Better remember how to put everything back how we found it!
-- Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams
As I found the end of the line and began to lie down in black in front of the LDS offices last night with thousands of other people on a chill night, I reflected on the events that had brought me to this point.
I got an email from Peter on Wednesday, reflecting on how well our conversation after church went. He went on to state as "just a gay man," he felt concern for the hatred directed at fellow human beings--a hatred that was designed to infectiously poison the soul, honestly felt by some to be salvation, completely ignorant of what scientific research has shown us to be true.
Doesn't the book of revelation state that there will be false prophets, who will turn the people's hearts against the teachings of the one known as Christ. Is it a coincidence, therefore, that the leadership of the Mormon church are known by its clergy as prophets? Is it also a coincidence that they are teaching that people cannot trust how they are created and can evolve beyond homosexuality? But psychologists agree that self-repression is only a temporary cure and can lead to inability to grow spiritually.
Peter's email told me that a rally was being organized to protest the ignorance spouted by the LDS prophets. We were to meet at the park across the street from the temple grounds about 7 PM.
When I finally got to the location, I had to park up a hill on State Street, where I had difficulty parallel parking the car and wound up leaving it on the curb. As I walked down State Street toward S. Temple Street, I joined a lesbian couple walking down the hill, introducing myself in our short journey together.
We parted ways at the park, where I looked for Peter, moving closer to the center of the immense crowd of thousands to more clearly here what the speaker was saying. We were there, gay, straight, lesbian, transgender, and of all faiths to send a clear message to gay LDS youth: that they are loved and supported in the very heart of South Lake City, home of the LDS Church. Instructions were given out, the police were thanked for their support, and we crossed the street to the temple to lie head-to-toe, the chill wind blowing.
Many people began to walk around us, some carrying signs, while passer-by honked there horns in support, sending up cheers from the human chain.
Eventually a second ring formed, but as people began to have to move for fear of hypothermia, the first ring joined the second. After about 30 minutes, we heard someone loudly proclaiming thank you, the ring dismantled and many people remained talking, deciding where to spend the rest of the night. I went back to my car, and unable to hold my bladder in the icy cold winds, I had to make a call of nature by the right rear tire.
As I drove home, I saw the hundreds of people still milling around the temple and let my GPS navigation system on my cell phone take me home, refelecting on the fact that I have indeed found the LGBT culture in Salt Lake City, and it's alive and vibrant. I am looking forward to getting to know many of these people over the years I will be here.
To the gay and trans youth: Know that you are loved, and don't forget to be proud of how God made you.
Hugs and God Bless,