Elder Gong: “Please don’t post that photo…”

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Red Ryder
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Elder Gong: “Please don’t post that photo…”

Post by Red Ryder » Wed Jan 12, 2022 12:50 pm

Thread on Reddit discussing this. I thought I would copy pasta for more visibility and to spread the picture around the internet some more. :lol:

Scroll down to his post titles: Built On Sand 2019
https://medium.com/@thatonegaygong/sta ... 0d278e8d01
“Matt Gong” wrote:The first time I brought a partner home to meet my parents, we all went out to dinner together. I picked a restaurant I knew my parents liked, but would be a neutral space for them to meet him. Introductions went well and we all rode in one car to the restaurant.

Dinner was everything I’d hoped for: conversation was easy enough, everyone was polite. With all the pep talks I’d given myself about how to “break emotional glass in case of emergency,” I was overjoyed it was going so well. I got caught up in the moment and pulled out my phone to snap a selfie with everyone at the table. Dinner concluded without a hitch and we headed back to the house.

Just as we’re pulling into the driveway Elder Gong spoke up, “Please don’t post that photo anywhere.” Unsure what he was referring to, I asked for clarification.

“Please don’t post the photo from dinner.We wouldn’t want people to get the wrong idea.”
My giddiness turned bitter. I pushed back, anger flaring in my chest.

“What’s the wrong idea? That you had dinner with your son?”

“Please don’t post the photo. We wouldn’t want people to get the wrong idea.”

Elder Gong will be polite and cordial, but if there’s even a chance that his actions could have public ramifications… It’s better that he and a potential future son-in-law never co-exist in the public eye. For anyone looking for someone to pin your hopes on that the Church will change, it’s not him.
Image
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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stealthbishop
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Re: Elder Gong: “Please don’t post that photo…”

Post by stealthbishop » Wed Jan 12, 2022 1:01 pm

So sad. So completely uninspired. Good people trapped in a toxic system with some toxic beliefs that end up saying and doing toxic things. Just awful. If there is a God, I would never want to be with or have a relationship with a higher power that endorsed or supported this in any way, shape, or form. The Church leaders have painted themselves into an uninspired corner and the suffering has been off the charts and will continue to be for LDS individuals and families.
"Take second best
Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess"

-Depeche Mode

Red Ryder
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Re: Elder Gong: “Please don’t post that photo…”

Post by Red Ryder » Wed Jan 12, 2022 1:05 pm

By the looks on their faces, both Elder Gong and Sister Gong seem to understand the consequences with different perspectives. He’s disappointed and she’s smiling happily.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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MoPag
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Re: Elder Gong: “Please don’t post that photo…”

Post by MoPag » Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:09 pm

Oh this hurts my heart.

I wonder how much of Gong's fear of that picture is actually having a gay son, and how much is fear of backlash from the Q15.
...walked eye-deep in hell
believing in old men’s lies...--Ezra Pound

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Palerider
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Re: Elder Gong: “Please don’t post that photo…”

Post by Palerider » Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:26 pm

I think I get what's being said here by Gong's son. He wants full and unfettered approval of his lifestyle from his family and society at large. No restrictions. I get that.

But on the other hand elder Gong might see himself not as approving but trying to salvage whatever he can of a relationship with his son who he loves. Trying to make concessions. Obviously there's a disagreement or at minimum a divergence of ideas about how to handle the relationship. But elder Gong might see the publishing of the photo as a public politicization by his son of what he considers a private family affair. A private family trying to work out their differences. Publishing what one party considers private constitutes a breach of trust....which is what all healthy relationships are based on.

If the son had waited a period of time or asked later for permission to publish, elder Gong might have been in a better position mentally and emotionally to assent.
Young people want change and they want it now. It will be interesting to see how they react when they reach their elderly years and have young people forcing change down THEIR throats.

I'm not saying whether elder Gong or the church or his son are right or wrong. That's not the issue for me here.

I'm looking at relationship building and nurturing. Trust is the best "nutrient" for that. It takes time to build and can be shattered in an instant.

The younger Gong had a peaceable thing going. Why push it beyond it's current capabilities?
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

Red Ryder
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Re: Elder Gong: “Please don’t post that photo…”

Post by Red Ryder » Wed Jan 12, 2022 3:38 pm

The older Gong, yea even The Elder Gong…

Could have just smiled for the camera and let a quick family photo be snapped without any comment or worry about “what it would look like”.

All I see is a group of 4 people eating dinner.
3 that appear happy.
1 that appears annoyed.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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moksha
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Re: Elder Gong: “Please don’t post that photo…”

Post by moksha » Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:26 pm

MoPag wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:09 pm
Oh this hurts my heart.

I wonder how much of Gong's fear of that picture is actually having a gay son, and how much is fear of backlash from the Q15.
Elder Gong knows that the picture would incur the wrath of the 800-pound gorilla lurking outside the restaurant door and the toxicity it could bring to his life. He can personally be loving towards his son and companion, but he knows the gorilla is seething with anger and will smash what it does not like.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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alas
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Re: Elder Gong: “Please don’t post that photo…”

Post by alas » Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:29 pm

Palerider wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:26 pm
I think I get what's being said here by Gong's son. He wants full and unfettered approval of his lifestyle from his family and society at large. No restrictions. I get that.

But on the other hand elder Gong might see himself not as approving but trying to salvage whatever he can of a relationship with his son who he loves. Trying to make concessions. Obviously there's a disagreement or at minimum a divergence of ideas about how to handle the relationship. But elder Gong might see the publishing of the photo as a public politicization by his son of what he considers a private family affair. A private family trying to work out their differences. Publishing what one party considers private constitutes a breach of trust....which is what all healthy relationships are based on.

If the son had waited a period of time or asked later for permission to publish, elder Gong might have been in a better position mentally and emotionally to assent.
Young people want change and they want it now. It will be interesting to see how they react when they reach their elderly years and have young people forcing change down THEIR throats.

I'm not saying whether elder Gong or the church or his son are right or wrong. That's not the issue for me here.

I'm looking at relationship building and nurturing. Trust is the best "nutrient" for that. It takes time to build and can be shattered in an instant.

The younger Gong had a peaceable thing going. Why push it beyond it's current capabilities?
My gay daughter might agree with you. I asked her once about “gay pride” and she turned up her nose like I had asked her opinion of Trump. I of course questioned that, and she said that gays have to respect the feelings of straights just as they ask to have their own feelings respected and she said that too many people involved with gay pride are purposely offensive by shoving their sexuality into the faces of straights. She said she wouldn’t like it if straights had a parade to brag about their sexual relationships by the same kind of behavior that some gay people use. She said the point shouldn’t be to offend. She said that you have to give homophobes time to adjust to the idea that you are just as human as they are and that you love your partner/spouse just as much as they do and you don’t accomplish that by embarrassing them. Embarrass a homophone and you give them more reason to hate you. You don’t gain love and respect by showing hate and disrespect. Who was more successful with civil rights? Martin Luther King or the rioters throwing bricks?

So, as a public figure, Elder Gong has an image he needs to maintain. You and I may not agree with his image and I am pretty sure that his son gay does not agree with Elder Gong’s public image. But the gay son isn’t going to earn any brownie points with his father by doing something that might damage that public image. If he wants his father to respect who he is, then he needs to show respect for who his father is. Putting up a picture of any public figure that damages the guy’s public image is not showing respect to that person. He needs to give his father time to adjust to the idea. Nobody is going to cure homophobia by giving that homophobe something to be afraid of.

Elder Gong made an effort to get to know his son’s love interest. That son is an ungrateful brat if he can’t respect his father’s position as a public figure and representative of a (homophobic) church. To gain acceptance of his relationship, he needs to be careful that he doesn’t harm his father. Don’t give his father reason to resent his relationship. I mean, I don’t like the father’s position, but I still see why he doesn’t want a picture of him put up where the public will see it.

I appreciate that my daughter gave her own father enough time to adjust without damaging his position in a homophobic church. At first, he would have been very embarrassed if she had, say come to our ward with her partner and sat by him at church and then shown public displays of affection. Now, he wouldn’t mind, but it took him some time.

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Angel
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Re: Elder Gong: “Please don’t post that photo…”

Post by Angel » Wed Jan 12, 2022 7:27 pm

For the full story:
https://medium.com/@thatonegaygong/stat ... 0d278e8d01
alas wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:29 pm

So, as a public figure, Elder Gong has an image he needs to maintain.
Family should always come before anything else. I have LGBTQ in my family too, as well as one of my kids. They come first. You are either comfortable to be seen with them, and take pictures with them like a normal family, and treat them as a person, or....

"just be quiet about it..." → leads to abuse not being taken care of, leads to kids killing themselves when they cannot talk to anyone or be seen by anyone. Isolation - excommunication - don't communicate or talk to them - just keep your mouth shut....

Everyone can be in pain, everyone has the right to express themselves and tell their story.
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Palerider
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Re: Elder Gong: “Please don’t post that photo…”

Post by Palerider » Wed Jan 12, 2022 8:56 pm

From Matthew's blog:

"Despite him being highly visible, there’s still a very strict hierarchy even at the upper echelons of the Church. Even if he wanted to affect change, he’s constrained by seniority, tradition, and public perception....."

I had read this through before. On the one hand Matthew recognizes very well the position that his father is in as seen above. It's not an easy place to be. Especially considering his father has a gay son.

But I don't think elder Gong's issue is so much with his son being gay or with being a leader in a church that has truly misunderstood homosexuality since the church's inception. I actually think he understands both. That doesn't mean he agrees with either but he sees the tension created between the two. I think he'd like to preserve the relationship with his son (obviously) and for the time being not ruffle the feathers of the church. (Everyone here understands that feeling don't you?)

But it's difficult to deal with someone or some THING that forces demands on you that are truly complex. The tendency for BOTH entities (son and church) are to oversimplify the dilemma.

People here on this website should be able better than most to appreciate that problem.

For example:

Don't believe in the church anymore??? Just leave! It's that simple!
Ohhhh, you're staying because your spouse still believes?? Who gives a crap! Just leave anyway!

So many here are saying, " I'm trying to salvage my marriage. So yeah, I still go to church. I still teach a class.
I'm even a nonbelieving Bishop!

So if I happen to catch you guys in a bar and get a pic of you with my phone, is it okay if I post it on my Facebook page that is frequented by your spouse or bishop?

Not only is that going to hurt your spouse but it's going to shake up your relationship with the church as well. But who cares, right? You don't believe anymore anyway.

Not to mention how you're going to be seen by your TBM neighbors now.

Or how about this. Your TBM kid decides to out you to the bishop as someone who smokes a little bud now and then. Is that going to change your relationship with that child a little? Of course you'll still love them.... but will you trust them as much as before?

It very well may be that elder Gong wasn't ashamed at all to be photographed with his son and his partner. And he may not have even cared what his colleagues would have thought. What may have concerned him was that members would see the photo as a statement by Gong himself that he is not in lockstep with the brethren and then members would use that as an excuse to call out leadership on numerous levels. And one thing we know... leadership does not like being called out.

He didn't mind being photographed as FAMILY. He just didn't want it turned into a circus with people like us passing judgment on the internal workings of the Gong family....something that we know very little about.
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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Angel
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Re: Elder Gong: “Please don’t post that photo…”

Post by Angel » Wed Jan 12, 2022 10:08 pm

My child was brave enough to attend church one last time with their parter, dressed in their comfortable gender identity (button up white shirt, tie, and nice slacks - the same costume so many others wear without fuss.) Only one person greeted them, and that was because they mistook them for my son.

I resigned.

Fought like hell, and we are all out - just grandparents, in-laws, siblings to juggle. I was willing, and we almost were divorced. He was in hotel for a bit, but we made it to the other side now.

Staying silent meant abused kids in my history.

For this situation - when we were still in - I almost lost a child. It was way beyond eating disorders and cutting - people kill themselves. It is a fight for life.

However uncomfortable having a LGBTQ child is, I don't know of any parents who have killed themselves over it, only kids.

My kids come before my marriage, before anything. Adults need to be adults - adults are not the ones who need coddling.

The parades where kids can get mom hugs? They need those hugs.

We are social herd animals - solitary confinement causes people to go insane, it is a cruel form of torture, punishment used in prisons.

It is a fight for their lives.
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Palerider
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Re: Elder Gong: “Please don’t post that photo…”

Post by Palerider » Wed Jan 12, 2022 10:42 pm

Angel wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 10:08 pm
My child was brave enough to attend church one last time with their parter, dressed in their comfortable gender identity