17 December 2009

Not My Trial

I don't believe my life has been easy. I've been through a lot of stuff, and a lot of really difficult stuff for being 26 years old. I'm the first one to tell you that I don't think it ever will be easy for me. But maybe that's because somehow, I am able to handle tough stuff. Somehow, I make it through, even when I don't believe I ever will.

I look at my sister (Liz) and she seems to have the picture perfect life. Things come easy for her. She's more of the "silver platter" kind of girl. It doesn't seem to me that she's had to work hard for the things she gets. Of course, that's from where I sit. She might tell you differently.

I really think sometimes that being gay is not my trial. I've got plenty of other things to test me. And I'm at the point now where it's not 100% difficult to be gay. I don't struggle with it like I used to.

Maybe it's a trial for my family. Maybe me being gay is their test. Maybe it's to help them learn how to have a greater kind of love, to see me like my Savior sees me, with unconditional love.

If it's a test for them, I hope they will learn how to pass.

14 December 2009

Ultimatums, part II

Thank you to all who commented on my last post. It was comforting to feel of your support and reassuring to know that many of your reactions were similar to mine.

I've thought a lot about the things Liz and Jeff said. Going into the conversation, my mindset was one of wanting them to have a space to say what they were thinking and feeling. I know that they are entitled to their reactions and opinions, no matter how they differ from my own. I was prepared to shift though if I needed to stick up for myself, and it nearly got to that point. I noticed that I felt a bit of anger at their words and the tone of their words, but it was a defensive kind of anger, as if I needed to protect myself.

But as I've thought about their position, I've also thought about their potential motivations for saying what they did. I would like to believe that their intent was not to hurt me. I know that they are trying to understand the best they can, and to do that they are leaning on their faith and understanding of the LDS Gospel.

I've done the exact same thing.

What I do know is that it doesn't completely work. There is no chapter of scripture that provides conclusive and specific details for why some of us are gay, what will happen to us, where we will end up, or what God will say to us when we meet face to face. And I am aware that the path I am currently on is a path that deviates from what LDS leadership has laid out. But if God came down today and said "you either have to stop loving her or come with me," I would say "let's go then," because I've lived the other way, and I can't do it again.

The other thing I know is that I am responsible for my life. I don't like feeling as if I have to make the decisions everyone else wants me to. I've spent too much of my life like that. If I want to support the Human Right's Campaign or Equality Utah or whoever, I should be able to do so. I think using my niece and nephew as a bargaining chip is a low blow. Losing contact with them would be probably one of the most painful things I think I could go through...and if that happens, I don't know what I'll do. But I can't be afraid of that.

I don't feel like I am living an "extreme" lifestyle. I get up every day, I work full-time, I go to school, I spend time with my friends and my family. I don't party. I don't get high. Okay, I swear a lot, but I really do try to be a good person. And it just so happens that I'm a good person with a girlfriend. I don't think I am a bad influence on those kids. But I'm also not their parents. If Liz and Jeff decide their children are better off without me, that will be their call, not mine.

I don't want or need to feel threatened or attacked by my family. I won't put up with it. I don't need to be in an environment where my well-being, in this case emotional, will be at risk.

Maybe I need to come up with an ultimatum of my own, and hope there is room for compromise.

06 December 2009

Ultimatums, part I

This is a post that I would like to get feedback on. If you have any thoughts at all, please don't hesitate to share them with me, because I'm still trying to make sense of it all and any input would be appreciated.

For the sake of this post, I'm going to label some people to try and cut down on some potential confusion. I'm going to call my middle sister Liz and her husband Jeff.

During the Thanksgiving discussion, Liz and Jeff did a lot of the talking. It pretty much opened with Liz asking me how I came to the conclusion that I was gay. So I told her about how I felt different from people around me, I felt like there was something wrong with me but I couldn't put my finger on it, and it just unsettled me for a long time. I reminded her that I didn't date much because I didn't have a desire to. Guys were always my pals, not my interest. I told her about how I thought I might be gay when I was nineteen but it scared me so much that I threw it away and buried it. I tried to be the "right" person and follow the path that had been laid out for me. I told them about how being married was no picnic, more like one big traumatic experience. And that now I was just to a point where I couldn't keep hiding anymore.

Liz said that she and Jeff had been spending a lot of time reading talks from General Authorities, reading press releases, searching the scriptures, and trying to make sense of it through their faith. She asked me if I thought I was born this way. Both of them are very adament that God would not allow us to be born this way. Jeff cited the first chapter of James, where it says this:

"13: Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15: Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
16: Do not err, my beloved brethren."

Jeff then went on to say that God doesn't ever give us temptations, but we open ourselves up to them. So maybe when I started thinking that I felt different, that was the first step, and then it just kept growing and building on itself until pretty soon, here I was thinking that I was gay.

He said that the more I continue on this path, the more I reject the family, the closer I will get to the day when I have to choose between where I've ended up and my family.

Liz said that she wasn't planning on not letting me see my niece and my nephew, which is one thing that I've been very worried about. Jeff said that it wouldn't be a problem as long as I didn't start supporting "the gays" and joining campaigns for gay rights or supporting organizations that do. He said that if his kids could one day get on my Facebook page and be exposed to that, then he would have to talk to me about it, because it would be a problem.

Both of them said that they don't want to ever meet the person I'm seeing, and they don't want her around at all.

So what do you think? I'm still trying to make sense of it, and I have my own opinions and responses, but I'd like to hear from you first before I get into my own feelings on the subject.

02 December 2009


Thanksgiving is over, which is more proof to me that there is indeed a loving God. And somehow, I survived.

The family discussion happened. I wouldn't necessarily say that it went well. Most of the talking during the hour and a half "conversation" was done by my middle sister and her husband. Even my mom told me later that she thought it came off as an attack, and she's not as sensitive as I am. But they said what they felt they needed to say I suppose. As I think more and more about it, I'll probably blog more about their point of view in a later post.

My dad is blaming himself, wondering where he went wrong. "I got all three of my girls to the temple, I thought I was good." Sorry to ruin that, Dad, but I don't know why it has to be anyone's fault.

My mom didn't say very much, because we had already talked. My youngest sister and her husband didn't really say much either. But I sure appreciate my brother-in-law, because what he did say was this:

"Amy, we've talked and you know how your sister and I feel. What I want you to know is that I think it's very admirable and shows great courage for you to tell us this when you could have obviously guessed how we would react because of our faith. That says to me that you want us to be a part of your life, and I appreciate that."

I'm glad he's part of the family.

It was weird the next day in the house. I don't know how it will be at Christmas. After that though, the holidays are over and everyone can get on with their lives.

I'm sad that the Jazz aren't playing on Christmas like they did on Thanksgiving, because getting tickets to that game was probably the best judgment call I've ever made. I went with my girlfriend and three of my best friends. We all commiserated about our families and had a great time unwinding from the stress that family can bring. Sometimes I feel like they are more my family than my real family is, so it was good to be with them.

I guess now I just hurry up and wait. There are some things that can't be mended overnight. I only hope that Time will heal...eventually.