September 5, 2014

Talking To My Brother About Being Gay

Last weekend I drove to South Dakota to visit my oldest brother and his family before they move to North Dakota (he is in the Air Force and is being transferred). I had never been able to go visit them when they were stationed in California or Ohio and I knew I wouldn't get the chance when they were in N. Dakota, so I took the long weekend to see them and it was well worth it.

About a month ago, while my brother was still on deployment in Qatar, he had mentioned that he would love to chat, in person, about what I am going through and how he could best help support me. I was a little surprised by they way he worded, "support me" as I never thought of him as an ally of sorts. But I agreed to the face-to-face future conversation. I knew that this trip would be that chance to talk with him.

After the kids had been dismissed to bed, my brother brought up the subject of where I am with the church. I was honest and told him that I still have a testimony of the Gospel, but that I find some fault in the practices of the leadership and their views on this issue. Much like blacks and the priesthood or the ever changing opinions on the church's labeled "same-sex attraction", I knew that it was their opinion and not necessarily God's. I shared my overwhelming spiritual experience at my friend's lesbian wedding and its complete similarity to spiritual experiences on my mission.

I shared that there are hard times thinking about how future interactions will come up with the family when I bring someone around and about the varied stances and opinions of some in the family. He stated that while he believes homosexuality is wrong, he is nothing but supportive of me and loves me no matter what. I told him I can respect that, as I know he is acting out of love. Just like other family members act out of love too, even if it's hurtful or annoying to me, I know they only mean the best.

I asked him, as his kids are getting older and have been asking me questions about when I will get married and why I don't take the sacrament, how he expected to handle that conversation with them. He stated that the kids know what gay means and he didn't expect to hid anything from them about me. His wife was present in the later half of our conversation and agreed on that point and even stated I could tell them if I wanted. I didn't think it was necessary to tell them now, but just knew it might be coming up in conversation sooner or later. I wanted to know how my brother and his wife would like me to handle that talk with their kids, as I want to respect their wishes. They said they had no qualms in anything I had to tell the kids.

The conversation wasn't awkward, it wasn't weird. In fact, it was quite refreshing. Unlike a few conversations with my parents or one of my sisters, my brother and his wife listened. They didn't try to tell me I was doing wrong or try to persuade me to do anything. They listened. I really appreciated that.


  1. Ah... aren't these the best conversations? :)

  2. I told my mom that I was a lesbian and she said "that's great hunny I love you no matter what. Just don't tell anyone else yet." It hurts to be shoved back in the closet by your own mother