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Princess Kennedy

(Proudly) Losing my religion

Here we are at the close of another year. I would do a year in review but alas, mine can be summed up with a photo of a coffin — sad trombone soundbite. Instead I’ll write about the most prolific event of my year — and sadly my life, because honestly it was astoundingly lackluster. I’m talking about having my name stricken from the the Mormon membership record.

Are we surprised at the decision of the LDS church and their big announcement regarding children of LGBTQ parents? Actually, I should just say LG because I doubt the Church acknowledges the B, T or Qs. The short answer is no; the reasoning is as follows:

I probably have had a similar past with the church as many of you. I was born into it; started questioning it by the time I was a teenager; hated it enough to leave it at the age of consent; and, ipso facto, had nothing to do with it again.

Luckily I was strong-willed and overly confident so I didn’t let guilt and horrible people bring me down. Frankly I pride myself on being too smart to give in to the ways of a cult, and I generally look down on all those who blindly follow the hateful teachings of the Church.

I was forced to do stupid boy things like Boy Scouts, all the while being tortured by the other boys and scout leaders. My bishop suspected inappropriate behavior from me and another boy at sleep-away camp. He told us God thought us to be better dead than gay — the other boy killed himself the next day.

On an off note, I can count on one hand the times I’ve been inside a ward house: grandma Beth’s funeral, grandmama Bernice’s funeral, grandpa Phil’s funeral and my father’s last August. I more or less look at a ward house as a maison de la mort with a bland buffet reminiscent of something you’d find at the Peppermill.

Around the time I was twenty-something I wanted to free myself of the proverbial chains that bind my soul forever to the Church’s records but back then (longer than I choose to reveal) it was a bit communistic the way they would try to fuck up your life. There was no letter mailed; you actually had to go in front of a hierarchical panel to ask to leave and they would berate you about the evils of your sins. If that wasn’t bad enough, they felt the need to call your family in too and get them in on the fun. They would even call your employer to let them know what’s up. Of course if your boss was affiliated with the Church you would be fired and the evils of that “sin” would follow you around from job to job. God, it was like being in a hair-pulling fight! I’d like to see them try any of that bullshit today; in fact, I’d welcome it for the sake of a multi-million dollar lawsuit.

At the time I couldn’t deal with the consequences of leaving the Church; I had a father and grandfather with positions in the Church, and I worked at ZCMI. It was more hassle than I wanted so I moved out of state. I used my upbringing to gain attention and build a persona in the various big cities I lived in. Being a Mormon — nè drag queen — was quite a novelty. I had the three B’s of the stereotype: blonde, blue and beautiful. I did the only thing a girl in my position could and explored the fuck outta it! It totally worked until I moved back to Salt Lake and the novelty was lost.

I couldn’t have moved back though at a better time. Not long after I did, the whole Prop 8 circus happened and the cries of the scared and dying teens were starting to be heard and it would seem the Church was being called out for the ugliness they stand for, and change would happen.

You want to know the absolute stupid thing? When people on my social media would Mormon bash I would get offended and feel the need to defend my family. Stockholm syndrome much Heather? At the end of the day I think that is the common tie for most of us from the Faith. We have family we are invested in and it’s hard to balance that fine line of respect, on both sides. My family found long ago a blissfulness in silence, as do most Mormons. Like a 1950’s housewife, unseemly things such as drug addiction, infidelity and cancer were just not talked about. It’s getting harder though as of late to keep it in at the Kennedy tavola con la famiglia.

While at the aforementioned table, a very brave niece of mine said something to the effect of the comments on Facebook being stupid and that why can’t everyone go about their life. Not wanting to ruin dinner, I sat on it, masticating it with the Jell-o salad in the pit of my stomach until I cornered her (poor thing) in the guest room.

“You know why?” I sneered whilst tapping my Lee Press-on on her breastbone. “Because this religion you love so much lives on a double standard. Families are forever? Ha! Do you even realize what they have done to these poor children? Do you!?” I ranted. “You’re right, who would want their children to be part of it? I wouldn’t, but they have made it okay to bully these kids, putting targets on there backs clearly marked ‘outcast’! When will what I went through 30 years ago going to stop, when will these old fucks who make the rules die and when will the new ones bring change?

It was then and there that it hit me like the lightening bolt that struck down the laundry matron that publicly displayed missionaries garments in the old urban legend, I DON’T REALLY FUCKING CARE! I promptly had my name removed the next day. Bye Sister Felicia!

I can count on one hand the times I’ve been inside a ward house: grandma Beth’s funeral, grandmama Bernice’s funeral, grandpa Phil’s funeral and my father’s last August. I more or less look at it as a maison de la mort with a bland buffet reminiscent of something you’d find at the Peppermill.

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Princess Kennedy

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