The Advocacy Work Is Not Over, There Is so Much Still to Do

abril 7, 2019

Affirmation Europe - Belfast Pride

by Jerry Chong

Sometido a afirmación luego de que La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días revocara sus cambios de política de noviembre de 2015 que prohibían que los hijos de padres LGBTQ fueran bendecidos y bautizados y caracterizaron a los miembros de la iglesia que contraen matrimonios del mismo sexo como apóstatas. Estos cambios se conocieron dentro de la comunidad LGBTQ mormona como la "política de exclusión", "política de exclusión" o "PoX". El día después de que se anunció la revocación de esta política, Nathan Kitchen, presidente de Afirmación, invitó a todos los que estuvieran dispuestos a compartir sus sentimientos auténticos y todas sus historias de dolor, ira, alivio, tristeza, felicidad, confusión, lo que sea que los rodea. la rescisión de esta política. “Como presidente de Afirmación, quiero asegurarme de que Afirmación no los oculte a usted ni a sus historias a medida que avanzamos”, escribió Kitchen en su invitación. Si tiene reacciones o una historia para compartir sobre la revocación de la política de exclusión, envíela a [email protected]. Tú también puedes leer otras historias y reacciones a la revocación de la política de exclusión.

I and a lot of my friends heard the news but the church has changed its stand on children of same-sex married couples being able to be baptized without objection and that their parents would no longer be considered apostates. We also understood that same-sex marriage is still considered a serious transgression in the eyes of the church. My first reaction was that I was relieved that the church has changed its stance towards the queer community and their families. I felt that all of those members and their allies had made a difference by speaking up and sharing our stories. I felt that the grassroots approach to speaking with our local leaders and see if we can make a difference within our immediate community was being heard by our apostles and prophets. My hope was that these messages have been passed on up the chain to our president of the church and his apostles. I felt that our efforts to meet with our stake presidents and bishops about the impact the November 2015 policy update had on individuals and families would soften the hearts of those watching over us.

I did not feel that this was the end of these conversations. There is still a lot of advocacy work to do to open up understanding and compassion for all of Heavenly Father’s children young and old. I know the importance of putting a face to the subject matter. Bravely I continue to come out and speak up. I know that my voice comes with privilege. The privilege of being trusted and dependable in the eyes of my local leaders. My church callings have reassured the Stake presidency in Calgary that I am grounded in the gospel. That I have a testimony of the gospel and that I am not a radical thinker. I know where the line in the sand is. Knowing my boundaries, but am still allowed to be blunt and honest when asked difficult questions by my local leaders.

I doubt that the apostles and prophets will apologize or admit they were wrong in thinking that the November 2015 policy update was a mistake. That it caused so many to feel less than and that the solution for them was to leave this life and take their own. How can they deny the effects it had on so many individuals and families? We have all been touched by the loss of a loved one or the trauma caused by this policy that members have stepped away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we teach and find a safer place to worship and continue their relationship with God and the Savior.

Over the last fifteen years as a member, I have had to figure out how to cope and navigate my life in the church. I was out to only a handful of people from church. I have had to put up with some of the most horrific things said to me and about my community. I nearly walked away from church a few months after I was baptized. I was told that God does not have a place for me in the Celestial Kingdom if I do not get married to a wife in the temple. I questioned why I was trying so hard to be obedient. A member from church told me that until we return to be with our Heavenly Father we can not clearly say things like this that take away any hope for us in the eternities. The POX has given me the courage to speak up and be more brave and authentic. I have exercised patience in setting up meetings and discussions with my local leaders. Not all were open to these Sensitivity conversations. Some even denied that there were LGBTQ members in their stake and that it was not worth their time to spend discussing it. What kind of shepherd would you call these men? The thing that keeps me motivated to continue to advocate for the voiceless queer members is I try to be the role model that I needed when I joined the church and questioned my place in the gospel.

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1 Comentario

  1. Michael en 10/04/2019 en 12:04 PM

    Jerry,
    I agree that the work is not over. I have also found that nurturing relationships with leaders is important. For me, it’s not that I avoid being seen as a radical thinker, but rather, that I am seen as deeply conversant in doctrine, sometimes helping others to understand doctrine in ways that they never have before. I am known for thinking out of the box, and have gained respect in that way. But whatever the approach, the extent to which we can connect with straight/cisgender people and show them the face of LGBTQ+ people, the better we will do in the long run.

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