I had the wonderful luck to be born gay and Mormon. Lots of guys blessed with this interesting combination go through sheer hell for a long time trying to reconcile things. I did too before I finally realized that it can't be done. Eventually a gay Mormon has to choose one or the other. The way the church has set things up, the only way out is to kill off part of yourself, either the gay part or the Mormon part. I've seen some guys try to maintain both, and while it's certainly their choice, I think it's wasted effort and they're just setting themselves up for disappointment. Eventually even that kind of balancing act is going to end up with the same decision, made by default. I see liberal-minded Mormons who believe the church is wrong in its approach to gay issues and some of them really go out of their way to say why, and to advocate for change. Nice to see, but I think that's all wasted effort too.
The balance tipped for me when I reached the point in study and pondering and research that I no longer trusted or believed the LDS Church to be what it claims to be, to speak the truth honestly, or to act as God would have it act. That was probably the most difficult realization I've ever come to, especially after all the time I spent in church service. While the process that led me there started with the gay Mormon thing, my conclusions eventually went far beyond that one issue.
Once I got there, the whole bit about reconciling the gay and the Mormon fell into place. I was surprised but probably shouldn't have been. Why should I worry what the church said about being gay if I didn't trust or believe the church anymore. So that part's done. The gay part of me is fine, happy as can be. It was a long struggle and I'm glad it's over. I'm not going to talk about it here, that's not my purpose. Other people have blogged about being gay and Mormon so I'm not going to try. They have pretty much said everything about that topic already.
But now I'm finding that there's another reconciliation I need to make. I was born and raised Mormon, active all my life. BYU, mission, temple marriage, ward, stake and temple leadership. I read FARMS and FAIR stuff and owned Nibley's collected works. I was a vigorous and active amateur apologist for the church, had been since high school. I even worked for the Church, in the course of which I worked with numerous General Authorities and once gave an extended report presentation to Pres. Hinckley. My LDS bona fides are pretty solid.
So it's a big change for me to walk away from all that, resign my membership and try to figure out how to make a new non-Mormon life when the Mormon way is all I've ever known. I've figured out some ways to do this but have realized the process isn't complete. Maybe this blog will help.
Writing helps me work through things, and I've been thinking for some time that I should write down what I've been going through. For a while I thought I would just do it in a journal. But then I realized that if I blogged about all this, others might read what I wrote and maybe I could learn from them if they commented. Plus I can stay anonymous, which I really have to because if my extended family (who already know I'm inactive) found out that I've actually resigned it would cause them more angst than when I came out. That was tough enough, especially for my TBM convert father, who is as fine and wonderful and loving a dad as one could wish for, and with whom I will never see eye to eye on this or certain other topics. Shrug. It's just reality. My coming out has bewildered and hurt him very much already, and I don't want to hurt him further.
There's going to be a lot to talk about. It'll be a mish-mash of memories and vignettes and growing up Mormon and things I always wondered about and how my life got from there to here. Don't expect clean linear thought or organization. Or euphemisms. Parts of this process have been brutal and I'm not going to hold back when I talk about them. But I've realized that I really do need to talk about this. So watch out.