Monday, May 4, 2009

One Short Day in the Emerald City

I just got back from Washington, where I spent a week with one of my friend's families. I had a great time. We spent a few days in Seattle visiting his brother at the University of Washington. I fell in love with the Seattle. It was so welcoming. I suppose it was obvious that my friend and I were gay. As we were out and about, people were so friendly to us. I mean really truly welcoming. One woman told us that she loved us just out of the blue. We saw other gay people- including couples holding hands. As a whole, it felt like being gay was a non issue. I mean even more so than in San Fransisco, where being gay, though accepted and welcomed, was very much the issue. In Seattle it just didn't matter.

And UW is a beautiful campus. It was like being in heaven. As I was watching the people on campus, I felt this huge sense of regret for not transferring away from BYU. I could have spent the last two years in a beautiful place, worshiping the way that I want to, and living the way that I feel is right. Instead I have lived in a desert surrounded by ugly buildings and people who, for the most part, all think one way. I have had to bend over backwards to conform to rules that defy what I believe is right. And in the end, I will have a degree from an institution I hate and that represents a group of people to which I will not belong.

I almost broke down over it all. Now I am back at BYU working on some commissions and making art for my final BFA show. On campus today I was greeted very warmly by friends and two of my professors. They all know I am gay, and are very supportive. While this place may be ugly, and while I may be forced to live differently than I believe is right, I do have a place here. And as much as I complain, I do enjoy my time here. But some day, some day I will leave and never come back. Some day I will live in a city as welcoming as Seattle, and I will live an honest, complete, open, and fulfilling life in the way that I choose.


MoHoHawaii said...

Seattle isn't all milk and honey (have you checked out what rents are here?), but I will definitely agree with you that being gay is no issue whatever in this rainy city. People here genuinely seem to treat gay people with the same respect as they do everyone else. The population of the city is, by the way, almost 15% gay.

Come back to Seattle and stay a while.

Alan said...

It's a great town. I have friends there who wouldn't live anywhere else. Personally I need a little more sun, but you could do a LOT worse than Seattle!


I had similar experiences after leaving BYU. I couldn't believe the love and acceptance I felt in certain US cities. Its really amazing and wonderful-- and I must agree with you about Seattle and the Pacific Northwest in general. They just get it. Glad you had such a good time!! and don't worry you're almost done!

October Rising said...

I am glad you got a good taste of my home :)

EJ said...

Dude, I love it here too. I think even the members here are more open about it, I know they are in my life and in my ward~