Hello, I am new
Hi... I am a 35 year old person considers myself bisexual and I have Asperger's (diagnosed last year, I am disabled by it and other conditions, like depression and optic nerve hypoplasia). I came out this summer, finally figuring out that I wasn't really straight. I am also an eastern Orthodox catechumen (student, initiate receiving catechism) of several years, possibly going to be chrismated soon. Although I am a virgin so technically i don't have any definitive issues with my church, I still feel uneasy about my sexual orientation and my faith. Eastern Orthodoxy reserves the right to excommunicate practicing homosexuals from the Eucharist, though not all priests will do this. My priest has tried to be somewhat open and listening, although he has told me the official Church position, that i must be celibate if i'm not married to somebody of the opposite sex.
I value integrity alot, the queer friends i've made online (some of whom are Christian, many are Catholic) and i feel that homosexuality is part of nature but at the same time, I value the teachings of my Church, particularly about the need for chastity, asceticism and theosis, continued growth and transformation in godliness by struggling against the passions. God does not merely accept us as we are, this is not a Christian teaching as understood in Eastern Christianity. The Church is a big part of my identity and how I feel connected to Jesus Christ, and its not like a protestant where i can just choose another church to go to at the drop of a hat. So, i'm stuck in a place of indecesion and ambiguity. I told my priest i'd read a book of his by Fr. Thomas Hopko (Christian Faith and Same-Sex Attraction), professor of dogmatics at St. Vladimir's, and I did read it but it is nothing new for me, and he reiterates tired claims about the sin of Sodom, even while being more open than your average Protestant Fundamentalist. Much like Catholicism, the Orthodox Church in America affirms the dignity of gay persons in their essential nature but, at the same time considers same sex eroticism sinful and not God's will.