Let’s talk about Gender Confusion

I’m a Catholic man in my early twenties, I pray daily, and my cross in this life is gender confusion.

What even is gender confusion? Gender confusion means different things for different people, but for me, it means I don’t have a grasp or even basic understanding of my own sexuality. Some days, I’m interested in dating a girl. Some days, I wish I had a boyfriend. Some days, I think I should be a girl. And some days I’m pretty certain I’m asexual.

My story with gender confusion is too long to put into a single article, but let me put it this way for you: if you’ve ever almost drowned, you know the fear of not being able to pull yourself up, of just barely getting enough breath to live. You may even have experienced the terror of not knowing which way is up and which way is down. That’s what it feels like, on an emotional level. Some days, I feel like I have a good handle on it, and I may not even be thinking about it at all. Some days, I lose myself completely in my hurt and anxiety and wonder how I can live with this, or if I even want to live anymore.

I’m not writing this article for me, though. I’m writing this article because there are so many young people in the church today who struggle with gender confusion, whether it surfaces in same-sex attraction, the desire to be a member of the opposite gender, or so many other ways. Gender confusion manifests itself in dozens of ways, and it’s a new problem for the world and for the church.

If you don’t have gender confusion, the goal of this article is to tell you that this is a real and dangerous reality. We can’t pretend it’s not happening, and we have to handle it with sensitivity. Sexuality is the most fragile thing I’ve ever known.

If you do experience gender confusion, I’d like to pass on a few thoughts, because in the last year or so, God has taught me a lot about myself and how to live in the day-to-day suffering that is same-sex attraction, transgenderism, confusion, anxiety, and despair.

How do we live with this? Three thoughts:

  1. Tell someone you trust completely. A priest, your parents, someone, but I highly recommend an authority figure in your life, someone you know will react with love and encouragement. Telling people felt like lifting a huge burden from my shoulders, but also know that you don’t have to tell everyone. I have a lot of close friends who have no idea I suffer with this. I’m going to be honest: my name isn’t Sam Stark. It’s a pseudonym I use because there are a lot of people in my life who aren’t ready to know my cross yet, and that’s okay with me. Tell someone, but don’t tell everyone.
  2. Pray, every day. Consecrate yourself to our Blessed Mother. Mary is the Undoer of Knots, and ever since I consecrated myself to Jesus through her, things have begun to unravel and make sense. Not complete sense, but I am understanding more about myself and how to live and love through it.
  3. Know that you were made intentionally. God gave you a masculine body and put a masculine soul in it, or He gave you a feminine body and put a feminine soul in it. No matter the suffering, no matter the pain or confusion—and believe me I understand all of those—hold on to this truth. He is good, always, and He has a plan, always.

This is only the beginning of gender confusion. Like I said, this isn’t something I can sum up in an article or an easy conversation. But the truth is, God always wins. And I’ve come to realize that maybe the reason I’ve been allowed to suffer from this is so that I can reach out to my brothers and sisters who suffer in silence and point them to the light.

Have a question? Suffer from same-sex attraction or sexual disorder and want to talk about it? Check out my email at the end of the article and reach out! I’d love to hear from you.

If you are a co-sufferer, know that I pray for you, every day. You may have a strong inclination towards shame, but know that this is a cross like any other: God loves you and wants you healed. And He can do it.
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Sam Stark is a 20s-ish Catholic man from Florida, trying to live out his faith in the little everyday things, who struggles with gender confusion and same-sex attraction. Two of his favorite (future) saints are Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati and Blessed Chiara Luce. You can probably find him at a Dunkin’ Donuts or wherever a crowd of people are, but he’s always down for a soul-to-soul chat.” Feel free to reach him at samstarkwriter@outlook.com

10 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your struggle! Praying for you and all those who carry the cross of gender confusion and same sex attraction!

    By Livy | 5 months ago Reply
  2. Thank you for your witness and for your courage to live your life according to God’s plan with this difficult and complex cross. I am a 20-something Catholic man from Canada sending prayers your way. Continue to fight the good fight and bring those in darkness to the Light. This path is anything but easy, especially with the world pulling us in so many directions when it comes to our sexuality so I honour you for your strength and bravery to lean on God above all else. May God bless you sir, and I hope to see you in heaven some day!

    By Tom | 5 months ago Reply
  3. I am in my sixties nut have the same problem and widower . Strict catholic thx

    By Marcel Lambrecht | 5 months ago Reply
  4. Thank you for sharing your experiences.
    We are all children of God.

    By Thomas Reed | 5 months ago Reply
  5. Thank you, Sam, and God bless you! What you wrote, and live, takes so much courage – and I want you to know that today you made it onto my heroes list (where Bl. Pier and Chiara already stand).
    Also, know that you’re not alone. That’s the beauty of our faith – we’re in this battle together and united in prayer! Thank you for helping proclaim the truth about human sexuality in an age of confusion. Let’s be the next generation of saints!

    By Grace | 5 months ago Reply
  6. I am sorry for your suffering, but appreciate your honesty. I also appreciate your acknowledging the truth that God created us with either a male or female body. As a healthcare professional, I am more than disappointed with those in the healthcare industry that would seem to withhold the truth from those that they are supposedly taking Care of, or worse, to attempt to benefit financially at the expense of the patients’ health and safety. I find the American College of Pediatricians to be a credible source of information. They tell the truth. That is what we owe our patients. I am also disappointed in those in the LGBT community that would deprive others of their right to have help in returning to a heterosexual lifestyle, if that is their desire. America’s healthcare standard is patient centered care. As a kind colleague told me, “it’s not about you”; rather it is about those we are entrusted to serve. Thanks for helping to serve others with your honest witness.

    By Katie Goryl | 5 months ago Reply
  7. Thank you for your sincere and honest testimonial. Please continue to spread it, because the world needs you! I will pray for you today!

    By Linde | 5 months ago Reply
  8. Please advise me what to do for my daughter struggling with SSA and Trans. Her therapist supports these issues.Help! We are Catholic.

    By Joann Castricum | 5 months ago Reply
  9. Your words will help many others. You write so well because you describe something hard to describe, and your consecrating to our blessed Mother Mary will be inspiring to others too – your words will reach many hearts. I don’t find it surprising that many people can suffer from this gender confusion – look at media! It’s like they’re motivating people to try out different/many partners, not caring for them or yourself – instead, focusing on the mere sexual desires of the flesh – it’s everywhere – movies, magazines, music etc etc… How can one not be affected in one way or another? Especially the young people. It’s just like young people have a higher risk to fall into a cult! Young people’s minds do not have the same protection – and even older adults (over 27 yrs) can also easily be affected when media makes it look like it’s more of a norm. This is, to me, the devil trying to enter and separate ourselves from real love, our families, God and the truth. This subjekt is imperative and we have to face the devil and not give in! It’s like it’s hype to be gay etc… Making it cool. We have to separate what’s right and wrong. Only God can tell us how to handle this, we need to listen carefully. Send you blessings.

    By Luisa | 5 months ago Reply
  10. Thank you for sharing this. I am going to teach confirmation soon and this could really help my students. They have no idea how much the Church loves them! Praying for everyone who struggles with this. Thank you so much for this article! Stay strong and God bless!!! 🙂

    By Paola | 5 months ago Reply

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