Catholic Church

Why I Might Not Get Confirmed In The Catholic Church

by Zeena Rivera

I have not yet gone through confirmation in the Catholic Church. There is a high chance that I will eventually, but I haven’t right now.

In the Catholic Church, it is around this time that kids around my age get confirmed through their own free will or with their parents dangling college tuition money over their heads to do so.

Being Catholic and queer is sort of a weird mix.

It basically means my future spiritual and family life is just one big giant question mark. Will I have support from parishioners at my Church when I start seriously dating? Should I get married in the Catholic Church if I marry a man? If that happened, would people invalidate my queerness? How will my future children or family be seen in the Church while I am openly queer? If I marry a woman, could we baptize our children as a family?

Maybe the answers are out there, but I just don’t know.

Sure there have been pastoral letters written in favor of supporting LGBTQ people as “brothers and sisters” and loving LGBTQ children, yet the LGBTQ community is still severely under-loved in the Catholic Church.

I am not a part of an aggressively loving faith tradition that I can fully trust to fight for my rights and basic human dignities wherever I go in the world. From what I understand, the Church’s stance on LGBTQ rights varies drastically from parish to parish.

My parish, St. Joseph’s in Seattle, continuously speaks out for loving all people—no exceptions.

St. Joseph didn’t ask their congregants to sign anti-marriage equality petitions. Yet getting confirmed, even at St. Joseph’s, wouldn’t feel right.

As far as I know, whatever God, mystic energy, or what have you that gave me the heads up to advocate for my LGBTQ people couldn’t care less who I love—as long as I love. There’s no spiritual distance there—for me, the question is whether I can publicly go through the official sacrament in the right mind with the Church in its current state.

The Catholic Church says that the confirmation I have in my heart with the dude upstairs is what confirmation really is, and it’s all I really need.

But I’ve already done that—so why do I need to get officially confirmed?

Well, there are three big things here:

1. My mother. She grew up in a culture that said if you don’t get your baby baptized in the first couple months after birth, then you’re essentially offering your kid to Satan to be used as a brick on the path to a fiery Hell. This comes from the belief that souls of unbaptized babies are lost to Satan. Not getting her kid confirmed at seventeen is something similar to this. Do I believe that? No. Do I care about my mother’s peace of mind? Yes.

2. If I am the only Catholic in a marriage/relationship, I’ll have to get confirmed eventually to baptize my kid or get married in the Church. But why would I want to put my kid through Catholicism, faults and all? Partly because of my first point and partly because I wishfully think having one more welcoming and affirming person in the Church might be a good plan.

3. If I am going to be taken seriously in debates of my Catholicity, it wouldn’t hurt to be Confirmed as well.

For most kids, this isn’t a big deal at all, and most of my friends have opted out of getting confirmed.

My spirituality and the work of the Catholic Church—when Catholic-affiliated groups are not protesting gay marriage, a woman’s ability to choose what she does with her body, stem-cell research, and a plethora of other social issues—are actually really important for so many people’s lives, and they are important to me.

Especially with what’s happening in Arizona where Catholics are encouraging Governor Brewer to sign a bill that would allow people to discriminate against LGBTQ people (not that they don’t do that already), I can’t realistically see myself publicly acknowledging myself as an adult in the Church quite yet.

Maybe I’m wrong in not getting confirmed this time around—the Church probably needs a couple of queers around to make things a little more fabulous.

Origally published on Be! Magazine; Image via flickr user Catholic Church (England and Wales)

Comments (5)


You might want to think about
You might want to think about checking out the Episcopal Church. Episcopalians these days are, generally, very supportive of LGBT people. It does vary between bishops, parishes, etc., but overall, the denomination is pretty darn progressive. It’s also very influenced by Catholicism. Anglo-Catholic parishes tend, I think, to be more conservative, but you can always look around in your area and see if there’s a congregation that feels right for you.


I was also going to suggest
I was also going to suggest the Episcopal Church. My family joined the Episcopal Church when I was in high school. I later chose to be baptized and confirmed there. A few years ago when the Church elected a gay bishop the few churches that didn’t agree split, but most supported the decision to elect gay officials. The Church as a whole is pretty liberal and accepting of all people. For instance, my church celebrates same sex marriages and the birth/ adoption of children the same way they do for straight couples. Like any religion, you may have to try out a few churches before you find one you feel totally comfortable with, but I think it’s definitely worth a try.


Saved as a favorite, I like
Saved as a favorite, I like your site!


Matt makes a good point, in
Matt makes a good point, in checking out the Episcopal Church. And FYI, there is a prominent Anglo Catholic parish in Chicago–atonement –which is not socially conservative , very inclusive. But, changing churches isn’t simple. It’s hard to leave what you have loved even when it doesn’t match up with your beliefs anymore. Hang in there, and know that college can be a great time to go deeper into your faith and prayer life. Being confirmed now isn’t imperative. God Bless you.


I apologize for any hate you have ever felt by anyone in the Catholic Church before. People who are full of animosity towards you do not truly understand what defines you. Being gay or straight doesn’t make us who we are as people. God makes us who we are. I understand why you would feel upset by the Catholic’s viewpoint on gay marriage, but understand that it is not out of hate. It is actually out of the same doctrine why Catholics do not believe in birth control. Below is a link to a video that I think you should watch. It shares stories of those who were hurt by the Catholic church, and how they have come back to the church. It also shares the Catholic doctrine for why it does not support gay marriage. I hope this helps!

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