Göran and I arrived in Utah yesterday morning. We're here visiting family. This time, we brought along my friend E. (a member of my ward) so that he and my sister could get to know each other better. Long story! Saturday and Sunday we were in Roosevelt, attending the Northern Ute Pow Wow and spending time with in-laws. Earlier this evening, I went for a long walk with my dad, having a heart-to-heart talk.
Being with family is magical for me. I feel so peaceful, happy and relaxed. My family are the coolest people -- every one of them. There's no one else I'd rather be with. And I feel like here I'm more me than I am anywhere else. Göran is part of the family too, which is part of being able to be me. I love watching him interact freely and intimately with my parents, siblings and in-laws. I love seeing him appreciated and loved fully and without reservation by my family. And here, the spiritual half of me is validated as well. I participate in family prayers and can talk about spiritual things with my parents. We had a little family home evening, and my dad asked me to give the lesson -- which felt wonderful to me. My family is the one branch of the Church I am not excommunicated from. So to me, being here with them feels to me like what I imagine the Celestial Kingdom will be. This is my best taste of eternity.
Tomorrow, after a family July 4th cookout, Göran is heading back to Minneapolis, while I and my friend E. will stay until next Sunday. It feels weird... It's the first time Göran and I will have gone on a trip together and then had to part ways. I'm not sure how I feel about it. It will be hard for me to say goodbye to him tomorrow.
But the cool part will be staying here with family and also -- I hope! -- being able to connect with blogging and other friends here in Utah.
To that end, I've planned a little "gay Mormon family home evening" for this Friday, July 8, at 7:00 p.m., at my parents' place in Springville, UT. The purpose will mostly be to share stories and socialize over refreshments. If you are in the area and are interested in coming, please email me through my blog or contact me through Facebook! If we haven't met, I would love to meet. If we've already met, I would love to see you again...