Sunday, January 28, 2018

"Ex-Gay" Mormon Announces Divorce, Apologizes to LGBTQ Community

One of the things that I have worked to oppose since coming out is the efforts by Christofascists, the Catholic Church and the Mormon Church to maintain the lie that sexual orientation is a "choice" and that one can "pray away the gay."   It simply does not work and those who try accomplish the impossible ultimately end up wracked with self-contempt, and unhappy life, and likely end up depriving their opposite spouse from having the type of marriage they deserve  - namely, to someone who is heterosexual.  I know of what I speak since for 37 years I tried to "pray away the gay" having fallen for the lies propagated by the Catholic Church.  The only thing I can say in my defense is that I decided to marry 41 years ago when far less was known about the immutability of sexual orientation.  Those who continue to believe the religious based lies, especially the Millennials, have far less excuse.  But the ultimate blame rests on religious leaders who refuse to update their religious dogma even though science and modern knowledge have demonstrated beliefs to simply be untrue.  Sadly, they prefer to force individuals into marriages doomed to fail and seemingly care nothing for the lives they harm.  The latest "ex-gay" to fall Josh Weed, a Mormon, who was held out as "proof" that gays could change, marry women and "change" who they are.  My heart goes out to both Weed and his wife, both of whom are victims of the wilful ignorance of the leaders of their faith.  Here hare highlights out of Salt Lake City:
Josh and Lolly Weed, viewed as proof, and used as an example, that a gay man and a straight woman can make a successful Mormon marriage, have announced their divorce. In the same blog post where they announce their divorce, they offered an apology to the LGBTQ community.
"Today, we need to let you know that Lolly and I are divorcing," the blog said this week, after recounting the couple's accidental rise to the media spotlight when Josh Weed came out as a gay LDS man who was faithful to his church and married to a woman. They were in high demand to explain how they made the seemingly contradictory lifestyles work together.
The couple wrote, together and then individually in the same blog post on Thursday, that they came to understand over time that their deep platonic love was not a substitute for romantic love and that such a relationship is vital to everyone's happiness.
Lolly Weed wrote:  And that is what human beings need to be healthy. All of us. Romantic attachment. It’s one of the main purposes of life!
They explain at length how they came to the realization. Josh Weed said three factors led him to believe this was the case:   Love for the LGBTQ population; Love for himself as a gay person; The death of his mother
The couple rise to notoriety came about because of a blog post — that can no longer be found on — that, according to Josh, led them to be "featured on shows and newspapers around the globe." That included a story on Nightline . . .
Included with the announcement and explanation about the couple's divorce was an apology to the LGBTQ community. Among the specific things the Weeds apologies for are:  We’re sorry, so incredibly sorry, for the ways our post has been used to bully others.  And we’re sorry if our story made it easier for people in your life to reject you and your difficult path as being wrong.  We’re sorry to any gay Mormon who received criticism, backlash, or hatred as a result of our story.  We’re sorry to anybody who felt a measure of false peace because of our story.
We’re sorry to any LGBTQIA person who was given false hope by our story
Each of the specific apologies came with longer explanations.
Josh Weed also wrote that his stance on homosexuality, that once aligned with that of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, had changed.
"I have spent my entire life conforming to every standard of the LDS faith because I believed it was what God wanted me to do," he explained.
"I believed this because every mentor, every exemplar, every religious teacher, every therapist, every leader I ever grew up listening to and trusting told me that that was the only way I could return to live with God. . . . over the course of my lifetime, the list of things said by these trusted leaders about my sexual orientation was profoundly inconsistent and confusing." Josh Weed listed a number of those "inconsistent and confusing" things, which included:
  • My sexual orientation wasn’t real
  • My sexual orientation was evil
  • My sexual orientation was an abomination
  • My sexual orientation was tantamount to bestiality and just shy of murder
  • My sexual orientation could change in this life if I had enough faith
  • My sexual orientation was a “trial” to bear
  • My sexual orientation maybe couldn’t change in this life after all
  • My sexual orientation could be managed with faith
  • My sexual orientation could be endured
Lolly Weed also wrote that many of her friends and community expressed to her, upon learning of the divorce, empathized with her and say she deserved the romantic connection, but few felt that empathy for her husband. . . . . I mean, isn’t the same true for LGBT people? Shouldn’t we feel the exact same intuitive injustice at the thought of them deserving to be “loved like that”?

The blog post says the couple and their children will continue to be close and will continue to love each other.  "We can continue to be the family we have always been, and we can add to that family," they wrote.
I wish both of them and their family the best of luck moving forward.  I still have no regrets having children - we are celebrating a granddaughter's birthday later today - but I will always feel sorrow that I harmed my former wife simply because I believed the lies of the Catholic Church until I reached the point where I simply could not go on lying to myself and everyone else. The ones who deserve severe punishment are those who continue to disseminate the lie that gays can "change" and that one's sexual orientation is a "choice." 

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