Monday, May 24, 2010

To Love and Be Required to Let Go

Dear Mom,

I want to share with you about some of the strange pain that I feel while at BYU. In keeping with the Honor Code, you know that I cannot date other men. I want you to know that I look forward to the day when this self-imposed prison is at last removed and I can stand in the full light of freedom. In those days, I will have already chosen to ask men out on dates with the purpose that one day I will find someone to spend the rest of my life with in service and love. 

But that day has not arrived. No, rather, today I am planning to return to BYU in the fall to begin what I expect to be my last year of undergraduate work. I will return to what has come to feel like the walk of shame. Each and every day I see couples walk hand in hand. They are beautiful couples and I smile easily when I see how happy they are together. I am happy for them. I am happy for all those couples choosing to make commits of faithfulness and love to each other. I wish them all the opportunity and chances to succeed in those commitments. But I know that if I were to ask for the same opportunity I would be denounced, hated, and verbally and emotionally spit upon. I know that they would not rejoice in the same way that I rejoice in their relationships. 

See, I may not be allowed to date while at BYU but that does not change the reality that I still develop crushes on other men. I cannot help the fact that my heart wants to feel and that I desire to truly be human. Such a shame, I know. I cannot seem to turn off my heart or shut away my feelings. Last school year, I developed a crush on another guy. I knew nothing would come of it but my heart still yearned as it does and I was helpless to do anything about it. My friends became worried for me; afraid I'd make the tragic mistake of getting involved with that man and thus screwing myself over at BYU. I am grateful for their kindness but I cannot remove the sting I still feel from that memory. But the cruelest comment of all came from one woman in particular. She once told me that she hoped that I failed in my relationships with men. I understood where she was coming from. Being gay was wrong, sinful. She hoped that somehow I would repent and come to God and the Church. 

I still wanted to cry.

When my heart skips a beat or my breath is stopped when the guy I like says something or stands close to me, the words of my friends and those around me echoes in my ear. My heart is twisted already by the yearning to love, to reach out in hopes of being loved in return, and the knowledge that such would only hurt me because of the school I am at. I feel hurt and confused. I honestly don't know what to make of this. I feel like I am taking a dagger to my own heart and twisting it.
Beyond that, there are no words of happiness anyone wouldwish to extend me. Will you ever speak words of kindness and hope that I find someone to love? Or will you express "loving the sinner, and hating the sin" syndrome? Let me explain to you this, it is the cruelest thing of all. I would rather have them hate me then mock me with kindness. I am a second class citizen to them. I am somehow subhuman in their eyes. The cruelty of their mockery is that it is wrapped in some kind of nicety. I want to vomit. 

It is the most painful thing I have ever experienced in my life: to love another and know I can do nothing about it. My heart is bound by my own decision. For every love I possess towards another, I must ignore it with all my might lest I break BYU's rule of falling in love and being loved in return. No amount of words can convey the anguish that my heart feels and there is nothing, it seems, that can truly soothe it.

That, and that most of all, leaves me bitter towards BYU and the Church.

I want to love and be loved in return. I want to have the opportunity to mean something to someone and for someone to mean something to me. At the end of a hard day who do I have to turn to for solace and love? No one. If I had someone it would be equal to being expelled. How tragic...

So what will you do, Mom? When I am finished with school and am free to date, what will you say? Will you breathe the same insanity that I have heard here, "I hope you fail in finding love"? If so, spare me and just don't say it. I doubt I would ever be able to hold back the tears after you have so stabbed me in the heart like that. 

Your son always,