Sunday, November 14, 2010
I never really dated during High School. On a few occasions I took girls from the ward to school dances. It was really more of a "priesthood" obligation than a date. I never had the chance to date non-Mormons since I lived in "Mormonville". One time I took a girl from another stake to some kind of a High School event. I asked her to go at the last minute since I was nearly the only one without a date and I felt some obligation to attend. She obviously really like me and kissed me several times. I kind of liked the attention but the kissing was weird. We went out twice after that. I was just too uncomfortable with the whole thing and just stopped calling her cold and never again even said "hi" in the hallway at school. What a jerk I was! I'm sure I broke her heart. I was struggling with my own self image and it just did not fit well. I hope I did no permanent damage.
There was a guy in Spanish class that I like and I had a crush on him. He was tall and cute and I watched him a lot in Spanish and Seminary. I enjoyed photography and was on the year book staff. I had a crush on another guy who was also on the year book staff. Nothing ever came of my crushes. Shy is an understatement of myself in High School. I avoided anything that brought attention to myself.
I wondered a lot what the future held for me and I trusted explicitly in the Church leaders and the promises I was told about at church. Because I trusted explicitly I worked really hard to keep all the rules but felt I was perpetually failing. I did not particularly worry about being "different" as I was not really sure how I was different. I knew that I liked different things from most of the guys and assumed the Lord would "fix" me in time. Little did I know at the time that the Church leaders were as lost on the topic of homosexuality as I was.
My Patriarchal Blessing was received at a relatively early age, just after I entered High School. At the time it gave me great comfort and has continued to do so for many years since that time. It obviously did not speak to being gay but I do think the Lord told me a few things that helped me cope. I had never met the Patriarch before and I was amazed at how he told me things that were in my heart that I had never communicated to anyone.
My complete trust and total confidence in the Church leaders began at an early age and continued for a long time through my mission and many years afterward. I was extremely trusting and felt as if I had to follow every word and believe every nuance that came from my Church leaders.
Over time, what the Church leaders said about homosexuality seemed sort of irrelevant to me because it conflicted so much with my reality. Gradually, I began to feel betrayed as I realized that I had been lied to. I don't think it was intentional. I still give them the benefit of the doubt; they were as much in the dark as I was. But I felt I had been taken advantage of. In their lack of knowledge they had made authoritative statements that significantly impacted my life, which they began to retract much later. But I had already formed my life around them and suffered much pain, shame, and regret because of them. Why had they not used more reserved language if they did not know for sure? Were they seriously that egocentric that they believed their own fables?
They said they loved me but why had they allowed me to follow them down a wrong path that caused me so much pain and fear? Would not it have been better to allow for some difference of opinion with such a lack of knowledge? For them it was just a matter of rephrasing a sentence to two but for me it completely shattered my life.
It was wonderful to know that my Church leaders now believed that I was not necessarily the problem, as I had always assumed, but this also led to the realization that everything they said was not necessarily correct or in my best interest.
more to come...