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.