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.