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Nerdy Gay Mormon

I live in Florida, work at a university, am a Mormon...oh, and I'm gay
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This is a snapshot view of original blog at nerdygaymormon.tumblr.com

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Pictures 1
“Jesus Said Love Everyone”  This art is shared with permission of the artist, Kait Pedersen.  She can be found on...

1 day ago

“Jesus Said Love Everyone”  This art is shared with permission of the artist, Kait Pedersen.  She can be found on...

1 day ago

hi I just wanted to say that today I (kind of accidentally?) came out to my dad, and it went surprisingly well! I told him about...

1 day ago

Thoughts on Polyamory? I'm bi but I think I'm poly as well because though I love my partner more than anything I think I have a...

1 day ago

Void anon here. Thank you for replying so quickly & with so much depth. I really appreciate the resources you provided & plan on...

1 day ago

👉👈 Hi. I'm essentially throwing this ask into the void, bc I'm feeling lost about my sexuality & gender identity & idk anyone...

2 days ago

Hey! The 💫 anon here again. (The one who asked about Chick-Fil-A 😅) so I saw one of your recent answers to an ask about kissing,...

3 days ago

Howdy, Bisexual Mormon Girl here, what would the consequences be church wise if I smooched a girl or a non-binary person,...

4 days ago

I love the work you are doing on Tumblr. You are doing something great. Just thought I would let you know. 💖 💖 💖

LGBTQ individuals are at higher risk of suicide and other mental health issues than the general population. It’s important for us to be able to speak about these things.  

I also need to put a disclaimer, I am not a professional mental health expert. I’m sharing what I have learned from my own experience from having been suicidal and from helping people who’ve contacted me in their darkest moments. 

It’s okay to talk about suicide. Talking about it does not give people the idea. Plenty of people get to this point of wanting to end their life without having anyone bring up the subject. In fact, not being able to talk about it makes it harder to deal with. Silence creates a sense of shame about feeling suicidal. Talking about suicide gives people information and helps them better understand and be open about their feelings. 

Suicide isn’t so much wanting to be dead, it’s not knowing how to live with the circumstances in your life. The situation that a person is dealing with is so hard they don’t see a way for things getting better, they don’t see options to improve their situation. Death is a way to not have to deal with these hard things and feelings. 

Suicidal ideation is when someone has thoughts & feelings of wanting to be dead because they don’t know how to deal with their life. Active suicidal ideation means having a plan, taking steps towards ending their life. Passive suicidal ideation means wanting to be dead without making plans towards that path.

Even when someone isn’t actively thinking about doing something to end their life, it’s a problem. Wishing you were dead is a clear indication something isn’t right. 

Suicidal ideation includes when someone wishes they could be diagnosed with a disease like cancer, something that would allow them to die in a way that’s okay for their family because that seems preferable than sharing with their family that they’re gay, or whatever other impossible thing is going on in their life. 

Another form of suicide ideation is when someone wants to escape and get away from their life, like running away and cutting all ties with everyone they know and starting over again where no one can find them. 

Perception is not reality. People who are suicidal have often told me they are a burden to their parents. I guarantee that is not how their parents think of them. 

Often they don’t want to say anything to people about being suicidal for fear of how those people will react. And it is possible some individuals would react badly, but most will respond with care and concern. 

Talk to someone. Talk saves lives. Find someone you trust. If this is too scary, if it’s too vulnerable to tell someone you know, then contact a suicide hotline. The hotline will let you get these thoughts & feelings out without judging you, they’ll listen and then guide you through resources you can access. When life feels overwhelming, having someone help us see the next step can be so helpful.

Being able to talk about what’s going on in your mind can help you to frame it and get perspective on it, which can help you learn how to move through it. It can make feelings that feel so big and scary to look manageable once they’re put it into words.  

We can feel like we should be able to handle things ourselves, but none of us can do that, we need human interaction.

If you see something, say something. We put a lot of pressure on those who are struggling to tell somebody. My personal experience is I was willing to talk, I was wanting to talk, I just needed someone else to ask. My perception of being a burden or of how they might react kept me from volunteering that I needed to talk, but I was trying to drop hints, hoping someone would ask. 

If you see someone who is having a hard time, or you know some of the possible warning signs of suicide, go ahead and ask them directly if they’re feeling suicidal. 

You can identify what signs you saw or what they said that caused you to be concerned. Be direct, ask if they’re feeling suicidal, and that you’re someone they can tell. They won’t be offended. If they’re not suicidal, they’ll tell you. They might not tell you they’re having suicidal thoughts, but they will know you offered to be someone they can talk to. 

If you haven’t seen specific warning signs, but they’re going through something that is really stressful or intense, like an LGBTQ person being outed publicly, you can say to them, “a lot of people in this situation consider taking their own life, is this something you’re considering?” 

It’s okay to feel the way you feel. It’s okay to be tired. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to have a hard time getting out of bed. This is a process and won’t be solved in an instant. The things which got you feeling suicidal take time to handle. Be patient with yourself because your life is worth it. Be kind to yourself. You don’t need to have life all figured out. 

Have a plan. One of the first things my psychologist did was ask how much sleep I was getting, what was I eating, and what sort of exercise was I getting. These each have an impact on mental health and can be some of the first steps we take towards better mental health. 

I also had to create a safety plan which included being aware of the warning signs that my mental health was going downhill, and what actions I was going to take when I was feeling suicidal, or headed towards that way. If those actions didn’t work, I had 3 people identified whom I could contact. I had to carry around that plan with me for several months as I worked on things because I was at high risk. When I was in the middle of those dark thoughts & feelings, it was easy to forget the steps in my plan. 

There is a phone app called My 3 that can help you create a plan for yourself. 

If someone tells you they’re feeling suicidal, that can feel like a heavy weight, somehow you’ve got to save them. The thing is, you don’t have the power to save them. They have to save themselves.

You are there to sit with them in the darkness, you are there to refer them to others who can assist them, you are there to push back against those ideas that they are a burden to those they love and that their life is not worth living. Make sure they know that you value them, you love them for who they are. You are part of their support network, a human connection.

If you know someone who survived an attempted suicide, don’t pretend it didn’t happen. People feel awkward and don’t know what to say. I think there’s two ways to talk about it. 

One way is to express your own feelings. “When I learned that you were in the ER being treated for actions you took, I was a bit stunned, and also sad because I imagine how lonely you felt in that moment and didn’t feel like you could call me or anyone else.” 

The other is to not treat it like it’s a shameful secret. Suicidality is a health issue. If someone was home from surgery, would you pretend the surgery didn’t happen? Of course it’s okay to say you hope they’re feeling better, ask how they’re doing, and so on. 

If they don’t want to talk about it, they will let you know. Chances are they don’t have many people who are willing to talk about this incident and these feelings and so they may be relieved to have someone to talk with.

Wikipedia has a great list of suicide hotlines by country. Check it out for you or someone you know who needs help. 

I live in the United States and here’s some resources for people who live in the USA.

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4 days ago

Let’s talk about Suicide

4 days ago

Why do you still attend church? It seems your blog is all about differences you have with it, so why do you stay?

Pictures 3
they won’t even admit the knife is there.
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4 days ago

they won’t even admit the knife is there.

4 days ago

Hi. My name is Joan. Thank you for providing the wonderful 3 page poster/graphic with discussion points. Is there any way to...

My mom said that King Lamoni telling Ammon to go tend the flocks was a death sentence and all I could think of was

King Lamoni: Marry my daughter

Ammon: No

King Lamoni:

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4 days ago

My mom said that King Lamoni telling Ammon to go tend the flocks was a death sentence and all I could think of was King Lamoni:...

hate 2 drop this on you and run, but saw my friend A on the street half an hour ago and she told me her radical reading of the Book of Ruth is that Boaz is gay.

think about it, she said:   

he is still single:  an older, wealthy landowner with social status in the community, and he is not married?  (why would he be unmarried when he has a religious responsibility and financial incentive to have children?) he makes unexpected sexual choices: he doesn’t make a pass at Ruth when he finds her in his fields, he warns his servants against harassing her, he doesn’t sleep with her when she propositions him in the middle of the night, and he keeps finding excuses not to marry or be with her.  he agrees to marry a poor widowed convert:  his bride is not a socially connected heiress; Ruth is an outsider, more likely to be empathetic to quirks, differences, secrets even his marriage stays different:  the language of Ruth’s pregnancy is unusual:  “The LORD gave her conception” (4:13), not “she conceived”.  the emphasis is not on their sexual relationship but on this holy miracle.  after all, she was childless for 10 years with her first husband Mahlon.

i haven’t finished unpacking what it could mean for the romance of their relationship to be a lavender marriage.  but i am DELIGHTED with the creative possibilities.  this is a text about unconventional families.  this is a text about found families and sexually provocative & unusual yet respectful choices.   how powerful that the holy messianic redemption, the lineage of King David, could have been born of an unorthodox, queer family.

Happy Shavuot and happy Pride! 🌈✡️💕.  

5 days ago

hate 2 drop this on you and run, but saw my friend A on the street half an hour ago and she told me her radical reading of the...

In the early 1970′s, a young man named Byron Marchant moved with his new family into a little house in Salt Lake City across the street from Liberty Park. His new congregation asked him to serve as scoutmaster for their Scout troop. 

He encouraged neighborhood boys to join regardless of whether they belonged to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His neighborhood had a large minority population and that was reflected in the Scout troop. Byron selected two African-American scouts to be the senior patrol leader and the assistant patrol leader. 

Then in 1973 the Church announced a new policy, the Deacons Quorum presidency was to also be the scout troop leadership. That meant Byron would need to replace the top two leaders in his troop. And even if they joined the Church, since African-Americans were not allowed to be ordained to the Church’s priesthood, and therefore couldn’t be president of a priesthood quorum, the former troop leaders would not be allowed to be troop leaders again.  

Byron Marchant figured that whoever conceived of this policy just didn’t consider that some church troops would have the demographics that his had. He went to his bishop and continued all the way up the ladder of leadership, thinking if they heard about his troop that he could get an exception. Instead he was rejected at every level and warned that his pleas could result in church discipline

For Byron, this was not the end. He stood outside of General Conference passing out literature questioning the Church’s discrimination of Blacks and he contacted the NAACP. This resulted in Byron meeting President Spencer W. Kimball so that he could explain to the President of the Church his reasons for alerting the NAACP.

In 1974 the NAACP accused the LDS Church of discriminating against a 12-year-old Black child by not allowing him to be a senior patrol leader and planned to file suit against the Boy Scouts of America for violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (they decided not to take the LDS church to court because of the special protections that religions have under the First Amendment).

“While we very reluctantly acknowledge the L.D.S. church’s legal right to maintain its doctrine excluding blacks from the priesthood, we are outraged when that doctrine finds expression in the church’s secular activities.”

Eventually the Church had to reverse the policy and priesthood was no longer required for a boy to be a leader in Church-sponsored troops.

The refusal by the Church leadership to recognize the discriminatory effect of its policy on African-American youth affected Byron. He started learning about the origins of Church’s ban of Black people from the temple and the priesthood. 

In 1977 he even visited Church archives and saw the priesthood ordination certificate for Elijah Abel, an African-American. With permission of the archivist, he made a written copy of the certificate, typed it up at home, and began distributing it to the press & public in August 1977.

He no longer felt he could remain silent about the discriminatory policy of the priesthood/temple ban and one afternoon each week Byron would carry a sign in front of the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City.

Byron and a few other like-minded Mormons planned to carry out a protest on Temple Square during the October 1977 General Conference. 

Marchant’s local leaders threatened to hold a disciplinary court, but he promised to stop the protest if his leaders promised not to convene a court. 

Byron still wanted to make his point and in the General Conference of October 1977, when it was time to sustain Church leadership, Byron spoke up from the balcony of the Tabernacle. This was the first opposing vote in General Conference since the 1800′s. 

The cameras didn’t turn to see him cast his dissenting vote, but hundreds of thousands of people listening by radio or watching on TV heard his voice.

President Tanner: It seems, President Kimball, that the voting has been unanimous in favor of these officers and General Authorities, and we would ask those new members of the First Quorum of the Seventy to take their seats with their brethren, please.

Voice from the gallery: President Tanner? President Tanner?

President Tanner: Yes?

Voice from the gallery: Did you note my negative vote?

President Tanner: No. Let me see it.

Voice from the gallery: Up here.

Security escorted Byron from the building and he explained to the press that his negative vote was to highlight the injustice of the priesthood ban. 

Twelve days later he became the 2nd member excommunicated for opposing the Church’s priesthood ban. He was also fired from his job as ward janitor. His excommunication made national news. Eight months later, President Kimball announced to the world that male members of African ancestry could now hold the priesthood.

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Byron Marchant truly embodied the Mormon phrase “Do what is right, let the consequence follow.” It’s easy to conform and go along, and difficult to stand alone. 

It was the treatment of children which opened Byron’s eyes. This still happens today, parents have a child come out as LGBT or they learn of the sexually-explicit questions that had been asked to their child by a bishop, and it opens their eyes to some problematic things in this Church, and those parents speak up. 

I also think it’s illustrative that the Church was resistant to this internal dissent, only once outside organizations and the press brought pressure did the Church change who is allowed to be scout leaders, or make adjustments to grown men asking teens about sex.

6 days ago

Byron Marchant

7 days ago

Thanks for your answer to my ask! And yeah I hope I can continue to figure out how I can be a better supporter. And thanks for...

8 days ago

Freedom is being you without anyone’s permission.

8 days ago

Hey I'm a newer follower of yours, and I'm a recently returned missionary. I just want to let you know that even though I...

8 days ago

You should really consider starting your own church. You have enough of a cult following. If you think you know everything and...

9 days ago

I just want to say on this over-commercialized American holiday where the true meaning has been long lost... Uncle David, I want...

11 days ago

Is God Poly?