Lindsay Hickman is married to Blaine, who lives with same-sex attraction. A stay-at-home mother of two rambunctious boys, she loves to bake, perform in musical theater, and shop. She graduated from Weber State University in Ogden with a Bachelor of Integrated Studies in music, English, and child and family studies. Lindsay has learned through experience that nothing is impossible so long as God is on her side.
I know with all my heart that with God nothing is impossible.
I grew up as the youngest of four children in a typical Latter-day Saint family. My mom stayed home with the kids and my dad worked hard to support and provide for his family. I was a sheltered child and I was nervous about stepping out of my comfort zone. I was the child crying and screaming at the dentist and the doctor’s offices. I was the kid who was so homesick at school I had to put my teddy bear in my desk and squeeze it whenever I felt the tears of anxiety coming.
Through certain experiences in my life, specifically those with Blaine, I have learned that fear has only inhibited my happiness and growth. Fear is the opposite of faith, and my faith in the Lord and his plan for me has altered the way I now feel about things that used to seem impossible. I view challenges and trials differently than I did before I met Blaine. I now know the Lord will help me through whatever challenges may come because he loves me.
Meeting for the First Time
My teenage years were as normal as can be. After struggling to find a sense of belonging in school, I found my niche singing in choir and performing in musicals. I first met Blaine in high school in the musical productions class when he was a sophomore and I was a junior. The first time we actually spoke was at a school dance after a football game. I remember thinking that he was a lot of fun and that I really wanted to get to know him, but only as a friend. We became good friends, and as time went by I heard through the gossip chain that he “liked” me. I didn’t return his feelings, but we were still best friends all through high school. As an immature 16-year-old I was turned off by the fact that Blaine was different than other boys. He was musically talented, emotionally sensitive, very fashionable, and he didn’t play sports. I even wrote in a journal entry that because he was less “manly” than other boys I couldn’t ever see us together. It wasn’t until after I graduated high school that my feelings for him started to change. After having bad experiences with boys on the more “manly” side of the spectrum, I realized that all of those qualities in Blaine that had once been reasons for my hesitation were becoming things that I valued and loved about him. All of those less stereotypical “manly” things were what made him so amazing. I loved that he listened to me and that he valued my opinions and feelings.
After high school, before he went on his mission, a “romantic” relationship developed between us. This basically meant that we knew we liked each other, and that was the extent of it. We moved very slowly, held hands once or twice, and called things off. I assumed that I was the problem because I was afraid to have a serious relationship with anyone, especially when that someone had been my best friend for so long.
When Blaine left on his mission I felt so much loss, much more than I had anticipated. I didn’t realize how much I would miss him and I decided that he was the person I wanted to be with for eternity. About five months into his mission, I wrote in my journal about how much I missed Blaine and wished that he could be home. A few days later I found out that Blaine had come home early from his mission. This was a surprise to both his family and friends. At the time, he explained that he had come home because of severe depression and anxiety. Years later he admitted that although he was worthy to serve a mission, feelings of guilt about his same-sex attraction also contributed to his coming home early. Even though I was happy to see Blaine I was worried about him. I loved him so much and it was hard for me to see him so depressed, anxious, and mentally unhealthy.
Shortly after he returned home my mom convinced Blaine to be in a musical with me and some of our other friends over the summer. In the musical, Blaine and I had to kiss. This was awkward for several reasons, one being that we had never kissed each other at all! The night before we had to kiss on stage, Blaine picked me up and told me that he wanted to kiss me for real before we had to kiss on stage. We walked and drove around for two hours before he worked up the nerve to kiss me! I thought our first kiss was perfect, but after that night Blaine became more distant and I felt like we were not as close as we once were. I knew he was dealing with a lot of things but I felt like he was purposefully growing more removed from me. The next few months were frustrating. I didn’t know how to help Blaine, and it felt like whenever I tried to get closer to him he moved further away. Looking back I now realize that his attraction to men, coupled with his depression, had much to do with the distance between us.
Some months later, Blaine decided to teach English in China for six months. I was grateful that he could at least call and email me, unlike on his mission. Our relationship grew closer as we were apart, and when he came home I fully expected that we would officially start to date. A week or so after he came home, he came over to talk with me. That conversation was one of the most hopeless and helpless conversations I have ever had. Blaine told me that he didn’t think we could date and that he probably would never date or marry anyone. He said he still loved me, but that he wasn’t asking me to be patient or wait for him to sort out whatever he was dealing with. He still wanted to be my friend, but he basically told me that I should marry someone else. We sat on the curb and cried and hugged. During that talk I remember thinking that there was nothing he could say that would make me give up on him. I loved him too much to quit.
Even though we were not dating, Blaine and I continued to be friends and spent a lot of time together. During the next few months I had some of the most spiritual experiences of my life, starting with my participation in the Hill Cumorah Pageant. I knew the Lord loved me and that he wanted me to be happy. I knew the Lord loved Blaine. I knew that if we were meant to be together, the Lord would be the one to make that possible. When I returned from the pageant, Blaine and I went on a drive together and he told me that he wanted to talk about dating. However, before we started into a relationship he wanted to tell me what he was dealing with to see if I would still want to move forward. He left it at that.
I was nervous to hear what he had to say. I really wanted to be able to handle anything he was going tell me. For the next week, I prayed and fasted and read scriptures and conference talks to prepare myself for our next conversation. I hoped I could at least be a good friend and support to him, but I knew that I wanted to be more than just his friend. However, part of me was afraid that what he would tell me would completely change our relationship, and I didn’t know if I could handle that.
A particular church article by Elder Jeffery R. Holland that I read during this time really resonated with me. Elder Holland discussed that adversity and opposition usually surround moments of revelation, and he encouraged the reader to never turn back because the Lord would find a way. “If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now...Face your doubts. Master your fears.” After reading those words, I was determined to do what the Lord wanted me to do and to stick with Blaine despite my fear—no matter what the challenges.
When Blaine and I talked again, he took me to the park. We sat in a quiet corner at a picnic table and he gave me a couple sheets of paper that he had torn out of his journal. As I read his words that told of his struggles with attractions to men and homosexual pornography, I felt some relief to finally put a name to this mysterious issue that had put our relationship on hold for so long. I also felt scared, worried, and nervous, but mostly I felt sad to see how much he had suffered worrying about what I would think of him. I loved him, no matter what. I knew that my love for him would never change, not even after reading what was on those pieces of paper. Blaine then told me that he felt ready to try dating. He had been working with his counselor and bishop and was worthy to go to the temple. He wanted me to talk to my family about his same-sex attraction and to take my time deciding if I wanted to date him.
My family was amazingly supportive and loving. I remember my sister saying how impressed she was with Blaine having so much courage to tell me about this; she thought he was incredible. I received a priesthood blessing from my dad. Whenever I prayed I felt so close to my Savior that, at times, I could almost feel him right beside me. Words cannot describe how I could feel so full of sorrow, but so full of peace as well. I knew Blaine needed me, but what I came to realize was that I needed him just as much. He had been so patient with me in our friendship and had inspired courage in me that I didn’t think I had.
After struggling for three days with my fear of making such a big decision, I finally decided to talk with Blaine. I told him that I loved him and that I was ready to date him. He asked me if I had any questions about his attractions to men, and to be completely honest, I had a lot of questions. We discussed them in later years but I didn’t voice any of my questions at the time. We sat on a bench in the park and talked and laughed. After having a ridiculous amount of dramatic discussions that summer, it felt so good to just laugh with him again!
A Rocky Road
After dating happily for about three months, I could tell that something was wrong. Again. It happened very suddenly. Blaine started to become distant again, and he seemed unhappy most of the time. We had yet another talk one day in which he basically told me that he needed some time to figure things out, and that he didn’t know if we could be together anymore. In return, I told him to take whatever time he needed, but I knew that we were going to get married. We parted that day, broken up for the one-hundredth time! He hadn’t been taking his medication for depression regularly, and I knew that when his depression was worse, so were his struggles with same-sex attraction.
While this was happening, I was cast in the musical “Savior of the World” at the LDS Conference Center. Through that experience I felt such a closeness to Mary, the mother of Jesus, and was inspired by her willingness to accept God’s will in her life. Two phrases of scripture kept going through my head at this time: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word,” and “For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37-38). I knew that the Lord knew what Blaine and I were going through. No matter what the problem was, he would help us.
Finally, after a very lonely and hard month, Blaine told me he wanted to get back together. The next several months things between us were going well and we were both really happy dating each other. A couple months later we were engaged! When Blaine asked me to marry him, he gave me a box filled with reasons why he loved me on little pieces of paper. At the bottom of the box was the scripture from Ruth 1:16: “For whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” At that moment, more than any other moment, I knew I wanted to be with Blaine. Forever. We were the same person in so many ways. We had the same sense of humor and the same goals, but more importantly we had the same knowledge that if we stayed close to the Lord, we could have a successful eternal marriage.
Eight-and-a-half years and two kids later we are still happily married and still moving forward together. Complete honesty, a forgiving heart, open communication, and a good sense of humor have helped us to be successful in marriage so far. That is not to say we haven’t had our share of troubles and trials. Marriage is wonderful, but it can be difficult with or without same-sex attraction involved. I didn’t think it was possible, but through those trials and hard things I have come to love Blaine even more than I did the day I married him. And, unbelievably enough, Blaine’s experiences surrounding same-gender attraction have contributed positively to our marriage more than they have been a negative influence. We have become stronger because we have been able to work through them together. The things I love most about Blaine are getting fabulous theme gifts, shopping, singing duets together, being with someone who is patient and sensitive to my feelings, letting him pick what outfit I am going to wear to church, never having to care about any sort of sports playoffs, and watching The Golden Girls together. He is smart, funny, compassionate, artistic, and a loving and generous friend, father and husband. Those things are not caused by his same-sex attraction; they are enhanced by it.
That fearful little me from long ago might have looked at a relationship like this and thought it would be living a lie. I might have thought that a relationship like this would be bound for failure, that it would be impossible to be happy with Blaine. But for me now, I think it is the most beautiful example in my life of how God loves me. I have learned that, despite my fear, despite how impossible something may look from the outside, when God is in charge of it, it will not fail. “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
 Jeffrey R. Holland, “Remember How You Felt,” New Era, August 2004.
9 Oct, 2014
This essay was beautiful. Thank you for sharing, it's appeased many of my fears in regards to being married someday. You have truly been a voice of hope to me and I thank you.
9 Oct, 2014
Lindsay, I just want to say that I appreciate your willingness to testify of the power of God through your faith in His promise that All Things Are Possible With God and commend you for your faith to take the steps of living in a SSA marriage. Your courage is real and your trust in God as it should be. Many things you say ring true of my wife and though I think she could benefit from North Star assoiciations with women like yourself. I don't see that happen. Just the same, I'm sure your voice can and will help others understand what Trust in God really means. Thank you