I am a 34-year-old virgin. I dated a dude once who didn’t want me to be, who hoped I’d forego the virtue of chastity. I didn’t. But I did explain why in an essay I wrote for the Tampa Bay Times.
What I wrote struck chords and nerves. The public’s response to it resulted in this blog; in my book, Chastity is For Lovers: Single, Happy, and (Still) a Virgin (Ave Maria Press, 2014); and my giving keynote chastity talks to audiences of lots of ages in places like churches and bars.
On this site, my personal blog, you’ll find posts designed to encourage critical thought about relationships and sex; to encourage readers who practice chastity; to provide insight into an alternative way of life for the readers who don’t; and to explore how American culture impacts Christianity.
I was born and raised in the sunny (when not hurricane-y) Tampa Bay area of Florida. My Catholic mom and Jewish dad opted to have me baptized Catholic as a baby. My dad converted to Catholicism the year I transferred from a public school to a private, Protestant one. His conversion and debates initiated by my mildly anti-Catholic teachers resulted in our studying Church teaching, side-by-side.
What I believe as a Roman Catholic was questioned frequently at the school, which I attended from fifth grade through twelfth, and I wouldn’t trade the experience. In it, I discovered my passion for Catholicism, and in Catholicism, I met Jesus, who is my savior, friend, and role model.
My other passion is writing. My oldest clear memory of writing is of the time I spoke a story aloud so my mom could use her typewriter to type it. I was probably six. She was patient.
Writing, for me, was underlain by a love for reading, cultivated by practice, and supported by all the people I forced to read each finished product. (Shoutout to the neighbors who didn’t get mad the time I littered your lawns with the “newspaper” I wrote.)
I don’t remember deciding that I wanted to be an author; pretty sure I was born that way. By my sophomore year of high school, I also wanted to be a journalist. In a series of profoundly humbling events indicative of God’s providence, I started writing for the Times as a correspondent in my senior year of high school, joined the Times staff the summer before I graduated from college, and was invited by Ave Maria Press in 2013 to write a book.
My goal, regardless of for which publication, is for what I write to make readers think (bonus points if it inspires readers to laugh or cry). That I do what I do for a living is a privilege. That you are here, supporting me in it, means more to me than I can express adequately. Your prayers as I continue to pursue my calling and career are appreciated.
- I up and moved to Hampton Roads, Virginia in the summer of 2016, because adventurous.
- I up and moved back to the Tampa Bay Area in the summer of 2019, because HOME.
- I was a staff writer for the Tampa Bay Times, Florida’s largest newspaper, for nine years.
- I later wrote as a correspondent for the Virginian-Pilot, which is Virginia’s largest newspaper.
- I am a contributing writer at the Catholic Match Institute and the Chastity Project.
- I have a master’s degree in rehabilitation and mental health counseling from the University of South Florida and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the same university.
- By day, I’m the content specialist (a.k.a. editor) for Family First.