This past weekend I presented the workshop, "Homosexuality: Always God's Children" at the Credo retreat. We did not have time for the Q&A portion of the workshop, so the questions will be answered here during the next week or two.
Q. Can you "pray out the gay" (for lack of a better term)?
A. Someone with same-sex attraction, just as every person, is called to bring struggles, questions, joys, and sorrows to prayer. The answer to those prayers will be a matter of God's plan for that individual person, but we can be confident that He will give the graces to live a joyful, peaceful life.
For some people, this might involve some degree of "change." Perhaps, it will be a decrease of attraction to someone of the same sex. Perhaps, someone will eventually be attracted to those of the opposite sex. Perhaps, it will simply mean less of a desire to engage in same-sex actions. These things have occurred in the past to various people.
But for others, there may not be a change of sexual attraction. Instead, there will be the grace of chastity, good friends who challenge and support, a peace in living a chaste lifestyle.
We know that every one of us is given a cross to bear, an opportunity to suffer with Christ as we await heaven. Some crosses are taken from us, and some remain, accompanied with an outpouring of God's grace. No matter what the cross, no matter what our prayer, we know that God is present to us, loves us and wants the best for us.
It's a good time to mention, too, that many question their "sexual identity" as a teenager. For some who experience same-sex attraction, this turns into accepting the label of "gay" or "lesbian." Because there can be fluidity to sexual attraction, especially during adolescence, labeling oneself in this way is particularly problematic.
So, instead of "praying out the gay," may I suggest surrendering this cross to the Lord and asking Him to help you to bear it? He knows what plans He has for you. Whether your same-sex attraction "disappears" or you find renewed commitment to chastity, you can be assured that His plans are for your good.
If you'd like to hear a more personal account, read this article: "I am not gay ... I am David."