Letter to the editor: Don’t stereotype gay people

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    Dear Editor:

    I am gay. I am also LDS. My first same-sex attraction occurred when I was seven, and for the next 25 years, I have never been attracted to women. I realized the significance of my sexuality when I was around thirteen, and for the next two decades, I traveled down a tortuous path of internalized homophobia, immense self-hatred, depression and suicidal thoughts. Despite the calluses on my knees, frequent trips to the temple, fasts and devotion to my mission and church callings such as elders’ quorum president, I continually failed to attenuate my homosexuality.

    I came out last year. My bishop and my father each gave me a blessing inspired by the spirit that proclaimed that I was indeed gay and that I would remain gay. Thus, I read a recent letter to the editor with great regret. The author compared my friends and me to murderers, Satanists, prostitutes, pedophiles and partakers of bestiality. Imagine having to live with this rhetoric constantly being spewed at you.

    My aunt is a psychiatrist in Ogden and has worked with over 1,000 gay Latter-day Saints. Because of her work with these church members, she has been forced by necessity to specialize in homosexuality, depression and suicide.

    I implore the students at BYU to re-assess their homophobic feelings. Seek to understand first before you make comments. We have the same needs as you. We desire to love and be loved. We desire to live our lives with happiness. We are not a threat to you or your families. We are your sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, neighbors, co-workers and friends, and most importantly, we are all children of God.

    Stuart Matis

    Santa Clara, Calif.

    See related story:

    Embrace all types of people 02/16/2000

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