How the Catholic Church Helped Me Come to Terms with my Homosexuality – Clarifying Catholicism

It took me almost sixteen years to accept that I experience same-sex attractions. While I have always had a measure of fascination with the male body, I had never thought much of it until the end of seventh grade when my parents caught me viewing gay pornographic images. Their inquiry into my actions included asking if I was “gay,” which I was not yet sure of, yet out of stubbornness I refused to accept the possibility that it was true. My pornographic habits started as a misguided attempt at satisfying curiosity, which was rapidly sexualized and, though my parents tried to stop it, became a full-blown addiction. By the end of ninth grade, despite the fact that I was frequently viewing gay porn and finding myself attracted to other guys at school, I still did not accept the possibility that I was gay. My homosexuality became harder to deny by the start of ninth grade, which was accompanied by the start of a masturbation habit. By the end of that year, my sexual fantasies became increasingly intense, often involving my male classmates, yet I still refused to admit, even to myself, that I experienced same-sex attractions. From this downward trajectory, my life took an upward turn when I attended the Diocesan Catholic Youth Conference (DCYC) that January. Saturday night of DCYC included adoration, accompanied by a live praise band, and it was a transformative experience. I finally felt the love of God and how he saw all my mistakes yet loves me despite them. I finally accepted how much I needed God’s love and aid, how it is Him whom we are truly longing for; as St. Augustine says in his Confessions “Our hearts are restless until it rests in Thee”. I felt a tremendous reassurance of God’s love, that whatever I had done, God still loved me and wanted me. While this transformed my faith from something I knew in my head and a series of rules I had to follow to avoid Hell into a loving response to the One who loved me first, it did not change the fact that I was addicted to these sexual habits, which are sinful regardless of sexual orientation. That summer I went with my parish to one of the Steubenville Mid-America conferences, and while I was convinced of my need to change, I still could not break my habits.

How the Catholic Church Helped Me Come to Terms with my Homosexuality – Clarifying Catholicism

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