I owe my grandmother an apology. When I was in college I used to complain about the racism I experienced as a non white person in Mormon Culture. People complaining that soon there would be no white people left. Everyone (including Apostles) asking when I was going back to where I apparently came from. Nephi talking about how a skin of blackness would keep his fair and delightsome progeny from mingling with the cursed.
And my grandmother said she understood how it felt to be different, even though she was white. She had grown up the child of someone who had not abandoned polygamy with the rest of the church. Apostates. The father died and his two young wives did their best to raise their many children in the Mormon community. I scoffed at my grandma, how could she know what I was going through?
I had chronic depression and was periodically suicidal. And while I wouldn’t say the not so subtle racism of the Mormon culture was a primary driver of that (really, it was no worse than the institutional sexism) it was a risk factor, an additional burden on top of being female, overweight, from a broken home, and mentally ill (because Mormons should all be happy).
Fortunately for me, I was able to recover from these and other issues and find peace and healing in my Savior. Through this process I came to believe that everyone has problems that require the atonement and the grace of God to overcome. It seems to me God does not send us to Earth expecting to face no difficulties. From Adam and Eve, to the sacrifice of Isaac, to Nephi getting the plates, it seems God never hesitates to give us two commandments that cannot both be obeyed.
So it is that I received a pointed and undeniable testimony that marriage between a man and woman is ordained of God. And I also have a child who identifies as trans. And that is when I realize that I owe my grandmother an apology. I thought that because she didn’t have the exact same trial as me, she couldn’t understand, but she understood the difficulty of systematic rejection inherent in the Mormon culture. I try to let my child know that even though Mormons are frequently clueless about the ways they hurt people just trying to be good Mormons, that doesn’t mean the Gospel is not true.
The LDSGBT suicide numbers have never claimed to be anything besides an informal report, but suddenly a great many Mormons have sprouted surprising critical thinking skills. The church has not disputed these numbers. I stand with the brethren in mourning those who have lost hope. And I beg people who are disputing the numbers to “Stop it” as President Uchtdorf would say.