Saturday, November 5, 2016

Nov 5th - Taking Back the Power

I've been thinking about November 5th for a while, wondering how I'd feel a year later. In some ways, I've been dreading its approach, as if a date on the calendar has more power than I do. Well, here it is, and while I could go on and on about how time doesn't heal all wounds, I won't. I could review the various ways in which the policy changes made by the LDS church last year affected me in so many negative ways, but I won't.

In keeping with my last blog entry where I pledged that I was no longer going to cast myself in the role of "sad, gay Mormon", I'm not interested in writing a lengthy diatribe to vent. I also don't feel a need to convince anyone to consider my point of view.

Instead of giving power to the pain I experienced a year ago, I am choosing to look ahead and focus on more important things. You know, I will continue to feel devastation about the policy changes and refuse to believe that they came by revelation from God. Also, I recently reviewed the newly revamped Mormons and Gays website and didn't really feel like I was represented at all. I already wrote about my recent experience with General Conference as well. But guess what? I'm not writing about those three topics today.

Here's what I will share:
  • I just completed the 4th week of my full-time course at the Utah College of Massage Therapy. With a little over 6 months to go, I'm loving every second of class. It feels so good to be passionate about something in the career/education realm of my life. I'm in the process of reinventing myself and rerouting my life to look the way I've always wanted it to look, and this is a big part of that. I spend every day with classmates I've already come to love and instructors who I respect and want to emulate.
  • I'm so blessed to have the mother and the triplet brother I have. They've been incredibly supportive of me in many ways over the last few months. I love you Mom and Neil.
  • My friends mean a lot to me and make my life sweeter. The constants, the reliables, the reconnected and reestablished, the newer ones who have come to play a significant role in my life, even the ones who I feel slipping away...old and new, my friends lift me up.
  • I am enjoying my 4th season with the Utah Chamber Artists and we are currently in rehearsals for our Christmas concert. The music we create and the sense of family I feel is a boon to my soul.
In closing, let me share with my LGBT friends and family who are still hurting when they look at November 5th on the calendar a year after that heartbreaking day:

I am here for you. I will listen to you. I will cry with you. I will be here for you and do everything I can to make you feel welcome and loved. But I will also have other, more exciting things to talk about. I'm not here to ignore or discount what you're feeling. I'm just choosing to focus on the good things happening in my life. 

I refuse to feel the way I felt a year ago. I will take the power back and own November 5th as a positive day. A day of change. A day of reflection. A day of growth. A day of inclusion. A day of love. A day where I remind myself that a God in Heaven loves me and would never refer to me as an "apostate". Ever.

In the most sincere tone I can use, please hear me when I say:

"Happy November 5th, you beautiful souls."

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