My Story

I think it is time to tell my story, why and how my life could have ended up this way. There are so many questions that need answers for so many people in my life, and I hope to answer a lot of them here and now.

I am the second oldest in a family of four kids. My dad and mom are celebrating their 30 anniversary very soon. We were raised in the church (the LDS church) the values and teachings of the church were taught in the home.  I achieved my eagle scout, played football, dated a girl. From the outside looking in my life was very normal, because it was. It’s not that I didn’t know I was gay, I did, it just didn’t matter. I was to serve a two year mission for the church and that is where my focus was. I thought maybe I would be cured if I could just work hard enough. I was called to the Louisiana Baton Rouge mission. I left my family and faithfully took on this task. I was placed in Mandeville Louisiana (just across the bridge from New Orleans) When a rather famous storm hit, Katrina. After the storm we went out each day and served, cutting trees off houses, checking on our friends from before the storm, and returning every night to a house with no water or electricity. We didn’t have much to eat, and the funny thing is, I didn’t care. I was so happy. After a time, and one more hurricane, my mission became very normal. I worked hard with a silent prayer in my heart that when this was all over I would no longer have this burden. I became a trainer three times, a district leader and shortly after that a zone leader. I was doing everything right. It came time to return home, I was sitting in the office, my family around me, as I was released as a missionary. I felt the weight of the world settle on my shoulders and I wept with despair. I wanted to do what I was supposed to do, get married, have children, but I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t hurt my “wife” and future children that way, I couldn’t make promises I knew I couldn’t keep. This was the first thing asked of me that I couldn’t do. Time went on and the questions in my heart mounted. Depression set in, as I realized God wasn’t going to “fix” me. I wanted to know what I had done to deserve this, did God make a mistake on me, did I do something wrong? I was being told I was wrong, not for any action I was taking or decision I was making, but for the very person I was. How do you fix that. Life became really dark for me, I was so alone. I couldn’t let anyone close to me because they might find out the truth. Thoughts of suicide went through my head often. One night I went to institute with my friends, I sat alone. In the lesson we opened our scriptures and I saw these words “Be still and know that I am God.” I was overcome with such joy and peace, I knew in that moment that I was not a mistake and I was as God made me and it was okay. From that point on the world began to have color again. It took time, but eventually I was able to accept and love myself for who I was. My family had a hard time at first but they came around. I was able to meet my soul mate Trent. My life has changed so drastically for the better, it hasn’t always been easy, but then again I never expected that. I know I am on the right track now.

So now you know a little more of my history, so you can understand how days like today can be tough. We found out this morning that the lawyers of the LDS church have drafted a letter to be sent to the Supreme Court explaining that when California adopted prop 8 “it violated no one’s civil rights.” and how marriage  should be defined as between a man and a women. This institute which I spent years of my life promoting has turned it’s back on me and most abhorrently it has turned its distain toward my family. I was so upset by this at work today but I couldn’t talk about it, because if I were to offend anyone there is nothing to protect my job because I am gay. You can see how frustrating this can be. How one in my shoes might feel like second class citizen. I knew it was coming but I had no idea the kind of emotion I would feel when it did. I will work day and night to make sure my family is awarded it’s rights and it’s protected under the law.

 

6 thoughts on “My Story

  1. Well Mr. Haws,
    I want you know that I was overcome with chills from head to toe when I read of the moment when it became clear that “God”, “Heavenly Father” or ” The Jolly Green Giant”, would never turn a back to you and that you knew in all your spirit being, that you were unconditionally loved accepted and in your perfect right place. I realize the words were different but THIS is what I felt! 🙂

    Now you are truly living the path in which you were intended. Growing, learning, falling, getting back up and sharing. All while keeping your eyes open, never being afraid to be enlightened . Living your truth, not one of fear and judgment a man made organized religion, but one of the same divine spirit that sent you here to explore and flourish and the very same one that will be there whether you dance or fall. It’s not hard to know something is right when your spirit is free to love as it was intended to do.

    Weve all heard similar stories as this, it never gets old and each one is unique and amazing! I really believe your past was part of your path. Be joyful and empowered by your newfound strength and peace.

    Please don’t let the fearful and judgmental steel even a smidgen of your power, because the clearer your world becomes from here on out, the more tolerance you’ll need for the people who will remain steadfast in the fog that you once shared in. Please don’t let it make you bitter. It’ll be tough but it only dulls the sound of your own possibilities, which are limiltless now! Congratulations, own it! Xoxo’s =D

  2. Sweetheart: you “were” my perfect son. The president of deacon and teacher quorums, first assistant in priest quorum, etc. you are an Eagle Scout and eventually, if you wanted to be in scouting with your future son, hopefully you can. For people who don’t know you the way I do, let me tell you about a bot in 5 th grade who became friends with a new kid who had some problems. Matt and Andy played Jr Jazz that year. Then Andy started to fall down. Over time he was in a wheel chair and Matt was still his friend. For Matt’s Eagle Scout project he organized Andy’s Run, a 5k run starting at Barnes Park. Matt went before the Kaysville City Council and the day of the race made Andy’s Day. H e worked hard to collect prizes and even got $1,000 donated to make the t-shirts which all of Andy’s favorite things. During this time Andy deteriorated needing a feeding tube and other hygiene things done. Matthew would go often and tell Andy about all the things that people were doing for him. I don’t believe any of us thought that Andy to the day of the race, but he did! His dad was there to take pictures and his ran in the race. We had so many volunteers. $3500 was donated to Primary Children’s Medical Center in Andy’s name. Matt also set in motio an Eagle Scout to be presented to Andy’s parents posthumously.

    Next, short version sr project, 55 kids between Viewmont and Davis, $53,000 earned in 2 weeks. I think the largest single donation was $2000.

    So while was in”a fog” this young man led an amazing life and some times I think he forgets that fact.

  3. I want to share a story of something that happened while I was in High school. In the small town where I lived, there was 1 small gay club. One night, a man who hated gays, walked in and opened fire shooting several people. 3 were killed. It was devistating. To make the hurt worse, we found out that there was going to be a gropu of people at the funerals for the victims protesting with signs saying, “Fags Go To Hell.” When I found this out, I was so physically ill, I could barely speak. I carried this so heavily for the next day or so. My Mom saw how horribly it was affecting me. She came to me and told me I was continuing to let those people win. They were hurting me so bad. She reminded me that there is hate in the world… not to add to it. Dont let them win. I started thinking about what she had said. I decided that it was still very important for me to stand up for what I belive, but in a different way. Sitting in my room crying was doing nothing. I made many many many phone calls. We got many donors and people in the community to agree to donate a money for each hour the people with the horrible signs protested. The people stood with their signs and protested for 3 hours. Which helped us raise $8,000 for the victims families. When the group of protestors heard what we did…they did not march at any more funerals. I could have stayed in my room pouting. But I took my hate away and turned it in to something good. Everyone is hated on…gays, blacks, Mormons, Jews, women…etc. Everyone is entiltied to their opinion. But, its what you decide to do with it is what matters. Dont add to the hate. Always stand up for what you believe. It starts with you. Love those that curse you. Not for their sake, but yours. Love you Matt! -Jeremy Seitz

  4. Thank you for sharing your story. It always amazes me the capacity of people to hate, but at the same time I am constantly surprised by their capacity to love. What you did was perfect. You taught a lesson to everyone involved. Your unique perspective is priceless. Love you too.

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