When I was 14, I came out as gay. Coming from a devout Mormon (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS)) family, my orientation was the source of great anxiety over my safety and future. I was told that I would never find love, and would fall into drugs and sexual addiction, that my children would never truly be mine, and that I would never be supported, despite their love for me. I was called F****t at church dances and in the Mormon Temple by fellow youth. My eternal soul was doomed to a second class afterlife, one seperated from the rest of my family unless I followed a life of chastity and changed my nature.
I am forever grateful for the love of my family. But now I’m at a place in my life where I can see how destructive their messages were. From birth I was immersed in an environment of self doubt and fear. My parents ended their separation to come together in an attempt to better monitor me. I was pulled out of school and homeschooled. My social life consisted of church and its affiliated activities until I had a nervous breakdown in church one day. My parents realized that I needed space. I had to fight for independence after we moved into the woods, where into town was difficult. I tested out of high school at 16 and started at DVC when I turned 17. While I continue to have close ties with my family, ties that are deliberate and require patience and gratitude, I am leaving behind the harmful, critical ideas that were trained into me. I see now the light and potential, when I was promised failure and death. I am free, free of the ideas that pulled me down every day, about my body, about my sexuality, about my love. It is a long and painful unlearning process. I still have so much to learn. But I am on the other side of it, and I have peace. You will find peace, and many of you have. My parents, church, and church members taught me to be grateful, and I can still hold onto that lesson. 🙏🏼 The destructive messaging I received , however, doesn’t need to be taught any more.
You are worthy of love. You are kind, and balanced. You are normal. Thank you for all the good that you bring ♥️ ~Queera Nightly