HRC Blog

Being LGBT on a Catholic Campus

The following blog post comes from HRC Intern Tucker Chovin:

Making the leap from high school to your freshman year of college can be a little terrifying, no matter what the circumstances are. It's a huge transition whether you find yourself at college in the same town, a few hours away, or maybe on an entirely different coast. As n gay man, though, I found that my move to college at Georgetown University had another level of tension added to it. The concerns of being accepted while being yourself are something that anyone in the LGBTQ community who has ever had to move to a new locale is familiar with. While people told me that I wouldn't have a problem at Georgetown, a Jesuit university, I was still a little nervous.

I was in one of the Sunday Masses held on campus in my first month of school when I realized that everything was going to shape up alright after all. Perusing the brochure that Campus Ministry had put out with opportunities and upcoming events, I noticed an ad for an LGBTQ prayer group, organized by Catholic Ministry. A few emails back and forth with the group's leader, Father Pat, and I quickly found myself in a place that I had never experienced before--somewhere where I could easily express myself as both a gay man and a Christian. For me, I had too often compartmentalized these two aspects of my life, keeping them separate because I didn't know any way to reconcile them. On Georgetown's campus, though, I'm in good company--there's no shortage of LGBTQ people here who have had similar experiences, but who at Georgetown have learned to express themselves as queer and religious at the same time. 

Even more amazing is the fact that no one on campus bats an eye at the fact that such a group exists. No one asks why our group exists, or how the University allows us to meet--in fact, I think people would start asking questions if we didn't. For myself, I couldn't be happier. I'm growing in a way that I never thought I would at Georgetown--figuring out how to be both gay and a person of faith at the same time. What I've found so far is that I couldn't be in a better place to do just that.

Religious Dispatches recently looked at the disconnect between the Catholic hierarchy and the reality of life on many Catholic campuses. Check out their article.

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