21 July 2013

Gay v. Same-Sex-Attracted

I've gotten a lot of flak from a variety of people about my choice of words when I identify myself. Which is annoying, but whatever.

I identify as a lesbian, though sometimes I will use the word gay... simply because I don't believe the term exclusively belongs to gay males. I use the words "gay" and "lesbian" because it defines me as a person. It points me out as someone who's confident with who I am, and that I am open to others asking questions, and that I welcome an honest dialogue. I prefer to use it in a Church context too, because it's clear. It leaves no room for error. I'm not going through a phase, nor am I looking to enter into a heterosexual relationship. I'm confident in myself. I don't want to have a label that tells people otherwise.

On the other hand, the Church, and by extension it's leaders, will almost exclusively use the terms "Same-Sex Attracted" (SSA) or "Same-Gender Attracted" (SGA). Church leaders have stated that the words homosexual, lesbian, and gay should be used as adjectives to describe thoughts, feelings or behaviors, and never as nouns to describe people. Their reasoning is that using these words imply that a person has no choice in regards to sexual behavior. The Church has since declared that homosexuality is not a choice, but as late as 1992, the Church was still teaching that homosexual problems could be overcome "through faith in God, sincere repentance, and persistent effort." In the October 2010 General Conference, President Boyd K. Packer is quoted saying, "Some suppose that they were preset, and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural. Not so. Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? Remember, He is our Father."

This is sending a plethora of mixed messages to LGBT Mormons. They ask, "Is it ok to be gay? Am I born this way? Is this normal? Can I change my attractions?" Since the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973, and the American Psychological Association followed in 1975, they would say, "Yes, it is ok to be gay. You were born this way, and it is normal. You cannot change your attractions because there is no need to change. You are wonderful just the way you are." But most Bishops and Stake Presidents will tell them to keep it to themselves, and these feelings aren't really a part of them, but simply an "earthly affliction" that they "suffer from" in this fallen world, and that upon the moment of death, this sordid affliction will be lifted in the next life, because they'll be in paradise (at least, that's been my experience in the past.)

In short, the terms Same-Sex Attracted, and Same-Gender Attracted infuriate me, and I am quick to correct anyone who uses them to describe me. I feel that they're diminishing, and demeaning. They are very clinical, and give the perception that I have a condition, that needs to be remedied and fixed. And I am perfect just the way that I am.

Let me state unequivocally... If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, there is nothing wrong with you. Nothing. You do not have a disease. You do not need to cure yourself. And you are not inherently sinful. You are created in our heavenly parents' image. You don't have to accept the "same-gender attracted" label that the Church and it's members give you... not unless you want it. Your sexual orientation does not have to define you. I made the choice to have it define me, because I am comfortable with it, and I welcome shouldering the mantle of stares and judgement. I will do it, so you don't have to. If the terms that people use for you hurt you in any way, SPEAK UP! We are beautiful people, and we deserve respect.


  1. Amen. Beautiful! Thank you. :)

  2. I, too, HATE SSA and SGA. They sound more like terms for using in a Geometry proof or some kind of disease, as you stated. I am a gay woman and gay is the term I use for myself.

    I had a Stake President tell me "You're not gay. It's impossible for women to be gay. You only think you are because of (insert "malady"). You need to go find a man, get married, and have lots of sex." Those were his words, straight from his mouth, word for word. Except, I do not believe them, nor him.

    I am enjoying reading your blog. You bring up many interesting and important ideas. Thank you!

    Happy night, Duck

    1. Yes... Because having a penis inside of me is exactly the thing that will cure me... *face palm* I cannot understand some people's logic in that arena.

      I'm glad you enjoy it... I want it to be applicable to just about every gay Mormon out there. My latest post is asking people what they want to see on the blog. Feel free to look at it and tell me what you want :)

  3. Yeah it does say on mormonsandgays.org in an interview that's at the bottom of the page that homosexuality is a thing of mortality. I find comfort in that D&C scripture that says that relationships we cultivate on this Earth will continue past mortality. So what does that mean? I feel these two statements contradict each other and I find this conflicting...

    1. The 2 statements are definitely conflicting and contradictory. I'm in the middle of doing some homework on the subject for a blog post. Stay tuned!

  4. Not Cool,So So So Not Cool. Whatever Happened to Human Rights.
    "gay men