By Meg Abhau
“Anonymous May 15, 2013 at 3:25 PM
As far as this post is concerned, it sadly seems more attention-seeking on your part than an attempt to help your son. Are you going to encourage him to live the gospel standards? Or experiment with behaviors or lifestyles that cannot be eternal? And are you encouraging him to make HUGE decisions too early and TOO PUBLIC? He seems too young to be concerned about sexuality at all. I know I never could have made such a big decision at 13!
How do we tell the difference between biological gays and situational or behavioral gays? You have to admit, it’s become a fad. It’s stylish. I do not know your son, so I don’t know what he’s like. But I’ve met MANY effeminate males that are not gay.
You say, “If given the chance now, if I had the opportunity to make my son straight, I wouldn’t.” WHY??!! Why would you not want to spare him this trial? Wouldn’t you rather he be able to serve a mission, get married and become a father? Don’t those things bring you your deepest joy?
http://www.mormonsandgays.org/” (the links here were provided by anonymous)
- · I actually get this response a lot. My answer: Use your great imagination. Really imagine that this is your wonderful child that you gave birth to, wiped their tears away, lovingly consoled them when someone was not so nice to them on the playground, tucked them in at night, prayed for them daily, and a million other things we parents do. Imagine now that they are gay. Does that really change how you would treat them? Would you really not support them? Might you even tell them that they are unnatural and should live a different way than their inner self is telling them given the risks of suicide? For me, I choose the human over the doctrine. I know this will make some people uncomfortable, but it’s very comfortable for me.
- · This is a fair question. I did not elaborate enough in my first blog post. First and foremost, yes we admire Andy before and after we learned that he was gay. Andy and my sister were setting up to marry. He came out to her 2 months before Jon discovered he was gay. We admire Andy because he is a good a decent human being. We did not put extreme emphasis on his being gay. We did not put it (his gayness) on a pedestal to be admired. We admired his courage for doing the right thing and following his heart. Of course we love Andy. Jon saw 2 guys kissing and this made sense to him. It surprised him that it made sense to him because he saw himself as a straight Mormon guy who wanted to serve a mission and marry a girl in the temple. He looked into those feelings instead of running away from them. He wondered what it meant. He questioned some thoughts he had about other guys the way he SHOULD have thought about girls. He read some articles on the internet about questioning your sexuality (which does not mean sex), but wanted a personal opinion from a gay person. Andy was Jon’s first gay friend that he knew of. He asked Andy what he thought. Andy was amazing and understanding and helped Jon to come to conclusions on his own in a very loving way. I am forever grateful for Andy and his insight and willingness to share his thoughts and experiences with Jon. I am also grateful that my son was willing to share his entire conversation that he had with Andy, and removed any reservations we might have had about what kind of information Jon was receiving.
- · Again, a good question. I am sure a lot of people wondered about this. Coming out (I say this in ‘we’ terms because we did this as a family) was the hardest thing we have ever done. I am usually a more private person. Everything in me wanted to hide him from hurt or mean people. When Jon came out to me, he told me about the dark and lonely place of the ‘closet’. He had done some research on it and he felt it was not for him. I told him that he deserved better and that we would do whatever he wished to facilitate this. We decided we didn’t want to look over our shoulders and wonder who knew or didn’t know. Or how people thought about it. It seemed like the perfect way to protect him. We could know EXACTLY how people felt and we could filter that for him. I did my own research. I read all day and all night. I think I got 2 hours of sleep every 3 days on average. I learned about countless children who felt they were not worthy to live and be gay and who killed themselves. This is where I put the human first. I will teach my son to live a Christ like life. I will teach him to love his fellow man. He will have his free agency, as I have mine, to make the best choices he can for his life. He will be guided by loving parents who want what is best for him. He will serve his fellow man, not because he is a Mormon, but because he is a good person. I am not raising a heterosexual child. I am raising a homosexual child and we will do what is best for his emotional and physical health. This is not a ‘decision’ you make. This is who you are. You can’t remember making the decision to be straight because you didn’t have to. It is accepted by society. Gay people do not have this luxury. They have to confront their biggest fears, somehow manage to accept themselves, and then announce it to the world in order to stay true to themselves.
- · This is a question that I have a hard time answering. I can only answer this question with a question. Would you experiment? Do you think any straight guy would ‘experiment’? It might seem more like a ‘fad’ because kids are coming to terms with their sexuality and trying to gain acceptance. I was unaware that being gay was ‘cool’. It seems quite the opposite in my world with how they are treated. I don’t know anyone who would risk losing what most gay people lose to try out a fad. These are just my personal thoughts on this.
- · “Situational gays don’t actually exist in substantial numbers. An important study showed that by age 21, 67% of self-identified heterosexual male teens had engaged in heterosexual sex, but only 1% had engaged in homosexual sex. In other words….straight teens are also not confused about their orientation, and are not actually experimenting with ‘gay’ sex. And of that 1% who is experimenting, many of them are likely gay or bisexual, but simply unable to admit it to themselves or in the survey. The point is this. If teens were so confused about their orientation, then more of these teens would have tried out same-sex activity. Meanwhile, a huge proportion of them tried out the activity that interested them. When a 13 year old girl has a crush on the cute guy at school does anybody wonder if she is confused? When a 13 year old boy starts being obsessed with the figures of their female classmates is anybody suspecting that they are confused about their orientation. People only pathologize it in the case of gays, but we are now realizing that young LGBT people are just as aware of what their attractions are, and we are also realizing that these attractions are stable and persist with minimal change throughout the rest of their adolescence…and the rest of their lives.”
- · Part of me wants to say that it is none of anyone’s business how I have raised my son, but I feel I must address this. I raised my son as a typical Mormon kid. I might have been a little lenient with super hero movies because he loved them so much, but he did not watch television that I did not approve of, he watched PG movies only if I approved of them. I was probably stricter than other Mormon moms out there. We have a strict policy when it comes to ‘media’ and what he is exposed to. I think this helps keep his innocence a little longer and he doesn’t have to grow up faster than needed. Youth is far too fleeting. As far as our political preferences, which are usually personal and private, we were very conservative. I’m ashamed to admit, even, that we were far right. We are facing the gray now and listening with the intent to understand where people are coming from and that feels more fulfilling and loving.
- · The only thing I can say to this is to do some research. Ask hard questions. Like, why do so many GLBTQ kids kill themselves? What message are they receiving? Are they receiving a message of love and hope? Calling this an ‘infirmity’ might be one example of why GLBTQ people do not feel loved or accepted. What matters most in life to me is that my son knows who he is, accepts who he is and shares love with the world around him. I asked my father in heaven in my darkest hour, “Who could deny such a soul as this?” He replied, “Not I.” I feel very strongly that I received personal revelation that day. We as a church preach that we are entitled to personal revelation. (James 1:5) I am being led by the spirit to do what is best for my child and my family. Jake and I both are. Some people might just have to trust that. But, not accepting us will not make us change our course. We are confirmed in the road we are on. It is a road that leads to unconditional love. The love that Christ teaches.
- · I cannot speak for Jake, but I do feel the same. Jon is so special to us. His being gay is a part of him. I don’t know who I would get, were I to take this away from him. He is kind and loving and accepting. He is smart. He has dreams of becoming a doctor someday and has the brains to do it! He is an accomplished musician. All of these things are a part of him and I would not change one hair on that head or one part of who he is. When he was born, we had all these hopes for him. (mission, temple wedding, children) We did not raise him to be gay. He was born this way. Of course we had to go through a sort of mourning for the loss of that future. But, we feel that his new future can be just as fulfilling. He is teaching us to love unconditionally and we are better for it. We simply do not see this as a trial anymore. It is the biggest blessing of our lives. (if you are interested in Jake’s opinion, please see his post titled An Undeserving Prophet)