Let Me Be – David’s Story

I am gay, I am Catholic and I am a primary school teacher in a Catholic school.

david face

 One day I’d like to be a husband and perhaps even a Dad; if I’m lucky enough. For as long as I can remember, however, there have been people putting limitations on me being me. Limiting my capacity to love, to be a teacher in a Catholic school, to be gay, to be a parent, to be a husband. I’m here to ask you to remove those limitations and restrictions once and for all and just let me be me.

 It’s ironic that these days I’m finding it much harder to admit my religious beliefs than my sexual orientation. Saying “I’m gay” comes easy to me and elicits very little reaction from people. Saying “I’m Catholic” however, is a different story. I believe in God and I believe that God, in His wisdom, planned for me to be gay. And thank God He did too. The God that I believe in is wiser and greater than any human mind, than any words we can put on human experience; than any laws, frameworks or structures that we can put on life in our societies. God knows what He is doing in making me gay.  The man-made structures in our society, however, are currently limiting my potential to express and live the love that I have the capacity for. God’s dream for me is not a dream of limitations. His dream for me is to be as fully me as I can be. I’m asking you to vote yes to let me live as fully as everybody else.

Love is God’s greatest gift to us. I trust in God. I trust in the positivity of love. I know I have done things in my life that the church would consider sins but I know in my heart that loving another man is not one of them. I know this because I have been in love once. And it was fantastic! I loved seeing him, I loved being with him, loved holding his hand, loved sharing life with him, loved being in love – he made my world a brighter place. In the end, we grew apart; we needed to say goodbye and go in separate directions in order to move forward on our individual paths. It was a taste of love. Something I pray I get to experience again, something that motivates me, something that I look forward to sharing again one day. I hope. I fail to see how allowing me to love and supporting that love as equally as the love expressed by my straight friends could be damaging or destructive to society. I’m asking you to vote yes and let me love as fully as everybody else.

I know that the church’s position states, broadly speaking, that the male-female unit is the most ideal for the upbringing of kids. It has even been suggested that allowing same-sex couples to marry would attack, damage or even destroy the uniqueness of male-female marriage. I have to disagree. Men and women will continue to procreate. Male-female unions will continue to be in the majority.  Elevating the status of gay relationships to the same as straight relationships in marriage doesn’t diminish that which is special or unique about straight relationships; just as elevating the status of black to that of white hasn’t diminished that which is special about black or white, nor has it said that black is the same as white. The same can be said for women and men. It simply says that black and white, women and men, gay and straight all deserve to be treated equally. In the not so distant past; sections of our society believed that being white was most ideal, that being a man was most ideal. People were conditioned into these beliefs; the beliefs around “ideals” in families are similarly conditioned beliefs. I’m asking you to vote yes and let me feel equal.

I’d like to think I’d make a good Dad. I’d like to think that I’d choose a partner who would also be a good Dad. If we decided to have kids it would be a very informed decision; it wouldn’t happen casually, as can be the case in some straight situations. The significant difference between my relationship and a straight relationship is that we’d need external help to have children; adoption services, surrogacy, egg donors etc. We’d have to jump through hoops. It wouldn’t happen by chance or by accident; it would be considered, planned and fought for. And that child would receive every ounce of love, support, encouragement and care that I could give it.  I want to provide a loving, caring, nurturing environment for a child to grow up in, an environment in which their uniqueness is cherished, an environment which allows them to blossom into the best possible version of themselves. Equality in Marriage would indicate to any children myself and my future partner may have that their Dad’s relationship; although different, is valued and supported and accepted as equally as their classmates’ family situations. I’m asking you to vote yes and let any kids I may have know that their family is not second-class.

 God made me. He did not make the institution of marriage. The institution is a man-made response to the interpreted best needs for society. It was constructed at a time when homosexuality was largely misunderstood, ignored, taboo and in the shadows. We now have a greater understanding of what it means to be human. We have hundreds of years of advances in science, psychology, sociology, psychiatry, medicine etc that inform and influence our current understanding of what it means to be human. Thus our understanding of what it means to be gay has advanced. The man-made institution of marriage needs to grow and evolve with our evolving understanding of what it means to be human and our expanding understanding of what society needs. Church and State now need to incorporate these advances and include all consenting, loving, committed adults who wish to marry, the capacity to do so. It is time for church and state to treat us equally and to be inclusive of our relationships. This referendum does not affect church marriage. I’m asking you to vote yes and let me be supported by the state in marriage. meprof2

 If I do meet someone to add to my life, someone whose life I can add to, someone I want to spend the rest of my life with, someone with similar morals and values to me; I’d like to have the relationship respected by other people of faith. Any potential relationship I may have in the future, however, has been deemed by superiors in the church as less worthy, deviant, morally or intrinsically wrong. It upsets me that two people could commit to one another and that certain others could look at it from the outside and judge it to be wrong. It frustrates me that anyone who passes the church doors from one end of the year to the other without entering into the building can avail of church and state marriage. Yet I can’t. It frustrates me that I’ve given to the church and my local community, that I’ve dedicated time and energy to the church, that I’m a Catechist in my local school and have passionately prepared children for the Sacraments of Penance, Communion and Confirmation and that I cannot avail of the sacraments as equally as everybody else. Voting yes in the upcoming referendum won’t change church marriage but I’m asking you to vote yes to let the hierarchy of the church know that you support me.

I’m 30 and for as long as I can remember there have been people telling me that I cannot be fully me; people who have put limitations on me being me. So once more; I’m asking you to please just let me be. Let me love. Let me commit. Let me feel supported. Let me be equal. Let me be a husband. Let me be a Dad. Without the limitations or restrictions. I already am many of these things and I’m doing as good a job at it as the next person; so support and protect me as equally as my straight friends. Please. I’d like to live in a world where I can be as fully me as God created me to be. I’d like to live in a world where the love that I have to offer can be expressed and celebrated confidently; without limitations. Now wouldn’t that be ideal?

by David Mooney

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10 thoughts on “Let Me Be – David’s Story

  1. I have been really touched by your honesty and openness. You should be very proud of yourself and I hope you will get a chance to be a husband and a dad- you deserve it and they will be very lucky people to be blessed with you!

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  2. Hi, David,

    I came across your blog via this link: https://www.facebook.com/geoff.lillis/posts/1029271890420707

    Before I ask the question that I want to ask, I want to say two things. Firstly, I think that it’s great that you are a primary school teacher. I am concerned about the fact that the profession is suffering from a serious gender imbalance with, according to the 2011 Census, only 26% of all teachers being male and, according to Department of Education figures, only 14% of primary school teachers being male (2011/2012 school year). [Source: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/education/the-gender-gap-in-education-at-its-widest-for-50-years-1.1771782%5D

    It seems to me that the message that we are sending to our children is that teachers are female and that if a man is a teacher, he’s probably a bit odd. I’m 62 and I was educated in Manchester. From memory, in my primary school the gender balance was just about equal and, as is the case here in Ireland, primary school teachers taught all subjects. I don’t know why this unfortunate imbalance has occurred but it needs to be stemmed.

    The second thing that I want to say is that you are very brave coming out as gay given your employer’s legal right, under Section 37 of the Employment Equality Act, 1998. Now, you should not have to be “brave”. Section 37 is one of the more obscene pieces of anti-human rights legislation on our Statue Book and it should be repealed forthwith.

    And that brings me on to my question.

    I can see that you have a faith in a god. Personally, I don’t believe in any of the thousands of different gods that are worshipped around the world and so I am an atheist. I am also an agnostic because I believe that nothing is known, or can be known, of the existence or nature of any god.

    Having a degree in Irish Law, I discovered, during my studies, just what a stranglehold Roman Catholic religious dogma has on our Constitution and, also, our legislation. A case in point being, of course, Section 37 of the Employment Equality Act, 1998 which is repugnant to so much international human rights legislation.

    You will also be aware of the Roman Catholic teaching on homosexuality. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, at 2357, “… Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved”, and goes on to say, at 2359, “[h]omosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection”.

    Now, after having read “Why We Believe in God(s): A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith”, by J. Anderson Thomson, Clare Aukofer” (http://books.google.ie/books/about/Why_We_Believe_in_God_s.html?id=tPLKcQAACAAJ&redir_esc=y) [see also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHcSXCeE4Bg%5D, I can appreciate why your mind works differently from my own and so accepts as a reality something for which there is not shred of empirical evidence to support – a belief in the existence of a god.

    What I cannot understand, however, is how can you reconcile your sexual orientation with membership of an organisation that, as you alluded to, teaches that what you do in your private life is “intrinsically disordered” and which is hell-bent on denying you – and all other human beings that happen to have been born lesbian, gay, bisexual or find themselves to have a gender identity or expression that does not match their assigned sex – the fundamental human rights that are taken for granted by heterosexuals, such as myself? It is also an organisation that will never, ever, accept you as being a “whole” human being or give you the marriage, in the sight of your god, that you would appear to desire, again, as you alluded to.

    The hypocrisy of the Roman Catholic Church knows no bounds. You, it seems to me, have the dedication – even vocation – to do your best to make the next generation of children the best that they can be. Judging by your comments, you appear to have a genuine affection for the children in your care and, from what you have said, I also think you would make a great dad, by the way. I am sure that you would be devastated if anything untoward should happen to any of the children in your care and yet, the organisation that owns and the controls the school in which you work has done so much unspeakable and everlasting damage to similar children.

    Really, your belief in a god, I can get my head round, but how on earth you can belong to an organisation that vilifies LGBT people – human beings, by the way – and allows child sexual abuse to run rampant within it is, truly, beyond me.

    May I wish you the best in your career and life. I truly hope that we will see the day – very soon – when you can at least be fully equal in the eyes of the law, if not in the eyes of the religion that you choose to be a member of.

    Best wishes,

    Jon Pierson

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  3. Hi David,

    Found your piece on Her.ie. I just want to say this is a beautiful and moving text. I hope you’re proud of it and of yourself and that the outcome of the referendum will be positive.

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  4. Hi David

    Idk if you remember me but I used to be in your 5th class year group in 2008/9.

    I’ve been left speechless after learning your story and have grown so much more respect for you than I already have (abviously being like the coolest teacher in school ;)).

    I share the EXACT same opinion. I’m not gay and i’m not religious but that doesn’t stop me or any other normal human being from being able to support the LGBT community. I think if anyone disagrees with that should be shot through that brainless skull of theirs.

    I hope you find all the happiness in the world (and btw, you don’t need to worry about being an acceptional primary school teacher, that box will always be ticked)

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  5. I was a student of this man six years ago and he was the best, most loving, most caring teacher anyone could hope to have. I never even knew he was gay until reading this which truly shows we’re all just the same. I truly hope he is able to love another man as equally as the rest of us can. He really deserves it. Honestly an inspiration to me.

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  6. Cant help feeling this isnt right. I dont want to be anti anything.Im not homophobic, just cant get this same sex marriage thing. Dont want to offend anyone, just cant understand the weirdness of it

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    • no it’s the same as straight marriage like , it’s not even about marriage it’s about two people commiting so it’s not wrong by far and marriage and children are both a wonderful thing tbh

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  7. Hi david
    My my sister showed me your blog last night and I was so eager to read it .If your wondering who I am, my name Is Teodora banu as shown above and I am a past pupil of St louis primary.During my time at St Louis primary I looked up to you, you were always very funny and kind and I have never seen a bad aspect in you :).from reading your story I now look up to you even more, your a true role model and I believe you deserve everything good in life just like the rest of us,I have never judged gay’s or and homosexual human beings,I always support them and you have my support, your story moved me I found it very interesting and touching, to me it was very heart warming 🙂 one thing that does concern me is societies look and opinion on gay’s and not just the societies opinion but also the church, I completely disagree on their judgement,I believe everyone deserves the right to be free,to love, to have a family and to live a life of their own with someone and without judgement,everyone deserves to be happy.It also concerns me that children these days are being brought up into a life where people are being discriminated and judged on their beliefs and their personality.I believe that your private life should have nothing to do with your job as a teacher,being gay dosn’t mean your a harm to society or to those around you,it means your human and normal and I don’t find a problem it that ,so unless you done something wrong I don’t believe this should be any of their business,I respect you and I believe everyone around you does,the Catholic Church should have no say in your personal life therefor I stand with you,Keep fighting for what you believe,stay strong an be proud of your self and be proud of what you have written,because I am

    Best wishes

    Teodora.

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  8. Hey David ,
    everyone is touched by your story especially my cousin stephen who is also gay, it’s not fair that pepole are trying to hold you back from what you would like to achive!! If I was old enough to vote I would but I hope same sex marriage is allowed! Your a really nice person from what I’ve gathered and I hope everything you ever wanted comes along 🙂

    Love , Shauna 😊

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  9. What an amazing piece I have just read. Who are we to judge another person s happiness. This man was my grandsons last primary school teacher 2014 and his patience and understanding and sense of fun will have a lasting effect on Clayton through his life. I never knew Mr Mooney that you are gay and you know something it doesn’t matter. What matters is you are
    a decent and caring human being who is entitled to the happiness we all look for. I hope some day you do find that special person to share your life with . My grandson is all the better for ever knowing you Mr Mooney. Thank you . June

    Like

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