A Work of Understanding
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Necklace: Forever 21, $5
Shirt: Old Navy, $8
Skirt: Ross, $15
Belt: secondhand, $2 from thrift store
Watch: Roxy, gift
Sandals: Payless, $15
Guess how many pieces of fried shrimp I ate for lunch today. Did you guess more than 20? Then you're probably correct. I had a mighty craving and didn't bother to keep count of my munching.
Today is the day I'm bringing back The Weeklong Remix. Over the next seven days, I'll be incorporating this brown maxi skirt into at least five outfits. Isn't that EXCITING?!
Before bidding adieu for today, I wanted to give a plug for an online resource I've been digging into lately. A fellow named Brent Kerby has just self-published a book called Gay Mormons?: Latter-day Saint Experiences of Same-Gender Attraction, and the full text of the book is available online. All things that are offbeat and Mormon appeal to me, so the topic of homosexuality within my church is nothing new, but I haven't ever seen it treated in quite this way. Brent collected individual stories from lots of people, including gay Mormons, gay former Mormons, and spouses in mixed-orientation marriages (a gay man married to a straight woman or vice versa). The stories are all so different from each other, but Brent just presents them as they are in an effort to show the diverse experiences that exist in this community. His intent was clearly to offer help and understanding, not to make a political point, and I think that's wise in terms of allowing these stories to do the most good. I can imagine so many kinds of people reading an experience from this book and feeling peace from it.
I wanted to pass this resource along for everyone's use and benefit, most notably for all us somehow-Mormon folks. My feelings on this topic are deep and wide, but I'll try to summarize by saying: any pain that exists within my faith community is a pain that I take personally, and there is so much work to be done to eliminate the schism that often separates our gay brothers and sisters from feeling part of the whole. I think the work is a work of love, a work of understanding, and considering how insanely likely it is that each of us will have a gay child/niece/nephew/cousin/aunt/uncle/grandchild/parent/sibling in our lives at some juncture, the work of understanding is urgent. I hope you'll read Brent's book, bookmark the stories you like, and pass along the things you find most important.