A question from the Catholic Answers Forum answered by Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.
I'm an 18 year old Catholic High Schooler and I struggle with same sex attraction. I've always been this way. I have never had the ability to think of a woman in any sort of sexual way; but men on the other hand are a much different story.
I've visited the Courage website and other forms of self-help programs for this and all of them sort of bounce around the question: Why make me gay?
Sex is an very important part of human life and is given to every human being as a gift. So why give a gift that is wrong to use? It would be like me giving candy to a 3 year old on Halloween and saying he isn't allowed to eat it even though it is his now. I'm not trying to justify homosexuality in any sort of way, and I have been Catholic all my life and believe it is the Truth; but it does not answer this question. Yes, I realize I am loved no matter what I do or who I am and that God does not make mistakes. In saying that though, God is very efficient and does NOT make mistakes: so why make someone gay? Or why give someone who was gay the standard inclination towards sex? It's not out of concupiscence, since it cannot physically be helped and since it is not a sin to have these attractions.
I'm just looking for answers and have no where else to turn but here. Hopefully I can understand more about why I am made the way I am instead of being told I am disordered and that I need to "turn straight or go to Hell" (trust me if it were possible I would have found a way by now)
Actually, we don’t know that God caused you to have same sex attraction, but it does seem that He has allowed you to have it. It is possible that for one of any number of reasons somewhere in your early years you did not identify with your father--without realizing it. In any case, you are now in the situation of being sexually attracted to men and not to women—and you would like to know why God has allowed this to happen.
December 28 is the feast of the Holy Innocents. These were the little boys, two years old and younger, that Herod slaughtered because the Magi had told him of the local birth of a prince. One could ask why God created them if they were just going to be put to death so young. It’s a similar question to yours.
Well the Lord created those little children for the purpose of living forever with Him in heaven. Their path to Him was quite simple, though painful—and to some, seemingly pointless. This could be said of John the Baptist, and every Christian martyr that has followed after him. Most importantly of all, it is true of our Blessed Lord, Himself. His Passion and death, in purely human terms, seemed like an ultimate failure and that evil triumphed over good. But in fact, He turned evil upside down and conquered it--not with might, but with love—divine, unlimited love. He has shown us that ultimately love is not expressed by good feelings, but by sacrifice. We know how much we love—not by how loving we feel, but by how willing we are to put ourselves out for others.
As I type this, I have been praying that I express the truth of His teaching in a way that engages you and demonstrates that it is true in a way that is easy to understand. This is not an easy thing to do. I could say, why doesn’t God just make it easier if I am trying to convince people to be faithful to Him. But it is better for us to have to struggle to understand Him and make Him understood by others. In this struggle we ourselves grow in unselfish love (for Him and for each other) by the effort that we have to put forth.
This is the great challenge and beauty (yes beauty) of the cross of same sex attraction that He has asked you to carry. Living a pure, celibate life makes as much sense to non-believers as His suffering and death on the cross does. But to those who recognize just Who He really is, it is a great testament to the reality of His love for us—AND, our love for Him. THIS is why anyone has same sex attraction.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.