The Kuiper Belt, in case you're not aware, is a mysterious region of space just beyond the last planets in our solar system. Think of Pluto, and you're thinking Kuiper Belt. Cold, distant, mysterious, and little understood. Scientists really aren't sure what's in it, but they know there's lots of it, whatever it is. Its a region of space looking for an identity. Take poor 'ole Pluto for instance. At first, you're called a planet, albeit a tiny one. Then scientists decide maybe you're not. So then you're a planetoid, or maybe a giant asteroid, and then - finally - you're dubbed a 'Dwarf Planet'. I suppose you could say Pluto is now the red-headed stepchild of the solar system. And with that new designation, Pluto is largely ignored. Yes, there is a probe on its way there to do some studies, but that probe was launched well before Pluto came 'out' as a Dwarf Planet. Now, all the science shows about the solar system stop talking when they get to the part about Neptune. Pluto has been dropped from the charts and the text books. Its just officially part of that nebulous Kuiper Belt.
Being a single, gay Mormon trying to remain faithful to Church teachings is a lot like being in the Kuiper Belt. When I was younger, I was considered someone in a regular orbit around the Gospel sun. There were lots of singles activities, I was very active in the social scene, tried dating women, and there was nothing 'eccentric' about me. As I got older and was still single, it got harder for people to define where I fit in. The possibilities seemed to narrow. I felt a little more distant. Things got a little colder. People had a hard time understanding why I hadn't gotten married (and at that time, so did I). My 'orbit' was degrading. By the time I had aged enough to be in the 'older singles' group, things had really started to chill. I was lectured by parents, friends and leaders to 'get back on track'. Frustrated friends tried setting me up on blind dates, and when those relationships sputtered, there was open disappointment in me. There were times when folks actually berated me and got hostile because I was still single. I remember on one occasion I was in the Temple, and a Ward member decided it was time to remind me of my status and openly chewed me out me right there in the hallway. Sheesh!
Since I've fully accepted my homosexuality (finally!) and come out to my Church leaders, I can't say things have gotten worse or better. The one positive takeaway is that they don't push me to date or berate me for being single. On the negative side, there seems to be even more confusion about where I fit in. Now you've got a single member who really can't benefit from what the Church considers singles programs - all of which are designed to ultimately get you hitched and back in that 'regular orbit'. Eventually I came to the point where I couldn't stomach attending the dances and singles conferences, and stopped participating in the Singles Program completely. That was a healthy decision.
I think the Church is largely at a loss as to what to do with people like me, or anyone that doesn't fit the hetero-normative model that sits at the very center of Mormon culture and doctrine. People like Ty Mansfield or Josh Weed get a lot of press, and are immediately held up as proof and hope that people can 'change their orbits' and come back into the light. I am really thrilled for these folks, and have nothing but good things to say about them. But the reality is that, for most of us MoHos, that doesn't happen. We either fly out of orbit altogether to the galaxies beyond, or remain here in our eccentric orbits as curious, frozen objects in the Mormon Kuiper Belt.