Bishop Jim Blair
Jim Blair served a five year term as Bishop in his home in Logan, Utah, where he also is Professor and chair in the Department of Communication Disorders at Utah State Universtiy.
Benjimen was our first born - a boy. We could not have been more pleased! We watched him grow with rapt attention and had all the dreams that parents have for their child: honors academically, internationally famous as an all around athlete, a mission (of course he would assistant to the president), a temple marriage to a beautiful LDS girl, grandchildren, and he would have a well-paying job and contribute to the church in significant ways.
By age three we became concerned about Benjimen's feminine behaviors. He liked playing with dolls, and girl things more than he liked "boy" things. We forced him into basketball, and hockey - both of which he despised. He was not coordinated, and not interested in anything athletic. Academically he was not motivated and although he was an adequate student, he never excelled. But religiously he was very strong, studied the gospel and lived the principles well. He was a model of a good, young, Latter-Day-Saint. He enjoyed church and served in a number of young men leadership positions. He even loved Family Home Evenings.
As he matured, we worried about him because he never seemed to want to date, or get involved socially with a mixed group of young people. He wanted to go on a mission and did much to earn the money to get himself out in the mission field. He was a good missionary and when he was released he was very active in the student ward where he attended.
After he had been home from his mission about a year and a half, he came to us with the information that he was gay and that although he had tried every way he could to be straight, he simply was not interested in girls as anything more than friends and was strongly attracted to men. He further suggested that he was unable to maintain his association with the church and continue to have the feelings that he had. Of course we were heart broken - our dreams for our son were devastated. The things WE wanted for him were not going to happen. Then we realized that we were concerned about our dreams for him and had not really considered his dreams for himself. It took Benjimen three years to come to terms with himself as a gay person who was a person of worth. He struggled with his feelings of right and wrong and what he was supposed to do as a person with same sex attraction.
I understand that there are some who suggest that same sex attraction is learned and that it is possible to change. I have watched my son from the time he was a small boy up until the present time and I am convinced that he did not choose to be gay. He wanted to be straight, and did all that he could possibly do to become that way, but the fact is he was gay from the time he was born and it took him years to come to the realization that it was okay to be the way he is. It has also taken us years to accept him as a gay person and love him. That does not mean that we still don't wish he was able to marry and have some cute little children for us to love and guide. However, we also know that Benjimen is content with himself and understands himself better now than he ever has before. He lives his life in a way very different from the way we thought he would, but he is happy and he is able be who he is.