It was a few weeks afterwards to where word got around this and so the priest decided to come talk to me. He actually told me to go into his office.
Hi, I’m Danny Lopez. I am from Austin, Texas.
Thirteen, 14 years ago, I started dating this guy. Everything was going good and well. Unfortunately, he was outed. In a way I was happy for him, but for me, I actually wasn’t. I felt guilty for my own self because I was not being my true self. Being closeted, but also being raised Catholic was also the reason why I couldn’t live my free life.
So here I am with this guy, just going to church every Sunday, and then still seeing him, of course him like three or four times a week at the time, but here I am this Sunday, every single Sunday. And that was going on for three, four years.
So my mom, how she’s involved in the church is that Sundays during mass, she takes care of the kids. So basically she kind of runs the nursery. So anybody that has kids that are noisy, or you know what, like, just drop them off. So she takes care of them. And some she’s kind of known them for quite some time so she kind of raises them in a way, even though it’s just for an hour or two. So some kids kind of have developed the conversation of calling her mom.
One Sunday, just right after leaving mass and everything, I heard my mom’s name and me being nosy, I just said like, “Hey, I’m new here.” I’m like, “My aunt wants to drop off her kids to see during mass.” And they’re like, “Do they have a nursery?” They are like, “Yeah, yeah.”
And so the lady that was in the conversation, she’s like, “Yeah, there’s a lady there that takes care of the kids. I drop off my kid off every Sunday, but I don’t like her.”
And I’m just like, “Well, what do you mean you don’t like her?” It’s just like, that’s very bold for you to say that.
And so just like, “No, I just don’t like the fact that her… she was… my kid called her mom.”
I’m just like, “Well, what’s wrong with that?”
And she was just like, “You know, it’s just like, well, that’s my kid, I’m his mom. And so I’m just like… I just don’t like her.”
The way she said it was just so vile, it was disgusting. And in a way it’s undermining the fact that it’s like, she’s probably talking shit about my mom. It’s just like, I don’t know if she has in the past or is it just now, but the way that was said, it was just so ugh.
So then I’m over here like, You know what? I don’t care. I just said, ” [foreign language 00:02:46].” So basically I just kind of said, I’m just like, “You fucking bitch, you have my mom’s name up in your mouth one more time – that way, I will knock your teeth out. That’s my mom. So if you have anything to say about my mom, you can say it to her face, or you can tell it to me.” Buh-buh-buh-buh-buh. That’s how she was. And I’m just like, I knew it, I thought so.
So I just grabbed up a rock because normally rocks are usually used in Catholicism in some kind of way. So I just said, “You know what? If you’re so perfect, throw the first stone.” Quiet. You can practically hear a pin drop outside. “Thought so.”
And I told my mom about it. I was like, “Yeah, there was this lady that was talking trash,” and I just told her, I was like, “Yeah, I kind of cussed her out.” She’s like “Why?” And I’m like, “She was talking mess about you.” I’m just like, “You weren’t there to defend yourself.”
It was a few weeks afterwards to where word got around this and so the priest decided to come talk to me. He actually told me to go into his office. I just said sure. I’m like, “What’s up?” Knowing in the back of my head, I’m just like, I think I know what he’s going to talk about.
He’s like, “Well, what you did was wrong.” I’m just like, “No, what she did was wrong too. She started talking mess about my mother and I don’t tolerate that.”
It’s like, “Well, when people treat you this way, you turn the other cheek.”
And I just said, “Well, yes, but that’s one way of belief. But my moral was it’s like you treat people the way you want to be treated and I’m not going to let someone disrespect my own mother when my mother was not there to defend her.” In the back of my head, he’s over here talking, I’m giving him the respect, you know, just out of common courtesy. We never interrupted each other anything. But I’m just thinking like as a gay man, likem, you know what? It’s not right. I can’t do this ‘cause it’s not me. I want to be me, but I can’t be me because what I thought was holding me back is actually just my way to let it all go. Like to fully be out.
The conversation didn’t resolve anything So I just said in the back of my head, I just kind of shut that door and I just said, “You know what? I’m not coming back. I’m not coming back to this life ever again.” And so I know my personal friendship with Jesus, with the higher up. I have my faith, but I don’t need a building to show that, I can show it on my own, but also still live my life as a gay man. And so for that, it just… it was just freedom. I can be me.
I’ve been thriving ever since. So after that, of course now both me and my boy are living out together. I’m not telling anyone to let go of a religion. You can still believe. There are certain points to cherry pick, but it’s just, if you feel your personal friendship with a faith, doesn’t matter which one, stick to it because it’s not – even though living your gay life or your authentic life with that, it can still be mixed together. Don’t let go of who you are, just hold onto your faith, but just live your life.