On the 26th of May, in the post titled, What is Right for Me, I stated that there can be no positive change for the LGBT community in the Catholic Church if we don’t do what we can to “fight” for it. I was running on enthusiasm and joy when I wrote that, and hadn’t really thought things through. Since then, I’ve realized something.
This isn’t a fight I want to engage in.
It occurred to me that if I am able to make my transition, I may be fighting for more immediate needs, like my housing and/or job (if I have one by then). Having the right to marry whomever I wish, should I wish to, does not mean the fight for LGBT rights is over, and, to be honest, trans rights tend to lag behind anything the gay/lesbian community gains. As a transperson, I’m already at greater risk of being the victim of a hate crime than almost any other subset of society except perhaps being another minority (and African-American transwomen are even more likely to be the victims of hate crime than I am).
In a way, I wish I were strong enough for this battle. I really want to see the Catholic Church change its opinions on the LGBT community. If not for marriage rights being won, I might still have hope that I could make a real difference, but the church’s reaction to SCOTUS’s decision has killed that hope. Instead of reaching out and trying to come to terms with the facts about LGBT people, the church is huddling behind its past stance.
Maybe I was being a bit naive before. I do still think LGBT people need to advocate for themselves, to fight, in a peaceful way, for their right to be Catholic. It’s just not something I feel capable of doing.
And I’ve come to realize something. Definition #2 of catholic on Merriam-Webster’s site states it means “Comprehensive, universal; especially : broad in sympathies, tastes, or interests.” The Catholic Church is not an organization that is broad in its sympathies to people. If it was, it would already welcome LGBT people without restriction or reservation. We would have access to all the sacraments, and we wouldn’t be counseled not to be true to ourselves.
So I’m looking into other alternatives, trying to find a different religious organization where I can feel comfortable. I don’t want to do it, but I do want to fulfill my spiritual needs, and those require that I be a member of a congregation of some sort. I could be a spiritual person on my own again, but that didn’t satisfy me enough before; I need the social aspect as well, and I’ve realized that the social aspect is what I’ve really been craving. I just need to find a better place to fit than the Catholic Church.