As I've been on this journey of reconsidering what it means for me to be a Mormon, and what life has in store now that I feel good about the fact that I'm gay, I've tried to avoid that extreme position of throwing the baby out with the bath water. For a gay Mormon, that can be a daunting prospect.
It seems that every gay Mormon faces two choices. Option One: Stay anxiously engaged in the church and "fight the good fight," whatever that might mean for each individual. This often involves trying to reconcile internal conflicts involving sexuality, church doctrine and policy, Mormon culture, family dynamics or combinations of those things. Option Two: Walk away from the church completely and find meaning in life with individuals and communities that accept rather than merely endure the presence of people. This often involves a realization that it isn’t the right fight, or a fight worth having or that the “fight” metaphor is a false one. These are stark, gut-wrenching options. For most Mohos, these are the only two choices. I like to think that if forced between the two, I'd go with the latter.
But there's also another choice, one which is all too familiar to me: Indecision. The lengthy halting between two opinions that becomes a dirty lukewarm stew in which a person wrinkles and bloats. I think this can be seen from the outside as choosing Option One. But inside it saps the energy of the soul, it quickens the temper and leads to feelings of resignation.
Of course, we all get into emotional funks from time to time. That is one of the constants of the universe, at least for thinking, feeling people. But what I'm trying to describe is something very different. When the bath water starts to grow cold, most people get out, dry off, put on some comfortable clothes and enjoy the next activity. Me? I'm still in the proverbial tub, the temperature is going down by the minute and I forgot to put a towel on the rack. I think about how nice it would be to add some hot water and wonder why I forgot the towel, but sheer thinking doesn't change anything. Yeah, I'm pathetic sometimes.
I can make decisions at work. I can plan family activities and trips. But big personal decisions are something I worry about to death.
For the last couple of years, I've felt intensely that a life change was imminent. But things are much the same. It's not as though my life is miserable. Yet I'm afraid it might become so if I don't pluck up the courage to get out of the chilling bath and get on with what comes next. I'm a hopeful, thoughtful, extroverted and loving person. But I'm also a coward.