These stories are very personal and can be emotionally and psychologically triggering.
Last night I wrote my bishop explaining that my family would be taking a break from church due to the new policy.
I then began to sob. I couldn’t push send, I made my husband do it. This hurts more and more every day.
I wish I could live in denial and pretend this change never happened. All I want is to sit in those familiar pews, sing the hymns of my ancestors, and pretend everything is fine.
Becky Dustin Haws
First and foremost I’m a mom to 4 amazing daughters. I’m also a morally upstanding person, a successful attorney, a loving individual, a person who actively strives to see the good in people and in this world, and I’m also gay. I teach my children moral values. I support them in their LDS church attendance. I drive them to their weekly YW activities. I watched conference with them from my home. The notion that just because you’re gay in some way makes you hostile to Mormonism or the good that comes out of Mormonism is a fallacy and one that should be debunked. I didn’t just “allow” my girls to go to the LDS church, I actively supported their attendance. I did this because there is another side to me. The side that loved Mormonism, loved being raised Mormon, and fought for 30 years against my sexual orientation just so I could be Mormon. Why would I deprive my children of the good that comes out of Mormonism just because some conversations with them will be difficult? Part member homes with children have to have these same difficult conversations. Unfortunately, the church has now put me in a position where actively supporting my children in attendance has the very real effect of teaching them that Mormonism is more important to me than a lasting, ongoing relationship with my children. I won’t send that mixed message to my children. I ALWAYS want to have a close loving relationship with each of my girls!
My grandson is 13, he’s never said what sexuality he identifies with and we’ve never asked, though he likes to prance and call himself Miss Cuba. Today he told his teacher at school he wants to kill himself. He won’t say why. He has always had an amazing testimony (genius iq, read the BoM straight through at 8)…..he was so upset about the policy change, but he won’t say why he wants to die. We’re happy he told someone. …. while being torn apart inside. He’s being evaluated now to see if he needs to be admitted or not. His doctor tried to understand this policy so he could help my grandson understand, but the doctor can’t understand it either.
We had two families walk out of church on Sunday after the bishop read the new policy over the pulpit in our ward. This is hurting way too many of us.
Kathryn Harper Hueth
How blessed I feel to be surrounded by people in my life that I am in awe of and that truly exemplify the teachings of the Savior. My husband and my two beautiful children are my everything – exactly as they are. It kills me to think that at one point in my life I used the yardstick provided by church culture when I assessed our family. Did we measure up to everything we were “supposed” to be? Did our family fit into that neat little mold of the typical LDS family? No, we didn’t. We don’t. And neither do thousands of others because there isn’t a typical LDS family. We are all just families, with our own unique set of life circumstances working out our salvation as individuals and as families. And we are all meant to be happy and feel joy in this life while doing so.
I am grateful for my 86 year old mother who recently shared with my gay son that he was absolutely perfect just as he was, just as he had been created, and that he was loved and adored by his Heavenly Father and his Savior, and that she had no doubt that he will be welcomed with open arms in the hereafter. She holds fast to her testimony and fully sustains the brethren but is still willing to admit the heartache and confusion she has felt over these policies implemented in the church that do not feel like love.
I am grateful for sisters that have always been there for me – through anything and everything imagineable.
I am grateful for my sisters of the heart, my Mama Dragons, that I simply could not live without because we all share a heart. We feel each others pain, heartache and joy, almost without having to explain. Their hugs and their words are healing balm to my soul.
I am grateful for my involvement in the LGBTQ community. It has been an enlightening, enriching and joyous experience for which I will always be grateful. I have met and now count as dear friends some of the most beautiful, Christlike souls and they have blessed my life immeasureably.
I am grateful for many friends, both closeby and some I have not seen for years, that have reached out with love and support. I must admit to feeling very hurt as friends that I considered very dear have not reached out, friends that I know love me and my family. And then it occurred to me how many times I have been thinking of someone, worrying about them, have meant to reach out, and for whatever reason, have not. I resolve to act on those promptings to mourn with those that mourn, lift up those that need lifting and to love those that need to be loved. For this is how we truly live the gospel. This is how we love our Savior.
Please contact me at natashaparker.org if you are interested in sharing your story on this blog. Other spaces where you can share or read these important accounts include: Feminist Mormon Housewives and Suffer the Little Children.
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.