Tuesday, October 20, 2009

One Year Anniversary

October is my one year coming out anniversary! I can't believe that it has been one year since I first uttered the words, "I am Gay" out loud for the first time in my life. Prior to this I would rather have committed suicide than have told anyone that I was Gay. As only a gay man can understand I was so afraid someone might discover my secret and then my life would be over, I knew I could not continue living if people knew my big secret. How wrong I was. I have never felt so freed and self accepting in my life as I have since I came out of the Closet. I won't say that is hasn't been difficult but it has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done in the long run. Not everyone accepts me but I have discovered who my true friends are and they are more than I ever thought possible. I wish with all my heart that I had the courage to come out years ago. I had heard others talk about how freeing it was but I never thought it could be like this, for the first time in my life I love who I am. I am at peace with myself and what others think does not matter as much as it used to. For too many years I tried to deny what my Father in Heaven had created within me. I still do not understand the how’s and whys regarding homosexuality and the Gospel but I have great Faith that someday the Lord will have the answers for us.

One year ago I went to my Bishops office to talk with him about how depressed and devastated my life had become. I had fought for so long just to stay alive and I was at the point were I just wanted to die and end the pain. My Bishop was at odds with what to tell me so he recommended that I talk with a member of the ward who worked in a position within the psychology community where he knew many professionals and might be able to recommend someone for me to talk with. To this point I still had not told anyone that I was gay. I called this gentleman and went to his home to talk with him whereupon I learned that he had a private practice specializing in working with Gay Latter-day Saints. My heart skipped about 50 beats but I still could not bring myself to say the words. We talked about some abuse that I had suffered as a child and he gave me the name of a man whom he thought might be able to do me wonders. I made an appointment with this man and had few fantastic sessions. During about our third session he looked me in the eye and said, "Quite bullshitting me rich, if you're not going to be truthful with me then you might as well quite right here". I was so taken back; I replied that I had been totally honest with him and that I had not told him one lie. He sort of rolled his eyes and gave me that "oh brother" look as he shook his head back and forth. OMGosh, I was ready to die, I was sweating profusely; my heart felt like it was going to explode because I feared he had figured out my "Secret". I left that night more depressed and scared that my secret was about to be discovered than I had ever been in my life.

As I was driving home I knew I had to tell someone and I had to do it soon. I also knew that by next week I would not have the courage to tell my new found friend so I pulled over and called him on the phone and told him that he was right that I had not been completely truthful with him that I had something that I needed to tell him and the reason I was calling was to ask him to "make" me tell him next time I saw him. He laughed and said that's your responsibility, don't dump it on me, if you want to tell me something then take the responsibility and do it. I told him that was exactly what I was doing, that by next week I may not have the courage to tell him what I needed to but that I was taking the responsibility right now to make sure that I would follow through next week. He was silent for a moment and finally agreed to bring it up and make sure that I told him in our next session. I am so glad that I had the courage to call him because had I not I know I would never have told him. Because I had committed to tell him my secret I followed through our next visit. I sort of laugh at the whole ordeal looking back on it now but I was so scared at the time. It took me about 20 minutes to finally utter the words and once they had been said I was so sure that he was going to say thanks for being open with me but please don't' come back. The opposite was true. He went out of his way to make sure I knew that he did not look upon me any less for this, the opposite; he admired me for having the courage to tell him. I could feel the love this man had and I knew he did not judge me in the slightest. He also knew how hard this had been and asked me if I would like the person who referred me to him to come over and talk with me for a minute. Keep in mind the person who referred me specialized in working with gay RM's. I thought that perhaps next time he might be present to talk with me for a second but when he got the call he dropped everything and was there within minutes.

For those of you who are still hiding your identity from the world, I wish I could describe the next hour, I felt such relief, I knew that the Lord was guiding me to the people who could help me to accept the fact that I was a Gay Child of God and that as such I was a wonderful and loved individual. The psychologist that I was seeing was not a member of the church but knew the church intimately. That night a non member helped me to understand my Savior more than anyone else had to this point in my life. I had taught who the Savior was and what he did for us literally hundreds of times while teaching at the MTC and I knew with all my heart that the Savior loved the souls whom I taught and that he paid an atoning sacrifice that they may return home to He and His Father upon leaving this life. Yet I also knew that love did not extend to me, I was a homo and there was no hope for me. My secret would go to the grave and at that point it would condemn me. When ever friends would visit from out of town they would want to go see the Movie "Testaments" at the Joseph Smith building. I got to the point were I hated that movie, each time it came near the end to the part where the Savior is visiting the people in America, there was a scene where the Savior leaves the crowd gathered at the temple and goes to a blind man who was injured trying to save his wayward son during the three night of darkness and earthquakes. The blind man was alive when Christ was born 33 years prior, he saw the signs in Heavens foretold by the prophets that would precede the birth of the Messiah. He had lived righteously his entire life dreaming of someday being able to see the Savior and here He was and he could not see Him, when out of nowhere Christ reaches down and touches him and heals him that he might see. The whole point here was that Christ left the crowd and came to the one. Each time this scene played it depressed me because I knew that the Savior would never come to me, he could not love me enough to do such a thing because I was so evil. Every time I was coerced into going I would end up in tears at the end. Those with me thought that it was because the spirit had touched me during the show, if they only knew it was because the movie was just rubbing Gods displeasure with me into my heart like Salt into an open wound. This night my nonmember friend and councilor along with the Brother in my ward, helped me understand that Christ's love did extend to me, that my Father and my Elder Brother fully loved and accepted this Gay Child they had created. When I left these two men I actually felt like God was proud of me as a Gay Man that somehow part of what had disappointed him the most was my denial of what He created.

Here it is one year later and I still feel this way. I have a deeper understanding of the Gospel and my Savior than I have ever before had. My testimony and my faith are stronger than ever, though I do have different beliefs regarding homosexuals and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For now I have come to accept that what the Spirit has witnessed to my soul differs from that which is taught by the Church regarding this issue. There are many times of confusion and question regarding all of this but I have faith that God lives and that He loves me. Until the day comes in the which he reveals more truth to the world I will continue to live my life as a Gay Man with a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

If anyone who reads this post finds themselves in a situation similar to that which I was in a year ago and would like to chat please feel free to email me at MormonGay@gmail.com. I would love to converse with you in further detail regarding your particular circumstances. God sent some special men into my life one year ago to help me accept who I am and if I can be of any help to you it would be a wonderful way to show my appreciation.

1 comment:

  1. I know you wrote this quite some time ago but I just wanted to say I appreciate what you've done in order to be true to your self. I am LDS and although I don't have the same problems that you have I can appreciate you writing about your trials. I hope you can stay strong in the gospel no matter what you choose to do. Make it work.