Andrew Rannells Describes the Moment in High School When a Catholic Priest ‘Muscled His Tongue into My Mouth’

In an excerpt from his new memoir, Too Much Is Not Enough: A Memoir of Fumbling Toward Adulthoodh, Andrew Rannells describes becoming an altar boy in the Catholic Church while he was in high school and was beginning to understand things about his sexual orientation.

In the excerpt, published on Vulture, Rannells discusses his interactions with both the nuns and the priests that operated around the school and church he attended. He said he attended mass once a week and it was during one particular confession that a priest forced himself upon him.

“This was not your typical confession with private rooms and curtains drawn,” wrote Rannells. “Priests would set up two chairs close to each other in various darkened corners of the quad, turn on music at a low volume to muddle the sound of confessions, and then you would basically just get right up in a priest’s face and whisper your sins. Sometimes he would close his eyes and grab the back of your neck firmly while you confessed. It seemed very ‘Roman Wrestler’ at the time, but looking back it was also very ‘Abusive Pimp.’ I waited in line to talk with Father Dominic, who was popular for confessions. I told myself that he was going to be helpful, that this was my best option.”

Rannells said that it was hardly helpful, but downright creepy: “I sat across from him in a dark corner, our knees touching. He grabbed my neck, as expected, and I started to talk. I started to try to explain what was happening with me, but I couldn’t make the words come out right. Instead, I started to cry. I was so embarrassed. Father Dominic squeezed my neck harder, and he grabbed both my hands with his free hand. His hands were like baseball mitts. We just sat there while I cried. He finally said, ‘It’s okay. You’ve done nothing wrong.’ It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but it still felt nice. He stood up and pulled me up with him. He hugged me tightly. I felt safe and heard and understood. Then, with unexpected force, he kissed me. On the lips. He muscled his tongue into my mouth and held the back of my head still. Then he released me and made the sign of the cross on my forehead. He smiled.”

Read the full excerpt HERE.

Rannells also talked about his memoir with Stephen Colbert this week.

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