Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Being gay: Doing the Right Thing

Part 2 of my coming out story; part 1 is here.

After high school I tried to do all the things a good Mormon boy should do, and figured that if I did them I wouldn't have to worry too much about my gay feelings escaping. I didn't know any other gay people, and didn't really try to seek any out, and didn't really feel too conflicted...I was confident that I could handle my attractions and they weren't a big deal. I went to BYU for a semester (my memories of that semester are of being very lonely), put in my mission papers, and left for the MTC shortly after the semester ended. I was pretty nervous but excited at the same time.  I had a huge crush on my MTC companion (probably because this was my first time being so close to another guy) and on a few other companions, members, and potential investigators.  But I put my heart into the work, and even though I was somewhat anti-authority I loved the people I worked with.  It's trite to say, but my mission had a huge impact on my life and shaped my interests and goals and the direction my life would take.

After the mission, back to BYU. It was an ok experience, but I was still pretty anti-authority and liberal toward the church in general.  Again, I didn't meet any other gay BYU students; I just figured it was my struggle to deal with.  I didn't have any crushes on roommates and didn't do anything that I shouldn't have, other than a bit of porn here and there. I did have a crush on my best friend, though, but never did anything about it.  Thinking back, though, I wonder if he was gay too. I've lost contact with him and wonder about him alot. 

Toward the middle of my senior year I started panicking. I was almost done with BYU and hadn't done the most important "right thing" that BYU students should do. I was going to go off to graduate school and I didn't want to go alone. So I did what normal BYU students do - start dating.  Which led me to get more anxious about my "gay side."  I wish I had been more in tune with my feelings then, and I wish I had had support from others in my situation and known that I wasn't alone. I wish I had had the courage to stand up for myself and realize that what I was doing was wrong. I'm not talking about being gay or acting on it...I'm talking about being so in denial and not realizing that I was setting out on a course that would ultimately nearly destroy two lives and seriously affect three others.  I wish I hadn't given in so quickly to the chorus of voices around me from friends, roommates, family members, parents, and church leaders pressuring me to do the "right thing" and get married.  "We want grandchildren," the voices said; "why haven't you gotten married yet?" asked others. But the leaders I talked to and the church literature I read convinced me that it was the right thing, and that it would cure me of my gay feelings.  I wish I had put more trust in God and asked him instead.


This is a fairly pessimistic, even selfish post...I am ashamed of the hurt I have caused due to not being stronger and standing up for myself. But the next post will be even more so.


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