Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A great time to come out?

It's a great time to come out, right? After all, church members are being urged like never before to be kind and loving to gays and lesbians. How can my fellow brothers and sisters know that I need their love and support as I deal with SGA while sustaining my MOM relationship--oops--if I'm going to come out, I guess I'll also have to try to stop talking in code. I'll have to say I'm dealing with same gender attraction while sustaining my mixed-orientation marriage, but even then, I'll probably get unknowing stares as people ask themselves "What on earth is he talking about? Is this more of this gay lingo? It used to be out in the world, not it's right here in our neighborhood."

What will coming out do to my affectionate relationships with the guys in my High Priests Group? I like the idea that they're talking with me and even occasionally putting a hand on my shoulder or squeezing my knee just because we're brothers and we feel comfortable touching each other. Would I want them to touch me and talk with me to show me increased love and acceptance because I'm struggling with this "terrible burden of being gay" and Mormon? Hmmm, maybe not so much.

How would I feel if I knew that in Ward Council the Relief Society president was saying, "We've got to reach out to Ned and his wife, especially his wife. Think of what she's be going through all those years being married to a gay man, uh, a SSA man, oh no, SGA, that's what we call it right? We need to be sure she gets visiting taught every month, and what are you High Priests going to do with Ned?"

To which the HP group leader confesses, "Well, I'm sorry to say this but some of our older High Priests feel that Ned's really betrayed them. He's always been so kind and sometimes openly affectionate, but now they think he's been coming on to them all these years. When we thought of Ned as straight, of course we accepted him as one of the group, but now that we know that he's turned gay, uh, or he now thinks that he's SSA or SGA, whatever you want to call it, these guys feel like he's been lying to them about who he really is. They don't trust him. To be honest, I don't think we can keep him as an instructor."

To which the Bishop says, "Well maybe we could lovingly call him to coordinate the Saturday morning cleaning of the building. No, that's not going to work, people aren't going to want to be alone in the church with him. We can put him on the prayer rolls of the Temple and we'll pray about calling another instructor so we can release him. He's a great teacher, but this whole gay thing is really making people uncomfortable. If only Ned had kept this to himself, we wouldn't have to be dealing with all this contention."

What do you think? Am I being too cynical? Or am I just facing the reality that older members of the church, and those who have become leaders because of their orthodox views, aren't really going to be on board with really loving and accepting gays and lesbians?