“Mom, can a Catholic be gay?”
My 9-year-old asks weird questions all the time, but this one was a career best for her.
Lucy said that a friend from her Catholic school claimed Catholic people simply couldn’t BE gay. She wanted to know if that was true. I told her I wasn’t sure, but I thought that might not be the case.
“Why,” she asked. “Do YOU know any gay Catholics?”
As a matter of fact, I DO.
I met Frank when I lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was one of my favorite friends because he was sweet and buoyant and he threw the most fabulous parties at his ranch-style home. The first thing you noticed about Frank’s house were the crucifixes, which were EVERYWHERE. He also had pictures of Jesus, framed poems about Faith, AND a shrine to the Virgin Mary in his backyard. See, Frank was a devout Catholic but he was also gay. I asked him what he thought of this conundrum and Frank said, “I love God so much, I can’t imagine He wouldn’t love me back. In my heart, I know He does.”
Knowing Frank’s kindness and generosity the way I do, I’d have to agree with him.
Frank asked me to look after his home and dog once while he went on vacation. He left the keys with me and our mutual friend Stephanie, who agreed to stay at the house with me. Steph and I went out for beers our first night of housesitting, and were joined by Frank’s sister, Mercedes. I was playing pool with Mercedes’ boyfriend when he said, “Man, I can’t BELIEVE you’re staying in Frank’s house tonight!” Mercedes shushed him furiously and I had an awful sinking feeling. You know, the one you have when you realize everyone BUT YOU knows something and they’re trying to keep it from you? That feeling.
Apparently even Stephanie knew because she rolled her eyes and said, “Great. Thanks Mike.”
There was much begging and pleading on my part, and another round of beers before I got the truth. MAN, was it a doozy. Continue reading →