I used to obsess over the possible reasons I turned out gay. During the years when I was fasting and praying for my “SSA” to go away I thought if I could identify why I had it I could beat it. I eventually convinced myself that masturbation and porn had somehow undone my default setting, and if I could just stop it I wouldn't be attracted to guys anymore.
When I was 18 I read about a study that identified a correlation between having older brothers and being gay. On the one hand I was relieved that maybe it wasn't my fault after all, but on the other I was perturbed by the idea that it might be hardwired into my physiology.
Then, a couple months later, the Church released a statement saying that being attracted to the same sex isn't a sin, but acting on it is. Instead of making me feel better about things I was terrified that I might have to spend a lifetime struggling, since I never wanted to commit the great crime against nature.
When I got home from my mission I thought my attraction was strictly physical. Since the Church teaches that “SSA” is a temporary trial limited to this life I knew that if I reined in my behavior and bridled my passions my attraction would realign itself toward women. I knew that once I was married my appetites would be satisfied and I wouldn't have those feelings toward men anymore.
It was liberating to finally come to terms with being gay and realize that God loves me anyway. Heavenly Father knew what He was doing when He made me. Even if it were nothing but a weakness of my biology He must have either specifically assigned this body to me or allowed it to happen as a result of my environment. Either way it happened according to His will. My sexuality is no longer a trial to be borne or an affliction to be suffered.
The official Church position is that “SSA” didn't exist before this life and won’t exist in the next. I’ll agree that before this life my spirit wasn't sexually attracted to male spirits; even straight spirits weren't sexually attracted to spirits of the opposite sex. However, written deep into my eternal nature is the ability to form bonds with males better than with females. In some ways the term “homosexual” is misleading. The “gay lifestyle” is so repugnant to the average Church member because they fixate on those who live a life of rampant promiscuity while pointedly ignoring all those who make an upstanding, productive life that involves a same-sex relationship. Yes, I am sexually attracted to guys, but I am emotionally and romantically attracted to them as well.
Now, there are people in the Church who faithfully choose celibacy hoping to be cured in the next life. I sincerely hope that God will honor their sacrifice and provide every blessing they missed out on in this life. I don’t believe that necessarily means their orientation will shift; I think Heavenly Father has more options available than we can imagine. Likewise, I hope the best for the Ty Mansfields and Josh Weeds out there and their marriages. However, I doubt their gayness will go away when they die. Instead, their ability to fully love and appreciate their wives will strengthen enough to allow them to spend eternity together. Nevertheless, my experience with personal revelation applies to my situation only. If someone prays and sincerely feels that God wants them to remain celibate or marry a woman that is exactly what they should do.
The idea of being “cured” scares me, though. Now that I know and accept who I am I don’t think I would still be me if God just made me straight after this life. The general theme of mormonsandgays.org and God Loveth His Children is that God loves us even though we are gay, which is good and important for all of us to realize. However, as I've come to terms with myself and looked at who I am I have come to realize that God loves me because I’m gay. He, who knew me before I was born, knows my individual nature better than anyone else and loves me because it is what makes me unique among His billions of children. Being gay isn't the only thing that makes me who I am, but it has affected so much of what I feel, believe, and experience I couldn't see myself any other way.
In the Book of Mormon it says if we come unto God He will show us our weaknesses, and His grace is sufficient to make our weaknesses into strengths (Ether 12:27). For most of my life I went to God and I told Him what I thought my weaknesses were. It wasn't until I truly humbled myself before Him that He showed me that my weakness wasn't that I was gay; it was my anger and embarrassment over it. Now that I recognize and embrace my full nature as a child of God who happens to be gay my weakness is becoming strength.