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Gay Mormons?: Latter-day Saint Experiences of Same-Gender Attraction Paperback – April 20, 2011
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You cannot pretend to have empathy for people on the gay spectrum unless you have friends, relatives, or workmates who are gay, or you have carefully read books in an effort to understand their situation. It's my guess that a good chunk of Mormons cannot claim this.
I did not really understand exactly what it was like for people who are gay within the church until I read this book. So many essays -- first-hand accounts of Mormons who were raised in the church only to discover as young children, high-schoolers, or adults that they were gay. Most essays were by people who dearly want to remain in the faith. A few were from those who had left in an effort to live a more authentic life. I'm pretty sure all had considered suicide. Most made huge efforts to remain in the church. Some of the men entered into mixed-orientation marriages, but many of those marriages did not work. Some did.
I admire the work that went into this book. I greatly admire the people who work so hard to remain members of the church, against all odds. I also admire the ones who left the church, to pursue relationships that provide love and happiness.
This book would be incredibly helpful for members of the church who experience same sex attraction, or for their parents, or especially their bishops. People DO NOT CHOOSE this orientation as a "lifestyle." They are born this way. They try so hard to to align themselves with the church and not be gay ... but it doesn't work. They are what they are, and members of the church should love them and accept them.
This book, because of how it is titled, written, and discussed, gives so many opinions. You won't find specific answers, but you'll get the stories of REAL people that are so important. There are men and women who want to be celibate, want to get married to the opposite gender, and those who believe that being gay is who they are. This book is your best bet to discover what someone as a gay member of the church goes through and might inspire. If you are the parent of a gay child, read this book and see what we go through! It's so difficult and it may give you some insight that'll help your child develop. You don't want your kids to go through drug problems, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, attempted suicide, and successful suicide. It's so common and you NEED to be aware of what your child is thinking and going through!!!!!
Overall it is an excellent, balanced, positive, and honest approach to the issue of homosexuality within the Mormon Church.
Still, I learned a bit more about Mormons and knowledge is always a good thing to have in the arsenal.