Ruby Almeida, an LGBT rights campaigner and lecturer, was born in Jodhpur, India on April 1956, the youngest of four children of Ascension, an air force pilot, and Emma. She spent the formative years of her life travelling because of her Father’s work, before moving to England at the age of eleven. Reared in a deeply religious family, the Almeida identity was both strongly Catholic and Indian from an early age. After moving to England, she attended a Catholic school in Richmond, before embarking on a decades long career in the media industry. Training at the National Catholic Media and Radio Centre in North London, she produced documentaries for the Indian Space Organization and then formed her own video production company, primarily working for clients in the community sector. For several years, she worked as a Senior Lecturer at London Metropolitan University, imparting to students her passion for media while also being a source of pastoral support for her student cohort.
I’m a woman, a Catholic, an Indian and a member of the LGBT community. --Ruby Almeida.
Almeida was in her thirties, heading her own production company, when she first recognized her own same-sex attraction. In the ensuing years, she continued to practice as a Catholic, seeing no conflict between her faith and sexuality. Indeed, she would later reflect that her ‘coming out’ experience, which was very organic and seamless, served to strengthen, not weaken, her faith.
After her parents both passed away in 2003, Almeida underwent a period of spiritual reflection, eventually joining Quest, a pastoral support group for LGBT Catholics, whose stated aim is to establish ‘a dialogue between homosexual Catholics and members of the clergy’. At Quest, Almeida quickly transitioned into a leadership role, becoming the group’s London Women’s Officer before joining its national committee and serving as its Chair between 2012 and 2019. Quest’s work includes providing pastoral support for LGBT Catholics and dialoguing with the Church hierarchy for the spiritual needs of lgbt faithful, which led to several Masses being held where lgbt community, their families and friends were welcomed. Almeida was also part of the Stonewall Role Models project advocating on behalf of LGBT teenagers who attend Catholic schools. In 2015, Almeida travelled to Rome to attend the inaugural conference of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics, a global association of LGBT Catholics. Through serendipitous circumstances, she was elected to the groups’ Steering Committee in October 2015, and then when the group was officially registered became Co-Chair of the GNRC Board in October 2017.
Having left the Higher Education sector in 2015, Almeida now works for Landings, a programme to support baptised Catholics who were once distance but now wish to return to their faith. Almeida set up Rainbow Catholics India, the first Catholic LGBT Group in India, in October 2018 She continues to work with the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics. In 2019, she was elected for a final term as the group’s Co-Chair.
(This profile was written by Stephen Colbrook with information from an interview with Ruby Almeida and from the following sources:
and edited by Ruby Almeida.)
Biography Date: February 2020
Catholic (Roman) | India | United Kingdom | Quest | Global Network of Rainbow Catholics