I’ve often heard we get back what we give–and I think it’s true. Growing up as a gay kid inside Mormonism, I used to have a long list of things I yearned for in my youth–courtesy, inclusion, respect, unconditional love, kindness. A wise friend encouraged me to put that list on paper and then suggested I could have all those qualities in my life, if I chose.
The catch? I had to give what I wanted to receive, and become what I wanted to attract. When I looked at my list I realized I wasn’t exactly a shining example of these qualities either–but now I had a great starting point for becoming the kind of person both I and my Savior wanted me to be.
As I grew more kind, considerate, and respectful my world responded to the change–and my self-esteem improved. Today, each of those qualities on my list exists in my life, some in larger amounts than others. I didn’t expect to get that result–or really any others, for that matter. I was too busy focusing on becoming the kind of person I wanted to be. And I suspect that’s probably why it worked.
Today I can choose to be someone I would want in my life.
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.