Guest Post: I Love You, So I Say This, parts 12-13
Guest post by Anonymous. This Mama got a gay kid for Christmas in 2019. In March 2020 BYU signaled LGBTQ acceptance in an update to the Honor Code, and hastily retracted it. Feeling protective, this Mama wrote what she wished she could say to her Mormon family members. A week later, the first major COVID lockdowns started, and the BYU incident was pushed to the background. A year later, this personal appeal to the better angels is a plea in remembrance of that horrible week. There are 19 short pieces. This post is parts 12-13 of 19. The others will be linked here when they are published.
I love you. So I say this. Part 12
“So how are you guys feeling about the Church?”
It’s funny how experiences of the present bring new light to events of the past.
The Church’s actions in the passing of Prop 8 sent me to the brink. I read and wrote and became informed. I blogged at an LDS blog. We became inactive.
Deprogramming is hard. We dipped our toes back into wards here and there, but after the November 5th, 2015, Exclusion Policy, we never really returned. On November 6th, 2015, your son was sitting in the back seat of a car with you for a 2-3 hour ride. He prayed the whole time you wouldn’t bring the Exclusion Policy up in conversation, as he was too wounded to talk about it that day.
All of this was miserable. I know our leaving the Church sent you into a distressed state for a long time. I hated that we had to go through all of this hard work of decoupling ourselves from the Church, even at the expense of others. It was a dark night of the soul.
But now. NOW….
I can look my gay kid in the eye and tell her that we left the Church in part because of its horrible actions and policies against LGBTQ people.
I can point to blog articles I wrote that were later published on NoMoreStrangers.org.
I have a strong narrative that reflects I chose the queer children of God over the Church and its homophobic teachings. I can prove that I never believed God rejected LGBTQ people….that He never rejected HER. I was told he did, and I decided not to worship that fabrication. We took these actions long before we, or she, knew she was gay.
What better legacy could we leave her?
I can hold my head up and know, KNOW, that her life is better because I have not subjected her to years of programming in the Church that may have driven her to depression or self-loathing. My kid can tell me anything about herself, and feel free to do so in safety.
Leaving the Church for the reasons we left it was absolutely the best decision we ever made, and the new reality of parenting a gay teen only seals that to my soul complete. It is worth every ounce of pain we experienced to show your granddaughter these artifacts of our journey that affirm our embrace of her eternal identity and worth as a child of God.
I love you. So I say this. Part 13
“So how are you guys feeling about the Church?”
You probably believe that consequences follow my actions, and you are right. The actions I’ve taken in my apostasy definitely create consequences, and they will continue to do so. Perhaps you ponder the accountability I have for my sins.
I’m sure you feel safe in following the prophet, and believe that only good consequences can come from that. But as you ponder my accountability for my actions, I invite you to consider your own. Your actions, too, have consequences that follow. I am not here to call you to repentance.
You want me to witness the good in the Church, and I testify that I do. I know it well, and you have seen me fully and with all my heart invest in that goodness. I have seen the lit side of the planet.
I ask you to consider to see the darkness too, where the Light does not shine. It is very much there, and it is inhabited by loved ones. Like turning off the porch lights, you cannot properly see in the darkness unless you allow your vision to adjust. If you fear it, you won’t meet those who wander in it. Those who need you.
You may call me to my repentance when you are ready for me to call you to yours. It is a privilege to repent, and together we may get through this.
You cannot say you chose your gay grandchild over the church. You cannot say you thought Prop 8 or the Exclusion Policy were enough of a reason for you to draw a line. You cannot give her a legacy of choosing her first. Maybe it wasn’t on your radar. You didn’t know better. Ok.
Let’s come to now, a year later. Even in your new knowledge that your granddaughter is gay, you do not draw the line. Even now you choose the Church over her. Even now you pay tithing to a cause that makes the world less safe for your own.
Is this a sin? Am I calling you to repentance?
Let’s just call it a choice, a choice you make each day, a choice with consequences.