The Witness of Tully Satre

Posted by Censor Librorum on Aug 2, 2008 | Categories: Lesbians & Gays

Tully Satre is 19 years old. He’s a nationally known gay rights activist and writer. He got his start in Catholic school. tullysatre.jpg

At 16, while he was a student at Notre Dame Academy in Middleburg, VA, he founded Equality Fauquier-Culpeper, a gay rights organization in the rural suburbs of northern Virginia. It was the gay rights group in the area. While at Notre Dame, he also established a gay-inclusive diversity group, and volunteered for People of Faith for Equality in Virginia, a pro-gay religious organization.

Satre embarked on a career as an LGBT activist: writing, speaking, blogging, networking.  He became a columnist for The Advocate, and a reporter for the Windy City Times. Both websites maintain an archive of his stories and articles.

He discusses his experiences with Catholicism in at least two of the articles for the Advocate: “Confirmed as a Solitary Christian” and “Religion is Our Friend.”

I felt so sad for him–and so angry at rigid, heartless clerics–reading “Confirmed.” A 30-year-old priest bullied a 13-year-old boy about his sexuality, denying him the rite of Confirmation. “The church does not welcome you,” he said.

“I attended Catholic school since third grade up until high school graduation in June 2007,” Tully wrote in the Advocate. “The church has had a profound effect on my life, especially when it comes to being gay. It was largely responsible for my coming out. But I received negative feedback from my local community and was informally kicked oout of the church, after which I became bitter towards organized religion of any kind and identified as an agnostic.”

“It wasn’t until I met my friend Donna, a devout Catholic who works for the church, that I realized it wasn’t religion that was responsible for my hurt, it was people. Yes, the church, along with other religious organizations, teaches that homosexual actions are sinful; however, church doctrine clearly states that the harsh treatment of any person–homosexual or not–is strictly forbidden. And just because the church’s teachings are clear about homosexuality does not mean each member has to adhere to this belief. My parents are evoute Catholics, as are many of my relatives. They all have been supportive of me, going so far as to donate time and money toward advancing equality for LGBT people. In fact, their reasons for supporting me and gays in general were the direct results of their faith in Jesus Christ, who serves as a model  for compassion.”

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One Response to “The Witness of Tully Satre”

  1. John Says:

    Wasn’t he the kid who went up against George Allen?

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