I wish I could tell you why and how it hurts,
this concept of sin you believe in
and this inability to change who I am.
I don't always have a thesaurus in my pocket
to make it easier for you to understand.
My language, my emotion, is multi-faceted -
a complicated storm pattern,
a labyrinthine viewfinder.
I hear you say all the ways in which you love me,
that you'll treat me with the utmost respect
because after all, you only want what's best.
It's just - you can't call it holy,
you can't call it marriage
if that was ever in my future.
You're proud that you've become an ally,
but pardon me if I'm skeptical,
if I question why you're still clinging on to doctrines
that never made many of us safe.
I was taught in Sunday School
that attraction and desires like mine
are completely normal until I act on them,
until I simply want to move and breathe
and feel free in my body like anybody else.
And once I do, once I commit those acts,
they are deemed against God's plan:
"contrary to natural law",
"can under no circumstances be approved".
And yet, you wonder why I've strayed,
why I believe in no higher powers now.
You have the nerve to ask if I really think I'm better off.
Of course I am, without a doubt.
Quotations are directly from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I grew up Catholic and even thought I was going to be a theologian at one point. I believe the teachings of the Church will not change in my lifetime, no matter how many progressive people there are, or how much compassion leaders have when approaching the LGBTQ+ community. When I was involved with my local church, I had a few close friends who, despite me being very vocal when I came out, never treated me differently or pulled me aside, and though I don't know their personal thoughts about me, their care for me never changed. I'm grateful for that, because that's not always the case. I've also run into several people who remained part of the faith despite disagreeing with certain aspects of the Church's teachings, so you could say that actions matter most. As long as someone don't openly judge or discriminate. I still view the teachings as discriminatory though, or hypocritical at least, the confusion and pressure of someone being told God loves them, that they don't have to "change", they just have to not act on their desires and instead, withhold a part of themselves to work toward salvation. It's no wonder why some would struggle with shame and confusion in trying to understand their identity. The Church advocates for LGBTQ+ people to remain chaste, because once that attraction is acted upon, it's seen as a sin. And that's such an insult to our mere existence. While the Church doesn't appear to outright support or initiate conversion therapy, and leaders have expressed concerns over the practices, there is still discrimination, especially toward nonbinary people. There seems to be a lack of dialogue in general between church leaders about gender diversity. Such a key part of Catholicism is believing it to be the one true faith, that all other faiths are flawed and man-made, and as a result, the doctrine hasn't been updated due to history and tradition. I've found many other Christian sectors to be surprisingly inclusive though, and some branches of particular faiths have adapted their theology and evolved. I never really knew that was possible and though I'm atheist, it brings me hope that there are supportive faith communities growing.