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Being a Priest was my DRAG – Interview with Father Michael Cassabon: S01E03

Being a Priest was my DRAG

Hello and welcome to episode three of TLLoM.  My name is James Powell and I want to thank you so much for joining me on this personal journey of healing, discovery and possibility. 

One of the big reasons for starting TLLoM is my belief that we grow, heal and shine when we authentically share our stories.  With this belief I want to use this platform to have conversations with other queer people of faith, trauma survivors, people in recovery and people hungry for a deeper spiritual connection in their life.

S01E03 Being a Priest was my DRAG

Father Michael Cassabon joins for a conversation about what it was like to grow up gay in the Catholic tradition. Michael shares his experiences attending seminary at the Vatican, talks about being outted, being labelled ‘disordered’ by the church for his same-sex attraction and what shifted in his life to help in love himself enough to get married to his husband. 

Michael’s Bio 

Michael Cassabon, a native of the Bible Belt in South Carolina, served in parish ministry as a Roman Catholic priest for nearly ten years. He attended seminary at the Vatican, and studied theology and church law at the Jesuit and Opus Dei universities in Rome. He received another degree in theology from Duke Divinity School.

Michael left ministry shortly after coming to terms with the abuse he suffered as a teenager by another priest. Ironically, this information came to the surface when Michael was forced into therapy by the Church when it was discovered that he was gay.
 
Michael has spoken out against institutional corruption and cover-up in the Roman Catholic hierarchy. Michael technically remains a priest, but his laicization process (defrocking) began last year after Michael brought forward allegations of abuse coverup among some bishops.
Michael collar
Ostensibly, Michael is being laicized because of his marriage. However, the Church hierarchy knew of Michael’s marriage to his partner Luc for years without taking action. Several weeks after Michael petitioned the Vatican for an investigation, the Bishop – made aware of Michael’s whistleblowing complaint – began a defrocking process against him. Michael now works as an advancement professional in higher education and is writing a book about his experiences and the journey toward forgiveness. 

LISTENER ADVISORY: this episode may contain triggers for some. Topics in this episode include: sexual abuse, trauma, suicide, exorcism, addiction & conversion therapy 

Here’s a rundown of our interview

(3:46) Being a Priest was my DRAG – Interview with Father Michael Cassabon

Father Michael Cassabon joins for a conversation about what it was like to grow up gay in the Catholic tradition. Michael shares his experiences attending seminary at the Vatican, talks about being outted, being labelled ‘disordered’ by the church for his same-sex attraction and what shifted in his life to help in love himself enough to get married to his husband. 

Michael’s background:

(6:06) Catholic Church is the ONE true church

(8:08) My first sense of being “different”

(8:19) How I learned being gay was unacceptable

(10:50) Being gay pushed me further into my faith

(11:50) The first person I told that I was gay

(14:10) Going to school at The Vatican

(18:10) – Shun your same sex attraction

(22:45) Left handed boys are more apt to be gay

(24:50) Being DISORDERED

(27:55) I nearly killed myself while in conversion therapy

(30:30) It’s a sin to question Father

(31:24) My father is dying of cancer

(35:20) Coming out to my Father 

(42:12) Being a priest was my drag

(50:28) We must be careful with religion around children

(1:00:30) If you can’t love yourself

(1:01:20) What’s next for Michael

(1:03:54) Rapid Fire Finish

(1:07:30) Show Close

Share your voice questions

  1. What would your life look like if you had been born into a completely affirming world? eg – religious institutions were 100% affirming of LGBTQ people, no racism, discrimination, a world where everyone loved and respected each other.
  2. Have you ever been told that you were unworthy, unwanted or unlovable? Who told you this and at what age? What impact did these messages have on your life?

We hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you did, please remember to share, rate and review.

We would also love to hear your thoughts, comments and opinions. Drop us a note hello@ThisLittleLightOfMine.CA

You are loved.

James

James Share Your Story Voice Mental Health Recovery Spirituality Faith LGBTQ Sex Addiction Inner Child Trauma Bible Purpose Homosexuality Leadership Spirituality Rating
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