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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.