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Chris Smith

Gay Student Panel At Byu

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If anyone's interested, I posted a writeup of last night's gay student panel on my blog. Note that the summary is based on a liveblog put together by The Student Review. I couldn't actually get inside to hear what was said for myself, because people were packed in around the doors. Lots of folks got turned away for lack of room.

Edited by Chris Smith

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If anyone's interested, I posted a writeup of last night's gay student panel on my blog. Note that the summary is based on a liveblog put together by The Student Review. I couldn't actually get inside to hear what was said for myself, because people were packed in around the doors. Lots of folks got turned away for lack of room.

From my perspective, Christian love and understanding in the context of the Restored Gospel would frame the exchange more like this: if somebody says, 'I'm gay,' you should say 'Okay, why are you telling me this?’ before asking, ‘what can I do to help you through this?' I think it is less presumptuous--what does a gay person automatically need to be "helped through" that a straight person doesn’t?

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The forum was great! though I had to leave a little early for a group project, I did get good notes of all the people who participated, minus the Q&A.. I'll post some from this later, but I'm super busy today....I don't know when though. Just so you know Chris, I got there an hour early, and that's the only reason I got a seat. By 6:30 the seats were taken and people began sitting all over the floor. I hope they'll do it again in the future in a bigger room and make it a more open event. I understand why they didn't though...it was a first time event and there had been a number of calls of complaints, insisting that it should be cancelled. and a protest of sorts about it being allowed. But man, was it good!

With luv,

BD

Edited by BlueDreams

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I believe it is only a matter of a decade or so before those leading GLBT lifestyles will be given full access to Church rights. I am excited at the idea.

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I guess it's hard for me to understand what it means to be "gay?" Are you only attracted to the same gender or do you just prefer your own gender? I remember the heartbreak of one of my favorite companions in the mission. He came home to his parents getting divorced. The reason was his father had decided he was gay. In my mind he must have been bisexual, otherwise how did he procreate? I'm sure a lot of heterosexuals would like to have other sexual partners, but they sacrifice that to maintain the family unit. How is what this man was called upon to sacrifice different? For me there shouldn't be any place for that type of selfish lifestyle choice in a religion that is trying to uphold the family unit.

Regardless of what I think, I don't think we'll ever see gay marriages solemnized in Mormon temples in my lifetime.

Edited by mbh26

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I believe it is only a matter of a decade or so before those leading GLBT lifestyles will be given full access to Church rights. I am excited at the idea.

Yes, then we can allow even more non-standard sexual lifestyles access just because someone wants it. Pedophilia, Incest... I mean, they can't CONTROL it, so the Church should just stop making it a sin!

Alcoholism too. That's just not fair. They can't CONTROL their alchoholism, so the Word of Wisdom makes them feel bad and unloved. Time to ditch it..

JMS

JMS has left the building.

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Yes, then we can allow even more non-standard sexual lifestyles access just because someone wants it. Pedophilia, Incest... I mean, they can't CONTROL it, so the Church should just stop making it a sin!

Equating sexual assault of children with homosexuality = FAIL

Edited by David T

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Equating sexual assault of children with homosexuality = FAIL

Comparing sexually defiling of children with sexually defying of homosexuals = Success

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Wade is out of the thread.

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Comparing sexually defiling of children with sexually defying of homosexuals = Success

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

wow Wade, this is very telling of who you are as a person. So you want to be remembered as a person that equates GLBT lifestyles with the ruthless and disgusting actions of pdeophilia?

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If anyone's interested, I posted a writeup of last night's gay student panel on my blog. Note that the summary is based on a liveblog put together by The Student Review. I couldn't actually get inside to hear what was said for myself, because people were packed in around the doors. Lots of folks got turned away for lack of room.

Thanks for the blog. I'm impressed that the panel was even given the opportunity to do this. I'm glad to hear the event was successful. Those that have an issue with dialoguing, as some posters apparently do, have some REAL issues to deal with.

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There's a difference between saying that all homosexuals are pedophiles and saying that the sin of homosexuality (the action of homosex) and the sin of pedophilia are both reprehensible.

It is, however, interesting that homosexual pedophiles are a disproportionately large proportion of all pedophiles. Male pedophiles attacking boys and female pedophiles attacking girls are homosexual pedophiles, by definition. Somehow homosexual apologists try to draw a distinction between homosexuals who only engage with other adult homosexuals and homosexuals who engage with both other adults and with children, too. There are none I've ever heard of who engage solely with children of their same sex; when it involves children, it also involves adults, and this is true for heterosexual pedophiles, as well. Just as homosexuals tend to focus on their own sex, pedophiles tend to focus on on one sex or the other. When that focus is their own sex, they are homosexual pedophiles.

It seems undeniable to me, but I guess homosexual apologists must see it differently.

Lehi

Lehi has left the thread.

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Wow Wade, this is very telling of who you are as a person. So you want to be remembered as a person that equates GLBT lifestyles with the ruthless and disgusting actions of pdeophilia?

Geez, lost, do you want to be remembered as the person who twisted my comments beyond recognition? My comments were confined to "sexual defilement," and said nothing about lifestyles and ruthlessness. Sexual defilement is sexual defilement, just as sin is sin. What about this don't you get?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Thanks for the blog. I'm impressed that the panel was even given the opportunity to do this. I'm glad to hear the event was successful. Those that have an issue with dialoguing, as some posters apparently do, have some REAL issues to deal with.

CFR that some posters have a problem with dialoguing.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Sexual defilement is sexual defilement, just as sin is sin. What about this don't you get?

Fornication and Adultery between consenting homosexuals = Fornication and Adultery between consenting heterosexuals.

Heterosexual Rape = Homosexual Rape. Rape is rape is rape.

Rape and assault in any degree (especially when a child is victimized) is NOT EVER to be equalled with the willful and mutual choice of consenting adults.

Edited by David T

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If anyone's interested, I posted a writeup of last night's gay student panel on my blog. Note that the summary is based on a liveblog put together by The Student Review. I couldn't actually get inside to hear what was said for myself, because people were packed in around the doors. Lots of folks got turned away for lack of room.

Thanks for sharing this. Homosexuality is an issue that cannot continue to be such a hush-hush subject or stigmatized...it needs to be more openly talked about and acknowledged in the Church. That doesn't necessarily mean that we have to compromise on our doctrine that homosexual acts are sinful. But our gay/SSA brothers and sisters deserve to be acknowledged and treated with dignity. We lose too many of them.

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CFR that some posters have a problem with dialoguing.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

jskains getting booted from the thread should be sufficient enough of a CFR IMHO

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Would you agree with the following, wade?

Fornication and Adultery between homosexuals = Fornication and Adultery between heterosexuals.

Sexual assault of children is in a completely different league.

To avoid the potential semantic confusion with words like "adultery," let me just say that I agree that within the set of sexual defilements there are differentiation in terms of the kind and severity of sexual defilements, and thus a range of subsets.

However, to me, not all hetero-sex is included in the set of sexual defilement and sin, whereas all homo-sex and sex with children are included in that set.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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From my perspective, Christian love and understanding in the context of the Restored Gospel would frame the exchange more like this: if somebody says, 'I'm gay,' you should say 'Okay, why are you telling me this?’ before asking, ‘what can I do to help you through this?' I think it is less presumptuous--what does a gay person automatically need to be "helped through" that a straight person doesn’t?

We're told that SSA is a malady. Every malady has its own set of unique challenges.

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jskains getting booted from the thread should be sufficient enough of a CFR IMHO

He wasn't booted for being against dialoguing on the subject, but rather because of the offending nature of his dialogue, and so the CFR stands.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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There's a difference between saying that all homosexuals are pedophiles and saying that the sin of homosexuality (the action of homosex) and the sin of pedophilia are both reprehensible.

It is, however, interesting that homosexual pedophiles are a disproportionately large proportion of all pedophiles. Male pedophiles attacking boys and female pedophiles attacking girls are homosexual pedophiles, by definition. Somehow homosexual apologists try to draw a distinction between homosexuals who only engage with other adult homosexuals and homosexuals who engage with both other adults and with children, too. There are none I've ever heard of who engage solely with children of their same sex; when it involves children, it also involves adults, and this is true for heterosexual pedophiles, as well. Just as homosexuals tend to focus on their own sex, pedophiles tend to focus on on one sex or the other. When that focus is their own sex, they are homosexual pedophiles.

It seems undeniable to me, but I guess homosexual apologists must see it differently.

Lehi

Interesting twist of facts. Can I ask you a question? There is currently a very high profile case going on at Penn State. I am sure you are probably familiar with the case. It appears a married man with two female children has been preying on young boys for some time. There has been no indication that the person involved is gay. There has been no allegations that he has had sex with men. His wife seems to think he is straight. Yet he molests young boys. So are you trying to say that every man that molests young boys is gay? Do you have any proof of this? Has there actually been a study of men who molest boys whether they are gay or straight? Or are you just trying to connect dots that do not exist. I really don't know much about this subject, so I am interested in where you get your knowledge about pedophiles from.

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He wasn't booted for being against dialoguing on the subject, but rather because of the offending nature of his dialogue, and so the CFR stands.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Then, how long did it take BYU to actually hold this Panel? It's not like it's a new issue. The RCC has been dialoguing with the LGBT groups in the LA area for a couple decades now. It's helped with the interaction of the needs of that group. I'm glad to see the dialogue actually take place at BYU. It has been overdue for a while.

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I believe it is only a matter of a decade or so before those leading GLBT lifestyles will be given full access to Church rights. I am excited at the idea.

The already DO have the ability to gain full access to Church rights. I'm not sure what you think is going to happen in a decade or two, I'll tell you this much, I don't think the church will ever condone homosexual physical relationships or marriage.

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I guess it's hard for me to understand what it means to be "gay?" Are you only attracted to the opposite gender or do you just prefer your own gender? I remember the heartbreak of one of my favorite companions in the mission. He came home to his parents getting divorced. The reason was his father had decided he was gay. In my mind he must have been bisexual, otherwise how did he procreate? I'm sure a lot of heterosexuals would like to have other sexual partners, but they sacrifice that to maintain the family unit. How is what this man was called upon to sacrifice different? For me there shouldn't be any place for that type of selfish lifestyle choice in a religion that is trying to uphold the family unit. Regardless of what I think, I don't think we'll ever see gay marriages solemnized in Mormon temples in my lifetime.

I realize how difficult it seems to be for people that are straight to understand what it must be like to be gay. Perhaps the easiest way to understand what it is like is to say to you that if it was against the laws of God to be with a woman, would you be able to marry a man. The answer is probably given enough religious belief that it was what God wanted you to do and a society that believes marriage is only between two men, you would probably be able to marry a man even though you had no feelings or attractions for any men. Outside pressures and expectations can often make people make choices they would not otherwise make.

Who knows what causes these feelings of who we are attracted to deep inside of us. Even the church has stated that they do not understand what causes someone to be gay. We don't really wake up and decide what gender we are attracted to. The question often asked is "when did you decide you were attracted to women?" The answer is of course it was never a conscious decision, it just always seems to be a part of who you are.

I hope this helps you to relate to what your companion's father must have gone through. The most misunderstood fact about being gay is that it is about sex. While sex is a component with sexual orientation it is not the primary drive whether you are straight or gay. Ask any adult what is important about their relationships with the one they love and most will tell you that the sex is way down the list of what binds them together. Hope that makes some sense to you.

Many guys have followed this course that your companions father followed. Most feel like if they just try hard enough they too could learn to become straight. And the majority of times, these types of marriages fail. At one time many church leaders counseled gay men to get married in hopes that the attraction to men would go away. In recent years the church has discontinued this practice. The church now counsels that marriage is not therapy for being gay.

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This looks like it was a very positive experience for all involved. Hope it leads to some more.

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Here’s a summary from my notes on the lecture:

Purpose: To promote understanding and aware of BYU Gay students, their stories and their challenges

Format: There were four students who each had time to give a brief story about their life. They represented a range of experiences: Brandon was gay and in a heterosexual marriage, Bridey was a young lesbian, Adam was “stereotypically” gay, and Nathan was bisexual. After this, they gave some basic advice from their perspective in interactions with gay students (whether known or not). All were raised LDS, and are currently active LDS members who live by the Honor Code.

Brandon:

  • He made a major disclaimer to not take his story as some sort of ideal/standard experience. Afterwards he talked about indications that he was gay which entail attraction to boys from a very young age. The first time he told anyone was his bishop who told him to just keep doing what he was doing and he should be fine (ie. Not break the law of chastity)
  • In college, he met a girl named sarah became his best friend. He went on his mission and she wrote him every week, at which point he started to realize that she probably liked him. When he was back, she chased him. He tried to maintain distance while continuing the friendship. He even told her he was gay. After 5 years, though, he felt prompted by the Spirit that it was time to try dating her. He gave her full reign to decide the pace and while engaged they told both sets of parents before marrying. They have a little girl
  • He emphasizes that he was not cured. Beyond his wife (that he’s developed attraction to) he’s not attracted to women and is still very much attracted to men. Also leads to the problem of feeling judged from both LDS and LGBT communities about his choices and the authenticity of his sexuality.

Bridey:

  • Indicated that she began realizing she was lesbian from a young women’s lesson where SGA came up. She was not attracted to boys and was hopeful for years that it would just one day kick in. When in high school and she realized that these feeling did exist….just toward fellow women, she began to hate herself, assuming she’d done something wrong to have this happen. She was told at 17 by a well meaning (but stupid) friend about her struggle with a crush and that she was going to hell, done something wrong, shouldn’t go to byu cuz she’d be kicked out if found out, and that she should talk to the bishop (ie. Her dad). She went to BYU scared about this, but talked to a bishop that calmed her fears and found largely positive responses.
  • The exception to this was a doosey though. A roommate found out she was lesbian without her knowing, assumed that she was in a sexual relationship/dating another friend that was a girl (because they hugged or cuddled…..which is normal for most girls), and reported her to the honor code. Though she wasn’t punished, the investigation was traumatic to her, already on the brink of depression. She had to go home because she became suicidal.
  • She then talked about a phenomena called “Pry away the gay.” It entailed a bargaining with to rid sexual feelings. She would work to be the best mormon ever and plead that in doing so, God would cure her. When it wouldn’t work, many would assume there was no God, or it was wrong. For her she knew there was a God and just assumed that He did not want to listen to her. This fed her depression. After she became far more psychologically stable, she felt prompted to go back to BYU. This time though, she found outlets to talk about her feelings and came out to her family, which added support. This helped her to overcome her depression

Adam:

  • Adam jokingly told that he had the stereotypical indication for being gay (wanting my little pony over truck, etc) More seriously, he always wondered what was wrong because he assumed you just couldn’t be gay and mormon. He buried his worries about his sexuality in his calling and general spirituality/religiousity. It came out with a vengeance freshman year and he struggled to understand his desires. His bishop recommended him to a sexual addiction group. Despite never having acted on his feelings at any point in his life, the group was helpful if only to give him contact ot others who also dealt with SGA. Still his mental struggles with depression and such worsened and he too needed to take a year off to get stable again. He came out and found that this strongly help a lot of those mental problems and joined USGA (an on-campus group) to help him out.
  • The most interesting part of his story was him trying to go on his mission. One ecclesiastical leader began questioning him about child porn, assuming that since he was gay he must have other sexual probs as well. Another told him point blank that he needed to get his “gayness” under control or he would be a threat to his companions. Along with that would be the general conversations he’d overhear of RM’s talking about gay missionaries, including a comment from one that knew gay missionaries and just wanted to “punch it out of them”

Nathan:

  • Nathan began to realize he was bisexual in puberty. For him, he’s equally attracted to men and women. He never saw anything wrong with him, he knew he just had to follow the law of chastity and he’d be ok. Behaviorally, the only thing different was that he avoided be naked with guys, knowing that he was attracted to men. But he also realized that it was taboo topic and was to remain quiet. It became more a frustration to stay quiet when he was a missionary and he had companions that were less than Christ-like and teaching doctrinally incorrect ideas about homosexuality. He came out to a companion who gave him the idea that maybe he was underestimating member about the topic. After his mission, he was far more open about his sexual orientation. He told his parents as well as those he was interested in persuing a relationship with (after 3 dates or so)

Should’s and shouldn’t’s:

  • Discussed awareness of prevelance of gay students and that there were probably more and to act/talk in a Christ-like manner, even when we think no one is watching. They also mentioned that calling it a choice can be offensive….especially at BYU, where considering the cultural context and severe social stigma, the idea of choosing this is ridiculous. They also went through a list of bad q’s or good things to do if someone comes out to you/in general.

There’s the run down. Again, I left before questions started, so no summary for that.

With luv,

Bd

Edited by BlueDreams

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