So I was asking Tiff last night what to write about. Sometimes there’s so many different topics that I try and cram them all into one little blog and things tend to get messy. Tiff is constantly “cleaning” up my blogs and helping me keep to just one little itty bitty topic ;). Today, still undecided I was texting her my feelings about the recent speech during LDS conference by Dallin Oaks. She texted back "sounds like you have your blog honey".
I know MJ asked me to talk about my turkey baster. I will MJ. I promise. I’d also like to talk about my parents and family and my coming out story. I think it’s important to share because it shows where I came from. Also I’d love to talk about divorce, lesbian style, co-parenting, step-parenting in a lesbian world and whether we should have more children. Then there’s the fact that I have a daughter with special needs. That alone is it’s own month worth. Navigating the medical field being a lesbian parent, divorced and getting remarried.
So to say the very least picking a topic every week tends to be a tornado of life events whirling in my brain. I want to share my stories, my experiences, my mistakes and even some of my achievements here. I’d like to expose every layer of my crazy onion self for you to see what my eyes see when I look around. Given all the above paragraph, this will take time. So please be patient with me.
So we went camping with Tiff’s parents over the weekend. This was stressful. They are extremely religious and carry high titled positions within their church. Of course their church is the LDS one. I don’t believe in god. I’m sure you can see how this could be stressful. Her parents listened to conference while camping up at their camp. We avoided it. Her mom came down and talked about Dallin Oaks speech about protecting children. She left off a vital tidbit...
Back history: Tiff’s parent’s don’t think I should have had children. They think it is harmful to children to be raised by lesbian parents. They believe I’m selfish. This has created a vast chasm of issues for Tiff and I. She feels defensive of her family and I’m irate that anyone comments about my children.
So, this speech by Dallin Oaks which you can go google, I’m not computer savvy enough to know how to do it for you. (that linky thing) This speech talks about children needing to be protected from selfish adult decisions. Children are being harmed when raised by same-gender parents. What I have written are not direct quotes, I’m too lazy to go get those too, or perhaps I’m so emotional about the topic listening to the speech even one more time might cause this computer to fly. So I am paraphrasing. Although it is close to what was said.
First, several studies have shown that homo parents and hetero parents are pretty equal. There is a study called the US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Psychological Adjustment of 17-Year-Old Adolescents. This study has very interesting information you should google it too so that you can see the facts about homo parents rather than hear opinions.
Second, I happen to believe it’s beneficial for children to be loved. It’s not by whom they are loved that is the issue. Lots of grandparents, step-parents, adoptive parents, single parents, hetero parents and gay parents raise well adjusted children. The important concept is love.
I am really hurt by Dallin Oaks and his speech. It’s true, in order for something to hurt me I have to: 1. Choose to let it hurt me 2. Give it some sort of importance and 3. Decide that somehow I fall below standard. I struggle with all of this because really, I feel that raising children in a cult like religion that doesn’t allow free-thought, forces children to fast, pay tithing and dress certain ways is selfish. I can look at my adult non-active LDS friends both gay and straight and see where parts of them are agonizing over the brainwashing they had in their youth.
So, my perspective is that I believe the LDS religion to be selfish. I find it to be self-serving as well. Up until recently they didn’t allow African American men to hold the sacred priesthood. They also didn’t allow women to pray, men came to relief society to say the prayers for the women. There are several other documented reasons why this religion is certifiably insane to me. I think raising your children from birth and indoctrinating them with it in all aspects of life is selfish.
I have friends that are damaged by this religion. They struggle every day with themselves. They fight between what they were taught to believe and who they are today. I’m confused by this time and time again. I know amazing people. I have heard stories that make me cry, I have lost people to suicide. I have known people to go back into the religion because they couldn’t stand not being with their family and being ostracized any longer.
I know that the LDS religion believes in life after death. I know what they teach and say. I know that my friends who have chosen to go back to the church to be accepted by their families believe that they will be rewarded in heaven. Here’s what I know to be a fact: this is the only thing you can know for sure, this life you have right now is all there is. Why spend the entire thing focusing on what could potentially happen? Why waste it? I try to be a good person every day. I make hard choices, I make sacrificies. I donate to charities, I give to homeless, I offer aid as often as possible. I don’t care what that does for me in the hypothetical heaven. I do those things because they make me feel good now. I’m not trying to reap rewards in another space. I just want to be the best person I can.
I want people to know they are beautiful the way they are. Actions speak much louder than words. I hope when you look in the mirror you see someone who deserves love and acceptance. I hope you see in your reflection the truth that this life is what you have right now, hell or heaven will either be there or it won’t. No matter what happens when we die I know that sun is going to raise for the rest of the living. The only legacy I have to leave is that I was true to myself. That I raised my children to see their inner beauty for the harmony and the chaos it is. I raise my daughters, not by telling them as much as showing them, my acceptance of myself, in all aspects. I do this with the hope that it will show them how to love themselves. I hope they learn how to cherish every sunrise for the gift it is.
No matter how black the storm, no matter how deep the water, no matter how difficult the climb, I will be here to catch my children, guide them in their darkness, remind them to float on their backs in the depths, and stop to smell the fresh air around them on the hike. This makes me a damn good mom, and by god, the LDS religion and Mr Dallin Oaks can’t convince me otherwise.