You Know You’re A Queer Catholic School Survivor If…

Co-authored with Mary Zaborskis, a sister in the recovering Catholic struggle.

Being a Catholic School Survivor and a queer person is a double whammy of repressed feelings and rebellious urges, served with a heaping side of Catholic guilt. If you’ve ever sat through Mass thinking about boobies or refused to ever don a plaid skirt again in your life, you know what we mean. For everyone who has seen gay nun porn and had lots of feelings about its inaccuracies, this list is for you.

1. The parents of your public school friends always thought you’d be a positive influence on their child. Little did they know…

2. Your crushes all ended up having names involving Mary, Catherine, Elizabeth, Anne, Theresa, and/or their variations.

3. You received at least a handful of uniform infractions for wearing rainbow socks, Converse sneakers, or fingerless gloves.

4. Girls often comment on your large and unintentional collection of plastic rosaries.

5. Your first drag experience was wearing a fake beard and your father’s bathrobe to impersonate yet another Biblical character.

this remains the only one of your drag events your parents have attended or religiously recorded on video and photo

this remains the only drag event your parents have attended and memorialized on home video

6. You had a lot of strong feelings about Mary Magdalene.

7. Your eighth grade religion textbook said that masturbation and homosexuality were mortal sins. This was when you first began to realize that you were totally fucked.

8. Your Sex Ed unit was Sister Thomas Aquinas telling you to wait until marriage and then turning on a music video about celibacy.

9. When you’re on the dance floor of your favorite gay bar, you are distinctly aware that no one is leaving room for the Holy Ghost.

10. The “All The Things She Said” music video hit a little too close to home.

and so did this one

and so did this one

11. You feel like you’re getting away with something when you wear socks that go below your ankles.

12. When your girlfriend is plagued with menstrual cramps, you know exactly which saint she should pray to – Saint Maurice.

13. You now understand why certain biblical stories appealed to you, like when David peeped on Bathsheba bathing, or any time Jesus was hanging out with deviants.

14. You now understand why you identified with so many kickass biblical women (and why you named all of your Sims Deborah).

15. Your mom thinks that your rainbow accessories are somehow a reference to the Ark of the Covenant and thus approves of them.

you also seemed to be the only one who picked up on this

you also seemed to be the only one who picked up on this irony

16. Your lesbian love letters have the best penmanship because hello, perfectly slanted cursive.

17. You wanted to be a nun at one point because something about living in the company of women for the whole of your adult life felt right.

18. You took a queer theory class in college and realized just how queer all of your catechism was (e.g. the Virgin Mary having a child by non-heterosexual relations).

19. You find yourself simultaneously drawn to and repelled by plaid, which explains your extensive collection of flannel.

20. “You know what they say about Catholic schoolgirls…” Yes, yes I do. And it’s all true.

...sort of

…basically

21. You often brag to girls that you started drinking when you were 7. Even if it was watered down communion wine.

22. You can’t decide if you want to be or do your Confirmation saint.

23. You attribute your manual skills to all the hymns you had to learn in sign language.

24. You are often overwhelmed by Catholic guilt during a session of lesbian processing.

25. It was more difficult to come out to your family as a non-Catholic than it was to come out as gay.

you own items specifically marketed for "catholic school survivors"

you own items specifically marketed for “catholic school survivors”

26. Attending a school where everyone knew your middle name and personal history helped prepare you for entering a community where everyone knows who you slept with and how many times you and your girlfriend have broken up.

27. Your girlfriend has woken you up to inform you that you were saying the Apostle’s Creed in your sleep.

28. Your rivalry with the CCD kids who used your classrooms trained you for your rivalry with the gay guys who use the club on non-Ladies Nights.

29. Sister Marie Therese often told you that the Holy Spirit had something special in mind for you, and you’re still not sure if she was trying to be nice or had realized you were looking up the other girls’ skirts.

30. You defend your upbringing and tradition to the death even though you a) no longer identify as Catholic, b) bear psychological scars that have not yet healed from your years in the faith and/or c) have been told you’re going to hell for the way you live your life.

Full-time writer, part-time lover, freelancing in fancy cheese and cider.

Kate has written 131 articles for us.

149 Comments

    • I think if Catholicism was still actually practised by the majority of Irish it might be more similar to this. Instead most people just say they’re Catholic when really they go to church twice a year and barely remember how to say a Hail Mary.

    • Yeah I think being Catholic in Ireland just means that they force you into taking as many sacraments as possible before you have any choice in the matter. That, and being slapped on the back of the head for making noise during the angelus.

      • As a public school Catholic, I totally had the same experience. CCD? Oh right, that thing you only go to during a year you’re taking a sacrament. (Although my mom rediscovering the faith the year I got confirmed was pretty rough- somehow she guilted me into becoming a youth leader. Now I feel guilty for doing it when I didn’t really believe- that Catholic guilt gets you no matter which way you go!)

    • Interesting to read. I think being catholic must be very different in the States AND in Ireland, compared to Germany. I feel like it’s more moderate here (still not my thing though)

  1. Well, I was attending catholic school only for girls [from pirmary school to high school!] and indeed coming out was the toughest thing I’ve ever needed to do. But when we started really talking at the very end of school about 3/4 of students turned to be atheists! Catholic schools are the worst thing that could have ever happened to catholicism ;]

  2. UGHH I wish I weren’t so repressed at my all-girls Catholic high school. Also, how about:

    – you were the only girl in your class who didn’t fall head over heels in love with the male abstinence speaker
    – signed an abstinence pledge after seeing how much your crush swooned over the abstinence speaker
    – had a huge secret crush on the teachers after hearing lesbian rumors
    – signed up to be in the wardrobe dept for the school play to get closer to one of the dancers (and to help her change costumes)

    • These are all scary accurate. For me it was:

      After hearing that wearing a kilt-pin sideways was a subversive message indicating gayness, you were FINALLY able to kick your lifelong struggle to not look at girls chests, replacing it instead with the need to look at every girl’s general skirt/pubic region

  3. Ha! So true. Being raised Catholic was definitely the most prudent thing in my childhood. Being gay…well…just made things more complicated. #24, 25 and #30 are too true. *sigh*

    • This! I thought all Catholic School were as queer as mine, especially the all girls ones. Guess not and this makes me sad. But my hs was pretty fucking queer–for example, traditionally the seniors had a ‘man wall’ in the senior lounge with pictures of attractive men. My class had the man wall, but we also had the ‘Down With Cultural Hegemony’ wall right next to it, with pictures of pretty ladies GALORE. uh yes we were awesome.
      also, everyone was gay.

  4. Ha, a few of these definitely apply to me…

    I only went to a catholic primary, so coming out at school was never an issue, but considering the head teacher (who was always assumed to be a lesbian) has since eloped with a priest, I don’t think they would be in any position to judge.

      • “probably because they also spent a ton of the parish’s money on michael jackson farewell tour tickets.”
        This made me laugh, though I doubt it was amusing to the parishioners.
        …’And the whole church has to answer right now, just to tell you once again, who’s bad’

      • This is amazing. The fact that you know exactly what they bought with the money is just so Catholic school, of course you knew.

        At my ex’s primary school, the principle (preist) had a ‘friend’ that was a bartender at a nightclub. Every year, the 6th graders got to walk to the nightclub and the ‘friend’ made them virgin cocktails and had an awkward dance. The nightclub later (maybe was then??) became a gay bar and the preist ran off with his friend and still lives in the area.

  5. I went to private protestant schools my whole life. I can relate to so much of this list!
    True story: there was one parent who would chaperone school dances who carried around a giant Bible. If a couple was dancing too close together, he’d shove the Bible between them, and say, “Leave room for the Holy Spirit”. Which was fine because none of us could dance worth shit anyway.

    • My school always said “leave room for Jesus.” Apparently we were unusual, since it sounds like all the other Catholic schools say to leave room for the Holy Spirit.

  6. “27. Your girlfriend has woken up you up to inform you that you were saying the Apostle’s Creed in your sleep.”

    *spews coffee across computer screen*
    I’m dying.

  7. I went to a private protestant school for four years and it was horrible. The other girls were so catty to me because I was friends with all the boys since I was good at sports and they would always pick me first in PE. It also didn’t help that I was the biggest tomboy and refused to wear dresses, or pink.

    Also, I never fully paid attention in Bible class because I was too busy daydreaming about the Spice Girls, and the ridiculously gorgeous kindergarten teacher. And Pokemon.

  8. 17. You wanted to be a nun at one point because something about living in the company of women for the whole of your adult life felt right. —> YES!! All through elementary and middle school…

    • I seriously have struggled with this weird idea my whole life. I know 5 family friends all nuns and all totally gay. It seemed like the best idea to me:
      -All women
      -Fashion doesn’t matter
      -Singing
      -Painting
      -Guitar
      -Writing
      -Helping people.
      -Also all the bffs… seriously.

      I’m still a tad traumatized from my roman catholic upbringing mainly my never ceasing guilt..I don’t even have to do anything.. just think it.. But yeah happy I didn’t go into the Coventry just a religious studies major. phweeeww 🙂

      This is awesome by the way!

      • OMG THIS…never mind that I was raised Methodist and would either have to convert or start my own sisterhood (or is the proper term order?)…annnnnnnd get over my current massive crisis of faith, but details.

        I actually hid out at a monastery in western Michigan (it was closer than the nearest convent, and the monks were totally cool) for a long weekend a few years ago during a rough patch (long story, but I wasn’t hiding from the law or anything). Thought very hard about becoming a nun for a while after that, and still consider it now and again.

  9. You now have a weakness for button down shirts (and blazers).

    You now can only sing various Christmas carols – mainly ‘Oh Come All Ye Faithful’ – in Latin.

    When you see plaid you are struck with an urge to adorn it with giant gold safety pins and/or fill in the white bits with pens of various colors.

  10. AMEN SR.!!! (see what I did there…)

    Although I did actually love my school and classmates when I was there in high school. I actually work there now. It’s sometimes challenging but actually I found out that the school is reforming it’s hiring practices and policies because they want to have openly gay employees join the community. (I guess they don’t realize that they already have a couple)

    Can definitely relate to #30. The GF will vouch for that!!!

  11. This is fantastic. I totally have to write one now for recovering Mormons. Some of the things on this list would strangely cross over.

    Thanks for giving everyone (even non-Catholics) a reason to laugh during the painful process of recovering from a lifestyle religion.

  12. I’m 50/50 on this list, but I could add some more…

    – Having slurs hurled at you while walking to/from school taught you to come up with witty comebacks with lighting speed (AT LEAST I GET MORE PUSSY THAN YOU!)
    – You learned how to identify closet homo men really well.
    – Even though you aren’t catholic, you respect the religion more than you do mormonism
    – You challenged a religion teacher who told you women don’t belong in the military by citing Saint Joan of Arc.
    – You got really good at finding ways to sneak out of mass and hide in the basement of the auditorium with all your friends who were in theater club.
    – You became a master at fake-tucking in your shirt

      • It’s the religious teaching program of the Catholic church (stands for Continuing Catholic Development). In my church kids went once a week (normally an hour after mass on Sundays) from 1st grade to the beginning of high school.

          • Yes, essentially. Though to hear my mother tell it CCD was for the public school “heathens” whose parents didn’t care enough to teach their children about God 24/7 and imagined that an hour or two a week would somehow be equivalent to the *stellar* (cough cough) religious education we were receiving at the Catholic school. (More likely was that their parents recognized that paying for their kids to be educated at Catholic school, or at least at mine, was an enormous waste of money and a sub-standard education in an unregulated, nepotistic school system.)

            Needless to say between the havoc the CCD kids wreaked on our classroom and my mother’s not-so-subtle insinuations, I grew up assuming that public school was a one-way trip to Hell.

    • CCD kids were the WORST. They scratched the eyes out of the family picture I had taped to my desk. They left gum under my chair. They drew in my textbooks. And the worst part was that so many kids used the CCD kids as scapegoats for everything that was wrong in our classroom that eventually the teachers stopped believing any of it. I was forever being scolded for their misdeeds.

      also:

      31. The only gay faculty member (softball coach duh) was obligated to refer to her partner as her “roommate.”
      32. You began venturing into genderqueerness by choosing to wear the boys’ uniform-pants and a tie-on dress uniform days under the pretext that skirts and knee-highs were impractical on cold days.
      33. You looked forward to Mass because you could hold your girlfriend’s hand in public during the Our Father AND give her an extra-long hug at the Sign of Peace.

  13. This was great!!

    I’m proud catholic school survivor grades K-12, 9-12 all girls catholic school.

    You realized that all of the girls who disagreed with the teacher in morality class have since come out as gay.

    You still refer to STIs as crotch goblins.

    You recite the serenity prayer to keep yourself from cursing out everyone around you.

    The litany of the saints will always and forever be your favorite religious song!!

  14. The last one is completely spot on! I’m no longer actually a Catholic but I still feel ridiculously attached to Catholicism sometimes.

    I’m really intrigued by #18, I never thought about it! Is this actually a thing, like queer theory applied to saints other than Saint Sebastian? I’m needing this in my life now!

  15. 7. Your eighth grade religion textbook said that masturbation and homosexuality were mortal sins. This was when you first began to realize that you were totally fucked.

    ^ This! It sort of scarred me, even though I never bought any of that bs anyway.

    # 6, 13, 14, 17, 20, 28= very relevant! (and hilarious)

  16. I got really upset after reading 23 – ‘You attribute your manual skills to all the hymns you had to learn in sign language’ – because I read hymns as hymens and thought that other people actually got taught something practical in school.

    Oh well, that’s what being repressed will do to you.

  17. “26. Attending a school where everyone knew your middle name and personal history helped prepare you for entering a community where everyone knows who you slept with and how many times you and your girlfriend have broken up.”

    Yes, all of this. It didn’t matter if your catholic school had 600 or 2000 students, everyone knew EVERYONE and their family and their dog.

    Reading this in a boring class caused me to reminisce and laugh out loud multiple times.

    Also relevant (if you were out in high school) “Every single time a teacher, chaplain or guest speaker mentions anything about homosexuality or gay marriage the entire class would turn back to you to gauge your reaction.”

    • In my school, the everyone knows everyone’s family and their dog syndrome was largely due to the fact that SO MANY PEOPLE HAD THE SAME LAST NAME. You know, no birth control usage = massive #’s of kids per family, and then the kids grow up and marry the kids of the other massive Catholic families, repeat process…

  18. There are some really entertaining and useful things that come out of Catholic school as well. In my high school getting caught discussing homosexuality out loud got you sent to the dean. We were teenagers so we weren’t going to stop talking about cute girls, but we managed to never get caught by refusing to speak in English during passing periods. By the end of the senior year I was able to say “I love you” in 10 different languages and have full on conversations about how cute someone is in French, Spanish, Chinese and Italian.

    So basically, Catholic school made it so that when I go traveling I don’t know how to order food, or ask for directions or get on the subway, but I can flirt with everyone.

  19. Number #17 because my school had a random influx of young (20-25) nuns teach or intern or whatever and sweet black baby jesus, Sister Florence was my root. She was…. very healthy.

    She left to teach kids in Uganda because you know religious colonization baby!

    Other than that I really can’t with this list, it’s all too true for me. I’m a skeptic but came at peace with others being queer and religious without side-eyeing. I do the raised eyebrow which is a totally “oh okay” expression.

  20. I don’t identify with most of the things on this list at all! I’m in my senior year of high school, and i’ve been going to a Catholic school since Kindergarten. Maybe because my school wasn’t private, or possibly because my parents aren’t practising Catholics. We have two lesbian couples in our school, and no one has a problem with them. All of the students are supportive of homosexuality, and most of the teachers are pretty liberal, and if they aren’t they don’t continuously preach to the class about it. I mean, we do have anti-abortion posters covering our hallways, and we do have abstinence only education, but somehow it went over my head, even in elementary school I was never super religious. Also, my aversion to plaid never developed because the girls in the previous years would roll their skirts up, so now we have a co-ed uniform. Once I realized I was a major ‘sinner’ I sort of disregarded everything I had been taught, because I knew I was a good person, and i’m weirdly spiritual in other ways.

  21. My ex wanted to be a nun at some point. I can understand the appeal, actually. And I don’t even think she went to Catholic high school (don’t remember, really), we just both went to a Catholic college.

    Nuns are badass.

  22. Yes yes yes every single fucking one of these. And you’re conflicted about changing the femmey-Catholic name you’ve had your whole life (“Mary Colleen”, you guys. Grimace with me on three) because you’ll no longer be able to use your Catholic-school-survivorship and the culture’s fetishization as a seduction tool by saying “You know, my name even translates as “Mary the virgin. .”

  23. #25 (Coming out as a non-Catholic was worse than actually coming out) was definitely the one I could most relate to.

    I feel like my mom will throw Holy Water on me while I’m sleeping… not for being gay, but for leaving the Church.

  24. Not a lesbian but a recovering catholic school survivor (where my dad is still the principal of) and 25 makes me realize I would rather come out to my family as gay than tell them I’m n atheist. Number 30 is also spot on. As is 4. I’m an atheist with a rosary collection. Thank you Sacred Heart!

  25. The other day I actually spent about an hour entertaining my friends by pulling out a spare Bible hidden at the bottom of a box in my closet and finding all the weird stories. I still know the Bible so well that someone asked about a passage and I found it in under a minute. Sooooo all those hours and hours and hours pouring over the Bible are at least still useful as a party trick…

  26. Oh, Catholic elementary school… where they drilled into my head that I’m a boy. “Girls in this line, boys in thi-OTHER LINE!”; “No, you can’t sing the descant.” “But I sing it better than anyone else!” “You’re not a girl.”

    I’ve been an atheist since high school… and yet, if someone starts to badmouth the Holy Mother Church, for some reason I still start jumping to its defence… oh, Catholic guilt!

    PS: I’ve often wondered about asking to be excommunicated. I almost asked the Archbishop to do so one time – many years after becoming an avowed atheist – yet still that Catholic guilt/terror/whateveryouwanttocallit scared me too much to follow through.

  27. I loved my time at Catholic school. As someone who grew up with almost no parental guidance it was nice to be surrounded by teachers who really cared about me. The nuns at my school were super nice and really cared for me.

    As an adult I found that in my parish it wasn’t being queer that was looked down upon. We even had queer Confirmation teachers! It was having no children made you an outcast within the community. They really want you to make more Catholics. Sad

  28. “26. Attending a school where everyone knew your middle name and personal history helped prepare you for entering a community where everyone knows who you slept with and how many times you and your girlfriend have broken up.”

    Totally works for SDA’s too. My friend’s girlfriend has a friend who was raised SDA and I knew in one guess which SDA high school she went to and some of her classmates and teachers.

    • OMFG I was born, raised, and baptized SDA. Went to SDA boarding school and my graduating class had 26 people in it. To say we were all in each other’s business is such a laughable understatement….

      • Yep, born, raised, and baptized. Thankfully I was able to avoid boarding school but still went to a day academy with 25 or 26 students in my graduating class. Of course, then I went to SDA college. You know so much about people it starts to feel incestuous.

          • I went to CUC up in Canada (as opposed to the CUC in Maryland). I definitely know people who went to Andrews, being from OR and WA though most of my classmates went to Walla Walla or PUC.

          • Yeah, wow we probably know a lot of people in common. Although I have this theory that in the SDA world, six degrees of Kevin Bacon no longer applies. It’s like four degrees of Doug Batchelor or something. We don’t need the full six degrees (and in fact, four is probably too generous).

          • 3 or 4 degrees of Doug Batchelor sounds about right, I never did understand why my parents liked him so much. I’m away from most of it now, haven’t stepped foot into a church except for a funeral in years, but it has a whole cultural aspect to it that seems similar to cultural Catholicism.

          • Yeah, that sounds like many an average Adventist. In December, my mother sent me a chain email about how we shouldn’t patronize businesses that didn’t decorate for Christmas. Santa was mentioned repeatedly. I was confused….like when did Santa become a religious icon? Anyway, yeah. Also, my grandfather repeatedly sends me emails linking to Christian dating sites. I think he considers me an SDA failure for not cranking out those marital babies already.

  29. Hell yes, especially to 8, 9, 25, 26 and 30. My mom full on fuh-reaked out when I merely related the fact that if I didn’t get married in a Church it wouldn’t be a sacrament (Senior year religion class was on marriage and marriage alone.) Thankfully she has chilled, probably due to the fact I’ve got a bunch of queers and atheists/agnostics ahead of me in my fam.

  30. Recovering Catholic, checking in. I used to facilitate Confirmation retreats, co-taught CCD with my parents for a while, played with the weird Opus Dei family’s kids, etc.. I’m a total C&E-ish person now, but I help out my parents with their church projects and whatnot now and then.

    Every time I go to Mass or a parish event I always feel like I’m carrying a flashing “BIG BAD QUEER” sign and it’s super awkward no matter how much I try to blend in. I get sad that I feel like I need to blend anyway because church and Youth Ministry were really safe spots for me growing up (that’s where the gay kids go, if anyone’s wondering).

    I do go to a slightly more “progressive Catholic” church which sounds weird but is apparently a thing sort of? Our super conservative bishop hates us so I consider that a win. (Number 31: You continue using “we” to refer to your parish even after you’ve mostly stopped going and are a confirmed non-deist. Catholic Guilt strikes again, four Hail Marys for you, Glen Coco.)

  31. One more thing, and I’m almost terrified to post this.

    It is almost as hard to come out to your queer friends as catholic as it was to come out to your catholic friends as queer, and in fact many of your catholic friends took it better.

    Growing up in the catholic church was difficult, but at the end of the day it is what I believe in. I’m not saying that the church is perfect, far from it. But I feel good in my parish, and my life feels better believing in God, and being a part of my catholic faith then it did when I felt I had to cast myself out for shame.

    • I totally agree with you here. All my Catholic friends are perfectly fine with me being queer (hell, most of them are pretty queer themselves) but i always worry about telling the queer community that I’m Catholic, especially since I wasn’t raised Catholic and am going through RCIA. All the queers (that aren’t from the Akron area) I’ve told so far just sort of raise their eyebrows or tell me, in depth, how stupid I am for believing in religion (BECAUSE, YES, GREGOR MENDEL WAS SUCH AN IDIOT)

      • Wait hold on I love every respective word of this, particularly “Akron” “Catholic” “queer” and Gregor Mendel(fave) all rolled in to one perfect post… Marry me?

    • High five for this. I’m too lazy to be a good Catholic by any means, but I’ve never felt the need to break from the church, and I sometimes read/hear comments that make me want to duck for cover.

    • I really agree with this…I’m still Catholic.

      I had an good time at Catholic school because my mom’s lesbian. So homophobia wasn’t something I ever internalized – at all. I was able to make the catholic thing something that was personal, and I had ownership over that.

      I feel a lot of power in that, and it REALLY pisses off conservatives, to see someone claim their tradition on their own terms.

      My all-girl’s school was known as ‘the lesbian school’. The nuns were all gay and feminists. They were actually the best part of my school.

      It’s been much more difficult come out be Catholic. I didn’t experience any coming out angst at all.

      I might be an anomaly…but I feel good about that.

  32. Also another thing–you know your family is insanely Catholic when the rest of the (protestant) extended family WON’T TALK TO THEM ANYMORE.

    My…grandma’s side is protestant but my extended family is Catholic. My aunt outed me at a family reunion and the ensuing shitshow made the more liberal protestants just aghast. Apparently they sent a Christmas letter exhorting people to not be bigots? Hahahaha, nice try.

  33. I went to a Catholic elementary school, AND a Catholic all-girl highschool. And then I entered an art program in university. THANK GOD for urbandictionary.com, otherwise I never would have figured out what my uni friends were talking about half the time without looking like a total loser.

  34. My Catholic high school wasn’t horrendous. Although, practically my entire grade wanted my girlfriend and I to win “cutest couple” and we weren’t even allowed to be nominated, the principal DID fire the religion teacher that attempted to slyly snap pictures on his cell phone of my girlfriend trying to comfort me (very innocently) before a AP Chem test. He also permitted my girlfriend to wear a suit at prom.

    Now, working for a certain Catholic church (one that is a pretty huge deal in the United States) for 5+ years…now THAT made me a survivor.

  35. Hmm,I don’t identify with much of this, besides maybe #30. I’m still impressed by how little biblical knowledge I managed to retain during my seven years of CCD. I guess I was just too busy going through those catholic school kids’ desks.

  36. I was one of those damned CCD kids (although I didn’t do mine at the parochial school, I was in the “satellite” church which meant we used a Lutheran church’s facilities) but I still relate to a lot of these. Especially 6, 13, 14 and 17.

    My mom legit used to give my super conservative Catholic grandparents tons of pride stuff that they thought was referring to the Covenant. Mwahaha.

    Also, I didn’t want to do or be my Confirmation saint. Mine was a dude.

  37. Every time I hear about another gaymo from my graduating class I kick myself for being so dense/scared/repressed/in denial. IT. WOULD. HAVE. BEEN. SO. GREAT.

    But then again, I had a hard enough time not paying attention. If I would’ve figured out that a few of my friends were actually crushes, I would’ve been a goner.

    Also, anyone go on a retreat to go assist the old, retired nuns? Hilarious and fabulous.

  38. OMG Yes. Yes I am! On #17, I remember drawing myself as a nun for art class when we had to do a project called “When I Grow Up”. Hahahahahaha… Oh God. My mom still has that drawing. Dun dun dunnn!!!

  39. Irish, queer and ex-Catholic but I don’t really identify. My school was crazy religious though, a Catholic boarding school. Seriously, we had Mass at 7am on Friday’s before we even had breakfast, with even more Mass on Sat evening and yet more immediately after school on Mondays. Fuck mass guys. Prayers before and after every meal, prayers before classes (EVERY class) prayers before bed. Thank sweet holy baby christ on a unicycle that it’s the place that I met some kick ass queer ladies and fellow atheists, or I may have melted out of sheer guilt. Spooning on Sunday mornings with said lovelies was especially sweet too.

  40. Fantastic writing. you deserve a gold star!
    very true about wanting to be a nun… I wasn’t even that religious… maybe I just wanted a continuation of being at an all girls school ( being surrounded by girls) the other option would be prison :o/

    the question is Kate, and I hope you dont mind me asking, but are you a catholic now… the whole guilt thing ( not nice at all)… kind of makes you feel a tad unwelcome in church, which becomes difficult if your religion is a cultural and family affair….
    anyone else with this kind of dilemma…

  41. “kind of makes you feel a tad unwelcome in church, which becomes difficult if your religion is a cultural and family affair….
    anyone else with this kind of dilemma…”

    Oh yes.

    This was the first year I can recall that we didn’t go to midnight Mass, because I didn’t bring any men’s clothes (I don’t even own a suit or other dressy men’s clothes anymore!), refused to wear anyone else’s, and refused to pretend I’m anyone but who I am.

    We’re what in Hungarian is called “second-day churchgoers” – we go to Mass every second day; the second day of Christmas and the second day of Easter (except for my grandmother, who does go regularly), but despite that, Christmas was pretty awkward… and of course the Catholic guilt told me it’s entirely my fault!

  42. 7. and 30. both exemplify my experience with a dash of CCD kid fighting. HOWEVER, I wish 15. would have happened, unfortunately my mom could never make such a reference…seeing as she forgot everything to do with Jesus, Bible, and Church.

  43. 22. You can’t decide if you want to be or do your Confirmation saint.

    This made me laugh so hard! All I remember is how PRETTY she was, and how PRETTY her name was, and how much more meaningful she was to me, compared to the other students… they just chose their saints because their saint’s name ~flowed~ with their own first/middle/last names. How ~superficial~

  44. The only articles of my high school uniform that I did not burn after graduation were the pairs of pleated, navy men’s chinos and the unisex v-neck cardigans.

    Also, #22:

    My confirmation saint? Hildgard von Bingen.
    Aside from being an overall badass, she did, in fact, paint this mandorla: (AKA Medieval queer grrl art at its best.)

    http://heroinesofhistory.wikispaces.com/file/view/Hildegard_of_Bingen_en.jpg/243553369/Hildegard_of_Bingen_en.jpg

  45. HAHA!!! Number 30. Sad but true.

    Defending what screwed us in the first place.

    I don’t relate to the whole catholic system, but I was raised excessively happy-clap Christian so I totally identify with most of the points.

    So funny! 😀

  46. I’m not Catholic, but I went to a private Muslim school in Saudi Arabia and identify with this waaaaay too much. I’m a little bit jealous that you guys grew up with skirts that were short enough to look up, though (we wore plaid, too- but the skirts were ankle length. In the desert heat. I saw a girl pass out from heat stroke at recess once.)

  47. My actual first experience with drag was after dressing my mother up as king David at age 19. Though I’d never been able to bring myself to do it on myself, I’d watched tons of random drag tutorials online and it was obvious my mother had no idea how to make herself look like a man.

    I was apparently so successful that people at church didn’t recognize her at first, and when my (queer) friend saw her later that day, she got a twinkle in her eye and whisper-pleaded for me to make her a beard etc. too.

    Then I did it on myself, had an epiphany, and came out as genderqueer a month later. Had a big ol’ drag party with some queer friends and took pictures.

    My mom accidentally saw a picture of me in drag a few months later and asked me if I was trying to look like King David. Yep.

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