LGBTQ Shaming

By Naomi

When I was LDS, I came out that I was gay to my bishop.  That ruined a big part of my life.  I had to meet with him every week.  He gave me certain pages of the Book of Mormon and Bible to read.  I had to meet with the missionaries once a week.  He wanted to send me to a camp that my parents could not afford.  I was suicidal starting at age 13 and have had depression since I was 11.  I have been in two different mental hospitals:  one six times, and one two times.  I wanted to leave the church when I was 14 because all of this was hurting me so much, but my mom wouldn’t let me.  At church I felt like God hated me, that being gay was a choice.   That led me to date men so I could fit in.  The weekly meetings were humiliating and sometimes I wanted to run away from it.  When I was in the church, I earned two Young Women Medallions.  I was trying so hard for God to like me.  I wish I would have never gone to my bishop.  I don’t think there is a God anymore because of the traumatic things that happened to me.  And I have mental issues as a result.  I hate the fact that I wasn’t allowed to take the sacrament.  That was so hard for me.  I could go on and on but it gets worse and worse.

**How can LDS parents and bishops develop a more understanding approach for young people struggling with gay and lesbian tendencies? What can be done to make Church members more compassionate towards the struggle LGBTQ members face from the religiously rigid?

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