Sunday, December 21, 2014

Yes, I Have A Gay Son! by Lori Christensen

I Have a Gay Son

Note from blogger Carole Warburton: I feel truly blessed to have become friends with Lori and others like her. Some of these wonderful women's stories I've shared on this blog, and I still have more to go. My world is a better place because of these valiant mothers. I know Lori's son Devin is lucky to have her for a mother. Please take the time to read this inspiring story. 

Have you ever wondered if you will have a gay child?

It never crossed my mind when my husband and I were married 37 years ago. Baby boy one and baby boy two came 18 months apart, followed three years later by an adorable baby girl. We finished our perfect little family 4 years later with another boy.

The babies are first handed to you wrapped in their little flannel blankets, struggling to open their eyes. You raise your finger to their tiny hand and they clutch your finger. The bond is made. My baby forever!!

Did you ever wonder if you would have a perfect child?

Neither did I, but this last boy was over-zealously obedient, eager to please, kind hearted, good-natured and very intelligent.  I don’t remember ever having to discipline him.  He was always home on time, chose great friends, had high standards, very goal-oriented.  He graduated from high school as Valedictorian with a four-year scholarship. He was a four-year seminary graduate. He received his eagle scout at age 16.  He served a two-year Spanish- speaking mission for our church. After returning he graduated Magna Cum Laude from our local university and landed a job almost immediately.

Meantime our other 3 children married and we were blessed with 8 grandchildren.

About 2 ½ years ago as my son, my husband and I were driving , out of the  blue our son exclaimed that he was gay.  Things went silent.  In an instant it was as though the last 25 years flashed in front of my eyes.  In my heart of hearts, I had known all along.  I didn’t cry- no fit of rage- no feelings of bitterness.

Those three words didn’t change my bond at all. He was placing his heart in our hands. He was the same person he was 2 minutes before he uttered those words.

My son had spent 25 years searching the very depths of his soul.  Each thought and feeling had to be guarded so that his secret would not be revealed.  He knew he was different from age 10. My question; Can a child really choose something they don’t even understand? This was his identity.  This is how he came… And God loves all of his children alike, much more than any of us can ever comprehend.

If the LDS church’s main focus is on family, why and how can these three words cause a loving LDS family to shun or reject, or give up one of the Lords children?
The worth of souls is great in the eyes of God. Wasn’t it Christ who left the ninety and nine and searched for the missing one?

Sure the dynamics of our family has changed.  There are friends who don’t associate with us anymore.  Those who can’t understand our reaction to “choose love” (Actually it wasn’t a choice, it came naturally”.)  There is family who will not allow their children around my son.  There are those praying for us to repent of something, those underlining and drafting scriptures to read to us.  There are those  who “un-friend” me.

Now was my turn to soul search.  What would God have me learn? I thought I already knew about homosexuality. I was basically wrong on every point.  I was forced to seek answers.

How often has the Holy Spirit tried to tell us something we needed to know but couldn’t get past the massive iron gate of what we though we already knew?”

I cannot imagine struggling 25 years to be someone he could never be and working toward a future he knew he could never have in our church.  I know it felt like a lose-lose situation.
I can’t marry in the temple!
I can’t have my OWN family!
How do I get to the celestial kingdom?

To deny an LDS saint this goal is to strip them of their very reason for being.
Being a Latter Day Saint is our family’s heritage, our culture, our soul.  This is how my son was raised.

Do I feel guilt that I took my son to church for 25 years to hear that he was an abomination, that he was broken, but would be fixed in the next life, that unless he changed to a more worthy state he could never have the one thing Mormons value most in life, FAMILY?  Yes, I do feel guilt.  The church teaches wonderful things, but had I known that my son was struggling with this at such an early age I would have tried to protect him from the hurtful statements made.

Our belief is based on hope.  LGBT children and adults are stripped of this!!

I would lie to say my faith has not been shaken.  We are still here.( In the church) My son is not!! Statistically many family members leave the church also.

People are so ignorant of this issue.  I had someone tell me I saw everything now through my gay glasses.  I figure that is better than living in blindness to the fact that statistically speaking there are dozens of youth and adults in every stake in the church, not including those who are still living in fear of coming out.  Most are inactive, afraid of ridicule, ostracism, shunning or judgment.

There are over 400 LGBT youth (many from Mormon families) who are homeless and wandering the streets and living in the canyons of the Wasatch front because their parents ( who profess to be Christ’s disciples) kick them out. What about those who decide to end their life because they conclude it is the only release from the pain and conflict.

When denied  “HOPE” of a meaningful relationship, one is left with deep emotional wounds, depression, illness, and thoughts of suicide.

Am I angry with church leaders because they can’t promise a change of Doctrine?

I have great faith in my Heavenly Father.  He would not create a child with such a strong and courageous soul and not have a place in his plan for him. We simply don’t know all things- we can’t see everything.  What may seem contradictory now may be perfectly understandable as we search for truth.

What do I want from society, my church, my friends and family?

Please open your hearts, try on my gay glasses and see the human family comes in every shade of difference.  The greatest and smallest of us possess as many unique talents as we do weaknesses.  But we tend to miss the common ground we all walk on.

We as a society tends to separate ourselves according to our differences rather than rejoicing in the diversity and richness those differences provide.”

                                                                                    Gordon B. Hinckley

My sexuality is only ONE part of who I am and not the part I care to have others focusing their judgment on.  I wish the same for my son.

I don’t have an agenda----- Neither does my son
We would like respect, our dignity, the right to the common need of companionship and intimacy.

We both have hopes, fears, and aspirations.

My “ Heterosexual Lifestyle” pretty much equals my sons “ Homosexual Lifestyle”!

What are my hopes for my son?

I pray everyday for God to protect him from the ignorance, hatred, violence and bigotry the world throws.

I want him to be happy, enjoy life, laugh and dream, to feel and forgive.   I pray he will love God and humanity!

Will I try to change my son?

No. Never
This is how God sent him. This is who he is .
My love is open- hearted and unapologetic.  I love him because he is sweet, caring, smart, original, and especially because he is mine.

That baby boy who trustingly clutched my finger with his tiny hand 27 years ago created a love and a bond that will never be broken.

Yes, I have a Gay son!

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