12/25/15

Pilot

I am a lot of things: Michael, introverted, a brother, married, a member of the LDS church, colorblind, a dog lover.

I am also gay.

My personal beliefs and sexuality--two very innate parts of me--have always been at odds with each other. As such, I've secretly struggled with poor mental health from a very young age. I came out to my family almost 4 years ago and told some friends here and there since then. As of now, it's public.

Shamed about who I was, I always imagined myself taking this secret to the grave. I have clearly changed, and many others are also changing by showing tolerance—even interest—for misunderstood topics previously not openly discussed. This is why I’ve made this blog: to help others know the magnitude of the struggle it is for our gay friends and loved ones and how you may help us.

To whom do I write?

I write for these two target audiences:

1) The heterosexual LDS population who know me or another gay individual
2) Fellow gay Latter-day Saints who struggle to find a place in a heterosexual religion

It is my purpose to:
·    Help you understand what it entails to be homosexual in a heterosexual world and religion
·    Debunk stereotypes and decrease prejudices about homosexuality
·    Help develop sympathy—even compassion—towards those who suffer in general
·    Educate on how (not) to react when someone “comes out” to you

·    Provide words to feelings you may have or have had if you are gay as well


What can you expect from future posts?

Every so often I’ll offer a brief, personal perspective on different topics or questions relating to what it’s like to be born gay in the LDS church, as well as answer real questions from well-meaning people. I do this to help others understand what may be different from the norm as well as what the effects of what years of hiding, denying personal truths, and sitting silently through ignorant remarks, conversation, classes, and church meetings can have on an individual.

My topics will include:

As a Latter-day Saint, what it’s like being born gay and…
  • The pros and cons to dating and marrying the opposite sex
  • Why trying to find an adequate (i.e. educated) source of guidance is hard
  • The effects of thinking God will "cure" you for your obedience to the commandments
  • Maintaining the facade: straight, normal, problem-free
  • Coming out to your friends and family
  • Maintaining the testimony of the Gospel separate from well-meaning, though imperfect, and often offensive members of the church
  • Living 24/7 with same-sex roommates and mission companions (hint: it's not weird)
  • Poor mental health: the psychological hurt incurred from being gay and LDS
  • What you'd like to be referred to as: gay, homosexual, having same-gender attraction (SGA), etc.
  • The ignorant remarks, such as "You're how old? Why aren't you married?"
  • Thinking you'll never get to have children
  • Having gay friends (hint: this can save lives)
My only disclaimer is that the ideas I'll offer will not be reflective of what all gay mormons feel, neither are my decisions or actions what I advocate for all gay LDS folk to make. Rather, they'll be a result of what my experience of being gay and LDS has lead me to feel and do (though I'd venture to say that my thoughts are shared, in some way, by many).

Why should you read this?

I hope you would find interest in this topic as this blog will be very honest and should be an easy read and learning experience. If you have a family member or a friend who is gay, and you love them, feel frustrated, ignorant, or uneasy about their sexuality then this blog is for you. It will arm you to understand those who may be silently suffering from isolation, depression, anxiety, suicide, and the effects of hate crimes, domestic abuse and poor mental health.

I will be offering ideas, cite scientific data and personal perspective with the goal of correcting misunderstandings, challenging what you believe, all the while adding to what you already know. I hope to inspire by sharing a very different, raw reality.


Please keep on the lookout for the upcoming posts!