6—About being a gay Mormon Fundamentalist
5—The final part of the conversation—on being gay and choosing to be and remain a Mormon (Fundamentalist).
Fran: I don’t understand why you’d choose to be a Fundamentalist when they don’t accept you.
Me: I feel more at home among Fundamentalists than I do in a gay bar. The thing is, I have the same sexual orientation as other gay men. But often that’s the one thing we have in common. With Fundamentalists I share many similar outlooks. Sexual orientation is often the one thing we don’t have in common.
Fran: But don’t Mormons believe you’ll go to Hell?
Me: We don’t go to Heaven or Hell. We inherit the degree of glory that we can abide. ¹ I see life on Earth as a school. Children are taught what’s right and wrong and they learn facts and problem-solving. We learn through experience too. Children are assigned to a class that reflects their ability, often depending on the grades they scored the previous year. Some children may be naturally gifted or receive more parental support, they may have had a better or worse teacher than some others. We are born in circumstances that reflect what happened in the pre-existence ² , whatever that is.
At the end of the final year, students sit an exam. God does not send us to Heaven or Hell any more than a teacher or examiner gives a grade because of personal bias. In the next world we will be where we can be. It will be where we feel the most comfortable. I know people who love gay clubs and wait all week to go. To me, those are Hell. So at the resurrection we get the glory we can abide, that suits us, according to our disposition and work here. I don’t think it’s punishment. And if there is punishment, it might not be what we think it is.
Fran: But how where do you see yourself go?
Me: No one knows what the after-life and the next world will be like. I don’t know what will become of me. But in the meantime, I am in this world and I try to be the best version of myself that I can be, and leave the rest to God. He will judge me, no doubt. But it might not be about something I cannot change but about my lack of charity, my lack of long-suffering and all those other things that I am perfectly able to change.
I don’t completely fit in the Mormon world and I don’t completely fit in the gay world.
Fran: But if there is a God, why would he would let you be gay, or make you gay?
Me: Now that’s the biggest mystery of them all to me!
I don’t know why I’m gay. I just know that I’ve always felt attracted to men, since I was a child. More importantly, I have never felt sexually attracted to women. I was so afraid that people could guess I was different. I was so painfully shy as a child. I had no self-confidence at all and I had a pretty bad opinion of myself. Just because I was gay. And that was before I joined the Church. This was not the life I wanted. I wanted to be ‘normal’. After I joined the Church I tried hard to change.
The difficulty for me is in this life: And that is that I can never fully belong. I don’t completely fit in the gay world either. Both have brought me a lot over the last two decades but there are times when both make me feel uncomfortable. More often than not it’s in the gay community that I don’t fit in.
I cannot change what I am and I have accepted it. With the years I have become more confident, I have developed a good opinion of myself and I can finally say that I am happy.But being my own person and being honest with myself makes me happy. Now I nurture my Mormon faith the best I can in my own circumstances and I accept my homosexuality too.
But of course, being limited in my progression, not having access to the temple and other things put a dark touch on the painting. It is what it is.
One of my Fundamentalist friends told me I was “a good man” and I had my “part to play.” Another said that maybe I was gay so I can achieve a special work others who don’t have that experience cannot. And a third friend once said that maybe some of us are born gay so we can learn something we could not learn any other way.
Could it be that I’m gay because of something I did in the pre-exitence?
There is so much we don’t know. There’s so much we cannot see with our limited understanding.
When Christ got crucified, did his disciples think the whole thing had been a failure? That’s what some gay Mormons are like and they reject our religion. Other disciples could accept that Jesus’ death was part of the plan even if it made no sense to them. That is where many gay Mormons who want to keep their religion are at.
God revealed the Crucifixion was part of the Plan of Salvation. Where was God when Jesus was crucified? God was there. Eternal Law required the blood of the First Born to save humankind. God was being God, upholding Eternal Law, so we might be saved. Jesus had been chosen and appointed to the highest office on Earth in the whole history of this Creation. He qualified for it.
What did the rest of us qualify for? We believe we existed before this world was and that we will continue to exist after this existence. The Crucifixion was punishment for those who did wrong but it was also the method used to bring salvation through the Son of God. Some can see being gay as a punishment and others as a blessing.
Could it be that I’m gay because I did something wrong in the pre-exitence? Could it be that I did so well in the pre-existence that I got an extra feature, knowing that it would be difficult, but also knowing that it would make me advance farther than if I had been born straight?
Fran: You certainly gave me a lot to think about.
Me: Bottom line: I don’t feel bad about being gay anymore, but I still can’t explain it. Being gay and Mormon has given me a lot of heartache and I may never figure it out in this lifetime. I struggle with my religion every now and then. But being Mormon gives me so much more than and meets the eye.
You said earlier that my eyes all light up when I talk about these things, and that clearly this is something very important to me. And right now I feel very peaceful… I feel the Spirit after talking about this… Because religion is the most important thing in my life. And I feel close to my God. And that’s enough for now.
7—Reflections on some anniversaries starting April 8.