I love reading anything and everything. This last year I went on a journey to read a lot of biographies and non-fiction books. I have made my way through a lot of books and I am so excited to begin to share some of my experiences in my literature journey with you! I decided to start with a book I most recently finished called, “Saving Alex: When I was 15 I Told My Mormon Parents I Was Gay And That’s When My Nightmare Began.” This book is a biography written by Alex Cooper herself and Joanna Brooks.
I am sure by now you guys have noticed a pattern in some of the books I’ve posted about reading this year. A lot of them have been centered around the LGBTQ community, the bible, and stories of people who identify as LGBTQ or did at one point. Unfortunately, this post isn’t going to be amazingly controversial and I am not going to spit my opinions or beliefs on the topic, it’s truly about Alex’s journey and her story told in this book. So if you are looking for a conversation about my views, I would be glad to build a relationship with you outside of social media.
Alex grew up in a normal mormon family. They attended church and believed that they would all get to heaven if they followed Gods plan. Gods plan for a mormon woman looks something like marry a missionary, lead a good life, have children and teach them how to also follow Gods plan and then when you die you will get to be with your family in heaven for all eternity. This is an extremely basic idea of how it’s supposed to go. But for Alex, she realized this idea of being with her family in heaven forever wasn’t a reality at all. She wouldn’t be able to marry a missionary because Alex liked girls.
She made the mistake of sneaking out to go with some friends out of town one weekend where she came into full realization of her sexual attraction to girls. She then made the mistake of blurting it out to her mom upon returning home. Her mom then lost ALL of her cool and proceeded to kick Alex out of their house, all while her dad sat silent. Alex went to a family friends house for a few weeks until her parents decided the best place for her to go would be to her grandparents house in Utah. Little did Alex know she was going to Utah, but she was definitely NOT being sent to stay with her grandparents.
Alex fought suicidal thoughts, end even had a failed attempt. She had been abandoned by her parents, left with complete strangers, and would be there until she was no longer gay or could convince them that she wasn’t. She was no doubt emotionally and physically abused and neglected. Some of the things they had her do were forms of torture. Everyone in the town was under the impression that any kids sent to this family were troubled and when Alex had made desperate attempts for help, she was completely ignored and got a good beating afterwards. Once she was FINALLY allowed to go to public school upon some good beahavior, she made a few alliances who were able to help her escape and get free. It was an extremely long and emotional process all through legal means, but she did get free.
I truly believe there are obvious areas of deceit all through this entire book and I believe that someone with a heart after GOD’s will be able to see them. She gives some breathtaking statistics about kids who identify as LGBTQ and how many of them are suicidal, have drug addiction, are homeless or kicked out. A lot of teens even turn to prostitution and illegal things to be able to make money to survive after they are kicked out. This is not to say that the LGBTQ community or people who identify as that are all bound to be criminals, so don’t put words in my mouth. It is to point out that we have an entire community of people, young kids, who are hurting. Who are left abandoned by their own family members. They are made to feel inadequate and less than and often times their lives are so lonely they would rather not live. This is not okay with me.
No person should ever feel so alone and dirty and unwanted that they want to end their life.
Read a book that might make you feel uncomfortable. Go into a conversation with someone different than you simply to hear THEIR story. Learn something about a culture or people who you feel you can’t or don’t relate to. At the end of the day we are all human and we all share the same emotions. You can relate on some level, and we need to learn to be willing to shut up and listen every once in awhile.