There has been a lot of buzz lately in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or LDS world about gay Mormons. A couple weeks ago at the Salt Lake City Gay Pride Parade, around three hundred Mormons marched in support of the gay community. Since then, there have been more Mormons that have been marching in the Pride Parades across the nation. I've been reading some stories and experiences that some of these people had. From what I have read, the experience was amazing. I was really sad that I had to work the day of Indy Pride and couldn't get down town for the parade or any of the festivities. During the week, I did attend the Pride of Indy Concert Band and Jazz Band's concert. Those musicians work really hard to create a great musical experience for the community to listen to! I saw so many friends there at that concert.
I was there with my boyfriend. Now, Ian goes along with a lot of the ideas and experiences that I have chosen without complaining. I've been very open about my opinions on individuals being gay, lesbian, and transgendered from the beginning of our relationship. My closest friend when Ian started dating was a gay man. I've had many Gay Boy Friends or Gay Best Friends, however you want to look at that, in my life time. My Gay Boyfriends, as my mom may call them, have treated me with more respect and loved me more than some of the guys that I've dated!
From a very young age, there were LBGT people every where! I just didn't realize it. So, where does this put me? Let me start from the very beginning.
There was one out person in my high school, that I knew of. She was very brave. They even did an article about her in the local news paper. Back then, I didn't think much of it. I didn't even read the article about her. At times, I wonder where she is now. Then, there was one very effeminate guy out that was a couple years younger than me. I think that's when "being gay" started to register with me. Just a little though.
Then, I decided I was going to go to study music in college. I went to college knowing what being gay meant, but not knowing what it would mean in my life.
In music school, I was surrounded by gay men. Not all of the men in music and theater are gay, but a good portion of them are. Soon, I would gain some of my best friends from these men. The gay men in my life have treated me way better than most of the LDS straight men I was expected to date. I could go out with my Gay Boy Friends and know, they don't expect anything physical out of me. I was on a date with an LDS guy, and it was the end of the date. I was like, Thanks, have a nice night. Then, he invited himself into my apartment! We sat down on the couch, and he said, "Do you know what NICMO is?" (Yes, he seriously asked this!!!) I said, "Umm, no." I played dumb. He informed me, "A NICMO is a Non Committal Make Out Session." With in two minutes of that conversation, I said, "I'm turning into a pumpkin, and you need to leave!" (I was definitely too nice!) Those were a lot of the experiences I had with LDS men, whom I was expected to marry!
In college, one of my best roommates, whom is gay, always called me the Golden Gaydar! In fact, we always joked that for Halloween, we should go as Rainbow Boy and the Golden Gaydar! He was gay, yet he always told me, he had no clue, unless he was standing in the middle of a gay bar, if someone is gay or not.
When I was in college, I moved in with two gay men. My sister in law asked my mom, "How could you let her do that!" My mom answered, "They're not going to do anything to her. They're gay!" I always thought that was funny.
Are you a gay Mormon?
My Golden Gaydar can get me in trouble! I've met many gay LDS. Most of them would never admit that, but I just know. My first trip the the Young Single Adults branch in Indianapolis, I met a guy that, the second he opened his mouth, I knew he is gay. Now, he's married to a woman. That is his personal choice.
I dated an LDS guy. We had gone on three or four dates, and he never once tried to hold my hand or kiss me. On our first date, we went on a day trip. Elton John came on the radio, and he exclaimed, "I used to LOVE Elton John, until I found out, he's a FLAMING HOMO!" Well, this didn't sit well with me at the time, but it was our first date, so, I just kept to myself. Later, when we had been dating for about a month, we had gone on a trip with a group of Young Single Adults or YSA's. He saw a gay couple, and immediately started making fun of them. He kept saying to another male YSA, "Hey, Bubba over there wants you! He thinks you're hot!" This really upset me, but I didn't say anything again, because we were in front of the other YSA's, and I was watching the situation from afar.
The final straw was, he decided we were going on a date to see the movie "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry." I was preparing myself for a totally offensive movie. In the middle, it actually turns into a movie about having more gay rights. In my opinion, it wasn't really worth paying to see, but that's another story! On the way home, I confronted this guy. Why was he so homophobic? I basically told him, I couldn't date a guy that was, and either he needed to stop, or we weren't going to date any more. That's when he stated, "I feel like a woman trapped inside a man's body." This shocked me for about two seconds. Then, all the sudden, I realized why he was so homophobic! He was trying to prove he didn't have his own issues with his sexuality by projecting how "Manly" he was in his homophobia!
We stopped dating soon after. Then, he got worse. He could sing and play piano. When he was asked to play piano at a church function, he would say no. Then, he would basically tell me, that's a woman's job, without so many words. So he didn't want to be perceived as doing a "Woman's Job!" Then, I was told by the accompanist at the time, that he would criticize her playing after Sacrament! He could sing, but when I asked him to participate in choral activities, he would need his ego stroked before hand. (I don't stroke egos anymore, because of him!) (And that sounds completely wrong!) He wouldn't just participate in musical activities. By the time all of this happened, I was over him and his attitude.
A lot of Christians and LDS decide to live in what are called mixed orientation marriages. A mixed orientation marriage is when one spouse is straight and the other is gay, bi, or transgender. There have been a lot of blogs about this lately. Some of them very positive and some of them, very sad. For the ones that are sad, why would someone choose to live their life in this way? Just because you don't think God will understand? I believe he will. I don't judge people based on there sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is not a choice. You can't just choose to not be gay anymore, or to not have same sex attraction anymore.
To those of you that think that sexual attraction is a choice, you are wrong. I remember having a conversation with one of my best gay friends in college. He said, "I knew at three." THREE?! He told me, "When all of the other little boys were playing on the playground, I wasn't like them. I didn't want to play the way they did. I didn't know I was gay, but I knew I was different."
A lot of the gay men I have talked "just knew" at a very young age. I had a conversation with one friend, and he said, "I would never wish this on anyone! Why would I 'choose' to be gay?" This man had a loving family that supported him and best friends that loved him also. He was also having a very hard life, even with all of the love and support he had.
The LDS church's stance on gay rights is one of the reasons I stayed inactive from the LDS church for so long in college. I attended one Sunday in Terre Haute when I was in college. That Sunday, the Relief Society lesson was on, having freedom to vote in anyway you choose. I felt so lied to. I never went back to that building.
At the time, I had read a bunch of articles on how the church was supporting California Law makers that were for Proposition 8.
I had heard and read people's histories on being gay church members. A lot of them ended up committing suicide because they couldn't take the guilt they were feeling any more. One very public on at the time was about a man who shot himself on a Stake Center's front steps in California. Why would anyone want to impose such guilt and hatred on a person, so much, that they would not want to be alive anymore?
Can't we all just love each other? A family is a unit of people that love each other. I don't think it matters if there's two moms, two dads, or a mom and a dad. I know that God loves all of his sons and daughters, whether or not they are gay, straight, bi, or transgendered. It's time for me to stand up. It's time for me to say, I'm for Marriage Equality!