Friday, April 17, 2015

LDS General Conference

I have a few thoughts that have been weighing on me since conference.

First of all, to the people that shouted "I DO NOT SUSTAIN YOU!" (or something to that effect.) When we were called to sustain our prophet and apostles. I understand your frustrations, I really do. But there is a time and place for it. It is a hard balance. But, anger only breeds anger, a hard lesson I learned so long ago. Know that I love you all and support your ideals of being heard, but not how it was done. Please know I am speaking with love and not condemning anyone. I have no right to judge. Nor do I know the whole reason why you did it. I invite you to contact me for an interview. I would love to get the full story!

The last few years, with the push for accepting LGBT people in the world is getting bigger and better, there is STILL a lot of push to stop these "counterfeit" lives. When L. Tom Perry said that, I died a little. I have always looked up to him. Him and my grandfather were Bishops in the Sacramento area together...so I grew up with a great respect and "grandfather type love" for the man. My heart was hurt. That some apostles (and the prophet) teach love and acceptance for our LGBT brothers and sisters, and other apostles say things like "counterfeit" about us.

It makes very vulnerable people do some tragic things. Two friends who are active LDS are trying to heal and deal with their LGBT kids attempt suicide after this last General Conference. Thank goodness they stopped themselves before they did. However, after reading other articles, there were some that weren't as lucky.

These impressionable kids, they are young and already confused as hell with their hormones...they don't need to have adults who they are told to look up to and respect telling them that something is wrong with them.

While I know that was not the intention behind it, the fact remains that it happened. These youth in our church are HURTING! They feel so lost, and when they go looking for guidance, for love, for acceptance they get met with words that make them confused, depressed and hurting more than they already are.

This is the one thing that has kept me in the church. We have ALWAYS been taught that God is a loving God, not a vengeful one. That he loves us no matter what! It's what keeps me going. So, when I hear these apostles of Christ speaking like this, it hurts, it hurts bad. It is a enough to shake my testimony a bit.

There has been much soul searching in my heart, a lot of prayer over these talks, over the attempted suicides and some that did take their lives. We truly are getting closer to the last days. We are starting to see a great divide in the church
We are seeing so many wars and pain, so much pain. We are trying to fight ourselves and we need to unite and fight back with love and goodness.

I have had too many experiences in my life as a member of the LDS faith to deny the church. I do believe it to be the true church of God on this earth. We have seen through its history, the evolution of our faith.

Black people were once not allowed to hold the Priesthood at all...it took so many years of prayers and pushing for that ban to be lifted...and even then, many people left the church thinking that a white person was more supreme.

I am, and have been called (recently even) a mix, a not pure blood. I am a mix of several Native American tribes and about half of Europe. I can pass as a dark white person or a light skinned native as I have qualities from both sides.

My point is this, at some point, many years ago, I had relatives that fell in love...their love was deemed a sin, their love wasn't allowed! Hell, even the church has stated in the past that we shouldn't mix races. And that "commandment" has since been removed.

It has taken centuries for us to evolve, for freedoms that we do have. It has taken a long time for racism to be stomped out...and it still isn't all the way, there are still people that hate people just for their skin color. They can't help what color of skin they were born with!!

And that is how it is with sexual orientation...we are born this way. And while the struggle is still very real, that were are having hatred and rights removed from us because of our "preferences." I hate that word "preference"...it is used in the manner like we have a choice and it is an easy choice. We do not. If we could choose not to have these feelings, we wouldn't. Do you think we like all the shit being done to us? I think not!

We are at the forefront of this fight. We are the pioneers...and we had pioneers before us! It is going to be a very long time until people will come around to loving us as is.

I know this church is true, with all my heart. I still sustain the Prophet and our Apostles. Is it hard to do? Sometimes, yes it is. But I have the faith that things will one day change. Do I know what that change will be? No, but something does need to change!

God and Christ are all loving, it's humans that aren't.

All my love,

Jessie

Friday, January 16, 2015

Things Are Changing in The Church!

Hello my loves! I'm back! Things are starting to turn around health wise...I appreciate your well wishes via email!

We recently received a new Relief Society President in our ward...the old one moved out. I do love the old one, I know she loved us with all her heart, but she was hard to approach sometimes.

I didn't know our knew one very well, and actually just started to get to know her in recent months. As you know from previous posts, I go to church for me, not for anyone else, because most people (it seems) in the ward don't like that I have more than one set of earrings or that I have tattoos or that I speak my mind when I hear the "gospel according to Sarah" (made up name) and not what the message is really supposed to mean. There are many times I've sat with a clenched jaw in class wanting to say some things but not really wanting to get hauled into the Bishop's office.

Anyhoo, I am a Visiting Teaching Supervisor, which means for those of you not LDS, that I am responsible for a group of women who go and visit usually about 4 different sisters a month. They check in with me, and I report if there are any needs that need to be met. Well, a need arose, and a most desperate one. I called her up to let her know what was up. Later on we just started texting. She said she loves seeing me at church because I light up the room.

I was floored. Wait, huh, who, me? You're joking, right?!

And then went off on a tangent...and I said things I thought I would NEVER say to a Relief Society President!  I told her I don't feel that way, I feel more like pierced up, tattooed, bisexual, outcast that speaks my mind when someone gets on their high horse...especially when they say Mormons are so much better than anyone else. Excuse me?! Ghandi, the Popes (minus a few waaaaaay back), Mother Teresa, they're going to heaven, it's not just us Mormons.

As soon as I sent the text, I quickly sent "sorry about the rant".

She then texted back a very lengthy response thanking me for the rant. She shared some beautiful and painful things she has gone through...but the one thing that stuck out was "I have a gay married daughter, together they have a baby. She loves the church and loves the way she was raised and wants to raise her kids the same but fears the judgement. I could not be more proud of her, she is a VERY amazing person."

The point of me sharing this rather lengthy story, my friends is this: Our Heavenly Father knows us, he hears our struggles, our pain, our DAILY strugglings with our feelings, our feelings of no self worth because they tell us time and again, "it is a sin to be gay." Even though our Prophet and Apostles are saying, commanding, nearly YELLING at us, they are pleading over the pulpit to have more compassion for us that are having these struggles...that we can walk among each other with our judgment, without prejudice. That we can love one another...it's not just a song folks...it's a commandment.

And I just saw this in my own ward. We now have a leader that has first hand love and the upmost respect for her daughter...who is no different, she is a good person who just happens to be gay. She is a daughter of God, and he loves every single one of us.

Things are changing, and it makes me excited!

With all my love,

Jessie

Saturday, November 29, 2014

I'm Here, But I'm Not

Hello everyone!

To say it's been a crazy year so far would be an understatement....

After a summer of vacation, traveling to Doctors appointments out of state,  weddings, etc...we ran straight into a very busy school year.

And now...now we're having so many health problems that it's not funny. Very serious ones too.

I've been in the hospital for emergency surgery and so has my hubby...and we're not out of the woods yet.

We still have a long way to go for healing and answers.

I am still checking emails and responding to those when I can.

I'm sorry for the delays but it's been a very hard, very trying time for us.

I think of Elder Bednard's talk a lot lately...of the tender mercies.

Even though right now, I am breaking, I'm barely keeping it together, I am very aware, humbled and grateful for those that are giving us so much service right now, who are helping with my babies, our house and meals. Through all the pain and struggle, I am very thankful.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Know that I love you all and think of you often.

If you have room to throw a prayer our way, we could sure use it!

Lots of love,

Jessie

Monday, July 7, 2014

You Are Not Alone!

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend!!!  I sure did!

I recently received an e-mail from my youngest reader yet (that I know of!). She is 16. While I don't know what it is like to be closeted at 16 at this time and era, I do know what it is like to be a closeted 16 year old. It really sucks.

All I can say, and repeat from the mountain tops:  You are NOT ALONE!!!

You might feel alone, because you might not be able to speak about being who you truly are to just anybody.  It's hard to find someone you can truly trust sometimes.  But I promise, with prayer the Lord will help direct you to someone you can confide in, someone you can trust...but until that happens, I'm alway here!!

I am so honored that you, my readers are trusting and reaching out to me. I feel so blessed to hear from you and help...I hope I'm helping!

Also, there are MANY groups on Facebook that revolve around supporting fellow LBGT and LDS people.  The groups are usually closed or private which means it won't show up on your page as being part of the group...there are some open groups too, so be careful which group you join if you want to remain incognito.

Have a wonderful week!  Love to you all!!!

Jessie

Sunday, June 15, 2014

So Much On My Mind!

Hello my beautiful readers! I hope this Father's Day finds you in good health and spirits!

So, apparently my last two blog post didn't actually post! Oooops! Sorry! I'm still here!

We've had a very busy few months as a family and me on a personal level! Trying to still breathe while treading water is hard!

I even have an interview for my blog (yes! You'll be able to hear me!) Hopefully in the near future! The interviewer and I keep setting up times and something keeps happening!  Gah! Stay tuned!

Busy, busy, busy!

Also, I've had a few emails in regards to the Ordained Women and the discipline hearings they've been summoned to (aka possible excommunication.) I'm still mulling over my  response to all of it. So, hopefully in the next day or two!

All my love,

Jessie

Friday, March 28, 2014

To Russia, With Love!

So, I'm lying here in bed and I can't sleep. It's 5:30, I've been awake since 3 tossing and turning.

I played on Facebook for a bit,  read the news, read some funny stuff, and listened to my dogs nails tapping across the kitchen floor.

I then opened my blog just to check how many views I've been getting. I looked at where the views are coming from.

While a giant portion is coming from the US, I literally have a worldwide audience. Russia comes in 2nd with the UK close behind in 3rd. Wow. I am humbled greatly by this. Thank you all for reading!

But I wanted to speak to my Russian audience today. Know that we see and hear what's going on...I'm sure it's only the tip of the iceberg.

Know that we love you! We see your struggles of just trying to fit in, only to be shunned, beaten or killed. This is NOT okay...This is NOT right.

I applaud and bow to those who have been protesting and landing in jail because of it. Bravo! You are the pioneers!  You are the ones that future free generations will say "Thank you" for ever.

We love you, we pray for you, and wish you all well!

Please comment and show our Russian LGBT's some love and support!

Much love,

Jessie

Thursday, March 13, 2014

It's All Greek! A Q&A In Reverse!!

Hello all!  I've been sitting on this for months, I'm sorry it wasn't sooner!  Greek contacted me a while ago.  She is was raise Greek Orthodox. So, I thought, for something different, since most who contact me are LDS, I wanted to share that these struggles happen over MANY religions that we might not even think about!!  So, here it is!  Enjoy!!!  I LOVE her advice at the end!  It's wonderful!!!

Hi!  For the purpose of this online interview, you've asked to go by Greek. Hello. Correct

Studly, just for clarification for the readers, are you a lesbian or bisexual? I have had many lifetimes. In this lifetime, I am a Lesbian. Oddly enough, in the past four lives I was a man. lol

When did you first realize you were gay? 19 years old

What were your struggles growing up knowing this about yourself but no one else knowing?  I grew up in a very strict traditional Greek Orthodox religious household and there was no one in my home or community that I felt I could confide in and ask for guidance or assistance. Not to mention living a double life!

How long have you been "out of the closet" and do most of your family know?  I have been out since I was 24 when my mother's friend ousted me to my mother. Hellooo odd situation!

For the family that does know, what was their reaction to it all?  Do they still feel that way?  Most are ok with it. Initially my mother had a very hard time with it. She is much more accepting now. My father doesn't know but we do not speak so I do not know if he ever found out?  Time tends to make things easier. My brother and I always were close and so it worked itself out in his mind...

You said before in a previous conversation that you were an Orthodox Greek (GO), are you still part of that religion or believe in most parts of the religion still? I am no longer a religious believer or a part of any one certain thing/type of religion.  I have my spirituality from various organized religions (To include GO, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Paganism, Orthodoxy, Christianity, Native American Traditions, Ancient Egyptian Religion and a few others) ways and even GO has its high points and will always be part of my life as I was raised in it and have literally been moved and met and smelled Saints and Archangels.  Is there just one God? To me, no there isn’t. Was there a Jesus? Absolutely, but he isn’t the end all catch all. There was also an Isis and Zeus, etc. We all could learn from the various Pantheons!

What is the Greek Orthodox standpoint on homosexual relationships? They believe it is a sin. Hooray I am a sinner, like the rest of the world! Here it is as described through the Wikipedia website.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Orthodox_view_of_sin
Homosexuality
The Orthodox Church has been consistent in condemning acts of homosexuality (but not homosexual persons), despite variations in the conditions for homosexual activity and responses from various Church leaders and the State. Continuing a worldview evident from the Old and New Testaments, the Church Fathers consistently condemned homosexual activity, as did the Byzantine state. Official statements by the Orthodox hierarchy continue to be consistent in terms of the traditional position that homosexual behaviour is sinful and thus damaging to the human person, and that homosexual temptation is a subject for ascetic struggle. While some Orthodox theologians and jurisdictions have championed the traditional view, they have also engaged in scientific conversation and in dialogue with the increasing number of societies that view homosexuality far differently than at the time of the Byzantine Empire.[7][8] After affirming the import and meaning of the Scriptures that address homosexual activity, calling it sin, the Orthodox Church in America offered the following advice at its 10th All-American Council in 1992:

Men and women with homosexual feelings and emotions are to be treated with the understanding, acceptance, love, justice and mercy due to all human beings...Persons struggling with homosexuality who accept the Orthodox faith and strive to fulfill the Orthodox way of life may be communicants of the Church with everyone else who believes and struggles. Those instructed and counselled in Orthodox Christian doctrine and ascetical life who still want to justify their behavior may not participate in the Church’s sacramental mysteries, since to do so would not help, but harm them.
Assistance is to be given to those who deal with persons of homosexual orientation in order to help them with their thoughts, feelings and actions in regard to homosexuality. Such assistance is especially necessary for parents, relatives and friends of persons with homosexual tendencies and feelings. It is certainly necessary for pastors and church workers.[9]

Within the Orthodox churches, there is a minority advocating a change in the view of homosexuality; one such group is Axios. However, the work of such groups and any blessings they confer are largely ignored by the Orthodox as a whole.

Does your faith, or did it have a huge impact on when and how you came out to people? I struggled telling people and coming out as I was internally conflicted due to my religious beliefs at that time. So, yes it did have an effect on me and how I did things. Now that I have been on the other side and have seen things, I know better.

If you're not GO anymore, do you have another religion, and if so what is it?  My current preferred way of spiritual enlightenment is through Paganism/Wicca and also through Reiki and the universal push pull method of acceptance and acknowledgment.


How has growing up GO and gay had a big impact on your life? How so?  I grew up GO but not Gay. I didn’t even realize I liked girls like “that” until I was 19. Growing up GO taught about my heritage and it’s customs which were imperative in me becoming the person I am today and my gifts that I share with people.


Is there a part of you that still wishes you were closeted? ABSOFUCKINLUTELY NOT!

Are you currently in a relationship with someone of the same sex? (I know, I know, but I want it to be clear to readers that don't know you! lol) :) Yes I am. My wife and I have been together for 6.5 years. I call her my wife but the state I live in does not recognize it. We do, however, have a domestic partnership in the county we live in.

How long have you been in your current relationship? 6.5 years

What is your girlfriend's religious beliefs and how has that affected your life/relationship? (will change to wifey if you'd like me too!) ;-)  She is Pagan and practices Wicca.

Are you happy being an un closeted gay woman?  ABSOFUCKINLUTELY YES!!!


What is some advice you have to the readers of this blog that are currently closeted that you wished you knew before you came out? Hmmmm. My advice is this:
1.    Life is to short to be miserable so do not be miserable.
2.    Live your life for yourself and not anyone else. It’s your life! You can only live it once this time around.
3.    No matter what, if you any type of important to the person who is judging you, then they will stop judging you and just start accepting you.
4.    Anger, jealousy and regret are wasted emotions. They do not get you anywhere but upset.
5.    Do not live in the past and do not do anything you regret!
6.    Finally, if an opportunity presents itself, take it. That opportunity will never represent itself in the same manner.

What advice can you give to readers who also have these feelings and a conflict of faith? Faith is suppose to guide you, heal you, and help hold you up when you feel like drowning. If it isn’t doing this for you, but instead it’s ridiculing you, making you ashamed and making you feel like an outcast… Then find a new faith. 


There is nothing but love and acceptance for everyone once you pass over to the other side of the realm.  All of what worries you now is of no consequence there.