A couple of days ago I received a letter from my dear cousin who lives in California. It was a heart felt letter trusting me, and other members of my extended family, with the truth that she is bisexual. As I read her words, believing that this printed letter was not her first draft, I was honored by her courage and deeply felt the love she put into each word as she described her journey and the reasoning behind her decision to let everyone in on this personal part of her world. When her last word was read, my heart spilled over with the love I felt for her. I couldn't wait to reply with a personal letter of my own supporting her right to live her life unharnessed and unashamed.
As I began to share my excitement and support for my dear cousin with a member of my family, my pure love bubble was quickly popped by the harsh judgment and negative words my cousin was trying to avoid by writing such a letter. There was no way I could tame the anger and internalized offense this member of my family had for my cousin and the letter she had written. Feeling defeated and somewhat personally offended by the absolute loveless take this person had on the subject, I ran to a sweet friend, venting my frustrations and crying for the pain I knew he must have felt when he chose to be truthful about himself to friends and family. -A little back story on him, when he was honest to his parents about himself and his homosexuality, he was kicked out of his home and found sleeping at the park. When he told me this, before I could even collect my thoughts I had invited him to live with me in a spare room until he was on his feet. I barely knew him at the time, but could not imagine what he was going through being alone and facing such rejection.
My sweet friend was supportive and understood my pain, which only reinforced my firm belief that Love is the only way to live your life. As a very strong LDS member, I have battled with the idea of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and the perception of it. I firmly believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ and his teachings, therefore I do everything in my power to love all those I meet. If I take away anything in this life, I pray that I take with me the pure love of Christ. I cannot fathom the pain and confusion so many people face in this life without the outside forces that add to the demise of a spirit so loved by God.
I cannot shield my cousin from this type of judgment. I believe she's a stronger individual than I and is more prepared to combat what is no doubt heading her way. The only thing I can do is support and love her. Because of my belief in my religion, I chose for myself to follow it's teachings and principles on the subject. I am not gay. It's just who I am. I did not choose this. I have no personal reference therefore feel completely unqualified on the subject. But I have sinned. I have felt the torment of choices and the outside forces involved. I still carry scars that periodically erupt and remind me of one eternal truth. God Loves us all! I have felt his love for me, when I knew what I had done was beyond rational forgiveness. I knew that I would be exiled from friends and family if it came to light. The absolute fear of that rejection set me in front of bottle of pills and one last cry for help. I apologize for comparing one's lifestyle to my own "sin" but I pray you look past that and see the parallels that follow. I would have rather left this world, than face what others thought of me. I would have rather left this world than face the hatred and rejection from those who were to love me most. So I can relate to the pain that so many young people feel when they decide to take their lives over being gay. I urge you all to lead your life with Love, not only in the LGBT subject, but in all aspects of your life. Christ sacrificed his life for everyone. I believe that entitles everyone to the Love of Christ. We are all set on this earth with the Lord knowing full well what is in store for us and what we are capable of. I am humbled daily for His continual atonement and am in awe of the sheer power of His Love. I pray that those of you reading this will take a moment to find that Love within yourself and then share it with those around you, furthering the light and hope that everyone on this earth is a child of God.