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Found, but Not Lost 

A couple of weeks ago, two Mormon folks unexpectedly came to my front door. I was out for a walk, but Garrett, my significant other, was there to greet them.

Garrett only had a brief discussion with them, but as far as I can figure, they're probably members of what would be my home ward, were I still a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

And here's where it gets interesting: While I used to be LDS--technically, I guess I still am--I haven't had any dealings whatsoever with the church in more than four years. It's amazing that after that amount of time, not to mention two out-of-town moves, they tracked me down.

I left the church in 2001, when the Mormons were strongly supporting a Nevada ballot proposition that amended the state's Constitution to ban gay marriage, which was already illegal. That, and the fact that I was coming to terms with being gay, was becoming too much.

The final straw for me was an article I read in a national newsmagazine--I believe it was Time--about someone named Stuart Mathis, an LDS man from the San Francisco Bay area, who killed himself because he couldn't come to terms with the fact that he had, in Mormon terms, "same-gender attraction," and the fact that acting on such feelings would have gotten him excommunicated from an organization he'd been part of his entire life. I couldn't bear to set foot in an LDS church after reading about Stuart, whose name rang a bell. It turns out he went to the college ward I used to attend, probably at the same time that I did.

There are many things I still love about the Mormon organization. But because of policies that force GLBT members to make impossible choices, I'll never be able to be a part of it. And while I am working on it, I haven't been able to forgive the church yet for the lives, like Stuart's, it has destroyed--and continues to destroy--because of its policies.

However, I am glad the local LDS members stopped by. It reminded me that I need to have my name stricken from the church's records--something I should have done long ago.

More by Jimmy Boegle

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