Sunday, January 31, 2010

Church and Family


I happened to be thinking about what it is that ties us together. That thing that makes family what it is.  My family is not what you would consider one of "closeness."  If anything we probably try to avoid eachother on most situations.  I'm sure my coming out hasn't helped in that area either.  But I have stopped to ponder why is it that we are so isolated, to the point of not even regularly talking to one another.  

Not surprisingly it seems many answers begin and end with the church.  It was the church the brought us all together and it was also what has ultimately divided us.  Despite proclamations on the family and other official sanctions approving of the stereotypical Mormon family things did not end up as church leaders have supposed they would be.  The promises of the church have failed incredibly.

My dear mother, who has been gone for 12 years now (my has it been that long?), was the one that held it all together and the church was the glue.  It was her faithfulness that kept it all pieced so carefully together.  She ran herself ragged trying to make our home live up to the Mormon standards of family and it wasn't easy.  Now that the tie in to the church is missing I suppose it is no wonder we've scattered to the winds.

My dad still goes to church on a fairly regular basis, but it seems more out of habit then out of sincereity as one of the faithful.  My sister however has taken quite the church plunge.  She seems to be determined to out mom our mom in the church faithfulness department and making darn sure her children are well established in the church "lest they be lost to the wolves." I think it is just over compensation.

The rift between us all seems to be an ever widening chasm.  I once thought my sister, the scientist and teacher, was the sanest out of the family, but her blind faith in church doctrine trumped that of family and love.  I doubt that the day will come where I will be accepted as I am by her.  We all know what it's like to be shunned by our family members "hyper active" in the church.  In they eyes of one of my own siblings, I am a walking "abomination" willingly sinning over a "choice to love men" instead of women.  I am null and void to God's plan and the plan of salvation and my departed relatives weep for my poor choices.  Or so I'm lead to believe.

How the "perfection" of Mormonism has soured my family to be distant and removed at best, and hateful, bigoted, biased, and unloving at the worst.  This is the fruit of the "traditional Mormon family," that which espouses only heterosexuals make a family and good Mormon families should protect marriage from same sex couples.

When I'm with my BF there is more love there than I have felt in my entire some 30 years of existence.  I can even begin to process what I feel in the relationship.  But I know that's where I belong.  And yet I think about what it is the people are trying to protect in blocking "gay marriage."  There really isn't anything worth saving in my family unity.  No amount of "protecting marriage and 'traditional family values' is going to change how I'm viewed or loved in my family.  Neither will it change where Mormonism still fails to understand one of the most important commandments - unconditional love. 

My family is who ever accepts me for who I am. Not where I come from and who I'm related to.  I wish I had a bigger "family."  I long to be with more of those who love me for me.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tommy's Story

 Tommy shares with talk show host Laura Lavigne
his life journey of being gay and growing up in the Mormon Church.
Listen to Tommy's story here