Through the Call to Action mailing list, I learned that Sister Margaret is seeking stories from lesbian Catholics to include in an anthology she’s putting together. After she told me that stories from bi-women were also welcome, I posted the call to an online bisexual community I belong to. I wish I could say I was surprised when someone responded to the post saying no GLBTQ person in their right mind would be part of an institution as “evil” as the Catholic Church, but I wasn’t surprised — just as I am not surprised when the Catholic Church calls homosexual desires / behavior / what-have-you “intrinsically evil” or says that those who support their GLBTQ loved ones are “participating in a grave evil.”
I didn’t participate in the minor flame war that followed except to say that for many people, their religion is just as much a part of their identity as their sexual or gender orientation, and that calling it “evil” is just as hurtful. There were several reasons I didn’t participate further, the main one being that my original post had nothing to do with the Catholic Church’s stance on issues, nor did it even mention whether I was Catholic. It was simply to raise awareness of an opportunity available to lesbian and bisexual Catholics — because we’re here, whether people like it or not. I also didn’t participate because I have little patience for Internet drama and the constant justification of who I am.
And yet, people on every side are always pressing for that justification. Besides being asked why I “bother” with an institution that will “never change,” I’ve also been asked about my “struggle” with being a bisexual Christian, (FYI: I HAVE no struggle regarding this; the only struggle is the one others project onto me) or “how” I can identify as both bisexual and Christian. To which my answer is simply, I do. Whether you have a problem with that really has nothing to do with me.
I know there are people who interpret my refusal to participate as a missed opportunity, or laziness, or an inability to defend myself. Really, it’s just that I’d rather expend my energy being the whole person God created me to be than to convince the world that my many “parts” can and do fit together.
Lacey Louwagie is a freelance writer and editor, feminist, and cradle Catholic. Her favorite topics of exploration are religion, spirituality, psychology, and sexuality. She’s a member of the CTA blog team and founder of a speculative fiction writers’ group. In addition to blogging here, she blogs about writing at LL Word.