by Letizia Cini
Mormon for most of his life, regularly married for 22 years and father of two, William did coming outrevealing in the family and in the world to be homosexual: for this choice it was excommunicated from his church and estranged even from his creatures for six long years. But he has not lost faith and now he lives happy, full of light and friends, enjoying the relationship he has had for 10 years with his partner, after having freed the bear which he had locked up in a cave, having accepted, having completely changed habits. Even making the boy image in the disco, for a short time.
And luckily! It is by dancing on the cube, in fact, that the new Guglielmo met his Massimo, and from there began that love that still lasts today.
“One thing I want to emphasize about my past, religious and not: that I am grateful for what I have lived and for the things I have learned, for the experience they made of me today with a conscience without chains, and made my person free. Freedom has no equal. We cannot postpone tomorrow what we can do today. Also because along the road of tomorrow we will arrive at the MAI square “.
How much truth – also made up of struggle, tenacity and suffering – in the words of William Hunter, a 55-year-old real estate agent from Ortigia, Syracuse, who has made Florence his adopted city. He decided to tell a Luce! his story also to give strength to those who live in a situation similar to his (“and there are many but they do not have enough courage to come out”, he assures) before that “rebirth” that led him to be the person he is today : a happy man, master of his existence, engaged in a serene and satisfying couple relationship.
How long did it take to get to this point, William?
“Many years (he smiles from his office which is located right in the ancient cure of the Tuscan capital, ndr). I am an extremely spiritual individual, for many years I have been at the top of the Florentine Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Married for love, father of two beautiful children, much appreciated at work and within the religious community which currently has 26 thousand people in Italy in Italy and in 2012 inaugurated a temple in Rome, the largest in Europe, I felt something growing inside. of me. Everything was fine. But…”.
“I was not happy. I was gripped by a great anxiety that over time, also thanks to the intervention of a friend who had converted to the creed of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and then came out of it, I became aware and realized that I could no longer continue to betray myself “.
And how did he behave?
“I accepted, I did coming outrevealing in the family and in the world to be homosexual: in 2009 I separated, saying goodbye to everything. Role within the church, at work, at home, with children ”.
How did they react?
“They told me ‘Father, we accept your choices, but you must accept ours: we won’t talk to you anymore’, and so it was for very long years, a terrible pain. Then things changed, I recovered relations with both of them and today things are peaceful, even if a lot of time was wasted “.
Polygamy banned from the late nineteenth century, Mormons (among many prohibitions) are against gay unions: did you maintain relations with the members of your former church?
“People who know man, esteem him and don’t stop at the label are looking for me; but it is a reality where bigotry prevails, made up of strict rules. The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints was born in the United States thanks to the polygamous preacher Joseph Smith, who published the ‘Book of Mormon’; hence the definition ‘Mormons’, as members of the Church are called, even though the faithful are officially known as ‘Latter-day Saints’. Despite recent openings, doctrinal opposition to gay marriage and same-sex relationships prevails, defined as a ‘serious transgression’, unacceptable for many ”.
Since 2019, Mormon couples belonging to the LGBT community have been able to baptize their children.
“Yeah, but at the time of my coming out it wasn’t quite like that: in 2015 a policy was approved that considered i homosexual relationships ‘apostates’ and reason for being banned from religion, a decision that has aroused strong opposition and condemnation from the LGBT community. Now, however, children of gay or lesbian parents can be baptized without special permission, as long as they recognize that the children will be taught Mormon doctrine.
Would you go back, William?
“Absolutely not, I am aware that, in my small way, even the indispensable choice I made has contributed in some way to lead the way, leading to the changes underway, both as regards the religious universe and normal life. We are all children of God, with one obligation: to be sincere and honest with ourselves. I chose to be and today I am a free man ”.