The following is the contents of my Facebook Life Event post; First Coming Out At My Church/ Bishop Confrontation, followed by a post on a couple of things I forgot to include earlier, that really stuck in my craw. I added some final thoughts, and share my testimony, at the end. I feel that yesterdays event is significant enough to capture it here. I apologize to all those who have read this already.
I posted this yesterday as my LIFE EVENT STATUS: MY FIRST OUTING TO MY CHURCH/ BISHOP CONFRONTATION. My wife didn't speak to me on the 20 minute drive to church this morning. We walked into Sacrament, about 30 minutes early. She pointed her finger at me and told me, I don't want you sitting anywhere near me. It's not like we've ever sit that close together. There was always a highly visible chasm. Now there was an entire room. I sat in the back, realizing that the Bishop wanted to talk to me during Sunday School. That time came. I walked in to see the Bishop. I had been outed by my wife, but to me it wasn't that big of a deal, because this Bishop is being released next week, and we get a new Bishoprick. I never really felt the Spirit, and he seemed to want to get me to see that I should just live with the status quo, which to me is like unto a cuckholded spouse, without the adultery. I'm in a freezing basement, never with my family for anything, let alone holidays, or even meals. We have been celibate 17 years. He read to me from the policy handbook about gays and lesbians (our Church has no policy on how to deal with us). He said, that what you have are feelings, and you can just keep then in check, like you have been doing for the past 45 years. I brought up how I love the Gospel, Heavenly Father, Jesus, and the atoning sacrifice, and that I have honored out Temple covenants. I brought up the Proclamation on the Family, and how I believe it is a blessing to have, and that I am comforted that it is "gender" is what is sacred and eternal. He twisted that, and told me our society has misused the word sex, and that gender actually is male or female, not sex. I told him gender is between the ears, and in the heart, spirit and soul, while sex is between the legs. He would have none of it. He said, you will not be doing what Heavenly Father wants you to do, if you act on your feelings. I didn't want to argue or be defensive, because those are things everyone warned me about. I was surprised to see another transgender person, that outed herself to me this summer. She has long hair past her shoulders, so she was easy to spot in Sacrament. I went up to her and told her I was about to see the Bishop, after having told my wife and family on Monday. She hugged me, and wished me the best of luck. I told the Bishop every Ward in the Church has several of us, only closeted. Our Ward has others besides me, and that I know others who have retained membership, and are Bishops and Stake Presidents. He said that isn't true. He asked me who, I told him it's not for me to say. The Church needs to address this issue specifically, so we know where we really stand. We are everywhere, in far greater numbers than you can possibly imagine. He seemed to be in denial, like Iran's President saying, "there are no LGBT people in Iran". That made him a laughing stock to the world, and our Church is rapidly doing the same, unless we truly address us LGBTQIA people with inclusivity, and absolute validity. I felt he thinks I'm totally invalid in being who I am. The good news is, I get a total do over in the next few weeks. A new Bishop is coming next week, and I convinced this one to leave it to me to bring him the first words about myself. I will be so much better prepared, that much is certain. I am so tired, and very dysphoric now. This is the Epiphany and also my middle daughters 21st Birthday. So, Happy Day. All is Well.
I believe it is a Commandment that we are to never judge people. The scriptures are replete with anti judging verses, hundreds of them. The couple of times we are given permission to make some discernments, are not in the context of judging a person. My Bishop tried to tell me we are commanded to judge one another. It took all my strength to not come back with, "You Gotta Be Shittin' Me!" He also tried to say there exists no Mormon women who believe there exists any sexism, or that males have any advantages. He went further, "I doubt if many women in our society believe that there is male privilege". I brought up that, "Why would I choose this transgender upon myself? Women are subservient in our society, they are considered lesser, denigrated, oppressed, taken advantage of, paid 75 cents to men, a 6 cent improvement in 45 years!, and generally have a lesser standing in our society. Why would I willingly choose to give up the advantages I experience every day I present as male? He proceeded to tell me I was full of it. "Oh no, that's not true. No one in our Church believes that, and only a few in the world believe that." Excuse me? (WTF....Over!) Those are two of the most asanine Church positions I have ever heard in my entire life. And I have to deal with such ignorance, that is bigotry, at the same time that I am called to the matt for being transgender, because my wife angirly outed me, before I could tell him? But I rant. Sorry. Like it says here.....Just don't judge anyone. Love everyone.
At this point, I would like to insert my testimony, lest I be thought of as apostate, or a quitter, or a loser. I believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that he came and lived a perfect example for us to follow. I believe everything in our lives should reflect favorably on living a Christ-Like life. That we are commanded to love one another above all else, save the love we have for our God. To live a Christ-like life means to unconditionally love, accept and validate all human beings for who and what they are. Christ came to serve the alienated, ostracized, denigrated, hated, despised, the different, oppressed, non-conforming people of the Earth. We are to serve one another, for in service of our fellow man, we are in service of our Lord. We are to treat every human being as if they actually are Jesus. For whatever we do unto the least valid, least affirmed, least loved, least successful, it is as if we are doing it unto Jesus. God is no respecter of persons, neither is he a disrepecter. God has no more respect for a heterosexual than any gay or lesbian or bi person. No more respect for a cis-gender person than a transgender person.
I believe in the atonement of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. That he died, in an atoning sacrifice for all of the sins of all the people that ever have lived, are living, or ever will live. I believe that Jesus is our supreme intercessor, who will plead our case before Heavenly Father and Mother, who will judge us. I personally, in my opinion, do not see Jesus as ever losing a single case, and he will defend everyone, without exception.
I believe Joseph Smith was a Prophet of the Lord, that he restored the Church, and translated the Book of Mormon for this dispensation. I believe in the Bible, Old and New Testaments, the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and the Doctrine and Covenants, as far as they are all translated correctly. I believe Thomas S. Monson is our Prophet at this time. I have deep affectionate love for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am a Mormon, and I will always be a Mormon.
I also know that I cannot abide my current Status Quo. I must make the necessary moves to become my Best True Self. To bring myself away from guile and continuing as a fake human being. I do know who I am, and I know that God knows I know who I am. My salvation would be in jeopardy if i were to continue along the old path of the past 45 years. I will leave it to others to discern my sincerity of love for the Gospel, and my degree of faithfulness. Flawed men may see fit to punish me, to conditionalize my membership and participatory level in the Church. I will go through tremendous emotions, and very painful hurt. I will experience exclusionary practices, and yes, be subject to political prejudices, skewed religiosity, and the whims of local leaders. I must not let this bring me down. I pray to Heavenly Father, that I will not acquire enmity for my Church or any members thereof. I pray that I can maintain my testimony, my identity, and my love, empathy and compassion for all people, that my Faith, Hope and Charity will shine forth around me and within me. I pray that I may continue to serve others, and to edify them, and lift up all people. I pray that I can dig up my buried Talents, and utilize them for the benefit of others. My Heart is full, and I am thankful for my life, and this opportunity that I have been given. These things I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.