Melinda Selmys is an author and convert to Catholicism from a lesbian atheist background. Her books, Sexual Authenticity: An Intimate Reflection on Homosexuality and Catholicism and Sexual Authenticy: More Reflections have been hailed as ground-breaking, insightful and profoundly honest explorations of faith and sexuality. Melinda has been writing and speaking about LGBTQ issues from a Catholic perspective for over 13 years, and her work has appeared in over a dozen Catholic and interdenominational publications including First Things, National Catholic Register, This Rock and Faith & Family.
Fifteen years ago, Melinda left behind a six year lesbian relationship in order to join the Catholic church. She fell in love with her male best friend, married and began to give birth to a brood of children (six so far). She thought that homosexuality was behind her, an adolescent phase that she had outgrown through the aid of grace and the intercession of the Virgin Mary.
Seven years into her marriage, she decided to write a book about her experiences with sexuality and same-sex attraction. Writing Sexual Authenticity forced her into a much more honest engagement with herself and with the LGBTQ community that she had left behind. She noticed that the response of traditional churches towards gay and lesbian people tended to deepen alienation and division rather than calling people towards Christ. She wanted to develop new approaches that would allow Catholics and other Christians to speak to sexual minorities not only with truth, but also with grace and love.
Since then, Melinda has spent over 10,000 hours researching, writing, talking and corresponding with folks who are dealing with these issues in their own lives. Melinda doesn't just offer a heart-warming testimonial from someone who left the “gay lifestyle” behind: she offers the fruit of seven years spent on the existential peripheries, listening to LGBTQ Christians and their families, and grappling seriously with the questions and problems that confront those who strive to faithfully live out the teachings of the Church.
Melinda has presented for Notre Dame’s Edith Stein Conference, the Madonna House leadership, the 2012 Courage Conference and for various parish and youth organizations. She’s appeared on EWTN and on Renewal Ministry’s “The Choices We Face,” and has been a guest on numerous Catholic radio programs including Catholic Answers Live.
Sexuality is not Melinda's only area of interest. She's the author of Slave of Two Masters, an in-depth examination of Catholic social teaching and its application in the lives of ordinary lay-people. Melinda also writes horror and fantasy fiction, and is currently working on a book about how the techniques of postmodern art and literature can be applied to produce Christian works that will speak to a contemporary secular audience.
Melinda is able to speak on a wide variety of subjects related to LGBTQ issues including pastoral outreach to the LGBTQ community, mixed-orientation marriage, and trans/gender issues. She would also be thrilled to speak on postmodernism, Christian art, and the social teachings of the Church. She has never given the same presentation twice, and crafts a unique talk for each audience tailored to their individual needs.