Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dear Family,

(I would very much appreciate any input, suggested revisions, etc. before I send this out to my family.)

I sincerely hope you all know how much I love, respect, and admire each of you. I do appreciate your concern for me and my choices in regards to being gay.

Many, if not all, of you I'm sure are worried that I am heading down the wrong path. I wish I could take that burden from you. All I can really do is try to assure you that my decisions are not made with my genitals and hormones but with a sincere desire to do what is right for me, not just for this life but also for the next.

Years were spent in earnest and sincere prayer, meditation, fasting, scripture study, et al. as I sought to know what I should do. I was, am, and will always be genuinely willing to do whatever I feel inspired to do, no matter what it may be. I trust my relationship with God.

I no longer struggle with anything 'being gay'-wise. I am dating guys. I no longer have virgin lips... and [I]n my sincere seeking to understand God's will for me, I have felt absolutely nothing but encouragement and a sense that God is pleased with me and the direction my life is heading.

While it has troubled me that you struggle with my decisions, most likely not trusting the sincerity of my intentions, words, or testimonies, I have decided that I have done all I can to help you with your burden concerning me.

Now the struggle is yours. I will continue to do everything I can to help you through this struggle... though, like I said, all I can do is be completely open and honest with you. Again, it's up to you now. I will not try to force any dialogue. I will not try to force any decision.

I will respect any decision you make, even if it means that you won't be at my wedding (if I end up finding Mr. Future Hubs), if I can't attend family gatherings because my boyfriend or husband wouldn't be invited, etc. Yes, it will be painful for me. I'm sure tears will be shed on my behalf, but I understand that respect is a 'two-way street,' so to speak. I can't expect you to respect my wishes of being treated as any other sibling regardless of whom I love, date, and marry if I don't respect your desire to keep me at a distance because you cannot support my decisions.

That being said, I do hope that those I date will be treated the same as those anyone else has dated or is dating. I do hope that the person I end up marrying will be treated and seen the same as any other in-law. If it doesn't end up happening, then I'll deal with that pain the best I can.

Again, I love you all dearly. I hope and pray for the very best for each of you and your families.

Andrew Martin


  1. Sounds great to me. I would leave out the part about virgin lips, saying that your dating conveys the information they need to know, without going into details that will just make them more uncomfortable.

  2. I think that's a good point, El Genio.

    My original thinking was to be rather specific, that I have even kissed a guy and didn't feel any sort of negative spiritual repercussions, but just in saying that I'm dating, the concept is perhaps conveyed sufficiently.

  3. I agree with the comment about cutting the "virgin lips." You may, similarly, want to omit the reference to your dangly bits. :- )

    For increased impact, you may want to put the sentence "I am dating guys" at the end of the paragraph that contains it. I think it reads better that way. You could also increase its punch by making it slightly elliptical, something like "You should know that I am starting to date." This makes your family confront their own prejudices as they read the sentence and understand from context that you are speaking of dating men as naturally as one might speak of dating the opposite sex.

    I'd limit the amount of time spent speculating about the future. Stick to the present. For example, you might consider cutting the paragraphs that begin "I will respect" and "That being said." You can deal with that when you actually have a BF you want to take to the family barbecue.

    In general, I think the letter is very nice. Go for it!

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  5. (I deleted the last comment due to a grammar error.)

    I'm far from ready in sending a similar letter to my family, but I love the unmistakable declaration of a lack of struggle on your part (a sentiment which I share a good 97% of the time).

  6. I've been following your blog for some time, even if this is the first time I think I've commented. But I have strong feelings about one area of your letter.

    Whereas I'm generally on board with MoHoHawaii when he gives advice, I disagree with him in regards to limiting discussion about the future. In fact, I think that section needs to be stronger, stating "I expect" instead of "I hope."

    I offer as specific anecdotal evidence me and my husband and our relationships with our families. When I came out to my family, I laid down the ground rules I was willing to play with, which were that I expect my bf/partner/husband to be treated with the same dignity and respect as everyone else in the family and that would apply to any children we might have as well. Grant took the "I hope" approach with his family.

    Five years later, there are no issues, no discussions, nothing with my family. We've also moved to the phase where if we aren't allowed to show physical affection then nobody is allowed to show physical affection.

    Every event and holiday and what have you with Grant's family on the other hand, is to this day still a knock-down drag-out fight. Every single one. Because he's still hoping there will be a glimmer of respect or understanding.

    People rise to our expectations, so let your family know what level you expect them to rise to.

    p.s. Were you on the BYU BDC touring company? Will you be at the reunion next week?

  7. I will say that you have achieved your usual eloquence, that I think this letter is well stated, and that only you can know your family well enough to write to them. If you could write more, be more bold, as some have suggested, then I suggest you do so.

    If not, don't.

    And this had better not be an April Fool's post.

  8. Thanks everyone for your comments. I'll be posting a revision soon.

    Christian: I didn't stay at BYU long enough to get onto the touring team (although, I wasn't extremely hopeful because of my height, anyway).

  9. I'm just curious what you hope to achieve with this letter... It sounds like your family already all know you're gay... It sounds like you're asking them to approve of you dating guys.

  10. Hey Andrew.

    On the whole, a nicely written letter. Appropriate as we observe this Good Friday commemoration of the Crucifixion of Our Lord.

    I agree with the idea of leaving out any reference to the more tender areas of the body ;) as well as the 'virgin lips' thing. But aside from that, well written and I echo the others when I say go for it. :)