[The above video tells the story of two closeted police officers in the 1950s, taken from the television show Cold Case. In it, one says that they are cursed for being gay. The other one takes exception to that and responds: "Cursed? We are the lucky ones."]
Cursed? We are the lucky ones.
Being gay and Mormon is a challenging experience. Most days it seems unfair, many days it seems unbearable. There are great pulls in different directions that seem to tear me apart. There appears to be no reconciliation possible between the two extremes that are focal points of my life.
I want to love God, and be worthy. I also want to love, and have worth. I want to serve in the Church and go to the temple and provide meaningful service, but I also want someone to hold at night, someone to wake up to in the morning, someone who I love and who loves me deeply. And now, and probably for the rest of my life, those to things will always be at odds. Its really a zero-sum game: neither add to the other, whatever I give to one takes from the other. I can't have both, but I can't live without either.
I realize though, that I am a 'lucky one'. I will not walk through life filling the expectations society has for me. I will not take the easy path, because there is none. I will not walk through life free of doubt or unquestioning. I will not escape sacrifice. I will walk up the mountain just as Abraham did, and there I will sacrifice the most important thing in my life--be it the chance for love, or the faith that showed me who my God is. I will know intimately the God who asks so much of me.
For those who stay and those who leave, it is the same. We are lucky. Lucky to walk the path less traveled. Lucky to have the ability to choose our happiness. There is no path of least resistance, and either choice we make brings difficult consequences and requires great sacrifice.
If we could choose it differently, I'm sure most of us would, but we are lucky because there is no escaping this. There is a long fight and a lonely road ahead of all of us. For those who leave, we sacrifice an important part of ourselves in the pursuit of love, a sacrifice that is sure to keep passion and gratitude alive within us. For those of who stay, we have scars of remembrance to remind us of the requirements of faith and a witness of the depths of our devotion.
Indeed, we are the lucky ones. Don't forget that.