October 11 is National Coming Out Day and Oakland, California author Maurice L. Monette is celebrating. His Confessions of a Gay Married Priest: A Spiritual Journey just won the 2013 Global Ebook Award for best LGBT nonfiction. Monette and his husband are also celebrating 25 years of commitment this year, in addition to the US Supreme Court’s recent recognition of their marriage equality.
Regarding his book, Monette confesses, “sure, I expose my soul and some flesh. This is a serious and sometimes humorous collection of stories about how I try to stay committed to my priestly vows and find human intimacy as a gay man. I hope the book affirms LGBT youth and their families, like it did mine, as they explore their own journeys of life, love and spirit.”
“It’s the one book I recommend for Pope Francis”, says Dan Grippo, former marketing director for the National Catholic Reporter. “The lessons Monette shares are lessons for the future church where all women, men and children are welcomed and appreciated in their diversity.”
Author of numerous books, Monette belonged to a Roman Catholic order of priests for 30 years, including 15 years of ordination, and directed graduate programs in church leadership and organizational psychology.
Sister Jeannine Gramick, co-founder of New Ways Ministry for gay and lesbian Catholics and a Huffington Post contributor comments, “Through little cameos in prose and poetry, Monette’s faith journey shows the triumph of the human spirit over religious messages to suppress sexuality. This is a story of self-discovery and self-acceptance that brings about freedom for a more authentic God-relationship.”
The book is getting attention beyond Catholic and former-Catholic audiences. Testimonials from around the world are on the GayMarriedPriest.com website including those from a globally-recognized sexologist (the daughter of Cuba’s President), the biographer of liberation theologian Gustavo Gutierrez, a Chilean torture survivor, a Brazilian transgender human rights activist, a Mexican marriage-equality leader, a Broadway playwright, a Sandinista fighter turned lesbian bride and the author’s former Father Superior.
Pastor Norma Burton of Unity in Ashland, Oregon says, “Maurice’s messages are perfect for anyone straight, gay, old, young, married or single who is willing to take courageous steps to deepen her or his spiritual journey.”
In just four years, the Global Ebook Award has quickly become the premier awards contest for electronic books, with entries from 16 countries. A panel of 350 judges determines awards for 75 categories of book ranking audience engagement, core message/thesis and layout.
Dot429, an online journal for LGBT business leaders, wrote “the religious population’s growing acceptance of LGBT lifestyles certainly may have had a hand in the success of Monette’s new book.” A March 5 CBS News poll indicated 66% of US Catholics favor letting priests get married, 66% favor letting women become priests and 62% believe same-sex marriage should be legal.
Since the book’s release, journalists have interviewed Monette on Pope Francis’s “Who am I to judge?” comments, the US Supreme Court’s rulings on marriage, anti-LGBT violence in Russia and other current events.
Confessions of a Gay Married Priest: A Spiritual Journey was published by the Vallarta Institute on January 23, 2013 and is available at bookstores and Amazon.com in paperback for $14.99 and digital format for $9.99. All author proceeds support various human rights organizations. Monette is available for radio, television or print interviews regarding the book, faith, spirituality, religion, marriage, sexuality, identity, intimacy, LGBT pride and/or human rights. For book event information and/or more “confessions”, please LIKE Confessions of a Gay Married Priest on Facebook.