17 March 2011

Unfriendly Publications

My parents were out of town last week, so I was "watching" the house.  My dad has a space on the counter where he puts a lot of his work papers and where his cell phone charges and things like that.  It's just his general area.  So when I was sorting the mail, I happened to glance over to the "pile" and lo and behold, there was a copy of "God Loveth His Children."

I've heard a lot about this pamphlet through the Moho world, but I've never actually seen a copy.  I flipped through it briefly, but figured "whatever."  I'm not a fan of it, I'm not a fan of the policies and double standards, but whatever.  The Church is pretty much everything to my parents, and I know this, so of course they are going to turn to doctrine and publications to try to process my sexuality.  That's fine.  We all try to deal with things in the best way we know how.

Now, by itself, this incident is not really a big deal.  But there's more to the story.

Rewind a few days, before my parents left, when I was at home before school.  My parents get both the Salt Lake Tribune and The Deseret News, so there are newspapers everywhere.  My dad is the type that will rip out an article or comic when he thinks it's interesting or that someone else will find it interesting.  It's one of his quirky things, I guess.

Anyway, there was one of these ripped out articles on the stairs.  It was actually from the Letter to the Editor section.  Some guy had written in about a study that he had read about.  It was a reparative therapy type of study and apparently about 30% of individuals reported that their homosexual tendencies had significantly diminished.  The conclusion, and consequently the headline, was that "gays can change."

Again, by itself, this incident is really not a big deal.  I know that my dad has had a more difficult time in accepting me than my mom has.  I think it's because he and I were closer than my mom and I were before I came out.  I don't know if it's because he didn't see it, or because it makes sense now when he thinks about it, but he's still pretty distant sometimes. 

In combination though, putting the two together made it into somewhat of a big deal.

I don't really know how to act anymore around my dad.  I'm not as angry as I was, but I'm still kind of hurt by the whole thing.  And that makes me kind of angry too, because I hate it when I can explain something logically but my emotional response is the complete opposite. 

It's not my most favorite situation, not my most favorite response.  I hate how my dad can ignore me for days, not speak to me when we're both home, and then other days it's like it used to be.  He just talks to me like nothing has been wrong at all.  It's really not a lot of fun to have that sort of back-and-forth game get played.  I try to remind myself to be patient.  I try to remind myself that it's not easy.  I try to remind myself that Time can give me hope.

In the meantime, I swiped "God Loveth His Children."  Maybe not the most ethical thing to do, but I figure he can always get another one if he really needs it.  I just wish he would find some more friendly publications.


Evan said...

Last year while I was still living at home, I found out my brother asked my parents to read "Resolving Homosexual Problems." It is a clearly dated book, but my parents apparently liked it and asked me to read it too.
Upon skimming over some of the pages (and later really reading some sections), I felt disturbed and stopped reading. I felt hurt that my parents would read such books and believe what they had to say over what I was saying.

I feel like the best thing you can do is to be an example. Be happy and do what you need to be happy. They will see that, and I think that is what causes the most change. Arguing really never improved my parents understanding of the issue.. however, don't be afraid to ask them to read supportive material that you may happen to run across.

Hidden said...

Have you ever offered them "No More Goodbyes" by Carol Lynn Pearson, or shown them "Prayers for Bobby?" I think those are both great pieces for Mormon parents struggling to accept and understand their gay kids.