About queer people and the Church

A hot topic

I realize that this is a controversial question. In both camps there are people who refuse to imagine that a dialogue is possible. But don’t panic.

This page is my personal opinion, which is obviously not in direct harmony with the current official teachings of the Catholic Church. But until now I have not been excommunicated, and I believe that my opinion can help the Church on her synodal journey of seeking what is good and true.

Linguistic side note: I prefer the word “queer” over “LGBT”. The Wikipedia article explains it well. “Queer” is a beautiful word, while “LGBT” is a boring acronym that doesn’t even cover things correctly, and last but not least, even after years of talking about it I still must concentrate each time I pronounce or spell it.

queer

An general word for humans with a sexual extraordinarity.

Originally meaning “strange” or “peculiar”, queer came to be used pejoratively against those with same-sex desires or relationships in the late 19th century. Beginning in the late 1980s, queer activists began to reclaim the word as a deliberately provocative and politically radical alternative to the more assimilationist branches of the LGBT community.

The term “disorder” needs clarification, I have a separate page for it: About sexual disorders.

Are both camps okay with the following definitions?

heterosexuality

The (normal) sexual orientation of a human feeling sexually attracted by other humans of the opposite sex.

homosexuality

The sexual orientation of a human feeling sexually attracted by other humans of same sex.

bisexuality

The sexual orientation of a human feeling sexually attracted by other humans of both sexes.

transgender

The fact of having a sexual identity that differs from your birth sex.

In other words, either a man who would prefer to be a woman, or a woman who would prefer to be a man.

sexual orientation

An enduring pattern of emotional, romantic and sexual attractions developed as the result of a complex interplay of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences.

sexual identity

How one thinks of oneself in terms of to whom one feels sexually attracted.

cisgender

The fact of having a sexual identity that matches your birth sex.

birth sex

The sex that has been assigned to you when you were born.

homophobia

A range of negative attitudes and feelings like contempt, aversion, hatred or antipathy toward humans who are identified or perceived as being homosexual.

It is often expanded to otherwise queer people (bisexual and transgender).

Homophobia can cause stigmatization and discrimination. Homophobia is based on ignorance, irrational fear and obsolete religious beliefs.

sexual polarization

The natural differences between men and women.

Sexuality means polarization

Humans are part of the living beings that reproduce sexually. You need a male and a female to come together in order to get a child. Nature has given our species the gift of enjoying sexuality in both body and spirit.

We cannot teach children that there is no difference between men and women. sexual polarization is a natural law. We cannot deny sexual polarization as a normal part of humanity and a natural requirement for our reproduction.

This law won’t change even when role distribution of sexes becomes more diversified with increasing complexity of a society.

This law won’t change even when medical research finds surprising ways to work around it and to discover the joy of revolting against nature.

Artificial reproduction

There are technological variants of the natural reproduction process. Most of these were developed to help couples who cannot have children the natural way. We can, at least theoretically, imagine to mass-produce human beings for industrial purposes.

Homosexuality

I have a separate page on About homosexuality.

Transgender people

Transgender sexuality is fundamentally different from homosexuality. The extraordinary thing with transgender people is the sexual identity, not the orientation.

There are two classes of transgender people: those who long for a permanent transition seeking medical assistance, and those who don’t.

Are there known cases of people who permanently seeks transitions to the other gender using medical assistance including hormone replacement therapy and other sex reassignment therapies, might later in their life suffer from side effects that might be more problematic than the original problem. That makes sense because our biological sex has deep influences on our life, our brain, our mental development. This development starts already in the womb. The fruits of this development cannot be changed at will without causing serious other problems.

TODO: Find examples of transgender people who got happy and satisfied only after a permanent change of identity, and who remained happy and satisfied until the end of their days.

Condemnation of homosexuality predates Abrahamic religions

“In cultures influenced by Abrahamic religions, the law and the church established sodomy as a transgression against divine law or a crime against nature. The condemnation of anal sex between males, however, predates Christian belief. It was frequent in ancient Greece; “unnatural” can be traced back to Plato.” (Wikipedia)

Not only Abrahamic religions, but also e.g. the Sowjet regime ignored human rights of queer people. [2021-09 Inimesed, keda polnud]

Many humans are not ready to recognize same-sex marriage. Obviously because they fear that the partners might have sex together and because they find the mere idea disgusting. This feeling is not caused by religion. Also many non-religious people find it disgusting to see two men kissing each other.

Can you “heal” queerness?

Is sexual extraordinarity something definitive? Is it something that you must “learn to accept” and “manage”? Or can you “heal” it and become “normal”? I believe that both possibilities exist. Our health care system should provide support in both directions: you may be extraordinary and want to become heterosexual, or you may want to remain extraordinary and get respected as such by other people. In both cases you may need professional help.

There are people who were homosexual and then managed to reorientate. They married a partner of opposite sex and lived happy ever after until their end.

Even when you fail or refuse to reorientate and remain without biological children during your life on Earth: there is more to life than having children.

My message to my fellow Christians

The fact that something is disgusting doesn’t give me the right to conclude that queerness is a sin. I am not God, but I read in the Gospel that Jesus calls us to love our fellow humans. And he does not add that we should exclude those with a different sexual orientation. We do not need to find ways to “save” them from their “sin”. Leave the job of saving them –if needed– to God.

Let us differentiate between queerness and certain negative effects that happen when people discuss about these topics: for example pornography, arrogance, hateful speech or denial of sexual polarization.

Unfortunately many leaders of Jewish religion and its derivatives, Christianity and Islam, still stigmatize homosexuality as something bad. I think that it is time to review our religious teachings.

My message to queer people

The belief that homosexuality –or the fact of accepting it and living accordingly– is a sin has grown during thousands of years, it has deep roots. Changing this belief needs time. Cultures don’t change quickly. But we are on our way. The Church has learned already. Homosexuality as such is no longer a sin for the Roman Catholic church. I believe that it won’t take very long –only a few generations– until queer people can live a honoured and peaceful social life and that they can marry in order to form an oikos with the blessing of the Church.

Be careful when using the word homophobia. As a queer person you face miscellaneous problems in daily life because you are extraordinary. These problems are similar to the problems of left-handed people. Don’t expect other people to become left-handed just because it helps you to feel better. Accept your queerness as extraordinary and be grateful for it.

My message to everybody

I find the mere idea of having erotic acts with another man disgusting. I don’t plan to “learn” that it isn’t. I guess that most heterosexual men feel similar. But I also find Escargots de Bourgogne disgusting. And if I would be forced to choose between eating a couple of Escargots and being naked in bed with a homosexual man for one hour, I would choose the latter.

Let’s acknowledge that humanity had no scientific understanding about homosexuality until some generations ago. Let’s acknowledge that in ancient times, people were afraid of this phenomenon. And let’s acknowledge that some parts of our Holy Scriptures reflect that fear.

But let’s also get realistic. Human science has explained homosexuality well enough. We cannot call it a disease. Not even a disorder. It is not more particular than being a twin, being left-handed or having read hair. Let’s get rid of ancient beliefs that have become obsolete.

TODO: