Reconciliation: Being pansexual and Catholic
Because of the nature of this post, the author has chosen to stay anonymous.
I learned the Our Father prayer before I learned my multiplication tables. My house was, and still is filled with books about saints. Rosaries can be found in every drawer you open. I loved being Catholic, it was a warm and caring community and I felt like I belonged. But when I turned 14, things started changing. I realized that I wasn’t only attracted to boys, and it tore me apart. How could I, the good Catholic girl, have sexual and romantic feelings for a girl? How could I, a girl who went to Church and knew the commandments by heart, be attracted to more than one gender? It took me 2 years to even try to talk about the fact I didn’t solely have crushes on guys. I thought something was wrong with me, that I was one of “those gays” my religion teacher described. In my own eyes, I was not normal.
Soon, I entered a school where people openly expressed their sexuality. Girls kissed their girlfriends in the hall, guys talked about Grindr. And boy did it scare me even more. Did they know? Could they tell I was hiding something? Could they tell I used to be against “their kind?”
One night at a party with girls of different sexualities, I blurted it out, “I’m bi.” I had finally let out what I had kept inside for two years. The girls I was with were all stunned for a few seconds, but quickly hugged me in one of those massive drunk-girl-hugs as I started sobbing. The next morning, I went to school knowing that at least 15 people knew who I really was.
It got easier after that, but it still felt strange to go to church. I would see a cute girl and not only acknowledge she was cute, but feel something far deeper. It still felt weird telling people. I cried my eyes out telling my now ex boyfriend, being so absolutely terrified he would leave because I wasn’t straight. But that drunk night was the catalyst that started my personal journey of acceptance.
I started to realize I was more than who I was attracted to. Yes, I am pansexual (the label I found that fits me the best), but I am also a musician, a friend, a shoulder to cry on, and a writer. I am also Catholic. It used to be impossible to reconcile the two, they were warring factions within me, but now they live peacefully in one body. My sexuality and the journey through it has taught me more about kindness than the Bible ever did. I hope my sexuality will teach others that those in the LGBTQA+ community are more than just their labels. If you know someone who is part of the community and is also religious, have a chat with them about their struggles. If you are Catholic, or of any other religion that does not support the LGBTQA+ community, take a moment to think about whether the person, who is your friend perhaps, is more important than your beliefs. If you're like me and are religious and gay, know that it is okay to be both, that both these aspects of you are valid.
I still go to Church every Sunday, and now if I see a cute girl or guy I simply know that I am admiring God’s creation and there is not one single thing wrong with that.