Today, after much thoughtful consideration, I am going to come out of the closet. I am very seriously perplexed about homosexuality.
Not that I don’t see how a woman could love a woman, or a man love a man. Rather, why I shouldn’t be happy for them. I am caught between how I should feel, and how I naturally feel (though I always cringe to use the word natural in a gospel-centered discussion on account of our much-applied phrase “natural man.”) I understand that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Fine. No problem with me there, however, what about love? The care, happiness and progression that occurs when you are deeply committed to another being is among this world’s (and perhaps the next one to come) greatest experiences.
I support our church leaders when it comes to the sacredness of the family. I need help understanding why these types of human relations impact my family. How to come to terms with the homosexual person versus the homosexual threat.
Perhaps I could relate to her my lesbian-friend sprinkled past.
There was Lara who had loads of red hair and freckles. She found me at Girls Camp my second year. Lara was several years older than me, which explains why I followed her, and her shady friend, in to the woods to watch them smoke joints and quote Pink Floyd lyrics. Never having even smelled, fresh marijuana (I am a Provo girl my friends. Provo!), I was scared out of my head! She tried to coax me into the woods again–for yet another séance–but thank my guarding angel for warning my mother, who came running full-speed out of her tent, just before I disappeared into the thick of the Forrest.
For months after that, Lara would come to my house, play her guitar and eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. A couple of times she slept on my neighbor’s lawn. I knew this because the next morning she would call and tell me what time I turned off my bedroom light. This all ended one night when Lara showed up at my front door late asking that I get I hurry and get my belongings. She found a ride to California, but she didn’t want to leave me. I hugged her goodbye and didn’t hear anything until she sent out announcements for a love celebration involving Lara and her girlfriend.
I don’t think Lara was ever in-love with me, I think she felt comfortable around me because I was naive enough to believe (Provo girl!) that she was just like everybody else I knew (but with a smoking problem. . . tsk, tsk.) Her being a lesbian was news to me the day the announcement came.
The next year at Girls Camp my camp leader fell in love with my friend’s camp leader and six months later, as I was over babysitting my camp leader’s children, I heard them discussing how they like their eggs done. This was important info as they were planning on moving in together.
I remember feeling really happy for them, although it weirded me out as a young fifteen-year-old. They were both near forty, one never before married, the other had gone through a miserable divorce, and there they were discussing eggs. And they both agreed sunny side up. Now, how often does that happen?
My third year at girls camp I met Tia. We all loved her and after camp was over, we spent hours and hours at her house hanging out and eating treats. Tia and I became especially good friends and she let me drive her car around the neighborhood. My parents began to worry when this hanging out became a twice-daily ritual. Soon after I started my sophomore year they told me that I couldn’t hang out with Tia anymore, I needed to be with friends my own age. Tia was very upset. She stopped coming around.
Years later, as I was getting ready to go on a mission, Tia showed up at my doorstep, unrecognizable. She was a man. Her girlfriend, who looked just like Hugh Grant, was working at the UVRMC, she explained. She decided to come around and look me up.
Tia said that the whole experience with me had really angered her. She stopped going to church, stopped trying to feel holy, quit asking progressive questions. Although she had been a practicing lesbian for years before she was our camp leader, she felt like she was making an active attempt to become a mainstream Mormon. When my parents forbade the relationship she felt defeated. She said to me,
“I knew I wasn’t going to the Celestial Kingdom, so I decided to just live as best as I could until I eventually died.”
I never heard from Tia again.
I went on to serve a mission and came to know, with a quality understanding, the many facets of Jesus Christ. He took the responsibility of judging away from us so that we could focus on loving. And in the end, when applied to my friends, it makes the most sense.
How does it make sense to you?