How was your holiday? I for one am still recovering from my Easter brunch food hangover–ah, the joy of bingeing on things I only half-way gave up for Lent.
My Triduum was good, mostly business as usual–stomach rumblings, Stations of the Cross, cringing through several of the Good Friday prayers, and staying up late to see new Catholics welcomed at the Easter Vigil.
There were also unpleasant reminders of the Catholic Right. Multiple anti-abortion posters in the church hall. Hyperbole about “attacks on religious liberty” in the church bulletin. A priest who waxed patriarchal about motherhood as women’s special lady vocation.
To be a progressive or moderate Catholic surrounded by traditionalists, Opus Dei members, Santorum supporters, Planned Parenthood protesters, or American Papist followers can be a bizarre experience–something like being the only person wearing jeans in a group of Colonial Williamsburg actors who refuse to break character, or the only participant in the smoke-filled room study. That is, what is obviously bizarre to you seems completely normal to everyone around you.
When you find yourself in a Catholic environment dominated by right-wing folks with an anti-gay bent, it ain’t the most pleasant of circumstances. So what is a Good Catholic Dyke to do? Why, make it into a game!
1. The “Gonzo Journalist” Game
In which you pretend you are Hunter S. Thompson, or the kid in Almost Famous, or Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed, immersing yourself in a strange subculture and reporting back.
2. The “Colbert Report” Game
In which you pretend offensive remarks are actually satire. This is particularly helpful when you hear people comparing abortion rights to genocide, or homosexuality to “man-on-dog” sex, or Obama to a totalitarian dictator.
3. The “Showing Patience and Sympathy to Probable Closet Cases” Game
In which you recognize that at least some of the anti-gay people around you are probably struggling with doubts about their own sexuality.
4. The “Remove Yourself from the Situation” Game
In which you distance yourself, or cut yourself off completely, from the situation or group of people crushing your soul.
5. The “Episcopalian” Game
In which you go to an Episcopal church until you find a healthier Catholic environment.
6. The “Foxhole” Game
In which you find other moderate, progressive, queer, and queer-friendly Catholics and build community with them. They are definitely out there, dykes. We must always remember that most Catholics are not anti-gay. If you are lucky enough to live near a DignityUSA chapter, that is worth looking into.
What do y’all think? How do you deal with less-than-welcoming Catholic environments?