Because when I was a kid I learned that being gay is a sin. That masturbation can lead to homosexuality.
Because as early as middle school I would pray intensely to be forgiven of my sins—promising God that I wouldn’t be gay if he would just forgive me.
Because some people love me but not “that part” of me, or what I choose to do with “that part” of me.
Because I always felt so alone, even though I had many friends. Because my loneliness was intensified by things like the pamphlet “To the One.” Because so many people are misinformed, and misinform. Because so much of our psyches are the product of this misinformation.
Because no matter how hard I tried it never seemed enough.
Because my undergraduate university locked away some books about homosexuality, because it used to be affiliated with electro-shock therapy, and because a professor asked me not to raise the issue of homosexuality in class.
Because people in the Church could not, would not accept my gay cousin, and he died. Because he was (and indeed is) such a wonderful, kind, genuine, and loving young man.
Because this mess of dots* we see now will make sense someday.
Because God loves us, everyone.
Because I am still trying really hard to be good, and sometimes it still feels like it’s not enough.
Because what I am doing is enough, and it is good.
With love, from Justin
*From Latter Days, the movie, via IMDB: “Sometimes it all still feels like a mass of dots. But more and more these days, I feel like we’re all connected. And it’s beautiful… and funny… and good.”