There's quite a bit of talk in the blog world about dealing with our same-sex attractions in light of the doctrines and practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and finding a place in the kingdom and feeling welcome in church culture. Sometimes, it seems like an inordinate amount of that discussion is whining and bemoaning. At times, it is easy to want to tell people to "simply" determine their priorities and move on. But I remind myself of a few things:
I am OK with the possibility of not getting married because I've already been through depression over it and mourned that loss. I'm OK with the possibility of never choosing to find a same-sex romantic partner because I've already been through depression over it and mourned that loss. I'm OK with the possibility of never being able to raise my own children because....you get the picture.
Maybe some of these grand reasons I come up with for being happy and moving on with life are little more than a basic coping mechanism to deal with that which life has denied me. Maybe I'm fooling myself a little in imagining something more wonderful than having a partner (who happens to be the same sex) in whose arms the rest of the universe seems to melt away. Maybe. I acknowledge that possibility.
Still, I choose my path.
But don't think that because I talk about the importance of making your own decisions and not whining about your terrible plight incessantly, I've never been depressed and cried daily over those decisions. I have. It was scary, it was wrenching, it was bleak, and over time I accepted what it is. But it's taken time. And I am trying to move on still. To be fair, I have wondered, at times, whether I'm just fooling myself, convincing myself I'm happy with a lesser existence for the sake of clinging to the comfort of my beliefs and to validate my own decisions. I think it's an honest question, a fair one. For whatever reason, it doesn't feel that way now, but I've been there. I understand that feeling of uncertainty, wondering which way to go. And it's hard, at those particularly trying times, to make any solid determination.
I vented to a good friend the other night about my irritation that there seemed to be so many LDS gay men who wallow in self-pity endlessly without owning their situation, and I felt bad but wanted to slap them at the same time and tell them to stop crying, get on their feet, and "act like men" and stop being so ridiculously melodramatic as to grandstand their misery. But their situation is not mine. And their understanding is not mine. And perhaps they are simply looking more closely, right now, at things I have chosen to gloss over, for now. Who knows? But remembering how painful it used to be softens my irritation and stays my sharper words.
So be careful about reading my preachings--or anyone else's--and proclaiming, "See?! He's dealing with it just fine. He's happy and moving on with life. All you others should just take a lesson and get over it and stop whining." When tempted to say that, and I'm speaking to myself as much as or more than anyone else, just remember: even though right now I feel good about life, come what may, there were nights I dozed, sobbing quietly into a tear-soaked pillow, when I could think of no sweeter release than to sleep and never wake up.