Seth Meyer: Growing up Gay and Mormon
Growing up gay is never easy. But growing up gay and Mormon poses its own unique set of challenges, heartaches, and monumental obstacles. Seth Meyer focused on the specific beliefs that he was taught that made being gay so hard, the teachings from church leaders that kept him in confusion for such a long time, and finally coming to terms with himself, and what it was like to exit the closet.
From the start, Seth knew that there was something different about himself. Growing up in a strong Mormon family, he was raised with certain ideals that were taught to him as truths. As time went on and Seth began to grow and learn about himself, he quickly learned that what he felt about himself was a direct conflict with the teachings with which he was raised. Imagine growing up and being taught to live your life a certain way, but living with the struggle knowing that if you do “what you are supposed to” then you will be living a lie. That is exactly what Seth found himself doing. He tried numerous ways to change who he was and tried to become the person he was “supposed” to be. There were thoughts ranging from making wrong choices in life to being influenced by Satan. Even though Seth tried to search for some way to “fix” what was wrong with himself, he kept coming back to the same struggle within himself of living a lie and fighting an attraction and a life that he had been taught was wrong.
The turning point in Seth’s life came when he began to attend college in Moorhead. He discovered a Lutheran based youth group where he met and became friends with gay, bisexual, and even transgender students.Through many discussions Seth learned that it was acceptable for him to be gay and others would accept him for who he was. Seth started to realize that there was nothing wrong with him, but with the teachings he was raised with. Then Seth discovered the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fargo-Moorhead. This was a church he could go to for spiritual growth and be accepted for who he really is.
From Seth’s very first visit to FMUU he has been accepted. He shared with us that everyone has always been welcoming of him from the start. The acceptance and encouragement that Seth has received can be expressed in the very principles that are the basis of our faith which are:
- The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
- Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
- Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
- A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
- The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
- The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
- Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part
Seth’s message was very moving. Listening to the struggle that he has gone through brought tears to my eyes. This also made me realize just how special were are here at FMUU. We are accepting of everyone regardless of your religious backround, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, socio-economic status, or any other dividing factor that you may find in other churches.
This also helped me to re-affirm why I do what I do for this community. As a member of our board of directors I am honored to be serving this congregation to ensure that we continue to provide a loving environment and acceptance for all who walk through our doors. For me Seth’s story is a testament to the work we have all put in to make this congregation of ours welcoming for all to be supported.
This week we were also fortunate enough to have special music during our service provided by local musician Brooks West. Brooks performed his song “Spark” which fit with our service perfectly. The message of his song closely reflects the emotions that Seth went through, and the emotions that all of us are faced with at times in our lives. I leave you with the video for the song “Spark” by Brooks West.