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Casey L. was raised Catholic, and for many years she couldn't understand why others thought that queerness and Catholicism couldn't go together.

“My mom’s reaction when I first came out to her, more than anything, was that she really hoped that that meant that I wouldn’t lose my faith. That was like her biggest concern, ‘cause she basically said, 'We didn’t prepare you for this, your life as a minority, as a sexual minority, as a member of a group that’s still not seen as 100% valid or equal in this society—we didn’t prepare you for that. So you’re going to need something to lean on, and I really hope that your faith isn’t something that you lose, cause you’re gonna need it.'”

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Casey L. recorded her story in Washington, D.C. on August 1, 2013. Thanks to the Religion & Faith group at the Human Rights Campaign for allowing us to use their space. Photos by Francis Gonzales.