Roman Catholic and Queer: An Epistle of Introduction on the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord

(My introduction is not as detailed as Victor de Villa Lapidis’ but may it serve as a brief window into who I am, and why I care about this blog.)

J.M.J.

July 1st, 2010:  Feast of The Most Precious Blood of Our Lord

(General Roman Calendar of 1962)

For some, the realization of their homosexuality is a major and even traumatic event, one that influences every aspect of not only how they understand the world, but more importantly, how they understand themselves.  This was not my experience.  I had always been aware of my attraction to my own sex, yet I had never put it together with affirmations like “I am queer/lesbian/bisexual/gay.”  Women were intelligent, interesting, and obviously more aesthetically pleasing than men, surely other women saw it that way? It wasn’t until a series of long discussions with a very good, sensible, and open minded friend (you may know him as the blog administrator!) that I began to put my attraction to my sex in this context.  Even then, I felt uncomfortable making the affirmation “I am gay.”  My gay friends had always presented this as a life-altering realization, one which made them feel ostracized; they had become an “other.”  I did not feel other.  I did not feel assailed from all sides.  My friends were still my friends, my significant other, my significant other, and my religion was still my religion.  Sure, I disagreed when people made comments about homosexuality being “disordered,” but I had always found that assertion theologically and intellectually problematic, even before I began identifying as gay.  I still believed that the Host I received on Sundays was the Body and Blood of Our Lord, still followed the commandments and precepts of the Church, still prayed the Rosary, examined my conscience, and went to Confession.  I was still me, I still believed the same things, even if the affirmation I made about my sexual orientation was different.

Why am I here, writing this, you may ask, if my own realization of my Queerness did not majorly affect my devotion to my religion, or my understanding of myself as a Roman Catholic? Recently, I was out with a bunch of friends, and an acquaintance asked whether I could help them show some out-of-towners around on the coming weekend which happened to be Pride:  “You know, all those gays will be running around town, kind of scary.”  I was shocked by how angry the statement made me.  My reaction was no longer one of intellectual detachment, “Well, you think homosexuality is a disease, I disagree with you entirely.”  This was personal; an assumption had just been made, not only that I would agree with the statement, but also that I was not one of “those gays”.  I had just been made other.

This small event encapsulates a series of encounters I have had over recent years.  While I know several other young LGBTQ Catholics, I have been increasingly troubled about the lack of dialogue and support there is not only within the Church hierarchy, but among young Catholics themselves.  We are told by some, that we can be cured, by some that we must subsume our desires; we are “othered” by many.  If people mention us, it is only in a context like the one above.  I would like to encourage you, dear reader, not to assume that just because someone is a devout Catholic, they’re not Queer.

In Corde Mariae,

Eiluned[1]


[1] I realize that some may be curious about my nom de plume; it is inspired by a character briefly mentioned in a Dorothy L. Sayers’ novel, Eiluned Price, who lives with her “close friend” Sylvia Marriot.  While they are never explicitly identified as lesbians, there are one or two hints that certainly suggest so.

Advertisements
Published in: on July 2, 2010 at 3:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,