Monday, May 30, 2016
I guess it's about time for my six-month check in here.
Much has happened in my life in the last six months: I'm much happier, I'm dating guys, I'm finding fulfillment in my professional interests, I've resigned my membership in the LDS church, I'm taking responsibility for my life and my actions, I've released my death grip on rules, religion, and I've stopped living to please some unseen being for some kind of kudo points for some theological life after death.
Wow—that escalated quickly. Sorry!
Since the infamous November 5th LDS Exclusion policy, I could no longer shelf my concerns and doubts. If I was going to comply with this policy and remain celibate and single for my entire life, then the truth claims of the church needed to be rock solid. Everything was on the table—I was all-in. I was therefore open to going wherever the evidence pointed.
It turns out that the history of the church is messy and murky: messy because there are several contradicting accounts and murky because of generations of LDS leaders burying these inconsistencies. The CES Letter, though not a complete collection, is a great starting place to understand some of these inconsistencies.
My studies showed anything but a rock-solid account of the LDS church, and I found myself at a cross-roads. I could date guys and risk getting excommunicated by several old, white, cisgendered, straight guys, or I could resign and leave on my own terms. I chose the latter.
What if religion is manufactured by men to give us hope for things that are out of our control? What if the pain we humans inflict upon each other is only justifiable in our minds because a being we worship has instructed us to "keep and defend the faith?" How many terrible things have been done, how much bigotry has seized legislature, how much war has been waged, all in the name of religion and god?
I've decided to live by my own morals, my own notion of what is right and what is wrong. The treatment of the LGBT community by the LDS church is certainly wrong in my view, regardless of how it is justified as keeping doctrine pure, keeping the church clean, eliminating threats to faithful millennials.
I've let go of my previous guilt, shame, and worries about pleasing a god. I just love people. I am kind to other people. It's a new kind of life, and it's fulfilling for me.
This new phase of my life has shed new light on being gay: I've let go of the tension, the cognitive dissonance, the mental gymnastics. While I'm much happier, more content, and feeling on top of the world, I also am running out of things to write about!
So this is the epilogue to my gay story. It's been a great journey. I've changed a lot since my initial coming-out post, but the changes are for the better. I part with a few words that guide my life:
Love heals, life continues, the human experience teaches.