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This alumnus of Kennedy Catholic High School offers words of support for gay students

Aaron Walsh struggled to reconcile coming out as a gay man with his identity as a Catholic. He's created a website to offer support and encouragement to other young, gay Christians.
Parker Miles Blohm
/
KNKX
Aaron Walsh struggled to reconcile coming out as a gay man with his identity as a Catholic. He's created a website to offer support and encouragement to other young, gay Christians.

For Aaron Walsh, the forced resignations of two gay teachers from Kennedy Catholic High School earlier this month were particularly painful.

He graduated from the school in 2005 and realized during college that he was gay. But reconciling his sexual orientation with his religious beliefs as a Catholic took three years of struggle.

Eventually, Walsh said he found parts of the Bible that spoke to him and gave him the courage to embrace his identity as a gay man and hold onto his faith. The words that he found particularly meaningful were from Romans 13:8-10: “Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

“It’s just this beautiful part of the Bible where Saint Paul talks about how all the law is really about love and about loving each other, loving God, loving yourself,” Walsh told KNKX Public Radio. “So that was an epiphany for me in terms of realizing, well, if everything we’re supposed to be doing for God and for each other is about love, how can it be wrong for two people to love each other?”

Two years ago, Walsh created a website designed to give support to young people struggling with the same questions about faith and sexual orientation that he had. It’s called Letters to a Young Gay Christian, and it is structured as letters written for different times of a person’s life, for example, “For the Day You Wish You Were Straight” or “For When You Fall in Love.”

Listen to the audio above to hear the complete interview with Aaron Walsh.

In July 2017, Ashley Gross became KNKX's youth and education reporter after years of covering the business and labor beat. She joined the station in May 2012 and previously worked five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.