Saturday, July 4, 2009

Meeting the fam

So last weekend my sister was married in Utah. Max and I flew up for the wedding which was a garden wedding in Alpine, just a couple miles from where my parents live now. It was nice, and of course, the first time Max would meet all the family at once. He had previously met my parents, and all of my siblings, except for my older brother and his wife. It's crazy to think that just one year ago, I was not at all excited to go to my brother's wedding. We had not been close in years and we had a rather antagonistic relationship.

What a difference a year makes! Since coming out to this brother (as well as my other siblings), I have gotten much closer to all of them. For whatever reason, it is easier to communicate to most (maybe all) of my siblings now that I have left the LDS Church. My brother in particular was so much nicer and more pleasant to be around. And I suppose I was too. The good news: they all love Max. The bad news: they might love Max more than me. :P Oh, and Dad was a complete... well I can't think of the right word. Let's just say that Dad has a long way to go. I thought my dad was past the point where he only loved me inasmuch as I was an active Mormon, but I guess that is not the case. He pretty much ignored me and Max the whole time we were there. Actually, he did ignore Max despite the fact that we were staying in their home, and he did his best to ignore me.

I have never really had the best relationship with my dad, since he has never been very happy with my decisions. Stupid Mormons would probably say that that is why I am gay; because I have a bad relationship with my dad. Quite to the contrary, I have a bad relationship with my dad because I am gay. He was never happy with my decisions. He hated the fact that I hated playing baseball as a kid. It's too bad I had to play a sissy sport like water polo. It drove him crazy that I did not care to learn about cars, though I did drive a 1966 Mustang in high school. I even remember when I was admitted to the accounting program at BYU and he thought that it was a bad move. Pretty much, he was never happy with anything I did, except for going to church, doing missionary work, etc. Because of this, I have never felt any sort of obligation to keep my dad in the loop, and he is well aware that none of his children trust him or go to him for anything.

Oh, that reminds me, the bishop that married my sister counseled her and her husband to show their children love, or face the fact that some day their children may not want to be around them. I let out an audible laugh at that point, but Dad did not hear it because, alas, all of us kids did not sit by him at my sister's wedding. I kinda of hope that that statement hit close to home for him, because it should.

Anyway, I called my mom the day after I got home and let her know that she can tell my dad I am not the least bit interested in including him in my life if he cannot respect me, Max, my happiness, and my decisions. She said she would have a frank discussion with him before he heads back to South America in a couple of weeks. At this point in my life, I feel like I have given about as much as I can to my dad. I have tried SO many times to connect with him, but he just does not seem to care about anything in my life that is important to me. We'll see. And at this point, since everybody else in my family is so caring and supportive, I think why bother?

Considering how well I turned out despite not having a good dad, my kids are going to be so lucky to have two! =) 

Oh, and did I mention how cool my uncle is? He lives up in the bay area with his family, and flew out the morning of the wedding. He already knew about Max and I, and was excited to meet Max and talk with us. He is active in the LDS Church and it was such a relief to hear someone who was absolutely opposed to the LDS Church's involvement in Prop 8. He is very intelligent and very successful in life, and it was so nice to see that not everyone bought into the BS that the LDS Church put out about Prop 8.


Alan said...

So sorry to hear about your dad, all of this is certainly his loss. Your mom sounds like a wonderful person. And your uncle too, particularly! On balance I'd say you have lots to be grateful for.

Troy said...

yes, definitely a lot to be grateful for!

Keaton said...

Derrick...your story is interesting. I am sad that you have had to leave the saints in order to find fellowship and peace in your life. I like you ... would like to be a safe place for young Mormons to find some measure of support in times of crisis. I don't know how to do that yet but am in the process. I am puzzled about a few things. You have left alot of holes in your story. Your blog starts with an amazing testimony and commitment to the church then rapidly falls toward atheism. Quite a leap. Joseph Smith must still amaze you? What was it like growing up gay and LDS and hiding it. What was PE like? Do your hometown buddies know about you and how do they accept this. How far have you gone with Max. I know these are sensitive and personal questions. Your own writing leaves these compelling issues unanswered. As I seek to help kids growing up LDS in this situation I am saddened that they have nowhere to turn but inward. They need to know that what they are is OK. They can be who they are and find peace and joy as you have. I'm not suggesting that leaving the church is the only solution but it saved you if I read between the lines correctly. I personally feel that the Church is true at its very core. As people in the church have shortcomings so will that be manifested in the organization until someone with courage takes this to the next level. Now that's just my belief. In the meantime, we better help some amazing spirits survive through this bitter conflict.