I’m From Glenwood, UT – Video Story.

by ryan oldroyd

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.

One Comment:

  1. Christopher Brook-Williamson

    Hey. I stumbled across this piece by complete accident. I’m 40 year old gay man, living with my partner of 16 years in the north of the UK. I think regardless of country, area or religion prejudice affects our lives and some of the strongest resistence to our existence comes from the family. My parents are Catholic and have not spoken to me since my partner and I had our legal civil partnership in 2006. Contrary to popular belief it is my mother who spurs on and maintains the hatred and silence, as she see’s me as “a child of the devil”. Which, considering I am the most, placid, considerate, kind and affectionate member of my family, I find hard to cope with. Its 5 almost 5 years since they spoke to me now. I’ve been out to them since I was 21, but it was at this point that our relationship changed forever. I wanted to keep my parents in my life and so I went from denying myself the freedom to be whom I was born to be, to not talking about it, right they way throught the spectrum of expecting them to be with me and my friends and partner, in the same way that they would if I was with a female partner. Unfortunately my mother decided that this was something she could not do and chose to walk away and deny my existence. I had a nervous breakdown, went thought counselling and still I have sad days when I remember them. Its like being in mourning, but made worse because I remember that I am actually mourning the living. One day they may get in touch, but I have moved on with my thoughts and feelings and dont feel a need for them to accept me anymore. If my parents turned up at my door today and told me that they had decided that they could “live” with my sexuality, I think i would tell them that I was pleased for them and then close it again. I cant honestly say what i would actually do as far as they are concerned, but for me I will continue to be the person that I am; loving, kind, considerate and passionate about my life, my partner and my future. Thank you for sharing your story. I wish you luck, happiness and acceptance.

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