So, I want to follow up with some random thoughts about celibacy, in no particular order.
- I do not consider celibacy to be synonymous with being single or being alone. The dictionary defines celibacy as: Abstinence from sexual intercourse, especially by reason of religious vows. There is nothing in that definition that says you have to remain single and alone the rest of your life.
- All other things being equal (education, income, etc.), a single celibate man, being free of family obligations, will likely have more free time and more disposable income than his married counterpart. Perhaps it could become ones calling in life to use these towards the betterment of mankind (i.e. philanthropy).
- Celibacy does not preclude fatherhood/motherhood. I believe many, if not all, states allow single men and women to adopt.
- I've blogged about the Gay Christian Network before. The members of GCN divide themselves into two camps which are called, for lack of better terms, Side-A and Side-B. The Side-B folks believe that God calls gay Christians to lifelong celibacy. Side-B consists of Christians from all denominations (Baptists, Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc.). These are not ex-gays (often referred to as Side-X on GCN). They are not in denial; they acknowledge their sexual orientation and choose to not act on their attractions. Not surprisingly, Side-B is the minority group; but, at last count there are 300 people on GCN who identify as Side-B; enough such that celibacy should not be dismissed so easily. Side-B has their own forum on GCN; but, it's private. You have to join GCN and then request access to the Side-B forum to even be able to see it. But, in that forum they discuss topics that might also be of interest to celibate Mormon's, such as: Committed friendships, gay identity, porn and masturbation, how churches can do better, etc. Email me if you would like more information. Or, better yet, just go join GCN, it's free.
I'm sure we can all agree that celibacy is probably the most difficult of the options I discussed. We might even agree that it's not the right path for most. But those who choose this path deserve our respect and support. I see this on GCN, Side-A people (those who believe gay relationships are blessed by God) who support, even encourage, their Side-B counterparts. We need more of that here in the Mormon queerosphere.
(much of the information on celibacy that I could find is directed specifically at women; however, most of what is discussed applies equally to both genders)
Is celibacy the new virginity? Living the single life without sex
Does Abstinence Make the Heart Grow Fonder?
How to Live a Life of Celibacy
The New Celibacy: A Journey to Love, Intimacy, and Good Health in a New Age