I was talking with someone yesterday about the difference between understanding and compassion. As we've come out to more and more people, a select few seem to have both understanding about why we've made the choices we have, and compassion for how difficult our road has been and the struggle we've been through. Some react with understanding, but not really compassion: "So, you're gay. I get it. Move on." But some of the most touching reactions have been from our Mormon friends and family who don't really understand, and have sadness for our divorce and our leaving the church, but are able to express an incredible amount of compassion anyway.
It's easy to have compassion for someone who is in a difficult situation that you've been in before, or that you can easily relate to-- rejection while dating, losing a job, becoming ill, etc. It's also relatively easy to have compassion for someone who experiences a loss that you can't imagine, but is common within human experience, such as the death of a child or spouse.
It's one of the hardest things in this life to have real compassion for those you don't understand, and I wanted to thank all of you who have expressed that for us. I have felt so much love over the past few weeks, and though I feel the need to explain my choices so that you might gain greater understanding, I did not want it to go unsaid that I am incredibly grateful for the outpouring of love we've received. I am proud to have surrounded myself with such a generous group of people, and know that I can expect to receive love and support from you in the future, no matter what.