is the Executive Director of The Ali Forney Center for LGBT homeless youth. Siciliano has been working with homeless youth in New York City since 1994. Though no longer affiliated with the church, Siciliano was a monk at the Monastery of Christ in the Desert in Northern New Mexico prior to his life of advocacy.
Carl Siciliano talks about us teen homelessness, dreams of being a boxing champ and a horse named Ramone... Yes, I said a horse named Ramone!What's the hardest thing about working with homeless LGBT youth?
The hardest thing is seeing so many kids who have been rejected by their families for being LGBT. Young people should be able to be loved for who they are. It is very painful to hear our kids talk about how their parents cruelly, and often violently, respond to their being gay. It is terrible that so many of our kids have been treated in such an inhuman way.
What can we do to help reduce the number of LGBT kids kicked out of their homes?
Many of the kids are being kicked out by parents whose religious beliefs are intolerant of homosexuality. I think the LGBT community needs to put more effort into reaching out to the religious community, and trying to develop relationships and increase understanding.
There is a lot more in the Bible about the evils of eating shellfish that about homosexuality, but you just don't see so much hatred focused on the eaters of shrimp and clams.
You've been with your partner, Raymond, for many years. What's the secret to your lasting relationship?
Raymond and I have been together for 10 years. I don't know if we have a secret. I asked Raymond what he thought, and he said "It's none of their business!" (Raymond can be kind of cranky).
I know that I love and respect Raymond very much. I figure if I was with someone else I would close my eyes and wish I was with Raymond.
What was your dream job as a kid?
To be the Heavyweight boxing champ.
What's the one thing you want most but just can't have?
I'm grateful for what I have. I'm not a very materialistic person.
If you had the following pets, what would their names be:
A desert tortoise:
A Siamese cat:
Ramone [Ramone laughs]
Have you ever done drag? When and where?
When I was a monk I wore a long black robe in choir and for mass. That was in 1987 in a canyon in Northern New Mexico in the Monastery of Christ in the Desert.
If you could design your own gay pride float, what would it look like?
Probably a big sloppy mess!
Learn more about Carl's organization The Ali Forney Center.