January 25, 2015

Fallout of Coming Out to My Straight Mormon Friend

Remember my friend from the ward choir, who, after my coming out to him on Facebook chat said he wanted to hear my thoughts on homosexuality in the church? Whenever someone says they want to hear my thoughts or talk about that sort of subject, I openly welcome such a conversation. However, I also hold my breath for zero seconds. You know how many times people say a similar comment but for whatever reason, never follow through. I fully expected that conversation to never take place with said friend. I was wrong.

Last Wednesday night, I got another Facebook message from him saying he was going to ward visits and wondered if he could take that opportunity to come see me and ask those questions. Ward visits, for those who have not heard the term before, are a night when the leadership or more active members of the ward go and visit the new or less active members. It is basically a missionary opportunity.  Well, my friend used it to come talk to me.

We started out the conversation by talking about our carrers and recent life happenings. I wondered, after fifteen minutes into the conversation, if the topic would ever come around to the gays in the church. There was a break in our talking and he said, "is it ok now if I ask you about being gay?" I obliged.

He asked me to tell him when I first knew, or suspected I was gay. I then, accidentally, told him my whole life story as it pertains to being gay and mormon. Half way through, I stopped myself and apologized for vomiting words, but he said it was all fascinating, so I continued.

Through the course of the night he asked about my thoughts on the afterlife, celestial kingdom, church leadership and marriage. Never, when he spoke, did I feel judgement or sense he was preaching to me. There were a few times he tried to compare his desire and lack of finding a wife with my situation, but I made sure to politely and stealthy correct in his comparison (we all know the two are very, very different).

At the end of the evening, my friend thanked me for sharing my thoughts and feelings with him. I thanked him for showing interest and told him it helps to know members want to know and care about gays in the church like myself. I told him, "it helps me feel welcome at church".

The two Sundays following our conversation, the dynamics did not alter between us. Unlike others, who pull away or hide, the friendship was unmoved from before he knew I was gay. I appreciate that. He is a good fella.

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