Around New England

Catholic Girls School Hosts Civilly Married Lesbian Graduation Speaker

June 5, 2023

A lesbian who has self-identified as “a big ol’ dyke” gave the graduation speech last week at Fontbonne Academy, a Catholic preparatory school run by a Catholic religious order, telling graduates that “conformity” is “exceptionally overrated and usually boring.”

Andi Lyons, a professor at the State University of New York at Albany, and an alumna of Fontbonne in 1973, offered Fontbonne graduates a few lessons in her speech on Thursday, May 25.

“The first is conformity is exceptionally overrated and usually boring,” Lyons said, according to The Patriot Ledger. “And the second is personal ethical standards are grossly undervalued in this world, but you should live by them anyways.”

Lyons, who is civilly married to another woman, is a member of the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies program at her school. She has also been involved with the National LGBTQ Task Force, an advocacy group that supports “queering reproductive justice” and a program for “Building Affirming Churches for Trans Youth.”

“Your generation still has much more work to do because the truth is, there will always be people who will hate you simply for what you look like, where you come from, or who you love,” Lyons said, according to The Patriot Ledger. “So I will offer the best advice I have to give you from my own experience, and that is simply to meet people where they are with as much wisdom, grace and humanity as you can summon.”

Fontbonne Academy, located in Milton, is sponsored by the Sisters of Saint Joseph.

A spokesman for Fontbonne could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Catholic Action League, a Massachusetts-based Catholic advocacy group, called Fontbonne’s featuring Lyons as its graduation speaker “a public, scandalous and contumacious act of apostasy.”

Of the Sisters of St. Joseph who sponsor the school, Catholic Action League executive director C. J. Doyle said in a written statement Friday, June 2:  “… they have surrendered to the spirit of the times, submitted to secular values and conformed to the dominant culture. They have betrayed the Faith, rejected the Word of God, and abandoned their identity as Catholics.”

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Boston could not immediately be reached for comment.


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