20 April 2010

I Stand

I thought I would share one of the family pictures that was taken this last winter.  With things I've recently read and watched and thought about, things pertaining to gay marriage, I find this particularly relevant, because I stand alone.

I didn't plan on being gay. It wasn't on my list of things to be when I grew up.  I didn't choose it.  I didn't decide it would be easier for me.  I'll say it again: I DID NOT CHOOSE TO BE GAY.

I didn't choose to be Mormon.  That is the life I was born into.  That is how I was raised.  That is what I was taught was truth.  That is what I was told would be my pathway to happiness, both in this life and throughout the eternities.

I do not think I can be both.

If I decide to live the Mormon life instead of the Gay life, the family portrait for me will remain unchanged.  I will be alone and stand alone in all of them.  My sisters families will continue to grow.  My parents will undoubtedly glow with the joy of watching their family tree grow.  And I will continue to stand alone.  By LDS standards, it's almost the perfect family, because it looks almost exactly how it is supposed to.  And even if there is not a man by my side and children at my feet, at least I am protecting my eternal salvation.

But what about my heart? 

I believe that love is honest.  I believe love has no boundaries.  The law and the religions of the world can try to contain it and tell you how it is supposed to look and what it feels like and how it is to be directed, but love doesn't abide by the same rules that society requires.  I believe love is a sweet miracle that could only be given to us from a loving God.  I believe love is good.  I believe I have been given the chance to love and to be loved.  And because I have love in my life, no matter what anyone else tries to tell me, I will stand for something and I will be exactly where I need to be.

And even if my girlfriend is never included in a family picture, she's my family.  She means more to me than my ex-husband ever did, because I honestly love her, and I love her for good, honest reasons.  A man at my side and children at my feet might look good, but for me it would be a big lie, because I'm not that person.  I've already lived that lie and I won't be that dishonest again.

I did not choose to be gay.  I do not want to be misunderstood and judged and talked down to and compared to crimes that are morally unfathomable to me.  Whether you believe me or not, I can only live the life I was born to live.  I was born to be the person I am, perhaps if for no other reason than to fight for tolerance and to give someone else the opportunity to stand up and accept me as Christ does.

16 April 2010


I've been pondering all sorts of things lately, mostly when the day is over and I'm trying unsuccessfully to sleep.  Perhaps if anyone out there can put their own spin on my wonderings, it will help me either put my mind at ease or formulate a response I can live with.

For whatever reason, I've been thinking about my history as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Maybe it's because I've been re-watching some of my favorite video blogs on YouTube and I wonder about what I would say if someone asked me about where I've been and what I've been through as a person who is both gay and Mormon.

As of this moment, sitting at my computer and typing these words, I am not an active member.  I don't pursue any sort of affiliation with the LDS Church and I make no excuses about that fact.  I try to live by my own morals and my own values and instead pursue a life I can feel comfortable with as I listen to my own conscience, which I believe to be given to me and influenced by a loving God and His Spirit. 

Being a gay Mormon is a really interesting experience in my opinion.  Across the blogging world you can read about the different types of gay Mormons, and really the thing that puts us into different categories is the level of activity we choose to have with the Church as a whole.  There are some who are completely dedicated to "overcoming the temptations of same-gender attraction" and remaining faithful members.  There are some who get excommunicated.  There are some who voluntarily request that their names be removed from the records of the Church.  There are some who just withdraw their involvement and quietly slip away.  Really, there's a lot of variety, and I really like that. 

As I think about personal experiences I had as an active member, I know that being gay was not the only thing that led me to withdraw my involvement.  I think about how difficult it was when I was ten and we moved into a new area.  I didn't feel very comfortable in my new environment.  I didn't feel welcomed at Church.  Instead I felt like a joke.  There were two girls my age who were really nice to me and we became friends.  There were a few girls who would be nice to me at Church and be mean to me at school.  I hated feeling unaccepted and I really despised the hypocritical front that those girls exhibited. 

I think about experiences I had at Church that were more damaging than good.  I remember being told to leave my primary class because I wouldn't open the snowflake I made and everyone else had.  I remember dreading every Sunday because I didn't feel good at Church.  I counted the minutes until it was over.  I remember my (ex)husband being so concerned about what the ward would think of him if I wasn't at Church with him, not really caring that I was afraid to be there.

And really, being gay was just the final brick on my pathway out of the the Church.

I know I'm not the only one who has had experiences like that, that made you almost question your faith and allegiance rather than strengthen it.  I was talking to a friend not that long ago about how his patriarchal blessing was really amazing until he learned that it was almost word for word the same as someone else who had received their blessing from the same Patriarch.  I have another friend who has decided to take a more agnostic approach to his life now, after being raised LDS, because of the experiences he's had with the Church.

So I guess I wonder about these experiences and the responsibility that goes with it.  If I buy into the LDS principles and ideas about this life and the life to come, and we are put upon this Earth to be tested, have I somehow failed by letting my experiences lead me to a life that is not active in the LDS faith?  Am I the one that will be solely responsible for my reaction to those situations, or will the other people have a part in that as well?  Will the Church leaders who so encouraged the Yes on 8 Campaign, who got involved with their time and money and got other members to do the same, be held to the same accountability for their actions and I will for my reaction to their actions?

Ultimately I understand that I am responsible for my life, for my choices, and for the consequences that I receive because of those choices.  But I make choices based on my situation.  If Situation A wasn't created, I wouldn't have made Decision B, which led me to Situation R, which led me to Decision Y, and so on.  But what if I wouldn't have created Situation A on my own?  Does that get taken into account?

I really like where I'm at right now and I like how my life is turning out, and I have to admit that it's a lot easier to like myself when I'm not actively a part of a homophobic religion.  As far as what I believe, I do believe there is life beyond this one.  I believe there is a loving God who is watching over us and I can see His hand and influence in my life.  I know He knows me.  I know He understands me.  I know He hears my parents prayers for me just as much as He hears my prayers for my parents. 

I just wish I knew what His thoughts on cause and effect are.

03 April 2010

Pajama Church

General Conference has made me nervous the last few times it has rolled around. It used to be an excuse for Dad to make an enormous breakfast, which we ate while still in pajamas and filling in answers on a seminary assignment, quietly taking bets on who would fall asleep first. It was a week off from the stress of Church.

Not so much anymore.

Dad still makes a big breakfast and if my sisters and their families are in town, they still rock out the PJ's. But for the last three Conferences, I have found myself holding my breath, not knowing if something will be said about Prop 8 and its aftermath, about marriage being attacked by the evils of the Adversary, about anything directed at perpetuating more judgment and intolerance for people who are gay.

If I was in a one-on-one conversation and a General Authority chose to condemn me and my decisions, I'm pretty sure I could walk away and not feel bad about it, because I know my own truths and that is more important to me than the opinions of people I've never met. But my family is faithful to the teachings of the Church, and if that same General Authority broadcasts a message that is directed against homosexuality, my family will hear that, process it, chew on it, and that could be potentially damaging to my relationship with them.

Will this speaker be the one who gives my family more Church ammunition? Will they turn me away because of what this elder says? Will this be the uplifting spiritual tidbit that really solidifies my eternal damnation for having a girlfriend?

It makes me nervous.

Happy Easter.

01 April 2010

And All That Jazz

Just thought I'd post a pic from last night's awesome Jazz game. Of course we're in the upper bowl, but that arena was built for basketball, so there's really not a bad seat in the house for a Jazz game.

That's my man D-Will (Deron Williams) on the jumbo-tron. I realize that might sound strange coming from me, but being the True Blue Through and Through Jazz fan that I absolutely am, he's one of three men that this lesbian will make an exception for and call her man.


- blogged from my iPhone --


The mom is cool. She was cracking me up all night long. She's just like her kids.

The brother is okay, but according to my girlfriend he's just weird anyway.

The Jazz won and they won big!

I had a blast. All in all, I rate it a five stars night, and it will take some of the pressure off when I next attend some sort of Girlfriend Family Affair.

I am now exhaling an enormous sigh of relief.

-- blogged from my iPhone --