In this essay, published on the No More Strangers blog, a gay Mormon teen describes his internal struggles, and his relationships with family, his bishop and his friends as he’s come out and begun to come to terms with being both gay and Mormon.
Significantly, pat answers only made things more unbearable for him:
Despite the unwavering support from my parents, my soul became draped in darkness… I was left so uninformed. I needed answers and no one had any. I was left only with “God works in mysterious ways” to comfort me and explain why my world was falling apart while others didn’t even know the taste of doubt.
What helped was giving him space and support to find his own answers. As he was able to seek and find answers for himself, he began to experience peace and balance:
So I don’t fit so perfectly into the Mormon dream plan. But my future turned from lonely and sad to hopeful and bright as I realized that being myself was more important than anything. As I found peace within myself, I found that I had developed an overwhelming sense of love for everyone around me. Sometimes young people go through hard things too. Not everyone waits until adulthood to have life-changing and faith-shaking trials. How could I think bad things of someone I don’t know at all? I was not likable at my lowest point, but I still needed love.
He ends with the hopeful affirmation:
Once I had accepted it within me, the self esteem issues melted away. I came to terms with my religion. I realized I could never leave the church. I am a Mormon; being gay will not change that. I am gay; being a Mormon will not change that. I am not some mistake that God made, he knows me and he wants me to be happy.
Read his full essay here!