I am gay. I have known this intimate detail about myself since I was 8 years old, probably even earlier than that. I have spent the majority of my life fighting, suppressing and resisting these feelings. Over the past year, God has taught me how to acknowledge, love, accept, and share these feelings.

Growing up, I tried everything imaginable to change. I didn’t want to be gay. I never asked for it. It was something that I pleaded with God to take away from me many times. No amount of hymns sung, prayers said, missions served, or callings held have been able to change how I feel. After years and years of failed attempts to change, God blessed me with a beautiful life changing revelation that initiated much peace in my life. He invited me to take care of my undesired feelings the way I would take care of a child.

When a child is crying and in need of attention, they will cry louder and louder until they are tended to. So, I began to lovingly tend to the feelings I had been tirelessly fighting instead of neglecting them and starving them of the attention they begged for. This revelation worked. I started to find a lot of beauty in my feelings. They are a big part of who I am. They are who I am. This practice turned my hurricane of built up emotions into a beautiful, calm sea of possibilities.

Over the past year, I have opened up to my closest friends and family members about these beautiful feelings. I have been overwhelmed at the amount of love and support they have given me. The conversations we’ve had together have been difficult, uncomfortable, inspiring, and spiritual. I have become increasingly aware of the lack of knowledge and understanding that still exists around homosexuality in general and homosexuals in the Church. It is my deepest desire that if any of you have questions, you will reach out to me and ask. Please do not assume. Please do not suppose. Just ask.

Here’s where I’m at currently…. I am an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and plan to be for the rest of my life. I’ve known that I was gay before I knew the Gospel to be true. My spirituality has been my choice whereas my sexuality has not. My choice to stay in the Church has not been easy, but I’m choosing to stay because it makes me happy and keeps me focused on God. The truths of the Gospel that I taught as a missionary in Washington are truths that I still very much believe in. I often contemplate what my future will look like, but one thing I know for sure is that God and His Church will always be a part of it. My path back to Father is going to look different than yours and that is okay.

I am actively dating men in hopes to find a companion who shares my values and aspirations in life. Somebody who loves God as much as I do and can be a Christlike example to me and our children. I want to come home to somebody at night. I want to share my victories and failures with somebody. I want to face the difficulties of life with somebody by my side who I love in every way. I am confident that God will continue to bless me with revelation to find such an individual while keeping me close to Him.

Most importantly, I’m still Brayden. The same happy, honest, passionate, goofy Brayden I’ve always been. I respect and value your feelings and ask that you do the same with mine. These specific experiences are unique to me. Everybody has their own unique story to share when they’re ready. Please listen to others, engage in tough conversations, and love as the Savior does. If you have similar feelings, but don’t know what to do or who to talk to, I am here for you. I wish I had more people who could talk to me and relate to me about these feelings when I was younger. There are more people than you can imagine who feel this way. You are not alone. You never will be.

I’m very hopeful for my future. I know that God is aware of me, He is proud of me, He is excited for me, and He loves me infinitely. I am confident in the path I’m creating for myself with God’s help. I’m heading into this new year feeling liberated and inspired. I want to help God’s children feel loved in every sense of the word; to help them know that they are accepted, understood, seen, and heard. This is what Christ does and what He expects from all of us.

We want to hear your story—please share it with us!

Each Sunday we feature a new Coming Out Story on the Latter Gay Stories blog. Coming out is an important process that is different for everyone; some experiences are difficult; while others are heart-warming and inspiring. Coming out is rarely easy—but your story will help others draw inspiration from your own experience.

We rely on weekly submissions to keep the Coming Out Stories alive and invite you to share your story now.

 Your story can be shared anonymously.

CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR STORY

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Comments (4)
  1. Jeff Roberts (reply)

    June 13, 2021 at 3:44 pm

    You don’t have to be gay to support these young men and women. Stop the awful trend of Mormon youth suicides. I became involved when I worked with Youth in Corrections. I became an advocate because of the tragic loss of so many. Likewise I got involved in young kids raised in polygamy who were abandoned. There are great programs out there.

  2. Jeff Roberts (reply)

    June 13, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    If any of you know Brayden give him the biggest hug from the rest of us. What an amazing story. Keep trekkin.

    • Heidi (reply)

      August 27, 2021 at 4:40 pm

      I have several friends, family and loved ones that are gay. I adore them. But I am honestly seeking to understand. Help me. If coming home to someone at night and companionship is what you’d like, why can’t you have that with a woman, and then also have children to love and serve the rest of your days? Women are often BFF’s with gay guys. Unless it’s more about sex and pleasure? That’s the only difference, right? But that fades in time. Honeymoons always end. And can’t people get pleasure from masterbation anyway? So couldn’t you do that with a woman or by yourself and also have pleasure in this life? The perks of doing so, seem to outweigh the other path. You could still have companionship and some pleasure and the incredible privilege of creating children and the confidence and peace of knowing you’re following God’s laws and doing something for others as well. It seems like it would be a better life in the long run. There is a video on Church of Jesus christ.org about a man who is gay and has six children. His family is his life. As he got older he learned that’s what life is really all about. Loving and serving God and your family and living for other people. As a single mom of nine, I have to say I agree. Children make this life worth it. But help me see how this is wrong or worse than seeking a fantasy/romantic relationship. I’m all ears

      • Benji (reply)

        December 9, 2021 at 10:17 pm

        Let me start off by first stating that I hope you don’t take this as incendiary in any way. But, let’s turn the question back around on you. If coming home to someone at night and companionship is what you’d like, why can’t you have that with a women, and then also have children to love and serve the rest of your days? Women are often BFF’s with other women. Unless it’s more about sex and pleasure? That’s the only difference, right? But that fades in time. Honeymoons always end. And can’t people get pleasure from masterbation anyway? So couldn’t you do that with a woman or by yourself and also have pleasure in this life?

        Now some people’s initial reaction would be to turn away from the argument or state that heterosexuality is the expected norm, or the natural way of things. But the fact of the matter is, our homosexuality is inherent and not so easily changed or dismissed. Much in the same way your heterosexuality is inherent, and not so easily changed or dismissed. I could just as easily say in an upside down world that you could and should be happy with a women as your longtime partner. But you and I both know that you can’t just shuttle away your feelings for the convenience of others. That you want for a husband who is wholly attracted to you (I’m not just talking sexually here) who would wholly cherish what you have together.

        I’m sure the man you cited from the Church of Jesus Christ video is perhaps in some way, quite happy with his life and his children. I know I would be a little happy since I want children myself. But there would always be the underlying issue that I am in no way truly attracted to my wife, not even just sexual attraction, but romantic attraction. I’m sure he gets along well with his wife, they’re probably the bestest of friends. But there will always be that nagging feeling that you’re not remaining true to your heart. That yearning when you see another man who catches your eye, whose actions and words catch your heart. It will be two years in March that I’ve been dating my boyfriend, and no one can make me as happy as he can. No women could. I know that truth deep in my heart.

        I will also cite a popular Mormon case of a same sex attracted man in an opposite sex marriage; that person being Josh Weed. He and his family were the poster children for the church’s belief that gay men could live full and satisfying lives in traditional marriages. That is until about three to four years ago when their situation came toppling inwards like a deck of cards. Josh and his wife announced they were getting a divorce. While close companions and parents, they still missed that vital spark that is necessary for a relationship to truly blossom. It hurt Josh, it hurt the kids, but most importantly, it hurt his wife Lolly. Josh had to sacrifice his own wants and needs for a partner, but Lolly did as well, missing out too on someone who truly wanted to be her sexual and romantic partner. They were left unfulfilled for such a great time. The fact of the matter is, marriage should in this day and age, not be one of convenience solely for the use of procreation. We all deserve to be with someone who our heart beats to strongly. Gay people could marry a woman, but trust me when I say as a gay man, that they will never truly be happy denying that part of themselves. So many gay Christian men have attempted to do so over the decades. But the truth always reveals itself, and all those men eventually divorced their wives and found happy relationships with another man.

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