I wrote this recently in response to the comments I have heard many times over comparing single women in the Church to LGBT+ members. I have to admit, I used to think the same thing. I used to think that nothing was asked of LGBT+ members that wasn’t asked of single women. I told my son after he first came out as gay that he could remain in good standing in the Church if he remained celibate. I said to him that he was no different than single women in the Church. They too have to remain celibate. I will never forget him looking into my eyes with great sadness as he said, “Mom, I am nothing like the single women in the Church. They have HOPE!! They have hope that one day they will find someone. There is no hope for me. If I find someone it doesn’t matter, I can’t be with that person. There is no hope.” I have also learned that I didn’t understand the difference between Celibacy and Chastity. Single women are not asked to be celibate, they are asked to live the Law of Chastity. The only group asked to live celibate, which means no relationship at all, are those that are born LGBT.
These were my thoughts I penned for a Facebook post….
Growing up, my best friend and I would go to the old Deseret Gym in downtown SLC. We loved going there and we would swim, hang out in the hot tub and sometimes sneak into the steam room (the age limit was 16 and we were 14 and 15 during those years). We would sit in the hot tub and dream of what our life would be like. We both couldn’t wait to get married and to have children. I wanted to get married at 20 or 21 (yes, naïve teens that actually didn’t realize you don’t get to choose when that will happen). She wanted to be married at 19 and have 6 children. All her life all she wanted was to be a wife and mom. What would it have been like for her, if she had known at 14 years old, the future…that at 45 she would still be unmarried? Would that have been devastating? Absolutely! However, because the Lord is merciful, we don’t know our future.
LGBT people are NOT like single people in the Church. I’ve heard it stated over and over, “They are just like single women. Nothing is expected of them that isn’t asked of a single woman in the Church.” Please keep reading while I share my insight with you.
Our LGBT brothers and sisters know what is expected of them for the rest of their mortal existence to remain in “good standing” in the Church. They know at a young age their future….the companionship of married life and children will be completely unattainable for them if they are to remain “worthy” members. They are not allowed even the hope of someone to walk through life with. Every day is not a new day with renewed hope like there is for a single person, but a realization that there is no hope for you in this life. My cute friend has hope every day that today, or maybe tomorrow, or sometime in this life she will find “Mr. Right.” She may not know when, but she has hope that it will happen. LGBT are not given that gift of hope. HOPE! My friend has struggled, and it is very difficult, but she has HOPE!
Added on top of knowing your future concerning a partner and children, you are looked at as a pariah, something “unnatural” where the very essence of who you are is a point of ridicule, pointing of fingers…”love the sinner, hate the sin”(no person ever feels real love for them coming from this statement…it is a very judgmental statement), debates whether or not you deserve to be served or loved, and lack of any doctrine of hope in this life from most Christian churches. Who you are and what you feel is preached against in Church meetings, in facebook posts…you hear about it everywhere. Your desire to walk through this life not utterly alone is not given any thought and your very being is reduced to a sex act.
We expect a level of sacrifice and commitment of one group of people that is not asked of others. This kind of strength of testimony and commitment takes a lot of time to develop and I wonder how many people ever develop this level during their mortal existence? Yet we ask that of those who are babes in life and babes in their testimonies. They learn as young men and young women their future. A future that is very lonely, and isolating. They are told to make an unbelievable sacrifice for the rest of their lives. Their reward will be in the next life, so you are told to just tough it out and toe the line or you will lose your reward there too.
There is no dating for you. There are NO Church sponsored social activities for you. There is no first kiss, holding hands, falling in love. This is off limits to you…not singles, just you. There are a VERY small percentage of LDS people that have been able to live this kind of lonely life, but the huge majority can’t. Do we really wonder why?? The suicide rate for LGBT LDS teens is heartbreaking….and the vast majority of our brothers and sisters who are LDS and LGBT have been suicidal at some point in their lives. The lack of hope is devastating.
Please, just think about this in your heart. Please, quit saying that LGBT are just like single people. They are so unalike…not the same at all. There is support for singles, and believe me when I tell you there is VERY LITTLE for our LGBT brothers and sisters. Please, find it in your hearts to just love your brothers and sisters. Our hearts must change….