I had great bishops growing up. I always felt like they were sincere in trying to help me be a better person, and to this day, I still appreciate them. When I got back from my mission and started at BYU, I decided to tell the bishop of my new YSA ward that I am gay. I had had great experiences with past bishops, and figured that if anybody could be trusted with this secret, it would be a bishop. He was noticeably uncomfortable, but did his best to validate my concerns, which I really appreciated. I left the meeting feeling much better about myself.
Until I got home.
It turns out that this bishop called in my roommate (who was the Elder’s Quorum President) and had asked him to keep a close eye on me and report back to him if I ever did anything “remotely gay.” He also tried to find out my professors’ contact information so he could pass on the same message to them. I was very upset, so the following Tuesday I set another appointment with him.
As soon as I sat down, I could tell that I had made a mistake. Instead of smiling and seeking to understand as I thought he had the time before, he was openly hostile and asked me a list of questions he had created in an attempt to find out why I was gay and how far I had acted. It was absolutely ridiculous. I hadn’t acted on my feelings at all, but in his mind, I was already guilty and he was asking all varieties of questions to figure out what I had done that led me to be gay.
Needless to say, I lost faith in that bishop. I became very depressed and suicidal at church, and quickly stopped going to church. I tried again the next year in my new YSA ward. My next bishop was a lot better, but I’ve always been more reserved about this topic because I don’t want a repeat. I have since left the church and am focusing on bettering myself. I believe that this decision is what’s best for me, but I’m not sure where I would be or how I would feel had my bishop not accused me, broken trust, and grilled me on every sexual act he could think of.