by Reade Gloeckner
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also read other stories and reactions to the reversal of the exclusion policy.
When I heard about the November 2015 policy, I was somewhat saddened. I was mostly saddened for the young children of LGBTQ parents as this meant they could not be blessed or baptized. The fact that they were required to disavow their parents in order to be baptized at age 18 seemed so contrary to such a family oriented church.
Deep down, I knew this did not make sense. In my mind, this did not come as a revelation from our Heavenly Father. I knew many were angered by this policy, and while I did not want to take away from those who were hurting; I knew based on my journey, that this would be resolved in a few years. It was a peace I had within.
In my journey, I have felt very close to the spirit guiding me to stay, guiding me to follow as many commandments as given by our leaders even though I am a gay Latter-day Saint. I know when I have been amiss in my life. I have made many poor choices and I suffered for those and continue to suffer for my poor choices. Some of these choices can not be reversed. I’m okay with that. All I can do is take care of my own path and journey and do the best I can to make up for those mistakes.
I once considered getting married to a gay male but that is no longer the choice. I was told by who I consider my angel on earth to not give up my religion for anyone or anything. I stand steadfast with this goal. I’m gay and blessed as an artist. I honestly do not feel that I have much time on this earth and I’m good with that. I feel peace over who I am and know that I can make a difference in others lives through what I’m doing. I will not allow these policies to affect how I’m going to handle my last days here on earth.
I cannot imagine the hurt that those who are younger and not on my journey have had to endure. But for me, this reversal lets me know that there are so many things we do not know. We must just live to the best that we can and hope that the love of our Savior will make up for all of the unfairness we have had to endure at the hands of so many as we have lived here as LGBTQ individuals. We can either make it a happy time or a miserable time.