If there's anything that I've learned from speaking and participating at Affirmation two weeks ago, it's that there are high emotions surrounding being gay in the Church. The workshop that I participated in was highly weighted in why we stay in the Church as LGBT Mormons, but there were many participants who expressed their concerns, and pain with staying in the Church. I'm someone who will defend the Church when it deserves to be defended. I am someone who finds the good in the Church when there is good to be found. But when there is no good to be found, I don't stay silent, and I don't go away. It's just how I roll.
Because I don't let up on my convictions, I get beat down. Often. Which sucks. But it makes me wonder how many other LGBT Mormons, and our allies, get beat down for our beliefs and our lifestyles. How much longer are we going to be marginalized? How much longer will we hear the audible gasps and feel the unabashed stares? How many more friends and family will quietly walk out of our lives?
I've grown weary. I hear the disapproval of my peers often. I get it on social media, and through my emails. To them, I'm an apostate. I discourage the Spirit from coming anywhere near me, and by extension, them. I entice doubt, not faith. I promote deviance, not obedience. I am Satan incarnate... I am damned to Outer Darkness.
Believe it or not... these are all real examples, and they are all people who claim to "love their LGBT brothers and sisters". Some even claim to be building bridges between the communities. This doesn't build bridges. It tears them down.
My bridge is slowly crumbling... and sometimes I don't know why I stay in the Church. I honestly have no idea why I put myself through the pain. I wonder if I would be happier outside. I wonder if Christ only atoned for our sins... rather than for our sorrows. I wonder if God loves me. I wonder if He had me turn out gay so that He could damn me to Outer Darkness. I wonder if God is the vengeful God of Evangelical Christianity. Is He the loving God that we say He is? I want to believe it! I want to believe that He is compassionate, and warm!
But why are His children so cruel?