(From my blog…)
I have purposely chosen to avoid many conversations regarding the much publicized Proposition 8 battle in my home state of California. I call it my home state because when I moved from Utah in 2000, I knew in my heart that I had finally come home. I knew that this amazing place called California was where I could finally lay down the biggest burden I had carried around for 30+ years. And I knew that there would be people… my own LDS people… that would surround me and protect me when I finally decided to let go of my own self hatred and accept the person God created.
I have chosen to avoid these conversations because some of those people that I hoped would surround me and protect me… have now chosen to see me at their #1 enemy. I choose to avoid conversations with these people because it hurts… and I’m afraid.
It hurts because the few conversations I have had with some of my people have gone badly. Some of my people… the ones I love the most in my life… have told me I’m wrong. And bad. And wicked. And evil. And misguided. And ugly. And a danger to their family. To their kids.
And I’m afraid because for 32+ years I let these words into my mind. I let these words into my heart. I let these words fill my soul with torment. I let these words convince me that I was broken. That I needed to be fixed. That I was a bad person. That my feelings weren’t as righteous as their feelings. That somehow Satan had grabbed hold of my spirit, at the earliest of time, and led me down the path to destruction. I’m afraid because saying out loud that I am… that I exist… that I just want to be understood and loved… could mean eternal damnation. And the loss of these friends forever.
I’ve been afraid. But not anymore.
For 32 years, I was encouraged to share my thoughts, opinions, feelings, dreams. Because they were “right.” Good. Inspirational. Now I feel and am told to NOT share because I’m “wrong.” Because the way I have felt inside for my entire life is against God’s plan. But I can’t stay quiet.
So why say something now? Why have I chosen to speak out?
Because of love. Love for my Father for creating me… as is… broken parts and all. Love for myself… allowing me to be okay with me, just the way I am. Love for my best friend Steve, the one person in this world who loves me more than he loves himself. Love for my friends… who want me to be the best person I can be.
We live in a world that allows everyone the opportunity to share their opinion. To be different. We live in a world that encourages dissent when it goes against our beliefs. But also encourages us to follow the pack when the pack is in line with our values. But my values are just that… MY values. I spent my entire life living for everyone but myself. And when I’m not myself, what am I to God?
However, I also respect those who believe differently than me. Why should I be convinced that I am completely “right” and they are all “wrong?” Haven’t I spent the last five years learning what it’s like to be misunderstood? Shouldn’t I give those exact people who refuse to live in my shoes the benefit of the doubt? Shouldn’t I follow my own value system and love unconditionally? Regardless of how someone treats me?
All I want is to spend the rest of my life with Steve. To have a legitimate way of expressing that love to him. To have a society that doesn’t see me as broken. Or bad. Or evil. Or ugly. Or predatory. Or gross.
I just want to be like you.