My mission companion was 24 years old, but he’d always say he was 23 and a half. In Brazil, the number 24 is a symbol of homosexuality. Some people go out of their way to make sure they don’t look gay.
Many of my friends say, “This is so gay,” when they really mean flamboyant, stupid, or worthless. The word gay should never be insulting, degrading, or intimidating.
In the LDS church, homosexuality is something sinful, horrific. This negative culture can be destructive. Many gay Mormons are embarrassed and hate themselves for being homosexual. Some even treat it like a disease they are trying to fix.
When I started dealing with my homosexuality, it was really hard. I had spent my entire life fighting against my “evil sin.” It became even harder at BYU. I thought my sexuality was the worst part of me. The first couple times I told someone I was gay, I explained it as a hardship or trial. Why was I treating homosexuality as a bad thing?
It makes me sad to think about the negativity that surrounds being gay. Homosexuality shouldn’t be negative. We don’t need any more sadness in our lives. We need to focus on the positive. Never again will I think of being gay as a bad thing, because being gay is awesome.
I’m gay, and for me that’s only great! Homosexuality is one of my best characteristics and not my biggest weakness. I’m proud that I’m gay; it’s part of what makes me special.
I know that God created me this way. Being gay is a part of who I am and could only come from our Creator. God loves me unconditionally, and He especially loves the gay part.
When we think about what we are thankful for, I hope we are grateful to be gay. It’s easy to feel alone during the holidays, particularly when all of your relatives and friends are wondering why you are still single. Instead of getting annoyed, I hope to celebrate who I am. After all, I am thankful that I am gay.
Ever since I’ve accepted my sexuality, I’ve been a lot happier. There is so much light, hope, and love in my life. After I embraced and celebrated my sexuality, I found that life is beautiful, joyful, and wonderful.
I am what I am, and I’m happy to be gay!