Hi all, my name is Cooper Kidd (they/them) and I am extremely excited to join fellow pilgrims at World Youth Day in Panama this January. I currently reside in Philadelphia, PA where I help conduct adolescent HIV research. A fun fact: one of my colleagues is actually a former Catholic nun and her husband was a Catholic priest.
As someone whose life revolves heavily around LGBTQ+ issues and topics, I have found that it is sometimes, read often, difficult to navigate my genderqueer identity with more traditionally conservative faith traditions. It is also challenging to also, and sometimes simultaneously explain, why I choose to retain some Catholic ties even as the Church continues to work against queer folx. It is then that I will sometimes explain when, but more often explain that Dignity/USA exists for people like myself who cling to both their faith and queerness.
I am blessed to live in a city where Dignity exists and I am eager to meet and interact with the other pilgrims, some of whom I met this past summer in Denver at the Dignity Young Adult Caucus Retreat. I believe that this experience will help promote queer Catholic visibility and also grant me the opportunity to rekindle my faith. I cannot wait for the opportunity to share and explore my faith journey with others.