We become decoys of ourselves to hide from our families, communities, and society where direct and indirect messages are sent that tell us that we are not normal. That we are others. That we don’t belong. There is pain in that hiding. There is a loss of healthy, natural developmental experiences. There is a loss of time to live authentically.
Some of us may find Christmastime to be faith-affirming, while others may be struggling to define or understand their spiritual identities. As we find ourselves in the midst of Holiday celebration, it is my wish that each of us be gentle with ourselves in our processes.
“Suddenly I was in a totally new world. Doors opened to new rooms I never realized I had. The lights came up, but I didn’t want it to end. I’d discovered something new about me that was an authentic part of who I was. I didn’t fully understand it yet, but I knew it would be a part of me and change my life forever.”
There are millions of ordinary people living ordinary lives but hiding in the dark, afraid to come into the light. Each of us is on our own individual journey, and we need to respect everyone’s timetable. We can let our light shine for others who are waiting for the right moment to let their light as LGBT people shine.
For a moment, it felt as if my friends and I could breathe. We could finally say “I’m gay” out loud without fear of losing our academic standing [at BYU]… Then California Proposition 8 happened.
I am Mormon. And I am gay. And all of those identities are sacred. All are holy. All are anointed truths that make me who I am.
I dreaded wearing the costume again. No matter how beautiful it was, no matter how desirable others found it, there was no point of existing inside a costume.
I remember entering the Metropolitan Church on Castro’s Eureka Street, where the Affirmation meeting was happening. A full battle was raging inside me. One side said, “Leave now!” and the other side said “Stay!” as I slowly walked up the stairs to the second floor.
For many years I have struggled, first to have the love of someone who despised me. Then I fought to be someone I was not, then I struggled to accept who I really am… I may have been abandoned in this life by earthly parents, but my heavenly Father has never left me.