Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Salon's Cary Tennis and the Closeted Gay Mormon

I like the advice of Cary Tennis, Salon.com's resident "Miss Manners" and "Dear Abby." His response to the closeted gay Mormon is pretty much on target in terms of coming out of the closet. First, he tells the closeted gay Mormon that he did the courageous thing in getting married, accommodating as best as possible to the situation he finds himself in life. Now he is even more courageous in coming out of the closet. But in order to do this he will need to help others come out of the closet:

"You must take action. But you did not get into this situation in one day, and you are not going to get out of it in one day, or with one simple solution.

You are just going to have to change your life.

In moments of crisis like this we need to connect to a community.

You have a lot to offer. I suggest you work with other gay Mormons.

You have a story to tell.

Think of all the gay young men who now stand at the same precipice where you once stood, looking out at the future, thinking of their family and their church, trying to make the most compassionate, selfless and reasonable decision. They cannot possibly know the pressures one must live under. It is probably tempting to do what you have done. So you can help people understand how sacred the individual self is. You can help them understand that though we do not know why things are the way they are, they are the way they are. Does that sound moronic? Well, you know what I mean, don't you? I mean that you can fight it but it's not going away.

Perhaps what I'm suggesting sounds egotistical. You see folks out there on the soapbox telling their stories and you wonder: Why should they help anyone? Why should they even try? There must be an angle.

Here is the angle: When we get desperate enough, we find that only by helping others can we climb out of our own unimaginable hell."

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