Enough IS Enough
My heart is sad today. A few days ago, a man named Chris Beers took his own life. He was gay. He was my age, and grew up in a Utah town similar to the one I grew up in. He was a friend and mission companion to someone I went to high school with, who is also gay. His story has been circulating Facebook and blogs. You can read one version of the story here: Gay Mormon Man From Utah Commits Suicide.
In April’s issue of the New Era, an LDS publication written for the “youth” of the church, there is an article discussing homosexuality. It’s not particularly nice, or loving, or kind. As I read it, cringing at the harsh tone, I wondered how many young people in the church will read this article and hate themselves just a little bit more, and be pushed just a little closer to their own suicidal edge.
In all fairness it’s not just Mormons “fighting the good fight” against those sinful homosexuals. No, Christian denominations put aside their doctrinal differences and unite in this unworthy cause. Recently a Mormon blogger who calls herself “A Well-Behaved Mormon Woman” (Ha! I guess I’m a badly behaved Mormon woman), featured a post defending Kirk Cameron’s public stand against gay marriage. If you’re interested in what he says, you can find the blog and interview here: Kirk Cameron Out of Step on Gay Marriage - Says Who? .
I see arguments like this one all the time on Facebook and blog comments against gay marriage. And I’m noticing a trend. There are some nasty words being thrown around by good Christian folk. Words like enemy, threat, unnatural, abomination, blah blah blah.
One particularly popular argument is that gay marriage is somehow a threat to the the family and to traditional marriage. Really? How exactly? I’ve been married for almost 12 years. I cannot think of a single moment when homosexuality has threatened my marriage. Wait, there was that one time...nope, nothing. Not once. Other things could threaten my marriage and my little family, things like selfishness, financial stress, infidelity, or my own bad choices. If my friend were to marry his monogamous partner of almost a decade, would that somehow invalidate my marriage? Nope, I don’t see how it would. So I guess I can stop being scared of losing my marriage to the gays. Phew, that’s a relief.
There is something that scares me to my very core, and that is the frightening trend I see among many otherwise kind people that justifies meanness and exclusiveness. It’s the thoughtless words and actions against the LGBT community, in the name of morality. It’s the off-handed, uneducated comments someone might make at church without realizing that the person sitting next to them is gay. It’s words from someone in an authoritative position that can make a gay youth, or gay adult feel like they’re not good enough, that they’re somehow unnatural or an abomination. That scares the crap out of me, because no one should be made to feel that way. No one. Ever. That is wrong.
There have been several posts on this blog about suicide, and not feeling like “enough.” I am growing very attached to all of you amazing people and I do not want to see any of you hurt by hateful words or attitudes expressed by ANYONE. I don’t care who they are or what position they hold in a church. No one has the right to make you feel like you’re unworthy of your own life. You have every right to live your truth, to pursue your dreams, and to like yourself, damn it. Please, please, please...don’t listen to the haters. Be okay with who you are and know that you are absolutely fine, just as you are. In the words of Stuart Smalley (an old SNL skit that most of you are far too young to remember, “You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you.” Most of all, YOU ARE ENOUGH.
And at the risk of including far too many links on this post, I love this song. It reaffirms my faith that being ourselves, being different, is very much okay.