Editor’s note: The following letters were received through the magazine’s React Online form and from those written or emailed to the magazine
Finally, some diversity in an otherwise secular, mundane and pandering magazine. This is the first issue I actually read cover to cover. Some of the other online comments prove that the hate, prejudice and disdain that gay people face every day is real. I find it unfortunate that these comments come from supposedly well-educated Christian alum. Gay students have always been and always will be a part of the ND community. Not acknowledging them will not make them go away. This issue should have been published 20 years ago.
Mark Bomber ‘86
I am neither homophobe, Republican nor conservative (thereby disqualifying myself from your definition of unworthy) but must object to the Summer 2004 issue of Notre Dame Magazine. It was, in my view, an exercise in overkill in presenting a highly sympathetic view of homosexuality.
In the opening op-ed you admit to overstepping the previously agreed to bounds by a previous administration for publication by soliciting gay and lesbian alumni to write articles about their homosexual experiences. I presume that means that either 1) the current administration has changed those boundaries, or 2) you have decided to arbitrarily ignore those boundaries in putting together this issue.
I find either disturbing because, for good or bad, this publication represents to many alumni and other interested publics the culture and values of the University of Notre Dame.
The impression that these articles gave was that Notre Dame not only tolerates homosexuality (over which it has little choice) but welcomes, even facilitates such behavior (over which it does have a choice), despite its direct conflict with Catholic doctrine. We may exchange ideas, thoughts, beliefs and personal experiences until Hell freezes over, but what is morally right or morally wrong is not just a matter of individual conscience.
I used to pass on my copy of Notre Dame Magazine to young men and women who were incoming freshmen, so they could learn more of the tradition, culture and values of the place that would shape them in the years ahead. No longer, as I believe your publication increasingly represents a narrowly secular, socialistic and, now, agnostic point of view.
If that indeed reflects the current administration’s point of view, it will have failed to live up to the ideals of a great Catholic (note the large C) university and will have betrayed its trust to both students and alumni.
Michael N. Cantwell ‘58
Thank you and the authors for the articles, so well written. After a slow read, I sat alone a long time and gratefully recalled the Church’s teaching on conscience from Vatican II:
“Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment. . . . For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God. . . . His conscience is man’s most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.” (As quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1776.)
It should be required that all priests and bishops, archbishops, cardinals and popes, who exercise the prophetic office, also regularly hear confessions, and equally exercise the pastoral office. The confessional stretches the confessor between the tensions of the teaching office and the healing office, between law and life, between despair and hope. It is the absolute best place for clerics to be confounded by the soul-depth good will of men and women branded sinners because they acknowledge that they cannot live humanly without human touch. It is the place where penitents have patiently taught me to listen and have relentlessly led me to my own humanity.
How blessed we are to be Catholic!
Michael A. Jamail ‘71
First let me say how thrilled I was to see that Notre Dame Magazine, which has never shied away from controversial topics, finally devoted an issue to “The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name” of homosexuality. I admire and applaud your courage in addressing this very timely and divisive issue.
In particular, I enjoyed reading the article by Christopher Temple Davis about his evolution as a gay person, committed partner and gay parent. Like Christopher, I am also a graduate of Notre Dame, same-sex partnered for over 22 years now, and the proud father of two adopted children in Isaiah (age 6) and Isabella (age 5). My partner Michael and I have belonged to the same parish in Louisville, Kentucky since 1987, and our children now attend Catholic school there.
It is high time gay Catholics (and all gay Christians) started standing up and reclaiming our religion. Most gay people in this country were raised by loving parents who instilled in their children certain religious beliefs. For generations gay Christians have been told not so subtly that if you “choose to live the gay lifestyle” you can’t be a member of our club, and God will punish you severely in the end. The ironic thing is tha I had no choice in being gay (God made me that way) but I do have to make a conscious effort to “choose” to continue to be Catholic every day in the face of Church-sponsored hatred and discrimination.
The Notre Dame community needs to be made aware that there are kinds of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics. Turn off the TV and get those old stereotypes out of your head, they don’t apply any more now than they did 10 or 20 years ago.
Greg Bourke ‘82
First of all, I want to commend Notre Dame Magazine for its vision and integrity in taking on this subject. I was especially moved by “God Gave Me a Gay Son” and “All the Way Home”. I can’t imagine anyone from any viewpoint reading these, and not admiring their authors’ honesty and forthrightness. And yet, when reading through the pieces, I was already imagining that certain alumni would likely lament that their alma mater would give space to voices that ignore or belittle church teaching, etc.
As a recent Notre Dame alum (MFA), and now Visiting Faculty Fellow, I couldn’t help but feel the exact opposite: that the spiritual honesty and compassion and integrity that shines through most of these pieces embodies the spirit of Notre Dame at its best. It is the Notre Dame I have encountered among my students, and colleagues, and certain Holy Cross priests: a Notre Dame where compassion and acceptance reigns, where the most important words in scripture are: “Love one another as I have loved you.” I am convinced that those who are open to the spirit and allow themselves to embark on journeys like Thomas A. Nelson’s have done so by God’s grace. And those who refuse to consider that possibility and echo sentiments like those of our local archbishop have yet to experience that grace.
Francisco Aragon ‘03MFA
Thank you for the summer 2004 issue. I hope it is the beginning of a new discussion of the role of homosexuals in the life of the university and the Church. For those concerned about the appropriateness of the topic for the pages of this magazine, I would argue that it is in fact the obligation of the nation’s most prominent Catholic university to take up a subject that the U.S. bishops and numerous academics have seen fit to address. The truth is that many Americans and many Catholics understand homosexuality to be something different than the laundry list of sins and behaviors on which it is often (and I would claim erroneously) placed. Many of us have seen our family relationships and our spiritual lives improved by an honest awareness of our sexuality.
It is not a question of Notre Dame becoming more secular but of making sure that the debate includes those of us who love the university, struggle with our Catholicism, and happen to be gay.
Tom O’Brien ‘86
Overall you published a good series of essays. I particularly admire Tom Nelson for his relentless honesty and self examination.
It was painful to read of the ND administrations attempts to maintain an enlightened and compassionate stance on “gay” issues without violating RC orthodoxy. When I was an undergraduate “in loco parentis” and parietal hours were the big issues. Ah, such quaint and innocent times.
I fear that the RC Church hierarchy, at least during its current reactionary/conservative retrenchment is in danger of becoming intellectually and morally bankrupt.
I pray that Notre Dame will not follow.
Richard Kevin ’68
Raleigh, North Carolina
I am thankful that Notre Dame Magazine has finally addressed the issue of homosexuality at Notre Dame and done so with compassion and depth.
From my own experience, I can say that Notre Dame can be very lonely place when you are different, especially when you are gay. At the same time, I have always loved Notre Dame, especially because it always pushed me to seek God; to seek truth. In the face of so many voices, including, at times, my own, that would have me judge myself and others, being gay has allowed me to find the truth of God’s unconditional love and acceptance for all creation. I hope that this discussion will spark genuine contemplation and reflection. Once again, thank you for finally bringing this out of the closet.
Marc Echeveste ‘95
Finally. I would thank you, but your recent issue addressing (or should I say acknowledging the existence of) homosexuality is too long overdue.
The summer 2004 issue stated on the inside front cover: "Often these [referring to homosexual issues, among others] . . . come in shades of gray, defying black and white answers. Sometimes it’s okay to explore the questions without arriving at absolute certainty." With a prologue like that, I wonder just who was the intended audience for the repulsive drivel that followed.
The line in the story about the representative of the office of student affairs on pg. 44 that
there is a real difference between homosexuality and performing homosexual acts will go down in history with “I didn’t inhale.” “Thoughts, words, and deeds” can be sinful. This issue compromised Notre Dame by persons who oppose the Church’s absolutely certain teachings and gave them a platform from which to do it. What is it that the persons involved in this publication don’t understand about the story of Sodom and Gomorrah? Certainly, its message was absolute. That reading from the July 25 liturgy tells us that Lot could not find a single person in Sodom to save it from God’s wrath. There is no gray area on this teaching.
Would this magazine allow someone to urge its readers to suspend payment of its subscription price? If this magazine won’t allow that, how is that it can allow Notre Dame to be used by these modern day sodomites?
Michael T. Schaefer, ‘67
Treatment had good range of experiences and views. Missing was testimony from a gay priest about the lavender subculture among priests, monks, nuns that has existed for centuries. Until this is brought into sunlight—hypocrisy and coverup will continue.
Chuck Conway ’56
Palm Springs, California
Thank you for the package of articles on homosexuality in the summer issue. A group of us at the University of Memphis are starting a Safe Zone Ally Training Program and are tremendously encouraged by your sharing of stories and information. It is so exciting to see a prestigious school like Notre Dame lead the way in discussion and activism. Keep up the good work and believe in your efforts . . . as a Catholic in a secular, state-funded school environment, it’s heartening to me to be able find similarities in our struggles to foster social justice and compassion for an invisible population, too long ignored. Thank you again for your courage. As the song goes, “we’re in this world together.”
Thanks! It makes me proud that the Notre Dame Magazine took the lead and presented the human side of the gay/lesbian situation. Hopefully it will lead to a wider understanding and appreciation among the older (and maybe some not so old) alumni. I suspect that it is a non-situation among the younger alumni or at least I hope so. Being somewhat old-fashioned with basic conservative principles that form and guide my, what the popular media would say, are “wildly radical liberal ideas,” I find that the orange T-shirts say it all. Who am I to differ with “GAY? Fine by me.” if God, in his wisdom, created humans that span the spectrum of sexual feelings.
K. Edward Alexander ‘56
Newton Centre, Massachusetts
The parallels between Tom and Mark Nelson’s experience and my own are at first eerily familiar, but in reality, it is probably typical for many gay individuals and their parents.
First, it seems ironic that my father (who I’m outing as a parent of a gay son by writing this response) and Tom graduated in the same year at Notre Dame and neither could have ever imagined the remotest possibility of raising a gay son. Like Mark, I felt certain it would be best if friends and family didn’t know. It would simply be easier for them, although tortuous for us.
Second, when confronted with the “are you gay?” question, Mark’s response of “I don’t want to talk about it” was verbatim identical to mine. The sad part was that I desperately wanted to talk about it. The burden of the secret is truly enormous.
The feeling of being “in this alone” or the only one going through a coming out process is very alienating and often times both parents and their sons and daughters don’t know where to locate others who are going through the same thing. Luckily, there are organizations in virtually all communities that can be helpful such as PFLAG, which Mr. Nelson mentions.
I am happy for Mark that Tom has embraced him fully and that Tom has grown by having a gay son. I assume Mark has grown as well by having his father accept him fully. As more and more people come to know their gay sons, daughters, cousins, co-workers, neighbors etc, stereotypes will continue to break down and homosexuality as an issue will become less polarizing. After all, acceptance for who God made us is ultimately what we seek.
Paul Costigan ‘91
St. Louis, Missouri
I always wanted to attend Notre Dame, the pre-eminent Catholic University in America. But I was concerned to read some of the articles in the on-line Notre Dame Magazine that seemed to countenance the position that homosexual acts were somehow moral in the context of a loving relationship. I did see an article that promulgated the Catholic church’s teaching on the subject, but the inclusion of some of the other articles gave a certain ambiguity to your treatment of the subject. It does not seem appropriate to publish articles that imply that homosexual acts may be a good thing. There are plenty of outlets that teach error on the subject already. It should be noted that they are mortal sins that kill the supernatural life of the soul. Let us not confuse anyone on the subject. Immortal souls are at stake. Or does Notre Dame no longer believe in eternal salvation? True love for the sinner (and not the sin) requires that we always teach the truth on this subject.
This subject is not as complex as some, including the Prince of Darkness, would have us believe. And by the way, I attended another Catholic college that wasn’t as ambiguous in its presentation of Truth.
I want to congratulate you on an excellent set of articles on homosexuality. I thought the article on “What the Church Has to Say” was rather weak. Once you hold that it is not wrong to be a homosexual , it does not make much sense to say that all sexual acts of a homosexual nature are wrong. It would seem more reasonable to ask when are sexual acts, whether heterosexual or homosexual, wrong. There does seem to be a circularity in the reasoning. All homosexual acts are wrong because all sexual acts outside of marriage are wrong. But to know that all acts outside of marriage are wrong, not a position clearly taught in the BIble, one would have to show that pre-marital and extramarital sexual acts, masturbation and homosexual acts are always wrong. No case seems to be presented to establish the immorality of all such acts. Further it is claimed without sufficient empirical data that homsexual unions, whether labeled ‘marriages" or not, would cause moral harm to society and to the institution of marriage. Perhaps, but it is not obviously the case. If one is genetically determined to be homosexual, how can the inclination be “objectively disordered” since this is the way the person was created by God?
I am not homosexual and have no personal ax to grind. I celebrate my 43rd wedding anniversary in August.
Edward King ’65 Ph.D.
University of Windsor
In memory of my husband, Jack Wiggins,’43, I commend you on your courageous (unfortunate that such journalism needs courage to be written) edition on homosexuality. Jack was alarmed at the extreme conservative bent of some of the thinking of fellow ND graduates. His view, and mine, is that we are all one in our humanity and that division creates roadblocks in our mutual effort to live our common lives as generously and lovingly as we imperfect creatures can. Keep on promoting the true spirit of Notre Dame.
With regard to the summer issue of the Notre Dane Magazine—My heart goes out to the father with a homosexual son,of course you should not abandon your son. I have a lot of sympathy for homosexuals and lesbians who are trying to lead a chaste life as I do for alcoholics and drug addicts who want or are trying to quit. Jesus said little about sex, except “Neither will I condemn you, go and sin no more”, “He that divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery” and “He that lusts for a woman has committed adultery in his own heart” . Instead, He concentrated on love, compassion, forgiveness ,kindness and helping the poor and afflicted. He said nothing about homosexuality except reference to Sodom and Gomorrha, possibly because His audience did not question the sinfulness of homosexual acts. I was also impressed with the innate goodness of the authors. I do not think that homosexuals should be persecuted or abused.
Having said all of this: Have we lost our collective minds!! The homosexual life style should not be encouraged, which is the net effect of this issue!! Homosexual activity has been the primary cause in spreading AIDS in this country, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths. Homosexual priests have done immeasurable damage to the church and have undoubtly caused the loss of innumerable souls. Anal sex and sodomy have no redeeming social values!! The church’s position is correct.“Love the sinner, hate the sin”. Being an homosexual is not a sin but homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered and are sins. I don’t know where Mr. Monczunski dug up the Vatican document that said “—circumstances may exist—that would—remove the culpability of the individual—.” If this were the case, pedophiles would not be culpable. I doubt that it is church doctrine.
On reading the stories by homosexual and lesbian authors, it does not seem that they had an irresistible drive to have sex with the same sex. They liked and were attracted to people of the same sex. Well okay, but they don’t have to have sex with them. Hetrosexual people have temptations too, but they are expected to resist them and avoid occassions of sin. People do give into temptations, but at least don’t try to argue that it is not a sin and is okay. The T-shirts worn by 2000 at Notre Dame saying “Gay?, Fine by me”is essentially saying “Homosexual acts are fine with me” else there would be no point to them. Suppose one wore a T-shirt saying " Practicing drug addict? Fine with me"? A homosexual living chastely with a partner is not reasonable. It is like an alcoholic running a bar. Also not marrying and living a celibate life should not be assumed to be impossible as most priests’ lives prove to the contrary.
When I went to Notre Dame (1946, 1948 to 1951) I loved the place. It was not perfect, but I considered it to be the closest thing to Camelot that I will ever see.I am disappointed with the present Notre Dame, it appears to me that Notre Dame has not been in the forefront of defending the Faith on the major articles of faith on abortion, divorce, contraception and homosexuality that are being attacked today. If people lived in accord with these doctrines, our country would not have most of the problems it has today. It seems to me that Notre Dame may be selling its soul for political correctness and membership in the “elite” school club. This is the reason that schools such as the Ave Maria University are being founded. I know that there are many good people at Notre Dame. May Our Lady with the help of Father Jenkins reclaim her school.
Arnold Anderjaska ‘51
I’m a senior at Scripps Women’s College in Los Angeles, California. I’m working in Connecticut and staying with a graduate of Notre Dame (his two sons, I believe, attended Notre Dame as well). Your summer 2004 edition recently arrived and has been sitting on the kitchen table for a several days. When I sat down to read a bit over lunch, I was thrilled to see that you had chosen to highlight the queer community in such a special way. I, myself, am not queer. However, many of my classmates and friend are. I know how much it means to them that Scripps supports them and takes steps to educate the Claremont Colleges community.
I can only imagine what the most recent edition of your magazine means to the queer community of Notre Dame. Not only are the stories interesting, but they cover a variety of perspectives and experiences, which is not only good for the queer community, but will help to encourage the straight community to become more accepting and tolerant through the insight you’ve provided in your magazine. This is most admirable, especially in a Catholic institution. Kudos to you and keep up the good work!
Times are changing and I think it’’s great that Notre Dame Magazine has illustrated this. To read about other members of the Notre Dame family who have shared similar fears and joys related to being gay further makes me wonder why I did not come out to more friends while an undergrad at ND. I think the articles in this recent issue enlighten the reader with sincere and heartfelt emotions from their authors from different viewpoints. There is now sensitivity training in the dorms related to homosexuality and more students engaged in the student support group. Then, to read about the continued recognition and support by the student body for the gays and lesbians on campus makes me glad that pathways are being opened to current and future GLBT students to feel accepted on campus. Seeing the support from straight allies wearing the “Gay? Fine by me” T-shirts instills in me pride for my alma mater that so many straight allies abound on campus. I think understanding of the GLBT community can only get better when open discussion is held.
These articles about the father of a son who is gay, two men sharing with their loved ones their commitment to one another, and the student who is bisexual portray that the lives of the GLBT community contain issues that can and are found in all walks of life. I am proud that Notre Dame Magazine has chosen to bring the lives of these individuals to life. One reason: mature opinions are hard to form when based solely on rumors, stereotypes, or, nowadays, characters on television. I’’ve found that those people with whom I have shared my sexual orientation are appreciative that I cared and trusted them enough to share this part of my life with them.
A wise priest on campus once said told me when I finally admitted to myself that I was gay that God made me. God is perfect. He doesn’t make mistakes. Therefore, if God made me then I am not a mistake. I stand by those words to this day. And when I am attending Mass on Sunday morning, I find myself thanking God for making me who I am. And who I am is all God wants me to be.
I hope Notre Dame Magazine has more editions that address controversial issues so that, like the issue on homosexuality, voices that would normally be suppressed are heard. Yes, the opinions on issues such as homosexuality may diverge from Catholic teaching but are, nonetheless, issues of the modern world that need to be approached.
Jeffrey Fersch ‘98
Thanks for including in the package a rundown of church teaching on homosexuality and the perspective of Courage members striving to live the chastity to which we are all called, gay or straight.
I was particularly interested in the piece by Thomas A. Nelson. I too have dealt with a loved one’s struggles with same sex attraction. What I found when doing psychological and sociological research, however, was quite different. Please consider:
- Dr. Robert Spitzer, the Columbia University psychologist who in October, 2003, published a pivotal study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior demonstrating that therapy can cure homosexuality, especially among highly motivated patients. Dr. Spitzer’s work is especially significant since he played a key role in the highly politicized decision in 1973 to remove homosexuality from the psychiatric manual of mental disorders.
- Stanley Kurtz, the Hoover Institution sociologist who has documented the connection between “gay marriage” and the decline of the family in Scandinavia and Holland. Kurtz demonstrates that when a culture redefines marriage to include gay unions, the unity of marriage and child-raising dissolves. Children increasingly are raised by couples who never marry and therefore separate more frequently, with predictable damage done to the children.
- Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, founder of the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (www.narth.org. In the recent book A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality, Dr. Nicolosi and his wife, Linda Aimes Nicolosi, explain the connection between “gender identification disorder” in pre-pubescent children and ater homosexuality. They inform parents what they can do if, for instance, a son exhibits “sissy boy” tendencies that could predict future same-sex attraction.
- Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons of the Catholic Medical Association. This renowned psychiatrist has been the main voice promoting “Homosexuality and Hope,” a brief but thorough analysis of the causes of same-sex attraction and what can be done to treat it. You can find it online at cathmed.org.
If any place in our society is going to hold a fair and honest debate about homosexuality, it must be a Catholic institution like Notre Dame, where faith and reason come together in the unity of truth. For people like my loved ones (and Mr. Nelson’s son), we can do no less.
James R. Dunlap, Jr. ‘84
In the summer 2004 edition you published a collection of essays on the subject of homosexuality. In your introduction you said “we believe it is the kind of treatment readers would expect from a faith-filled and intellectually vigorous Catholic university.”
I have my doubts about this. Your essay on the Church’s teaching is very clear . But then you permit several people to make their plea for acceptance of their active [sinful] homosexuality. The teaching of the Church seems to be just another opinion that is “vigorous intellectual activity.”
St. Paul was one of the most vigorous intellectuals in the history of the Church.I cannot imagine St. Paul ever publishing a collection such as you have. When he heard of sinful immorality he was quick to identify and condemn it.“It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and of a kind that is not found even among the pagans. for a man is living with his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.” I Cor.5:1-2.
You quote the late Archbishop Sheen in the article on the Church’s reaching to show that you do not have to hate the sinner to hate his sin, which is carrying him to eternal perdition.
I live in Japan where in 1973 the Blessed Mother appeared to a Japanese nun to give her messages meant for the whole world, similar to the messages she gave at Fatima. In one she said that if the Father sends a terrible punishment on mankind because opf its deep sinfulness the good will have to suffer with the bad. Didn’t Abraham gain a promise from God that He would spare even Gomorrah if he found just 10 innocent persons there? She gives the reason. It is because the good have not done the penance they are asked to do in order to obtain the conversion and salvation of the sinners. They have not prayed, fasted, or given alms as asked. But also have failed in the charity of correcting the sinner. This is a prime spiritual work of mercy. Not to do so is ,in effect, to leave the sinner in his sin and to “hate” him.
Here is where I think you fail. I think it is the Pauline Vigor that you should find in a “faith filled vigorous Catholic university.”
Paul says further in II Cor 13:2:“I warned those who sinned before and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come again I will not spare them”.Paul is the “faith filled intellectual”.Your type of collection could be found in the publications of several secular universities who make the perennial claim that they are seeking the truth. And in the meantime the Ancient Serpent laughs.
Fr. Bede Fitzpatrick OFM, ‘43
Lets worry about the children, for they have much to worry about. First they must worry about getting killed before they are even born. Next they must worry about their mother being married to their father and then they must worry about their mother staying married to their father. Finally they must worry about who will take care of them when their mother goes off to work. Now all the homosexuals that I know are doing a very good job of taking care of themselves and don’t need ND Magazine worrying about them. If you are running out of things to worry about, just let me know because I am sure I can keep you busy.
Tom Wich ‘63
I am grateful for the several fine articles addressing the challenges and experiences of gay and lesbian people who have been and are part of the Notre Dame University community. In working as Resource Director for the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries (www.nacdlgm.org) I often hear from gay and lesbian people, their parents and family seeking supportive communities of understanding and welcome. We are most faithful to the gospel when we see “others” beyond labels and judgments as God’s beloved.
Father Jim Schexnayder
Walnut Creek, California
We are very pleased and grateful to see Notre Dame Magazine dedicate its Summer 2004 issue to a sensitive and courageous discussion of homosexuality from various perspectives. There are many misperceptions about the gay community today, often because people do not know much about it. You have done a great service to many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) members of the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s community.
We are the officers of the Gay and Lesbian Alumni/ae of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College (GALA), and organization that has been serving GLBT alumni/ae since its formation in 1993. GALA strives to promote solidarity and friendship among GLBT graduates, students and friends of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College; provide support to OUTReach ND, the GLBT student group on campus; sponsor charitable, educational, social and spiritual activities which further the interests of the GLBT members of the ND/SMC community; improve communication with University and College officials; and increase the visibility GLBT alumni/ae at Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and nationwide. We currently have a membership of nearly 1,000 ND/SMC alumni/ae and anticipate that there are several thousand additional GLBT graduates who are not yet in contact with us or do not yet know that we exist.
It is our great hope that gay or questioning alumni/ae may see this letter and know that there us a resource for them to contact within the greater Notre Dame community. GALA has regional leaders throughout the country who would be delighted to speak confidentially with them. Locally, GALA sponsors various social, charitable and educational events, including our own version of “Universal Notre Dame Night” every spring. On campus, we host an annual tailgater in tandem with OUTReach ND and sponsor the annual Notre Dame Queer Film Festival.
Coming to terms with being gay is often a very difficult process, both for students and for alumni/ae. Nearly one-third of suicide attempts in young adults today are due to sexual orientation issues and the needless fear and shame often associated with them. Without support and affirmation among peers, as adults these issues can turn into equally life-threatening conditions such as depression, nervous disorders and substance abuse. We are proud to offer a source of support for these individuals, coordinating closely with OUTReach ND. We encourage gay or questioning alumni/ae to visit our website (www.galandsmc.org) or contact GALA directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. On our website you will find contact information for the regional leaders throughout the United States and internationally, as well as information on how to join GALA.
Once again, please accept our thanks and gratitude for the magazine’s insightful and helpful issue.
Gus Hinojosa ‘82, chair
David Pais ’72, vice chair
Kevin Heffernan ’93, secretary
Gay and Lesbian Alumni/ae of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College
When can we expect to hear from pederasts, practitioners of incest, pornographers and serial murderers? After all, they can’t help their orientation, and we must be understanding, even compassionate, must we not?
Pardon me, while I vomit.
Spouse of 1957 ND graduate