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.Sincerely,
JR in ARPS – 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 🙂
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