I have written in previous posts about my daughter Hannah's blog post at the end of June, in which she wrote about her efforts to reconcile her love for her father and his partner with what leaders in the LDS Church had taught and told her about relationships such as I have with my beloved, Mark.
The line from her post that stuck with me, that resonated the most, was this sentence: "In a moment of frustration, [my husband] said to me "You need to stop looking for the negative things about the Church!" But I know, and he realizes now, I never looked for any of them. They all found me"[emphasis added].
How profound, and how true. When one is gay (and Mormon or various permutations of "Mormon"), the whole world looks different. But especially, the Church looks different. Because one is "other." The same often applies to family members of such "others," such as my beautiful daughter, Hannah.
Hannah went on to write, "The Mormon world is a beautiful, happy, wonderful one. I never wanted anyone or anything to ruin that for me. I WANT to be a part of that world. But my integrity won't allow ignorance anymore."
How beautiful is that? How poignant?
I wanted that beautiful Mormon world more than anything for so many years. I tried SO hard to obtain it, to make it mine, to be a part of it, to breathe it, to live it. The Plan of Happiness. But it was not the Plan of Happiness. It was, sadly, a difficult, hurtful, destructive path.
And ... at the end of the day, that [Mormon] world was and is ... an illusion. And being gay, accepting gayness, accepting loved ones who are gay, makes everything different. Because the old world no longer fits. It no longer exists. It is lost forever. And that is frightening ... and liberating.
If the second most senior apostle of the Mormon Church, Boyd K. Packer, had not given his infamous October 2010 Conference address, this blog might not exist. I might not exist as an openly gay man.
I never planned to come out of the closet in which I had deposited myself many, many years ago. I resisted divorce and the end of the Mormon idyll, even when my ex-wife was pushing for divorce long before I "came out." But, in the end - as my daughter Hannah wrote - I didn't look for the negative things about the Church, they found me. Boyd Packer's words found me. And they catapulted me out of the closet ... and, ultimately, out of the Church to which I had devoted almost three decades of my adult life.
Talk about tragedy (in the truest sense of that word ...
My wish tonight, as I sit on my front porch on a Summer's eve, is that all those out there who, through no fault of their own, are finding troubling truths, might find peace and comfort. Because, there really, really is, LIFE ... somewhere over the rainbow.