What’s Next for Love and Marriage?

The following column was published in The Observer on Thursday, December 11, 2014.

The first dozen times I came out I cried. For many of my friends, it was the first time they had seen me cry. Ever. A high school friend once told me that I had two emotions: happy, and more happy. She was wrong. I felt a lot of things, but I had to hide them.  Continue reading “What’s Next for Love and Marriage?”

This is Me

This blog was originally posted on spiritualfriendship.org, which I have recently joined as a contributing blogger. Don’t worry, I’ll keep blogging here, but many of my thoughts related to sexuality, vocation, and friendship will be posted there. You should follow!

For a time now, I have been engaging in intense self-reflection, considering the direction that my life seems to be taking and the ways in which I can develop as a Catholic and as a human being. It seems to me that many Catholics today are confused about their relationship to the Church and its teachings about sexuality. Many are unsure of whether they can find a place in the Church. They feel alienated by misunderstandings, confusions, misrepresentations, unjust caricatures, and unfounded discriminations.  Continue reading “This is Me”

A Theory of Sexual Attraction: Part 2

So, based upon my first post in this series, our “sexuality chart” might look something like this, with a different chart for each person:

Screen Shot 2013-07-07 at 3.46.30 PM

(If this chart doesn’t make sense to you, you may want to go back and read that first post.) In that first post, I divided off “same-sex-attraction” from “opposite-sex-attraction” and then further subdivided by context/time/development, individual persons, and attractive qualities. I ended up with a rather complex (and perhaps confusing) view of human sexuality. In this post, I will discuss some possible implications of the theory proposed in my first post on how we (and especially Christians) can view “homosexuality.”  Continue reading “A Theory of Sexual Attraction: Part 2”

A Theory of Sexual Attraction: Part 1

Over the years, various theories have been proposed as to how we might classify human sexuality. In popular discourse, a gay – straight spectrum is commonly used, such as this one:

That is, people are “scored” as to how “gay” or how “straight” they are, with bisexuality in the middle. This is a sharp divergence from the belief that people are either “100% gay” or “100% straight.” In 2012, Io Tillet Wright traveled around the country and asked people who didn’t identify as “100% straight” to give a percentage as to “how gay” they are. The majority of people said 3-20% and 70-90%. What this reveals is that most people who don’t identify as “100% straight” don’t identify as “100% gay” either, and that the human experience of sexuality is much more nuanced than many popular theories suggest.  Continue reading “A Theory of Sexual Attraction: Part 1”

Newman, and the development of Catholic teaching on abortion and homosexuality

“… and old principles reappear under new forms. It [a great idea] changes with them in order to remain the same. In a higher world it is otherwise, but here below to live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.” So goes the argument of Blessed John Henry Newman‘s Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine. Like any great idea, doctrine must change in order to remain the same. Only dead doctrine cannot change, for “a power of development is a proof of life.” Continue reading “Newman, and the development of Catholic teaching on abortion and homosexuality”

“The Gay Issue”: Objections and Clarifications

This is my seventh post in a series on understanding same sex attraction. The other six posts are: –On Terminology
Within Catholicism
Newman and Michelangelo
Broadening Same-Sex-Attraction
Learning from the Pro-Life Movement
Notre Dame’s Plan

As I have been writing for this series, I have received a number of excellent criticisms and comments about my posts. Here, I will address some of them. These are certainly not all of them, and I look forward to more thoughtful critiques in the future. Continue reading ““The Gay Issue”: Objections and Clarifications”

“The Gay Issue”: Notre Dame’s Plan

This is the sixth post in a series on understanding same sex attraction. The other five posts are:

On Terminology
Within Catholicism
Newman and Michelangelo
Broadening Same-Sex-Attraction
Learning from the Pro-Life Movement

The conclusion of Notre Dame’s “comprehensive review of GLBTQ student services and support” on December 5, 2012 immediately garnered national attention. The University announced new and revised structures, and not everyone was pleased with the changes. An Autostraddle article criticized the review’s emphasis on chastity. One Notre Dame alumus said in a Catholic News Agency article that “the plan provides a venue for opposition to Catholic teaching, boosts the gay rights movement, and damages the school’s Catholic reputation.” The presidents of Notre Dame’s Progressive Student Alliance, the student club leading the charge for an undergraduate gay-straight alliance, however, immediately issued a letter supporting the changes. It seems that the majority of voiced opinions from the student body have supported the plan. One will notice this in the comments of many news articles, including Autostraddle’s critique. Continue reading ““The Gay Issue”: Notre Dame’s Plan”

“The Gay Issue”: Learning from the Pro-Life Movement

This is my fifth post in a series on understanding same-sex-attraction. The previous four posts are:
On Terminology
Within Catholicism
Newman and Michelangelo
Broadening Same-Sex-Attraction

In her book Unplanned, Abby Johnson discusses her first day as a volunteer for Planned Parenthood. She recalls, “As I waited, I was caught off guard by a few protesters on the other side of the fence. One fellow was dressed up as the Grim Reaper–he even carried a scythe. A woman took a spot outside the fence and began waving a huge placard with a picture of an aborted fetus on it–a grotesque image… Every now and then she’d shout out some antiabortion slogan.” Continue reading ““The Gay Issue”: Learning from the Pro-Life Movement”