From Closet to Lampstand: A Pastoral Call for Visibility

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Arts and Humanities | Catholic Studies | Gender and Sexuality | Religion | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


This chapter discusses the dangers of the closet both from the author’s perspective as a committed lesbian Catholic and as a sociologist who for the past four years has served on the board of the Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry (CALGM). It first presents her reflections on her own experience as a lesbian Catholic who came of age during the Second Vatican Council. It then considers the major challenges or difficulties facing LGBT Catholics today and the impact of the current state of affairs on the broader church, especially how all of us are weakened and diminished when we fail to welcome our LGBT brothers and sisters and see the ways the Spirit is alive and at work in them.

Book Description: This powerful new collection gives voice to the lived experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer persons with and within the Catholic Church, and promotes much-needed dialogue about faith and sexuality.

The Second Vatican Council's landmark document Gaudium et spes called Catholics to cultivate robust, mutually enriching dialogue with the modern world by attentively and discerningly listening to the "voices of our times." This distinctive new publication, the first of two volumes that explore sexual diversity and the Catholic Church, gathers an important set of these voices: the testimonies and reflections of Catholic and former Catholic LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) persons, their friends, family members, and those who teach and accompany them.