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September 18th, 2017

The Soul Eaters

This came across my newsfeed today…

Mormon apostle’s gay brother shares his religious journey, preaches love for his former partner, faith and family

This story is almost unbearably sad. And…angering. 

I am now a sixty-four year old gay man who has had to try and find love in a world where my hopes and dreams, and the hopes and dreams of thousands like me are turned into other people’s stepping stones to heaven. I’ve written about it extensively. And these stories never get any easier to bear to read.

The choice for gay Mormons themselves, however, is more stark and inescapably painful: Either pursue an intimate same-sex relationship and possibly be cast out of the church or live as a celibate within it.

Christofferson tried both, but ultimately made an agonizing decision. He picked the church.

…and basically left the man who loved him. First story like this I read ages ago ended with the slow decline into drugs and depression of the one left behind, ending with their suicide and some very bitter regrets by the one who walked away because their religion told them to. Or more specifically the heterosexual gatekeepers of religion.

Dig this…

Still, the ever-optimistic Mormon hoped he and his partner could continue their “emotional relationship,” after giving up a physical one.

It proved impossible.

No shit Sherlock. The physical and the emotional are of a piece, a single seamless weave, or it isn’t that kind of relationship. And it’s hard for two people to share a house together that one burned halfway down. Oh look…the other half is still there…what’s your problem?? He told man he had loved that their every intimate moment was something he was now ashamed of, and seems to not understand what that did to him in that very deep place only the lover shares. 

I know that feeling. The hurt never goes away, nor with it, the deeper feelings of rejection, inadequacy, of insufficiency, of unworthiness for love. It’s excruciatingly hard to pick yourself back up again, and try again to find love. I know from hearing it often how this is so for broken hearted heterosexuals. We gay folk live in a world that keeps telling us from all directions that this is but our lot in life. We are damaged goods, not to expect much by maybe pity…from those who put the burden of their prejudices onto us. But of course, as they keep reminding us, it’s all done out of love. Love!

I have to, when I read these, put aside my feelings about the one that was left behind, and try, try very hard, to recognise that they’re both victims in this despicable endeavor powerful men engage in where the dashed hopes and dreams of some people, gay and lesbian people, are made into charms for church bracelets, proofs of devotion. The more gay hearts you break, the closer you get to sit to the throne of Christ.

“This is a story of love for him and his partner and love between those two men, whom I respect and understand,” the former stake president says now. “But it’s also about hard choices.”

Hahahahahaha… Don’t let it break your heart Mr. Former Stake President. The gay man chose you over the one that actually loved him, so you got another stepping stone to godhood out of it.

Two hearts were broken here, and every time a gay person is taught to fear wholehearted love and desire more than the approval of the men behind the pulpit. The one who walked away from love, and the one who was left behind. And this poor world loses something irreplaceable, and becomes a little more lost and lonely, a little more fearful, a little more angry.

Which suits the eaters of souls just fine. 

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