August 17, 2013

I'm Not "Mormon"

Part One:

Being a Mormon and being gay is hard. There is an instant disconnect from the church family that I feel. I'm not a "real" Mormon. That feeling of not belonging can be quite lonesome. There is an instant disconnect from the gay community that I feel. I'm not a "real" gay. That feeling of not belonging can be quite lonesome. Where does this leave me?

A Mormon of any normal standing goes to church 90% of the time. They have a calling in the ward, and attend some of the ward activities or service projects. They are in the family ward with a family of their own, or the singles ward with an eye on a prospective mate (the marrying type not the Australian).

I was disfellowshipped three and a half years ago from the church, which ended my active participation in the church. I followed the next two and a half years with a mere 5% attendance record that was usually only on the weekends I visited my parents. Now I am back living with the folks while I finish college and I attend 90% of the time though I occasionally skip the last two hours. I do not attend activities or service projects, and I do not hold a calling (a result of being disfellowshipped). This all leads to a pretty secluded church life. I realize that most of this is due to my own desires to keep a distance from full activity in the church. Because I do not have a desire to come to full fellowship and end my disfellowshipped discipline, I keep a clear line of detachment.

Were I wanting to return to full fellowship status in the church I would actively participate in church meetings (as much as my discipline would allow). I would be meeting with the Bishop to repent of my sins, and I would be socializing at activities and service projects. I would have to accept the fact that God doesn't want me to pursue a relationship with the sex he allowed me to be attracted to. I have made the decision to not pursue this fellowship with the church.

I keep an aloof presence at church meetings. My distant presence is enough to fulfill my wants and desires of being at church because I do kind of enjoy being there. I really only like singing Hymns in Sacrament meeting.

Growing up, nearly all of my friends were church people. A large chunk of my socialization was at church activities or with church friends. Now that I partly choose to separate myself and partly am forced to keep an active disengagement from the church, I am left with few friends (enough to count on one hand).

I do love the ward I go to. I spent the last couple years of my growing up here, and there are many friends and people I feel connected to. I suppose that is part of the reason I come to church here and went completely inactive when I lived alone in Portland. I know (some of) these people and they know me, but the feeling of not belonging is present and strong due to the church's structural and administrative position on gays.

Having this detachment from the church I have another social circle to turn to, that of the gay community...

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