Son of a Bishop

Travis Crabtree comes out to a tough crowd.
Travis, right with boyfriend Henri, left. Photo provided by Travis Crabtree.

Travis always knew he was gay, but growing up in a Mormon household where Daddy was the Bishop didn’t make it an easy thing to bring to light.  I’ve known Travis for about five years now and since I didn’t have my own “coming out” tale to share, Travis was kind enough to sit down with me and share his.

Travis remembers back to fifth grade, flipping through The Mormon Doctrine and reading about the church’s stance on homosexuality. He explained that in the doctrine homosexuality is a sin equivalent to murder for which the consequence is eternal damnation.  After that, Travis tried his best to convince himself he wasn’t gay.  He did everything he could to focus all of his attention on girls and avoid looking at boys, but as we know, you can’t escape who you are. A year later, Travis decided  it was time to tell his parents.  He recalls calling his Mom on the phone and telling her that he thought he was bisexual.  He chose “bisexual” instead of “gay” in order to hopefully soften the blow, but to no avail.  He described his mom as being completely devastated. For the next few weeks his home life became increasingly awkward.  In order to end the tension, he told his parent’s that he thought the whole thing was just a phase; he really was straight.

Back into the closet Travis went for another few years until the summer before he started high school.  He explained that an anonymous member of his church told his dad that Travis’s sexual orientation on Myspace was “gay.”  He remembers his dad calling him into his office and asking the big question- was it true? To which Travis finally admitted, yes, he was gay.

Travis never went back into the closet after that; he was out and open and felt confident with who he was and his sexuality. Things at home eventually got easier and although his parent’s still don’t approve, he is proud to say that since coming out, his mom has changed some of her ideas about homosexuality. He says that before he came out she always believed being gay was a choice but since then she has realized, without a shadow of a doubt, that people are born gay.  He says this is a step in the right direction for her and makes him feel good to know he’s changed his mom’s opinion.

Travis explains that he is still upset about the church member who took it upon him or herself to stick their nose where it didn’t belong and tell his dad in the first place.  He said he felt like, in a way, he was dragged out of the closet. He wishes he could have changed the way it happened and came out on his own time, but is glad to be out, either way.  Travis hopes that in honor of National Coming Out Week, if you haven’t already, one day you too will feel the liberation of being out, on your own time, of course.

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