"Turn it off! Like a light switch! Just go click!"
"Imagine that your brain is made of tiny boxes and find the box that is gay and CRUSH IT!!!"
Both of these are lines that are sang by the gay missionary in the musical, The Book of Mormon. I can definitely say that what he sang rang true for my experience growing up in Utah. There were many times growing up that I thought I could turn off my attractions to men. I tried so hard. I would punish myself for checking out the lifeguard, fantasizing about my crushes, or watching pornography. It was never physical punishment, but rather reading more scriptures and taking my fun time away. I was serious and I wanted to show God that I wanted to turn off my sinful attractions. I'm even sure that I tried to crush the "box" that holds my homosexual desires. Needless to say, I couldn't turn them off or crush bedazzled, glittery, and boa-lined box.
When the gay missionary was on stage, it reminded me of myself. He was completely dedicated to the Church and he fully believed that things would work out according to God's plan for him. I think that he believed, like many gay missionaries, that if he served God diligently during his mission he would be "cured" from this awful "curse" of homosexuality. There was so much dedication to God and hope for change. Seeing this, made me sad. It made me think about how many other young men are out there struggling and hoping for change to straightness that never comes.
Overall, I think the writers had a great portrayal of the struggle of being a gay Mormon missionary. I only wish they could have developed his character more, but he was never a main character.
Getting up on my soap box now...
If there is anyone out there who has so much hope for change to heterosexuality, I hate to say stop hoping, but it's the truth, stop hoping. It will never occur. What you can do instead is stay true to yourself. I'm not saying to throw away the Church and embrace your gayness or throw away your gayness (pretend to be straight) and embrace the Church. What I'm saying is take time to discover what you truly believe and what want in your life. This may take many years, but when you know what's true and what you want, stick with your beliefs. Also, always remember that it's perfectly normal to be gay and Mormon. Stay true to yourself.