I find this story to be unspeakably sad. The level of homophobia and (one supposes) a certain amount of internalized homophobia you describe sounds incredibly toxic.

When people live in environments where they have to hide who they are, even if not completely, internalization of shame and inferiority are all but inevitable.

I admire you for the work you’re doing, and of course I respect the fact that you and other queer people are doing the work.

But it’s so horrifying to realize that even in 2019, and even in a large, progressive city like Chicago, that LGBTQ people could be institutionally oppressed in the manner you describe.

I lived a stealthy queer life in the US military. I never felt any real risk, but I absolutely internalized shame without even knowing it.

That was a generation ago. We’re supposed to be over that by now.

The Catholic Church has much to answer for. It is imperative that they stop treating us like this.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com