"I'm proud of who I am. I'm happy, I'm gay and I'm an Ex Mormon."





When I was fifteen year old, I found myself in a state of confusion and instability. With alcoholism and and drug abuse in my family, I found my teenage years very difficult at times. Along with this, I had to deal with the realization that I was gay. Between the turmoil at home and the homophobia at school, I felt very isolated and increasingly depressed.

At the time, though, I was fortunate to find a very kind and inviting group of friends. Though I wasn't yet able to tell them I was gay, I found in them the sense of belonging and happiness I was looking for. Like me, they were a little bit cut off from the rest of the world. Unlike me however, their isolation was not because of something born deep inside them, but because of their religion; my friends were LDS.

As time went, I began spending more and more time with them, becoming closer and closer, all while learning more and more about the church. As I spent time with them and their families, I came to see the Church as a surrogate family life, one with more stability and happiness than I found in my own home. As much as I loved and was close with my mother, problems with my step-father made me unhappy and uncomfortable at home. I retreated into the illusion of security I found with my LDS friends.

Eventually, I made the difficult decision to come out to my best friend. While he assured me I was still loved and still his friend, he made sure to let me know that my homosexuality was not right in the eyes of God, and that living that life would be a damning decision on my part. I was suddenly faced with a terrible dilemma: sacrifice the serenity of the new family I had found, or suppress a significant part of my identity. Needless to say, I chose the Church.

To read the rest of Braden's story, visit the link below:

Views: 172

Comment by Susan G. Emmett on May 8, 2011 at 12:00pm
I absolutely love these videos.  What a gift for people to be able to put out who they really are to the world!  Thanks to Dan J. and anyone else who is making these videos.  - Sue
Comment by Jean Bodie on May 8, 2011 at 4:07pm
This sparked some conversation in our family - good stuff! We are so much more than one thing that we are. We tend to define people as gay, Mormon, atheist, black or whatever; but we are all so much more than that. This young man says that and even though I had thought about it before, it made so much sense. I am a mother, a wife, a grandmother, a reader, a student of history, a reluctant cook, a friend, a neighbor, a lover, a thinker, a bad tempered wench when I don't get enough sleep AND a former mormon. I would like to be defined by so many things not just one and that one being how I feel about my sexuality.
Comment by Carrotsandgreenjello on May 9, 2011 at 7:06pm
Thanks for sharing your story, it was very moving.
Comment by Don on May 13, 2011 at 7:59am

It was so good to hear of your human story.  Any institution that not only allows humans to write in pain is wrong.  You (and some of the readers) are Gay, lesbian. trans-gendered, or, just not hating different others.  People need to be who they are to reach their potential.  I am very proud of this person, they realized that they are who they are as God made them.  It is ok to be yourself, in whatever capacity that is, it is ok!  

  Life is so short.  You should not spend one moment of it dealing with others issues, chasing their screaming monkey down the street. :)  This was a very moving human experience, and i am proud of every person that makes that culmination of a journey.

  Thanks for a very movng human experience. :)

Don  NYA!  :)


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