Mindy Kaling has written and spoken about how she’s never gotten any parts that she’s auditioned for: “When I was younger I would audition for plays in junior high and high school, and I would always get cast as, like, the homeless woman or vagrant.” It turns out that TV and plays and films don’t provide many leading roles for for “chubby Indian women,” as she has often called herself.
So years later, in one of her memoirs, she wrote:
“If I can give one bit of advice to any drama major, high school theater kid, or inmate who is reading this in a prison library with dreams of being cast in the prison play, it’s this: write your own part. It is the only way I’ve gotten anywhere. It is much harder work, but sometimes you have to take destiny into your own hands. It forces you to think about what your strengths really are, and once you find them, you can showcase them, and no one can stop you.”
I often feel this way about the Church as a gay Catholic. The Church doesn’t write many leading roles for me to step into. And often the roles offered to me look kind of lame. So right now I’m interested in writing my own part. I’m unwilling to play the quiet chorus member in the production of my own life. Anyone who knows me knows that I was made for a speaking part, probably a speaking part that speaks a little too much. I wasn’t made to be a placeholder on the stage. I was created for a role that made people laugh and cry and cringe a little bit.
Of course, many people say that, as a Catholic, I should give up my pride and accept a quiet role. To them I respond: “No thanks. But you are more than welcome to take a quiet role in the play of my life, especially in the current scene. I will let you know when a speaking part opens up, or when one of the other actors falls ill.”
Happy National Coming Out Day.
More on Catholicism and homosexuality here.