Nearly a month ago, the Boy Scouts of America made an official statement containing “a resolution to remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone.” This means, specifically, that openly gay teenage boys that meet all other membership requirements (including no sexual conduct) cannot be denied membership in the BSA program.
Previous to this, open or avowed homosexuals were not granted membership nor could they be involved in leadership positions. Openly gay adults are still not allowed to be leaders.
I’m not aware of a more-widely quoted document (other than scripture) in Mormonism than the Proclamation on the Family. This statement was first presented in the General Relief Society Meeting on Sept. 23, 1995 by President Hinckley in his address. It is, as per the byline, is a “proclamation to the world” presented and endorsed by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
The status of the document
In my church experience, I’ve never come across anyone who treats the document any differently than scripture. A bishop in my college ward even had all of us young married couples memorize and recite it, similar to how seminary students memorize and recite certain scripture verses.
While many members don’t seem to have any qualms with treating this statement as no different than revelatory scripture, it is, in fact, in a sort of unique in-between place. A helpful guide to seeing what has been canonized in the history of the modern church and the process that is followed can be found here. In essence, revelation to the church must come through the President of the church, be accepted by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and then be presented and sustained by the general membership of the church.
It’s all about misalignment with gender dysphoria, it seems, at least in my case. Not only does my sense of self not align with my body’s gender, but there are many misalignments between my hopes for the eternities that go contrary to what my hopes are ‘supposed’ to be (as a man with one or more wives).
As distressing as that misalignment is, there is an additional misalignment that causes some distress that’s more present – the misalignment between Andromeda’s and my hopes for our future.
In my last post on hope, I mentioned that I do have hope that I can be happy and at peace in the eternities. The only hope I can see is that I will be female and that I can continue my marriage with Andromeda. I hope that my eternal relationship will be of the f + f sort, and that’s not a relationship style that my church looks highly upon or even believes can persist.
It’s tough to feel like the one hope I have with regards to my gender goes against all that’s supposedly ‘true.’ But to complicate the matter there’s the not-so-small factor of my partner’s desires.
This is the seventh of a sequence of posts in which I describe my personal experience with concerns and confusion over my gender. This was hard to write and even harder to put out in public. Please be kind. This part contains my the events from my wife’s plans to divorce to the present. Part VI can be found here.
Though it was only a year and a half ago, I remember very well when my wife of over eight years informed me that she had started to file for divorce. We were on our way out to a family Halloween party. I spent the whole party going over the biting irony that my wife had taken the first steps to leave me unbeknownst to anyone else there.
I was heartbroken. It had been four months since when she’d left for the week. It had been nine months since I’d opened up myself and my long-held desires to her. I had done my very best to be loving, kind, and respectful. I had taken away all my expectations. I was living for the family. I was doing whatever I could to be good and to try and keep her from breaking our family apart.