Just my rambling thoughts about being gay and Mormon

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Mormon church's new website, Mormons and gays, is disgusting. It is offensive to gay members and panders to the existing false beliefs of church members that gay people are somehow broken. 

But wait, don't leave, there's more...you can be fixed in the afterlife!

Anyone who has participated in the LDS church for a substantial length of time knows what the church leaders think about gay people...and how they treat them. The new web site does not change doctrine or practice. It is a public relations message designed to slow the loss of church members who leave because they are disgusted with the church's stand on gay rights.

Thanks LDS church, for the offer to stay...but it's too late. You did not treat me with respect or fairly. I went through your whole process...more than once. I was abused and demeaned and now I'm much happier to be away from you. I won't even consider coming back until you change your doctrine and apologize for the great harm you have done.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

My conference talk - and it comes with pics!

Here is my conference talk for the umpteenth semi-annual LDS General Conference. Don't worry it's short and you don't have to get dressed up in a tie to attend. 

Also, it comes with pictures (!) and is best read with Adam Lambert's "Nirvana", playing quietly (or not so quietly, as you may prefer) in the background.

Dear Friends, I will share with you some things that I think it's important for teenagers to understand. So for parents, please consider discussing this with your children. For teenagers, pretend I'm your dad for a few minutes.

1- You will make mistakes. Don't sweat it, even if you think they are big ones. That's the purpose of life...to learn. So think about what you can learn from your experience and move on. Your mistakes cannot separate you either from the love of God or, ultimately, the love of your parents. Discussing your mistakes with others can be very useful but do it with those who truly love you and can talk to you without judging you.
2- Be yourself. Love yourself. Be patient with yourself. Your emotions, feelings, hopes, desires, and inclinations are all good and right for you. Don't be ashamed of them. Learn to understand them, embrace them, and magnify them. They will lead to your success in life. You are beautiful and worthy of love, respect, acceptance, and belonging, just the way you are. Learn to laugh...a lot.
3- Love others. Don't judge, just love. Embrace differences and cherish uniqueness. You will learn the most from those you at first dislike. Don't shy away from new cultures and lifestyles. Learn to see their beauty. 
4- Adults make mistakes too. You will hear and absorb a lot of bullshit (can I say that in conference?) from adults, including church leaders. Don't turn off your mind. Challenge ideas that are presented to you. Carefully consider them and try them out before accepting or discarding them. Generally, people who give you counsel are trying their best to help, but their advice is filtered by their experience and prejudice and you don't always know their motives. 

5- Take a chance, be bold, live your dream. One of the pieces of bullshit (opps) you will hear is that you can do anything you want to do. That does not mean you should not try. You never know where you will succeed and where you will fail until you try. You won't regret what you do. You will only regret what you don't try to do. Nothing is as bad as it may seem today. It's OK to get discouraged for a while. Then get up and go on. Things will get better. Pain fades and life renews itself every day regardless of what else is going on in the world.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

In or Out?

I have not been very active in the blogging world lately. There are a lot of reasons why but the main one is that I've outgrown the purpose for this blog. I've moved on. It has been a great experience and I will stay in touch with the community. I will continue to post from time to time and hope these are of benefit to someone. Mostly, I will focus on things that make me smile, or when I want to comment on particular news item.
I will comment on a growing trend that I see within the Mormon gay community. More gay members say they plan to stay active in the church even if it means only being able to partially participate. Also, I'm seeing more situations where local leaders tell gay members to come back or continue going to church in order to drive change from within the church. This type of comment from church leaders strikes me as very selfish and does not demonstrate that their first concern is the well being of gay members. These same leaders often state that it's not a members place to council the church authorities. 
Perhaps I'm further down the road, or just have more experience with the LDS leadership, but this path is not for me. I'm much healthier outside the church and I believe most gay members will ultimately arrive at the same conclusion. The cognitive dissonance of actively supporting an organization that wishes you did not exist and that fights against your civil rights is extremely unhealthy. 

There is a recent proliferation of gay LDS groups that intend on helping their members stay in the church and they say they see changes occurring in the church that are gay friendly. The truth is that nothing has really changed in the actions or doctrine of the church leaders. The only improvements that have occurred are superficial and very locally focused. While these actions may make the lives of some gay members better within their local wards they don't change any basic church beliefs or actions that are very harmful to gay members.

Church leaders have changed important doctrine and policies on other big issues in the past and they could do it rapidly now if they wanted to do it with respect to gay members. The fact that they don't and that the 1st Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve don't make any comments about it is evidence to me that they are not interested in change. Besides, the church is not a democracy and local leaders can play nice with gay members all they want but it will be essentially inconsequential until general policy changes occur. 

The church will in fact change, I'm very sure of it. I probably won't live to see it. Everyone's path is different. If yours is to stay within the church, I wish you well.