When I began my journey out of the closet in October 2010, I sought to find myself - the self I had lost decades earlier when I joined the LDS Church at age 24 and got married. To help me, I asked my younger sister to share with me what she remembered of me "before."
"The memories I have of you are loving and fun ones. Walking with you in the snow ... loving to be with you. I remember laughing, remember you smiling. Driving with you from Mom’s house to see Dad in Ohio in your chic red car and singing, eating, talking and laughing. Watching you laugh to the point of your sides hurting when I or someone else would tell a joke ...
"Hanging out at your house in Ohio, which I thought was the coolest house, and listening to Heart’s “Crazy on You” and dancing and you singing ... at other times listening to classical music when you'd read and I'd just hang out admiring your intelligence and zen-ness ... all so loving and peaceful.
"When I saw you in later years, it was as if your life had been sucked out of you. You always looked unhappy. I felt that for someone supposedly so happy with church and family, you seemed so miserable. Instead of seeing what had once been a joyous face full of laughter, I saw instead Mom’s sour pout … I honestly felt that you – the real you, the brother I had know - had died 25 years ago."