I grew up in the LDS Church, though I was not very active. I would meet often with the Bishop and have personal interviews with him, often about sexual matters. It tended to be the focus of each meeting whether or not I was masturbating and how I would be blessed if I stopped. This lead to extreme guilt and shame each time I “messed up.” It impaired my thought process on what sexuality was – to me it became something evil and vile. Something only sinners do. But what was I to do once I got married? How was I supposed to all of a sudden switch from sex being a sin to something that is apparently holy??
I am also gay. A few weeks ago I went to lunch with my childhood bishop just to catch up on life and things. I had recently publicly come out on Facebook and we chatted about that for a bit. Then suddenly he asked me if I had any sexual relations with any of my mission companions. I immediately answered no but what I found so disturbing is how groomed I had been to talk about sexual matters with this man. I trust and like my bishop very much it’s just a little off to me that I’m talking about my sex life to a 55 year old. I don’t think that would be considered normal outside the LDS church and culture.
Because of the Church’s stance that “sex between a man and a woman is ordained of god” implied to me that sex with another man was an absolute sin and that “wickedness never was happiness.” This lead me to fight and mold to a standard that I could never attain and caused suicidal thoughts several times. “It’s impossible for me to like a woman. But if I don’t I will be damned for all eternity because I’m having sex with men! What do I do?? I have to remain “faithful!”
The Church’s stance on sexuality has been very poisonous in my life. It has caused me to shame myself and my sexuality. It has taken several years to come to where I am today – that I’m gay and that’s okay. The only solution I could find was to leave the church and it’s unhealthy sexual standards and interviews permanently behind me.