Just my rambling thoughts about being gay and Mormon

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunstone was great

Sunstone was a great experience.  I definitely want to go again next year.  It was cool to meet some of the blog authors that I follow.  I also enjoyed meeting and visiting with some of Mormon history's greatest scholars and authors.  I learned a lot.  Maybe another blog later about the history lessons I learned.

Brad Carmack's class was outstanding and my impression was that it pretty much left everyone speak less and unable to refute his arguments.  You can get his book HERE.

The presentation by Kendall Wilcox regarding the Empathy First Initiative, which you can find HERE was also very powerful. It was very therapeutic for me to sit with a group of other LDS and former LDS gay men and talk about our experiences.  Several young men shared their experiences with the group.  I am so grateful that the gay youth of the church today have resources they can turn to that we did not have available.  These young men are bright and articulate, talented, and creative.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Utah State gay LDS study news and comments

You've probably heard about the study being conducted by a Utah State University professor about the experiences of gay Mormons.  This post is not about that study, although I encourage any gay Mormon to participate by following this link HERE.  

This post is about the huge response to this survey and the corresponding huge response to the news of the study. As I understand it, the study hoped to get responses from about 300 people. To date the response is over 1000.  Do you think this hits a nerve in the Mormon community?  Do gay Mormons feel misunderstood and mistreated?  Does the sun come up in the morning?

I spent some time today checking out a variety of online new accounts about the study.  Most of the articles were just copies of the Associated Press article.  I spent most of my time reading the comments that were posted about the story. They range the full spectrum from total denial that homosexuality exists and people who want gayness to be a crime to proponents of gay marriage (like me).  I was especially pleased to see so many well written comments expressing attitudes, values, and experience of those in the gay community.  My unscientific review of the comments found more of the poorly written posts spouting the worn out arguments about how being gay is a "choice".  No prejudice here of course - but it prompted me to consider the link between education level and open mindedness.  

Some of the comments and responses went on for pages and pages.  In the end, I was mostly left feeling tired of the arguing.  I've experienced for myself being gay and Mormon for a long time.  I've lived it from about every possible perspective and I'm satisfied with what I know is true and where I am in my life.  Some of the comments from self proclaimed "devout" Mormons about homosexuality made me pretty angry.  I get really tired of being compared to a pedophile, rapist, mentally ill, spawn of the devil, destroyer of families. There is a lot of very shallow love among Mormons for gay members of whom they say that they "hate the sin, but love the sinner."  

It makes me want to continue to distance myself from the church, and many members would say, "good riddance".  I can't support financially or emotionally an organization that fundamentally believes I am somehow defective and/or somehow a threat to the well being of the members.

On a brighter note - another blog pointed me to THIS video by Kevin Millet.  I love that he is happy and I can relate to much of what he says.