The Unexpected Conversation

The wind rushed through the cab of our old burgundy Chevy truck. I was just learning how to drive, and my parents had deemed it intelligent to start me off in the death star of vehicles. My mom sat next to me, clutching the armrest on the door panel as I turned too sharply down another street. It was summer time in Spokane, I was seventeen and learning how to drive down the pine lined avenues of my suburban neighborhood, life was good.

Mom had been making small talk while I drove, asking me about school, friends and such, typical mom-talk. Then turning to look at me she finally asked what had been on her mind the entire time.

“Keith are you a bi-sexual?”

My heart dropped into my stomach and for some odd reason I punched the gas, then nearly killed my mother when I slammed on the brakes sending her lurching forward. Not a good way to start a conversation about your sexuality.

What?” I asked in shock.

“I saw on your Myspace that you said you are bi.” Yes this happened back in the day of Myspace.

Now for any gay, bi-sexual, lesbian or transgender individual, coming out to your parents is nerve racking. We’ve all heard the stories, about how kids get kicked out of their houses for being gay and I didn’t want that kind of story for myself, however when I confirmed to my mother that I was indeed “bi” she proceeded to have a royal melt down right next to me as I drove. Now I lied to Mom that day when I told her I was bi, because I myself was still in denial of my own sexuality as a gay man, but because of this lovely incident with Mom, I knew I had to do something. In my head I thought, “she deserves a better son than this,” and so when religion came to my doorstep I knew this was my chance. I thought if anyone could take the gay away it was God, and so I became what most people know as a Mormon.

Realize that to say that any human being makes a choice based off one singular reason is not only bold, but also generally wrong. I didn’t casually join the LDS faith to magically become straight; it was just a larger influencing factor. Just like it was a factor as to why I chose to serve a two-year mission in Brazil, and why I chose to go to Brigham Young University-Idaho for college. Ever since that exchange I had with my mother all those years ago in the cab of our old burgundy Chevy truck, all I’ve ever wanted is to be straight.

This story, however, isn’t the journey of a gay Mormon looking to cure himself of his “cursed” sexuality. Rather it’s the story of what it’s like to live and go to school here in Rexburg, Idaho. I’m twenty-three, I’m gay, and I’m Mormon. I’m in a church dedicated to the creation and sustainment of families, and one might ask, “Where can you possibly fit in?” And all I have to say to that is: “Good question.”

My name is Keith Trottier, and I am a student here at Brigham Young University-Idaho, and this is my story.

Continue to Shadows of the Past Part I

 

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