It’s only after having appeared in my progressive Catholic parish’s documentary about LGBT Catholics that I fully started embracing this particular identity; especially as a proud Tejano who grew up in the church. I’ve always been okay being both gay and Catholic during the silence of prayer; but not necessarily in front of fellow parishioners, most of whom I had never interacted with. If you’re also Catholic, you know that feeling; you see the same people over and over again, but you’ve probably never exchanged more than pleasantries with them.

But that’s not the case for me now. Today I’m a part of a vibrant community, one that accepts me as the queer Latino Catholic that I am. And it’s because of my willingness to express that life that I’ve been blessed to meet others working to make the Church a more accepting institution. One such individual is Father James Martin, whom I’ve interviewed and whose new book ‘Building a Bridge’ is out now.

I’m grateful that through ‘Hey Xorje’ and my additional endeavors, I can talk about the queer Catholic experience; in the hopes of inspiring others.

Hopefully, my appearance on ABC’s Nightline, and talking about said existence helps that cause.