Growing Up Gay In Pope Francis' Home

By

rosary catholic gay pride peace rainbow
Imagine knowing as a young girl in an Irish-Catholic home that you're attracted to girls.

I grew up with Pope Francis — that's what we called my father who shares the same first name. Born the only girl in an uber Irish Catholic family, we celebrated many Irish and Catholic traditions that made no sense to me until I read Frank McCourt's book Angela's Ashes; then, everything about my childhood and my father, the Pope, finally made sense.

Imagine knowing as a young girl that I was attracted to girls! It was a ripe environment for lesbian guilt, shame and fear.

My father's parents emigrated from Ireland in the early 1900s. So, of course the Irish Catholic traditions in the family included worshipping the priesthood, alcoholism, sexual, emotional and physical abuse. My uncles were priests (and yes, they both molested children and were never held accountable), aunts were nuns and we often had visiting priests and cardinals staying at our house.

Other traditions in my family included Catholic schooling, going to Mass every Holy Day, everyone being subservient to an overbearing, cold and controlling father who was an alcoholic. My role as the only girl in the family was to be the maid to my four brothers. Yes, I had to cook, clean and do laundry for all of them until I finally revolted during my senior year in high school.

We also had a very unique family business called Christ the King Gift Shop. We were the supply house for the Catholic Church in New England. We sold everything you needed to be Catholic, and I mean everything. Back in the '50s and '60s, you needed a lot of stuff to be Catholic — holy water, lacy veils, scapulas, missiles (not rockets, but the prayer book for a mass) and on and on.

More love advice from YourTango:

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Mary Malia

Dating Coach

With Gratitude, 

Mary G. Malia

Certified Singles Coach, RCI

Certified Strategic Intervention Coach, Robbins- Madanes Coaching

http://www.gaygirldatingcoach.com

Location: Portland, ME
Credentials: Other
Specialties: Dating/Being Single Support
Other Articles/News by Mary Malia:

The #1 Way For Lesbians To Get Their Groove Back Online

By

Dating after a long break is tough under any circumstance. Whether you've just gotten out of a long term relationship with your girlfriend or you've been focusing on other aspects of your life, the rules of dating change as time goes by. As a newly single woman, you're ready to mingle...but the problem is you don't know how. If you've been ... Read more

I Had Sex With A Woman. Am I A Lesbian?

By

Women are experimenting with their sexuality more than ever these days. I see it happening on online dating sites, Craigslist and other sites where women can post online looking for sexual partners or sexual encounters. This isn't happening with just young women either; it's women of all ages who want to explore their sexuality. It seems to be a ... Read more

Same Love: Why Doesn't Coming Out Get Better With Age?

By

Even though there has been a major shift when it comes to the fight for equality (and a lot of progress has been made around the world), there's no question that coming out of the closet can be pretty scary. It is such a hard experience to go through. Just summoning up the courage to be honest about who you are with your family even though you may be afraid ... Read more

See More

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

FROM AROUND THE WEB