The Honorable Governor Herbert,
Speaking as the oldest child (and trustee of my parents’ estate), my 66-year-old sister described her frustration at my lack of marital and financial success: “Why didn’t it work for him? Dan had all the advantages offered the rest of us.”
Yes, my parents supported my schooling. I was given music lessons, had my teeth straightened, I was driven to part time and summer employment. They attended my concerts and plays. They supported my LDS mission. My marriage to Paula (as another, 29 years later, briefly to Barbara) was as much or more celebrated compared to those of the other five siblings.
But I was an obedient son/citizen: I kept myself hidden. I stayed properly ashamed.
Not necessarily inspired by my sister’s statement (heard through another sister) four years ago, I have made concerted effort to come out of the closet as a gay man. I have had frank discussions with my LDS bishops and stake president. I have had professional counseling. Along the way, while reading the introduction to Carol Lynn Pearson’s No More Goodbyes–Circling the Wagons Around Our Gay and Lesbian Brothers and Sisters, I allowed myself the possibility of unconditional love. I believe this to be the most moral thing I ever did!
It is immoral of society to pressure people like me to hide and/or ignore ourselves. What have you–as a citizen of Utah–missed out on because I have been doing what I was told to do? It is immoral of society to not give the children of gays and lesbians the same standing as other children. I have stellar offspring who only now–as adults–are dealing with the realities of having a gay father. But, how much better for them if they could have grown up with the truth and without stigma? It is immoral of my church to insist God loves me . . . except. It was immoral of me to believe it.
Be moral, Governor Herbert. Recognize me, my children, and others like us as full human beings, full participants in society. You might risk your position in your party but you are poised to be an emancipator! The people and institutions of Utah–including members of the LDS Church–need you to take the lead.
Find what’s yours . . . truly, danscir52
copyright 2014 Dan Christensen all rights reserved