“People think my sexual humor is in rebellion to my upbringing but I think it’s harmonious,” says Patricia Lockwood, author of the new memoir Priestdaddy. For someone who has captured the microscopic attention of the internet landscape with her tweets, such as “the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was giving a breast a Voice, like a couple of inches above it, that do not say nice things to me” or “I’m only gonna do tree author photos from now on I guess. In my next one, I’ll kneel behind one nude and give it a Rusty Trombone,” her connection between sexual hilarity and her religious background seemed very unusual. This woman, who is hailed as the poet laureate of Twitter, received much inspiration from her parents, particularly her father who had gone from a staunch atheist to a Catholic priest – hence the title of her memoir.
A child of Middle-America, Lockwood was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and grew up splitting her time between Cincinnati and St. Louis. As she describes it, “In Cincinnati and St. Louis, you can either live on the fancy, liberal side of town or the crazy German or Irish part of town. In Cincinnati, I grew up on the west side of town near the river. It was very clannish. People stuck to their sides of town. Particularly in Cincinnati, there was a Catholic church on every corner. In St. Louis, I grew up in north country. It was poor, near the airport, and near Ferguson.” Between the two cities, Lockwood felt like an outsider for she was much more interested in books than marrying and having multiple kids at a young age. It was in St. Louis where, as a teenager, Lockwood joined a “God gang” where she would attend gatherings every Wednesday night, where mass backed by guitar and sex talks were regular. Although these sex discussions were supposed to encourage its young and impressionable Catholic teenagers to abstain, for Lockwood, she could not see how religion was opposed to sex because as she said, “Catholicism is so centered on the body.”