Monthly Archives: June 2011

I just met with my new shrink for the first time. When I told him I was Catholic, he went “Oh boy” — and said that he was, too, but that the Church’s teaching on homosexuality was something that he struggled with. He gave me a hard time when I described my same-sex attraction as “something wrong with me.” During the course of our 50 minutes, he also used the phrase “who you are” in reference to my SSA; and observed that it must cause me conflict to know that I can’t ever marry a man because “the Church says no.”

Responding the last part, I laughed and said, “That’s a funny way of putting it.” I won’t marry a man, but it’s not because “the Church says no.” In a sense, it’s not even because God says no. Even though both of those things are true. It’s because I’ve thought it through, and the idea of marrying a man makes no sense to me. It doesn’t square with anything that I know about the world. I can’t take the credit for this — I see the world the way I see it because my parents, and all of Catholic tradition, have taught me to think for myself.

That being said, he had a point. It’s not healthy for me to think of myself in terms of what’s wrong with me, and he’s right to steer me away from that kind of thinking. He also said that he isn’t planning to try to steer me towards accepting a homosexual relationship as a possibility. I believe him.

But, folks, same-sex attraction is something wrong with me. It’s not a wrongness that goes to the core of me, but it is a defect. If someone had never heard of homosexuality and I told them the things that go through my head when I see a good-looking guy, they’d say: You want to put your what in his where? It’s common sense. Gay sex makes about as much sense as eating chalk, and pica is still recognized as a disorder by the APA1. Last time I checked.

So. We’ll see how next week goes. Dissent aside, he also showed compassion, understanding, and a good amount of intuition. But if this guy tries to — as the saying goes — impose his value system on me, I’ll be taking my business elsewhere.

1 In case you didn’t feel like clicking the link: “Pica is a medical disorder characterized by an appetite for substances largely non-nutritive (e.g., metal, clay, coal, sand, dirt…ash, gum, lip balm, etc.” Makes me think of Isaiah: “Why spend your money for what is not food, your wages on what fails to satisfy?”