Tuesday, February 11, 2014

In or Out?

At tonight's UUPP meeting we talked about the pros and cons of being out as a mutant at BYU. Technically the Honor Code does not prohibit students from admitting that we have unnatural power proclivities, or even identifying as mutants, so long as we don't actively use our powers. Some members of the club are totally open with all their friends, family, professors, and classmates about being mutants. Others are open about being members of UUPP and supporting their mutant friends, but they don't admit to being mutants themselves. Yet others do their best not to be publicly associated with mutants at all. One girl admitted that the only reason she ever uses her power is to turn invisible when coming and going from UUPP meetings.

Image source: http://www.buzz12.com/my-coming-out-of-closet-story/

Lucy spoke out strongly in support of being out. "X came out to me on our first date," she said. (She didn't specify that it was also our only date, but whatever.) "And I admit, at first it freaked me out. I had a really hard time with it. And," she turned to me sheepishly, "I wasn't very kind about it. I'm sorry."

I smiled and squeezed her shoulder. "No worries. I understand." But I have to say, it felt really good to hear her apologize.

"As I lay in that hospital bed waiting to die, in those final weeks when it was a struggle to get a single word out, one of my biggest regrets was that I had treated such an unselfish, loving friend so poorly. I thank my Heavenly Father each day not only that he gave me another chance at life, but also that he gave me a chance to make things right with X."

Lucy sniffed. Hers weren't the only wet eyes in the room. All of us were touched by her story--probably me more than anyone. I had assumed until now that her change of hearts came only when Jan healed her, not before. But I guess she did have a lot of time to think there in the hospital.

"If X hadn't been brave enough to come out to me," Lucy went on, "I would have gone to my death believing that mutants are filthy sinners. Even if Jan had offered to heal me, I honestly think I would have said no, if not for the two months X gave me to reconsider my prejudices and to reexamine my ignorance. But in that two months I saw this mutant who never gave up on me, who visited me more often than anyone else outside my family, who never stopped being my friend despite the way I had treated him, and I knew he couldn't possibly be a bad person. And if he was a good person, then obviously I was wrong about mutants."

I had nothing to say when Lucy's speech was done, and I'm not sure I have anything to say now, except that I'm still feeling floored by the whole thing. When I came out to Lucy and she reacted so poorly, I was sure I'd made a mistake. I had no idea that so much good would come of it. I don't know whether her speech tonight convinced anyone else that coming out is the right thing to do, but I think she might have convinced me.

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