So, my sweetie is working late tonight, which means I am passing time by taking “insightful” quizzes on Facebook. (i know, i know…)

Just now, in a quiz entitled “Which Jane Austen character are you?” I found out that I am like Elizabeth Bennett:

“You are memorable, lovely and clever, the life of the party… you always have the perfect thing to say in every situation. Your honesty, virtue, and lively wit enable you to rise above the nonsense and bad behavior that pervade your money-seeking and often spiteful society. Nevertheless, your sharp tongue and tendency to make hasty judgments often lead you astray… if not careful, you can display qualities that you despise – pride and prejudice. But if you can get past negative first impressions, your life and love story will be epic.”

It’s the kind of thing that’s fun to ascribe meaning to. It’s basically a pretty good assessment of my character, though at this point in the evening that could also be the vodka talking. 😉

I was talking to a co-worker recently about the ups and downs of living in Utah when you don’t fit into the mainstream culture here. He is not Mormon, but loves it here and doesn’t let the politics bother him. I said something about that being harder for me when every legislative session is another adventure in gay-bashing. He responded, “Oh you gay people always have a chip on your shoulder because you want everyone to like you.” And even though it bugged me at the time, I think he’s right, at least for me (I don’t claim to speak for all lesbians or gay men in the state).

I do want people to like me, but like Elizabeth Bennett, I find I am also quick to judge others. “My good opinion, once lost, is lost forever.” (Okay, all you Austen purists out there, I know that’s a Darcy line, but you have to admit it applies to Elizabeth as well.) I feel so angry sometimes because it’s impossible to convince people that my own personal experience is valid. I want that validation, despite the fact that it won’t change anything. I know that. I have a happy life, and have survived a lot of bad times. And I don’t need anyone else’s approval to make that true. It just is.

But I do feel probably an unnecessary amount of angst wondering what family and close friends, who are still Mormon, think about me and my partner. I know they love me and I believe they have come to love her. But are they still secretly wishing we’ll repent? I haven’t told that many people about the process of getting here (and still haven’t decided if I will ask them to read this blog or not, to get the details) and so I’m not sure what they believe about how I got here. I really hate the idea of them thinking that I’m deceived by some evil spirit and that someday maybe I’ll come to my senses and be straight again. I’ve held back talking about a lot of it, because I don’t want to be that person that no one wants to talk to at family parties. You know the one, who’s always ranting about something. “Don’t talk to Sheri…you’ll just get her going.” But there are important parts of this journey that I haven’t shared, out of that worry of being too “in your face” about my gayness.

I think that’s part of why I wanted to write some of this down, here in cyberland where people might read it or not. I’ve read other blogs on similar topics, including some from close friends, and we are all saying essentially the same thing. Why not take us at our word? Why not acknowledge that there are spiritual experiences that might not fit into any one doctrinal interpretation? Why can there only be one right answer to any of this? Everyone has their own journey, and I think God is big enough to encompass all of us.