Today’s Video Story was collected on the 50-state Story Tour. Check out the blog where you can follow us on our adventure. If you haven’t submitted a story yet to IFD, or if you want to submit another one, I’d love to read and publish it. Write one up and send it in.
My name’s Ryan Oldroyd, I’m from Glenwood, Utah. You probably know a lot of guys in Utah go on missions, and I went on one when I was nineteen. They typical go from nineteen to twenty-one. And I went to Lithuania, the Baltic states. And I was there about a year when I met another missionary. And eventually we figured out that we were both gay and one thing led to another and eventually we hooked up. So, every month they have a worthiness interviews for missionaries where you meet with the Mission President and he talks to you about your work and your worthiness, whatever. So in that interview – I had been out about eighteen months, I confessed to having been with this guy a few times, you know, and I didn’t really know what was going to happen. I didn’t really think anything would happen because I was really naive, at the time. But they had a disciplinary council where they get some old dudes together and they interview about everything that happened and it’s very graphic and detailed and who did what to who, when and where and why? So I went through that and then they ask you to leave and you go out, and they pray about it and then when I was called back in he told me I was excommunicated and he had a plane ticket home for me for the next day, and I needed to call my parents and tell them to be at the airport. I called my parents, they were kind of ecstatic and in tears of course. And they’re still not really okay with it. I’ve come out to them multiple times actually and they – usually my dad is silent. My mom cries, and then says, “We still love you,” but within two weeks they are trying to set me up with some girl from high school or something that they know is still not married. And I’ll just say, “we talked about this, you know we had this conversation.” But it doesn’t really work. It’s better than a lot of guys have in Utah, a lot of Mormon parents really can’t handle it at all and mine don’t really accept it but they also don’t reject me, they don’t – they just can’t talk about it, it’s something that’s really – it really conflicts with their faith. And I get that to an extent, you know? So it’s not really discussed too much, which is okay. They’re getting better. Small steps, you know? Small steps. But you know, Mormon’s have such strict ideology and strict rules that for them to know I drink coffee was a big step. So they’ve accepted that – we’re on board. We can move forward with the coffee and maybe a little bit of wine – so we’re giving them time on the gay issue.