As soon as I sat down the pit in my stomach that had formed earlier on Sunday was gone. I felt relieved that the shuffling I heard behind me from the Stake Presidents and Brother Pruden weren’t the preparation to ask me to stop talking halfway through. It felt good to be honest and true with everyone in that room.
I looked out at the crowd and gauged the reactions of the people I could see. The mother who helped get Evergreen and Brother Pruden to DC gave me a huge smile, a big thumbs up, and mouthed “Great Job.” My friends scattered throughout the audience gave me encouraging smiles. And strangers locked eyes with me giving me a boost of joy when I saw their smiles as well.
As Brother Pruden sat down, me whispered to me that he wouldn’t have gone after me (for the Wife incident) had the question not be raised and he hoped there weren’t any hard feelings. There are not.
As I got down from the stand, I hand many members of my ward come up and give me a huge hug. Many words of support and heartfelt love. I had many people come up to me requesting copies of my talk. A few asked for my contact information to keep the conversations going. I didn’t have 1 negative comment. Even the stake president commended me for my willingness to stand up and speak out.
I mentioned the talk on Monday to my second counselor in the Bishopric. He is supportive of me and admires me for speaking.
I have had out and pouring of love and it has been wonderful. On Facebook I have had friends reach out, it has been grand! There have been very few negative comments and those were mostly by Brother Pruden, which, as I have said earlier, could have been much worse.
The fallout from this has made me feel great. I went out to dinner with several close friends tonight. All of them knew I liked men and were cool with that fact. And most importantly all of them are straight. Not that I don’t like hanging out with my gay friends, it is just refreshing to be able to be completely honest with everybody.
So what happens from here? Well for me, I keep living life. I will continue to blog about my life here and will keep you updated.
But how do we move forward on understanding, and fellowshipping members of our wards who are same-gender attracted? How do we comfort them and help dispel some of the mists of darkness that surrounds this? We talk about it. Those of you who are out to yourselves and a few friends, don’t be afraid to come out to more friends, or to at least speak up when needed. Those of you who are straight who would like to help fellowship members, please speak up for those who are silenced by fear of accusation. Speak up at fallacies in class. Be the kind of person someone would feel comfortable talking to about his or her sexuality. By example you can lead.