Friday, October 8, 2010

I can't even begin to say what a painful and soul-damaging experience this has been.

I am a bisexual lifetime member of the church, who was living in CA when everything happened with Prop 8. It's easy for me to "hide", as a wife and mother with small children...and so I did. I can't even begin to say what a painful and soul-damaging experience this has been.

I lost a dear family member to Prop 8. He had come out ofter his mission, and his family had reached a sense of equilibrium...celebrating his civil union the year before. Prop 8 changed all of that. He asked his family to support his marriage, and between him and the church, they felt that it was the righteous choice to pick the church over their son.

To this day it makes me angry just thinking about it; considering how much damage was done in my family alone. It makes me sad that I felt so threatened. The things that were said to me be other members, feeling perfectly justified, were hideous. The things that family members have said to me have been equally so. It breaks my heart that I am not allowed to live and let live. I can't state the way I identify myself without a battle and condescending statements that I couldn't possibly feel the way that I do unless I have sinned.

It's been a long road for me since being bullied into voting yes on Prop 8...and I am deeply sorry for that choice. I have learned and grown, and am choosing at this point to begin to step away from the church. I can't believe the amount of guilt and shame that have been heaped on my head--when I have done nothing other then tell a few close people that I find women attractive--my heart goes out to those who have been hurt by this, both non-members, and members of the church who have not hidden the way I have.

The statements this past General Conference have been a final straw for me. It is a lie that the church is taking the same stance it always has. For years under President Hinkley the policy was encouraging members to treat *everyone* with respect. While members, of any orientation, were encouraged to remain chaste until marriage, I never saw the sort of shame that has been handed out in recent years. Going back to telling gay members that they can and should change has set the church back more then ten years. Do not believe that the policy and tone has remained the same, please, I beg you.

I can't change that vote...and I can't change the years of silence, head down, as people have said these thing from the pulpit, but in general meetings and local wards, but I can offer my deepest apology for my silence, and vote with my feet. While I can't change the beliefs of others, I have never felt the god I pray to every night condone this. Between the church and painful as it might be...I choose Deity.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I'm so touched by your struggle with your family. I too have been affected--I'm gay with a Mormon family. I want to relay that life after the church is so much happier. You get to live your own life without constantly judging and condemning yourself. The best thing you can do now is to be happily graduated from the church--the culture of the church is toxic to free thinkers! Unwinding yourself from family and friends who only see your value if you fit their idea of "righteousness" will be a challenge. I just tell people that religion is not a topic I'm open to speaking about. Your true friends will respect your wishes.