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The Missionary Position 

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Ben Dieterle
Served mission in Sweden, 1987-89
Public-relations coordinator

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Did your missionary experience foreshadow your coming out?
nnSix months before my mission was over, my parents sent me a care package wrapped in the Atlanta newspaper’s personals section. I looked through the paper to get a feel for home and was surprised that gay people were advertising in that section. I didn’t know any gay people. I resolved, when I got home, to respond to one of those ads. I did contact someone but was too nervous to meet him. It was the first time I’d contacted another gay man. My parents did not know that they inadvertently provided the catalyst for my coming out.

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