On October 25th, 2006 I met someone who was just like me -- another kid, gay and Mormon, struggling, with more questions than answers. That night, I wrote this quote in my journal from Joseph Smith:
"... You do not know how happy I am; ... I feel as if I was relieved of a burden which was almost too heavy for me to bear, and it rejoices my soul, that I am not any longer to be entirely alone in the world."
Suddenly, I wasn't alone anymore. It was me and him.
Slowly, one by one, I let people see the real me. It was not easy (it's still not!) to show a part of myself that I felt was dark and twisted. Along the way, I found so many others who struggle with the same things I do, people from high school, from college, from old wards, from my mission.
My whole life I've been surrounded by people, just like me, but both of us were to afraid to admit who we really were. Too afraid to ask for the help and acceptance and support we so desperately needed.
Last year, I came out on Facebook. My note got dozens of positive comments from members of my ward. Last month, I hung out with seven other gay Mormons, just like me. Last week, I met with my bishop unafraid to be completely open and honest with not only who I am, but who I want to be. Last night, I went to bed so happy and grateful to be gay and Mormon.
Life couldn't be better. Each of us should be so lucky.
If you are alone, you don't need to be. On my eighteenth birthday, I entered the waters of baptism and covenanted with God to bear one another's burdens, and come what may, I intend on always honoring that promise.
If you need help and support, reach out.
If you need to talk to someone, and you have no one else, then let it be me. Facebook me, email me, call me or text me. It feels good not to be alone.