16 February 2011

PE: Responses to my coming out

As many of you know, I sent an email out to my extended family weeks ago where I came out to them. Awhile later, I sent out this letter to friends where I came out to them. I wanted to share with you some excerpts from the responses and reactions I have received from both family and friends.

Extended Family

"I hope you know that being "Gay" will NEVER EVER be a reason for me not to love you nor is it a reason to  discontinue having a relationship with you. My home will ALWAYS be a place where you and your significant other will be welcomed with open arms and NO JUDGMENT!!!!! I am Very happy to hear that your Mom, Dad & sisters all took your coming out as well as they did. It saved me a trip to California to set them straight!!! I LOVE YOU JONNY!! Gay or straight it makes no difference to me or my family....we accept you just as you are."

"Your uncle and I want you to know that we love you unconditionally!  You are still our nephew and we have always been proud of you and your accomplishments.  It breaks my heart to hear how you've been hurting and the pain you have gone through."

"Jonathan, I love you Kido. It is good to here from you, I'm glad your year has turned around! and your future is looking bright, congratulations on your graduation. just be yourself and know that you have a lot of loving understanding family that love you and want you to be happy . just so you know , I don't think any less of you due to your sexuality and hope for happiness in all you do and strive to accomplish in your life."

"FINALLY!  (I knew...)  :-) I am so glad you came out and more importantly that you did not take your life.  I am so sorry you were in such a dark place back in August.  I was not raised in the church and feel like I am a little more open minded that most members.  Sexuality is one area I have a lot of questions on regarding the scriptures and the church's stance. Anyway, I am proud of you!  Way to be true to yourself and for your bravery in "coming out."  You are a wonderful man and I just know you have a lot to live for!  If you ever need anything, know that your Uncle and I are here for you!"

"I appreciate your 4 life style views on your blog video.  It made my understanding of your decision so clear.  You are an amazing young man, I hope you find everything you are looking for, We all deserve that!  You and your significant other will always be welcome in our home and at our family gatherings. I always enjoy seeing you.  I don't think anyone can break the strong bond of love that we have for one another in this family of ours!"

"My family were with me when I read your letter & watched your video & it made my girls want to get to know you even more so you will be receiving friend requests on face book from them soon."

"I have loved you since the day you were born and will always love you. If I know my kids they will be the same. I felt nothing but love when i read your letter. It breaks my heart to hear you had such a hard time in August. Come see us soon, you are always welcome. The saddest thing is that you won't get to experience some things, but you'll have other experiences that bring you joy and we will share them with you. If anyone doesn't feel the way I do their name will be crossed off the dinner guest list before your name will." (from my Grandma... typed after a phone call)

Friends

"As an active married, LDS Christian, straight, business man you are welcome in my home, next to me in church and hopefully on work projects in the future."

"I know it took a lot to write this email, and I want you to know that it doesn't change my views on you as my friend. And as my friend, just know that I will continue to pray for you and love you."

"I'm sure you might get responses to this email that are both good and bad. Please don't let the bad affect you. Heavenly Father loves all his children equally, and that's all that matters. What better friend can you have than Him?"

"My beliefs about homosexuality are found in my testimony of the family proclamation, but I hope you know that is not a judgment to you or any other person. Heaven knows we don't have all the answers and I'm certainly in no position to pass any kind of judgment. I guess I'm trying to say that I hope you don't feel any sense of rejection or that my feelings of friendship have changed in any way and I would hope no one would!! Anyways you're amazing and I for sure
want to hang out/ kick it on the dance floor soon!!"

"First and foremost I don't care what you believe in or what your sexuality is you will always be a friend of mine."

"I think you know that we are bound to have some fundamental differences in beliefs on this issue, but know that that doesn't make me love you any less as a friend. I can promise you that. I'm sorry that I wasn't there for you when you were having such a hard time. I know that you're a good person. You have been for as long as I have known you. I sincerely hope that this gives you the peace you have been looking for."

"I have so many friends in the gay community and the importance of support and speaking openly about these issues to teach and learn is so very important, and so very life saving."

"So, I just read your email. I was honestly surprised. When are you free? I would love to see you, and not just because of this news, but because I haven't seen you in a long while. Let me know when we can get together."

"As I finished reading the email my heart went out to you and I will not judge you. I know tons of members and other people outside of the church will I guess you can say give you a hard time but who are they to judge. It's your life and you choose how to live it. I love you as a friend and always will."

"Jonathan, you are so totally going to hell. Just kidding man. That took a lot of guts, and I applaud your honesty with yourself and with us."

"I have been very confused by this whole "issue" for lack of a better word.  It has been bothering me for quite some time - because I believe that God loves all of his children with such a pure deep love that turning our backs on "the minority", as you put it, leaving them to fend for themselves, telling them that they just need to choose to be good felt inherently wrong.  Your letter was like a warm cushy hug from heaven.  I literally felt God's love and reassurance in it, because God does love all of his children.  He doesn't pick and choose - He loves all of us with that same warm love."

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So as you can see... the most negative reaction I've received is simply that another person disagrees with me. But everyone has made sure that I know they love me and that nothing changes that love and friendship. Also, it has generally brought me closer to others. People are interested in catching up or getting to know me better because of my honesty. I have really been very fortunate as I have come out and told people that I am gay.

10 comments:

JonJon said...

So glad you've had such positive reactions from family and friends. I read in your other post about your ability to connect more deeply with people after coming out. I felt the same thing. It's amazing how much easier it becomes to connect with others when I take the mask off.

Steven Lester said...

If this is the way that the common member of the Church feels about being gay, where is all the hate coming from, because it IS out there? Is such hate dependent upon not knowing the person who is supposed to be hated, but once introductions have been made, then everything is cool? How out of touch with reality ARE the Brethren? Oh, wait, I forgot...you still like them, don't you? Never mind.

Good to be Free said...

What great responses! I'm so happy for you and the support that you've experienced. Congrats

That Guy said...

Believe me, Steven Lester, hate IS out there, just not in Johathan's circle (thank goodness).

bradcarmack said...

Rock on!

Pablo said...

The responses you've received from family and friends are wonderful, and encouraging. Thanks for sharing them.

And thank you for your other posts and videos. It's inspiring to see yet another strong, amazing and articulate person here in our Moho blogging world. I'm so glad you've added your voice to the chorus.

jen said...

I love this!!!! I am so glad people have been so loving.

this blog author said...

I agree with Jen- I am glad your life is filled with loving and generous people.

How are you feeling these days? Are you over your flu?

Sending love and good energy your way. :)

Mitch Mayne said...

Jonathan- KUDOS to you for being true to yourself and your faith. I'm in the same boat--its not easy, but I think being genuine is the only way to live. I'm so glad your experience was as positive as it was. My Bishop just sent me your blog and remarked how pleased he was to see this level of love and acceptance. Thank you for sharing your story--and more importantly, for helping create hope.

Jonathan Adamson said...

@Mitch- That is so neat that your Bishop is aware of the issue and actively trying to understand. You are a lucky guy :) I'd love to hear more about how your experience... especially as it involves a bishop who seems to be trying to really understand.

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