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Dear Sista, I am a senior attending (undisclosed) high school. I have an issue. my sexual orientation. I'm gay and no one knows that I am. I'm afraid to let my family and friends know because if I do then I won't have them in my life anymore. It all started when I was in elementary. me and this boy (undisclosed) had some gay like activities. We are still doing this. I also play football this year and I find myself checking out my team mates. I don't know how to break this to everyone.
 
Dear Anonymous,
This is Sista again. I felt the need to perhaps restate some of my previous comments on this subject.  I am in the process of reading a book called "In Quiet Desperation". Let me tell you, it has enlightened my understanding of 'Same-Gender Attraction'. I didn't realize how many young men (and women) in the church struggle with this issue. I have also realized that the term homosexual is a very negative connotation (and I will no longer use that term). It's a book about a young man struggled with this issue his whole life. He did tell his parents who in turn
responded with love and understanding and was always there for him.  He ended up commiting suicide because he could no longer take it; however, he knew that his parents loved him regardless.  But his parents have written this book to educate and perhaps relate to other parents and siblings who deal with someone in their family that struggle with this issue.

As I had menitoned earlier, my brother having the same issue. I felt for him after reading only a few pages of this book. I love my brother even more now knowing that he has strugggled with this all his life.  Everyone deserves to love and be loved. However, our beliefs and teachings make it pretty diffucult for one who is attracted to the same gender, to live the Gospel. My brother stated and if he had a choice, he would have never chosen to be attracted to the same gender. As I continue to read this book I have a better understanding of the feelings and frustrations that these young men (and women) struggle with on a daily basis. If you have dislcosed this to your parents, I suggest you have them read this book to get a better understanding of what you are dealing with.  

I do know that some have tried very hard to live a normal life, some succeed and others regress. Some have expressed feelings disgust when thinking of being intimate with a person of the opposite sex. It may be offensive to some. However, I'm sure those who are attracted to the same gender do not mean it in a negative way...that is the way they feel. We can choose to be fat or skinny, we can choose to do drugs, choose to do a lot of things.  After reading this book so far...I realize that these spirits who struggle with same-gender attraction have an enormous test in life. My brother says that he would never wish this struggle on anyone.  

I have come to the conclusion that our responsibility as a child of God is to "love" and judge not. God and Jesus Christ are the only ones who have the right to judge. I do believe now that when Jesus told his disciples to "Love one another as I have loved you" he meant 'especially' those who struggle with this issue. 

Sista (La'ie, Hawaii)



Dear Anonymous,

I was born and raised a Mormon, but I have always felt that we must love everyone. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Good luck in life and press forward.


Tusi (Omaha, Nebraska, USA)



Dear Anonymous,

aloha bradduh, I surely understand the feeling that you are going thru. I have gone thru the same challenges. But It really depends on what you want in life for yourself. If you feel that it will free your spirit up. Then follow your feelings on what you need to do. It took me over 30 years to tell my parents and i have done so and it is okay. They still love me and they support me in whatever i choose to do. But with the influence of the church still in the midst. I know that  they want the best for me and all they are doing is loving me with good advice that they know how to give and react to such news. anyways i hope and pray that you do everything with respect and understanding towards your family and friends. Yes its not easy but in the end it will make you feel better. take care much aloha


KKH (Honolulu , Hawaii, USA)



Dear Anonymous ….. Although at the moment I’m somewhat at a loss for words, I felt compelled to respond as I too am gay and am very concerned about young men and women who struggle with this issue.  Fortunately (for me), I have an awesome companion -- whom I’ll call “HD” -- who has been my partner and best friend for virtually 20 years (we both come from very strong, devout LDS families -- and, ironically, met at a support group for gay Mormons (hello?) almost two decades earlier).  In my opinion, the difficulty of simply being gay and/or “coming out” to a degree has remained unchanged today than when I was your age (too many years ago now).  My dream is to live to see the day when being gay is no longer an issue for any young woman or man.  But please know this for certain:  you did not choose to be gay -- which I’m sure you already know -- no more than your heterosexual teammate chose to be straight.  How ironic that gay people grow up in straight families and communities; and, despite such (heterosexual) influences -- particularly during one’s childhood and adolescent years -- gay people remain just that, gay!  Chances are some of your family and friends may already know that aspect of your being but, like you, are afraid to approach you on such a personal and sensitive matter.  Indeed, HD and I have dealt with our own anxieties of “coming out” to our families and friends and were actually surprised -- pleasantly so -- by their reactions (basically, our loved ones told us that we were the same people they always knew -- honest, loving, compassionate, etc. -- and that the only difference they saw, if any, was that they now knew we were gay).  Of course, this scenario does not always play out similarly with all families and loved ones; and HD and I can, indeed, share some not-so-pleasant stories of some friends and reactions from their respective loved ones.  While, perhaps, my family and HD’s family may lack some understanding of how HD and I came to be, our families’ love and respect for us both individually and as a couple has remained steadfast; and we’re treated by them as any other devoted couple.  One final thought ….. if and/or when you decide to “come out” to your family and friends, try to remain calm and respectful towards their reactions (not that you wouldn’t), as it’s unrealistic to expect them to understand something that has taken us (gay people) virtually a “lifetime” to understand.  Indeed, our loved ones (likewise) will need time to sort this out; however, as long as everyone is willing to keep the communication lines open and honest, then everyone will have absolutely nothing to lose and truly everything to gain!  Hang in there; and, if you ever need a listening ear, feel free to email Sista for our contact information.  A Concerned Brother


Howard-Dean (Arlington, Virginia, USA)



Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for at least having confidence in Sista with such a sensitive issue.  I am adivising you with the assumption that you are a member of the Mormon church. I was born and raised in the church and was taught that homosexuality is a no no. To be totally honest, my personal belief is just that.  However, that doesn't mean that I shun homosexuals because I have a sibling that is homosexual who has a great companion and we as a family have not shunned him because he's our brother and we love him as we do his companion. I truly believe that God has no reservations when it comes to his children...He loves us all...black or white, gay or straight, HE LOVES US ALL! If your friends and family were born and raised in the church then they should know that we must love everyone and we are not the ones to judge. If they shun you then they are hypocrites. On the other hand, we're all human and will react in different ways. God is the only judge and will set the record straight in His time and in His way. I remember the very day my brother "came out" (so to speak) and told my parents and those of my brothers and sisters who were living at home at the time that he was gay. Although my parents did have a difficult time with this issue (because they're from the old school) eventually they came around, we all did, and decided to love our brother regardless of he being a homosexual because that's what we (as God's children) are supposed to do.  It's as simple as that. I imagine it must have been extremely difficult for my brother to muster up the strength to even make the initial attempt to tell us and, now that I look back...I applaud him for doing so.  Our family is very close (sometimes too close for comfort) but a variety of challenges have brought us even closer.  Both our parents have since passed away, but we have all remained close and have managed to respect each others differences.

Tell your parents in due time and whatever comes of it, do your best to be understanding.  I advise you to pray to Heavenly Father to give you the strength to endure whatever challenges may come afterwards. You will never know what their reaction will be until you open your mouth. And whatever the reaction...always remember that the key to a positive relationship with your family is to respect each others differences and love each other unconditionally.  Those who are not willing to love are simply missing out. I believe that living life to the fullest (gay or straight) means spending all your time with those you love and who love you.   


Sista (Laie, HI, USA)




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