Sunday, November 5, 2017

Remember Remember

Remember remember the 5th of November.

Two years ago today was a rough day for me, my kids and hundreds of our friends. The message from our church was that our queer loved ones were not wanted, nor us as allies and families of LGBTQIA individuals.

I was immediately concerned for my own children, along with children of my friends who were serving missions and choosing baptism and activity in the church. Many of them had gay fathers or mothers that were now remarried to members of the same sex, whom they loved and supported. My daughter wrote a letter of resignation from the church that she only recently sent in a month or two ago.

The following weeks and months were no better, as suicides seemed on the rise. A good friend of mine whom I worked with at Brighton LDS Girls camp and her wife, also a friend of mine, were excommunicated right after their marriage. They were both active in the church, and one was teaching primary and had to say goodbye to her primary children. Why should anyone have to choose between the person they love and the church they love? That is abuse, pure and simple.

But there were tender mercies for some as local leaders differed in their enforcement of the policy. A mission president in Russia assured a father and his husband that their daughter would not be sent home, that she was an amazing missionary, and thanks to the parents who raised her.

I made an appointment with my own bishop, ready to resign myself and all of our children. But his reaction of love and support for Scott and our family, and questions of his own for the policy, calmed my immediate anger a bit.

It was the spirit within my heart that has repeatedly and lovingly prodded me to stay LDS on my own terms, and to continue serving in scouting and giving myself through music. I am a "cafeteria" Mormon, doing what is best for me and my family and those I serve.

It has not been easy as some extended family have specifically declared their support for church leaders, regardless of whom it affects--such as their own flesh and blood--and believing the policy was inspired.

Today my "mama dragon" friends have chosen to call this anniversary "self-care Sunday" and many are not attending church, even if they usually do.

I am attending choir practice and Sacrament meeting (to play the organ.) I am wearing a red-ish cardigan to represent the lives lost over this policy, and the blood of Jesus Christ and the Atonement, which if indeed is a true gift from God, will make up for those of us who have lost our testimonies and ordinances because of this battle.

I recently helped my son celebrate his 20th birthday by getting my own tattoo, to remind me of my strength (the lotus is a flower that blooms best in adverse conditions), my difficult journey of LGBTQIA ally-ship and advocacy, and my love for all of my friends and family, regardless of religious affiliation, belief, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Hugs and peace to all.