I was born and raised in the Mormon faith. I went to church every week, I went to youth group every week, and I read my scriptures and prayed every day. I knew I was going to serve a mission, get married in the temple, and raise a family in the church. Nothing was going to stop me from that dream, not even my whole family leaving the church. In fact that gave me the stronger desire to show to the world that I was better than all of them. There was only one thing flawed with my plan, I was Gay.
I have always known that I was different from an early age. But, I couldn’t quite express what it was. When I was sixteen, a Young Women’s leader took me out to coffee (hot chocolate), sat me down, and asked me if I was Gay. I kind of laughed it off, but inside, I was so mad at her for asking me that. How could she think that I was gay? I was the perfect Mormon, couldn’t she see that? That is when I really started to be aware of what made me different. But, of course, I buried that deep inside me and just worked harder at being a better Mormon.
Finally, the time came for me to serve a mission. I knew that if I served a mission, this attraction to women would go away. I had the faith that God would take that trial away from me. All throughout my mission I was finding myself attracted to the other Sisters there.
It wasn’t until the 15th month of my mission that I came face to face with who I was. My companion and I were teaching an inactive member of the church. She invited us into her house then introduced us to her partner. We sat down and began talking, but all I could see was what was on the walls, a rainbow flag and the poster “Kiss” by Tanya Chalkin. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of that poster; it was like it was drawing me in as if it knew that I was gay. We went back to our apartment that night and I decided that I would go home because I knew that I couldn’t change who I was.
I returned home from my mission shortly after. Now that I had come to full terms with who I was, I didn’t know how to behave. My whole life felt like a lie. I felt as though I were lying about everything. I hid out in my bedroom for a few months, not really knowing what to do. Finally, when I couldn’t take it anymore, I told my Mom and Step dad. All my mom said was, in a disappointed voice, “Oh, Heather.” My Step Dad began to throw statistics and questions at me, such as:
“They say that your first relationship is with someone on average 10 years older, is that what happened?” No, I haven’t been in a relationship, yet.
“They say that you are homosexual (he won’t use the word “gay”) because of a sexual abuse, is that true?” No, I have never been sexually abused.
“They say that once you participate in a homosexual activity you never go back, you are trapped, did that happen?” No, I have never participated in a homosexual activity.
Etc, etc, etc.
Finally, he ended the conversation with making me promise to call the bishop. I respectfully declined.
Since then, I have come out to everyone in my life; I have lost most of my friends, but gained a lot of others along the way. Everyone else in my family has been so supportive of me. I am now happily domestically partnered (hopefully to be married when it is passed) to an AMAZING girl!
I am happier today than I have ever been. I do not have many regrets in life, but one regret I do have is not being honest with myself (and therefore everyone else around me) sooner. I do not wish I weren’t gay, like I always had growing up. If there were a pill to make me straight, I wouldn’t take it. Just like I wouldn’t take a pill to change my skin color, eye color or personality, I am proud of who I am. I am happy with who I am. I LOVE who I am.