Being raised as a good Mormon has taught me many wonderful things. I am ever grateful for those things. There is one thing that I have learned through observation, indirect social molding and strong family relationships. The thing I have learned is to think of what others think of me and act based on it.
Being gay and being Mormon has its complex dynamics and is chalk full of cognitive dissident living. Living my life as mine, not as part of a ward or stake or church, is to learn not to think of what others think of me. Fear of the judgment of others in the church or ward was difficult at first but I have for the most part moved past this worry. It is in the family where I still struggle.
Living my life instead of the life my family wants for me is so difficult for me. I come from a strong, and close family. We are very opinionated and critical of each other, but we love beyond measure. I still, to a degree, "do" for my family. My choices are still formed from the self constructed and historically based predicated judgment of my family. Before I act I still think of what my family would think and how they would react. Most of the time it limits what I want to do.
This is the hardest thing for me. To overcome, takes small steps and little choices. I have made small and little, personal and public choices, and with each one it gets better. It has taken a long time to get where I am today, and I'm not done yet.