A Group Blog

This blog's purpose is to give voice to the lived experiences of gay Mormons, because, let's face it, we are awesome. But, I'll need your help. My experiences are going to be just as unique as the next guy, so I'll need input from you readers on your thoughts, experiences, and feelings. When you want to post something, just email me your draft to anothergaymormon13@gmail.com and I'll post it for you. And feel free to comment on any post.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Yearning to be Understood

Tuesday, August 20, 2013
I'm relatively new to my single's ward in Provo having just changed apartments, so I'm not too well known. However, I have a couple of friends that I have made and one of them was apparently watching me during a Sunday School lesson in which we were shown a MormonMessage about the "Expressions of Love". She said I looked 'uncomfortable' or that in some way was in disagreement about the film (the thought of the expression I must of had while watching this film makes me laugh--especially if it was so pronounced that she could see it in a dark room). She asked me after the video why I was having some strange aversion to a relatively simple video of people showing that they love each other. I told her that was a long discussion, probably not suitable for a mid-Sunday School chat.

And it's relatively difficult to explain myself. How do you just drop on someone that as other people are watching this and thinking, "I can't wait to have this kind of relationship!" you are just wondering, "This is something that I may never have." That whole lesson was on "Eternal Marriage" and I was bombarded with statements like: "This is the most important thing you could ever do to show your love to God and your spouse." and "True discipleship includes marriage in the temple."

Well, that's just awesome because I'm gay and that's not allowed.

Being gay brings a whole new meaning to this picture.
Now, I'm not discrediting that Eternal Marriage, especially as the LDS Church understands it, is not one of was I left out of the Plan of Salvation? While logically I know this as false, my heart still questions it often. I firmly believe in the gospel and I understand the value and purpose of eternal, heterosexual families. But then I'm gay and I yearn for something different.
the core practices of the gospel and makes up quite the important chunk of the Plan of Salvation. I mean: Families -- Isn't it about...Time? However, sometimes it leaves me wondering:

More basely, lessons like this leave me wondering: if there was a man that I loved, even if I never broke the law of chastity with him, I would never be able to talk about our love like this. We wouldn't be accepted in the church community, the thought of holding hands in a sacrament meeting is laughable, and trying to tell my parents or ward members would be something to be put in the best drama movies because it would not end well. Could you imagine living in a world where you had to keep all affection to someone you loved hidden? Something that your social circle still believes as heinous or outrageous? 

I've had friends tell me that all single people feel loneliness and frustration of being single in a church that emphasizes family life and marriage (at a relatively young age). Let me just say that I'm sick of hearing that. While yes, they may find it frustrating and uncomfortable with the thought of being single, when they do find love it will not be shameful. It will not be condemned. They won't have to hide. They'll be able to tell their friends and neighbors, through parties, and even have a reception in the church. And they should be happy, that's awesome! Yet, as someone who is not attracted to the other sex, that seems as such an impossibility.

I doubt that many people in the church would think about that as they prepare a lesson on eternal marriage. It is quite the difficult lesson to sit through as a gay Mormon and raises far more questions than inspirations. Am I part of this plan? Can I find love that is approved? Will I ever be able to share my "expressions of love" with another person? I'm not pressing for a revolutionary change in teaching the material or hoping that the church will curb their whole Sunday School lesson plans for me, but, we all yearn to be understood and for our perspectives to be taken into account. 

So, to my friend: yes, I was a little uncomfortable. I'll get over it of course, and I'll encounter it many times in the future. But there you are.


Anonymous said...

You've written what I've been feeling my entire life. Thanks for sharing.

Nathan said...

Can I get an aaaaaaaamen?!

Seriously - I'm always feeling uncomfortable when it comes to those subjects in church and institute.

Just thought I'd let you know I agree :)

Gay Mormon said...

I'm glad it is resonating. The question now would be, how can we address it?

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