When I started this blog I thought I would write a lot about being gay in Utah and raising kids here and I haven’t really done that. There’s been a lot of other stuff going on and taking up my thoughts.
Many people are surprised to find out that this ultra red conservative state, known as the home of the Mormons/LDS also has the highest percentage of same sex couples raising kids. Okay well Salt Lake City does…not Utah, but still. This really should not be that surprising though. For many Mormons, family is the most important thing. They may have a strange way of showing it, especially when their family members come out as LGBTQ, but it’s true. It is my opinion (I haven’t done any real research here, just anecdotal evidence) that all these former Mormon LGBTQ folk, stick around this crazy conservative state because family is so important. It’s why were decided to move back here.
I’m not Mormon, I never was. Sure I went to the LDS church here and there and wanted to get baptized like many of my friends when I was 8, but I’m not a former Mormon. A wise man I call my father told me I wasn’t old enough or mature enough at 8 years old to make that decision, but that when I was 18 if I still wanted to, I could. I didn’t want to by the time I was 8 1/2. My parents were LDS, they got married in the temple and all that jazz. To make a long story short one day my dad basically left the church and I’m so glad he did.
Now I say all this to follow it with my coming out as the black sheep of the rainbow sheep. Every single one of my and Jamie’s lesbian friends and acquaintances, including Jamie, used to be Mormon. Some of them are still struggling with what it means to be gay and Mormon, many of them served LDS missions. Every woman I’ve ever dated was raised Mormon. Every single time we socialize with other gay people I feel like the kid in school who was treated and looked at differently because I wasn’t Mormon. These people are all great and I like and even love some of them. I just have to wonder, am I really the only one?
We, they rather, converse about telling their church leaders about being gay, their missions, how their LDS families have reacted to their coming out, recent developments in the LDS church, their anger at the LDS church, etc. etc. etc. There is nothing wrong with this of course and I’m so so so glad that all of these people have each other to support and understand them. But sometimes, I feel like that new kid at school all over again who has to explain to everyone over and over again that I don’t belong to any ward, any stake, or any religion, and that doesn’t make me a bad and scary person as I watch them back away as if I just said that I have a contagious disease or steal from the elderly. Our friends don’t treat me this way it’s just an association, as my therapist wife would say. It’s surprising to me that after all these years those feelings of being judged,mistreated, and discriminated against are still there. I have very negative feelings about the LDS church too, but mine are for very different reasons than theirs.
For brief moments I wonder if we made the wrong choice, if we should have moved somewhere else. Somewhere more love and accepting and less judgmental and discriminatory. But then I remember how much I love my family and how much my wife loves hers and it makes all the awkward lesbian gatherings worth it. It might be time to try to break down some associations and it wouldn’t hurt to find some not former LDS lesbian friends.