by Troy Williams
(Originally published in San Francisco Chronicle, Oct 28 2008)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ aggressive efforts
to fund Proposition 8 remind me of the schoolyard. As a gay Mormon in
Oregon, I was often pummeled in elementary school with epithets like
“faggot!” and “momohomo!” Recess was often brutal.
So I did what ostracized children do – I set out to find a weaker kid to
dominate. I targeted a schoolmate named Peter and verbally assaulted
him in the hopes that the other kids would accept me. And I was
ruthless. I should have known better.
As a child, I was told stories of my Mormon ancestors being mobbed and
murdered for being polygamists. Evangelicals persistently denounced our
faith as non-Christian. Most recently, the GOP rejected “the Mormon,”
former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. The memory of our collective
emotional pain is always present. Mormons are the queer outcast of
religious society. Like all kids, we just want to fit in.
So what does an ostracized church do? Viciously target another minority
group of Americans. Mormons have now proven that they can be as vicious
as the Christians who hate them. In playground politics, the bullied
have become the bullies. Should gay Americans pay the price for
Mormonism’s abused inner-child?
Salt Lake City