Why should we have the conversation about same-sex attraction in the first place?

This is part 1 in a 7-part series on same-sex attraction. 

For series summary, click here

Each side is certain they are right and the other is wrong. So what would there be to discuss?

It’s a good question.

I’ve always enjoyed literature and film that reflect on the past.

cadillacThere really isn’t one period that I like more than another; the turn of the century, the roaring 20s, the seeming simplicity of the 1950s, the reminder of my childhood from the 70s. I’m not willing to admit yet that the 80s are the past, or even worth remembering for that matter.

Maybe someday.

But it’s interesting to me to see how different things were.

Watching “I Love Lucy” and seeing that she had to report to her husband as if she were a child makes me scratch my head how anyone ever found that the norm.

victorianReading about the accepted propriety of the turn of the century where even the mention of anything sexual makes me reflect how quickly we have gone so far the other way.

Even looking back just one generation, I can see a significant change in what people weren’t then, but are now, comfortable talking about.  Our little family has had very open discussions around our kitchen table that I know never would have happened in neither Ann’s nor my childhood home.

That’s just the way things were.

However, I’m not sure that I would feel the same if our children were having such frank discussions on the bus, or in the locker room, or in the backseat of a car late on a Friday night.

Okay, I’m actually sure that I wouldn’t feel the same.

It’s really all about context, isn’t it?

Discussing important, sometimes confusing, sometimes misunderstood issues such as normal maturation through puberty and into adulthood is critical for everyone going through it.

Regardless of what their particular wiring is telling them.

family3

It’s just where and with whom the conversation is happening that we should be paying more attention to.

 

                          (Source: LDS Media Library)

Many of the youth today are aware of their parent’s position on homosexuality. There aren’t a lot who will come forward to discuss something they know will result in a fight.

So it stays hidden.

A secret.shadow2

And what is hidden and secret takes on a life of its own – growing larger and more consuming each time a lie is told or a deception is played out to keep the secret in the shadows.

That’s something the prince of darkness is counting on.

So, let’s cut his legs out from underneath him and turn on the light.

clouds4Enter the dialogue.

So far, it seems that there are two, extremely opposite sides willing to enter the discussion.

One side is screaming that if those wired with same-sex attraction are to be true to themselves, they must embrace homosexuality. To do otherwise would be fake and giving in to other’s demands. The other side shrinks back in revulsion to such deviant behavior, the likes of which brought the downfall of Sodom and Gomorrah.

I’m not sure how any of us would handle being relegated to having to choose from two equally bad choices.

There is a lot of pain and confusion and shame going on in secret out there.

Most people going through this don’t have the confidence yet to realize that we are not the sum of our desires; we are the sum of our decisions.

You actually get to choose.

And there are more choices than just the two which are currently being presented by society at large.

But how do we get people to understand that?

Come sit together at the kitchen table.

dining table

 

But actually talk.

family4

                                              (Source: LDS Media Library)

It’s so important for those wired this way to be able to let the light shine directly on their very real feelings. Shadows only distort and twist.

It’s so important for those not wired this way to be able to express their utter bewilderment that someone would ever find this to even be an option.

When done in love, each person can comprehend that the other isn’t a monster.

Now the talking can begin.

My experience has been that when I discussed candidly and calmly my struggles of the natural-man inclinations with my wife, I removed a secret that smoldered between us, before it burst into flame.sunset2

Together, we took away its accelerant, so to speak; and instead, invited Heaven’s cooling extinguisher to encompass us.

                (Source: LDS Media Library)

A large, national dialogue most probably will not change the majority of people’s minds. Their minds are already made up.

But a quiet, curled-up-on-the-couch, vulnerable-yet-completely-safe conversation between family members may be just enough to allow the light in for struggling families to see clearly.

Clearly enough to see that there really is an “option 3.”close-family

It’s the one that our family chose.

So, if each side knows they are right and the other side is wrong, is there really anything to discuss?

Absolutely.