solitude-455768

I don’t know where to begin. Life has been such a roller coaster and I don’t know when it is going to stop.

To preface, I am LDS.

At least, I think I am . . . I’m not so sure anymore.

I am on the brink of abandoning everything I thought I knew to be true. I was born to a LDS family (and by born into, I mean my mother was baptized a year prior to my birth, so I didn’t have some massive church-based heritage) in a staunchly conservative nation that is primarily Catholic/Christian. My family was a traditional family where we had my father, the Patriarch, and my lovely mother by his side. I was raised alongside an older brother and a younger sister – raised in a very heteronormative environment: at home, at school, in the community, and especially in the church.

I knew that I was attracted to guys from a very young age – even before adolescence. It wasn’t some sort of big revelatory experience for me. My struggle was always just trying to fit in, trying to be “normal”. Society did not allow for gay children . . . especially in the church.

Growing up as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I was always taught about eternal families, about happiness coming from families — you know, the kind where you have a man and a woman and a couple of kids (or 12). That’s where I always felt scared. I always felt I was out of place. You see, there is nothing in God’s plan about homosexuality. Nothing specific, at least. Nothing said by Jesus Christ himself, and nothing in the Book of Mormon, “written for our day.”

Sure — read, pray, follow the commandments, and you’ll get blessings, all matching to some law “irrevocably decreed in heaven”. Everyone else got specifics like, marry in the temple, be worthy of a temple marriage, get married, have children. But I have to live my life in the shadows (Lord forbid people find out I was a gay practicing Mormon, nothing is worse than that), and the only thing I kept hearing about my case is that as long as a gay person follows the commandments, eventually he’ll be rid of his homosexual desires!

Woah! Yay. Awesome.

Except I probably have to wait until I’m dead. So, that means I have to live the rest of my life unable to love and be loved in return (in the romantic, passionate sense) — something that everyone yearns for and wants in their life. Something so intrinsically beautiful to mankind . . . unless you’re gay.

You see, I’ve always wanted a family. I always fancied myself being a father. Granted, that picture in my head was always one where I would either be alone raising some kids, or with another man who I loved and could grow old with. So this ate at me until I left on a mission. I loved my mission. I loved the people I taught, but I was still distraught about the idea that I will never be happy for the rest of my life.

I’ll probably have to wait until I’m dead.

After my mission I decided to go to BYU-Idaho. Big regret. Aside from the cheap tuition, it is not worth being here for someone like me. I face challenges every day that have just worn down on me — so much so that I suffer from manic depressive episodes coupled with near-crippling anxiety. The same fears are always being brought back and triggered by talks about dating, and dating, and marriage, and dating. Oftentimes I hear people talk about us gay Mormons and hear things like, “If they’re gay, why are they here?” Or “I would punch my roommate if I found out he was gay” or ” Gay students are just taking advantage of cheap tuition (ha, this one is partially true for me)” or other hateful things like that.

Honestly, I was naïve in expecting this to be a place I’d feel God’s love, if there really is some loving Father in Heaven out there. I don’t feel it. Instead, I feel rejection and fear at every corner. I have to hide a fundamental piece of me and try to play this pretend game of being straight – going on dates with lovely young women who would make great friends, but I don’t want to be their lover. I do all this to keep up the illusion, just to keep my friends, just to keep some sort of protective barrier around me. And it sucks because I end up always falling for a guy friend or some guy in class I spend a ton of time doing homework with, and it hurts, because hell, there is nothing I can do about it (they weren’t kidding when this school ranked 15th (I think) on the hottest and smartest colleges list.). Guys here can chat it up with some girl, flirt, get their number, go on dates, have some fling or an actual relationship . . . and then there is me.

How does it feel to live a thousand heartbreaks in a semester? Come to an LDS school as a gay student. It’s the most terrific experience there is!

I would punch my roommate if I found out he was gay”

Sarcasm aside . . . I have prayed, I have studied the scriptures and the words of prophets and stuff, I have gone to Church actively, held callings (even Elder’s Quorum President) and magnified them to the best of my ability. I do service, I do all the things that I have been told should bring happiness . . . but where is that happiness? To reiterate, there is nothing, absolutely nothing in the scriptures, in modern day revelation, in anything, that talks about this so-called trial, aside from the fact that I should be stoned should I romance another man. The Book of Mormon, “written for our day”, manages to completely avoid homosexuality. God is achingly silent about the plight of LGBT LDS people.

I am told to hold on to the iron rod, but for how much longer? I am told that mortality is going to be but a blink of an eye, but I would rather die now then spend another half a century of loneliness and quiet desperation. I am told that I should raise a family in righteousness — can’t I do that with a loving partner who would raise children in an environment that would make them great people? I am told that I can be happy by being a good Mormon . . . then where is that happiness that constantly eludes me?

I have been pondering this a lot. The only counselors in the area are Mormon, so they all tell me to stay in the church and just do church things. If it hasn’t worked before, why would it work now?

This is why I stand at the edge not knowing what to do. I don’t want to disappoint people, but for the sake of myself and my life, I feel that I need to find some real happiness – you know, find a nice guy, or something like that.

Anyway, I just needed to get that off my chest. I don’t know what this is going to bring about, aside from wanting people to know that life as a gay Mormon sucks. And it keeps sucking every moment of every day. I don’t see that ending any time soon so long as I stay in the church that I used to love. There is nothing for me here. If there is, tell me. Let me know. Your condolences can only go so far.



Patriarch Joseph Fielding Smith
Patriarch Joseph Fielding Smith
Joseph Fielding Smith (January 30, 1899 – August 29, 1964) was presiding patriarch and a general authority. Patriarch Smith was pressured into resigning from his position because of a homosexual relationship he had with a 21 year-old sailor, who was also a Latter-day Saint.
  • Justin

    I feel so bad for you. No one should have to live a life without love and intimacy. What I really want to say though, is that if you’re going to even consider the possibility of such a lonely life, you owe it to yourself to consider whether the church is actually true or not. I’ll give you some links to resources that I hope you’ll look into, but it’s up to you whether you are ready to consider the possibility.

    Resources:
    http://cesletter.com/Letter-to-a-CES-Director.pdf
    https://www.thetapirsmouth.com/book-of-mormon-translation/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycUvC9s4VYA

  • Allison

    Thank you for sharing this! I went to BYU-I and although I’m not gay, I do understand how incredibly toxic that environment is…moreso than any other church school which is really saying something. I wish you all the best and I truly believe things will get better for you. You can have all the things you’ve always dreamed of(a lover, a family, happiness). I KNOW this is true. You will have it. I’m sorry you are struggling right now. There are many of us ready and willing to stand up for you and stand by you. You are worthy and deserving of love! Much love and peace to you!

  • Margo Beatty-Singleton

    My heart breaks for you . As a lesbian woman who fell in love with her Visiting Teacher, I can tell you that there is an incredible amount of happiness outside of the church. We have raised our six children to be kind, caring, compassionate humans.

    You are so strong in reaching out, in sharing your story, your fears, your heartache, your sadness. Please close your eyes and feel all of the love and acceptance that will be coming your way. I don’t have any easy answer as you are in the middle of school and I don’t know your financial situation. What i can tell you, is that we would love to open up our home to you, we’re in Southern Oregon, to go to school here, to be surrounded by love.

    Please do not give up on your dream of having a family and/or being in a loving relationship with a soulmate. There are hundreds of thousands of loving same-sex couples out here who are living our dreams. It can be yours too. It won’t always be easy, but lean on us, who have gone before you.

    I do not believe that if there is a God, he would want you or any of us to spend our life devoid of companionship and love……… just waiting to die, so we could then “be normal”. If there is, I want nothing to do with that entity. We all have one life that is guaranteed, it is our choice to make it the best that we can.

    Continue to reach out, continue to believe in yourself, you are worthy of love, companionship, a family and happily ever after.

  • Nadine McCombs Hansen

    Run, my friend. Finish the semester and then get your credits transferred somewhere, anywhere else. Go somewhere that will value you for the wonderful, amazing person you are. You deserve to hold hands, to fall in love, to kiss, to marry. Run. As fast as you can. And never look back.

    Let me make you a promise, from someone old enough to be your grandmother: The only regret you will ever have is that you didn’t do it sooner.

  • Shem

    Thank you for sharing your story. Though I can’t relate on the level you are at since I’m not gay, I feel for you whoever you are. And as a man, I know I can show love towards you and not be ashamed of it because I’m secure within my sexuality. From what I understand with people like you is that you have self worth. You’re worth it. And just because you are different than the way the Mormon church wants you to be, doesn’t mean you don’t have a place in this life.

    All I can say is that you need to find an environment that is loving and supportive of who you are. Where you don’t have to feel ashamed for who you are. Where you are accepted. I may not have had the trials you had, but I had some other trials growing up for being different in another way. And believe me, I know the pain all too well for people judging me for being different. It can really hurt. You deserve better! I can tell you are genuine. Please hang in there and start planning on putting yourself in position to be somewhere so you can be yourself and feel good about it!

  • Richard R. Lyman

    I’ll never forget the time that a gay friend called me after the first time he kissed a boy. He was so giddy he could hardly speak. You deserve that moment as well. You deserve to love and to be loved in the way that is most fulfilling to you. It’s scary to question the church, to consider leaving behind the only kind of life you’ve ever known. All I can say is that the grass really is greener on the other side.

  • Danny Hansen

    I could have written this three years ago. I went to BYU but the rest basically describes how I felt. The constant talk of dating and relationships made me deeply depressed and I kept falling for straight friends.
    I wouldn’t have believed then how happy I would be now. I have an amazing boyfriend who I look forward to sharing my life with. Once I graduated from BYU I stopped going to church and came out about my disaffection and orientation. Life really is so much better on the other side. Don’t lose hope.

  • ColdDodger

    This hit so close to home. If you need a friend, I go to the same school. Email me at [email protected] if you want to meet. Look up ColdDodger on r/exmormon or RfM if you doubt how I feel about the church.

    • Bret

      Same here man, I don’t know you but I love you. I also attend BYUI. If you need a friend hit me up at [email protected]

  • Swagavad Gita

    I know this sounds like pablum, but don’t let others, not even the Church, define your happiness. You get to define it for yourself.

    My advice is to transfer and be happy in a secular university. You have the rest of your college experience to think about and the remaining time should be a happy and celebratory occasion.

    You are a human being and thus just as entitled to pursue happiness as anybody else.

  • Abe Resurrection

    If you remain LDS by membership, association, or proximity, your life will be miserable. it is a systematically homophobic church. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

  • Anne Martineau

    Hi, I want to say that you are beautiful and perfect exactly as you are. I can’t believe your strength and resolve. To be as aware as you have been all your life about your sexual orientation and keep on going makes you the most courageous of men. So hang on a little longer because when you set yourself free, life gets so expansive, beautiful, and interesting. Romantic love and freedom has made every ounce of family rejection TOTALLY worth it for me. I am living your dream. I married a fabulous woman and she helped me raise my daughters into adulthood together. EVERY DAY I am thankful that I found my way out of the church. I want to hug you and tell you I am so proud of your strength, courage, honesty, and your clearly beautiful heart. onward and upward. If you ever need an internet gay mamma you can always e-mail me. [email protected]

  • DP

    Hi, I would like to simply point you to a hint in Jesus’ teachings found in Matthew 19:1-12, specially vs 12. This has been very revealing to me. There is a ministry that defends and expands on this scripture, I recommend reading (or listening):
    http://thebedkeeperbook.blogspot.com.ar/2010/04/chapter-1-born-this-way.html
    This is not to say that I agree with every point of doctrinefrom the BrianBowenMinistries.
    It may be then that Jesus taught something about this subject after all.
    Best of wishes,
    D

  • Ben Smith

    I’m a fellow student at BYUI. I’m sorry that you have had the negative experiences that you have. I can’t say I’m surprised. I am disappointed, however. I wish that we, as a general rule, were more loving to our homosexual brothers and sisters.

    I want you to know that there are people here who believe that you deserve happiness and don’t think that that means pretending that you’re not gay. I believe that you deserve to be happy, with a man if that’s what will make you happy. I don’t understand how homosexual relationships fit into the Plan of Salvation, but I can’t believe that God would require people who are gay to have a heterosexual relationship.

    I believe the gospel. I don’t know whether “the church is true,” but I do believe that God loves us and that Jesus died for our sins. I hope that you can find happiness.

    • Richard R. Lyman

      You’re a good man, Ben Smith.

  • sonya_d

    People that tell you to hang on and stay in the church are all married and have kids. As a single member of the church into my late 30’s, I can tell you from experience that it’s not worth it. I always believed what the church taught, that I’d only be happy if I married a worthy man in the temple, and if it didn’t work out that way, being single was the only alternative. It’s not worth it. You’re right –life is long and you can’t even guess how long when you see everyone moving on with their lives, and you are staying in the same place. Choose happiness. it is possible outside of the church.

  • Bob Smith

    A completely true joke I heard my first year at BYU (2003) that would be funny if it wasn’t so sad:
    “BYU is conservative. BYU-Idaho is fascist.”

    Some birds aren’t meant to be caged. I hope you find your way out of that toxic environment asap!

  • Pink-lead

    I’m sure you can find hope outside the church. In time the organization may be less toxic, but Nostradamus isn’t giving me any clues. I may not believe as I once did, but I still can take heart from something church related….The JS teachings of the presidents manual quotes this:

    “Mormonism is truth; and every man who embraces it feels himself at liberty to embrace every truth: consequently the shackles of superstition, bigotry, ignorance, and priestcraft, fall at once from his neck; and his eyes are opened to see the truth, and truth greatly prevails over priestcraft. …

    It is the constitutional disposition of mankind to set up stakes and set bounds to the works and ways of the Almighty. … That which hath been hid from before the foundation of the world is revealed to babes and sucklings in the last days

    There are several other great quotes in this section (see chapter 22) that I think approve those of us willing to reject our false traditions. Who recognize that more can be known and that there is a place for gay people to fully realize themselves within the work of God. This is the kind of faith and heritage I can subscribe to. I’m not waiting for the organization to fully embrace this. Boyd K was a believer that one cannot be born gay. I expect that some of the other GAs are past this but still stuck in using (problematic) bible citations to back up the tradition. Thankfully, I think the momentum for change and greater compassion is building. Good luck!

    • John Gagon

      He might have believed it, he sure wasn’t in a position to know it. Someone could tell a horse it’s not a horse but that doesn’t change anything for the horse. I can’t imagine a more useless kind of testimony.

  • Viktorija Plentaj

    I’m sorry for the way you feel. I agree with ‘but I would rather die now then spend another half a century of loneliness and quiet desperation’. I somehow think the same way (I’m not saying I’m in the same circumstances) because if I knew I’m going to spend my whole life lonely, I would shoot myself. Maybe you want to quit because your prayers haven’t been answered and you don’t feel blessings in your life. But I can tell you that there is a person who knows exactly how you feel and he has been through ALL difficulties you went through, you are going through and you will go through. Do not quit. The other side wants us to quit by doing things that make us go like ‘Omg, why am I still here in the church? What’s the point?’ God didn’t not forget about gay people, God did not forget about you. By the way, scriptures do not content solutions about everything in our lives but it doesn’t mean there will be no revelation. Maybe there are records somewhere that are waiting for mankind to be ready for them. God has so much to tell us but we are the ones that need to mature, you know what I’m saying? Anyway, I hope this will help in some kind of way. I’m sorry because I cannot express what I really want you to know and what I feel right now. I wish you all the best 🙂

  • Martin Harris Luther

    I hope you can carve out a safe space for yourself and make any changes you need to find happiness. If you eventually come out to your family, you may want to get help from the Momma Dragons like Wendy Williams Montgomery (look her up on Facebook), and get resources to share from the Family Acceptance Project. These people could help you explain things to your orthodox friends and family. But if you end up having to choose between your own happiness and the acceptance of your family, choose yourself. You are so worth it!

  • Bente Acking

    Run, my friend! I say just the same as Nadine! Leave that place. Anywhere else where there are no Mormons or other religions that are non supportive of LGBT. Go to California, the Scandinavian countries anywhere LGBT is valued and where diversity and inclusion is preferred.

    I spent 30 years in the Mormon church. I’m from a big family there. It is not a safe and loving place. Just leave it, don’t look back. Find a lovely man to love and have children. I did! You can do it! Freedom is out there waiting for you!

  • ACME50

    It’s not you, it’s us.

    And unfortunately, you’re right, there really is nothing here for you as a gay member as shown by the recent changes to church policy. Our Mormon church is still a lot of years away from being a safe, loving environment for our LGBT brothers and sisters. There are, however, a lot of us who are supportive and some of us are even in bishoprics or stake presidencies (I’m a bishopric counselor in a YSA ward at BYU). I wish we could welcome you and love you as Christ taught. As a chruch we can’t…yet. And while I and the bishop I serve with can provide you a safe harbor, we can’t guarantee how you’ll be treated by our ward.

    It aches to say this, but your best bet at happiness is to leave BYU and find someone you can be happy with, and maybe even marry some day. You’re entitled to as many blessings of connection and happiness as we are. Go find them. And know that while our general church doesn’t support you, many of us inside the church do.

    We’ll get there someday, just not today. God bless you brother.

    • John Gagon

      There’s a bit of a lie that the “church” is for everybody. If that church specifically says it’s not then it’s not by it’s own mouth. God might be for everybody but whoever started that rumor or used that on their mission needs to be gently informed.

      • John Gagon

        FYI, gay and happily inactive “member”. I never resigned, I just walked away. I might attend a ward but it will only be with my husband.

  • AJ

    I highly reccomend you read Voices of Hope. Changed my life.

    http://ldsvoicesofhope.org/

    • AJ

      Actually, you can talk to me too. I’m still at school and I’m in the sammme boat. [email protected]

  • Ronny Nowland

    Hey! As a fellow LDS gay man at BYUI, I just want to encourage you TO NOT GIVE UP!

    I am not sure if you are still up here on campus or not, or if you are even still monitoring these comments, but I’m totally here for you if you’d like someone to talk to or meet up. For me at least, sometimes you just need someone who understands and can relate to. ([email protected])

    (Sorry, this post got a bit long, but this is something that I feel strongly about. And I also apologize because I am not the best at expressing my thoughts and feeling through words, but this is what I’ve got)

    As a fellow gay member of the Church at BYUI, I totally understand where you are coming from. It can definitely be the most frustrating thing in the world to be in a culture that is so focused on dating, marriage, and eternal families when it doesn’t seem like that is in your future.

    I have recently gone through a trial of my own faith (at least more so than normal) with regards to being lonely and doubting if I would truly be happy and find fulfillment in this life, because, as you mentioned, this life is really long! And the idea of being single that entire time is daunting.

    However, I have a number of super wonderful friends here at BYUI, many of whom are also gay, that helped me to not give up on what I do know deep down to be true. That’s right, despite what everyone is saying, there are a lot of single, gay, active members of the Church, even here at BYUI.

    I have decided that if I were to leave the Church in search of my own path to happiness at the behest of the world’s advise, I would essentially be giving Jesus Christ the cold shoulder and walking away. I would be telling Him, and our Father in Heaven for that matter, that I did not trust them to do what they have promised: to lead me in and through a peaceful, joyful, fulfilled life.

    And on top of that, I would never know what would have happened if I hadn’t settled, and if I had had the faith to just stick it out a bit longer.

    I am quite a bit older than most of the students here at BYUI, and I feel as though I have been around the block several times, as the saying goes. I have made some pretty poor choices (even getting myself kicked out of school at one point), and hit some pretty bad low points; but I have also made some pretty great decisions, and had some incredibly wonderful experiences. And you know what? I am starting to realise in hindsight that it has all been worth it (although for long periods of time, I definitely did not feel that way, and hated the whole situation). I have learned so much about myself, and who I am becoming through all of these experiences.

    I don’t pretend to know what will happen in this life, but I do know, and am 100% positive that the Lord does. I know it is super cliché to say, but I am certain that He has prepared a path for each of us that will not only provide us the most fulfillment and happiness possible, but prepare us for the ultimate happiness of eternal life.

    I have also decided to be a lot more open about being gay with people around me, which at first was terrifying! (It took me a long time to muster up the courage to tell my best friend and roommate when I was super depressed and needed someone to talk to) But guess what? The experience has been amazing! No one has balked or treated me any different after finding out. And it has made me so much happier because I am not nervous and stressing out that someone will find out that I’m gay, like I had been doing for half my life. I can be the real, genuine me, and everyone I know has accepted me for it. It has been a great experience, and not a bad, everyon-is-going-to-reject-me-and-act-strange-around-me-once-they-know experience at all!

    So I guess what this all boils down to is DON’T GIVE UP! Even though it has been rough going, I am certain the Church is true, and Jesus Christ knows and has felt exactly how you feel. Satan wants you to feel isolated and an exception to the rule, but I assure you you are not. You are just as valuable in this Kingdom of Christ as anyone else, and we all need you to stay!

    Love you man! I hope that at least some of this makes sense, and if there is anything I can do to help, just let me know.

    Cheers!

  • Wicketrun

    Thank you for writing & sharing this.
    I’m a gay man who attended the church school in Rexburg. It was a difficult time and your comments brought back those memories.
    The more people like you who come forward and share their experiences, the more difficult it is for mainstream members to ignore.

  • John

    You ever wonder why you ended up being gay in this life? If it ever has something to do with your nature before like maybe some of the characteristics that perhaps you may have carried from the pre mortal life? That strongly effect you now and God saw fit that you go through this trial as a man/woman because He saw that you are very capable of overcoming it?

    Or maybe it was something that just happened by chance and it’s something you must overcome and just trust in Gid that He has something greater waiting for you in the other side, not necessarily the right to eternally fall in love with the one or guy you love but something else greater He has waiting for us? Because I HAVE! And it kills the hell out of me having to sacrifice something that I strongly feel is apart of who I am. It’s not a switch I can just flip every now and again.

    Or have you ever thought that this gay attraction may be like some sort of blanket if you will, covering you in this life and that one day, just maybe all your feelings of same-gender-attraction vanishes like the blanket falling from you and you can see clear as day what the Lord has waiting for you? These aren’t things I dwell on but just find myself wondering at times. This truly has got to be the single most difficult thing the Lord has ever asked me to patiently and faithfully wait out.. I feel so weighed down and I find so much relief to find that you too understand what I’m battling. No matter how hard it is or how much I keep falling I have chosen to not give up. No matter the many times I fall, give in, succumb etc I am still determined to push myself ever upward. I too am LDS and 22 years old and served a mission and I loved every part of it. I’m not in school yet but I’m working and living with my family mom, 4 sisters and 1 brother. No one else knows about this but my older sister who I trust and she lovingly helps me pull through this. But still with family constantly nagging at me about dating or marriage sh** or friends and coworkers getting engaged like the world’s gonna end tomorrow, I tell you it’s a lot of pressure to deal with. I find myself crying these words, “Father…remove this cup from me!” Please!

  • kitty

    We all know that asking a person to go their whole life without any physical affection or intimate relationships is WAY too much to ask of a person. I very much doubt that God had a conference with Pres. Monson in which God said, “Hey, it is really important that gay people not be in relationships. I can’t explain why, but trust me, it’ll be important in the afterlife.” So if you find a good person you want to be with who wants to be with you, do it! That’s an important part of well-being. But I wouldn’t leave the church as long as you still feel you want to be a part of it and people are being welcoming. People that say “run” don’t understand the way your sense of identity and sense of community can be deeply tied up in Mormonism. As long as people are willing to try to understand, and as long as you still feel something within you that makes you want to exercise faith, I would trudge along in Mormonism as much as you can while being in a relationship. (Of course, if you get squeezed out for dating or marrying someone, that’s not your fault.) As for what there is in this world for you… the general authorities will come around! It’ll happen someday! (Sadly, probably not soon.) In the meanwhile, I might recommend moving to Boston. That’s an awesome place to be a Mormon, and you will find lots of liberal Mormons who care about gay rights and will talk about such things. Way better than Rexburg.

  • Jenna Hall

    Thanks for this article! I’m also gay at BYUI and feel very similarly to you. I am stuck at BYUI for the next 2.5 years and I am constantly wondering if I’ll ever find love. I wish you the best!

  • Pingback: westkrant()

  • Pingback: 4cyn5et4m5t94c5t9m4vn54cx65()

  • Pingback: http://falschgeldkaufen.blogspot.com/2017/01/wo-kann-ich-falschgeld-kaufen.html()


google-site-verification: google2cac8eb5ff86e577.html