Friday, March 28, 2014

Who Told Thee Thou Wast Naked? / Lloyd



Expelled for Sexual Attraction -- Who told thee thou wast naked?
It was 1962, the year depicted in the movie American Graffiti, and Judy’s Fall semester at BYU. She lived in the dorms with 3 roommates and recalls that one of them was somewhat unkempt, without good hygiene, and for the most part disorganized with few practical survival skills (activities of daily living) or social skills. One day after class this roommate came in crying and said she’d been told she had to leave because essentially she didn’t meet the Y’s standards for sexual orientation.


That was numbing, but then Judy looked at the display of small porcelain animals arranged on her roommate’s dresser. Judy’s first thought was that more than anything this was a young woman, much like herself, who wanted to fit in and move forward in life. Who knew what experiences she’d had to deal with up to that point, and this was her opportunity. But no more. And with that realization, Judy began to sob.


To this day Judy has difficulty talking about this experience, and from time to time wonders aloud what became of her expelled roommate. Her roommate had come to BYU seeking refuge and an opportunity to make sense of a young lifetime of neglect -- certainly, perhaps of abuse. Given her roommate’s reclusiveness we have wondered how any official made this determination unless the roommate herself discussed her concerns. Instead of Christian succor she had been cast out with a bell warning others to stay clear -- unclean, unclean.

I was thinking of Judy’s roommate when I recently attempted to illustrate the difference in perspective our LGBT children might have -- contrasted with their clueless and oh so righteous straight brothers and sisters.
LDS straights armed with theological assurances and without SSA feelings can be so secure that sexual orientation, or same sex attraction, is an individual choice.

I work in a psychiatric hospital and see everyday trained & experienced colleagues become annoyed with court-ordered, hospitalized psychiatric patients when they fail to act “right.”

So easy to forget that we all structure everyday life from where we stand, from what we experience -- and SSA/non-SSA can provide dramatic and distinctive personal perspectives. Too bad we don’t as yet interface meaningfully with the unclean.

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