Charles Benedict, like so many who identify within the LGBTQ community, grew up in a religious family that made it seem like he didn’t belong or fit in because something was wrong with him. When his parents discovered he had a secret boyfriend at sixteen, Charles denied he was gay, giving into strong fears of rejection and disappointing those he loved. He lied to the world and buried his sacred truth deep inside his soul. Yet in reality, there was nothing wrong with Charles to begin with.
Fourteen years passed before he accepted his homosexuality and came out—nearly four years after he had been ordained a Roman Catholic Priest. Unable to hide the gift of who God made him to be, Charles voluntarily left priesthood and rebuilt his life from the ground up, discovering the much happier man within. Today, after several rough years, Charles is happily married to his wonderful husband and has supportive friends and family to share his life with.
Though he is proud—yet nervous—to share his memoirs with you, he wants everyone who struggles with their sexuality to know that even though it took him thirty-three years to love himself, the truth set him free. He hopes you always have the courage to be who you are today, and no matter what any religion says, God loves you.
Charles Benedict is a pen name for author Damien Benoit-Ledoux.