Contributed by: Dallin Steele | Being gay and staying as a full-participating member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints isn’t just about abstinence and happily going to church on Sundays full of hope and feeling the spirit.
It’s about hearing from other members how you aren’t welcome in their homes.
It’s about being told by members even though you’re keeping the commandments, you’re not allowed in the temple.
It’s doubting whether you actually have a place in the plan of salvation because there are no answers for what happens after this life.
It’s hearing members say you’re an abomination.
It’s hearing that we should not talk about our sexuality yet the same guy talks about how hot that girl in your ward is (which is talking about his sexuality).
You hate yourself for not being able to change.
Your straight friends are accused of being gay all because they hang out with you.
It’s their parents voicing concerns that they will be called gay if they hang out with you. (Like you’re some sort of plague)
Your “lifestyle” is called evil and wicked because you’re gay. Even though your “lifestyle” involves going to church, praying to your Heavenly Father, and serving as best you can in your calling.
You’re told abstinence is easy! It’s a no brainer! (Even though most would not be singing the same song if it was them in the same situation).
You’re told that one day you’re going to give up on the church and and slip into temptation.
You’re told to avoid other gay people because it “brings on temptation.”
You’re told your YSA ward will love you IF you keep the commandments.
You’re called disgusting.
You’re called son of Satan.
You’re complained to that every TV show or movie now has an LGBTQ+ person in it when you grew up only watching straight people in EVERY movie or TV show.
It’s feeling alone all the damn time.
It’s sometimes feeling exhausted trying to educate people on what they’ve refused to learn about before despite having current and updated resources.
It’s feeling frustrated that you need to constantly debate your existence and even your right to be in the church.
It’s sometimes wondering if maybe death would just be easier because so many people have told you you’re going to be straight after death. (Which nothing is actually confirmed from leaders).
You hate yourself for even WANTING to flirt.
Well you just flirted and you feel so horrible. You’re not supposed to do that.
You’re told that it’s just like single women and to just stay strong. (They get to have their Prince Charming, and apparently you don’t so it’s not the same).
You wonder if maybe God would forgive you if you left the church because the members really aren’t being the Christ-like people they are supposed to be.
You’re told that all gays are trying to ruin marriages.
You’re called disgusting. (Yes I know I said this twice).
They say defining yourself as gay (just what your attractions are) means you’re acting on it/sleeping around, but someone defining themselves as straight (also what their attractions are) means that’s just who they are attracted to.
It’s about hearing the excuses how “they don’t know better” or “just ignore them” about the people who are raving about their hatred towards us for being… us.
You’re told that marrying a woman will fix it all. (Church General Authorities also don’t recommend it now as a fix).
You crave, desire, and hope that maybe THIS General Conference a leader will speak positively about LGBTQ+ people, not say abstinence is easy, and/or even tell members specifically to stop harassing us. One talk is not enough when the majority have been without love.
It’s being told you won’t be allowed into the Celestial Kingdom.
It’s a strong desire for answers, even though you know God loves you for you and that’s all that SHOULD matter.
And there are more and more horrible things said, done, thought, and felt.
Being gay and in the church isn’t sunshine and daisies. It’s hard. It’s difficult. It feels impossible some days. There are many good things the gospel brings to your life. There are so many blessings that come to your life.
But it is anything but easy.