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Gay and Catholic: Accepting My Sexuality, Finding Community, Living My Faith Paperback – October 20, 2014

4.3 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"For a firsthand look at this challenging but grace-filled path, as well as practical tips for helping same-sex attracted friends and family, read this book." --Brandon Vogt, Author of Saints and Social Justice


"This book was a real grace for me, as it will no doubt be for many others trying to live as disciples of Jesus." --Peter Steinfels, Codirector of the Center on Religion and Culture, Fordham University


"Eve Tushnet puts a human face on Church teaching." --Rev. Louis Cameli, Author of Catholic Teaching on Homosexuality


"Full of wry humor, practical advice, humility, and best of all, deliciously pungent word craft…. Part memoir, part guidebook, and honest to the core." -- --Simcha Fisher, Author of The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning

About the Author

Eve Tushnet lives in Washington, DC, where she was raised somewhere between atheism and Reform Judaism. She cofounded her high school's gay/straight alliance and entered the Catholic Church in 1998, during her sophomore year at Yale University. She is a freelance writer and a recovering alcoholic. In 2010, she was profiled in the New York Times "Beliefs" column.

Tushnet blogs regularly at The American Conservative and Patheos. Her work has been published by the Atlantic, Weekly Standard, Commonweal, and First Things, and she has written for the Washington Post "On Faith" blog and the New York Times "Room for Debate." She has spoken on being gay and Catholic at Carnegie-Mellon University, Georgetown University, Princeton University, Fordham, among others. She has also addressed a group of campus ministers in the Diocese of Pittsburgh and spoken with Interfaith Voices, a syndicated public radio show. Tushnet contributed an essay on gay Catholic life to the 2008 anthology Faith at the Edge, and has essays forthcoming in books from Fordham University Press and Notre Dame University Press.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ave Maria Press (October 20, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594715424
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594715426
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eve Tushnet is a writer in Washington, DC. She has written for publications including the Atlantic, Commonweal, The American Conservative, the New York Post, and the online editions of the New York Times and Washington Post. She mostly covers the arts, from forgotten punk films to the US National Figure Skating Championships. She has published fiction in Dappled Things, Doublethink, and Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet. She is the author of "Amends: A Novel" and "Gay and Catholic: Accepting My Sexuality, Finding Community, Living My Faith" (Ave Maria Press 2014). Those are two very, very different books. Hobbies include sin, confession, and ecstasy.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Saying someone has a vocation to singleness is about as helpful as an atheist, when asked about their philosophy, saying that they *don't* believe in God. What you want to know is what people *do* believe and *are* called to, not to hear their life defined as a negation of some fuller idea.

Tushet, as a gay Catholic convert, quickly realized she wasn't going to wind up in a marriage or a monastery, and had to work on figuring out *how* to live a vocation not to singleness, generally, but to sacrificial love.

Our church and our culture doesn't offer very many models for profound relationships outside of the romantic realm--dismissing people as "just friends"--so Tushnet draws on historical records of vowed friendship, interviews with people living in intentional community, and her own experiences offering radical hospitality to give her readers vivid icons to guide them in their own discernment.

Since I read this book, I've been recommending it frequently, to plenty of people that are neither gay nor Catholic. The problem that Tushnet is working on is central to a life well lived.
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Eve is a breath of fresh air in an often toxic atmosphere of hypocrisy, obliviousness, and antagonism. She writes with wit and clarity about difficult topics, and you can't help but think that *this* is the tone the conversation should have had all along - frank, honest, and humorous/serious when appropriate. I didn't realize just how much I missed that kind of tone until I spent a couple nights with Eve's book; the sensationalistic, straw-men-laden offerings that clog up the internet today seem utterly inexcusable when contrasted with the compellingly human prose in "Gay and Catholic".

No matter one's beliefs about the topics Eve writes about, her tone and rhetorical posture provide a beautiful example of how to speak about contentious subjects with grace and nuance.

Though I'm a crumb-scrounging schismatic (read: Protestant :P), this has easily become my favorite book about faith and sexuality, and I can't recommend it highly enough.
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I really wanted to like this book. After the brouhaha that was the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, I was looking for a good book on the Church and homosexuality, one that combined faithfulness to church teaching with sensitivity to the plight of those who struggle with same-sex attraction. I read that this was such a book; unfortunately, I’m afraid it isn’t.

This is not to say, however, that Tushnet’s book is without real virtues. First of all, she is a fine writer, and the first part of the book, her conversion story, is a delightfully thoughtful and funny account of her entrance into the Catholic Church. The second half of the book, on living a life of fidelity to Christ, helpfully emphasizes the idea of vocation, defined not as a calling to the religious life but as a mission to live as a disciple of Christ, regardless of one’s station in life. Tushnet opened my eyes to the real difficulties facing same-sex-attracted Christians trying to live out their vocations while remaining celibate. She rightly laments the failure of many Catholic institutions to provide pastoral help for such people, especially the young.

But these real strengths (and others) are unfortunately outweighed by what I can only regard as her rejection of a good chunk of Catholic teaching on sexuality, a rejection which colors many of her suggestions in the book. Of course, Tushnet doesn’t see it that way, insisting that she accepts church teaching and is only dissatisfied with the way that teaching is presented.
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Format: Paperback
I've read a lot of books on Christianity and homosexuality, and this is my favorite one. In fact, I would say that the stories and ideas presented here (which I originally read on the author's blog over the course of several years) have changed my life.

Eve Tushnet's reflections on how Catholics and other Christians who uphold a traditional Christian sexual ethic can move from focusing on what gay people ought *not* to do to embracing a "vocation of yes" -- embracing God's call to us to love and be loved -- have permanently shifted the way I think about homosexuality and the way I am trying to live my life. I can't say enough good about this book, and I expect to return to it over and over again.
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Format: Kindle Edition
"There are few treasures of the Church more beautiful and more forgotten than its theory and practice of friendship. It seems every generation of queer Catholics must rediscover this neglected legacy and be startled by it: the 'wedded brothers' buried together in English cemeteries, the vows of kinship taken by friends in the Eastern Church, the intimacy and wry, practical wisdom of St. Aelred's Dialogues."

That is how Eve Tushnet opens the seventh chapter of Gay and Catholic, titled "Friendship in Theology and History." That's also the part where my jaw hit the ground and stayed there. Her book is packed with brilliant insight and fascinating memoir, but her ruminations on spiritual friendship put her book above and beyond what the title suggests. Far from being a niche book for a niche market, this is a book for everyone, gay or straight, Catholic or non-religious. If you are a human being living on earth and have contact with other human beings, then you need to read this book, particularly the sections on friendship -- a type of relationship that has deteriorated rapidly in Western culture. Eve Tushnet goes a long way toward reminding us of the depth and and importance of same-sex friendship, especially for gay people.

That's not to say that the rest of the book isn't good -- the rest of the book is pretty spectacular, actually. Her retelling of her childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood is self-aware, honest, and unflinching. And despite the fact that I come from a vastly different background and am living a very different vocation, I was surprised to find that her writing about living a vocation was hands-down the best thing I've ever read on the subject. It was practical, honest, mercifully unflowery, and full of things I needed to hear.
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