[pause - go read it if you haven't already]And now I'm so totally confused. He seems so happy, so content, so confident. But, he's not supposed to be dammit! He should be feeling lost and confused. We're taught that true happiness can only be found by keeping the commandments - commandments which tell gay people that they either have to be heterosexually married or live a life of lonely celibacy. He is supposed to be miserable - not joyful.
It's a paradox.
For most of my life I lived in complete denial of my sexuality. There was no paradox - I simply had a dark secret that I was prepared to take with me to the grave.
But just a couple of years ago I finally found the courage to come to terms with who and what I am. For the first time in my entire life - I was able to utter the words "I am gay" and not cringe in disgust. But, with that acceptance arose this paradox.
I am truly happy for Max (and, I must also confess, a wee bit jealous). Yet, I find myself feeling sad as well. Sad that he is forced to make a choice between his happiness and his religion - a religion that teaches people like us that we cannot be truly happy if we give into to our natural attractions. And yet, for many of us, that is the only way to find true happiness - that is the paradox of being a gay Mormon.
But, by being happy for him - am I supporting, affiliating with, or agreeing with an individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Is this an act of apostasy on my part? Am I sacrificing my own eternal reward for simply wanting the best for my friends? A 'best' that is at odds with my religion.
How can I resolve this paradox? I want to fully support my church - I've covenanted to do so. But I am finding it increasingly difficult to support it in all things. I know the party line - I taught it myself for many years. I need to have more faith - I need to trust that the men whom I believe are called of God are doing the will of God. And yet, these words sound increasingly hollow.
Many people in my position want answers. But, is it possible to get an answer from someone who doesn't even acknowledge the question? It seems that the only people who acknowledge the question are the same ones seeking answers. We are the blind leading the blind.
I fear I am turning into a cultural Mormon - one who participates in body, but not in spirit. I attend church each Sunday, I sing in the choir, I teach seminary each weekday morning. But, I don't feel my heart is in it as it once was. Fortunately, I attend a ward where I am not being constantly bombarded with homophobic rhetoric. The topic of homosexuality only comes up rarely in my meetings - and then only in passing comments. And yet it stings when those moments occur - I cannot imagine what it must be like where such conversations are commonplace. I can only say to those that endure that you are a much stronger person than I - as I don't know if I could endure.
Some would say that I've been seduced by Babylon - that I've lost my grip on the iron rod and am groping around in the mists of darkness. But, how can something that feels so right be so wrong? If I cannot trust my own heart ... then how can I possibly place my faith and trust in others?
I believe in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
I believe that it is possible for two men (or two women) to love one another - and that consummating that love in a committed monogamous relationship is acceptable to God even if it is not acceptable to society.
I support Thomas S. Monson as a prophet, seer, and revelator
I feel President Monson was wrong to abandon our normal position of political neutrality and encourage church members in California to donate of their time and means in the battle to pass proposition 8 in California.
This is my paradox. But, how long can I keep clinging to to these irreconcilable ideals? I feel like I'm being torn asunder. Something has to give - but what? My faith? Or my heart?
Max, if the path you are on leads straight to hell - take comfort knowing that many (if not most) of your friends in the queerosphere will be right there with you. Hey, maybe Scott could throw one of his MoHo parties once we all get there.
Let us all felicitate Max with his new found happiness.