Yesterday, an article was published on Religion News Service (RNS) about an event we held in Berkeley on September 7th. The article was subsequently picked up by Washington Post, Huffington Post and a few others.
In it, the journalist talked about the evening itself as well as looking at how social media has fostered change in the hearts and minds of Mormons on topics like our LGBT brothers and sisters.
While I appreciate the coverage, I regret the positioning.
This isn’t really about pushing back on Church teaching, our leadership, or our doctrine. This is about meeting people where they’re at, and helping create a Mormon culture where everyone is welcome, just as they are–a culture our Savior Himself would foster. A more accurate headline would be, ”Mormons use social media to build connectedness and community inside a faith that views them as ‘different.”
We’re not the rebels the headline might believe some to think. We’re simply the face of cultural change, and are engaged in this effort because we love our Savior, we love our fellow Mormons, and we love our Church–and we want us to be better.
This isn’t about rancor. It’s about love.
I am Mitch Mayne. I am an openly gay, active Latter-day Saint.
I was raised in Idaho, and baptized into the Mormon Church when I was eight. I left the church for many years, due in large part to my parent’s divorce. In my mid-20s, I returned to the church of my own accord, knowing full well that I was gay, and that someday I would have to find a way to reconcile my sexual orientation with my faith.
For many years, I was fractured: I believed I was a man with a foot in two worlds, and that I belonged in neither. But as I’ve grown in my testimony of my Savior and my confidence in who I am, I’ve come to understand myself as a man with a foot in two worlds–who very much belongs in both. From August 2011 through November of 2013, I served as the executive secretary of the bishopric of the Bay Ward within the San Francisco Stake.
I currently remain an active, happy and whole gay Mormon–just the way I am.