Growing up as a gay Mormon kid, I suffered from the illusion that it was my responsibility to make everyone else happy. And while pleasing others is often a good thing, when it comes at the expense of our own spiritual well-being, it becomes unhealthy and unrealistic. As an adult–and someone who has a deep relationship with my Savior and am finally comfortable in my own skin–I understand that while I might have responsibilities, there are also several things I’m not responsible for.
I don’t have to understand everything and have all the answers. Some things are none of my business and others will simply never make sense to me.
I don’t have to be afraid of the future or wonder how I fit into any plan. My job is to live my life one day at a time, and remind myself that just because we as humans haven’t figured out how everything fits together doesn’t mean our Savior hasn’t known all along.
I never have to give up on my hopes and dreams, despite what my fear might tell me or what other people might say. My Savior is not limited by our human lack of imagination or understanding.
I don’t have to take on the responsibility of making everyone else happy or be responsible for other peoples’ choices. Other people’s unmet expectations aren’t my responsibility, and other people have a Savior, too–and it’s not me. When I practice this I can love others without insisting they be just like me or live life the way I’d like them to.
My goal is not to change other people to suit me; my goal is not to change myself to suit others; my goal is to change me into the kind of human my Savior wants me to be.
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.