“The Gay Issue”: On Terminology

This series of posts comes after many people asking my opinion about Notre Dame’s plan for resources for GLBTQ students. It will surprise some and shock others that I am very supportive of this plan, although this should not be a secret after my public critique of some aspects of Courage, a current apostolate for those experiencing “same-sex-attraction” in the Church. In these posts, I hope to exposit how I have come to understand “same-sex-attraction” and perhaps also relate it to my thoughts on Notre Dame’s plan.

One initial problem is the use of language. As Ron Belagau and Justin Lee pointed out at a lecture at Pepperdine University (I highly recommend watching it), Christians often alienate themselves from the LGBT community by their terminology. Many are not aware that the term “homosexual” is highly offensive to this community. The word “homosexual” has a clinical history, in which men and women with same-sex-attraction were treated as though they had a disease. For anyone who seeks to actually engage with the LGBT community, “homosexual” and “homosexuality” are two words that may be good to avoid…

The rest of this post can be found in my book, “I Desired You: An Intellectual Journal on Faith and Sexuality.” You can order a copy here


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