Enigma suggested to me the other day the need for a For the Strength of Gay Youth pamphlet to help SSA people know what is okay and what is not in their unique situation. Yes, we both know that Affirmation already has taken that clever step, but I'm not such a big fan of Affirmation and I'd rather have it from someone I trust (and minimally agree with).
Considering the recent debates about cuddling, outing oneself, straight dating, etc... it makes sense that there ought to be some informed guidance for a guy or girl who wants to keep it all above board. Who do you tell? When? What situations should be avoided?
Of course, the issue is not one that applies merely to the youth. Enigma also mentioned in his comment on my last post that he's apprehensive about coming out because of potential consequences from the scouting organization or the ward. So... what do you do in a situation like that? Stand up and be a martyr so that you can educate the people around you regarding the issue? Or continue as you have before where you can serve the young men and touch those private lives in a way that might otherwise be impossible?
The automatic inclination among gays is going to be to assume that restricting callings based on orientation is just simply born of ignorance, but I don't think it's that simple. I suspect that the young women leaders are always women to keep any possibility for impropriety at bay (ditto the young men leaders being men). As my mom is fond of saying, "we should avoid even the appearance of evil." Considering the likelihood that there will be homosexually attracted youth in pretty much every sizable ward, there's an analogous possibility for the appearance of or actual impropriety in a scenario with a gay leader.
But it's not a perfect analogy, of course. Some suggest (and I believe) that coping with SSA is aided with non-sexual relationships with other men. This is particularly true of men whom one finds attractive, the idea being that a friendship reveals the real person and their appeal is normalized and largely mitigated. Some gay men may have painful memories of their youth and consequently idealize the outgoing, talented guys in the ward. So, in may be helpful to both the youth who need a good role model and the gay leader to have such a calling, despite the remote possibility of scandal.
Considering the homophobic culture that clings to some wards despite explicit doctrine of acceptance (of unchosen gay feelings), there hasn't been enough opportunity for those who have been in situations like this to really stand up and say whether it's been an overall positive or negative experience.
Regardless, the scouting organization, while on friendly terms with the church, may have a completely different approach. And, as Enigma pointed out, it's not likely to be particularly gay friendly, even with the distinction between unchosen feelings and behavior (and a straight-married gay). So, yeah. Major problem.
So, I hereby call to order an online policy making session in which people should discuss what the guidelines should be and why. If the brethren give us a set, I'll be delighted. In the mean time, how do you recommend bringing order to the gay anarchy? ;-)