I came out to my parents the first Wednesday in May. The next day was my day off with my old job and my stake president called me and asked me to stop by his business for an interview to put my mission papers. I went in to the interview dressed to kill, we covered all the topics of small talk that are necessary in such situations, then we go through the entire interview, I was completely honest. He then asks me if there was any place that I couldn’t serve.
I answered the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission.
He looked at me, not knowing if I was joking or not. I then asked my Stake President if my bishop told him anything that we’ve discussed. He shook his head, ‘No he didn’t mention anything.”
By this time, coming out to people was like second nature, so I told him that I struggle with SSA and that a few months ago, I was participating in an online forum where I started to communicate through AOL Instant Messenger, and occasionally over the phone with a young man who was also a pre-missionary. This person, who was living in California at the time and just got his mission call to Minnesota. A few weeks after we started conversing he wrote me an extremely long email. In this email he confessed his general attraction to me, then asked if I could pick him up from the airport so we could make out (and so, so much more) before he went to the MTC.
I feel horrible saying this, but I might’ve considered it if he wasn’t an ugly 250 pound 5’ 4” Filipino man (I almost hate bringing up the fact that he was Filipino, but I have to, since the Filipino race is generally slightly shorter and not quite as large as this particular gentleman was….) So this brought up two things I’ve never thought of, I’m superficial, and I need to continually watch myself and the people I converse with.
I reply to this man and tell him that I can’t talk to him anymore, and that he needed to erase my phone number, erase all my contact information so he wouldn’t try contacting me again. I blocked his email, AIM, removed his commenting ability on my other weblog (I think everyone here underestimates my blog-whore-ness…I’m ridiculous)
I then said that as of March 26th he was serving in the Minnesota mission, and it wouldn’t be fair for me, or that young man to be in the same mission, because I knew for a fact that he still was really messed up about his feelings for me.
For a good 15 minutes I sat there while my stake president typed notes into his computer for my papers. He said everything would be okay, and that in about two or three weeks I’d hear back from he missionary department.
Two weeks went by and I still haven’t heard anything from the missionary department… Exactly three weeks later my stake president called and told me that I needed to get a psychiatric evaluation. Two weeks later I went in for the evaluation with someone from LDS Social Services. I considered her highly inept, considering the fact that she talked more about how I did theatre in high school rather than the fact that I like guys.
Two weeks later I still hadn’t heard anything back from he missionary department, three went by…that Sunday I get a call from the stake president’s office requesting that I come down to speak with him.
I thought it was going to be a “hang in there” chat with the SP (I was constantly having those with the bishop) but this one was different. I walked into the stake offices and by the look in his eyes when he shook my hand I knew he pitied me at the time. I walk in, knowing full well that I wasn’t going to be able to serve at this time.
He asked me to sit in a chair next to his desk, rather than sitting opposite. I move closer, and sit down rather stiffly—attempting not to let my generally animated face show any expression.
SP: “The First Presidency wanted me to let you know that this decision has nothing to do with the fact that you struggle with Same-sex attraction.” (Which I genuinely believe)
AtP: what? … Oh…kay?”
SP: “In your psychiatric evaluation some information came out that I wasn’t aware of” (Lie, I told you. But I’ll let it slide this time) “But the church has a strict policy that before someone can be considered for missionary service they need to have been a member in good standing for at least a year—you can resubmit your papers again in January”
Bishop: “Mark, I’m sorry…I just want to let you know that we’re proud of you for going about this the right way…You could’ve easily lied and been able to serve right away, but we’re very proud that you didn’t…”
After a few more minutes concerning repentance, consequences, etcetera they dismissed me to tell my family what the church decided.
Moments after I get into my car, I turn it on, and send out a mass text message—I sent one to Hilary, AKA the First (and only) Kiss. Thee minutes later she called, I thought that she was going to console me, but no. She then started yelling about how her parents wouldn’t let her come to Utah for a summer vacation. I couldn’t believe that I had just heard the worse news of my life so far and she called to complain about how bad her upper middle class life with nearly perfect parents, was horrible (although she might be feeling bad that her current boyfriend was an emotional basket case who is absolutely hideous)
…I got off the phone as soon as possible and went to take a nap…
After I woke up from the nap, I decided that I was going to do what held me up the first time, just to spite them… In retrospect that wasn’t the brightest decision I’ve ever made… that really threw me back to square one. Damn.