Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Best Two Years? Maybe Not For Everyone

Confessions of a Straight Mormon Boy, Part III
(Note: what follows is a work of fiction, a hypothetical look at a fake world in an attempt to cultivate empathy in the real world)

My LDS Mission:

Like most 18- to 21-year-olds in the LDS church, I served a full-time mission after high school. My mission was one of the hardest times of my life. I learned a lot and many times I actually loved serving a mission, but mostly I look back on that time of my life and think of pain and sadness.

As a missionary, we are never really alone. We are always coupled to another missionary with whom we do everything--live, eat, study, teach, sleep, etc. Missionary companionships are set up in a way that would normally make the work easier and free of distractions; one guy and one girl are always put together. Every month or two, your companion changes but it is always someone of the opposite sex. I never admitted it, but for me this was often a great challenge. All of my companions were women, who were of course attracted to other women. Though we weren't really supposed to talk about it, sometimes my companion would say something like, "Dang, it was hard to focus on the lesson that time because that girl was so attractive!" I had to pretend to not agree.

But that's only the beginning. I was often paired up with some really awesome girls. We would spend all of our time together and in many cases, I shared very spiritual growing experiences with my companions and grew close in talking about these experiences. Sometimes we may have grown a little too least for me. I admit that I actually started to fall in love with one of my companions.  I tried to ignore it, and I told myself that it was wrong. Unfortunately, it was not uncommon for a companion to walk around the apartment in nothing but her underwear (or less). I hated myself for liking it. Sometimes I would just lock myself in the bathroom and cry for a long time. I would lie and tell everyone that I was okay, but I was sick inside. I hated myself.

In the end, I did get through it. Most people speak about their missions as the best time of their lives. I usually pretend like I agree, but overall my mission is not a time I look back on with too much fondness.

This is Part Three of a seven-part blog series. Continue to Part Four: Can't I be Mormon AND Straight?

Or you can read the full article at A Straight Mormon Comes Out.

(Note: This series in in response to A Gay Mormon Coming Out (live)Gays and MormonsMormon Couple With A Gay Husband And Straight Wife, and other similar stories/videos)

1 comment :

  1. In physics it's often the math that leads to new insights. I once was privileged to attend a lecture by Paul Dirac in which he explained how he derived the diameter of an electron. It turns out the math involved a square of the charge parameter. That mere fact led him to hypothesize that there could be positive electrons as well as negative ones. It wasn't too much later that positrons were actually observed in experiments. The charge of the electron was not relevant to the diameter.

    If love is the state and two people of the same gender can love just as much as two of mixed gender, or vice versa, then gender is not relevant nor is it a determining factor. When the math works, the physical reality has to be there somewhere.