Apr 4, 2022
Author Jan Phillips was a devoted Catholic who wanted nothing more than to be a nun and who joyously entered the convent at 18. Two years later, she was dismissed for “a disposition unsuited to religious life, with excessive and exclusive friendships.” She was lesbian. She had always known it. “It was being homosexual that made me want to kill myself [at 12],” she writes. “As far as I knew, there was nothing worse than being queer. They were perverts, sinners, hated by God, hated by just about everyone. Lezzies, bull dykes, fags, queers, lesbos—all damned, and there I was, one of them.” Phillips tells the sometimes heartbreaking story of her life with compassion and humor, while also sharing her poetry, songs, and photos along the way. Over the years, she created a life of love, service, community, and prayer. She evolved her understanding of God and came to see herself—and all of us—as the light of the world. “Had I not been born gay … my heart would not have broken in half, would not have opened itself to Love Supreme, would not have been tenderized by life’s bitter pounding.” Phillips traveled the globe on a one-woman peace pilgrimage, raised the consciousness of women, faced her privilege on a trip to India, and is working today to dismantle structural racism. Her Living kindness Foundation supports schoolchildren in Nigeria. “Any spirituality that does not bring about more justice, more social awareness, more right action in the world is a lame and impotent excuse for faith … My action for justice is my spirituality.