught or what those around you may believe, it is important to know that there is nothing wrong with being gay. In fact, it is completely natural and normal. Sometimes, when you are depressed, you can feel very alone, but please know that there is a whole community of people just like you. You should be really proud of yourself for coming out and living your truth. You have an exciting journey to look forward to so you should never feel guilty for being yourself.
If religion in your life is something you still want, please know that you can definitely be religious and gay at the same time. It might also help you to know that though some people, including certain religious leaders, may believe and teach that homosexuality is against the Bible and that you can’t be a good Catholic and be gay, there are many religious leaders and members of religious communities who teach love, acceptance and equality for all of people and are supportive and accepting of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people.
If you want to learn about the Biblical scriptures that teach compassion and support for gay people, consider reading through the numerous guides on Soulforce’s “Resources” webpage at www.soulforce.org. You can also read the PFLAG guide “Faith in our Families: Parents, Families and Friends Talk About Religion and Homosexuality” at http://www.pflag.org/fileadmin/user_upload/FaithinourFamilies.pdf. If you’d like to read more about various opinions regarding faith and sexual orientation, there is also a great resource online called The Institute for Welcoming Resources at http://www.welcomingresources.org/. It is the most comprehensive and up to date website devoted to providing religious and faith based resources for the LGBTQ.
Remember to be proud of who you are and that you are not alone! You are not wrong for acting on your sexuality. You are simply being you!