Dear Dr. Darcy:
I’m 20 years old and I’m really struggling. I’m a gay man, I come from a small town in Middle America and my parents – and I, are very observant Christians. I’m struggling with who I am, who I’m going to be, what my life will look like, and I’m feeling hopeless. I can’t get married, I can’t give in to my desires, I can’t enter into a loving relationship and I can’t have a family. In essence, to meet any of my interpersonal needs, I would be in direct violation of my religious beliefs and my moral principles. I’m feeling flooded with emotions, mostly negative ones and I’m beginning to question whether I should depart this world.
You are in a quandary, my friend. I can hear your pain. You’re in a moment of your life’s journey where everything you hold dear is in contradiction. You’re clear about your sexual orientation, and clear that it stands in defiance of your religious beliefs. They call moments like this an existential crisis. Most highly cerebral people experience at least one in their lifetime. But, to be clear, it is a crisis – and a crisis, by definition, is time-limited. It cannot sustain itself. It is a moment. And it will pass. To act on it as you implied above would be a permanent solution to a temporary feeling.
I suggest that you breathe through this moment. And I suggest that you seek out the company of those who have experienced this particular dilemma and who have come out the other side. One such person is a young man named Matthew Vines. His eloquent explanation of this controversy will appeal to your smarts. And his respectful and thoughtful research will allow you to hear his words without becoming defensive of your religious beliefs. I’ll link to his (very long) video below.
There is no snarky, quick-solve response appropriate to your situation, Friend, and I won’t insult your intelligence by attempting one. Use the same research skills that you used to find me – and find yourself religious scholars who are gay, so that you can express your fears and exhaust every debate needed to enable you to breathe in your own skin. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help.
Writer's Stats: Male, homosexual.