Is He Nuts: Why a Gay Man Would Become a Member of the Church of Jesus Christ
“No matter what religion, faith background, sexual orientation, or race, I challenge you to choose love!”
I am an openly gay man who feels nothing but love from members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was told my entire life that God rejected me and I was going to hell merely for my sexual orientation. I needed to change my entire persona and become straight. This left such a bad taste in my mouth about organized religion in general that I refused to attend any church for many, many years.
It was Latter-day Saints who taught me that Heavenly Father loves ALL of His children, regardless of their sexual orientation. We are all children of God, and we should leave judgment to the Savior. It is not our place. We are asked only to love.
Dennis Schleicher’s life has been anything but easy. The growing realization that he was gay coupled with his parents’ use of religion to justify abuse and neglect led Dennis to have a very complicated relationship with love, God, and organized religion. After suffering a violent hate crime, forced institutionalization, and heartbreak after heartbreak, Dennis was desperate for love and acceptance-he just didn’t know where to find it.
After years of searching, Dennis unexpectedly discovered a new family in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Now secure in his relationship with the Church and with God, Dennis shares the story of how he, a gay man, found his home in the Church. Determined to be a survivor, not a victim, Dennis draws upon his life’s journey as a source of inspiration to help others in similar situations and to foster a better understanding of his many LGBT brothers and sisters in the world. Dennis now serves as a ward mission leader, assisting sisters and elders throughout New England.