I am Mitch Mayne. I am an openly gay, active Latter-day Saint.
On Sunday, November 10, 2013, I was released along with the bishopric of the Bay Ward in San Francisco, California. Bishop Fletcher, under whom I’ve had the honor to serve for the past two and a half years, has relocated to another state—and as is customary in the Mormon faith, the bishopric was released with him.
The past few years have been an amazing journey for me. Being a gay Mormon, I used to believe there wasn’t a place for me in the Church. I certainly believed I would never be in a priesthood leadership position. But as is the case with many of the limitations I once believed about myself as a gay Mormon, I was wrong.
Over the course of this bishopric, we have actively reached out to the LGBT community in San Francisco to bring gay Mormons home. As a result, we have had well over 30 LGBT members return to the faith, and we’ve had some new converts. Some of our members come every week—occasionally with their partners—others come more sporadically. But they come. And every single one of them is welcome, wherever they are in their personal lives.
As I was released, I was asked personally to continue my work reconciling the Mormon and the LGBT communities. I shall continue to do just that. And while I may not know exactly what the next chapter looks like for me, I do know the book is far from finished.
I believe every single one of us is equal in the eyes of our Savior, regardless of orientation, ethnicity, gender–or any other marker we use as humans to define differences between ourselves and others. As such, I don’t believe it is ever my job to condemn, criticize, or mock another. My job, as my Father’s son, is to walk beside you as you learn the lessons life is intended to teach you; to celebrate your joys with you, and to lend a hand when you stumble. The true spirit of love we have for one another is kind, patient, and doesn’t demand its own way. It doesn’t scold, condemn, or criticize.
I am most certainly an imperfect human–but this is the spirit I think our Savior wants us to strive to achieve throughout the human family, and it is the spirit that I continue to endeavor to bring to my entire life–and most certainly my faith.
For my Mormon fellows who feel on the ‘outside looking in’ for any reason, I extend you a personal invitation to join me on Sunday. If you find yourself in San Francisco, come and sit next to me.
I’ll even save you a seat.