09 June 2012

Day 4: For The Strength of Gay Youth

A few weeks ago, I was perusing the website of Affirmation, a group for gay Mormons of any level of activity.  It had been awhile since I'd been on the site and they've made a lot of changes.  It looks really good and there's much more information available.

When I was first coming out, Affirmation was a group that was suggested to me by the therapist I was seeing.  She was not LDS but knew that this group could be supportive for someone from an LDS background.  Needless to say, I spent a lot of time on Affirmation's website, looking for answers, looking for resources...looking for hope.

One of the things I found as I was on the site a few weeks ago was a resource that probably would have been very helpful when I was a coming out.  It's called "For The Strength of Gay Youth" and it's based upon the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet.
As someone who grew up in the LDS Church, the Strength of Youth pamphlet was used in my life all the time.  When we had to speak in sacrament meeting, often we were asked to choose something from this document.  We had lessons in Young Women's about it.  I was given numerous copies during interviews with the Bishop for various callings or even tithing settlements.  I was very familiar with this church publication.

Reading through the FTSOGY pamphlet on the Affirmation website was very interesting.  I think it is a wonderful tool and even though it is not sanctioned by the LDS Church, I really like that Affirmation is putting a familiar spin on what can be unfamiliar territory.  Coming out is not easy, and there are kids coming out at very young ages.  That takes a lot of strength and courage.  I am constantly amazed by what kids these days can do.  But for all their bravery, sometimes I worry, because time and time again we are shown that the pressure can be suffocating.

I haven't gone through the site like I did years ago, but I think I'd like to.  We all need positive messages and support, and sometimes it's nice to be reminded that you're not alone.