December 29, 2010

The Hardest Part: Questions



Being Mormon is one thing. Automatically there are assumptions made about you, from those inside the church and even from those outside it. Being gay adds a whole new dimension of assumptions, from church members and people outside the church. Being both of those, confuses most people. I feel at this point in my life I have been able to manage the two very well.

When I was in church two Sundays ago, at my parents/home ward, I began to think what is the hardest part of being a Mormon and being gay. Thus the following series of posts will search out the answers to this question that weighed upon my mind.

What is the hardest part of being Mormon and gay?

The Questions I get asked

"So... You dating anyone?"

Friends, mission companions, and extended family seem to ask this question as if it is on a list of must know information. I use to laugh it off, and say no, but quickly offer up a girl I thought was cute. We would talk about how I should ask her out and I would agree, only to throw the idea out of my mind once the conversation ended. That was a year ago. Now when asked this question, I confidently say, "Im not dating anyone," and if I am pushed as to the reason for that, I say I'm not interested in any girls. I either leave it there and quickly move on to another topic, or if the person asking is someone close to me, I use it as a hook and bait response for the coming out.

"What calling do you have in your ward?"

My grandmother, who is not a member, seems to ask this question the most. Before I was confident in who I am, I had a calling, and actually enjoyed it. My favorite calling was Sunday School Teacher. I love each week getting in front of everyone and teaching. Not to toot my own horn, but I was good at it. Now, I say I dont have a calling. Some missionary companions asked if I go to church (I suppose a normal question to ask when one doesn't have a calling.) I say, I go most of the time, and follow it with a "Im going through some stuff right now".

"How are you doing?"

(When it is the second time being asked in a conversation)

The first time someone asks, I know what they want to know, its the surface question to do a quick check on you. The second time its asked, it means more. Its more probing (no homo). My father uses this question the most. I know he is asking how Im doing with the gospel/my testimony/acting on my gay attractions. Its the beginning of a in-depth conversation. I usually want to avoid those conversations unless I begin them. When my sister, or father, or anyone else starts that conversation, it will bring along a testimony baring-a fight the good fight-we want you to live with us in the CK (Celestial Kingdom), type of talk. I know they do it because they love me, but this type of conversation is one sided. It can only have one outcome in their mind, and that is me promising that I will keep trying my best. The conversation can never end in a statement of happiness in what Im choosing in my life.

Those are some of the questions that I find the hardest part of being Mormon and gay. What about you?

1 comment:

  1. I love being a Sunday School Teacher! I thought I was pretty good at it too. When I was honest to my Bishop about "stuff," they released me. I'm pretty sure several people thought I was released because I was teaching false doctrine...

    A question I get a lot is: "Well... What now?" I've just started to come out to close friends, and they always ask this question in some form. It's a hard question to answer because while one can always have a plan for the future, the future hardly ever goes according to plan. I hate answering the question with "I don't know," because then it looks like I haven't considered my future. I look reckless. I'm trying to come up with a better response.