HeatherN salutes Mormon husband and father Josh Weed for his honesty about being gay but choosing to marry and have children with a woman, without condemning others who choose differently.
Back in the middle of June this year, I wrote an article about a Catholic gay man who was living a life of celibacy because he viewed his same-sex attraction as a sort of burden to overcome. My response was one of pity and great sadness.
Today, I’m writing about a gay Mormon man who is married to a woman, and my reaction is entirely different. Josh Weed is the Mormon man I’m talking about and you can read his article, here. Now, you may be wondering what the difference is; I’ll try to explain.
From Weed’s article, I get the feeling that this is a man who fully embraces every aspect of his identity. He is Mormon and he is gay. He says as much throughout the article. That acceptance, I think, is what changes this story from something worth pitying, to something worth celebrating. In much the same way queer people throughout history are rejecting the heteronormative scripts society sets out for them; Weed is rejecting the scripts that society has set for him. He is not self-loathing and therefore in a sham marriage, struggling with his religion. Similarly, though, he is not shucking his faith either. He’s forging his own way.
There’s a quote I want to share with you that I think sums this up pretty well:
“About two years ago, I saw a psychologist to get medication for my ADHD-I. She was a lesbian…She spoke of a girl, whom she considered her daughter, who is the biological child of her ex-lover, with whom she lived for only three years. She told me of how much she loved her daughter, but how infrequently she got to see her. And eventually, when talking about my sex life, she said “well, that’s good you enjoy sex with your wife, but I think it’s sad that you have to settle for something that is counterfeit.”
I was a little taken aback by this idea—I don’t consider my sex-life to be counterfeit. In response, I jokingly said “and I’m sorry that you have to settle for a counterfeit family.” She immediately saw my point and apologized for that comment. Obviously, I don’t actually think a family with non-biological members is counterfeit in any way. I also don’t feel that my sex-life is counterfeit. They are both examples of something that is different than the ideal.”
Now where I have some trouble with Weed’s article is when he talks about the concept that a family with biological children is “ideal.” Does he mean that society considers them ideal, but that such a family is still just as healthy as a family without biological children? I think he does, but it’s not quite clear. Another problem is the way he seems to say that acting on same-sex attraction is somehow a sin. He says, “Sin is in action, not in temptation or attraction,” and that is a problematic statement. It’s too close to the ‘hate the sin, lover the sinner,’ frame of mind, for my liking.
But mostly what I’m left with after reading Weed’s article is the general theme of love: love yourself and love others. That, I think, is where Christianity and queer culture can overlap quite a bit…along with The Beatles, of course.
Image of basic family courtesy of Shutterstock