When learning about this campaign and the way that so many people have been treated, I can’t help but think how lucky I am. I didn’t grow up in Utah, I grew up smack dab in the middle of Illinois, and there really wasn’t many other Mormons where I grew up.
I also think how lucky I am because when the Bishop asked me about masturbation, I lied. I tend to have an abnormally high libido, and I had about the same sex drive as most boys my age. I don’t really remember when I first started, but I remember feeling guilty and ashamed of myself. The church has always portrayed women’s sexuality as non-existent. For the longest time, I thought that I was the only woman in the world to have these thoughts and these desires. I saw myself as a monster.
When I’d go into interviews I would always lie about my masturbation but doing so only made me feel worse about what kind of person I was. I never really believed that I could get into the Celestial Kingdom because I was just so sinful. When I grew older I started kissing boys and I just felt like trash. Now, looking back, I’m glad that I didn’t confide in my bishop or my parents about any of this because I now see how much worse things could have gotten. I’m glad that I lied to protect myself, but I’m also pissed off that I had to. I don’t have a close relationship with my parents or my TBM family, and the reason I don’t is because I had to lie. I wish I could have talked to my parents about the guys I dated (before the age of 16), I wish that I could have not seen myself as trash for having natural feelings, I wish that I wasn’t called a whore by my brother because I’ve KISSED guys, I wish that my family now didn’t see as a rebellious child that listens to “Anti-Mormon lies”, I wish a lot of things were different then the way the are, but nothing can change that.
I think the church needs to change a lot of these attitudes towards natural things, and they need to do it fast. Because if they don’t, there won’t be much of a church left.