I’m twenty-one y. o. and live in a big city in northern Italy, until very recently, I considered myself straight in the deepest sense of the term, in practice I had never had any kind of gay thoughts, I have a girlfriend for three years now and I’m fine with her, without sex because I am a practicing Catholic and I consider wrong the idea of sex before marriage.
Let’s say that until two months ago I was what I thought to be, but now I’m beginning to think that in fact the idea of not having sex with my girlfriend for moral issues is just a kind of screen that hides other reasons (do not run to conclusions please). But there’s another thing I have to tell you. I begin to think that also in different situations comes to my mind the idea that I had or wanted to have a screen behind which to hide, I’m talking of auto-eroticism.
I try to explicate better. The Church condemns it and I eventually managed to do without it and, at the end, this is no more a big problem for me, I have always considered this thing a great achievement as the fact that I do not make use of pornography. I have several friends, I think all straight, I’m fine with them and I’ve never had fantasies about my friends and that’s it.
Let’s say that until two months ago everything was fine, then one night, between April 3 and April 4, just the Easter night, I had an erotic dream (what almost never happens to me) and it was a dream themed clearly gay, but it was beautiful, full of sweetness and at the same time of sexual involvement. In practice, in the dream, I think I’ve lived a beautiful love story and I felt deeply involved to the point that I had a wet dream.
The next morning I woke up horrified, I did not know what to think, I felt guilty. It was Easter and I went to confession. The priest was not at all upset and just said that to sin it takes the will to do it and I could not exercise any act of will in my sleep, but in fact I didn’t tell the priest that the dream was a gay themed dream. The speech of the priest reassured me about my possible sin, but in fact it did not solve the underlying problem: why a gay themed dream? And why was it so sweet? I kept inside me these questions and on the other hand I could not talk to anyone.
The images of the dream came back to my mind, I had also some very strong fantasy to let me go to masturbation thinking of those things but I endured and immediately banished such thoughts to avoid falling into dependence on those things. I just tried to avoid the feelings. I went out with my girlfriend but I started thinking that with her I had never had sexual contact not on moral grounds but because I wasn’t interested in her at all from that point of view.
This made me upset. I tried some minimal physical contact with her, as take her hand and caress it, but I did not feel anything, while in the dream making the same gestures with a guy had taken me to strong excitation. Then I also thought of another thing, my friends play sports and they invited me many times to go swimming with them but I’ve never gone for the most diverse reasons, now I’m beginning to think that I do not want to go there because I mut avoid the fear of being in exciting situations. Apparently I told myself that I was straight and that I did not go because I had no time, but basically maybe I did not go just to avoid any possible confirmation about my being gay, what seems far from being evident, but at least it is a hypothesis that I don’t have put aside completely, or perhaps I see it even likely.
Now the problem is big, if it was that I was gay, it would not even be a big deal, but I do not want to give up what I’m, in the sense that yes, I may be gay being also Catholic and I have understand how to put the two things together. This is the big problem.
At the limit, even if it may seem paradoxical I would also be willing to put aside the idea of living sexually a story with a guy, I think it would not be so complicated, all I need is an affectionate friendship. Perhaps what I say may be completely contradicted by the facts, but I think I could live according to the rules of religion. I have read what you have published on “Gays and the Church”, but, excuse me for saying so, maybe you lack the ability to understand things from inside.
I try to follow the rules and so far I have not regretted it and would like to go on living even my gay feelings, if they are really gay, according to those rules. I do not want to sacrifice my values, things that are really important to me that give me certainty and I do not want to live with a foot in both camps, in the sense of playing with the sacraments, to me is a serious matter.
I tell you sincerely that the idea of being gay upsets me a bit, I understand who I am and what I want but I want to keep my principles intact as I have done so far, as far as possible. I often wonder if there may be other guys like me who would also be willing a form of friendship without sex with another guy or if it’s just my imagination. Do what you want of this message, that is, if you think it may be published, publish it, or answer in private.
Bye and thank you for everything.
I read your mail. I do not run to conclusions because you’ve come to the conclusions yourself. You are stating assumptions about how to reconcile being gay with your essential moral choices and you seem to have actually rejected the idea of being gay for what the word means in practice, and to transpose everything on a level of a close friendship.
Frankly, even if it was (as you say) that you found a guy willing to sacrifice his sexuality to its moral principles (very theoretical hypothesis) or better to the moral principles of his boyfriend (a hypothesis which I think frankly fiction), it’s very likely that later this kind of relationship will degenerate into a very different thing and so gay sexuality would end up to be mixed with a deep guilt very difficult to remove. You told me you don’t like to keep a foot in both camps, but the hypothesis of a close friendship with a gay guy seems very much like a bridge idea that should let you go towards acceptance of gay sexuality, even if you think that it’s a credible hypothesis. Loving friendship without sex with a guy, for a gay guy, is only possible, if it really is, with a straight guy and frankly
I would ask how your intentions to remain faithful to your principles could stand in front of a real (not hypothetical) affectionate and loving friendship with another gay guy. Seen from outside your behaviors suggest a form of self-repression of gay sexuality that is, for a gay guy, just the sexuality. I can’t asses you motivations because I see them from outside, but I’m very perplexed.
I understand to a certain extent the reasons related to the idea of fidelity to the moral thought of the church, and I wonder to what extent your moral judgment really comes to condemn gay sexuality. Frankly, it seems very unlikely that a guy, maybe gay as you are, can really think that “his” sexuality is a form of pathological deviance. In practice beyond the moral given from outside there’s the internal morality and this internal morality can’t at all condemn being gay as depravity.