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Night before last, I realized that I should talk to my family before Salon ran my story about leaving the church. My parents are still in California (they try to be there as much as possible… at least my dad does, and my mom is a good, supportive wife…). So i called and my dad answered. This meant that mom was not home. I was relieved. When i decided to come out to them in 1993, I talked to my dad first. he’s the non-mormon, the democrat, the one member of my immediate family who makes me feel that perhaps I’m not a total freak. He was awesome, and said that he just wanted me to be happy. He passed the word to my mom, who didn’t call me for almost a week. And when she did, she was crying. It was horrible, gut wrenching. But in the end, I didn’t change… or did I? I stopped being a lesbian after Heather broke up with me in 2000. Being bi, I could choose relationships that could make my family happier. And I never chose to be with a woman again. Heather used to say I was homophobic. Maybe I was just a coward.
This time, when I came out to my about leaving the church, he said he supported me, but wished that I had talked to my brothers about it first. He hoped that I wouldn’t do anything to offend them or embarrass them. Again, he brought up the anger issue. Why are you so angry at the church? What has the church done to you?
That’s a digression I will get into that later.
Something else has come up that needs attention: my family. I was surprised at how hard on me my dad was. I eventually called my mom. She hung up on me, just after saying, “you might as well have slapped me in the face.”
I talked to my youngest brother, who said right off that he loves me no matter what. I *really* love and admire him. He knows what it’s like to be on the outskirts, and to not fit in with the rest. But for the last 15 years, he has immersed himself in the church and believes in it and really lives it. He doesn’t understand same sex marriage, however, despite the fact that, hello, I used to be gay, and also, our beloved cousin John is gay — has been all his life. My brother actually fundamentally believes that you cannot be happy in a gay relationship. The lord’s plan is for a man and a woman to join together and create a family. He and his wife have built their lives around the bond they share, which is partially built on the physical connection they have, and on their sons and their religion. But the foundation of it all is their relationship. I can see how much they love each other. Can he really believe that two men or two women can’t achieve the same? Their bodies don’t fit together in the requisite way to conceive and bear a being with their DNA. But guess what? They do have children — through insemination, through adoption… And they love their children just as much as someone who conceived and bore their own. Perhaps because I’m infertile (one of my failures) I came to terms with the idea of a nontraditional family long ago. I was going to use an anonymous sperm donor as the father of my children. Unfortunately, I was already in menopause, at 36, when I was ready for that. My fertility doctor told me that my uterus was fine, and that I had a 90-some percent change of having a successful pregnancy, as long as I had an egg donor and invitro fertilization. My ex, the one I went to Puerto Rico with, wanted to have a family. He wasn’t OK with going the donor route, at least not before trying everything we could to have *our* baby. My time was already way running out by then, and I wanted to just go the donor route. But I went along with him, and that’s how we ended up in Puerto Rico in the first place — to go the Ann Wigmore Insitute, cleanse and hopefully heal my ovaries.
Children in nontraditional families deserve the same as children with a mom and dad who are still married (and hopefully love each other). Preventing gay marriage hurts those children. Getting back to the bond between husband and wife, and acknowledging how that’s the source of his joy in the world, I asked if it was fair to prevent people who want the same from having that.
My other brother wrote me something so hurtful, questioning my motives and integrity. I’m working on a response to him, especially to the things he forwarded me.
His wife unfriended me on Facebook. So did one of her daughters and that daughter’s best friend.
My mom and dad still haven’t spoken to me.
On another topic, I just can’t stop feeling weird and different: I interviewed at a gorgeous new yoga studio in Alpine today. They have their schedule full at the moment, but we talked about the kind of classes i’d want to teach, and we decided that doing a meditation workshop or a workshop class in prana vinyasa would be a good way for people to get to know me, and we could go from there. I asked, “are you at all open to having classes on sunday?” because there are no Sunday classes on the schedule. “Would the community support that?” They told me it’s in their contract that they cannot be open on Sunday. They believed the community wouldn’t support it. One of the partners said she was personally opposed to it as well. I told her about the Sunday classes i’ve been going to in SLC. They’re big. For people who aren’t in the church, it can be like Sunday church. I wonder if my willingness to teach on sunday will make them not want to trust me. Seriously? do i sound paranoid? I’m feeling hopeful about it. I can’t wait to start teaching group classes again. Privates are fun, but the vibe in a group class can be so amazing.
When I got home, my dogs were so happy to see me. Gogo gets up on his back legs, puts his front paws on my shoulder (i’m kneeling down at this point) and he licks my entire face with total unabashed joy. Thank god for the dogs.
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