February 13, 2011


Lisa, age 8
Mesa, AZ (1993)

When I look at this picture, it sparks many awkward, depressing memories of never fitting in with my perfect happy friends, and my strict Mormon family. Just a few months before this, I had long hair and I convinced my mother to let me cut it short. Although I look back now and see my desire to have such short hair as an obvious foreshadowing of the future, at the time it traumatized me.
Since then, I've vowed to make myself look as girly as possible.

"God doesn't make mistakes."
I have vague memories of "experimenting" with my best friend Ashlee in 4th grade. It was all innocent at the time, but looking back, I think about the feelings it gave me and how much I loved it.

The first time I remember having a crush on a girl was at age 13. I'd doodled on a piece of paper about loving her, and my sister told my mom.

When confronted about it, I said:

'Nooo! I don't love her like THAT, just as a friend!'

That was when I realized I was different, and there was something about me that I was suppose to be ashamed of.

I soon moved myself slowly back into the closet, locking the door from the inside. Shortly after that I learned the word "Lesbian" from my brother.

It has been a long, treacherous road coming to terms with being not only gay, but gay AND Mormon. It used to break my heart to be different, and I cried so many nights asking God to change me.

But now I thank him for making me the person that I am, because I love who I am. And it DOES get better, no matter how hopeless or alone you feel. I promise.

I've been blessed with an amazing family that loves me and supports me, no matter what. Although being gay and Mormon is hard, when I start to feel sad,
I hear a voice inside my head saying, "God doesn't make mistakes."

And I feel content.

Lisa's first, famous-person same sex crushes:
Whoopi Goldberg (in "Boys On The Side")
Janeane Garafalo (in "Mystery Men" & "The Matchmaker")
Anna Chlumsky (in "Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain")

Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"
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Big Mark 243 said...

Strange... I thought Lisa looked 'as girlie' in the picture with short hair as any other girl would have looked with long hair...

Lisa said...

Mark-This was a few months after I cut my hair, I look more girly in the pic than I did when I first cut it. At first it was SUPER short and all the other kids thought I was a boy. I couldn't find a picture from when it was shorter.

Jeanne said...

I have always felt that GoldDiggers was like the gayest little baby butch/femme love story every. And also, perhaps not so coincidentally, my favorite movie at the time!

MikeS said...

Thank you for pointing out that it is possible to be "born this way" and Mormon. Some people don't get that the two don't HAVE to be at odds.

The Casual Observer said...

As a 26 year-old straight Mormon female, I'd like to express my respect for you. Quite a few of my friends at BYU came out of the closet, which gave me a chance to see how far we've come (at least in some circles). After all, the Gospel needs to be one of love, not judgment. There have been some interesting talks by the brethren in the past few years, which seemed to be what was needed: a little reminder about loving. I guess you could say that having a non-Mormon bf, I've felt a much scaled-down version of others' prejudices. In the end, remember to love others, love yourself, and love God. And in the end, you only answer for yourself and your actions... so don't worry about what anyone else thinks, except yourself and God.