On being Catholic and gay

Eve Tushnet

American Catholic writer and blogger Eve Tushnet, who describes herself as 'openly lesbian and celibate,' talks to Sean Salai SJ of America magazine in this interview.

Eve Tushnet blogs at the Patheos Catholic portal. Born in 1978 and raised with some Jewish religious influence, she graduated from Yale University in 2000. In 1998 she surprised her family and friends by converting to Catholicism as a 20-year old Yale sophomore. Ms Tushnet now writes frequently on religion and sexuality. Her first book, Gay and Catholic: Accepting My Sexuality, Finding Community, Living My Faith (Ave Maria Press), will be published October 20. 

I spoke with Ms Tushnet by telephone about her new book. The following transcript of that interview has been edited for clarity and length.

You describe this book as a work of 'vocational discernment for gay Christians.' Why did you write it?

Well, there really wasn't anything quite like it out there. There are a few good books on personal experiences of being gay and Christian, written in a way that's faithful to historical Christian teaching on sexuality, but there wasn't anything that was focussed on the different paths that one's life could take. There are really good personal stories in a couple of books by Wesley Hill and Melinda Selmys, and I talk about them in my new book. What I wanted to do was show that there's a huge diverse range of options for you. The first part of the book is a personal story, but then the rest of it goes through a lot of different paths: devoted friendship, service to your family of origin, service to people in need, service to your community — basically a lot of different ways you can have a life that is fruitful, loving, that is surrounded by people who love and care for you.

Who is your audience?

The primary target audience is actual gay Christians who are trying to figure out what their lives are going to look like, and then anyone who wants to make the churches more welcoming for gay and lesbian members.

Did you suggest ways for churches to be more welcoming?

I did and I listed some specific suggestions for pastors.

Read more:

'Gay and Catholic': An Interview with Author Eve Tushnet (America)

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