Its not the end of the world, its the beginning of the world. That's the message from a mormon dad of a gay son. "there is something not right that a boy has to think that suicide is with way out" laments the mother, "this changes nothing in my eyes, you are perfect and I love you and we will figure this out" .
There are so many men on here that are in paralyzed by fear of coming out to their families, there church or even themselves. If you would have said that I could do it 3 years ago, I would have said nope, cannot. I get it, when you fear your church will hate you, your family will hate you, you will lose everything, what else is their to do but turtle. With very few exceptions, the fear I had was mine to bear. I contemplated suicide so many times, I even took that handful of pills as a teenager, as many as I could find in my mothers medicine cabinet.
But the worst case scenario was not what happened. The tragedy would have been I could never have accepted their love because I could never truly let them know me. What a gift they gave me by showing that family and love trump all else. What a gift I gave them by showing that a gay man is just as strong a family man as the next guy and more importantly, finally letting them in.
It ties in nicely with extinction of the exodus movement.
Since 1976, Exodus International has spread that message to thousands upon thousands of young people and adults, telling them that in order to be faithful they have to denounce their sexuality. That homosexuality is a spiritual disease. That if you pray enough, starve yourself enough, endure enough physical and emotional pain, you can be saved.
I wanted to be accepted by God, by my family, by my grandmother who knelt beside me each night to pray. You can rest assured that right now there is a young boy praying silently to God to take away his homosexuality. There is a girl at Bible camp who feels dirty and sinful when she changes in front of her bunkmates. There is a young person being sent away to an organization much like Exodus International. Itís happening because the leaders in our faith communities have given in to fear and hate above love and compassion. The antigay ideas taught at the pulpit then propagate through our communities and are ingrained in fabric of families. But today, there is one less hatefully misguided organization leading the charge against perfectly normal people who just so happen to be gay.
As Exodus International closes its doors, I join a chorus of voices sharing the same message: It is time for our religious and political leaders to embrace and respect our community. Exodus International will soon become only a sad part of our collective history. Thank God. JAIME BAYO is the director of development at SAVE Dade, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting, protecting, and defending the rights of LGBT citizens in Miami-Dade
I am not naÔve enough to think it always goes this way, sadly there are those so indoctrinated that the bigger picture of love is lost. A double tragedy for a survivor who is gay that has even greater chasms to cross. How does someone reject their own child? Especially when he has the voice of an angel.
The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence. Dalai Lama
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