Friday, March 30, 2012

President Packer says we're the enemy...

By now, you have probably heard President Packer’s January Seminary sermon in which he relegates those of us who are LGBT to the status of “enemy.”

If you missed it, the talk includes a renewed declaration of war against the LGBT community by a man who sees himself as the Church’s last bastion of heterosexual fidelity. In just six short sentences, President Packer puts us LGBT Saints in our place—outside the fold of God.

It made me sad…

Monday, March 19, 2012

"That damn rainbow flag...."

To set the stage, let me first say that I own a charming well maintained bungalow in the alphabet streets of Salt Lake City’s Sugar House district. The neighborhood is gentrified with 60-70 foot sycamores lining streets that could have come directly from a Frank Capra movie. The residents are a mix of the religious and irreligious, the young and the old, the wealthy and the middle class. This being Sugar House, there are a smattering of homes owned by members of the “Family.”

Russ, my roommate, has a 3X4 foot rainbow flag that he insists on hanging on our front porch. It’s not just on display for the Pride Festival; it is hanging for all to see day after day, week after week, month after month.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Coming out to a friend...and changing the world one small step at a time

A few weeks ago I came out to a client and friend. I hadn’t intended to. He is honestly a good man, but totally ensconced in the bowels of the Utah County culture of fear and homophobia. I assumed that if he knew about my “sexual peculiarities”, it would not serve me or his organization (which needs my consulting expertise) well.

During a business visit, we somehow started talking about a draconian sex-ed bill under consideration by the Utah state legislature. The bill would have restricted school districts to the choice of teaching abstinence only or forgoing sex education altogether. In the abstinence only classes, teachers would have been prohibited from discussing homosexuality under any guise, even in response to questions raised by students.

My friend obviously supported the bill. I, of course, didn’t.

As the discussion ground on, my friend couldn’t help but inform me that without the law, the radical gays would sweep into the classroom promoting sodomy, promiscuity and the greatest demon of them all, gay marriage. I listened politely as he droned, attempting vainly to maintain my tongue and my composure.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A personal story...meth...the real evil among us...

Our new roommate, a recent RM and BYU swim team member, a young man who is articulate, handsome, from a great family, seemingly a guy who has everything going for him, told me Monday he is addicted to methamphetamines.

He said he had a cigarette laced with meth a year and a half ago. It was during his first date after coming out. He was a student at the "Y".

His life has been hell since that single cigarette. He never sleeps. He never eats. He is emaciated physically and spiritually. He looks forward only to his next hit or to death. Either, he says, will give him the peace for which he craves.

I suggested that life is not so bleak. I encouraged him to go home, get help. I assured him that God's grace was sufficient for all, especially for him.

He cried and so did I.

After a week here, he moved out last night. While he vowed he was moving in with a friend, I can't help but believe he is on the streets, another casualty.

My heart breaks for this son of God.

His supplier stopped by this morning looking for him. My heart breaks for him, too.