016: Curtis – Suggestions for Parents and LDS Church Leaders

In this segment, Curtis’ father offers some advice to parents and LDS church leaders on how to prevent suicide and alienation among our children.

2 comments for “016: Curtis – Suggestions for Parents and LDS Church Leaders

  1. August 21, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Thank you for the open sharing of your pain, your insights and your love for Curtis, as well as your love for the Lord. Your comments have emphasized our imperfections, as individuals, as family members and servants in the Church. We are often found lacking when it comes to dealing with “outside the box” issues in our lives. However, you also reminded us of Christ’s perfection as a Healer and Redeemer. If we learn to listen, think, feel and love in more Christlike ways, we will certainly experience more of Christ’s atoning influence in our own lives – and then be more effective in extending that hope to others.

    I’m so sorry that Curtis didn’t find the support that he needed. I know there are many people in the church who struggle to feel the love of the Savior in their lives. It is truly tragic. However, I have witnessed an increasing awareness of gender issues in the church, accompanied by increased understanding and compassion on the part of church members and leaders. I have friends and family members who’ve grown up with issues about their gender or sexuality. Some have been able to connect to the Savior and His atonement; some have not. The things you have shared have given me a greater desire to provide the kind of love and friendship (a “safe place”)for all of them so that, no matter what their choices are, I can be a catalyst for the Lord’s love to be felt in their lives.

  2. Ricky Kendall
    October 6, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    The courage you have shown here, by putting together this much needed testimony, touches me deeply. I was raised in a family of 5 boys. I’m the middle child. We were all raised in the LDS faith and all raised pretty much the same. In many ways Curtis sounds much like myself. I played with the girls, am sensitive, a singer/songwriter, artist and poet. Discovering my sexuality was like falling into an abyss, a bottomless pit. I prayed for hundreds of hours on a hilltop next to our home but got no answer. I would not be writing this comment had my mother not been critically ill with cancer at that time. She needed me. Our father had died in a mine accident, my two older brothers had already left the nest. I was the only one who could help her. The emotional pain, confusion and hopelessness was overwhelming to the degree that it would have made the pain of death simple, easy and a final relief. Being at her side, at death, made me angry at God. Anger was a much better feeling to work with than grief. I joined the Army at that time – we were still in Viet Nam. I figured they would either make a man out of me or I would be killed, both options better than living this miserable existence. I met other gay’s in the military and finally came out of the closet. I have never attended the church since that time and recently asked that my name be stricken from the LDS church records. I lost a partner of 16 years to Aids, though I am HIV negative. Seven years later, I found another man to share my life with and I am very happy. We have been together for 8 years. I know the creator loves me and would not condone this treatment of his creations. There is a reason for us all and mankind may never know the intricacy of the Creators intentions. Thank you for your story. Love, Ricky

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