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Wound Healing

I have been thinking a lot lately about wounds.  Informing my family about my homosexual orientation has caused a lot of pain, confusion, and sorrow.  It has made me reflect on the situation often.  Would it have been better for me to have pretended to be straight for the rest of my life?  I did so well for the first 27 years of life, and I'm quite confident I could have continued to do so.  I don't enjoy the fact that my family and friends are experiencing negative emotion in connection with my revelation.  I certainly didn't intend to inflict such pain on anyone, least of all my family whom I love so dearly.

So, why was it that I felt the need to "come out" and has it been worth it?  I feel the best way to explain this is with an analogy.  I am no expert in medical science, but I do have a basic understanding of physical wounds.  A deep tissue wound needs to be cleaned out and disinfected or it will not heal properly.  I view my treatment of my sexual orientation (prior to a few months ago) as a person with a deep wound who merely places bandage on top of bandage over a wound that he wishes to ignore.  In the hopes of concealing the wound or pretending that it does not exist, more bandages are placed on it.  Finally coming to the conclusion that the wound was not healing, I decided to strip away all of the bandaging, expose the wound for all the world to see, then clean it, disinfect it, and allow it to heal the right way.

Lest anyone misconstrue my analogy here, I do not mean to say that homosexuality itself is a wound or dirty or needs to be cleaned out and disinfected.  Rather, I feel as though the real wound was all of the conflict, confusion, doubt, and shame I felt connected with my sexual orientation.  It didn't make any sense to me that I was gay, so I merely covered it up and pretended that it didn't exist.  But, the time came that I decided to announce it to my family (and shortly thereafter to the world), despite how vulnerable that would make me.  This wound was in fact so deep that I could not strip away all of the bandaging to fully expose the wound for cleaning without tearing open a part of the heart of each one of my loved ones.  And now my wound is exposed.  It is there for all the world to see.  I am cleaning and dressing my own wound, and I want to help all of my loved ones to clean and dress their own part of that wound the best I can.

Part of that cleansing process is acknowledging the truth about my sexual orientation.  I did not choose it, nor do I have the ability to change it.  I am not evil for being homosexual rather than heterosexual.  God loves me just as much as He loves all of my straight family and friends.  That much, I doubt any of my family would disagree with.  This next part; however, I fear will rend open the wounds far deeper on all of their tender hearts, and while it pains me to do so, I feel that I am obligated in it.  What I say next, while it is merely my own belief (and it quite unquestionably contradicts the doctrine of my church), I will state it as fact, just as I did with all of the previous statements.  Homosexual relationships (for gay people) can be just as beautiful, fulfilling, and rewarding as heterosexual relationships are for straight people.  God can smile upon the dedicated, faithful commitment between two members of the same sex precisely the same way He smiles upon that between members of the opposite sex.  The reason that I have the feelings that I have is so that I can find a man to share my life with, and that the two of us can experience all of the joys connected with companionship.  God did not give me homosexual attractions so that I can deny them, ignore them, or even be aware of them but repress them for my whole life.  He gave me these feelings so that I could take advantage of them and experience joy.

I will go even one step further.  I truly feel as though God has blessed me with same-sex attraction so that I can turn around and bless the lives of other people.  There are so many people out there suffering greatly because they are homosexual and society or religion tells them that they are evil or wrong or revolting because of it.  They hate themselves because they don't want to be gay.  They just want to be "normal".  They just want God to love them, but feel like He never will because they're gay.  If I could, I would reach out to each such person.  Of course I cannot, nor am I meant to.  But, I would not be able to look my God in the eye on the great and dreadful day of judgment if I did not reach out and help even one soul struggling to come to terms with his/her own homosexuality.  I will stand as a pillar of strength for any gay/questioning youth (or adult) who may cross my path.

I will encourage any homosexual person I come across to love himself, to accept his orientation, and to acknowledge God's love for him.  Beyond that, I will not encourage anything.  If he wishes to believe doctrine taught by a church that homosexual behavior is sinful and therefore should not ever act on those feelings, then I will do my best to support him in his belief and allow him to remain active and faithful in his church.  If he wishes to choose the same path I have chosen--to embrace his homosexuality and to seek a lifetime companion, then I will certainly encourage him in doing that as well.

I love the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I was born in it and raised in it.  I have believed in it all the days of my life, and I will likely go to the grave believing in it.  I disagree on the one matter of homosexual behavior.  But, because I love the church so deeply, I will not discourage anyone from being a member of it.  If someone wishes to join the church, I will encourage them in it.  If someone is already a member, I will not encourage them to leave the church (unless they have already made that decision on their own).  I believe that the church is a very good organization and that its leaders are sincere in trying to teach people how to be like Christ, which I feel is a worthwhile effort.  I believe the world would be a much better place if everyone practiced more Christlike attributes.  That is what I mean to do, and I will encourage all others to do so as well.  Come unto Christ and learn of Him.

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