Dear Laura and Miguel,
As I began reading the email notice of your podcast episode 9, I was totally amazed at reading someone’s story that was similar to my own. Then I realized that it is what I had written and was totally shocked! I put myself down a lot and don’t really feel like what I have to say is important to anyone else. After listening to the podcast, I felt hopeful that someone could benefit from my story and I’m grateful that you chose to share it.
Y’all asked some questions about me and I thought I should answer them. First of all, I’m married to a woman for nearly 34 years. Second, we have three wonderful children together and they are all grown. Two boys, 34 and 32, and a daughter that is 28. They are all married and have blessed us with seven grandchildren. Six boys and one girl, ages 10 years thru 6 months; we got one each year for 5 years and then a couple of trailers.
Your third question was how did I come out to my wife. That is a very loaded question with an enormous amount of history, probably more that I can share right now. Bypassing all that history, at 58 years old, God gave me no option but to say that I might be gay to a group of very close friends. I immediately tried to retract that statement, but I knew it to be true. At that point, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I had to withhold this information from my wife for two days so I could talk to my therapist and she was preparing to meet with her therapist. Then I did a very poor job of just blurting it out to her. Not a great story.
Your fourth question was how did I come out to my children. I cannot answer that question yet as I am still preparing to come out to my children. I’m working with my therapist and my to make this happen and I am scared to death about the potential ramifications of this disclosure. The children do not live close to each other, so I will be doing each one individually and hope to be done within the next two months. Then comes my siblings.
My desires to be with men have been going on since I was a pre-teen. I think that’s probably what caused me to run from God as soon as I returned from my mission. Even though I ended up with a woman, I wasn’t trying to comply with the church. My wife is not LDS and we have not lived all the LDS values, like the word of wisdom. I finally found God again and he is a loving God, not the LDS God that is sending me to hell for who I am. That judgmental God kept me away from the real God that loves me just the way he made me.
OK, now we are way past information overload. I only share any of this in hopes that it can benefit others who may be suffering as I did. Thanks again for this wonderful podcast! I still have hopes that someday the church of my birth will come around and be a loving and accepting place for LGBTQ people.
JR in AR
PS – There was a longtime commenter on some of these Mormon blogs that was JR, so I modified my handle to JR in AR to prevent confusion. AR is not Arizona, it is Arkansas 🙂
Laura and Miguel chat about a wonderful email from listener, JR from AR.

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    Laura lives in Boise, Idaho with her 2 dogs, cat, and several chickens. She enjoys hiking, kayaking, nordic skiing, reading, and travel. Laura is single and ready to mingle.

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