As a girl growing up in Dallas, Allison Mathews spent a lot of time in Catholic churches. The historic parishes her family called home had predominantly Black congregations, and her parents, both music ministers, founded a national conference that drew 1,000 Black Catholics to Texas each year. Called “Unity Explosion,” it was an empowering venue for Black Catholics to pray, sing and celebrate the many gifts they bring to the church.
In time, Mathews noticed that not everyone felt unified or celebrated. When people she loved came out as gay, she saw them struggle. Inside a community that once embraced them, some felt shunned. Mathews was frustrated – and curious.