Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Story

My name is David. I am 19. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am also Gay. Trying to live both is a paradox. Eventually one must give way for the other and when that happens I feel that one of my twin souls, my Yin or Yang will be ripped from me, leaving me broken and useless. I know that I am not alone, and there are people on both sides of this paradox who are happy and complete with who they are. I am not yet one of them.
Being raised in the church, I grew up expecting to go on a mission, go to BYU, get Married, produce 4 kids, and live happily ever after. Looking back on my life, as early as the age of 7 I can remember feeling attracted to boys rather than girls, but I knew how I was meant to be, I knew the plan as described above and so I figured it would pass. I pushed those thoughts, those feelings to the back of my mind and forgot about them. I can remember distinct times when I felt I was gay, but those too I repressed. The first time that this idea of the perfect life for me was challenged was when I was 10. My parents started to fight and I realized that starting a family wasn't "happily ever after." At 12 I started looking at things differently, but I still hid the fact that I was gay from myself under many different layers and guises that I am still attempting to fully unravel and expose. just before I turned 13, my parents got divorced and I became and adult. (See here 1:38-3:00) At this time I began thinking like an adult, I comforted my mother, and my life became dedicated towards someone other than myself, and the repression got much deeper. At 16 I left home and moved back to Utah to finish my senior year of high school. I then, at 17, Went down to BYU, where free from the responsibilities of any adulthood that I had experienced prior, I started my adolescence. I started to rebel against all I had known in the church and yet still I repressed the knowledge that I was Gay even though my actions said otherwise. At 18 I eventually felt the guilt that was inevitable from my actions, and I confessed everything I had done to my BYU bishop, who told me that I wasn't Gay, just misguided, and then he let me finish out the week/semester at BYU before promptly throwing me out to my home ward and with no back up plan for school. I scrambled fast and left BYU, just barely getting into the University of Utah for fall of `07 I went to school there while working with my Bishop and former scoutmaster who is great, but who saw my problems differently than they really are. For a Year, I was the perfect member, I went to every meeting, read my scriptures, said my prayers, fasted, did my home teaching and was the most studious in my Sunday School class. I still hoped to go on a mission, get married, and have the whole picket fence with kids in the yard. I knew that my mission would be postponed, and so I extended to one of my best friends from BYU, a convert with very little in material wealth, an offer to pay for his mission. So did another family and so I was even covering the mission of one of my friends at the age of 19. One year after being removed from BYU, I was doing great, I thought I had everything on track, I would graduate in the summer of `09 and then go on my mission. I was headed for an internship in Washington DC when on the plane, my electronics batteries failed me and I was left to introspection. It hit me that It had been about one year and so I saw where I was before and presently. I realized that the motivation for coming clean to my bishop was the lack of feeling the spirit in my life, I still had yet to feel the spirit within that one year and I came to see that in actuality all I had learned was self-mastery. I hadn't really improved at all. After further introspection I realized that the problem was how I was looking at it. I saw 4 fingers because I was lloking at the problem when I should have seen eight by looking beyond the problem. I finnally realized I was Gay. I then over the course of 2 months spent some time coming out to anothergay intern who helped me appreciate myself and realize that I wasn't evil. I struggled with the paradox offered by this situation, and sought out help groups like North Star, but things didn't feel right. I rollercoasted between going to clubs and avoiding all contact with any gay or gay friendly person. I decided that I needed to come out to my parents and so I did and my Dad is very supportive of me being happy no matter what I chose, but my mother's opinion whose I value a lot, was such that she believed that I thought I was gay, and that even if I was, I still had to remain chaste and that was that. We still haven't talked me that much and I think it is best to hold off a little right now. She has a lot on her plate at present. A week before Thanksgiving I saw that things weren't working at all. I would try something and then fail, so I would try something else and fail. This created a vicious negative feedback loop that just kept building. I saw that whichever way I turned, A key part of me would be torn out and I kept tieing myself into a Gordian Knot. I created it in such a way that I saw the only way out was to slice the knot and to not choose between the two. This led to me taking some pills and ending up in the Psych ward. There I met a great shrink who actually listened to my situation and tried his best to understand the paradox of my situation. He touched upon a concept that got my mind working, and then My roommate, a devout Mormon RM who is great, said something that really put my mind into overdrive in seeing a way out. I do not remember what he said, but it got me to the point of realizing that I don't need the church and religion to worship God, that I can follow the 11th Article of Faith. This has put me in an interesting spot because I begin to see a disconnect between the Church and the Gospel. I am still in the process of assesing where the differences in minutia appear, but in seeing them I have begun to appreciate myself and my Lord far more than I ever have. I feel that this framework of worship that I am developing for myself is right for me. I feel this truth with the same feeling of rightness that was felt in knowing that the Lord lives and that He Attoned for me. I feel so strongly about this that I am staking my exhaltation on this. I know that I am lucky because once I realized that I was gay, I was okay with that, I was comfortable with that fact and although there are somtimes that I wish that I wasn't, I have been for the most part, free from the agony and anguish associated with discovery. I know that I have a long and uneasy road ahead of me and I hope to weather the road with as much sanity as possible. I hope to use this blog to connect with other MoHos regardless of where they stand on the issue of religion in their lives. I also hope to use this blog as a tool for those who are struggling out there with this, I want you to know that you are not alone, and that you are a good person, and that while it might feel so at times, there is never any reason to take your life, It is just NOT worth it. It is for that reason that I hide nothing about my identity here. This is my primary email address and the link to my facebook is my primary facebook, I am who I say I am and I want you to know that you don't need to suffer or struggle alone. If anyone ever wants to contact me, feel free to shoot me an email, I will respond and will try to offer my help as limited as it might be.

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