Like our previous reader Jon, this next reader Joshua struggled between his sexuality and his church. But he, unlike Jon, left one of those things behind:
I grew up very, very Mormon. My parents are devout people, and raised me to be devout as well. I loved the Mormon Church and believed in its teachings. On some level I always knew I was queer but I lied to everyone about it, including myself.
Towards the end of high school I fell in love with my best friend, who was also very devoutly Mormon. I refused to acknowledge to myself what was going on; I don’t think I put it into words, not even in my own mind. I convinced myself that these feelings meant that God didn’t want me back after I died. I felt a sense of doom, feeling that there was no possible way my life would work out in any sort of positive way.
I kept my sexual orientation under wraps and left to serve as a Mormon missionary at age 19. After I came home two years later and started to think seriously about the rest of my life, I finally began to acknowledge the truth.