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Monday, March 31, 2014

When a Girl in Your Group Asks a Gay Boy to Be Her Date for the Girl-ask-guy Dance

Dear Bro Jo,

I first would like to thank you for all that you do to give advice and helpful standing on dating to young people like me--I know you have made a difference in many lives!

I have a question for you, or more of a situation of which I would like to present to you and get your opinion on it. It has really been stressing me out.

So there is this girl-ask-guy semi-formal church dance coming up... and I ended up asking an amazing guy in my stake that I don't know all that well... but he's really excited and that makes me really excited too!!

After facing a huge fear of mine, I know I made the right choice in asking him, because I am so much happier of a person to know that he accepted! :)

In that aspect, I'm really looking forward to the dance.

But there is a problem, a friend of mine, whom has been planning this with me for a while about putting a fun group together and everything, invited some other girl to join our group before Okaying it with me...

And normally I wouldn't think that's a huge deal--the more the merrier right?

BUT... her date is gay.

And it doesn't make any sense why she even asked a gay guy!

And why she thinks it only effects her, because it totally effects the entire environment of the group she joins, which is just unfair to everyone.

The problem is, I don't know what to do.

We're not supposed to "judge" gays but my dad is absolutely against having him in our home for dinner that night if he is going to act that way.

And not to mention how uncomfortable I will be as well as my date and everyone else!

I don't want to be a jerk, to kick her and her date out of the group, but I have also been planning this out for literally MONTHS and I never agreed to letting her in in the first place and I have been looking forward to this for F.O.R.E.V.E.R. because this is actually my first dance!!

And I want to make the night special because I really like the guy that I asked to be my date.

I am sort of the group planning leader as desired by some of the other girls in the group, but I don't really feel like a leader if they are going to not even give me an option as to who can be in and who can't.

It's almost inconsiderate when I have spent so much time and energy and money working to make sure everyone agrees on our date plans!

It really bothers me!

Should I let them stay?

Or should I keep it safe by not allowing that type of material in our group date?

Maybe I am just worried too much about what people think, but I truly am concerned for the results of the dance when it comes down to this.

What should I do??

-Extremely Overwhelmed

Dear Extreme,

While it's poor etiquette to invite someone to join a group that you're not in charge of (much like inviting a guest to someone else's party), I personally think it would be very un-Christian of you to kick this couple out of your group.  (And, I might add, in this situation it is explicitly implied that your friend not only gets to invite a date, but she should have a reasonable expectation that she gets to pick that date . . . without having to seek your approval first.)

While I don't agree with the choice this boy is making regarding his sex-life, I find your attitude (and that of your father) selfish, intolerant, ignorant, and not at all in keeping with the teachings of Jesus.

And frankly, your attitude (both of you) is both naive and offensive.

You may be planning the date, and I understand that it's important to you, but you should never allow the choices made by others, how they're different, or how they act, to have a negative impact on your own joy. 


It's not as if this boy is going to put on a drag show or have sex in your living room . . .

Focus on you, your friends, and having a fun evening.

That's what you need to do.

And I think you should go out of your way to help this young man feel welcome and safe in your group and in your home.

In the Church of Jesus Christ we do not ostracize people or make them feel hated simply because they're doing things they should not.

Quite the opposite.

We invite them.

We encourage them.

We love them.

This event isn't just a chance for you to go to a fun dance; it's a chance for you to mature and become a better person.

I invite you to check out the "Mormons and Gays" website created by the Church.  Start by watching the first video featuring Elder Oaks.  I think you may find it encouraging and enlightening.

- Bro Jo


Alli said...

Bravo!!!! Great response.

Anonymous said...

This girl makes it sound like her friend's date is going to be hitting on every boy in attendance. Those with Same-sex attractions are just like anyone else - Does "Extremely Overwhelmed" want to date/flirt with/want to have sex with every single boy she sees? No. The same will be true for this boy.

He'll feel just as uncomfortable in the group as they feel towards him, so if they welcome him with open arms, it'll be a fun, casual night for everyone! If there is an air of awkwardness, or a desire to have him not be there, he'll inevitable pick up on that too, and the evening may be ruined for both him and his date.

Hate only perpetuates more hate.

Bro Jo said...

There was, of course, the possibility that the boy would act Extremely Comfortable . . . perhaps even flaunting his sexual preference . . . maybe even mocking the beliefs of this girl and her family.

Which could have made many people uncomfortable. And perhaps that was her concern.

It is a valid one.

But that doesn't change my advice to her.

Of course, people can behave boorishly regardless of gender or sexual preference.

It's my hope that ALL of US carry ourselves with dignity and are polite guests and gracious hosts whenever the opportunity arises.

Let us not chase away those holding stones by throwing stones at them.

- Bro Jo

Anonymous said...

If the gay guy has a female date shouldn't this be seen as a step in the right direction? You don't really want to shoo him away...

J-Dawg Fluffy said...

It's been along time since I"ve agreed with your advice, but good job on this one Jo.

I lived with two gay men ( they were not together; one was the landlord and one was renting the other room in the house) back in Florida. Despite the beliefs of some people, they weren't throwing wild disco sex-parties every weekend. The most exciting thing that would happen is once a week a few people would come over, they'd all have a nice dinner, and then talk for hours. Now, there were some issues, (I can't tell you how many time's I would here them say I couldn't know any better than to not do whatever because I'm straight) but overall, they were just regular people trying to survive.

Utah leads the country in gay GLBT homelessness and suicide. As much as I hate to say it, people like this are the reason why.

Whether or not we realize it, sexuality is a vital part of our self-identity. Treatign people this badly is not Christlike in any way.

notice happy things said...

What a wonderful answer to her post!

Christ encourages all to be loving and kind. We welcome all to come unto Him. What better way than to have people of differing beliefs into our homes to enjoy a Christlike atmosphere with kind people, and a chance to feel the Spirit.

Katie said...

Echoing J=Dawg Fluffy - I don't always agree with your advice, but you're spot on with this one.

Anonymous said...

That poor gay guy! He had to spend his whole evening with YOU?? He's probably a really nice kid-- your friend chose to invite him after all. He wouldn't exclude you for being straight, or he wouldn't have gone with your group. However, he might exclude you from future gatherings for being a judgmental bigot.