I went to this gay history thing tonight that discussed the experience of LGBT people in the 1970s. One of the profiles was about a young gay man whose first boyfriend was sent away to conversion therapy. When the boyfriend came back, he was mentally damaged and never spoke again. In the end, the gay man ran away from home, claiming that being “normal” but silent was worse than being different but healthy.
That story really struck me, mainly because I know that many people in the church wouldn’t agree with it. Church leaders up until very recently publicly supported conversion therapy, and electroshock therapy was used at BYU. I think many orthodox Mormons would choose to have a son or daughter who sat in the corner silent their entire lives but who made it to the Celestial Kingdom, versus one who lived a “gay lifestyle.”
It made me sad. And angry. And hurt. I spent 2+ years floating through a haze trying to understand myself, and it wasn’t until I started to “live a gay life” that I was able to feel again. You can’t try and kill part of your personality without the entire thing falling apart.
I think that God has important work for me to do here on Earth. And I couldn’t do it when I was depressed and wrapped up in bed for 20 hours a day.