|No idea who these people are. Just your basic stock photo. :)|
Moving on. The more I've accepted my sexuality, the less active I've become in the LDS Church. I've wanted to stay under the radar when it comes to church activity, and I've successfully done so. Here's how I did it:
1. Move out of the old ward.
2. Transfer records to the new ward.
3. Don't go to the new ward.
I've only been contacted twice since moving to my new place. Both included a casual invite to attend church, but neither carried much pressure.
The break from church has been nice - I'm less stressed, anxiety has gone down, and I don't feel as depressed. Plus having a full weekend - 2 whole days - is pretty dang awesome.
But there are some repercussions from flying under the radar: my social life has disintegrated. All my life, my main circle of friends have been people in my ward, stake, seminary, institute, etc. etc. Yes, there have been co-worker friends, neighborhood friends, etc., but the majority have been from church. Now that I've moved (about 25 miles) from the old ward, starting anew socially has been difficult. While I consider myself an extrovert, I've really struggled making new friends outside of the Mormon bubble.
Online friends/acquaintances suggest I look for people on Meetup or try a gay bar/church/hangout. But the thought of that gives me as much anxiety as returning to church!
I realized just how much I miss social outings a couple weeks ago; I met up with my old group of church friends. (We could meet more often, but our current distance makes it a real challenge.) It was a simple restaurant dinner out on the patio. The weather was amazing, food was good, and I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with everyone. We all laughed and had a great time. I miss these moments I've taken for granted for the past 20 years.
I know what you're thinking. "GMS, you've decided to not go to church anymore, so quit being a cry baby and find some new friends." (While the TBM's are likely suggesting I just go back to church.) And I could respond with: "Yes, you're probably right. I need to get out more." Seeing this all typed out is somewhat of a motivation to get be back on the social track. Stay tuned.
And if you think you live near me (not in Utah), hit me up! :)