I wish I could hand pick who would and would not read this blog post. I wish I could make sure that everyone could understand that I am trying to write this in support of one group, not to attack another. I wish that no one reading this post could find any reason to be offended or disagree with me.
But they will.
There will probably be much louder voices against what I am going to say, than the voices who are for it. There will probably be people who abruptly dislike me, instead of a growing number of admirers. This post, that I’m trying to write to tell people I love them, will probably cause some people that I love to hate me.
I’ve been thinking about writing this post for months and I’m tearing up as I write it because I am so scared of people viewing this post as an attack or something that somehow conveys hatred.
So please, please try to understand that my support for one group who needs it does not mean that I love another group less. Please understand that I am choosing to write this in spite of the fact that it may make me look bad to some of you, because I think that it is more important to shout my support to a group of people who are relatively silent.
Please understand that I have procrastinated this post for months, waiting because I wanted to make sure that the timing of this post did not collide with any friends’ posts on Facebook, or any loud social media campaigns. I have tried to be quiet for fear of offending my friends, but I’m afraid that in the process I may have left others I love standing completely alone.
I have friends from all walks of life. Friends of all races, religions, backgrounds, and sexual orientations. Some of the people I love have had very easy lives and some have had unbelievably difficult ones. I care about my friends who have spent years in prison, and I care about people who are seemingly perfect in every way. I have friends who believe in reincarnation, friends who believe in God, friends who believe in the stars, and friends who don’t believe in anything at all. And I don’t love anyone any more or any less because of their beliefs or lifestyle.
I hope that in my life I can make everyone feel loved unconditionally. I pray that my friends know they can come to me even when I don’t understand their struggles or agree with their decisions. I truly aspire to grow more Christlike as I expand my love for every person I come in contact with, regardless of their circumstances and decisions. I wish that I could write a post of support about every trial, question, or moment of difficulty that you have all experienced. I never want a single person I have known to feel that they are alone or unlovable. Because while I may not be capable of knowing the intimate details of what makes every person on this planet wonderful, I truly believe God does know and see those things. I believe He has something to be proud of in every single one of us.
I hope you know that you are loved.
I have many, many homosexual friends. I have many friends who have left the LDS church. I have many friends who have decided that their priority is embracing who they feel they are in what they see as their natural state, and building the best they can be from there. I love those friends.
But this post is for those who stay.
This post is for the people who cross my mind every time I see a post with someone coming out of closet and leaving the church behind. This post is for my friends who are choosing to stay in this gospel and give it all they’ve got anyway. This post is for my friends who have to watch as those who make the choice they are fighting to resist are praised and offered endless support. This post is for my friends who are gay, and who are also active members of the LDS church.
This post is for you friends who are working harder than the rest of us to keep your testimony burning strong, because the world is rooting for you to lose.
The world will constantly call you cowards, and say that you have no heart. The world has told you that by focusing on Christ you are refusing to embrace love. The world is fiercely against you.
I want you to know that I am for you.
I want you to know that it is your choice who you tell about your struggles. It is your decision to post on Facebook or to remain quiet. While I am here for you and ready to listen and offer support in any way I can, I want you to know that you have a right to remain silent if that is what helps you. You are not obligated to open up to me or anyone else in your life. You have a right to decide how public your life is.
I also want you to know that I am sorry. I am sorry that you have to put up such an intense fight. I am so sorry that you have to watch others be praised for a decision that would be easier for you to make. I am sorry that the church does not always handle your situation perfectly. I am sorry that you may feel constantly ripped apart by people from both sides. I am sorry that I will probably never come close to comprehending the struggle you are going through. I am so, so, so sorry if anyone has ever made you feel unloved, or unworthy, or inherently evil, disgusting, or perverted. I am just so sorry for all of the ways this makes your life more difficult.
I think you are incredibly brave.
I think it is brave to stand for what you know is right, even when others are being praised for making the opposite decision. I think it is amazingly courageous, to be fighting part of yourself in order to fight for Christ. I think that it is brave to stick to your convictions, even if the world would disagree.
I think that you are amazing, and I am proud of you.
I just wanted you to know, that if you feel like life would be easier if you gave in, you may be right. But I am proud of you for making the harder decision. I want you to know that I admire you more deeply than you can imagine. I think you are incredibly strong.
To my friends who are silent and who are in this difficult boat I’m speaking of, I just want you to know, I’m here. I’m on your side, rooting you on. I am ready to help or listen in any way I can. I want to thank you for your silent examples and strength and let you know that even though I have no idea who most of you are, I am officially on your side.