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A Cullen’s response to a Mullen

Sean Cullen | Monday, October 12, 2009

Hey Sean Mullen, it’s Sean Cullen. I know you don’t know me, but I wanted you to know that I personally tried to live the way you believe homosexuals should live. Seriously, dude, it majorly sucked. The struggle I had over the course of my years at Notre Dame coming to grips with my sexuality was not an insignificant one. I am talking about an all-consuming guilt and shame that ultimately led me to cry myself to sleep one night in my dorm’s chapel, praying to not be gay anymore. I need you to know an ounce of what it feels like to try and live that way.

Fortunately, my story is a happy one. The first person I came out to, my ex-girlfriend, remains one of my closest friends. When I came out to guys in my dorm, my friend Joe stood up, gave me a hug and said they were all there for me. I even had some retrospectively hilarious coming-out moments. (Note to past self: Do not get gay-themed movies sent to you by Netflix if you live with people who don’t respect federal laws prohibiting tampering with the mail of others.)

What is the common thread to these stories? They involve Notre Dame students – students who idealize all the reasons why I love Notre Dame. They help those in their most dire times of need. They offer support instead of judgment. Quite simply, they love. Indeed, it is these ideals that inspired me to pursue my current career. I am a second year M.D./Ph.D student at Baylor College of Medicine. I have a boyfriend and family and friends that love me as I am.

I say these things to assure anyone in the Notre Dame community struggling with similar issues that it is possible to lead a fulfilling, happy life as an openly gay person. You should know that for every Sean Mullen in the world who wants you to hide who you truly are from everyone, there is a Sean Cullen who thinks you are good and beautiful and perfect exactly as you are.

Sean Cullen

alumnus

class of 2008

Oct. 9

 

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The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

-

archive

A Cullen’s response to a Mullen

Letter to the Editor | Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hey Sean Mullen, it’s Sean Cullen. I know you don’t know me, but I wanted you to know that I personally tried to live the way you believe homosexuals should live. Seriously, dude, it majorly sucked. The struggle I had over the course of my years at Notre Dame coming to grips with my sexuality was not an insignificant one. I am talking about an all-consuming guilt and shame that ultimately led me to cry myself to sleep one night in my dorm’s chapel, praying to not be gay anymore. I need you to know an ounce of what it feels like to try and live that way.

Fortunately, my story is a happy one. The first person I came out to, my ex-girlfriend, remains one of my closest friends. When I came out to guys in my dorm, my friend Joe stood up, gave me a hug and said they were all there for me. I even had some retrospectively hilarious coming-out moments. (Note to past self: Do not get gay-themed movies sent to you by Netflix if you live with people who don’t respect federal laws prohibiting tampering with the mail of others.)

What is the common thread to these stories? They involve Notre Dame students – students who idealize all the reasons why I love Notre Dame. They help those in their most dire times of need. They offer support instead of judgment. Quite simply, they love. Indeed, it is these ideals that inspired me to pursue my current career. I am a second year M.D./Ph.D student at Baylor College of Medicine. I have a boyfriend and family and friends that love me as I am.

I say these things to assure anyone in the Notre Dame community struggling with similar issues that it is possible to lead a fulfilling, happy life as an openly gay person. You should know that for every Sean Mullen in the world who wants you to hide who you truly are from everyone, there is a Sean Cullen who thinks you are good and beautiful and perfect exactly as you are.

Sean Cullen

alumnus

class of 2008

Oct. 9