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This is a moderated blog is a project of the Ruth Institute. Have a story to share? We're listening.
Dear Dr. Morse,
My name is Alicia. When I looked at the categories on your website, the one I wanted to select was "gay and lesbian lifestyle" refugee -- except in a peculiar way [Note from editor: Alicia is referring to the 12 Survivors of the Sexual Revolution, located here]. However, I've never had a lesbian relationship, and I've never been tempted to go out and get a girlfriend. It is also important for you to know that I have Asperger’s and that I am a Catholic convert.
I became active with an online community known as the Xena Online Community (XOC). It is for people who are fans of the Xena Warrior Princess TV series. The sexuality of the people on the board wasn't even a factor at first. The XOC had a large lesbian population but that wasn't the board's defining characteristic, and we had straight women and guys as well. Over time, the board became more skewed toward lesbian and the culture seemed to become more dysfunctional. I had many friendships that eventually fell apart.
That's my first problem when it comes to the marriage issue today. I don't know how to talk about it. I understand the way God's gift of sexuality works, I completely agree with the Church's teaching. I have done a lot of research but people on the XOC still called me a mindless sheep. That was actually where I ran into my first huge political struggle. It was right around the time the protect marriage amendment in Arizona went up for vote. At the beginning, the XOC people were pretty supportive of everyone's faith, but then people started posting the stuff about Christians being hateful. The militant lesbians of the XOC viewed the Xena board as their safe haven, and minorities like Christians were no longer welcome. That hurt, especially since the rules had changed on me without me knowing it. I've had a lot of friends, even Christian friends, post things in the last few days to the effect that Christians need to love people who identify as gay and lesbian before we do anything else. It hurts. I scream inside that I tried to do that, and they rejected me.
My first question: how do I cope with the memories of lost friendships? There are several people I used to be extremely close to who would now say that they hate me and I have no idea how much responsibility I bear.
My second question: how should I handle such situations in the future? The XOC was the first time in my life I'd felt accepted. The only advice I can get is "state your view charitably and agree to disagree." I guess that works in casual friendships, but it doesn't help much if your best friend just invited you to Gay Pride (completely out of the blue) and then took great offense when you said you couldn't go. The advice I usually get is "she shouldn't be your best friend, you should have other Christians" -- and I can't say anything out loud, but I always think that I tried to make best friends with other Christians and they rejected me. I don't think I can be effective in evangelizing unless I figure some of it out. If I make friends with someone, I give that person my whole self -- something I've had people tell me is a mistake.
Finally, a friend told me once that she didn't have a problem with me being Catholic, but that she had a problem with me refusing to give her blessing to her new same-sex relationship, then cited a couple of other Christians who'd just encouraged them. It seems like the world is exhorting us to keep our beliefs but be more loving in our expressions (whatever that means), and applauding "liberal" Christians who compromise.
I am looking for pastoral support on the questions outlined above. I would be honored to join the Ruth community, and I'm desperate for a spiritual director / pastoral support / resources on the emotional resonance of the marriage issue from the perspective from the outside.
Submitted on July 7, 2015.
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