This essay originally appeared on the blog, No More Strangers. Click here to read Scott’s original post.
By Scott H.
“Mom! Hey it’s Steve, how are you?”
“Steve! I’m doing well son, how are you? How is college?
“Pretty good, pretty good. How is work? How is your calling?”
“Oh my calling is fine, I love the Relief Society sisters. There is always a lot to do, and it keeps me busy. Thank goodness I have a supportive spouse…”
Steve paused for a moment. “So I have a question Mom… but before you answer it, you have to promise that you won’t get too…. Worked up.”
Steve’s mom chuckles. “Well I don’t know if I can promise that. But now I’m intrigued. This question wouldn’t have to do with, you know… love or sex or anything would it!”
“Oh you know I’m just teasing you. What’s your question”
“Well… mom how did you… how did you know? When you, you know, found the ‘one’?”
“Oh!” Steve’s mom says eagerly, “well, that is an interesting question.” More chuckling. “Well, you’d be surprised to know that once upon a time, way back in the stone ages, I was quite the catch. One day I was walking to institute in the snow. I must have been walking a little too fast, and I slipped and landed pretty awkwardly on my elbow. I was laying there kind of embarrassed, when I heard a kind voice ask if I needed a hand. I looked up into these big, kind brown eyes. From the first moment, we just had a connection.”
“That’s you mom, the hopeless romantic.”
“What’s wrong with romance? You kids these days” Laughter. “Well, we dated a few times—oh I know, ‘dating – so old fashioned!’ And somewhere along the way, we just knew. The conversations about marriage, family, work… it all just came naturally. Then we got married!” More laughter. “So Steve” she asks teasingly “I’m hoping, I mean guessing of course, that this is more than just a casual inquiry. Have you met someone?”
Steve answers quietly: “yeah mom. I have.” Then quickly, as if the words can’t come out fast enough: “oh mom, it’s amazing. It’s exactly like you just described. The first time we met, there was this instant connection, just like what you were talking about. And when we are together, it’s like… finding a piece of me that I didn’t even know was missing.”
“And you call me a romantic! Steve I’m so happy for you. This is wonderful.”
“Okay… don’t hold out any longer… What’s his name? Jen and I are both going to want you to come home soon and introduce us to him!”
Steve takes a deep breath, stealing himself for the moment he can no longer avoid.
“Mom…. Her name is Kay. Mom, I’m in love with a woman.”
It seemed to Steve as though an eternity passed before his Mom answered. From the other end of the line, Steve thought he heard a stifled whimper. Then in a strained, pained voice. “Oh Steve…. I don’t know what to say.” More silence. “Steve, I… I thought these… feeling, these… temptations, were in your past. I thought you’d moved beyond all of that.”
“Mom. I’m in love. This is real”
“Steve, I’m sure these feelings are strong. I can’t imagine what it must be like, to be in your shoes. To be attracted to someone of… the opposite gender. But I know YOU. And I know what your values are. I know what you want long term, and Steve… this isn’t it. What about an eternal sealing, what about your eternal family?”
“Mom, of course I want to be with you and Jen forever. But, I want to be with Kay as well.”
“Steve, there is more to life than sex…”
“Mom! This isn’t about sex! I mean… of course I’m attracted to her, but it’s not like we go around and…”
“Steve, please… tell me that you haven’t engaged in heterosexual activities.”
“…. What do you mean mom?”
“Oh Steve don’t make me say it. Have you…. Kissed her? Have you… oh I can’t even….”
“Mom, I love her and she loves me, but like you said – I know who I am. She does too – she is just as good of a member of the church as I am. We aren’t going to do anything sexual before marriage—just like we were taught. We are going to abide by the same rules.”
“Steve don’t get cute with me. The rules are that marriage between genders is against God’s laws. Any heterosexual activity is against God’s laws. Why would God have made the sexes different if he didn’t expect them to stay with their own kind? Abiding by the same rules means that you avoid heterosexual activities just like anyone would.”
“Mom, that doesn’t sound like the same rules to me. I mean, you and Jen didn’t have to avoid kissing when you were dating, and you knew that you could get married to each other.”
“Steve you can too, you just…”
“Mom! I don’t love men! Not that way! What do you expect me to do?”
“Steven you know there are people that are ready to help. What about those counselors and seminars? I know they are expensive but you know we’re willing to help…”
“Mom, I’ve tried that. Those groups and seminars just made me hate myself. When I look in the mirror I know who I am. I am a man who just happens to be attracted to women. We talked about this. Those doctors have been discredited by every major mental health organization in the country. There is no proof they can make me or any other man fall in love with a man.”
“But if you just try it again….”
“Mom if I try it again I may just end up hurting myself. Or worse…”
Another pause, that seems like eternity.
“Mom…. Kay and I are…. Well I know that we are going to be spending a lot of time together from now on. Mom… I’d like you to meet her.” Steve said. “I’d like to bring her home.”
“Steve. I love you. Don’t ask us to do this.”
“I love you too Mom.” Steve says through the tears, now freely flowing. Another long pause “I’ll talk to you later.”
“Steve we are praying for you. We know you’ll do the right thing.”
Steve slowly hangs up the phone.