Orientation and identity
Christopher Damian | Wednesday, February 3, 2010
I am a man. Regardless of my psychological, spiritual or emotional inclinations, my physical body has a natural sexual orientation. My body is naturally created to be complemented by a woman. The man and woman’s bodies fit together, almost like a puzzle. Man and woman are created for selfless, monogamous relationships, physically revealed through our body orientation and hormones, such as oxytocin.
However, my desires do not always coincide with this natural orientation. In our world of hookups, porn, prostitutes, my desires are constantly conflicting. However, I do not let my raging hormones define me. My sexual appetite is not who I am.
I am defined by my expression of those desires. I am not a hormonal, licentious teenager. I am a virgin. I am respectful of women. I am a man. According to God, my sexual orientation is: chaste, or at least in pursuit of chastity. This chastity exists in abstinence in single or religious life, or selfless, monogamous love in marriage.
However, by the standards that many people are trying to instill, my sexual orientation is: heterosexual. That is, I desire sex with women.
Putting “sexual orientation” into our non-discrimination clause would be degrading to both heterosexuals and homosexuals. It would seem to define us by our desires, rather than who we are. By our inclinations, rather than our choices.
If, on the other hand, those advocating an addition of “sexual orientation” hope to use it in definition of our choices, we have a bigger problem. There is a reason that Notre Dame was voted as a university where “alternative lifestyles are not an alternative.” If we are truly to be a Catholic university, there is no alternative to chastity. It must be our mission to always pursue chaste lifestyles among all members of our community.
At times, these members will fail. I have failed many, many times. However, we must not become complacent with these failures. We must always pursue the good, the true and the beautiful.
In heaven, we will not be “gay,” “lesbian,” “bisexual,” “transgendered” or “straight.” We will be chaste.