Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Coming out in an LDS Family: Child and Adult

by Brig Bagley

19 February 2014

This story is a little old, but it inspired me as I revisited it. An LDS couple in California with 5 children went out in 2008 to knock on doors to promote the infamous Prop 8 that banned same-sex couples from marrying in the state. At that very same time, their oldest son, about 11 at the time, was fearing rejection from his family and contemplating suicide because of his homosexual feelings that he had not yet told anyone.

Also at the same time, I was experiencing very similar feelings--except I was 10 year older than Jordan, the boy of the parents above. I did, however, experience similar feelings at Jordan's age without the impetus of Prop 8. There was another proposition that restricted marriage to a man and a woman, Proposition 22 in 2000, that when overturned, lead to Prop 8. Although I did have homosexual feelings at that time (I was 13) I didn't let it bother me. I assumed over time, God would fix me. Jordan's feelings were much more realistic than mine, which led to his early depression and changed the entire course of his family.

After over a dozen years of believing God would fix me if I was righteous, I started doubting it would ever happen. All the callings, prayers, scriptures, seminary, institute, mission years, temple worship, fasting, and repenting made no difference. I finally started exploring on my own terms. I met someone online, then in person. He became my first boyfriend, and the rest is history.

To break it down a little more, during the Prop 8, I finally started to question my views. Although I did support it blindly to be a good LDS member, I began to understand the other side of the issue. There are people out there that believe differently than me that want to love someone. It took a couple years for it all to sink in. Even when I decided to date other guys and stop going to church, I still held on to the church as a reference.

Now, 6 years since Prop 8, I have finally come to similar views as the parent's of Jordan, hoping to change the church's stance that homosexuality is a sin. With so many other children out there confused with what's wrong with them, I believe it is the responsibility of us who understand to go out and scream for that change. The LDS church is also just one of many organizations that scorn homosexuality. But the LDS church stands at the front of many protests against any litigation that accepts such behavior.

The LDS church is not likely to change their teachings anytime soon, but monumental changes in doctrine have occurred in the past, and will occur again. Perhaps this issue will be next. If the church continues its stance, it will at the very least suffer from another wave of members leaving the "fold".

The parents of Jordan, like the rest of us that support our gay friends and family, have a great deal of fighting left before the issue is resolved. If you haven't read the story of Jordan Montgomery and his family, or seen the clip for the documentary (above), please do so.

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