Leaving LGBTQ+… and Not Looking Back
Imagine if you could help someone move from despair to joy, and help them discover God’s will for them in a new, life-giving way?
Well, you CAN do this!
One way is to strive to radiate God’s love amidst the pursuit of truth, while helping people discover the beauty and richness of the virtue of chastity.
Not celibacy, not abstinence, but chastity.
A Little Chastity “Review”
Chastity is proposed (not imposed) by the Church for all people, regardless of state in life. It involves joyful openness to “successful integration of sexuality within the person” (CCC 2337), implying an openness to honoring/upholding the God-authored physiological complementarity of males and females, and the fact that we are created as males or females (regardless of any genetic aberration).
The Power of a Mindset
When I used to self-identify as LGTBQ+, though I was sometimes happy, I wasn’t joyful—and often I was on the cusp of despair. My mindset was that “the Church’s rule” of chastity meant that I couldn’t love who I wanted to love, making “chastity” seem like a mournful suppression of my “nature” rather than a means to love more profoundly and a way to experience greater peace, hope, love, joy, and freedom, amidst a journey of personal growth. My mindset limited my perceptions about who I could become as a person, which limited my perceptions about my potential journey towards fulfillment. This made me believe that I was automatically excluded from ever becoming a husband/father in a holy marriage to an opposite-sex spouse.
The Big Shift
My mindset changed after awakening to the reality that sexual/romantic attractions/inclinations experienced aren’t permanent. I arrived at this conclusion after realizing that appetites aren’t permanent and that sexual/romantic appetites are merely a subset of appetites. For me, this was crystal clear logic, and it was all I needed to know in order to recognize the non-permanent nature of any sexual/romantic attractions/inclination experienced. After this awakening, however, my mindset required adjustment with regard to sexuality, my perspective of “who I am,” and chastity.
That shift in mindset broke off the chains that bound me, which inhibited my understanding of what God could do with me. Today, with my mindset transformed about chastity, I now know that holy spousalship/fatherhood is possible, but that it is downstream from the pursuit of holy, chaste friendships through which holy, chaste romantic/sexual attractions/inclinations may emerge (even if same-sex attractions and or transgender inclinations might continue to persist to some degree).
Many Catholics with experiences like mine, while still striving to love God, still have mindsets that are not open to chastity as it is understood by the Church, and therefore are not open to those same possibilities. When I used to embrace an LGBTQ+ mindset, I tasted the despair of that, and I know I’m far from alone in that experience.
How Many More?
But how many people are still out there struggling with the despair of believing that they are “gay/trans and Catholic” and that their fate is sealed within that trajectory? Within that sense of identity and self-concept? How many “LGBTQ+ Catholics” are still unhappy and searching for more?
These Catholics are indeed my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ. I can intimately relate to that facet of their experience, and it’s love that compels me to propose an openness to a shift in mindset.
I simply don’t want anyone to have to live in despair.
For those earnestly thinking about mindset amid the pursuit of fulfillment, I propose these questions:
Does your mindset bring you to increasingly:
- Embrace chastity as it is defined by the Church?
- Pursue “successful integration of [your] sexuality”?
- Desire to fulfill God’s call to strive to maximally become who you’re called to be, in terms of manifesting motherliness and fatherliness(which aren’t the same as motherhood and fatherhood), which could potentially manifest within a holy and chaste marriage to an opposite-sex spouse?
If not, are you willing to consider a shift in mindset?
Further, if you’re struggling with despair in relation to finding your place/purpose in God’s plan, would you be open to growing more in the virtue of chastity as it is understood by the Church?
This, I merely propose…
Hudson Byblow is a Catholic speaker, author, and consultant who lives in the Midwest where he has a career in education. He has presented at National and International conferences in the United States and Canada and also presents to clergy, schools, and parishes. Additionally, Hudson serves as a consultant to various Catholic agencies, speakers, and educators. His website is www.hudsonbyblow.com and he can be booked by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.