Yesterday afternoon I was riding trax (the lightrail system in Salt Lake City) home and at a certain station, a bunch of missionaries heading out to their assignment got on the train dragging big suitcases. Turns out that instead of being bussed from Provo to the airport, they're pretty much handed a train ticket and sent to catch their flight at the airport on their own--interesting change.
Anyway, once they managed to get in and set their stuff down a couple of them sat nearby and a conversation started almost immediately: where are you going--(these ones are assigned to Cambodia), where are you from, etc, etc, etc. One missionary asked me where I was from and after the normal formalities he asked if I attended church. I said that I don't; he asked if he could know why? I answered "I'm assuming if you're asking me why I don't attend the LDS church and I'll tell you it is because I'm gay and there's no place for me at the table..."
The look on his companion went from friendly to a little guarded to serious, but they both still kept the conversation going, it wasn't many stations before I got off the train, but the one chatty elder kept asking some follow up questions and my answer kept revolving around: "there's no room for me at the LDS table, I don't fit in as a gay individual, much less with a partner on your Plan of Salvation elder, think about it--how do I fit in when all the talk is about mom, dad, 3.2 kids and all happily ever after each Sunday in church?".
I don't think he was prepared to hear that, but he still managed to say, "God still loves you" and I think he was surprised to hear from me that I know that, I've felt God's love and care for me and that my life is good, I manage to live a full life, I contribute to society, I told them I realize that the LDS church is leaps and bounds from where it was even years ago when the only answer I could get to deal with my situation was to get married hoping to heal it, but lots more needed to be done and I told them: "when you two are apostles, please make it happen so I have a place at your table, until then, there's not a lot that interests me there" at which time they smiled, my stop came, I wished them well and got off the train.
I thought about my encounter for a while. Even a few years back I would have never dared tell a complete stranger, let alone a set of LDS missionaries that I am gay and feel as confident expressing myself as anything in life and I honestly don't feel the anxiety I used to feel before talking about it. To me that is a good thing and I've come a long ways; but the bottom line is that indeed there's no place for me at the LDS table--I know a lot of people try to find a place in their own terms perhaps, or based on whatever the church is willing to give them--not me, no thanks--I will NOT fight for a place where all I can hope to do is a figurative place as a server, a cleaner or licking the crumbs that fall on the floor (in the figurative sense again--I don't want church scraps).
It is what it is and I'm quite content with my life to beg for full recognition in a place where it doesn't exist, regardless of what people may want me to believe otherwise and well, I've made a life outside that is just as worthwhile without needing their validation--that is a huge thing for me. I know staying in the church helps a lot of people change it from within and hoping something will change sometime and that is great, but I find no use in it...it is what it is.