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Monday, October 3, 2011

"That's so Mormon."

Posted by Dan Savage on Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 10:29 AM

I just noticed your blog entry on "That's so Mormon" replacing "That's so gay" as a term of lameness, etc. In your response, you said:

"Mormon kids, of course, have the family support so many gay kids lack and they're not committing suicide at greater rates. So I suppose 'That's Mormon,' if it caught on, would do less harm to Mormon kids than "That's gay" does to gay kids. (And you know how Christians get off on feeling persecuted.) But are Mormon kids to blame for their backward views about homosexuality? They've got those views because their dipshit parents and hateful religious "leaders" pounded them into their heads. So it seems a bit, ayedunno, unfair that Mormon kids, and not Mormon grownups, would be exposed to 'That's Mormon' on a daily basis."

Family support that gay kids lack? Are you kidding? Family support within Mormonism is conditioned on adherence to the beliefs and practices that the church pounds down your throat constantly. So, you're advocating doubling the harm against Mormon teens. Many of them are mocked and bullied for being Mormon, especially if they live where are few other Mormon kids (that's their real support, usually, btw). I know because I grew up where there were very few other Mormons. I got picked on, called names, and by the time I hit junior high, I felt like a complete outcast. So, naturally, I retreated into my church, where I felt safe.

You also say, "They're not committing suicide at greater rates." Yes, they are, Dan. Take a look at 9903suicide.pdf">the statistics for Utah, which is 70% Mormon:

· Utah’s suicide rate is the 10th highest among all states in the U.S.

· The Utah suicide death rate (1995-97) was 4 times higher for boys/men than for girls/women. About 80% of suicide deaths were boys/men.

· Suicide death rates among boys/men in Utah increased dramatically from age 15 to age 20 or 21. Rates decreased somewhat after that peak and remained high throughout adult life.

A state in which kids have "family support" should not have the tenth highest suicide rate. You talk all the time about LGBT kids in repressive Christian environments being bullied into taking their own lives. That's how it works in Mormon areas, too, except Mormon kids commit suicide because they can't stop masturbating. Mormon kids grow up with a heavy burden of guilt and shame about themselves, their feelings, and their bodies. Please don't add to that.

Anyway, sorry to go off on you a little, but these kids have enough to worry about.

John

·····················

Dear John,

How many of those Mormon boys who are committing suicide between the ages of 15-21 are gay or bi do you think? I'd hazard to guess that a great many of them are gay or bi. What do you think?

Dan

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I'm sure many are. Here's a good link. My point was that the stereotypical Mormon teen is that smug, homophobic, nondrinking cheerleader/jock—and that seems like a fair target. Most Mormon kids aren't that at all.

Growing up Mormon means being told from an early age that you have to become perfect, free from anything "sinful." From the time you are 12 years old, every six months you get an interview in which you're asked about your sexual habits, including masturbation, what kinds of clothes you wear, what you eat and drink, and of course, whether you pay 10% of your money to the church. If you don't do all of those, you're not "worthy" and you should feel guilt and shame.

Joke for the day (apologies for the Harry Potter reference):

What's the difference between a Dementor and the Mormon church?

One is a dark presence that sucks all the joy and life from your soul, and the other is a character in the Harry Potter books.

More "I Am Ex-Mormon" videos here.

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