Based on television, media, and discussion with others, it can seem like asking those who struggle with same sex attraction to be chaste is an impossible request. The reality, however, is that numerous people with same sex attraction are in our pews and have chosen Christ and lives of chastity. They have heard the Good News and responded in assent, including giving up homosexual acts. That is not to say that it is easy, but being a Christian is not easy. It is deeply difficult and can only be accomplished by grace and a total dependence on God. As Catholics, we must start sharing the beauty and joy of the Christian life. One of the best ways to do this is to become acquainted with the resources available to share with others. There have been multiple high quality documentaries made that focus on the conversion stories of people who have lived the gay lifestyle. There are writers who openly share their stories in an effort to bring others closer to Christ. All of these people answer the question: “Is it possible to be a chaste, gay, Catholic?”, with a resounding “Yes!” Here are some resources that you should take the time to watch, read, and share.
1. The Third Way
The Third Way is a documentary that focuses on what the Catholic Church teaches about homosexuality. The Church is rather unique in that she distinguishes between same sex attraction and homosexual acts. The former is not sinful and the latter is gravely sinful. So the Church does not condemn, but rather calls those who struggle with same sex attraction to chastity, just like their heterosexual counterparts. This documentary shares Church teaching in light of the conversion of multiple people who lived the culture’s call to the homosexual lifestyle. Listen to the words of those who struggle with this Cross.
2. Desire of the Everlasting Hills
This documentary focuses on the story of multiple people who spent decades living the gay lifestyle. Including the story of Paul who was a model and watched 90% of his friends die of AIDS. This is a powerful testimony to the love of God that comes directly from individuals who lived the lifestyle only to realize that authentic love and joy comes through Christ and the Catholic Church. Click “Watch on Vimeo” below and it will take you directly to the video.
3. Steve Gershom
Steve is a chaste, gay, Catholic who shares his story at stevegershom.com. Here is a snippet from the About section of his website, in which he answer whether or not he is gay:
“You could say that, if you wanted to, although I don’t like the term and don’t identify with it. I’m attracted primarily
and almost exclusively to men, and have been since I was about fourteen; but I don’t date men or have sex with them, so where does that leave me? I’m a faithful Catholic, so a romantic relationship with another man literally doesn’t fit into the way I see the world. I don’t see myself as different in any essential way from heterosexual men, so describing myself as “gay” doesn’t seem to fit.
On the other hand, “homosexual” sounds clinical, “queer” certainly isn’t me, and “man who’s attracted to other men” is cumbersome. So, “gay” is a useful sort of shorthand, and I’ll use it
from time to time until a better word comes along. SSA (same-sex attraction) is a useful term too, as in “He has SSA” rather than “He is SSA.”
4. Pink-haired Papist
The Catholic Church wants people to know that their attractions are not the center of their dignity or what make them a person. This is counter-intuitive in a culture like ours that places sexuality front and center of everything. That is why the writer at Pink-haired Papist is such a breath of fresh air. She is gay, but her focus is on theological inquiry and the faith. Her center is Christ and His Church. You can read her story here.
5. Eve Tushnet
Eve Tushnet is a well known writer and blogger. She wrote the book Gay and Catholic: Accepting My Sexuality, Finding Community, Living My Faith, in which she shares her story. A brief summary from the publisher states:
“In this first book from an openly lesbian and celibate Catholic, widely published writer and blogger Eve Tushnet recounts her spiritual and intellectual journey from atheism to Catholicism and shows how gay Catholics can love and be loved while following Church teaching.”
6. Melinda Selmys
Melinda is a well known author and describes herself as “a queer convert with six kids”. Her book Sexual Authenticity: An Intimate Reflection on Homosexuality and Catholicism takes an in-depth look at the relationship between the Church and homosexuality. Her own experiences offer a profound discussion on the topic. She is a regular blogger for Patheos Catholic as Catholic Authenticity.
The answer is always Christ and these people are courageous in their witness to the authentic love that comes from an encounter with Christ. Share these resources far and wide that more souls may be won for Christ.