Monday, April 8, 2013
It has been three years to the day since I came out to myself. Three years since I first said the words, “Hello world. I am a Mormon young man who is attracted to other men.” Three years of happiness and sadness, triumph and failure, ups and downs, as any full life tends to have.
I’ve come out to everyone. I’ve lived an authentic life. I’ve organized advocacy groups and counseled those in urgent need. I’ve discussed the needs of gay Mormons in the White House. I’ve been to Pride celebrations in four different cities. I’ve celebrated with people as they marry their same-sex partners. I’ve been surprised by allies I never expected. I’ve made some of the best friends in my life. And I’ve been in love.
On the other hand, I’ve been defriended for advocating marriage equality. I’ve experienced a militant bishop and attended church less regularly. I’ve lost the ability to go to the temple over technicalities. I’ve cried because sometimes I still don’t understand why I am. And I’ve suffered heartbreak that stings.
To me, the positives outweigh the negatives. I’m still standing and smiling. I’m still the same person I’ve always been. I’m still the son/friend/uncle/coworker who strives to be good and helps others be happy. And I’m still growing, learning and loving.
The best part about coming out has been the conversations with family, friends and even strangers, bearing my soul and providing a familiar face for the issues that homosexuality and religion raise. Eyes have been opened, hearts warmed and tears shed.
It has been three years since I came out. I’m only at the beginning of my journey, and the road ahead is still unknown. But now, I know I am not alone and that makes all the difference.