I am 23 and struggling to come out of

I am 23 and struggling to come out of the closet. I come from a strict Catholic family, and went to a Catholic college. This summer, while doing some coursework to prepare for grad school, I was on my own for the first time ever in a new city. No Catholic friends, no family, just me.

The first Friday night I was there, I worked up the courage to go to a gay bar. I had a blast and hooked up with the hottest guy there. I thought to myself, "Wow is this how it all works? Great!" The next morning he left abruptly, giving me only an email address. I emailed him twice in the next week, the first time to see if he wanted to hang out, the second time when I realized he had left some belongings at my apartment. When he never responded, I shrugged it off.

The next weekend it was back to the bar. Not having as much luck this time, I ended up at a house party after the bars closed. I was having a good time, just chatting with people and work, school, life, etc. I ended up seeing the guy from last weekend there. Turns out he hadn't even given me his real name.

Fast forward a few weeks. I came out to a few of my close friends and my sister (all hardcore Catholics). They were mostly just shocked; wanted to know "how I became gay," etc. No condemnations, but not really affirmation either. Just - "we still love you but we can't condone what you are doing and we don't really understand it."

The next weekend, I end up at a different house party. By the end of the night I'm pretty wasted. Looking for the bathroom in a dark hall, I ended up falling down the stairs to the basement and breaking my ankle pretty badly. At the ER they told me I needed surgery, which took place in a few hours. I was in the hospital for 5 days before they discharged me. I ended up having to drop my class and come home; I came home two weeks ago.

Obviously I haven't been in a very good mood at home. I'm in crutches, I can't drive anywhere, I can't talk to any of my close friends about what I am going through, my plans for grad school are gonna be delayed by at least a year, I can't exercise, and I'm just not really a happy camper right now.

Yesterday my mom was driving me somewhere and started really coming after me about why I seemed so unhappy. Eventually she asked if I was "involved in homosexuality." To which I responded, "Yes, I'm gay and I'm leaving the Church."
At first she was angry, now she is just heartbroken. She cries all time and tells me how God has other plans for me, asks me if I had considered becoming a priest, do I want to be a woman, was I molested, etc. No, No, No! I

t's so hard. I am going through enough s*** in my life without having to deal with this. I feel so bad for putting her through all this pain, but I'm also trying to recover from all the guilt and brainwashing I went through as a gay adolescent. Which isn't made easier by initial encounters with "the gay culture." There was such much drugs and unhappiness.

I feel caught in the middle, struggling between a gay identity which I'm not sure will bring me happiness and a Catholic identity where I beat myself up for so many years, trying to change and be attracted to women, and failing.

It's a good thing the Dr. gave me so many refills on my vicodin. My leg doesn't hurt anymore, but it still takes away the pain.

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  • Be strong and try not to rely too much on the Vicodin. My bother developed an addiction to it after she broke her hip.

    You can make it through this difficult period. Counseling would probably help you a lot.

  • My uncle who is now in his 70's is gay and a life-long Catholic. He grew up in a different time and things were differnt with respect to coming out and stuff, but however he managed and coped he did so. I personally don't know if he stayed chaste as required by the Church but I will say he was one of the funniest and classiest men I know and whatever he did in his personal life was kept personal and will forever be between him and God. I would urge you not to leave the Church, but would caution you be aware of embracing the 'gay lifestyle' rather than adapting to your own lifestyle is the danger.

  • That is a difficult situation to be in, and the drugs hopefully will not become your crutch when your leg is healed. When you can, find a support group that will help you to vent some of the feelings you are having. Actually, your family seems like they will eventually get over their issues with your sexual orientation, sure it might bother them, but they did not dosown you right? So maybe eventually they will come to accept it!

  • My wife's family is Catholic, 7 kids and 2 are gay. The family is cool about it but the family's friends have ostracized them. It is sad to see, when religion creates hate instead of love. Who needs a belief system like that, I'd like to know.

  • Be strong... The situation you're going through is a difficult one. Try to console your mom, reassure her you love her.

    Most importantly, be careful with the Vicodin. Don't get lost in the drugs, that happens all to often.

    Good luck!

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