I have known my same sex attraction since I was in secondary school, I remember one day in school telling someone “I love you”, he took it well but then said “you’ll get out of it”. I’m 23 and I never got out of it.
I was never popular in school, I was bullied a lot. I remained a quiet person right up to this day. I was born and raised as a Catholic, for a period I went through a phase of being an Agnostic but came back to the church during my first year at university.
Throughout these years I have constantly been struggling to accept myself as gay. I never told anyone else about it with being grown up in a very conservative environment. My Mother said there are two things she doesn’t want me to be, the first being gay and the second being a priest, the ironic thing is that she is no longer a practicing Catholic and I never told her that I am gay.
Throughout college I began to experiment more with my sexuality with other men via on-line dating , I thought it would help but did completely the opposite, I never told anyone else of this publicly. I hated myself for it, it felt as if there was something inside controlling me, I couldn’t look myself in the mirror for the feeling of shame of being gay. I felt as if I was drifting away from the people I care about. To this day I feel alone as I don’t know anybody else going through the same issues as me. The only way I felt to stop this feeling was to drink, it was the only way I could feel comfortable looking at myself.
I put off going to confession for a while because I thought that the priest doing the confessions would outright kick me out. Eventually I did go to confession and by this time I was next to tears, when I was in, I had a breakdown, I never lied to a priest and I refuse to. The next thing I know the priest didn’t shout, didn’t kick me out, I won’t break the seal of confession so the details are left out. After confession he took me to one side, for the first time in my life I felt accepted, I rediscovered God’s love, the priest explained to me that I’m not alone and what I did was incredibly brave. From then on, I didn’t fear talking to a priest and I understand that being gay is not a sin, it’s how God made me.
The problem being now is that I still feel the fear. The other part of me was still there, now every time I masturbate or have any kind of sexual contact with another man I will always go to confession as soon as I can. It’s a heavy cross to bear and most of the time I feel as if I can’t bear it. As much as I feel accepted in the Catholic Church, I feel isolated everywhere else, I feel as if I can’t tell anyone outside who I am. Most times I think back at the mistakes I made and think of myself as a monster, a Jekyll and Hyde character. A lot of people I know treat same sex attractions as some sort of disease. The only people I feel comforted to talk to these days are the Clergy and I know they are busy people so I treasure every moment I can with them. They know that I am a good person, but I am waging a war against myself and my faith.
A metaphor I thought of is an image of a small, young bird trapped in a cage in a dark room, I just need to find the light to get me home.