Monday, October 5, 2009

Out Of The Mouths of Babes

At first I thought I could tell them, then I discovered just how strong their anti-gay sediments were. It was during the proposition 8 debate something that was especially strong amongst the latter day saints. I was riding down the freeway as a passenger in my brothers suburban. I don't remember where we were going or what we were doing except that my bro, my father and myself were in the vehicle. Others were present too though I honestly don't remember who. They started talking about Prop 8 and the church's stance. They started talking about how gays were responsible for the downfall of society, how they were the worst possible element of society. They started quoting prophets, scripture and whatever other sources they could think of. Finally spoke up and asked what had happened to Charity, everything they were saying was motivated by hate, anger, and ignorance. I aske them were the pure love of Christ came into play?". Eyes rolled, lisps of air escaped twisted lips, and heads were shaking as they talked about how gays deserved what they got. I asked my brother what he would do if one day his own son announced that he was gay? Would he disown him and treat him with this sort of "Love"? He responded that he loved his children unconditionally but would never have to worry about this because his son had been taught righteous principals and would not choose such a path. My comment was never say never. I then asked him what he would do "if" his son announced that he was gay and wanted to bring his partner home to meet the family. He stated that his son would always be welcome in his home, but that a partner would never be welcome. I asked him why and he replied that he would never subject the other children to such evil influence. Once again I wanted to know when God threw Charity out the window, didn't God love all his children? I have many gay friends and I have to ask myself how any of these wonderful Christ-like men could ever be considered an "evil influence"? Ignorance and bigotry do indeed go hand in hand.

The months that followed were filled with conversations such as this with different family members. I knew that some of my family suspected that I was gay but I was not ready to neither confirm nor deny their suspicions. I was open about the gay friends I was hanging out with but that is as far as I was willing to go in talking to people with such attitudes. One day I drove to my parents house and as I was getting out of the car noticed my mother outside working in her garden. She asked me a question which elicited a comment about my brother and how he did not trust me with his children. She made some snide comment to me regarding my worthiness or possibly the lack thereof and I could contain myself no longer. I told her that I had always been a good example for the kids, that I had always made it a point to be such. She looked me right in the eye with this look of anger and hatred and said, "Oh you have have you, how do we know what you've done?". It reminded me so much of the self righteousness of Bobby's mother in Prayers for Bobby. I responded that I was every bit as worthy of a temple recommend as she was, possibly even more so with her judgemental attitude. I have spent my entire life trying to love and serve others. I don't ever remember a time when I purposefully hurt anyone. I can honestly say that nothing anyone has ever said or done hurt as bad as those words coming from my mother. I guess I could have dealt with it had I deserved them but I have done nothing to warrant them. They came from absolute ignorance. Have we as members of the Church become so hardened through the teachings of "The Church" that we have completely forgotten the teachings of the Saviour? How great shall be that day when Christ shall reign personally upon the earth and the Lion shall lie with the Lamb.

Many of my friends know that I am gay and have been fully accepting. Isn't it a shame that I am able to be open and honest with friends but not with family! One of my best friends has a younger brother who is gay and he is wonderful when it comes to accepting and loving his brother. I have a great respect for him and the way he has raised his children. Like myself, my friends brother has a special relationship with his nieces and nephews. When my friend was first married it was necessary for both he and his wife to hold down full time employment in order for my friend to finish his schooling. During this time they had their "still in the closet" gay uncle babysit their young daughter. Because of this the two of them have always had a very special relationship. When his brother first came out to them my friend requested that it be kept from the children for a time. When their oldest daughter turned thirteen my friend decided it was time to sit her down and tell her about her uncle. After he finished telling her she broke down into sobs, and he thinking that she was having a difficult time accepting this new information regarding her uncle asked her what she was thinking. He was prepared to help her understand that tho they disagreed with his lifestyle he was still family and as such was loved. What his daughter said took him by complete surprise. Through her tears she expressed her feelings of sorrow. She stated that she had said some bad things in the past with her friends regarding gay people and that now that she knew one she realized how wrong and hurtful she had been. She knew how good her uncle was and therefore must have been wrong in her thoughts regarding gay people. She felt so much sorrow for having said such awful things. Talk about "from out of the mouths of babes. . ."

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