It Gets Better at BYU? Religion & Homophobia
For anyone not familiar, the It Gets Better project was launched as a response to a string of GLBT-related teen suicides by Dan Savage and his husband Terry last September. The purpose of the project is to give LGBT youth hope during a period of their life that they may feel alone and not be able to reach out to anyone they know.
I first learned about the BYU student contribution to the project through a friend. I was pleasantly surprised to find out such a video could exist until it was posted to one of the most awesome threads on this site and I watched it. Watching it made me so angry my blood pressure rose... leading to the following response in a far less appropriate thread for this discussion.
The BYU video is just hard to watch. The rhetoric about suicide causing the family less trauma than coming out is one I'm quite familiar with. At the beginning of the video I was wishing I could see a follow up in 5 years from each of the students. By the end, that's the last thing I want. I really don't want to know which of the students involved don't make it that far.
The LDS church does not accept that same sex attraction is biological... the church's stance is that being gay is a choice. The only acceptable course of action for a gay Mormon is to remain celibate for life and never seek a partner... or live in ex-gay denial. I've only seen that result in long term misery for all involved or suicide.momgamer wrote:
There are levels of drive, no matter what your inclination. And for some people giving up what you see as a normal sexual life for what they see as a good relationship with their God is worth it to them. People from many faiths have made that choice.
I would have no qualms if they framed the choice they're making as living celibate and simply not acting on their innate homosexual attraction. Instead, they sell a lie that the attraction can be changed and they can live a normal hetrosexual life. The ones that aren't bisexual enough to make that work are told they simply don't have enough faith. If their faith was stronger then they would cease to struggle. These are people that are already sacrificing who they are for their faith. When they fail it results in depression, a gutting of their self-worth... and no one to turn to for support.
A personal decision made as you suggest above, I have no issues with. As soon as they are then propped up as an example of a successful ex-gay, I view them as a murderer.
I stand by what I said originally, especially after reading comments from the students on their Facebook group page confirming my concerns. The group recently hosted a panel at BYU in which one of the 4 students participating is currently in a heterosexual marriage. What the group offers is not acceptance and support. Instead, they reiterate the Mormon church's position that an individual can be attracted to their own gender, but must never act on that attraction. For LGBT youth that already feel they have no one to reach out to, telling them they can never have an intimate relationship is not encouragement.