I’m Catholic and LGBT

Cal State LA student tries to keep his religious views, moral views, and political views all separate

Interview with Alonzo, who is studying theatre, took place outside King Hall at Cal State LA on March 18, 2019.

Do you consider yourself religious?

Alonzo: Yes, I’m Catholic. It’s not like praying 24/7 or anything, but I consider myself religious and I go to Mass with my family at the cathedral when I’m home in San Jose. My mom actually works at the cathedral. As member of the LGBT community, it might seem weird, but I’ve never had anything but positive experiences growing up with religion and being Catholic. I just keep it all separate: my religious views, my moral views, and my political views. My experience and what I believe in, I just like to keep it separate. I’m a strong believer of what I believe in, no matter what it is, even if it does contradict what I believe or what I follow in another category.

Alonzo is studying theatre at Cal State LA. (image: Mary Rose/California Catholic Daily)

How do you strongly believe things that contradict?

Alonzo: Okay, if I want to be very specific with an example, let’s go to abortion. In religious standpoint a lot of people will tend to believe that it’s immoral, that you are killing a life of something that’s being born from another human being and that’s a gift from God. Personally for me, the experiences especially of those who got pregnant at sixteen, like unplanned pregnancies, and marginalized groups, who have been oppressed by society and they don’t have the means or funds to have the child – I believe they should have the option to abort the child.

If it comes from an abusive standpoint where they’ve been sexually assaulted, I believe that they should have the option to abort the child because that’s something of a violation of human nature that no one asked for. That’s what I’m talking about in the contradiction of where there’s one stance of what some may believe but then there’s the other part where my personal morality and then politics may be kind of aligned. If we’re talking about LGBT issues, again the religious standpoint maybe against, but politically some may, some may not. Personally for me and my own experience, and with a bias, because I’m gay, I believe that gay marriage should be legalized and should not have a negative connotation. But I also have a strong faith because of my Catholic Church.

When you say religion views LGBT negatively, what do you mean?

Alonzo: I’m speaking in the sense of what is presented in media, because media is also a reflection of our own people and our own society. Attention when it comes to religion and gay media tends to be negative, a lot. Well, only one group comes to mind that has a strong negative view toward them, but for the most part it’s just a lot of negative connotations between the two. I say tends, but not always, given my own experience with my own Catholic Church: they never tried to convert me to conversion therapy, they never tried to use religion against me, it was always very nurturing and very loving.

Students crossing Union Plaza and leaving University. (image: Mary Rose/California Catholic Daily)

I’m just saying from the standpoint of what’s presented in the media, how it comes with a strong bias, and from what we’re taught. What I’m taught, at least from society, or from other people, or other people’s experiences, is like: oh, these groups of people experience that these other people hate me because x y and z. Or this group of people, in the same boat as I, has experienced this negative experience whether it’s through this church or through this group of people from the church. That’s what I’m learning about these groups of people from religion.

What do you mean by “hate”? Isn’t it awfully judgmental to accuse someone of something internal?

Alonzo: Hate means, if we’re speaking in the sense of one group superior over another group, it’s more of the oppressive discrimination towards them. That’s what I was alluding to with the hate comment. Turning “hate” to “discrimination” or “oppressive” is more specific. And also because of media, where they want the most attention for a headline, they tend to shorten it or change the terms so it can fluctuate between hate, discrimination, oppression, marginalized – anything within that simile of those terms. Those terms get tossed in and out and they don’t necessarily mean what they meant. Which is confusing, because then people might think, oh these groups of people are discriminating against this group of people but there’s no sign of evidence other than everyone going to a news media outlet with with this religious cake catering group that was refusing to cater to this LGBT couple. And that’s a distinct example of discrimination or oppression because because they said no, because you are gay.

And then Westboro Baptists, that’s the strongest example, that showcase themselves into the media where they’re a sign of protest using the First Amendment. Going to spaces that are meant to be safe havens for LGBT individuals is not in the realms of hate or discrimination because they’re not crossing that boundary, but people may view it that way because they’re intruding on space that’s not theirs that is a safe haven for these individuals.

Have you ever been a victim of hate?

Alonzo: From religion, never, only because I grew up in a loving, loving environment from the church itself. But, in general, yes I have. In the sense of, I may be walking by myself and I may not experience it, but the only time I’ve experienced some sort of hate, or just I have to be on my toes because of who I am as an individual, is when I will be holding my partner’s hand in public and then the attitude of the surrounding individuals will be different where they’ll look at me different. I’ve almost been run over by a car while holding my other person’s hand and I’ve been followed by a group of boys in a car. We were walking side by side on the sidewalk and as soon as we walked away they like immediately stopped. So those are the kind of experiences I’ve experienced with being gay in the sense of like hate discrimination or oppression in that matter.

Do you believe the different places we go after death depending on our lives?

Alonzo: What I’ve been taught growing up, especially religious, is to be a good person. If you’re able to help somebody, help them. Just do everything that revolves around helping someone else, doing good for society, impacting someone’s life in a positive way. That will reflect and  maybe come back to you in a different matter. It may lead you up to heaven or wherever – to the afterlife, to a good place.

California Catholic Daily exclusive by Mary Rose.

 

Comments

  1. Francis Delara says

    Where to start !

    Repent, sincerely.
    Find a Tradition-oriented Catholic priest and go to confession.
    Receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.
    Firmly resolve to leave “the life”.
    Pray the daily Rosary, without fail.
    Pray the Consecration to the Sacred Heart every day, without fail

  2. anonymous says

    Pray for Alonzo in his confusion. His confusion is not surprising in light of growing up in the Diocese of San Jose, a cathedral parishioner, where his mother works. His local Church failed to offer him truth and help with his same-sex attraction. The Diocese of San Jose does not deal with homosexual clergy or lesbian Catholic school principals. (In fact, they state that the current crisis has nothing to do with homosexuality, even though the vast majority of offenses are homosexual in nature.) They celebrate the LGBTQ lifestyle with special Masses and prohibit Courage from ministering compassionately to those bearing same-sex attractions. Pray for Alonzo and all.

    • Your Fellow Catholic says

      He’s not confused. He knows that God loves him unconditionally.

      • Anonymous says

        He seems to be confused about sin and the sinfulness of homosexual acts. He’s not alone in the Church in being confused about that. Fr. James Martin is another one who is similarly confused.

      • God doesn’t love sin. Why is that so hard for homosexual propagandists to understand?

        He does seem to be confused about truth. You see, understanding the truth means understanding that God isn’t okay with everything anyone does.

        But whatever…. we’re so enlightened now that all we need to do is say God loves everyone unconditionally and that trumps any and every argument about anything. God loves you so do whatever you feel like doing. That’s modern Christianity.

        • Your Fellow Catholic says

          It can be difficult to understand just how completely and unconditionally God loves us all. If it were easy to understand, everyone would be Christian! He loves us so unconditionally that he sent his son to die a horrible death so that our sins would be forgiven and to call us all to Him. You are correct: God doesn’t love sin. Therefore, Jesus.

      • Of course God loves us unconditionally but I’m afraid without repentance we choose to reject His love.

      • bohemond says

        YFC you cannot sanctify sin and think you are getting to heaven

        • Your Fellow Catholic says

          I sanctify no sin (as though I ever could!)

          Being gay is not a sin, even the catholic church teaches as much. The Church teaches that we are born with Original Sin, but that sin is washed away in Baptism. We are not born mired in muck, as protestants would have us believe, but into grace, thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus. Let’s all reclaim the various ways in which we all might find ourselves imperfect and flawed, but through Grace, we are born to eternal life.

          • Anonymous says

            YFC, you obfuscate just as Fr. James Martin does. Acting gay in a sexual way is a sin. Agree or disagree? Simple question.

      • Anonymous says

        God loves David Duke unconditionally. Would it be okay if I join the local chapter of the KKK?

      • Anonymous says

        What does that even mean? God loves him unconditionally? God loves everyone but not everyone loves Him. The more you love God the more you want to be pleasing to Him.
        YFC, grace can be lost. It is lost by committing a serious sin with full knowledge and full consent of the will.

  3. From the Diocese of San Jose. Of course. That’s McGrath’s diocese. Once billed (I think a story ran on this website years ago) as the most gay-friendly diocese in the country. Gays working in the chancery. Gays teaching in the schools. Same sex married gays openly working for the church and on parish councils, doing music, teaching catechesis, being EMHC, priests. It goes on and on. It’s an open secret that gay is more than okay in San Jose. You have to support the LGBT ideology against Catholic faith or you will not be hired to work in the church there. That’s especially true of the high schools, where if the principal even gets a whiff that a job applicant is conservative or traditional or truly Catholic he is rejected.

  4. Clinton R. says

    Another example of a poorly catechized Catholic. If you are Catholic, then be Catholic. LGBT is a man made term used to advertise one’s sinfulness. We are all sinners and we all are called to be holy.

  5. These articles make me so upset! It is so sad to read, but it’s a reality check at how poorly catechized young adults are. We need to continue praying and continue studying about our faith, WHAT THE CHURCH TEACHES, NOT OUR PERSONAL OPINIONS.

  6. let those without sin — whatever that may be– cast the first stone.

    • Mike…How about love the sinner, hate the sin. And ever heard of The Spiritual Works of Mercy? Admonish the sinner and instruct the ignorant? Mercy first but repentance must follow.

  7. I’m Catholic and LGBT too: Let’s Get Back to Tradition.

  8. This statement made by the interviewee encapsulates Millennial/GenZ thinking and explains why our country and Church are collapsing in slow motion: “I’m a strong believer of what I believe in, no matter what it is, even if it does contradict what I believe or what I follow in another category.”

    In other words, these people do not accept nor base their lives on the principle of non-contradiction. They aren’t grounded in anything solid, stable, objective, verifiable: “truth” is entirely subjective and emotion and feelings based for them.

    How do those with sense left in the Church catechize and evangelize a population that doesn’t even have what used to be rudimentary skills in logic?

  9. Sadly, not very bright and definitely compromised.

  10. Danijela Brekalo says

    What is the point of these interviews? To show us how low the Catholic Church in some parts of our country has fallen? To give voice to “Catholics” who don’t know nor understand the first thing about being Catholic? To promote confusion and mixed up (to put it mildly) thinking? Can’t you find some real Catholics to interview and spread some good news in the process?

  11. Anonymous says

    Maybe the new Bishop of San Jose, Bishop Cantu, could be persuaded to offer Courage groups– and teach the holy virtue of Chastity! The Catholic Church desperately needs to care for the moral and spiritual needs of her members, with good catechesis—and prepare them all for Heaven!

  12. Anonymous says

    Nothing to see here. Since some people are bothered when a Church burns down, we can be assured that the Vatican II council is a success. The Church is doing well now.

  13. “I’m Catholic and LGBT”…how sad…mixed up now, but who is concerned for the eternal salvation of Alonzo’s soul?

    • Anonymous says

      We want every lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender person as well as all mankind to be Catholic. The problem is his lack of understanding. He is young. Pray for him.

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