Thursday, 26 February 2015


Here I am sitting nervously waiting to go on my first date with this new guy I've been talking to. I have about 15 minutes to kill before I need to leave so why not bog about my anxieties in the hope that it would calm it a bit.

One thing you have to know about me is... I suck at dating! Maybe it's the whole Mormon upbringing where you assume dating is just asking a girl to dinner and you have a great conversation and that's it. Casual dating right? Different YSA every weekend until I don't know, there's just this spark and you know that she's the one you want to take to the temple? Definitely not the story of my life...

So I met this guy on a dating site last week and we've exchanged a few phone calls during the week which were all very pleasant. Then you begin to imagine what life with him would look like - WAIT, you haven't even seen him yet! There are so many expectations with online dating and whilst I've been very clear with this guy that we are going to meet without expectations and as friends, I'm sure both of us have expectations somewhat. Will he likes me? Will I like him? Will I find him attractive? Will we have anything to talk about? Will we get along? Will I run into someone I know? Will it be awkward? What if one of us is interested and the other one isn't? So many 'what if's'!!

I guess I'll find out in 15 minutes! Yikes!

Stay tuned and wish me luck!

Monday, 16 February 2015

A Father's Love

I was wanting to post about my first experience going to an LGBT social group this past week but something happened yesterday that has taken precedence.

So I was on the phone to my Dad a few days ago and he made a comment to me in passing that took me a bit (or A LOT) by surprise. So we were talking about my new house (yes I bought a house, hooray!), he said in passing 'make sure you check the legal stuff around ownership of the house because there's some circumstances where if you live with someone for over 6 months they might have claim on it so when you live with your partner make sure you check all that out'. WHAT?! Did I just hear him correctly? My Dad who serviced as my Bishop when I was a teenager and still very active in Chuch, has commented on me having a 'partner' and talking about us living together?! I was gobsmacked! What caught me even more off guard was he said it so casually as if he didn't feel uncomfortable at all about the topic, (I actually felt like I was more uncomfortable than he was).

A bit of background on my relationship with my Dad...

My Dad is an intelligent and logical person. He rarely loses his temper and only a handful of times do I remember him lose his temper. He is somewhat of a conservative person in regards to showing emotion and I only do remember a handful of times he has verbalised that he 'loves' me. Despite the lack of verbal reassurance, there has never been any doubt in my mind that my Dad has an immense love for his family.

My Dad was always the one to approach if I wanted permission to go out with friends when I was younger. He was certainly more chill than my Mum but when it came to morals and values, he was as ancient as ancient gets.

During my first bout of rebellion (when I was on the verge of coming out at 17) my I distinctly remember my Dad sitting me in a room as stern as he had ever been letting me know that he could not allow anything contrary to the Gospel live under his roof. I was furious and contemplated running away from home as a naive 17 year old. I knew he said it out of love but my mind back then could not comprehend that. I'm sure he was only bluffing.

When I served a mission, my Dad was so proud because he valued his mission so much he wanted me to feel the same. We wrote regularly during my 2 year service and I felt like we grew closer together. My Dad was much better at showing emotion through letters than he was verbally and I felt like my mission helped me show my love for my family more.

Upon returning, we experienced some difficulties as our viewpoints on Gospel doctrines seemed to differ a bit. Our conversations became a bit more mundane and surface-y. So even now, although we have a great love for each other, we rarely verbalise it. We talk about sport, gossip amongst relatives, food, the weather even! Rarely about things that were close to our hearts.

When I started seeing this guy from last year, I knew I had to tell my family and I always dreaded telling my Dad because in my mind he would never approve. My sister told me to start with my Dad because she felt like he wold take it easier than Mum would so when my Dad was visiting me on one of his business trips I decided to take the opportunity....

We sat in the car as he was dropping me home from dinner... I told him I had something tell him.... I didn't know how to say it! I was 'umm-ing' and 'errr-ing' for about a good 15 minutes before I finally told him. He didn't react in any obvious way (no overwhelming love or disgust/hate). He was calm and just questioned my testimony and lectured me a bit about still keeping commandments. I was somewhat disappointed that he didn't show more love toward me but then again, it was much better than what I had expected... after that conversation that night in October, the subject was never mentioned again......

.....UNTIL THAT COMMENT! And he hasn't treated me any differently since!

I'm so grateful for the family that I have... even though we have our challenges, I know that he love me no matter what (even though they don't want to say it because it will feel like they condone my choices).

To everyone out there who are afraid to tell their parents, just hang in there! It seems like a scary and daunting thing to tell them but they might surprise you. That being said I think timing is very important as it was for me and my family so just take it at your own time and pace - when YOU are ready :)

I love this video so much and it was something that really helped me get to where I am now.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

#BestBishopEver #Hope.

This past week I met with my Bishop. We've been meeting since March last year (2014) and we try to get together monthly however scheduling conflicts and the end of year craziness made it difficult to catch up during the latter part of the year.

The last time I met with him was September, I remember I called him and wanted to speak to him because I had just gone on a date with a guy whom I liked very much, (we subsequently dated for about 3 months). So really, lots has happened since our last meeting.

I got to the chapel 10 minutes early and ran into the senior couple missionary serving in our ward. We made small talk but man those missionaries are forward! He starts off asking me if I was a member to which I answered 'yes'. he then said 'oh, I've never seen you here before'. Right... this has gotten a bit awkward... because I sort of have been there most weeks. Either way, Bishop turned up 5 minutes later and rescued me from an awkward conversation.

We walked into his office and sat down. I used to get really nervous entering the Bishop's office because I knew he was going to ask me those difficult questions and I would always have to panic over how truthful I was answering the Law of Chastity question. Now I just feel so peaceful because I had nothing to hide from Bishop because he knew everything about me.

We made some small talk and general banter about how our Christmas' were and the time we spent on holidays. He then asked the big-vague-can be interpreted in anyways-all encompassing question: 'so how are things going?' I knew what the question was referring to of course so out came my life in a nutshell over the past 4 months; falling in love, beginning a relationship, breaking up, coming out to my family, coming out to my friends and being somewhat inactive.

It was during this talk with him that I came to a profound self realisation. I have been happy. Despite not living the commandments of the Church, not attending Church regularly, praying or reading my scripture, I have been the happiest I have been in a long time. Even after my relationship ended (minus the grieving period right after the breakup), I'm still happy. I feel like there is hope is my life, hope for the future and for more happiness. This was an important moment for me because I was always fearful that my life would be miserable without the Church and while there are aspects I do miss in the Church, I am overall satisfied with life the way it is at the moment.

What Bishop went on to say gave me hope that perhaps one day, gay Mormons growing up in Church will have it easier then those that have past. Bishop reassured me that this happiness I've found is great. He went on to tell me that he'd been thinking a lot about the topic ever since we started meeting and that it has opened up his eyes and mind to this topic. He told me that he's been thinking about whether or not being gay and being in Church had to be mutually exclusive. He told me that it was good that I wanted to find fulfilling relationships in my life but did that mean I had to throw away the Gospel that I obviously still hold onto. He then proceeding to tell me an experience he'd had over Christmas when he met with a friend who was also a Bishop elsewhere. They got talking on the topic of homosexuality and this other Bishop told him that there was an openly gay couple in the ward he presides over. Members of the ward knew about it and just welcomed them in as anyone would. Bishop did acknowledge that it would be difficult and did not know exactly how it would work but he just emphasised that everyone should be welcomed into Church regardless - everyone is a sinner and sin differently so why should one be judged over another. Bishop certainly didn't say this is what I had to do but simply expressing thoughts that had been going through his mind.

Sure the process isn't that straight forward and I know there would be a lot of challenges but which path in life doesn't have challenges? I didn't feel like he was preaching to me one bit during our talk but simple empathy, understanding and love.

I am hopeful that Church members can emulate those Christlike attributes of love and acceptance as my Bishop so wonderfully showed me this past week. I hope the future of being gay and Mormon won't be as difficult as it has been for generations past.

Hope is a powerful thing and so long as we can continue to hope, there will be happiness.