Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Here are the responses thus far (which I have edited) to the email I sent my family:

From my brother-in-law:

Hi Cody, I hope that what I say to you stays with you. I hope you find happiness wherever you can find it. I have been married five times. Five! Don't you think i would have gotten it right by now? I think I have with [your sister]. I had gone to marriage counseling four times with [my ex wife] to make it work. I confronted my bishop about it not working and he said, “As long as you have tried to make it work, you can truthfully stand before your Heavenly Father and say, ‘I tried.’"
You may find that what you are going through is too tough, so no matter what you decide, God loves you. You will always be my brother-in-law. Live to love, Cody. We' re only here for a short time (besides, all good faithful are not supposed to judge and that’s what I intend to do.)
Love, your bro-in-law…

My sister:

Well I for one am not upset. I think if Jonah makes you happy, then go for it. I don't know Jonah, but he evidently makes you happy, and I don't think you should be alone anymore. You'll have struggles either way, right?
I love you. And I am so SORRY about your struggles. I just want you to be happy, Cody. You need to make your decision for you - not for anybody else. I love you. I support your decision either way. And I will ALWAYS love you, no matter what.

My other sister:

Hi Cody,
How's life treating you? Okay, that's a dumb question. You don't need to answer that because obviously it's not treating you as well as you'd like with this struggle that you've had for so many years. Life is not perfect! Life isn't fair! I wish I knew what to tell you to make it all go away but the truth is that I don't know what to tell you. Life is full of challenges and it seems like whatever I'll say will just be a repeat of things you've heard over and over again.
I can't imagine not ever loving you. You're my brother! How can I not love you? I've known you all my life! Your feelings for Jonah are not going to change the way I feel about you. He seems like a nice guy and it sounds like he has a lot of respect for you and really, it's got to be up to you what you choose. No one else can choose for you! You're a grown man! You've got to make your own decisions! I'm sorry that you have to deal with this. I do keep you in my prayers all the time. You mean so much to me, Cody, and I do love you.
The only suggestion I can think of which you've probably received numerous of times, at least I would think you have, is a blessing. When is the last time you had a blessing?
Do what you feel is best for you!
Take care,
Please let me know if there is anything I can do.
I love you!

And this one form my mom, which made me cry (in a good way):

Dear Cody,
Somehow I felt this was coming. First of all I love you, I will always love you. That won't change.
I know you struggle with your problem. I feel your struggle, and I struggle not knowing how to help you. I, too, pray for you. Your name is on the temple rolls constantly and I don't know what the answer is either.
I once told you that in our pre-existence that perhaps you did make a choice because you love the Savior so much. When you were born we almost lost you and after you were given a blessing perhaps you chose to come back to earth. None of us know what promises we have made.
Years ago when you were down at [college] before you told [your sister] about your problem you became quite angry and surly and I really didn't know why. Now I assume you were rebelling against these feelings.
I'm not sure exactly what happed but that night that you got your testimony and you decided to go on a mission the light just come to you and you were such a changed person and I liked it. You were so happy. Perhaps you thought this would change your homosexual feelings. I don't know but you seemed so happy.
I realize that you have done the things that you have been counseled to do and I also see your frustration with the way things are going.
You are a loving, caring, non-judgmental (except for [President] Bush and that is understandable), merciful individual . You have many friends and they turn to you for counsel. People look up to you.
I know you love and believe in the gospel and have a testimony of Jesus Christ and the atonement. You are a good person and I know you try to follow God’s plan. I know that covenants you make are very important to you.
In return the Lord has given you many choice blessings. You have a beautiful voice and are an excellent student and teacher, you are smart and well-read. You know the gospel and the history of world events far better than me. You are a friend to many. You have so many talents.
I, too, don't understand why you have this challenge in your life, but you do have it and I also see that it is tearing you apart. I'm not going to go into the natural man versus the spiritual man. You know it probably better than I.
I am concerned however about the future, and I don't think it will be long before the second coming with all the things that are going on in the world today. Just this evening Bush said that he didn't think the war would end until the next president is in office. And Korea has a new bomb. There are just so many signs of the times in this day right now.
In my lifetime I have seen so many things happen, but since 2000 it seems like almost daily we see the signs and we know it will be a great and dreadful day.
Jonah is a very nice person. I like him very much. I know you would like someone in your life, and I am glad that he is not pressuring you. I know he makes you happy. I'm sure you also make him happy. I glad that you are friends. I'm sure you feel between a rock and a hard place. I know you want more than just that friendship. There will also be other problems that will probably come if you decide for more than just friendship but maybe not.
In the end, my dear son, it will be you that must make this life-altering decision, but never think that I would stop loving you for I will always love you.
I care so much about you and I love you so much.
This to has been a hard letter for me to write because I want you to be happy and content and I know you are going through so much trying to accomplish that. My prayers are with you always.
Love, Mom

I still haven't decided what I'm going to do yet, but it sure gives me a great deal of comfort to know that my family will love and support me whether they agree with the actual decision or not.

I've been singing corny love songs all day, and I know it's because of Jonah.


Foxx said...

I've been going through family stuff recently, and I envy your family's response. I feel like my family is still trying to live my life for me.

So wow. What wonderful, great, and understanding responses. They care first about your happiness as you see it because they love you. They express their concern out of love - in a constructive way. They understand that you are the only one who can make that decision, and they trust that you are aware of the consequences of such actions.

Well done, sir.

Gay LDS Actor said...

Thanks, Foxx.
I'm almost 35, and my family has known about my struggles for quite some time, so this has been a journey for them, and they have had time to get used to the idea that I might choose another path than perhaps the one they wanted me to. I think if I had written the same letter to them ten or fifteen years ago, the results would not be as favorable.
I don't know all the details of your family situation, but give them time. I understand where you're coming from, though, and family members often express their concern in less than favorable way.
But I will admit that my family is pretty special (at least I think they are). And they know me as a person, and although I know they don't agree that this might be the path for me to take, you are right in that they ultimately know that it's my own decion to make.
Something I've always found in my family that I feel was learned via the gospel is that we all have our free agency here on this earth, and that that is a huge part of Heaveny Father's plan, and ultimately each one of us is responsible for the decisions we make.
Jonah and I were talking tonight about how ultimately you can't live your life to please anybody else and that it is you, and you alone, who has to face your maker and account for your choices and what other people think or how other people judge you is largely irrelevant.
Of course, that doesn't make it easier when those people are people you love and care about who you just ardently wish could fully understand what it's like to be in your shoes.
I do appreciate your comments and hope things get easier between you and your family. I imagine it's hard (because I've encountered harsher responses from my family in the past), but, ultimately, I would remind myself that their negative responses are still most likely based in concern and love for you, even if it's sometimes coupled with ignorance or negativity.
Here's hoping things get easier for you (and them) as you travel down life's path.