In our modern society, it's popular to play the victim when we feel we've been wronged - not only for individuals, but also for organizations. The LDS church PR department has certainly been doing this in the aftermath of proposition 8. But, I think some in the gay mormon community may be just as guilty - myself included.
I know it doesn't come across very well in this blog - but I love the Mormon church, I really do. I was not raised in the church, I joined in college. So, I know what it's like not having the church in my life. And, I sincerely believe that because of the LDS church, I am a much better man than I otherwise would have been had I not made that decision to join the church (more years ago than I care to remember).
That said, there are things about the LDS church that bother me - things where I feel I have legitimate concerns and complaints. And, it's not just all things gay - I've never considered the church or its leaders to be infallible. And, truth is, even its leaders don't claim infallibility - it's the membership that puts them on that pedestal, especially with controversial issues like homosexuality. I think, for some members, they just cannot fathom that the church might be wrong on something so serious as homosexuality - their whole foundation might crumble if they thought, just for a moment, that the church may have made some mistakes.
So, my question: How can I address these concerns and complaints without coming across as a victim - without playing the victim card? I don't feel I've done a very good job of this. Playing the victim is just so easy.
I'm sure there are some who are legitimate victims; but, the truth is, I am not a victim. I've never actually talked to a church leader about my same sex attraction; so, I've never had one tell me that I could overcome my homosexuality. I've had church leaders say hurtful things to me - but not about anything homosexuality related. I've heard members say hurtful things about homosexuals - but those comments were not directed at me personally.
I do feel less connected to my ward membership than I once was. I do feel there is a divide forming between me and the church - but does that make me a victim? Does that make me right and the church wrong? Or do we simply have differing views in certain matters?
The problem with being a victim is that it empowers the oppressor. As a victim, I am admitting that someone (or some institution) has the power to hurt me and that I am powerless to do anything about it.
I don't want to be a victim - but I do believe there are wrongs that need to be righted, there are stories that need to be told. Change does not come from sweeping things under the rug. All that gives you is lumpy rugs.
And, in the LDS church specifically, change is not going to come from the outside. It will only come from within. The restoration didn't begin until Joseph Smith asked a question. I just don't think our current church leaders are asking the right questions about homosexuality.