These stories are very personal and can be emotionally and psychologically triggering.
Alyssa Carlson Paquette
I’m at work today, and barely able to concentrate. This is the first day our 12yo son is *finally* back at our home, after his usual week at his (gay) mom’s home. He made it halfway through school before he said he was “sick” and had my husband pick him up. Usually he is so positive and easy going, but ever since these policies hit and we learned he would not be ordained, he has been depressed and anxious. He is afraid he will be “unbaptized” and “kicked out.” We are looking into therapy for him to help him process and keep him from spiraling into depression. I’m sick for him, for us. The damage this will do to him, a 7th grader already dealing with middle school and two homes, and a separation at his other home. Now he has to lose his church, too. Not only him, but our whole family – me, a 35 year member, my adult convert husband, my 8 year old who was supposed to be baptized (next week!), my younger sons who may never know our religion… I can’t even bear to think of life without our church yet. I told our bishop that we didn’t quit the church, the church quit us. Everyone says well, maybe they will make an exception. But what kind of parents would we be if we raised our teenage son to “disavow” his mom? Even the fact that I have to categorize her as his “gay mom” makes me upset. The cruelty of this whole situation has me questioning the entirety of my faith, and honestly I feel like I’m going through the stages of grief. I think I’m somewhere between denial and anger right now. I so desperately want to have the church announce a fix for this, but even if they did, this cannot be undone for us.
I am the father of a 16 year old who came out to my wife and I 3 years ago. It has been a challenging journey. One that has changed my heart significantly and taught me some important things. As much as I would have liked to have handled my son coming out better, I needed to have my own change of heart. Today, I feel a deep appreciation for my son and that he is a child of God, and that he is as God created him to be. I am also deeply grateful to be a part of the LGBTQ community. I have learned how to be more Christlike, by the example of these beautiful people. Recent changes in the LDS church handbook have created something that not only is deeply troublesome to me but is in opposition to what it means to be Christlike and to have charity. What troubles me most is that I feel that the LDS church is treating the LGBTQ community as if they have no feelings – as if they have no face. The LGBTQ community has a face and for me it begins with the precious face of my son. There has always been something amazing about my son. Even when he drives me crazy, I see incredible talents, deep sensitivity to others and all of God’s creations. I see a boy who wants to have all that each of us wants. This world would be less without him. So as I and my family navigate this challenge, for us, our son, and the LGBTQ community, I place my hand and heart in the ring, to stand up for what is right! I stand for my family, for my son and for the LGBTQ community and for the betterment of all God’s children. I stand for love, just as our Father has commanded us to be. There is a place at my table, in my family for my son, and for all of the LGBTQ community.
This is a link to a post written by Courtney Galloway who shared some of her initial thoughts on one of my earlier family entries.
Trigger Warning: If you identify as LGBTQ – please be careful in reading the comments people post on this site. I allow all comments (that don’t personally berate another person) because I want there to be a witness to the many opinions on this topic – but some are triggering, harmful and often give inaccurate information.