It was a Sunday afternoon and my phone started to ring. It was my mom, it might seem normal to receive a call from your mother on a Sunday afternoon but not for me. My parents are extremely active in the LDS church. Their Sundays consist of church meeting fallowed by their callings as missionaries in the PASG program. They often do presentation and meeting all sunday long. So receiving this call on a day when they are so busy was a bit “A” typical. When I answered the phone my mom had obviously been crying, She said you would be so proud of your Dad. She went on to explain that they were having a lesson on Eternal Families in Sunday School, the lesson inevitably turned to gay marriage. My dad sat a listened for a minute but eventually he couldn’t stand it any longer. There was one man who was just going on and on about how awful the gays were, and how they were ruining marriage. My dad stood up and said “if your son (who happens to be gay) came to you and asked for the same joy you had, would you tell him no?” The lesson continues and more was said, my dad eventually got so tired of this mans ignorance that he got up and left the class. This might seem like a small matter, but it means the world to me. It shows my dad has grown to understand that my family is real. My dad is a very wise man, I respect what he has to say and so do many others. I am so grateful to have a dad that will do that for me. I know many people who aren’t so lucky.
This however begs the questions, should my dad have to defend me in church? Should he have to sit and listen to a member of his family be talked about in that way? It is men like that who take away the hope of young gay mormons. You hear statements like, “Gays are the whore of the earth.” or “all gay men are perverts and child molesters.” or “gay people are disgusting and they are all going to hell.” to name a few that I have heard first hand. These lead me to feel dirty and wrong for who I was, even though there was no changing it. I felt as if God had punished me or made a horrible mistake. It lead me, and thousands of others like me, to consider taking my own life, because no matter what you do this filth will always be a part of you. For what? Ignorance, fear, to feel somehow superior…. Well guess what, we are all created equal, and yes with differences. These differences are what makes the world beautiful and interesting. Open your mind, just because someone is different then you doesn’t make them wrong. If I had heard someone speak up, like my dad did, to these awful people it would have changed my life. I could have been saved a few bumps and bruises on my journey. So next time you hear someone say something disparaging against the gay community (or any other group of people) please stand up and say something. You never know what damage this person is doing, you can never know everyones story…. You might just save a life.