No worries, I'm not trying to knock down the Trevor Project. I know it gets better for gay youth and life has become many times better for us homos, it really does!
Last week I got a Facebook invitation from an old mission friend to meet with another former missionary and the invite said something like "So we can get together, celebrate our missions and feel the spirit"--first off why would I want to do this when it's been more than 20-something years is beyond me, but I digress... this same friend also had given me grief in the past for posting something about not being awake in spite of having drank 2 cups of coffee and usually posts scriptures and GA messages on his wall, so I figured it was time to lay it all out and tell him what's going on with my life fully expecting to be de-friended; I figured he's not that close to me anyway so it was all good for better or worse.
Turns out I had not given him enough of a chance assuming he'd just give me the fire and brimstone call to repentance and instead he replied saying: "My wife's ex-husband is gay. I believe what you have gone through is very real. I can't for the life of me see that someone would want to go through all that is associated with being gay - if it wasn't real. I don't pretend to understand the feelings or the attractions or why and how it occurs. However, I just believe it to be very real. I certainly don't choose my friends based on their level of righteousness" Although he isn't the closest of friends, it was nice to know that maybe things are getting better in the understanding department. He asked why would I assume he'd want to stop being friends and I told him that his response is not always the one that I hear some friends get from their own friends and families but I was glad to know that we could move on fully understanding what's going on in our lives, our points of view and where we stand openly and hey, he still wants me to come and meet the old mission friends... we'll see.
Which begs the question, are we perhaps not giving people the chance to be understanding and always assume the worst? I honestly have not had a single bad experience coming out. Maybe it is because of how I frame the situation, or maybe it is because I'm so freaking exclusive of who I decide to come out to;--I don't know. So in essence yes it gets better or maybe it is just starting to get better with baby steps among the LDS ranks. I really hope that many of the younger generations are just waiting for the old file and rank authorities to die so they can get more proactive at being openly understanding and less judgement--don't expect to have full tolerance and have the youngest member of the quorum of the 12 be the grand marshall at the next pride parade but crazier things have happened in life!
So I add another notch to my list of people that I come out to and yes, I suppose if we give people a chance we might find out that the worst of it was our own anxiety about it.
Just some food for thought...