I was the most innocent teenager growing up in the mission field in an orthodox family. I was best friends with the Bishop’s daughter who was boy crazy. I wasn’t, mostly because at that age the boys had not caught up to my height or emotional maturity. One night the bishop’s daughter wanted to sneak out together to meet the scouts who were camping out on the family farm. I refused to sneak out because I was so concerned with keeping the rules and obeying parents.
She got caught. But her father, the Bishop at that time, called me in to his office to question me about my sexuality. At 13 he asked me if I was a lesbian and continued to ask me at every interview throughout my youth. I didn’t know what that word meant, and the bishop explained it to me. I didn’t even know homosexuality was a thing. It had never occurred to me. I was terrified I had done something wrong but I didn’t understand because I thought I was doing what was right by refusing to sneak out to kiss boys that night. It sent a loud message to me that any sexual interest in anyone was morally wrong. I had never thought about homosexuality but continued to question myself throughout my adolescence about whether or not I was actually attracted to women because the bishop continued to ask me.
As an adult, I recognize how manipulative, abusive and inappropriate he was. I was never homosexual (not that there’s anything wrong with it) but i had a bishop who tried to convince me I was simply because I wanted to “choose the right” and not sneak out with boys. When I recently told my own father about this story with regards to Protect LDS Children, he said he wished he had known because he would have done something about it. But he refuses to believe all these anonymous stories have any credit because as Bishop HE never asked anything inappropriate. Thank you to all the brave ones out there sharing their stories and speaking their truth.