Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Coming Out, Part III

I've noticed a trend.

Generally speaking, my Mormon friends have expressed sadness upon hearing the news of the end of my marriage and my coming out as gay. Generally speaking, my non-Mormon friends have expressed happiness for me for coming out as gay, while also acknowledging the pain associated with the loss of my marriage for both K and me. There have been exceptions to this trend, but this is where it generally breaks out.

I have been surprised to hear expressions of unconditional love and support and acceptance from people I didn't necessarily expect it from. I have been surprised by silence from others that I expected would be among the first to reach out upon hearing the news. (EDIT on May 25: This sounds harsher than I intended it. People have lives.)

All in all, this has been a very good week for me. As I have indicated before, I feel liberated.


CatchingWaterfalls said...

I'm glad you are having a good week and I'm verry happy for you and proud of you.

Anonymous said...

Wow! How liberating it must be to abandon your faith, breach your covenants and vows, and pawn off the burden of your shame and weak character on your friends and family so you can go off galavanting with other men. Whoopee! Welcome to gaydom!

Chris said...

anonymous, do I know you? Or are you just driving by?

K said...

I am so glad that the majority of the people we care about seem to care about us. Their primary concerns have been for H, for our family, for our daughters, and for our future. While many have expressed sadness at the loss of the relationship they believed us to have, most have found a way to be supportive and loving and eager to see us through, to be there for us in whatever way they can.

Many Mormons have, indeed, said they are sad at our leaving the church, mostly because of the incredible influence H has had as bishop and spiritual counselor. Almost all of them have acknowledged that he is STILL spiritual, still the friend they knew, and still a son of God, although no longer Mormon.

A few have not been so kind. A few have not been able to see past Mormonism, to admit there might be some earthly mistakes in the theology or doctrine of that religion. A few have decided that H is simply not strong enough to bear "the cross of same sex attraction" throughout his life, and in giving up a church which has always told him he was less than righteous because this "attraction" was not relieved or changed, they believe he has abandoned his entire believe system. A few have been so concerned with how his story might affect those still in the faith that they have not even inquired as to how we are doing.

A few have been less then friends.

As they are saddened by the thought that their beloved bishop is apparently now just a lecherous, pleasure-seeking "natural man," I am saddened by the decidedly un-Christ-like attitude with which they display their lack of love for us. Friends, who know who you are, take your own advice and ask yourself what the loving thing is to do here.

I regret that this post must be somewhat anonymous, since I believe that cover to be mostly cowardly. I am respecting H's wishes to stay "Hurricane" and "K" just a bit longer, not out of shame or fear but out of respect for those members of our family who have not yet had the chance to hear our news directly from us.

Thank you to those of you, and you also know who YOU are, who have been so loving and kind to us. You are truly "Christian," regardless of your faith. I thank God every day that the majority of my friends and family seem to fall into this category, and that those who insist on passing judgement are just that-- passing.

Elbow said...

I am so gald that you commented. You're story is amazing to me. I feel like I need to hear your story. Where is your blog? You need one, your voice needs to be heard.
Thanks for your comments. I respect Hurricane so much, and I respect you equally if not more for the amazing support that you have provided your family.
I hope to hear from you more.

Anonymous said...

H & K, I just wanted to say something in behalf of your mormon friends who you've labeled as the ones feeling sad as opposed to the non-mormons who are happy for you. I guess it kind of felt like there is one good response and one bad one. I also don't mean to sound like I'm justifying anyone's hurtful behavior, because I obviously haven't read all the emails or letters you've been receiving.

But I plead with you to understand that the feelings coming from all of us are because of "love." Even the feelings of anger, though I do feel badly that some feel they have to express those things to you. The silence as well, is born out of love, and confusion as to what to think and how to respond. I can only imagine that you both have been through these phases a hundred times more intensely (anger, denial, confusion, silence, loss, sadness, remember we've only been dealing with it a few days now).

If we didn't feel these strong emotions, we'd either have to not care about you guys or love you at all, hence the non-emotion, or we'd have to reject our conviction of the truthfulness of the gospel, which both of you have had a major influence in strengthening (for me and countless others I'm assuming).

I love you guys, and truly hope that you and your family can find happiness, whatever your path may be. It is a true sense of loss and confusion that I feel right now, and know that many others are feeling the same way. I hope you can understand these feelings, if you can remember the ways you guys have deeply cared in the past for the well-being of others in your ward family.

None of this changes the love we have for you, and I hope everyone else's love can be more evident to you even if it is not shown in the way you need to feel it at this time.

Chris said...

we'd have to reject our conviction of the truthfulness of the gospel, which both of you have had a major influence in strengthening (for me and countless others I'm assuming).

No, you don't have to reject your convictions. Neither K nor I want that. And, for one, am glad to hear that I was an influence in heloing strengthen your faith.

I don't want this to get out of hand. We do understand the sadness that many of our friends are feeling--we have felt it ourselves. And we are trying to remind ourselves that we have decided to share our story now, many months after we first began trying to understand how to move forward.

K and I have felt overwhelming love from so many, Mormon and non-Mormon alike. We aren't seeking your approval for the choices we have made. We are trying the best we can to move forward with our own relationship intact, and we hope that despite this difficulty in our lives and the hard issues it raises, we will emerge from it with our love for our friends and family strengthened.

Anonymous said...

As someone who watched this process unfold, let me say simply this: H&K have worked through this process with absolute integrity, care, love, searching, and fidelity to truth, God, love, and the good.

That some cannot see this can only result from two possible sources: ignorance or prejudice. The former is understandable; the latter is predictable. They are related, in any case.

Bottom line: there is much more to this situation that dogma and doctrine, and unless you have spent some time walking in another's shoes, you have no idea how to describe, much less to judge, the path s/he has taken.

koi said...

My heart goes out to you. I've been there.
Assuming you know that neither your decision to practice homosexuality nor your certainty that the church is not "true" will not change, your job now is to build a deep and meaningful life. Proving to others that you have done the right thing, that you're a good person etc. is not what you should be concentrating on. Tearing down is easy, the difficult task is building.

Anonymous said...

I believe in Christ and in His love. He wants us to love one another. But to twist the concept of His infinite love and turn it into acceptance of something the prophets have clearly stated is a sin, is an adulteration of Christian love. I see it as a function of the generation, the city, and the climate of politically correct morality. Current and former Mormons are trying to outdo one another's "coolness" by their posts. When the "books are opened" will they be happy to hold their coolness in their hands as they stand before Christ with what is tantamount to tacit approval of this situation. Love and compassion for the sinner is one thing (and we are ALL sinners, definitely me included) but embracing the sin under the umbrella of loving one another is another. I fear that the X generation misunderstands the difference.