I was just reading a friends' post. He was feeling very low, So the following is my reply to him. It's a bit more information about me, to be sure.
Everyone's situation as a gay man is a bit different (at least it seems that way to me). About your age, I ended up at Temple Square, SLC, after the final farewell with a man that I adored in SLC.
I was feeling pretty torn up; Conflicted & extremely sad, feeling that God could never love me again, nor forgive me. I'd not yet experienced forgiveness, or felt God's love in a meaningful way (& 22 years old isn't known as an age for a young guy to be very emotionally stable, either). I went to temple square, where I wandered on that chilly Spring morning, to the bell that they always used to ring for the KSL church broadcasts.
I just broke down; In pain, unable to move for a few minutes that seemed an eternity. I hadn't ever thought of leaving the church, nor did I consider it at that time. It occurred to me that I would need to speak with my bishop for the first serious offense in my life. I really thought that I would be excommunicated & I was terrifie; but I had hit bottom & I fully trusted in the church leaders, though I was horrified to hear what they would think of me.
I wanted to die, rather than consider the possibility that my family might find out that I was some (as I perceived it at the time) Unusual, wicked, twisted perverted evil young man, gone awry.
I even drove very recklessly for several months, but I didn't get into any wrecks or stop living, except in my self condemning heart.
I now have that peace that I needed back then. I go to a gay friendly church, because I need fellowship with people that simply love me for me & won't condemn my nature, just as my God made me; Also because each of us has the innate need to worship God.
Like I said, there are many differences in experience; But I used to feel very torn up about my natural desires VS. the teachings of my youth, in the LDS faith (which I do still prize)& my family.
That being said, I have found that I am much happier without the church sending me mixed messages with a bit of positive, but a lot of the negative thrown in. For me, I can't buy the negative anymore.
My God of love & of all that which is the best of possible knowledge. God knows that people make needed changes when they are loved & given positive guidance rather than negative & condemnatory words. He knows that the positive is far more powerful than anything negative; So why does the LDS faith employ so very much of the negative?
I miss you, & dance clubbing, & talking. Take care of yourself. When I get another phone, I'll let you know the number.
You are still an important mentor in this, my brave new world of being a gay mormon man.
Thank you for that.
Oh gee; I just typed a new blog post! I'll post it. I hope you don't mind, man!