The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

'A voice for the voiceless'
Kiley O’Brien ’25, Assistant Features Editor • July 18, 2024
Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

I feel valued and heard as a bisexual Catholic student, mostly

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GRAPHIC: HANNAH PAJTIS ’26/THE HAWK

I came to St. Joe’s looking for a university with a strong sense of community. Community is not something that just happens on its own, you need to be persistent to achieve it. Community requires attention. I have put in the effort to enter into and foster communities on campus, and I encourage you to do the same.

I am a bisexual Catholic. When I tell most people this, their response is often one of confusion. I can tell that they are thinking, “How does that work?” Some may say my email signature is oxymoronic, as it includes my roles in Campus Ministry, such as Peer Minister for Liturgy and Music, juxtaposed with my role as Secretary of SJUPride.

I have my own theological convictions that have brought me to a place where I am comfortable with these two (sometimes conflicting) identities. But this personal conviction of belonging becomes futile without acceptance by others into these communities: the Catholic Church and the LGBTQIA+ community.

I often feel that I am wearing two hats. I can go to mass, and I can go to a Pride meeting. There are not many spaces on campus where I feel I can be both bisexual and Catholic at the same time.

One of the places where I do feel I can be fully accepted as a bisexual Catholic, however, is Wolfington Hall, the home of Campus Ministry. When I walk into Wolfington, I am always greeted with open arms, but especially when I attend “Coming Out, Spiritually,” an affinity Christian led community (CLC) led by Maeve DeNardo ’25 and Alex DiGiacomo ’26 that discusses the intersection of spirituality and sexuality.

The idea of “Hawkmates” also adds to the ambiguity I feel as a bisexual Catholic at St. Joe’s. Are LGBTQ couples welcome to participate in alumni association events directed towards couples, such as the former Mass for Hawkmates? We need more LGBTQ advocates on campus. I wish members of The Alliance, an LGBTQ support group comprised of faculty, staff and administrators, were more publicly known in our community as advocates, not just as allies. I wish my LGBTQ friends were not scared of experiencing the strong sense of community I feel when I enter Wolfington Hall.

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