An Open Letter to the Totino-Grace High School Community and Alumni
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Dear LGBTQ and Allied Students of Totino-Grace High School,
Today, after receiving an email from Totino-Grace announcing the resignation of Dr. William Hudson because of his involvement in a committed same-sex relationship, our thoughts are with both Dr. Hudson and with you.
We are you. We walked the halls of TG, navigating the trials of our teenage years, classes and relationships. We went on service trips; we sang in the choir; we took shop, English, or Spanish. We played on the football team, the basketball team, we did Knowledge Bowl. And maybe, like you, we were struggling with our sexuality while attending a Catholic school. Many of us may not did come out until later in our lives; some of us knew back then. Some of us are not LGBT, but we are supportive of our friends and family members who are. We are you.
And we are all thinking of you. I cannot imagine how it must feel to know that our President, a man who has worked at our school for the past 9 years, resigned because he was gay. I can imagine, if I were you, that I might feel the need to further hide who I was knowing that if it was absolutely not acceptable to be an LGBTQ faculty or administrator at Totino-Grace, then it would not be acceptable to be an LGBTQ student.
But for many alumni, we know this is far from true. We look back on fond memories of the teachers, faculty, and administrators at Totino-Grace. They challenged us, taught us to think critically and creatively, and to have faith. It is because of them that we received such a quality education.
I know that for many of us, however, we do not have fond memories of high school because our lives were made worse because of our sexuality or gender identity. Our stories are many and our experiences are varied, but there is one thing we all have in common:
We support you for who you are.
But, like you, many of us no longer feel welcomed within the Totino-Grace Community. We do not feel we can offer our financial support to the place that helped shaped who we are. A community that depends on our support to thrive and to continue to provide a quality learning environment for its’ students.
It is true that Totino-Grace, as a Catholic High School and member of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul & Minneapolis, must uphold the tenets of the Catholic Church. We recognize that the school must ask its faculty and administration to uphold the standards demanded by the Catholic Faith.
But for many of us, this goes against the welcoming community we experienced at Totino-Grace. And no matter where we are in our faith journey, it reminds us of the disconnect between the Church’s stance on homosexuality and Jesus’ teachings. Today’s news is simply jarring; not to mention disappointing, saddening, infuriating and exasperating (especially considering Totino-Grace’s recent refusal to support anti-bullying legislation due to its LGBT-inclusive language).
Dr. Hudson, wherever you are, know that we support you. We cannot know the reasons behind your decision, but we thank you for your many years of service to the Totino-Grace community and wish you the best in your future endeavors.
Dr. Hudson and students of the Totino-Grace community who identify as LGBTQ or as Allies, we will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. We cannot know when the Church or the Totino-Grace Administration will revise their policies and choose to include us in their community, but we want you to know that you are a part of OUR community – one that embraces love, equality, and acceptance. We are you – and you live, in our hearts, forever.
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