I felt that I was somewhere I belonged, somewhere I was completely welcome
I long ago came to the conclusion that all my gay friends would eventually stop going to church. That after trying so hard, they would eventually all become embittered. And, change wasn’t going to come from the people who kept leaving. I didn’t want to make that choice, so I kept trying to work towards that temple marriage that would make my family and my mission president and my church leaders so happy for me. I wanted to do my part for the LGBT movement but I was only honest about who I am with some. I found it difficult to be Mormon in the LGBT community and of course I feel it difficult to be bisexual in the Mormon community. But, for the first time, I am starting to see the possibility of both.
I was surprised and encouraged by how welcome I felt at our Thanksgiving dinner last month in DC. I had been planning on joining the Thanksgiving but “forgetting” what day it was or when or where. It took some extra motivation to get out of the house and on the road. To be honest, I think I was nervous. But, with a couple text messages of encouragement, I made it for the giving of thanks and the dessert. In all honesty, I’m just as anxious about being open about my sexual identity within my LGBT as well as non-LGBT friends. I preemptively judge myself for not being as courageous or honest as my friends–for conforming to cultural expectations because I can and because that’s easier. Although, it doesn’t necessarily make me happier. My worries and unspoken fear were completely unwarranted.
It was truly a new experience to be with people who shared my religious and social experiences. At Thanksgiving, I felt that I was somewhere I belonged, somewhere I was completely welcome. No one was judging my religion or my politics (so to speak). Everyone was so kind and I knew everyone had a story that has made them stronger, kinder and more empathetic. I’m so grateful that this Affirmation community even exists that I can be a part of it.