If you’re like me, you were extra confused last night while watching the story of a self-professed gay Mormon man and father who is happily married to a woman. Indeed, the story of Joel and Laurel “Lolly” Weed is quite puzzling. They were childhood best friends. Joel came out to Lolly at the age of 16. The two had several long conversations about Joel’s sexuality, but eventually began dating while still in high school. Lolly feels as if she was directed spiritually to marry Joel. Likewise, Joel admits that Lolly is the literally the only woman that he is the least bit attracted to.
While I commend the Weeds for coming forward with their story–especially via a blog–I am concerned about the proverbial can of worms that they have managed to open. Sexuality is largely seen as something biological and therefore beyond one’s control. However, Joel makes it clear that he put his homosexual desires aside due to his love for Lolly and his respect for the Mormon faith. As a result, many people have questioned their motives for sharing their experiences with the world. Some suggest that Joel is not gay while others believe that he is merely living a lie. In spite of the push back, Joel stands by his claims.
From my perspective, the Weeds do not deserve any of the criticism that is coming their way. Unlike many couples in today’s society, they have been married for ten years. They have known each other since they were 4 years-old. Sure their relationship may be unconventional, but it works for them. It bothers me that Joel’s desire to live the life of a traditional family man in spite of his homosexual urges is met with so much resistance. After all, the Weeds are consenting adults. Lolly knew what she was getting into by marrying him. Besides, Joel has remained faithful to Lolly for all these years and says he has no intention of over being with a man sexually.
Maybe I am a bit naive for thinking that the same people who have been pushing for “marriage equality” would actually be happy that the Weeds have managed to create and maintain such a loving relationship. The Weeds aren’t using their story in order to tell people what they should do. Instead, they are sharing their story because after ten years of marriage, they no longer felt like hiding it. They wanted to have the opportunity to live open and authentic lives. I guess this is just proof that our society will only support those who are “open and authentic” in ways that mesh well with current popular ideologies.
Check out the interview here.
For more information, check out the full article from ABCNEWS.com