There was a moment when I thought I might be gay. I think most people ask themselves at some time or another. Quietly, of course. In a closet, maybe. Most ask it in attempts to understand or define their sexuality but I was already certain I liked men, a lot, which makes it seem illogical and even a bit stupid for a Mormon girl to ask, but I did.
I am 29 and I’ve never-been married. I was raised by temple-married parents and my extended family has been Mormon a long, long time, which is to say that my DNA is coded M-O-R-M-O-N with an occasional c, g, a, or a u for good measure. I can count the number of Mormon men I’ve dated on two hands (which is at least more than one hand). I’ve been friends with loads of Mormon men, I have 5 brothers, all Mormon, and being in singles’ wards for 10 years means that I’ve known a number of Mormon men that don’t fall into those previous categories. And it turns out I’m just not really attracted to them. Thats quite a blessing in the case of my brothers, but in terms of my desires, life goals and a theology that mandates it, not being able to fall in love with Mormon men has proven a little complicated and a lot heartbreaking. And, please, no finger pointing. I’m not picky. Mormon men don’t really fall for me either. We’re agreed. And in case you are wondering, I’m not just a sweet spirit either.
I moved to Boston from BYU in hopes of finding more people–of course that means men–that had more in common with me, and I did. Interesting, intelligent, ambitious men, but still no zing, no pitter-pat. That’s when I thought, oh, maybe I’m gay? I thought again and realized that no, I’m not. (Please see personal journals dating 1987 to present day) I looked at the odds in church, 5 girls to every guy, and my inability at falling in love and realized, for the first time in my life, I might not get married. I was a little taken aback by the prospect but then thought I have the faith to do this. I believe in temple marriage, I believe in marrying in the Church and I’m willing to make that sacrifice. And maybe become a very liberal Sheri Dew.
But now I’m not so sure. And let me tell you why. In any other situation were I trying to match things up, I would not continually try the same combination over and over again, expecting something different to happen. I would try, say, a different match. Call it muscle memory or electro-shock therapy or just a good idea. I’ve begun to think about dating outside of the Church and even marrying outside of the Church and in my rational mind it seems to make a lot of sense. The non-Mormon guys that I would choose to date have a lot in common with me. I like them and I’m going to risk it and say I might be able to fall in love with them. I have heretofore avoided dating them because of that old adage you marry who you date, and of course the prophets words.
And here’s what I would be giving up: a life-long goal and commitment to get married in the temple. Being united in religion with my spouse, which could affect our coupleness and our children. Some loneliness. A temple sealing. The nagging feeling that I’m not quite what men are looking for. An eternal marriage. Some disconnect with men. A chance to find a fine specimen in the millennium. A date for temple night. Potentially not blessing my children’s children’s children.
So, the question is, do you know any fine, non-Mormon men? Or, do I risk life now and eternally if I marry outside of the Church? Have I lost my faith?
The more I pray, the more reasonable I feel about this decision. There is a very large demographic of women in the Church like me. And it may very well be reasonable for them too. Or maybe not.