Sunday, October 25, 2009

Questions answered

I've decided to answer Abelard's questions.

How did you get to where you are today?

It's really hard to answer this question because it's so multi-faceted. Life happened. One day I realized that I was attracted to a member of the same sex. I felt no guilt. Period. No guilt. I remained attracted to the opposite sex too, including my marital partner. And others. And then others of the same sex. No guilt, no shame. Why should I?

I understood that I am a sexual person. I never felt the need to self-identify as bisexual, although I have on occasion expressed the thought that others might say I am bisexual. I often said I had no doubts but for my belief in the church that I could easily live and love with a member of the same sex. I am not a young person.

I found it much more difficult to deal with a child coming out who actually wanted to have overtly gay and bisexual relationships. The church's involvement in proposition 8 exacerbated these problems for me and my family. Please note, however, that I don't disagree with the Church and or other member's rights to engage lawfully in the political process.

Are you happy with where you are? why or why not?

I wish that my loved ones were more firm in their testimonies. I am happy where I am with my testimony. I am happy with my sexuality and my sex life. I worry about my spouse's health and what living in old age will bring for us. I do still suffer post traumatic stress symptoms from a number of traumatic events in my life and regular stress from my challenging career. I take an anti-depressant, it helps me sleep and keeps the nightmares manageable.

I am both looking forward to and dreading the empty nest at the same time.

I feel blessed by the atonement and the promises of the endowment. I feel my savior's love. I fasted and prayed a lot for understanding, comfort, for my loved ones this past year. I had a great calling which caused me to really delve into the scriptures. I grew so much in my ability to love in faith. That has made all the difference in the world.

I discovered with gratitude that I don't have to bear all the burdens of this time (specifically the political chaos over gay marriage) and that I could in faith lay this burden at my Savior's feet. And I did.

So yes, I am overall very happy with where I am at now although fifteen months ago I was definitely very much in a crisis.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I hope to have the opportunity to be of significant service to people in developing nations before I die.

I hope I am prepared to pass on to the other side of the veil fully qualified for all the blessings of the celestial kingdom.

I would like to accelerate my spiritual growth in the second half of my life.

What roadblocks do you have and/or have overcome?

I failed, earlier in life, to understand that I was a child of God and just as good as anyone else in church. I learned, only recently, that there was so much more fulness of the gospel than I had been partaking of. I am now feasting.

What advice do you have for others following a similar path that you have?

Seek medical treatment where it is warranted and don't dismiss modern medications, there are many choices. Too many people are reluctant, embarassed or too prideful to admit that they might have a problem that is biological in origin.

Seek to deal with any post traumatic stress symptoms you may have.

Don't waste time looking for easy answers to difficult questions-there aren't any.

Don't engage in guilt where you have done nothing wrong.

Do fully partake of the opportunity to repent when you have sinned or wronged another.

Read the scriptures deeply to answer your own objections, learn to read in context of the times they were written in, pray and fast.

Cherish and develop friendships with both sexes within appropriate bounds. Become a person of warmth.

What advice do you have for family and friends?

Please be respectful of others sexuality. It is not fodder for humor or put downs. I especially do not like jokes about transpeople.

Testimonies are key, do everything you can to keep and grow yours.

Please choose to stay within the church even when you feel as though you are so different, the church is true and it is for everyone. The "details" such as they are can be sorted out in the millenium.

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