When Charles’ son came out to him, Charles knew that he would always love his son unconditionally. What Charles didn’t know was if he could truly understand and empathize with his son. But Charles’ level of understanding and empathy has increased, and in that he feels hope. Charles would like the LGBT Mormon community to know that everyone is on different levels of understanding—some have no basis of understanding, and some are ready to lovingly embrace you—but the general community needs the LGBT community to help teach others about the unfamiliar. Charles asks the LGBT Mormon community to not “check out,” but to be courageous, share your stories, teach others about your life and your world, and help increase levels of understanding and empathy. He recognizes that it won’t be easy, but he believes it’s important to teach, because understanding through learning is the only way for change to come.

 

by Martha Ostergar

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(The views expressed in this interview do not necessarily reflect those of the producers of Far Between but are reflective of some aspects of what it means to be homosexual and Mormon today.)