I thought this would be the case after I heard the news Thursday regarding the leaked revised Handbook policy about the church excluding kids of same-sex couples from membership. I hoped to 'make sense of it all' after a couple days of cooling off.
I haven't. It still bothers me. I'm still upset (if not more upset than I was on Thursday.)
The thing is, I had a hard time pinpointing WHY I was so upset. I've distanced myself from the church over the past couple years, so in reality, this shouldn't bother me.
But it does.
During my weekend of thinking and pondering, this thought came to my mind several times: Why on earth would a gay couple want to raise their kids in the church?! In a way, I was trying to play devil's advocate so I could achieve that "moving on" process I just mentioned.
Then I came across this heartbreaking post on Facebook from Devon Gibby, the author of A Shout From the Housetops. (please read the FB post.) Ouch. Right in the feels.
Devon is gay, married a woman, had two kids. They divorced, and he now lives with his partner. Devon and his ex-wife have decided to raise their kids in the church. But because Devon now lives with his partner, the kids' membership and baptism are now in jeopardy.
"Children of felons and rapists don't even have such a harsh punishment. I'm really hurting. Just when I thought that I had found a way to live with tolerance toward the church they've come out and attacked my family in a very personal way."I then thought of other folks who used to be in mixed-orientation marriages who have since divorced. Now their kids' membership and baptism are in jeopardy.
This is why I'm upset. As Devon said, it's an attack on the family. I'm angry because this policy affects a lot of families, families that are just trying their best to do what is right.
We are hurting. We are confused. Even a handful of TBM's are hurting.
Some other random observations from the last couple days: (because you know, I like short, random stuff)
*Of course, they got the apostle with the gay brother to make the clarification. It bothers me the church uses D. Todd everytime they need to discuss LGBT issues. "Look, even an apostle has a gay family member! We love all the gays!" (sarcasm)
*The Ex-Mormon forum on Reddit gained 130 subscribers in just one day. The average is 20. Many people are threatening to leave the church because of the new policy.
*Can't confirm - but I've seen several statements that calls to suicide hotlines have greatly increased this weekend.
*Zing. (read the whole thing)
*An astonishing 18 blog posts were made to the Moho Directory just this weekend, the majority venting about the policy changes. I've never seen so many posts in a short amount of time.
*Most of my straight, TBM Facebook friends either shared the Well Behaved Mormon Woman blog post or the one about the woman raised by two lesbians (sorry, not linking here) with the line "This is a great perspective." It's like they're doing their duty by sharing the link, then moving on. They don't get it.
We are hurting.
While many of us can vent via a blog post or Facebook status, I'm extremely worried about those who have remained quiet. Those who are deeply closeted and are confused by all the news. Those in MOM's who have kids and thinking about their future. Those preparing to go on a mission, but now not so sure. Those who are scared to talk about this for fear of rejection.it's a tough weekend to be a gay mormon.— Tyler Glenn (@tylerinacoma) November 7, 2015
To these people - please know that you are loved.
I love you.
You are not alone.
I've seen the above graphic many times on FB and Twitter. These resources are there for you. And I'm here too. If you need to vent, chat, etc., use the Contact Form or email me, and I'll listen (er, uh, read.)
To the leaders of North Star. I've made it very clear I don't agree with your organization. But your believing members are hurting. They are confused. They need help. Please develop a buddy system and have members check up on each other - and if possible - in person. North Star folks are extremely delicate. They need a listening ear. They need a hug. And I'm sorry, but a temple trip and fast two weeks from now ain't gonna cut it.
It's going to take some time for me to cool down. At the same time, we all need to reach out to those directly affected by these changes and show them our gratitude.
You are loved.