Honoring GLBT Catholics silenced by the University and the Church
Six riders were arrested today for bringing three wreaths onto the Notre Dame campus to honor GLBT students and alumni
who have been silenced by the University and the Church. One was to be placed at the statue of Tom Dooley, a gay military commander and ND alum, and two at the prestine Grotto, a place of prayer and reflection. The Equality Riders never reached their destination but student Eddie Valasquez, accompanied by his friend, carried the wreath to Tom Dooley's statue.
This evening, I received an email from a Notre Dame student with whom I had interacted with during our time on and off campus. This is what he wrote:
I cannot truly express how thankful I am that the equality ride stopped at Notre Dame. Though a few friend of my friends know I'm gay and have been extremely supportive, I still have to put on a facade of a straight man in my classes, in public areas and around other friends. Having yall here on campus gave me confidence in myself and the person I am. I chose to come to Notre Dame for its strong catholic identity, since i was raised catholic all my life, and because of the Marching Band. I came out here at Notre Dame because 1) I was away from my family, and 2) I wanted to be myself. Unfortunately, the campus is very conservative so the second one is a little tough.
I applaude you and the rest of the riders for the wonderful work you are doing. I wish yall the best for your other experiences at other campuses. Thanks to you I have actually decided to go to mass this sunday, which i have not been to in the past 6 months.
Let the rest of the team know how much grateful I am for meeting yall, and i will pray for yall for a safe travel.
With tons of love for all the riders,
He will be in my thoughts throughout the rest of this ride, reminding me of the importance of this endeavour.