I read an article today entitled Gay, Catholic and Doing Fine and I have to say I was absolutely shocked. It was unlike any article I've ever read, and actually really inspiring. While I am not gay and have no idea what sorts of adversity a gay person encounters on a daily basis, whether socially or personally, I can appreciate where the writer is coming from. The best part about it though, for me, is the amount of faith and reverence with which this writer comes from. There is acceptance of self, and acceptance of religion and faith and God.
It's no secret that the homosexual community and the church don't really get along too well. There are arguments of what is right and wrong, meant to be and not meant to be, biblical verse versus freedom of personal speech and personal choice. There is a sort of do it our way or get out attitude, perhaps from both sides. Any way you spin it, it's a messy situation, for the most part. But here in this article we get a wonderful glimpse of hope.
I've never had someone 'come out' to me before. But I would hope that given that situation, I would have the grace to accept the person for who they are, and love them no differently than as if they were just like any other person in my life. To hear of that sort of acceptance from not just family, but friends, and even members of the clergy, is impressive.
There is a great moment in the story where the author says one of his friends said, "Well if it wasn't that it would have been something else." Everyone has burdens in their life, and while many of us don't struggle with universal acceptance of homosexuality, we struggle with self, love, emotions, relationships, children, parents, money, illness and more. They are always out there, and the point is they all require help. Because when you are having struggles, help is the first step to helping yourself to healing, back to being the best person you can be, and still being you.
It is true what he says: many are ridiculed for choices of abstention or celibacy. But it's not something to be ashamed of, if that's who you are. It's something to be proud of, and there isn't any reason to hide it. It's a personal choice.
The thing that struck me the most throughout the whole article is this wholehearted belief in the church as a motherly figure. That a mother wouldn't let a child indulge in something that will hurt them, especially if the child isn't aware it will hurt them. Furthermore, the author's life is so enriched by faith and God and scripture, something that I aspire to. I don't put anywhere near that sort of emphasis on following the Word and honestly I should. It should be the first thing I think about all the time in daily life. For him it's not about being able to marry a man or not, faith comes first. The fact that God will always be waiting with open arms forever for you is the most amazing gift we could imagine. And that's the important part.
Life lesson: Will there always be hardships and challenges and adversity to overcome? Of course. And sometimes there are sacrifices and compromises and maybe some really tough shit to get out of. But no matter what you do, who you are, no matter what your sexual orientation, God will always be there waiting with open arms.