exposed to other religions or other schools of thought and so in that sense, meetingother people from different religions, different parts of the world, I was like, wow,this is something that I had never been exposed to before. And I think, in that sense, I was like, you know, they dont practice Mormonism and theyre still okay. It kind of opened the door that way.
Jeremy: What is your relationship to the church now?
Mark: Not practicing. I guess, technically, Im still my records, I think, are still part of the church. Im not active; I havent been for a while. It was actually a kind of what drove me towards what I am today was that when I was, basically in thechurch, when you go from thirty to thirty-one, if youre single, which I was. I think by then I knew that I was gay. Well, I knew that I was gay but didnt really want toadmit it to myself. But what happens is when youre thirty and you turn thirty-one,basically you are no longer considered part of the young single adults ward. You goto, I think its Special Interests, is the name of it, or something like that, Im not even sure anymore. Really, it was that point that I decided it was time for me tomake a choice. Because, I either am gonna be committed to the LDS church and dothat and do everything that comes with: you know, getting married and all that kindof stuff; or, Im going explore this other part of me that, for years, I actually prayed togo away and never happened.
Really, that thirty- thirty-one point is when I kind of said, Okay, I think that this is the point where Im going to be grateful for what I have learned and gained from that, but at the sametime just choose not to be a part of that anymore. And there was a whole I mean, I dont know how much you wanna get in to but there was a whole thing where Id actually go toLDS Social Services and to the Bishop and, even had opportunity to meet with a GeneralAuthority after my mother had written a letter to him. So, theres a whole history with that,if you wanna get in to, if not
Jeremy: Itd be interesting to hear.
Mark: So do you want me to do that? [Laughs] Okay.So, this was, again, I was around twenty-nine, thirty, living in Draper and still at that point I dont even think I
anybody whos gay. I mean, growing up, certainly I didnt knowanybody, even in high school. I knew that I felt, or that I was different. But, honestly, I dont even think I knew what gay meant, because I really didnt know any role models at that time. I was going to church and doing all that kind of stuff and I remember that I had met somebody in Draper who I could tell that we were the same. That kind of I actuallyremember the first time kissing that individual and thinking that this feels right. You knowinnately, it felt right to me but I was still dealing with the religious repercussions that camewith that, or guilt, I guess is the word to use. Because of that overwhelming feeling of guilt,I decided to go to my Bishop, which I did, and just say, you know, This is whats going on,this is what Im feeling, so maybe youre not the expert at this but maybe you can refer meto somebody who is. So, he did and thats when I went to see a counselor at LDS SocialServices.