I read the report describing a session at Women’s Conference titled “Understanding the LGBTQ and SSA Community: Included in Our Circle of Love.” I appreciate the work that presenters Blake Fisher and Deb Hutchins are doing here at BYU to help those who experience same-gender attraction and gender dysphoria feel more at peace and welcome. I agree with Blake’s statement that we should have faith in Christ, not faith in outcomes. I think his statement, “The way to find peace and joy is not in abandoning, it’s not in obsessing, but it’s in holding both (your faith and sexuality)” can be helpful for many.
Having experienced same-sex attraction myself, and having had discussions with many inside and outside the Church, I think it is important to realize there are many different ways to experience and approach same-gender attraction. These days, there seems to be only one narrative being shared.
I personally have experienced many shifts and changes in what I once described as “attractions,” and had I simply decided to accept it as my given sexuality rather than explore all the options I have, I would not have been able to make the progress that I have in relating to myself and the world around me, nor in how I actually experience my sexuality.
The experience of same-sex attraction is complex, and there is no one-size-fits-all explanation or analysis. I invite all who are interested in exploring alternate viewpoints to do additional reading and exploration. A good place to start is “A Bigger World Yet” by Tim Timmerman.
Testing center lines
I hurriedly cram in some last minute studying for the test I need to take between my 1:45 p.m. dismissal and 3 p.m. classes. I open the doors to the Testing Center, crossing my fingers for a short line, only to be met by an endless mass of people. Somehow, we all decided that 2:15 on a Wednesday afternoon was the time to take our test. My foot taps impatiently while my glazed eyes dart over my notes, too stressed to even take in any more information. The line inches while time flies. I get my test with twenty minutes till class, and my stress has reached its limit.
Lines at the Testing Center are unpredictable. One day they are as long as the Great Wall of China, and the next they are nonexistent. But either way, combining the stress of having enough time and actually taking the test often leads to results that require a scoop of ice cream.
If more lines were available in more locations, like the Wilk, students would have a better testing experience, resulting in less stress and better results. While students do increase their own anxiety by putting off studying till the night before or day of the exam, there would be fewer nerves going into a test knowing your next class wasn’t on the other side of campus, and that you wouldn’t have to wait in a gigantic line to regurgitate your knowledge on American history.