Joy of Baptism, Suffering of Exclusion
Submitted to Affirmation following The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s reversal of their November 2015 policy changes that prohibited children of LGBTQ parents from being blessed and baptized and characterized members of the church entering into same-sex marriages as apostates. These changes became known within the LGBTQ Mormon community as the “exclusion policy,” “policy of exclusion,” or “PoX.” The day after the reversal of this policy was announced, Nathan Kitchen, President of Affirmation, invited anyone willing to and share their authentic feelings and all their stories of grief, anger, relief, sadness, happiness, confusion, whatever they may be that surround the rescinding this policy. “As President of Affirmation, I want to be sure Affirmation does not hide you or your stories as we move forward,” wrote Kitchen in his invitation. If you have reactions or a story to share about the reversal of the exclusion policy, please send to [email protected]. You can also read other stories and reactions to the reversal of the exclusion policy.
In spite of everything, I don’t feel happy. Do you know why?…
Because many are gone. Many have suffered. Many, many still suffer. Many have been rejected. Many have been expelled and many cried for many years. Many feel excluded. Many are criticized and many are marginalized. Many are denied rights. Many have lost a lifetime. Many fought for nothing. Many fought alone. Many wet their pillows with tears at night. Many lost time. Many had their lives stolen. Many were wronged and humiliated. Many had even what little they had taken away. Many are shattered. Many have no friends…. That’s how I feel.
I remember as if it were today when I was baptized. The joy. I was blind. I was delighted with the beauty of everything. It was so new. But I did not know that I would suffer so much…
But that’s why I’m not happy. Because once they hurt me it’s difficult to forget. It’s a pain and a scar that does not close….
[I feel deeply] every word I said because there is such a thing as justice and this justice will come into being. All in due time. I lost and endured my entire adolescence. My heart cries…. For all that is most sacred, my heart is on fire. For justice…. The righteousness of God will not fail. Because God surely writes in straight lines and not in broken lines.