Wednesday, June 14, 2017

"How it Is" in June

Imagine receiving a witness of something beyond yourself, something that is beyond your ability to fully comprehend.  It's something that's not completely yours.  Yet it's something that just seems to be true, like a law of nature...gravity, for instance.  It's also something very specific and sacred.  Not just in the temple or in the Church, but in society...at least according to what you have learned.  In this day and age, however, in order to be on board with the new American dream, the new civil rights movement, "equality" or to be known as a decent human being...you have to deny that truth... 


More people could probably relate to that than just those in my little corner of humans.  But anyway, this post is meant to just be an illustration of how things are, what it's like, a peak into what I think about and how I feel.  It doesn't need fixing or clarification to show how wrong I am.  Half the battle is just finding the reasons why I feel what I feel and being at peace with them.  Of course I don't speak for all gay people, but neither do they speak for me.  There are a few, but they're far between.

It's not a secret that Pride month is a conflicting month for me.  Some people probably would just think I'm anti and tell me to get on with it.  Some would say "If it's not for you, don't go."  It's not that it's not for me.  It's awkward.  Doesn't anyone ever wonder exactly why it would be awkward or maybe not the best for all people who are gay?

The thing is, parts of the Pride movement are for me.  It's responsible for my right to exist and to love who I love.  It's part of the reason why I'm able to talk about same-sex attraction without having to worry as much as in previous generations.  Even with all the many nuances, it could very well be part of the workings of the Lord in getting discussions going in churches.  There are many things, about the origins of Pride, at least, that could resonate with the common human experience...striving for an end to violence, bullying, exclusion from families and being ashamed of oneself.  Many people say this is what Pride is. I don't disagree, yet it's still part of what makes it all awkward for me.

Another thing...I can't say how much I would LOVE to walk down the street hand in hand or expressing some other form of affection with someone I love.  It would be wonderful to not have to have a specific month or weekend in order to do that.  It would be even better if it wasn't considered a gay thing (I mean really...men hold hands in various places throughout the world)!

I'm sure there are many other activities and events that would be fun for family and friends.  I love the concept of hugging booths as well!  The only question is if I'm the one in the booth offering the hugs, or if I'm part of the gay crowd receiving hugs.  This really just represents another branch of awkwardness.  In a "building bridges" situation, am I one of the straight Mormons reaching out?  Or am I one of the oppressed gay people in need?  Yeah...this exemplifies some of my own pride.  I know some people would love to answer that and figure it out for me.  I also have my own answers.  But as I said, this is just an illustration of what it's like.

I think the kicker for me...is the potential of coming across signs and symbols that...from my perspective...mock some things I hold sacred.  Maybe it's something that is unique to me.  Yes, even if I was hand in hand with a guy or trying my best to support individuals, it would still be sensitive to me.  It's bigger and different than individual agency and personal morality.  I already understand that I'm sort of an oddball, but it's just how I feel.  It's part of being on the very edge of the LGB community.

From what I gather, it seems like the Pride festival would cater to everyone, but hopefully I've offered an illustration as to why it's more complex and not black and white for some of us.  As I mentioned before, it's not something I want to fix, it just is what it is.  It could just be a Utah Pride thing for me.  I just know that I need friends who see me and understand me as I am right now...even gay friends who understand where I'm coming from and/or possess the same feelings I do.
I realize that participation in Pride isn't an official requirement, but who knows?  Maybe at some point I'll show up at an event...preferably with someone who gets me, who will hold hands with me and acknowledge how big of a deal it would be.

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