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Put the sexual aspect together with the other things that homosexual men and women often experience — depression, low self-esteem, loneliness, a sense (however false) of being utterly — and you have a heavy cross. That’s not weird, that’s not strange, that’s not even gay.
I’ve experienced healing in every area I mentioned above, but nobody’s healing is complete this side of heaven. But it’s not as simple as “look, but don’t touch” — chastity is a question of the heart and soul and emotions, as well as the groin. How do you learn to love another man without making him into an idol?
I also don’t mean to trivialize the experience of having SSA.
Sex isn’t everything, but as anyone with any kind of sexual dysfunction knows, it’s an awful lot.
Usually it’s something like “I’m honored that you trust me enough to tell me this.” But even the most understanding people don’t always understand what I mean, if only because (unlike me) they haven’t had the last 14 years to figure it out, and because “I’m gay” is not a simple sentence.
I’m not very sensitive about the word “gay”, but some of us in the Gay Catholic business prefer the phrase “same-sex attraction,” or SSA.
Loneliness can be the worst part: not the absence of friends, I’ve got those, but the effort of forging out a way to live in a society that constantly tells us that romantic love is anyone’s only shot at real happiness, and that celibacy (not to mention virginity! These questions are still present to me, but none of them are show-stoppers anymore.
You deal with them, you pray and seek advice, you offer up the incidental pangs, and you get on with your life.
Michael Chabon is his favorite living author, and Dostoevsky is his favorite dead one.
Most of all, don’t accept any easy answers, from the right or from the left.