a priest's musings on the journey

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

why some glbtq people decide not to come out

It's sad, unbelieveable really, that in 21st century America many gay people remain afraid or unable to live their lives openly and freely- not only in the church, but also in society. Gays and lesbians who live in places where there is greater tolerance, acceptance, and protection of civil liberties often lose touch with what life is like for their peers who live in more hostile areas. These closted men and women are often co-erced, forced, or guilted into coming out- and tragically are sometimes outed (a most disgraceful act especially when done by another gay person.) But the sad truth is that there are some gay people who can not and should not come out- and their decision to protect themselves and the ones they love should be honored, and those who are out should be present with those in the closet with compassion, understanding, and respect until that person knows its the right and safe time and palce to be fully known.

There are gay priests (and bishops) who would be unemployed if they were out- (the dicoeses of Virginia, South Carolina, Quincy, Fort Worth, and Pittsburgh come to mind) not to mention the subject of the vouyersitic, predatory media eager for its next victim to exploit. Is it fair for a faithful priest to be forced to decide between his/her calling to serve God as a priest and his/her sexual orientation? No, but that's the reality for many. There are gay parents who would lose all contact with their children, and gay children who risk being outcasts in their own families if they came out. Is it just to make a father choose between his son and his lover? No, but judges force this decision all of the time. There are gay people who would be openly ridiculed at least, and assaulted or even killed at worst if they were out in their communities. It's easy for those on the other side to judge the ones in the closet and advise them to just leave their communities and judging families- but it ain't always as simple as that. No one wants to be rejected by those they love, and sometimes it just hurts less to hide one's sexuality so that one can feel the love and 'acceptance' that one needs. It's just too scary for some people to walk away from those who would reject them if they knew the turth; it takes a courage and a strength they don't have. Perhaps, in time and with God's grace, those in the closet will be able to come out, and I even pray be fully accepted. Until then, we should support others where they are, and love them, instead of judging them for not making the choices that we would make.

Philo once said, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Living in the closet is a struggle. It often feels like one is trapped in a prison. One lives in constant fear of being found out- be kind to those who live with such oppression. One day they will come out; one day they will find liberation, peace, and acceptance. Only they know when that day is- and only they can choose when to leave the closet. Until then, instead of attacking them and adding to their pain by judging them as "abusers of Christ" who "refuse to walk in the Light"- it might be better to encourage them, support them, and wlak with them until they are able to take the hand of the loving Christ, or the hand of a beloved friend, and walk into the glorious freedom of the sons and daughters of God.
:: posted by Padre Rob+, 12:11 PM


Oh, so what you are saying is a majority of the Schismatics are in the closet?!?

Better yet to be outed to preserve the Church!!

I see a person who should NOT have become a priest with MAJOR emotional issues.


Oh but then I'm just judging again, as someone who was bashed for who they are, not to the point of Matthiew Sheppard, because I'm still alive.

You probably won't post this, but it's just something to think about.

We all have reasons why we behave the ways we do.

And for me, staying in the closet is a hotbed issue that can't be addressed by copping out on what GOD made you to be.
Blogger David G., at 11:14 AM  

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