When I became Catholic in 1998, as a college sophomore, I didn't know any other gay Christians. I'd been raised in a kind of pointillist Reform Judaism, almost entirely protected from homophobia; when I realized I was gay it was, if anything, a relief. I thought I finally had an explanation for the persistent sense of difference I'd felt since early childhood. This sheltered upbringing may help explain my sunny undergraduate confidence that even though I knew of literally nobody else who had ever tried to be both unashamedly gay and obediently Catholic, I was totally going to do it. No problem, guys, I got this.
Things look different now. I hope I've learned a few things about the dangers of sophomoric self-confidence: There are times when my relationship with the Catholic Church feels a lot like Margaret Atwood's ferocious little poem,
You fit into me
like a hook into an eye
a fish hook
an open eye
And I've met many other gay or queer or same-sex-attracted Christians, in all flavors of Christianity. I have several friends in same-sex marriages now, including one who had an Episcopalian church wedding with all the trimmings. I also have many friends who, like me, are trying to live in accordance with the historical Christian teaching on chastity, including its prohibition on sex between men or between women. We disagree (sometimes sharply) among ourselves on the best response to the growing cultural acceptance and political success of gay marriage; but before politics and even before culture, our response must be personal.