Thanks for your comments and support on my last post. They have helped me a lot--thank you! Regarding Seminary, I should again point out that luckily the teacher is just a substitute, so it's not a long-term problem. I hope. (My real Seminary teacher is sick right now; he kindly avoids the homosexuality issue because I politely let him know that homophobic teaching nearly drove me from Seminary last year.) What really got me is that the man was more or less in line with Church teachings: Regarding the degeneration of society, "Satan has many tricks...In the nineties, his big tool was homosexuality..." "The world says it's okay for two boys to like each other..." (Classmates grimace and whisper, "...so disgusting!") "...While we have the Proclamation to the World..." (Gestures to giant poster of The Family: A Proclamation to the World hanging on wall.) You could tell that the guy owned a dog-eared, highlighted and underlined copy of The Miracle of Forgiveness. Had there been a General Authority in the room, I strongly doubt the teacher would have been called on his remarks.
Beyond that: A while ago I read a nice piece of psycho-babble about writers and "the ruminating personality". Apparently, many creative types who have ruminating personalities tend to be good writers, but depressed ones as well. I thought it applied to me in some ways because I am a cyclothymic writer who does tend to dwell on things. Today has been no different: any time my mind hasn't been occupied, it has been filled with frustration and arguments and anger about what went down yesterday. Writing these ruminations down has been very therapeutic, so here goes, once more.
The frustration, for me and for many of us, is that frankly we are ahead of our time. To be brutally honest, talking to my dad about being gay was like trying to talk to someone from the Middle Ages about quantum physics. In order to really accept me--not just deny or 'forget' about "the issue"--my dad (and my family, for that matter) would have to learn so much... He would have to understand homosexuality, the Church's various positions and actions regarding homosexuality, both personal and prophetic revelation, the teachings of the Bible, and so many other things.
But he is so stuck in his thinking, so fixated on what he thinks is right, that we can't get past even the most fundamental things. I would try to talk to him about metaphorical black holes and parallel universes, but he is convinced that the Sun rotates around the Earth. In his mind, there is no room for negotiation or reconsideration: he is extremely obstinate, and seems to have both common sense ('Come on, do you really think the Earth is moving? You're standing on it, and you see the Sun move across the sky!') and the religious establishment (which persecuted many legendary early scientists and astronomers for their progressive 'celestial' thinking) on his side. I am clearly the heretic who violates the laws of nature, common sense, and God; he is unmovable in his surety--completely closed to other possibilities--so how could we possibly move forward?
That is the root of the frustration that I--and no doubt many of you--feel. Alan, I will make a point of reading Scrum Central to see how things go with your dad. Maybe I'll be able to borrow some of the techniques you use. Abe, thanks for sharing about your parents--that does give me hope. I can only imagine how your parents felt about your adopting such an alien faith and life, but as you suggested, I bet it's similar to how my parents feel. And David, thanks for your encouragement. I think you're quite right: giving people a personal connection--someone they love is gay--helps make an abstract concept a very real, tangible part of their lives. Thanks all!
Anyway, the bottom line is this:
Ultimately, I cannot live my life by the ignorance and prejudice of other people or groups.
In other words, what I've really been wanting to say to narrow-minded people is this: Your stupidity does not determine my reality!