Friday, October 30, 2009

Just Don't Leave

I've wanted to talk about this for a little while actually. Someone very close to me has had some interesting experiences that I'd like to talk about. Let's just call this individual Jay. Jay had grown up in the Church, gone on a mission, and was living a seemingly normal LDS life when, after much meditation and thought, he decided to leave the Church.

This did come as a surprise to me and Jay's family but still, Jay was my friend. I knew Jay had thought his decision through and was choosing something that he thinks is best for him. I fully support him in his decision, as long as what he is choosing is what he really wants and is making him happy. Now, I come to my next point.

Some of Jay's friends are real jerks. Jay has told me how they have treated him and it has absolutely disgusted me. Keep in mind that his friends are LDS who consider themselves "Christians" and profess to live as Christ had lived. Some of them have called Jay evil, misguided, or lost. Some have even gone so far as to cut off ties with Jay.

I am not a stranger to this occurrence. A "friend" of mine told me she could no longer be my friend because I was gay. She told me that I made her feel dark inside. Now, she only started feeling "dark" inside after I told her I was gay...and her bishop also suggested she not hang out with me because I was a bad influence. Ya bishop, you're right, gays recruit other normal people and turn them gay.

So anyway, I don't think it's appropriate for people to treat anyone like Jay has been treated. If you claim to be Christian, why don't you show some Christian love and love him no matter what?! According to your beliefs, he is a child of God, so why are you treating him as if he is a child of Satan?

In my mind, if someone were to fall away from the Church, I would feel more compassion for that individual. They have just lost a huge support system in their lives and will need helping hands to rebuild their shattered lives. It seems to me that people in our faith are really nice to investigators, and people that are still a part of the church. But as soon as those people turn their backs on the church, the once seemingly nice people turn horrible and attack the "non-believer".

I know it is a little difficult to see things from another persons point of view, but that's one of the wonderful challenges of life! We should revel in the opportunity to learn new perspectives and broaden our horizons! I'm not trying to say that I'm a master at this, but I try to be understanding and non-judgmental. We are all human and just trying to make it through this life as best we can. Who am I to judge something that may work for you even if it didn't work for me? I can't. That's just not right.

For the most part, my "coming out" journey has been relatively easy. People haven't attacked me for what I've done or ridiculed least not to my face. I sometimes wonder if I had decided to leave the church, if my experience would be similar to Jays...

To all you Jays out there, your true friends are there for you. They may be hidden in the shadows or may be people you haven't contacted for a while. You will be heard and you will be understood. To those of you who attack the Jays, you will be judged just as harshly at the last day as you judged those around you.


  1. While I feel bad for your friend Jay, what's happening to him is to be expected. Any time you have a religious/cultural density like that found in Utah, those who disengage are shunned and ill-treated. Your "transgression" isn't as bad as his, since you still technically belong to the church--although as I've said before, I think this is something you should reconsider--but Jay's is irredeemable. After all, Jesus needs Jay's 10% tithing so He can have gold statues on top off all his temples.

    Still, the point remains. In places without diversity, the unique or different threatens the status quo. This is the "darkness" your friend "sensed" in you. She's just afraid of what she doesn't understand, but she doesn't understand because no one has bothered to educate her--or, worse, has fed her lies her entire life.

    This situation is a Catch-22: Leave, and ignorance propagates unabated. Stay, and be forced to endure. The only recourse: be vocal. Speak up every time you hear ignorance-fueled speech. You don't have to endure if you combat at every turn. It's a hard battle but a necessary one, and one that everyone--gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, black, white, albino, martian--can fight.

  2. Very deep. I have been finding that it seems that people judge quickly regardless of the situation... Is it our culture or our nature??? Are we taught this or do we just not feel comfortable with ourselves so we go after others??? I don't get it either. I surly hope people are giving me the benifit of the doubt. Sad! Let your friend Jay know he is loved. Poor thing. Hope you're doing well!

  3. A to the men! I have seen similar situations and I'm glad you feel this way. You're just a good person Steven.

    Chelsea B.

  4. Splendid! What a fine read with which to start my week. I could talk about this topic forever, but I'll refrain. Thanks Steven!

  5. This is part of why I think you're so rockin.'