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Ex-Nun Now Lesbian Mother is Delighted by Pope Francis

Aleteia Image Department is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Aleteia Image Department is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Former Nun and Lesbian Denise Hinds on her encounter with Pope Francis and her analysis of the pontiff’s leadership style.

Denise Hinds is a board member of the nonprofit organization Family Equality Council and is also a former Catholic but eventually left her order to form a family with her female partner. Because of her duties at the organization, she was given that rare opportunity to become part of the welcoming committee for Pope Francis on his arrival at the White House.

In one of her articles on Huffington Post, Hinds talked about her encounter with the Pope and analyzing the pontiff’s leadership style, she calls Pope Francis as the Pope of all people including the LGBT community.

Hinds grew up in a traditional West Indian Catholic family. Since childhood, she admitted dreaming of becoming a nun as a result of that deep religious connection and because of the persistent influence of the Catholic sisters throughout her life from school until she got involved in social work. In September of 1981, she eventually entered the Brooklyn convent after graduating in college. She served the church and stayed in the convent for 12 years. She was also noted for being the sole African-American in her order.

Although she had that passion to serve God and the less fortunate, sister Denise Hinds felt that something was still lacking in her life. In one of her convent’s charity program, she met a woman whom she got attracted to. It was also the time she realized that she is a lesbian. After falling in love with another woman, she left the convent and together with her partner, they started their same-sex relationship. In 2003, the couple decided to adopt a child together.

Lesbian Ex-Nun Denise Hinds on her visit with Pope; His Leadership Style.[/tweetthis]

In her blog post, Hinds discussed her family’s hardships in dealing with the way the church treats gay or lesbian families. Catholic priests were always seen defaming or condemning LGBT individuals and same-sex relationships. Her child even asked a teacher at school “Why doesn’t the pope like gay people?” during a school discussion about Pope Benedict VI.

But Hinds stressed that everything changed when Pope Francis came into power. He described Pope Francis as the leader that opened people’s eyes in a different way. The Pope opened dialogue on so many things and issues, talked about the poor, saw the goodness in everyone and stressed the value of family and marriage.

What delighted Hinds with Pope Francis’ style of leadership is the pontiff’s disregard with the types of family or marriage. According to Hinds, the Pope solely values the idea of family and marriage “He chose to honor family and marriage, not limit which families and which marriages. And for this church, in the context of this Pope’s choices, that is progress. While he didn’t say everything I might have hoped for, it was a step and not a small one.”

Hinds added that “His (Pope Francis) words inspire all of humanity to want to do more to make the world a more welcoming place for all God’s people – not matter what their race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic standing, etc.” She further exclaims that “For me and the other LGBT parents in the crowd, this was our pope, too!”


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