Saturday, August 4, 2007

A Minnesota Lesbian Mormon Wedding

At the end of July, I attended the wedding of a lesbian couple, friends of mine. One of the women is from a devout Catholic background, but my friend, the one for whom Göran and I were in attendance, is from a devout Latter-day Saint background. I had known my friend D. for over a year and a half, since before she came out to her parents. Her father had been an institute teacher; her family a pillar of their Utah Mormon community. Coming out to them was not easy for my friend D. It had been a struggle for her parents to come to terms with their daughter's homosexuality, but now, here we were at D.'s wedding, and her parents were there too.

As the wedding ceremony began and D. and K. began processing down the aisle, all smiling and aglow, I caught a glimpse of D.'s mother wiping away a tear. It was a sight you expect at any wedding; though this was not a typical wedding. What was going through her mind, I wondered? Was it a tear of sadness, an expression of her grief that instead of marrying in the temple for time and all eternity, her daughter was settling for something far less, something at best temporary and at worst immoral? Or did she see, as I did, the genuine, heartfelt happiness that was glowing in her daughter's face? Was it a tear of happiness for the happiness of her daughter? Or was it some complex mixture of the two emotions at the same time, happiness and sadness entangled in the same moment?

I know what I was feeling in that moment. I was thinking of the fifteen years I have spent with my partner; of all the incredible, invaluable lessons I have learned from him. And I thought of how indescribably my love for him has deepened and grown in the last two years as the Spirit has opened my eyes and my heart to the golden truths of the Gospel, and as I am finally beginning to reap the rewards that only come when you've been with someone for at least fifteen years. And I realized that I do not know what this relationship is, if it qualifies to be eternal or not. In it I at least catch glimpses of something that transcends both of us, that is eternal.

Whatever those tears in the eyes of D.'s mother meant, I knew that I also saw in her eyes a love like the love of God. A love that would not let her be separated from her daughter. And that too gives me hope.

5 comments:

Forester said...

I believe you and your friend's relationships are eternal and that being able to have someone to be with and help us through this life is something everyone should be able to have. If it were my daughter, yes there would be some sadness, but I would never wish for her to live alone, never knowing love.

playasinmar said...

Don't forget allergies. It coulda been allergies.

GeckoMan said...

How important it is for parents to love unconditionally! Despite their own religious convictions and reservations, Mom & Dad were there supporting and loving their daughter on a crucial day of her life. If it were me there, the tears would be bittersweet, given my understanding of the joy and pain involved, yet totally wanting my child's happiness which would need my supportive presence.

I've sometimes wondered how I would feel if one of my daughters were to choose a lesbian lifestyle. The principal difficulty for me in such a decision would be her likely abandonment of LDS faith and the hope of temple marriage.

How does your friend D now feel about and believe/not believe in the church? Did she incorporate any faith aspects into her wedding?

Some trying choices we have as parents with regards to our children, are to let them make their own choices and not to assign judgement. This is really hard for us at times, particularly when our faith in doctrine is involved. However, I subscribe to the principle of 'let them learn their own way, being aware of all options and knowing that I love them regardless of choices that would not be my own.' In this way I see myself mirroring the position of our Father in Heaven, and I begin to feel and understand what he must go through in viewing my winding paths.

J G-W said...

Geckoman - I suspect D's mother was going through exactly what you describe. That is what I would expect of any devout Mormon mom.

But I've written elsewhere (in my last post actually) about my own mom's spiritual experience after I came out to her, in which the Spirit reassured her that everything would work out, everything would be all right. This is very much along the lines of what I experienced at D's wedding, and part of me wanted to reassure her mom that whatever worries she might have, she had no need to fear for her daughter.

I can't speak for D or say how spiritually connected she feels right now to the Mormon Church. I do know that it was some desire to stay connected with her LDS faith that motivated her to reach out to me a year and a half or so ago.

The wedding was not religious per se, though it incorporated spiritual elements into it. To me, whenever two people solemnly commit to make a life together, to take care of each other, to be there for each other through thick and thin, through good times and bad, to stick it out even after the spark of early romance fades and the grind of everyday life sets in, this is a profoundly spiritual act.

What saddens me is that the religious traditions from which these young women come has no way of encouraging them to nurture a spiritual life. I have some more thoughts I plan to share along these lines in my next post...

Anonymous said...

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