Turning a bat into a unicorn – Om det hetrosexuella äktenskapet som livsväg för homosexuella.

Turning a bat into a unicorn – Om det hetrosexuella äktenskapet som livsväg för homosexuella.

Ett av de problem som jag lyfter fram i min text i boken Välkomna varandra handlar om äktenskap med mixad sexualitet. Jag påstår i boken att vi idag har kunskap om att dessa äktenskap har stora bekymmer. Vi möter i vissa av dem en livslång kamp för att finna en balans i livet som äkta makar. Vi möter också ett alltför stort antal av dessa relationer som efter år av kamp går sönder.

Den här typen av problemformuleringar är vanskliga att göra eftersom vi saknar hårda fakta. Jag har inga siffror på balansen mellan lyckade och misslyckade familjer av denna typ. Men jag anser ändå att det finns goda skäl att utgå ifrån att dessa problem är reella. Jag hämtar mina farhågor ifrån de ledare inom ex-gayrörelsen som under många år jobbat med att möta många kristna homosexuella i vägledning och själavård. Utifrån sin erfarenhet varnar de för att vägleda människor in i äktenskap med mixad sexualitet. Det är ledare som: Wendy VanderWall Gritter, Mark Achtemeyer, Jeremy Marks  m.fl.

Dessa ledare pekar på brottningskampen och misslyckanden i dessa äktenskap och ger därmed legitimitet till min hållning i denna fråga. De visar också på den positiva förvandling som de sett hos individer som valt att bejaka sin sexualitet och därefter valt att leva sina liv i trohetsrelationer som överensstämmer med deras sexuella läggning.

För mig är detta en viktig fråga. Om kristna ledare idag väljer att leda unga människor in i äktenskap med mixad sexualitet så gör de det med full vetskap om att detta har ifrågasatts under många år av seriösa själavårdare och ett stort antal kristna homosexuella.

Världen Idag publicerade i December en intervju med Ray Baker som berättar om sitt lyckliga och långa äktenskap med Kay.  Världen idag 27 dec 2017  Det är en vacker och kärleksfull berättelse om ett par som funnit ett liv i kärlek och trohet trots det faktum att Ray är homosexuell. Jag har inget behov av att ifrågasätta eller nedvärdera deras berättelse. Men det finns ett problem med att en tidning publicerar en sådan berättelse utan att sätta in berättelsen i sammanhanget av dessa varningssignaler från kristna ledare inom området.

Josh och Lolly Weed är ett omskrivet par som för fem år sedan presenterade sitt lyckliga ”mixed sexuality” äktenskap på sin blogg. Deras berättelse blev viral och omskriven i kristen media. Idag – fem år senare – har deras syn på saken förändrats. Josh beskriver de negativa effekterna av att deras berättelse lyftes fram som ett normerande exempel:

”We’re sorry to any gay Mormon who received criticism, backlash, or hatred as a result of our story. It wasn’t long after our post that we began to get messages from the LGBTQIA community, letting us know that their loved ones were using our blog post to pressure them to get married to a person of the opposite gender—sometimes even disowning them, saying things like, “if these two can do it, so can you.” Our hearts broke as we learned of the ways our story was used a battering ram by fearful, uninformed parents and loved ones, desperate to get their children to act in the ways they thought were best. One person wrote—and I’ll never get the horror of this out of my head for the rest of my life—saying that he went to see his family for Thanksgiving during his second year of college, where he was an out gay man who openly had a boyfriend. When he got home, his father pulled up our story on the computer and then physically assaulted him, beating him as he had often done during his childhood, saying “if this guy could avoid being a faggot, so could you!””

Familjen Weeds berättelse är en fördjupande berättelse som inte slutar på samma sätt som Ray och Kay Bakers. Det är berättelsen om ett äktenskap med mixad sexualitet som efter många år leder till skilsmässa. Berättelsen om orsakerna till detta beslut är insiktsfull och smärtsamt. (Läs hela bloggen på här:  Turning a bat into a unicorn.)

En kortfattad summering av de processer som förändrade Josh syn på sitt äktenskap är:

1. Mötet med människorna bakom begreppet HBTQ.

”We got to know many, many people. We heard their stories. We met children, youths as young as 13 years old, so heartbroken by what they were feeling and what they were being told by their faith community—kids with no hope for love in the future if they wanted to be acceptable to their church and family. Young bright faces who were being told not to love who they fell in love with, looking up to us as some kind of beacon of hope. Our understanding of this issue changed with every person we met, with every single story we heard. We went from thinking this was an issue that affected a few burdened souls like ourselves to understanding more and more that this issue actually touches almost every life.”

”As our awareness and love of the LGBTQ contingent increased, our hearts were softened to their struggles, and our understanding of the Gospel of Christ, of mercy, of the atonement, and of God’s love and intentions for His LGBTQ children were forever altered, little by little, by Him, in the temple and in sacred spaces, in ways that felt as tender as they sometimes felt radical.”

2. Kärleken till mig själv som en Gay person

”At last it clicked in, tentatively. Was it possible that my sexual orientation was beautiful? That it was beautiful in the same way blue eyes can be beautiful? In the same way the Grand Canyon is majestic and lovely, attracting admirers from around the world? Could it be that my sexual orientation wasn’t a mistake? That it was part of the diversity and variety that brings nuance to our planet and to humanity? And that God meant it to be that way?”

3. Min mors död

”And after my mom’s death, something in me just shifted. Seeing the woman who bore me there in that wooden box—feeling and knowing the reality of death and the shortness of life—rendered me somehow incapable of telling myself the half-lies required for me to believe that sex with a woman was okay for me, and that allowed me to ignore the ways sex with a woman was hurtful, was dishonoring on an intrinsic level, to the core of who I am.”

Utifrån dessa förändringar i Josh och Kays liv så följer berättelsen om hur de slutligen kommer till insikt om att deras äktenskap är grundat på en falsk grund och inte längre kan fungera på det sätt som Gud har menat för dem. Deras erfarenheter och insikter är otroligt viktiga och de är värda all uppmuntran för att de vågar dela sin livsresa.

Teologi som dödar

Ett otroligt viktigt statement som Josh gör är att han så tydligt tar avstånd från den icke bejakande undervisningen i kyrkan utifrån vad den gör med människorna som försöker forma sina liv efter dess principer. HBTQ personer som undertrycker och försöker sudda ut sin unika identitet hamnar enligt Josh i en livslång destruktiv kamp.

”It was not until my 30’s that I even attempted to seek my own answers, and I mean really seek. This felt imperative when I became a professional psychotherapist and had to assist others with these issues. As I did this, and sought research to help clients, I began to realize that there was actual science around this issue, and that that science actually made the statistical difference between gay people beginning to live a healthy life, and gay people exhibiting symptoms that, if not treated, would go from severe chronic depression/anxiety to psychosomatic illness to, eventually, death.

For me, though, it all came down to the people I met with–the actual human beings who were coming to my office. They would come and sit down with me, and they would tell me their stories. These were good people, former pastors, youth leaders, relief society presidents, missionaries, bishops, Elder’s Quorum presidents, and they were . . . there’s no other way to say this. They were dying. They were dying before my eyes. And they would weep in desperation—after years, decades, of trying to do just as they had been instructed: be obedient, live in faith, have hope. They would weep with me, and ask where the Lord was. They would sob. They would wonder where joy was. As a practitioner, it became increasingly obvious: the way the church handled this issue was not just inconvenient. It didn’t make things hard for LGBTQIA people. It became more and more clear to me that it was actually hurting them. It was killing them.

Around this time, a dear friend of mine—a lesbian I adore—called me. Her voice was clipped and panicked. “Josh, I, uh . . . I need your help. I’m thinking of killing myself. I want to die. I can’t do it anymore . . .”

Guys, this person is an incredible human being. This person’s faith was rock solid. If you knew her, you would see a pillar of strength, of will, of resolve. She is one of the strongest people I know. This is not someone who is easily offended, or was not trying, or who “didn’t have an eternal perspective.” Think of the strongest person you know: that’s who this is equivalent of.

Lolly and I went to see her immediately. When we got there, she played with my girls for a while, and then she and I went on a walk. She was so physically weak, she could barely stand. I will never forget the feeling of physically holding this strong woman up as we walked around a yard.

This is what the church’s current stance does to LGBTQIA people. It actually kills them. It fills them with self-loathing and internalized homophobia, and then provides little to no help when the psychosomatic symptoms set in, instead reacting to this unexpected by-product (after all, living the gospel isn’t supposed to bring misery and death! It’s supposed to bring immeasurable joy! Right?) with aphorisms like “have more faith,” or “have an eternal perspective” or “be grateful.” And the LGBTQIA person is left even further alone, now having been shamed by having it implied that their unhappiness and lack of health is their own fault because they aren’t being righteous enough, or trying hard enough. And so, they try harder. And they get sicker. And the cycle continues. It is a sick, pathological spiral. Worst of all, and what amounts to the very crux of the problem: the church also deprives them—us—of attachment, and a natural, verified, studied reaction to attachment blockade is suicidality.”

Det finns massor mer att läsa i deras bloggpost.

Turning a Unicorn into a Bat: the Post in Which We Announce the End of our Marriage