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  • Writer's pictureMarco Casanova

You’re not Gay. You’re a Gift.

Homosexuality is symptomatic of a wound. Whenever I experience same-sex attraction, I connect with a wound related to masculine (in)adequacy. I give that wound my healing attention. Aware and unashamed of occasional homosexual feelings, I’m able to reinterpret them as “emerging from the legitimate need for same-sex intimacy” (J. Nicolosi). I need male intimacy. I’m grateful for my guy friends.


I’m still vulnerable (Latin “vulnera” meaning “wound”) to homosexual feelings, even though I’m a married man. Marriage isn’t a trophy for “victorious ones.” I own this wound, but its presence doesn’t determine my identity or orientation. And I am grateful that this wound is clean and slowly closing as I become more solid.

 

Clear direction


The wounds we bear don’t define the true orientation (direction) of our sexual humanity. I’m not programmed to be homosexual; clearly, my body’s design says otherwise. Same-sex eroticism doesn’t align with my nature. Here the virtue of chastity grounds me. Deeper than merely steering clear of overt sexual sin, chastity involves the “successful integration” of my male personhood: body, thoughts and actions. “The chaste person is pure, yet earthy and aware” of his potential divides (LW Guidebook, p. 56).


Though chaste in my physical boundaries, I can still be unchaste in emotional ones.


Years ago, I found myself in an emotionally dependent relationship. My unchecked homosexual feelings fueled mixed motives towards a particular man. I wasn’t honest about this mixture, and it led to an enmeshed bond that had to be broken. I lost a friend because of sin: emotional unchastity.


This makes me think of “Side-B people” who are in “chaste couplings.” These “gay-celibate friendships,” referred to often in Revoice and other organizations, trouble me. They stem from a naive acceptance of one’s homosexuality that can lead to immaturity and indignities toward friends. Emotional dependency can mask as “holy friendship”; it sows confusion, resentment and hurt.


When vulnerable to mixed motivation, we need to be honest and confess it. We can then grow through immaturity by attending to the psychological stuff behind our homoerotic desires.


Stepping into the gift


I like John Paul II’s language of “gift” as it relates to our sexual humanity. The homosexual wound can threaten the maturing of this gift, but Jesus conquered death to reclaim what is good and true about me. He wants to see my masculine potency mature and bear fruit.


What does it mean to step into the gift? Must you cultivate opposite-sex dating as to be a faithful disciple? No. But owning one’s sexual gift and pursuing that gift in good friendship with the other may naturally rouse affection for her.


I needed provocation to enter the world of women as an eligible male partner. I realized the idolatry of romantic love; its distortion, however, did not give me a pass from the edict of Eden. The antidote to consumer-driven “straight” idolatry is not celibacy but true chastity. Through cultivating that essential virtue, one can find the narrow way to knowing and loving the other.


When I met my wife, I didn’t feel “man-enough” for her. My fears sometimes increased same-sex temptation. But her reciprocal love melted fears and helped heal the wound. Women have that effect on us men! Ordered relationships reconfirm the gift of both parties. The other helps us to become who we are.


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