World Youth Day is this July 23-28 — and six Equally Blessed pilgrims are preparing for their journey to Rio de Janeiro, where they plan to be LGBTQ-positive presences at the large gathering of Catholic youth. Here on the 20/30 blog, we’re introducing you to these brave young adults. Next up, Sara Kelley:
Sara Kelley, Call To Action member
I feel called because of my own experience stumbling upon LGBTQ Catholics, which is where I learned that queer and Catholic aren’t mutually exclusive. I was a Jesuit Volunteer in 2008-2009, and planned on spending the year learning about other faiths which might welcome me, as I had not had that experience in the Catholic church (in which I was raised) or in the Bahai faith (which I was involved with for several years in college). I attended several denominations, met many welcoming people, but nothing compared the curiosity and joy I felt when I was told about a retreat for gay Catholics. I attended the retreat and met many wonderful people who had been brave enough not to let go of something they loved simply because someone told them they should. That was my discovery not just of queer Catholics, but progressives within the church. If I can be a part of helping any youth’s life who realized s/he does not need to give up a faith which s/he loves because of sexuality, I would relish that opportunity.