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  • Tom Rastrelli

The Mysterious Chin and Official Release of "Confessions of a Gay Priest" — Pandemic Edition

"Is that your chin?" is the most common question I'm being asked about the book itself.

"Yes, it is." "No, I did not use a chin model," as a few have assumed. "But thank you."

Today is the official release date of "Confessions of a Gay Priest" by the University of Iowa Press. I'm struggling to celebrate, so I'll focus my gratitude to James McCoy and the press for giving me this opportunity.

The timing, while not ideal, is not a surprise. Much of my life has been a shit-show masked by a perfect facade. It seems normal that my attempt to voice the truth of my story would be born into a world in crisis, chaos and shambles. As I shelter in place while working at home while others risk their lives in our fields, food processing plants, grocery stores, hospitals, clinics, ambulances, nursing homes, police and fire stations, shelters, funeral homes, and services that require close proximity to the ill, infected, and dying, I'm frustrated and disoriented.

I want to help. I want to help stop the death, suffering, unemployment, and business bankruptcies, but all I have to offer the world outside of my family and immediate social circle, at this time, is my story. I hope that it will bring readers insight into our cultures' many cycles of abuse and help them to see that entire families, communities and nations can, are currently, and have been groomed to live in acceptance of abusive systems that empower abusive leaders, who are only concerned with preserving their own power, wealth, and popularity.

My memoir may be about the Catholic Church and seminary, but my story, my psychological struggles, and my recruitment into and escape from a cult of personality, power, and manipulation, is universal.

Thank you for reading. May you find some peace, hope, joy, laughter, and wisdom in my words.

Stay hopeful and healthy, friends.

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