Saturday, July 11, 2009

Belated Good News

I've been meaning to post about something for a while. It's been almost a week since it happened and I'm just too lazy to share it. So finally here it is.

I got a call from my oldest sister last Sunday. She lives out of state with her husband and kids, so I don't get to see her too often. The conversation started out basic enough, "How are you?", "What have you been up to?" etc. Then she said, "So I'm mainly calling to see if what mom said about you having problems with your testimony is still true." (My mom issued a press release of sorts to my siblings to let them know that they should pray for me because I'm struggling with the church. Haha).

I thought she was going to encourage me back to church and stuff, so I tried to be a little vague about it and mainly said, "Yeah, I haven't been going to church much lately," etc.

She could sense my guardedness and said, "I'm not trying to lecture you or anything, the reason I'm asking is because I'm having struggles with my testimony as well." She told me about her problems with the church, including polygamy, blacks and the priesthood, and prop 8, and then asked me about my conflicts with the church. I figured, no reason to beat around the bush, so I told her I'm gay. She assured me that she completely understands and is totally supportive. The rest of our conversation we talked about how it's going to be hard fitting in with the rest of the family when we're not active in the church. She is worried that my mom is going to keep trying to get her to come back to church and that it will complicate her relationship with the rest of the family. I told her that I was mainly worried that whenever the family talked about me, they would always have to add extra things like, "...but he's such a great person" at the end. Like there will always have to be an asterisk at the end of my name leading to a footnote that says, "he's gay, and not an active member of the church, but we still love him and hope with all our hearts he will come back to us some day."

It was good to talk to my sister and be able to be open and honest with her. It was especially good to have her be so supportive of me. I always thought that if someone in my immediate family would be supportive of me leading an active gay life, it would be her, and I was right. It's funny because just the night before I was texting a friend saying that if everyone in my extended family knew about me, I would become the "evil one" to the rest of the family. I would be the one who messed up. I would be the one who they wouldn't be seeing in heaven. My friend assured me that someone else in my family would end up doing something too, like go to jail, or become an unwed mother. I know nobody on that side of my family is going to do something like that, but it is comforting to see that I'm not the only one in my generation who can leave the church. It's good to know that I'm not alone in my feelings. It makes me a little sad to see another of my mom's children "go astray" because she's already suffered enough from me, but it's still good to have the full support of my sister.

2 comments:

Alan said...

Similar situation for me. I'm out to one sister, the only one I thought would be okay with it, and I was right. She & I both agreed all the others would react as you've described your family doing. So no point, really. It is very nice indeed to have some support from a family member. Congratulations.

D-Train said...

Something similar happened to me. My sister called me a few months ago to tell me that she was pregnant. She was not married at the time had ended her temple marriage with her ex-husband about 1 1/2 years prior. I knew she was living with a guy, but did not know much more than that. She then asked me to bless her baby after the birth.

So, I came out to her right then and told her that I no longer consider myself LDS. She then proceeded to say that she had a lot of issues with the LDS Church and that she herself did not want to go back to church either. We discussed it a little more and then I reassured her that no matter what I would love her and support her. Since at the time, in her head I was an active Mormon, I think the baby blessing was to show me that she was going to try to do "what is right." Since then, I have not really talked to her about the LDS Church, but I think I gave her to confidence to kind of step away from it all.

Good luck with your family, I can't imagine how difficult it must be. I feel lucky to have a family where all siblings have left the LDS Church at one point, and only one attends right now.