Monday, January 21, 2013

Torn and Tattered

As a bisexual man, married to a woman, and fairly active in the Mormon church, I certainly have mixed feelings about the church and its approach to sexuality.
Last Sunday one of our Sacrament meeting speakers talked of those among us who may be suffering in silence. He mentioned those who feel they can not be their authentic selves because others would not understand.
He noted that one-size-fits-all platitudes may not bring relief to those who suffer. He mentioned torn and tattered packages with content that just spills out. I don’t know if he was talking about worn out platitudes, worn out faith or worn out individuals. Maybe all of the above.
Then he asked, “What about our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters who are seeking loving relationships?” His voice caught a bit when he asked that question. It was the spoken equivalent of shedding a tear.
After the meeting, many of my fellow ward members approached the stand to talk to this man who spoke truths not usually heard in church. I also wanted to thank him, but didn’t want to stand in line.
So later, after Sunday school class and before Priesthood I simply told him that I appreciated his talk and that when he wanted to cry, I wanted to cry, too. He kindly said thanks and I thought perhaps someday we’ll talk again.

Meanwhile I continue to be a man in a mixed-orientation marriage with mixed feelings about faith and doubt, transparency and tradition, change and the lack of it.


  1. I would have liked to have heard that talk. Do you have any more details?

  2. We're making progress.

    Slow, painful progress.

  3. I agree with DC - slow, painful progress. That took courage on the part of the speaker.

  4. Adrian - I wish I'd recorded the audio rather than just trying to jot down notes. If I immediately transcribe my notes, I can usually get quite a bit of the content, however, now that I've waited this long, most of it just looks like squiggly lines. Sorry. ;(

    Christian - Thanks for you cogent comment. Quick content analysis reveals "we're making progress, progress" outweighing "slow, painful" -- thanks for helping me see the positives while facing reality.

    Dean - Guess that makes three of us. And I agree that it took courage. Thanks for your comment, my friend.

  5. Sweet! I wish I had been there. You definitely need to follow up with this brother and have that cry together - but only if you promise to return and report.

  6. It was sweet indeed and your comment helps me remember how affirming and validating it felt to hear a relatively new member of our ward speak with such candor and conviction. His wife also sounded the theme of being different and not always fitting in. What a refreshing change from the Molly and Peter talks couples so often give seeking to affirm their orthodoxy. (Which sometimes has the effect of my being judgmental and concluding, perhaps wrongly, that I could never trust someone who ranted in such a callous and informed way.) Good to hear from you, Brother Beck. ;)

  7. make that "uninformed" rather than "informed"