I am a Lesbian Catholic.
Bless me Father for I have not sinned... I was born into a Catholic family. I was baptized, received Holy Communion, and Confirmation. I also attended a Catholic school, taught by Sisters of St. Joseph. I am also a lesbian. Yes, a homosexual. I translate that word to mean I happen to fall in love with a person of my own gender. I am attracted to females.
And to that end, I met a woman I wanted to share my life with, so we wrote our own vows of marriage to one another in 1990. On December 7, 1990, after we finished our day of work in our field of human service, we met in front of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Hudson, New York.
It was late afternoon, the church was semi-dark, and I could smell the incense of ancient Jerusalem. There were about a dozen elderly women, some sitting and some kneeling as they prayed in the pews. I noticed they all wore a scarf on their head, even though it was no longer required by the church. There was no priest in sight. Before we entered we blessed ourselves with the holy water. The soaked sponge looked like the same one that was there when I walked up the aisle for my Holy Communion decades before to be married to God, and then a few years later to be gently slapped by a bishop during my Confirmation. It was ritual. Now, we were about to create one that worked for ourselves.
My partner and I walked up the center isle, shoulder to shoulder. We kneeled dead center in front of the holy altar, and blessed ourselves again. We stood and move to the statue of Saint Antony to the left. We kneeled before him, and read our vows to one another. We chose that spot simply because it felt right to us to move left... we also knew Antony had been a friend to my patron saint, Saint Francis of Assisi, and that intrigued us and our imaginations. In 1221 Saint Francis drew up 'Tertiaries,' laymen who followed Franciscan ideals could remain with their families, outside the life of the vows of religion. So wise a man. Where are these sensitive and wise 'men' in the Vatican today?
We whispered our vows. We exchanged ruby and diamond gold rings that we saved up for and bought in Provincetown, Massachusetts. We married ourselves. The building did not shutter or shake. The women in the pews were still whispering prayers, and we felt even more blessed with their presence. We felt it was God's gift that they were there. We smiled at each other and linked arms as we exited. We have linked arms for 24 years as of 2014.
I reveal this in the hope that the Catholic Church will excommunicate me. They are not worthy of my goodness. And I can no longer tolerate their ignorance as to what it means to be loved.
I close with a photograph of me and my love. We are flying on high....