There was a huge Facebook/Twitter/YouTube/Tumblr/etc./etc./etc. campaign to wear purple today to remember those LGBT youth that have taken their lives, specifically those that did within the past few weeks.
So, I'm going to be serious for a second. I'm gay. I've been really lucky so far in my lesbian experience, or whatever you would call it. Unlike some people I know, I didn't realize that I was gay until I got into college (which has been a blessing and a curse). I didn't have to go through years of feeling awkward while my church leaders told me about how I need to marry a nice man and have his babies. Well, I have to now, but I'm a big girl now and can deal.
Also, I'm pretty closeted in real life and have been lucky enough to have had the few people I have told to be relatively supportive.
However, I go to a school where I could get kicked out for kissing another girl. I sit in class where my peers list off the reasons why gay marriage is evil. I go to church where homosexuality is basically ignored as a topic. And if it is brought up, it's followed by a simple, "Don't do it." I have friends that think homosexuality can be solved with therapy, praying, or by marrying a good man. I belong to a church that has one of its leaders essentially state in a worldwide conference that homosexuality is a choice that a loving God wouldn't inflict us with it.
Yes, I'm gay. But I'm also Mormon. I honestly believe that being Mormon, for me, is as much of a choice as being gay is. Yes, I choose whether or not I go to church. However, even if I stopped going to church, I would still be Mormon. I was raised Mormon and those beliefs--most of which I do believe--have shaped my perspective on life, my place in the world, and everything else. And I have had, and continue to have, experiences in my life that I would not have been able to survive without the beliefs and faith I have. For me, personally, God is real.
A lot of the LGBT community doesn't like the Mormon church. Which is completely understandable. I've taken a lot of heat because I still affiliate myself with the Mormon church. Which I also find understandable. Yes, the Mormon church doesn't have the best (in fact, it's pretty crappy) stance on gay marriage. And it makes me sad and angry that LGBT youth within the Mormon church have the highest rate of suicide. However, for me, my religion really is about love. But, unfortunately, there are a lot of ignorant people that belong to my church. However, I believe most of them are not ignorant in a malicious way, but more in the "they just don't know" way.
Yes, I go to a school where I could get kicked out for kissing another girl. But at that school, I have met people, including professors, that I have come out to and have talked to in an effort to reconcile these two "conflicting" identities. I sit in class where my peers talk about how they disagree with the Church's position on Prop. 8 and how they have a brother/sister/uncle/cousin/friend/etc. who is gay, or even how they themselves are gay. I go to church where homosexuality is basically ignored as a topic because people just don't know how to talk about it. But from sitting on the inside, I can see how the Mormon church is changing from within. I know people who are out at church and are not pariahs. I have friends who are accepting of me. And I really believe most of friends that say ignorant things now would be more understanding if they knew I was a lesbian. And hopefully one day, I can work to start that change in their hearts. And yes, I belong to a church that has some of its leaders some of its leaders saying shocking and ignorant things about homosexuality. However, I also belong to a church that has some of its leaders say, "No, you can't pray away the gay. And that's okay," (so much rhyming) and talk about love, tolerance, and understanding.
I'm still reconciling my faith with my sexuality. However, my faith and relationship with God has been a comfort to me, even through coming to terms with my sexuality.
I don't know how you feel about Mormons. I'm just trying to say that most Mormons aren't bad. Just like most gay people aren't bad. We're all just human. We're all still growing and striving to be better people. We're all just trying to do right in the world according to what we believe. And no, we don't all agree so sometimes we end up stepping on each other's toes and offending one another.
So, that's my babble for today. I hope it made sense. And that it wasn't offensive in any way, or anything like that. And I hope I didn't get too preachy. It's only my perspective. This is just how I view things. Feel free to disagree. I embrace it.
If you actually made it through the whole thing, good for you. Here's my way of saying, "Thanks!":
And this... This is one my favoritest favorites of Sasha ever... (Thank you, thank you, whispersunreal)
Coming tomorrow: Maurizona!