My eyes could not keep up the charade anymore. After a busy morning of chores and errands, I made my way to my bed. I had only just laid down, eyes closed tight, and drifted off to sleep when I awoken by THUD THUD.
I did not answer the door, but I knew who it was. I heard my mom’s sleepy voice, awoken too by the raucous, and heard her step outside as someone else came in and headed for the bathroom, closing the door behind them. It’s the missionaries, I thought. As a child of a single mother, I knew the rule: no missionaries could be alone with a woman in the same house. But it must have been leaked that I was home, because the next thing I knew, they were in my living room talking with my mother.
In my sleepy consciousness, I thought about going out there. I’m sure Jesus would have, even if he was wrapped up in his Spongebob blanket. But then I thought about what I would say:
Hi, I’m a fourth year sociology major and feminist studies minor, and I work on a commission to provide funding to queer organizations and events, as well as our coalitional allies on campus. I also write for a blog chronicling the lives of members who also identify somewhere in the queer spectrum, and the struggles that come with being persecuted and discriminated against for our sexuality.
I pictured the looks on their faces if I was to tell them that, and I wrapped up tighter in my blanket and closed my eyes. Because I knew it wouldn’t be worth the resulting disagreement and dialogue about how I need to see the light.
To make sure I wasn’t wrongly being a jerk, I googled “lds church view sexual abuse” and read all sorts of stories about members being sexually abused and the resulting cover-up Church leaders executed in order to preserve a pristine public image. Many of these individuals were urged not to share their stories so that their perpetrators who were high ranked and held positions of power within the Church could continue to do so. I thought, “those poor individuals whose experiences are not being acknowledged so that an institution that runs on patriarchy and the thriving of males can live on.”
And then I wondered what happened to those perpetrators, and if they would have been outcast and expelled like many queer identified Mormons are, or if they go through an extensive repentance process that will get them at least somewhat near where they used to be.
I don’t think I’m ready for a missionary discussion anytime soon.