- September 24, 2015
Post submitted by Jane Coaston, former HRC Writer
In May of 2013, Lindsey had her name and gender legally changed and began the process of transitioning. At the time, she was employed as music director at two Catholic churches, St. Peter in Chains Cathedral and the Community of the Good Shepherd. She went to the leaders at both churches, telling them that she wanted to continue her public ministry while transitioning. “I’d been working with a doctor for a long time,” Lindsey said.
At Good Shepard, the associate pastor, expressing empathy, told Lindsey that they'd simply come up with a reason for her to leave, but Lindsey expected to be able to continue her job until then. At St. Peter in Chains, she was told that she would be received "with compassion" by the Cathedral pastor, and she came out to him as transgender. But just days later, Lindsey was told by both churches that her positions had been terminated and her replacements had been hired. Lindsey filed for unemployment, but the Archdiocese of Cincinnati fought her and won, forcing Lindsey to pay back the Archdiocese more than a thousand dollars and costing her thousands more. Since August of 2013, Lindsey has been unable to find a new job, losing her home in the process.
"I think the thing that shook me most, is that I was told people would be accepting," said Lindsey. "I’m thinking, there’s no place for me in this church.”
In anticipation of the historic visit of Pope Francis to the U.S., HRC is highlighting the stories of teachers and staff fired from Catholic institutions because of whom they love, and asking the pontiff to embrace the LGBT faithful. The Human Rights Campaign will welcome Pope Francis with a plea to bridge the gap between acceptance in the pews and rejection by bishops. New HRC polling shows overwhelming support among U.S. Catholics for LGBT equality, yet repudiation of the faithful persists in churches, schools and institutions. Learn more about LGBT Catholics at www.hrc.org/Catholic