I am not normal.
I don’t remember the exact words the Catechism of the Catholic Church uses in describing homosexuals (and in my case, bisexual). I’ve mentioned, before, however, that I see the word “normal” from a mathematical standpoint and I can understand the exact nature of normalcy. Normal has an exact definition and I’m not offended when I hear that I’m not normal. Normal has everything to do with the distribution curve of humanity – breaking people into numeric descriptions that yields a data point on a curve and seeing that the bulk of that curve lies within a standard deviation of the data. It has a quality to it that expresses a certain flavor of uniqueness. I would lie outside that “bulk” of the curve. That is EASY to embrace – I am unique and my sexuality is unique.
That is the more glaring understanding of how Christianity and Catholicism sees alternative sexualities. Specifically, it’s not that one man loving another man is a sin, because that is the reflection of God’s love for all humanity. No, this judgment and assessment is focused on the homosexual act – the act of one man lying down with another man. There are a few references in the Bible that addresses this behavior – among many other behaviors. So, I can grasp and see where many of the opinions originate from the Christian community.
Lately, however, I have received more followers to my blog that are Christian. I have several people that are Catholic following me, as well. Having been raised in a Catholic home, I have an understanding of the….hmmm…for lack of a better phrase…an understanding of the mentality that goes on from the Christian community with respect to alternative sexualities. I have mentioned in previous posts, that I had a decent grasp of the apologetics of Catholicism at one point in my life. I read the Catechism, the Bible, and various Catholic literature on a regular basis. So, I can see and understand some of the reasoning that goes on in that community. But I am always amazed that anyone from the Christian community would have anything to do with me – I am the abomination that they have learned.
Recently, I mentioned that I had an old friend that I almost revealed my sexuality. It was almost a scary moment. Well,when she and I were much closer as friends, I had a suspicion she might be Catholic, although it was never discussed – mostly because I was immature and made rash assumptions without ever knowing facts. During our recent conversation, however, she had mentioned she was Catholic but still supported LGBT rights. She had several friends that had come out to her before, but she had taken her father’s understanding of sexuality because of her friends’ sexualities – that God loves us all and that loving someone is an example of His love. She also mentioned that her dad had expressed that God doesn’t make mistakes, so being born a certain sexuality doesn’t seem fair that they couldn’t love someone based on their birth. Of course, hearing this almost pushed me over the edge, because I had a lot of respect for her dad too.
But there is something else that stands out in my head from what I have learned about Catholic theology: Although God does make some of us with an “abnormal” (based on my definition of “normal”) sexuality, He still has rules for how we express sexual love – that it should only be expressed monogamously among a man and a woman who are married to each other. The idea that someone has been born as bisexual does not relieve him or her of this responsibility; this person has a special cross to bare (Side note: I can’t remember if I should be using bare or bear…I’m running into this a lot in my writing, lately…and it’s beginning to piss me off).
That seems like a wide river to cross as I am now in the midst of a failed marriage. Naturally, I have questions about what direction to take my life and whether or not I should pursue another relationship sometime in the future. I certainly don’t believe a relationship would serve me in the best way in the immediacy, but I am curious about that possibility in the future. I fluctuate in my sexuality too -What if I find another woman that I love? What if this is the springboard that brings Stephanie out? What if I fall in love with a man? Or, maybe this is the time I give everything about myself up and hand myself over to God?
This concept of a Higher Power has been a struggle of mine for quite some time, as many of you are aware. I have not read my Bible in years, but for some reason, on a whim, I brought it with me on this time I am away for work. And last night I read it. I opened it up to Psalm 62. I have taken comfort in this particular Psalm before and it has been recommended to me from a priest before. I went to bed last night and read it before sleeping and I can’t really explain what pulled me in to read it. I am at a crossroads in my life, again, and I have rarely approached my life without deep thought (A predisposition to my anxiety, obviously). But I read something last night that pulled me into this thinking.
I follow a blogger that I really find inspiring. I won’t mention her name or cite the post of hers I read, because I have not asked for permission, but she wrote something yesterday that got me to thinking. She is “pro-life” and so am I. I don’t want to get into a debate about the topic, other than to say her post really got me thinking about how much I have pulled away from my faith. It made me question myself, again. In many ways, I feel ‘right’ about the part of my being that is Stephanie, but there is another part of my being that tells me I’m not on the right path in life at all. There are times when I miss the faith in which I was raised, but there are other times when I feel like being bisexual, being Stephanie, being who I feel I am makes more sense. And then there are times when I look at life through the lenses of science and I question the reality of my life and what it means to me.
“Trust in God” is a tough piece of advice for me, because the reality for me is that I don’t trust God. But it is this piece of advice that is suggested time and time again by priests, family, friends and others that have a strong belief in God. And as a Catholic, I have not done Lent this year or in recent years…
And now, I wonder if I might be backtracking on myself – not a good place for my mind to be. It makes me wonder what is next for me. It has me questioning if I have been using sexuality as a means to hide my own personal responsibilities in life. Am I a scared little boy unable to handle life? Or am I a woman coming into her own and this is the natural process that has to occur? Or worse, like alcoholism, have I been using my sexuality as a means to achieve some short-lived, superficial happiness based on some mental defect? Is this simply a manifestation of a disturbed mind?
These are my thoughts this morning, as I wake and have a cup of coffee and I prepare to work in one of the most male-driven, masculine-based industries known – drilling for oil.