“When I was a kid, it was not uncommon to find my mom playing the piano at our house and my dad standing next to her singing ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ from Les Miserables.”
So recounts a Redditor by the name of TheBrotherofTyler, writing of the slow realization that his Mormon father was gay; a fact that didn’t dawn on him until long after his parents had divorced and his father died of a drug overdose.
“He would modify the words of the song to sing it from a straight male perspective,” he writes, “rather than a female perspective…. (i.e., he changed it to “she slept a summer by my side” from “he slept a summer by my side.”
About a decade ago, he heard the song for the first time in ages, and “all of a sudden a feeling came over me” and he came to realize why his dad loved the song so much.
“It truly expressed how he felt as a straight LDS (Latter-day saint) man living secretly as a gay man,” he writes. “It was touching and heartbreaking at the same time. It made me feel a tremendous amount of love for him. And it made me sad that he had to switch the lyrics to continue hiding his true self.”
The community has been quick to respond to his story.
“It is going to be hard to top this post in terms of substance,” writes daveescaped. “Thanks for sharing something so personal to give us all a larger perspective on what TSCC (The So-Called Church) does to people.
“This breaks my heart for your father and I can relate so much,” says ShatteredGlassWindow.
I’m gay and when I was TBM (a “true-Believing Mormon”) I would sing the lyrics to “She’s got a way” by Billy Joel, but with male pronouns. It sometimes made me cry. Now that I’ve left, I’m looking for the love of my life. I wish all gay and lesbian Mormons could have that. Or that they could see the truth about TSCC and realize they could have that.
“What’s sad beyond measure is that the Mormon church is so palpably false, but people refuse to see it and go on making themselves and others miserable,” writes LucindaMorgan.