Monday, March 1, 2010

Mommy May I?

One trend I have noticed in Mormon gays during the coming out process is the intense fear of making parents unhappy or disappointed. Many gays I have talked to have said that they wish they weren't gay because it's so hard on their mothers. The ones that haven't come out to their parents yet are often terrified that they will be major disappointments. Many fear they will not be loved anymore.

Some of these gays have also said that they can't pursue a gay life because of this fear of making parents unhappy. They have said that if they got a boyfriend, their parents would never truly be happy for them, even if they came to accept it. They feel that it would be better for them to be closeted and miserable but have their parents be happy than have them be out and satisfied but have their parents be disappointed.

All I can say (and I hope Sarah Palin can forgive my word choice) is that this reasoning is retarded.

The happiness of my family is, of course, a major concern for me. I would do most anything for them. However, when I was 23 I came to the decision that I was tired of fighting who I really was, and I wanted to find a boyfriend and live life as a gay man. I knew that my parents would not approve of this decision, but I knew that I would never be happy if I didn't pursue it. I don't say this to be dramatic, but if I had not made that choice, I would most likely be dead today. In this one aspect of my life, I put my desires before the desires of my family. I don't regret that decision.

Now that I am out to my family and they know that I have a boyfriend, I can honestly say that I am the happiest I have ever been, and my relationship with my family has never been healthier. Have I made my parents incredibly sad through this process? Definitely. Even though they accept me and my boyfriend, do they wish I weren't gay? I'm sure that is the case. Do I care that they would wish that? Not at all.

The fact of the matter is, I am gay, I have a boyfriend, I am happy, and I don't think that I am selfish for being happy about it. I don't worry if I have disappointed my parents by pursuing who I feel I really am because it's really not up to them whether I like boys or girls. Just like it's not up to them whether I'm born with brown eyes or blue. They could rail against me for feeling that I am right handed if they felt left was correct, but that wouldn't change the fact that I am right handed. Allow me the use of the cliché "we can't please everybody." There are many thing we should do to please our parents/family. We should always treat them kindly and strive to serve them. We cannot, however, fight our sexual orientation in order to please them.