“I won’t even begin to explain why I’m in love with Mary let alone engaged to her.” The words were barely comprehensible and came amid tears. The tears flowed heavily down my cheeks. The whole “coming out” process just took place after a fairly heated mother-daughter argument one May evening of this year.
I was quite proud to finally “come out,” however, fear not only overcame me during the process, but lingered for a short time thereafter. I then remembered having spoken with my mom in recent weeks about gay and lesbian sexuality. Coming from a Roman Catholic family with strong beliefs in the church, I already had a general idea what her response to the topic at hand would be. “It’s sinful and disgraceful in the eyes of God,” was her reply. I honestly did not expect to be loved by her after the “coming out” process. Nor did I expect God to love me much either from what mom had to say. It is my belief, as a Roman Catholic, that God loves all his children no matter what their sexuality. I firmly believe that God unites two people in love for whatever his reason(s) may be.
At the age of twenty-three, I had finally found someone to bring me the kind of happiness I sought to have fulfilled in my life. Mary became the special person I wanted to share the rest of my life with. Mary, who is several years younger than I, feels similarly.
It was, for both of us, an amazing step to an already close and solid friendship of two years and four months. The timing was perfect as she began to reach the peak of womanhood. There is approximately 183 miles separating us so Internet connections and the telephones keep us in close contact with each other as our hearts bleed pain until we can finally be together.
Mary has not really “come out” to her family as of yet and just like my family, her family is also of Roman Catholic roots. Her new brother-in-law is the only one on her side who knows about our love, life and engagement. At this point in time, he seems to be taking it well. I would hope that the rest of her family would be able to as well when she finally does “come out” to them.
There are a few reasons as to why we must be apart yet. The main reason for why we must remain apart yet is our families. Both families’ are Roman Catholic and so much against homosexuality. Coming together physically, too soon, simply would not be a very wise thing to do. Just as Mary’s new brother-in-law is the only aware about our love, life and engagement on her end – mom is the only one aware on my end. For the both of us, it has become a matter of how to deal with our families’ “closed-minded” attitudes.
Now at the age of twenty-four and with Mary at the peak of her womanhood there is an inner struggle of the mind to figure out how such intolerance exists among the Roman Catholic Church regarding gay and lesbian sexuality.
The Catholic Church claims, “The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negotiable. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross and difficulties they may encounter from their condition” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 566).
I, on the other hand, do not feel like we are really accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity as gay and lesbian Catholics must abstain from Communication and may not, of course, marry in the Church. Also, I do not see our lesbianism as a condition, illness, or disease that should be cured by the Church or anyone else for that matter. It is a tad bit hypocritical of the Catholic Church to claim that, “every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided” yet they discriminate by making homosexuals abstain from Communion, abstain from marrying within the Church, and by calling homosexuality a “condition” when these issues are a clear form of outright discrimination.
It is my hope, along with Mary’s, that when the day finally comes where the two of us can physically be together, both of our families will be accepting and supportive of us as a couple. May the Catholic Church someday lose the “closed-minded” attitude that they so cling to and cherish right now. Hopefully, someday soon homosexuals can be more accepted by the Roman Catholic Church and those whom are heterosexual within it that reflect the “closed-minded” attitude will erase it and be more tolerant towards homosexuals. Perhaps in time, the fear the Catholic Church has of homosexuals will vanish completely and homosexuality will not be looked at as a “condition” but rather a pride in one’s sexuality.