i’m so tired
by Averyl Dietering
I’m so, so tired, my friends. I’m tired of my straight Mormon friends trying to justify the Church’s hurtful actions in labeling same-sex marriage as apostasy and in denying membership to the children of same-sex couples. I’m tired of LGBTQIA+ individuals playing the “model minority” card, writing posts about how since they’re okay with the new handbook changes, everyone else should be too. I’m tired of my straight Mormon friends circulating these claims, as if to tell me that if I don’t agree with the Church’s new policies, it’s because I’m a bad queer. After all, all the good queers are okay with it.
I’m tired of my mother and other well-meaning individuals reciting the empty mantra: “We can love each other even if we don’t agree with each other.” In my experience, this is what individuals in positions of power use in order to pretend like they are not oppressing marginalized people as much as they really are. Yes, I can love you and you can love me, and we can disagree about some things and still love each other. But when the thing that we disagree on is whether or not I should be treated with respect, as a worthy daughter of God, then it is very unfair for you to still demand my love and my respect, while also demand that I respect your desire to disrespect me and see me as undeserving of God’s blessings.
I’m tired of the Church’s claims that they love LGBTQIA+ people. Good heavens, if this is what love feels like, I want no part of it. If “I love you” is the spoonful of sugar that hides the bitter pill, “but these are all the reasons why you are vile sinner that deserves no part of our gospel,” then I want no part of that love. If “I love you” means “I will show you that love only if you leave your partner and plan to stay celibate until the day that you die,” then I want no part of that love. If “I love you” means “I love you as you were back when you were good/straight/cisgender/active/believing,” then I cannot recognize that as love. And if “I love you” means “I hate everything that you do, but saying that I love you makes me feel better about myself,” then I ask you to please stop loving me with that kind of poisonous “love.”
I’m tired of the claim that this new policy was created to “protect children” from the cognitive dissonance of being taught one principle at church and a contradictory principle at home. What about the cognitive dissonance of young queer kids in LDS families? Have we considered how harmful it is for a young LGBTQIA+ person to go to church week after week and hear how wicked they are because of their sexuality and gender identity? For them to be pressured into being baptized into a Church that demands their lifelong celibacy? If we were really, truly worried about protecting children from such cognitive dissonance, we wouldn’t teach young queer and trans Mormons that it is a sin for them embrace their true gender or to find love with another human, regardless of gender.
I’m tired of the Church and its members trying to tell me how to feel. Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, commanded us to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort. It seems we’ve forgotten this commandment. Instead, we rebuke those who mourn, and we tell those who stand in need of comfort that their thoughts and feelings are wrong, and if they could just see it a different way, they would not be so sad. As a church, it seems that we’ve become incapable of empathy. We’re so focused on feeling happy–after all, if you’re feeling happy, you’re righteous!–that feeling sorrow becomes somehow tainted by sin. We’re more concerned about fixing someone’s sorrow than we are about letting them know that it’s okay to feel the way they feel, and that they don’t have to be alone in that. We’ve forgotten that our Saviour was a man of sorrow.
I’m weary of LGBTQIA+ allies focusing on their own pain and asking LGBTQIA+ folk to pay attention to them. I’m weary of allies getting media attention for queer Mormon issues. Yes, I’m glad that you were able to share your love for LGBTQIA+ Mormons through that interview that you gave. But when you give an interview, it means that an LGBTQIA+ Mormon could have given the interview, but didn’t, because you took up that space. I’m asking you to look really hard at yourself and ask, “would I still be so interested in being an ally if it meant giving up the fame and accolades?”
And I’m tired of all of the LGBTQIA+ allies who will first turn to defend themselves when I ask that question, rather than listening, truly listening, as an ally should. As Christ would.
I’m tired of defending my family against people who claim to defend families. I’m tired of defending the worth of my soul against people who claim that the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. I’m tired of knocking at a door that seems it will never be opened to me and my kind.
I’m tired of caring about something that everyone–allies, Mormons, queer Mormons, non-Mormons, ex-Mormons–is telling me is a lost cause. I’m tired of being told that I will never again have a home in the community that raised me. I’m tired of hearing that my identities are at war with each other, that the only way I can ever have peace is to abandon part of myself, to cut it off and let it die.
10 Responses to “i’m so tired”
Beautifully said. Beautiful illustration of the Church’s contradictions. Being a member of the Church is a lot like being in an abusive relationship–they tell you they love you while they hurt you. Peace to you.
You think the God of the Bible is cool with LGBTQIA people? No, he’s not. Before you get any peace, you’ll have to acknowledge that your entire belief system is wrong. What Mormons have built their entire world around is completely false. There is no God, as charming as the concept may sometimes be. You won’t change the church’s attitude because the Bible won’t allow it. Numbers doesn’t equal correctness. Look into it and find peace and acceptance outside this corrupt belief system. Difficult and painful in it’s own way but SO worth it!
Thank you for this. The fatigue is real, and I’m so sorry. I also appreciate your point about allies sucking up all the air… The policy change is utterly unjustifiable and straight prog-mos are in mourning for good reason, but goddamn if they aren’t making it all “about them” when it isn’t.
“I’m tired of my mother and other well-meaning individuals reciting the empty mantra: “We can love each other even if we don’t agree with each other.” ”
If you think the idea that two people who disagree shouldn’t love each other regardless is “empty” you should reconsider how you live your life.
“I’m tired of the claim that this new policy was created to “protect children” from the cognitive dissonance of being taught one principle at church and a contradictory principle at home. ”
Well, this indeed is the reason. The church also has similar policies for muslims, people who’s spouses don’t want them to join the church and for children of polygamous families. Why does it offend you that the church wants people, including children of gay parents, to have good familiar relationships?
“What about the cognitive dissonance of young queer kids in LDS families? ”
Unfortunately, there is no warm, fuzzy answer to this one. I can’t imagine the horror of being gay and to also believe in the gospel. My heart truly goes out to those who know they are gay and also now Joseph Smith was a prophet. I don’t know what I would do in that situation. One thing is certain though: The church will never get to a point where they accept homosexual marriage or behavior.
While I disagree with a lot of the rhetoric of this post, I sympathize with and try to be cognizant of the real pain that gay members of the church feel. God bless.
Just an FYI that your first two points were totally unconvincing weak-sauce that add nothing, clearly not even your own interpretation. A large point of the author’s piece is that saying “I love you” means nothing when you act against a person, their family, their identity, and their interests. You saying “well huh should we NOT love each other then??? what now genius” is shallow garbage. I don’t know why you bothered saying it.
Your second point, that the church acts similarly towards other groups of people in their best interests and thus is in gay folk’s best interest is kinda nonsensical, since the author seems to be questioning the entire assumption in the first place. Repeating the claim the church made doesn’t strengthen it. Even though I don’t know the author, I feel comfortable assuring you they’re familiar with “your” (the church’s) line of reasoning.
Your third point has some merit and I encourage you to take time to think about it some more. Frankly even the fact that you seem aware that “huh growing up gay in the church would probably be really hard and confusing, dang” honestly puts you in danger of thinking “huh maybe things could be different in some way” which I urge you NOT to think because the moment that you start thinking the church even could (much less should) treat gay people differently is the day you start the road to getting excommunicated. If you don’t want to be labeled apostate, I suggest you start ignoring the fact that gay people and gay mormons do seem to exist and can’t seem to do much about being gay. If you admit that, next thing you know you might disagree with one of the church’s actions and you’ll find yourself without the safety blanket you grew up with. You’ll find you don’t need one, but you’ll never be the same.
I’m so sorry you’re tired. I’m so sorry it hurts. I’m so sorry commenters and moms and “allies” and church leaders and people who might pretend to mean well say things that are hurtful, or act hurtful. You do not deserve it. You deserve only love, happiness, and a sense of belonging and peace. I’m sorry you’re tired. It’s okay to be tired. Just keep doing what you need to feel better, and know that at least one soul out there is hugging your tired body.
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I have no answers. It is hard to look at the mirror anymore. LOVE to you.
The foundation of old beliefs is built on sand, and the tide of progress is washing it away. Should we preserve the biases of past generations by calling them truth, or should we walk away and let time undo what should be undone?
Hermia I’d email you if you had one posted but here we are
I’m sorry the church is kicking you out, either for-real or symbolically. That sucks. I don’t see how you have any particularly good options. I guess the only thing I might say is that outside the church people generally don’t seem like they’re in the rush to hurt gay people that they used to. Of course that’s just my impression though, far be it from me to tell you whether your life is improving or not.
Hope you come to terms with the church, and I regretfully say that from what you’ve described of your position it seems like your best bet is leaving. “Best” being better than “getting ex’ed out on a rail” or “treated with pity and scorn”.
I suggest getting a dog if you don’t have one and aren’t allergic, they’re pretty awesome and don’t give the slightest shit in the world if you’re gay. Or how much money you make, or anything. If they like you and your family, they will love and protect you like their own flesh and blood. I got a dog a couple years ago and even though I’m married and was at the time I’m surprised how much better it’s made me feel about the world.