“YEE GAUT A GRET PAIR A TITTITYS THERE!” yelled an inebriated Scotsman, “MIND IF I GIVE UM A SQUEEZZZZZZ?”
What could be better than three men in kilts? They were bagpipers who had been kicked out of a wedding for getting in a fight with the bridesmaids. Roberta and I were really getting the full Scotland experience. I could not stop laughing as Roberta awkwardly tried to maneuver away from their drunken hands.
It was on my trip to Europe that I first began to voice my doubts about the church. (See: To the Vatican) After exploring the castle that inspired Hogwarts in Harry Potter we decided to wander the enchanted streets of Edinburgh. We happened upon a small vender selling necklaces. One of them in particular caught my eye. I loved the swooping design and how it exploded out of the center. I asked the vender what it meant. “Parsonal groowth” he said. SOLD!
And have I ever grown. I wear that necklace almost every day. It is my new CTR ring. To me it stands for “You can do it!” Leaving the church is not at all easy. One day at work I made a comment about how difficult the past year had been, and my friendly tattooed co-worker said “This is the year you left the church. Come on! This is the best year of your life!”
I wanted to bust out laughing, but I settled for a sarcastic smile. Those who have never left would think that. The truth is the first year you leave the church is HELL. It’s like waking up one day in the body of a tiny Asian man and realizing you are on a Japanese game show. You don’t know the rules and everyone is laughing at you while you are repeatedly being punched in the crotch.
Seeing my family for Christmas was slightly stressful but mostly wonderful. I’m out of the closet now. And my older sister Jacky has finally started talking to me about her story of leaving the church. For the last 8 months she has been avoiding the conversation fearing she would get the blame for my leaving. I was hurt but I understood. Her circumstances were very *cough* public. She did not want to relive it. It was nice to talk openly with my sister about why she left. We all assumed it had to do with her being on MTV. Actually what really pushed her out of the church was having a daughter. She did not want her daughter to grow up in a religion that is sexist.
I agree that the church has sexist ideas for both men and woman. However, some people rise above it. My darling little sister Steph is a BYU anomaly. She dated her BF for over a year before she finally decided to marry him. She did not worry when he was unable to finish his degree. She is a physicist. She just graduated with her undergrad and accepted a job making 60,000 a year. That’s right! My little sister is the tits! But she is also the sweetest most loving little 21 year old I know. I have often talked about my magic necklace from Scotland. I told her how it symbolized my growing up and leaving the church. I may even get a tattoo of it someday. When I opened my Christmas present from Steph my eyes filled with tears. She had ordered this box from Europe. She told me she was proud of me for finding my way.