It hasn’t escaped the notice of more than a few persons that Mormonism can be a wonderful thing … if you happen to be straight, are politically conservative, have a penchant for following and are willing to surrender free thinking (as opposed to free agency (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)) in exchange for a sense of certainty about life.
Okay, okay, so that was a bit cynical. But let’s face it: by any standard, Mormons are a rather homogeneous lot. But in no respect are they more homogeneous than when it comes to sexual orientation. I mean, there are straight Mormons everywhere. Oh wait … I guess that’s because one needs to be straight in order to enter the highest degree of glory in the celestial kingdom, or – according to some people – any degree of glory in the celestial kingdom, or perhaps even in the terrestrial kingdom. Who knows? All we really know is that they’re an abomination. Right?
Sigh. There I go again being cynical. But, you know what? I’ve become just a tad bit more cynical the further along this road that I’ve traveled … the road of coming out as a gay man. If only I’d been able to believe President Packer and just accept the fact that I am impure and unnatural. If only I’d been able to continue to hate myself and convince myself that I am incurably flawed, an abomination, trusting that, somehow, somewhere over the rainbow, the Atonement would cure me if I only remained faithful.
But, alas, I wasn’t able to do those things. And now I’m paying the price.
You know that patriarchal thing? Well, it seems to stop working once you come out as gay. Somehow, someone waves a magic wand over you and you cease being a father, even though, like, you are. You certainly cease to be a patriarch. You have to have a temple recommend in order to be a patriarch. Families aren’t real unless you’re straight, do your home teaching, pay your tithing, etc.
“Ouch.” I can hear it being said. “Whoa. Dude. You have serious bitterness issues.” I can see others, smiling and nodding knowingly, saying, “It was only a matter of time.”
It is not pleasant, being erased.