HeatherN comments on the case of a Catholic man who remains celibate due to his same-sex attraction.
There are a million potential reactions to reading an article about Steve Gersham, who has same-sex attraction but remains celibate for religious reasons. I know I at least went through half a million of them as I read the article and visited the author’s website. Mostly though, what I felt was sadness tinged with a bit of pity. I know no one likes to be pitied (I hate it), but there it is. Now before you jump all over me, let me try to explain why.
At first glance you might think I pity Steve (the author) because of his celibacy, but that’s not it. By all means, be celibate; that’s fine. It’s the reasoning behind Steve’s celibacy that elicits my pity. This is a man who views his sexuality as a cross to bear, his great burden in life. As he says on his website:
“This is always true: SSA [same-sex attraction] is a cross, but cowardice is not. Some things are meant to be endured, and some things are meant to be overcome. Like the alcoholics say: Lord, grant us the wisdom to know the difference.”
That is what makes me so sad when reading the article. This is indicative to me of a culture and society which values leading a righteous life over self-acceptance. It treats homosexuality as something that is damaging and bad for him, as if having sex with a man could harm him in some way. And that is so very wrong.
Just to add: I totally get that Steve is pretty freaking brave writing so honestly about his experience. I do not mean to direct any of this toward Steve personally, but rather toward the social and cultural norms that create and perpetuate the idea that homosexuality is a problem.
Image of wooden cross courtesy of Shuttersock