About two weeks ago in my physical science 100 class, my TA made an offhand comment during his lab. While explaining how like forces repel and opposite forces attract, he said “Think of it like a dating relationship. Men and men- No! Not in an ideal god world. But men and women- yes.”
For many of you this comment may seem perfectly fine. But when I imagine a gay BYU student hearing these words, perhaps a student who is engaged in that desperate fight to figure out who they are and what God must think of them because they are gay, perhaps who has tried to pray the gay away or who has experienced horribly painful ostracism; when I think of how 74% of gay BYU students have contemplated suicide; when I think of how frequently in Utah LGBT teens are kicked out of their homes, how bullying drives too many teens to suicide- I can’t hear those words and not want to scream at the speaker.
I didn’t scream, but I did stop my TA and tell him, rather inarticulately, that gay people exist and his analogy doesn’t work and he should use a different one. My purpose with that comment and with this post is not to debate the morality of homosexuality- my purpose is to remind people that your comments on this topic are not being heard in a vacuum. Every time you talk about the gays and how they hate the family and are destroying the plan of salvation, about gay people being perverse sexual deviants or even “love the sinner hate the sin,” every time you talk about homosexuality as a temporary/overcome-able/lesser state of being: there are young teens and college students and other LGBT people listening to your words, and you are hurting them. Please not only think twice about such callous statements- reach out to people in your life and “just be there.”