Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Resurgent Feelings

Quick Update: I am doing well. I recently moved to New York City, which has been really fun so far. I am back in school, which has been busy. I'm also at the beginning of a relationship. Lots of "new" for me.

Last week, a good Mormon friend of mine came to visit. We had a lovely time together, but I was FURIOUS during one portion of the visit. Let me preface by saying she has always been extremely sympathetic and sweet regarding me and the gays. In fact, I think she almost enjoys that her good friend is gay. It's very fun.

That said, she's still very much a good Mormon girl. Anyhow, she was talking about a conversation she had with a co-worker, and she mentioned that gay supporters graffitied the Salt Lake temple after prop 8. I chuckled when she said that, and she was shocked that I would laugh. I was simply laughing because graffiti is a dumb way to respond to an election. Also, I was laughing because she was treating the graffiti as some heinous crime. Granted, it's not cool, but seriously a minor offense if you ask me.

After this little convo, I started to boil inside. All the feelings from prop 8 came rushing back, which was surprising because I thought I had moved on. I found myself enraged that my friend would consider graffiti such a horrible offense, yet she doesn't view the lying and deceit that Mormons engaged in in order to pass prop 8. I personally would prefer someone graffiti an LGBT center rather than lie and deceive in order to take away LGBT rights.

The irony of the situation is that we were on our way to church at the time. (No, I don't go to church anymore, and she offered to go by herself, but I actually wanted to see if there were any cute boys in the ward. There were a couple.) It was the first Mormon church service I had attended in more than a year. It reminded me that church is extremely boring and that I do love the hymns. That is absolutely my favorite part of church -- congregational singing. I miss that. Besides that, I don't miss a thing. Didn't miss the redundant and boring talks, the cheesy bishopric, the meat marketness of the singles wards, or the homogeneous crowd (I think there was one black guy there ... I suppose he represents the church's diversity.)

Anyhow, that's all I've got for tonight. Classes start far too early tomorrow, so I'm off. Hope the few remaining readers are well.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Motherly Troubles

This one's gonna be a long one. I can feel it. Since I last blogged nearly a year ago, I have told everyone in my family. The only person left to tell was my mother, and I tackled that task last August. What a disaster. To be fair, it wasn’t an entire disaster, but I’ve been so frustrated with her ever since I told her – even more frustrated than I was prior to telling her.

It’s not that she has handled the news too poorly. It was difficult for her, but she has held up pretty well. The issue is with my expectations.

My mother has always been extremely close to me. The family always used to (note the past tense) joke that I was my mother’s favorite. A few years ago, that was very true. Now we have an extremely strained relationship that I consistently consider abandoning altogether. Clearly entertaining that thought is immature, but it’s something that goes through my head regularly.

Let me give a few details about my “coming out” to my mother. It started with an email from her:

Hi GM,

It was good to talk to you the other night and hear about your sky diving escapade. Glad you are safe cause it scares me to death to think of jumping out of an airplane even with an instructor or parachute!! I'll leave that stuff to you!!

Last night as I lay awake in bed not able to sleep, I got thinking about you and how much I love you. One time, when we were on our mission, I remember you telling me that my job as your mother was to love you unconditionally. That is not my job, that comes naturally as your mother. From the moment I gave birth to you and held you in my arms, I have had that natural love for you. You were born perfect and whole, every little finger, toe, eyes, ears & nose and perfect little body. You don't know how many times I thanked Heavenly Father for that and still do. I'm so grateful to have you for a son. I have felt a special closeness to you thru all the fun projects we did in your youth and high school. But I realize that my job as your mother was to teach you to love your Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ so that you can return to him someday. I'm not sure I did that. I realize now that I didn't express my love & testimony to you of the Savior & Heavenly Father like I should have and how important the Gospel and family are in my life. The most important thing in my life is my family and having an eternal family by living the gospel. It took a mission for me to really understand the truthfulness of the Gospel. I was able to receive my personal witness of all the things I had believed all my life. I know that you once had a testimony of the Book of Mormon and gospel principles. I felt it as you returned home from your Mission. You have so much talent to be a great force in teaching and helping others. I hope you will use that talent in doing good and in living the way you should.

I hope you know I love you, GM, with all my heart, but my heart is broken over your choice to live the way of the world. I hope you will come back, just as you asked if Tim was coming back. That is so important to me. In the Book of Mormon, Alma was always counseling his sons to "Remember, Remember". In Alma 37:35-37, he gave some very wise counsel on remembering and I hope you will read it because it is wise counsel for us all. I hope you will remember where your blessings have come from all your life. You once wrote in letters that you couldn't believe how blessed you were. GM, you have had more opportunities and blessings than any of your siblings. Remember where they came from. You have had so many blessings come to you thru your Heavenly Father, don't forget them! I hope you will know that I write this because I love you and want you as my son now and thru all eternity. I love you.

Your Mom

My response to her email:

Dear Mom,

I love you so much. I am so grateful that I have you as my mother. I do not know a kinder, more patient, more humble human being on God's great Earth, and I can only hope to become half the person you are. You're an absolute angel, and I think that's why I've always been such a mama's boy -- I simply love being around angels. Plus, not only are you sweet, but you're also fun. Many of my fondest memories are of you and me laughing together. I, too, have always felt especially close to you, and because of your love I've always striven to make you proud.

But I've failed on one front. And I know that your heart is broken over me. I want you to know that you've been a perfect mother in the Gospel. I know that God smiles down on you for the job you've done as a parent. You taught me the Gospel, and I've always known how you feel about Heavenly Father, the Savior, and your family. You didn't fail to teach me these things -- on the contrary, you taught them every day in word and in deed. You simply could not have done more to teach me these things. I hope and pray you find peace in this because you're a wonderful mother -- always have been and still are.

But, at some point, your children will make decisions you disagree with or dislike. I've made unpopular decisions, and I want you to know that leaving the church wasn't an easy decision for me. I have very fond feelings for the church and for the principles it espouses. But, mom, there are reasons why I am no longer active. For years I was internally conflicted, trying to reconcile my emotions with church doctrine. Because of you and the family, I stayed in the church and on the Mormon path; however, after much thought and prayer, I made a decision to go with my feelings. I know it's hard for you, but I feel good about my decision. I feel peace. I actually feel that God is OK with my decision.

Unfortunately, you've never asked for the reasons. I've always felt that you know why, but that you're afraid to confront it. Perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps you sincerely have no idea why I might choose to walk a different path. Either way, I think we should discuss these reasons sometime very soon. I want to be completely candid and honest with you about my life. I've always feared that your heart's not strong enough to handle it; otherwise, I would have talked to you long ago.

In any case, this is a conversation that would be better suited for the phone. Let me know when you're ready to talk -- hopefully sooner than later.

I love you.

A few days later, she and I connected on the phone. The conversation needed little preface. I told her that I wanted to discuss why I am no longer active in the church, and then I proceeded to tell her about my sexuality. She listened, and I asked her if she had known. She said my father told her about 6 months prior.

Our conversation was a little intense at one point. She was suggesting (as my family has all suggested) that my sexuality was caused by gay porn. I was enraged at this un-crushable rumor, so I told her to never suggest that to me ever again. I even threatened to cut ties all together if I heard such an insult repeated.

One other highlight: She wanted to make sure I was still saying my prayers, going to church, abstaining from alcohol, etc. I told her, “Mom, you’re missing the central issue here: I have physical relationships with men. All that other stuff is not keeping from being a good member of the church. My sexuality prevents me from being a good Mormon. Let’s focus on the core issue.” Turns out, the phrase “physical relationships” was too descriptive (story to come).

Overall, our conversation went fine. We both walked away a bit sad and frustrated with the situation, but our talk was pretty cordial and smooth. She was certainly still clinging to hope that I would abandon my sexuality, decide to abstain from intimacy all together, and return to the church. It’s amazing how activity in the church trumps all. My parents would be MUCH happier if I were living a dual life – wife and kids on the outside, male encounters on the side. So long as they didn’t have to know about it. (That might be an unfair assessment, but that’s how it seems to me.)

Fast forward to Thanksgiving. I return home, but I had to work a ton (because of meetings the following week), so I didn’t spend much quality time with them. Found out later they perceived me as “distancing myself.” Sigh. Besides that, the week went fine. At the end, I did get annoyed that my brothers wouldn’t play games with the rest of the family, so I took off without saying goodbye to those three brothers. An immature move, for sure. Chalk that up to my list of regrets relative to my family.

Then comes Christmas. I went home again. This time I had tons of time with my parents. The other sibs couldn’t make it to my hometown, except for one brother. The night before Sunday, my mother asks if I am going to church. I tell her that I wouldn’t be able to go. I explained that I was profoundly disappointed and frustrated with the church’s involvement in Prop 8, and this was my small way of protesting its actions. Very very small way.

She immediately launched into a defense for the church. Absolutely no sympathy shown to me. None. But she sure had a ton to say on behalf of the church. I remained civil and disagreed with her on every point. We moved on to other topics, which were equally frustrating, and then we returned to Prop 8.

At this time, my brother comes up stairs and says, “What’s going on? Is GM blaming the church for Prop 8? You should blame the blacks and Mexicans for losing Prop 8 – not the church.”

I was already pretty worked up because of the nature of this conversation, but my brother’s comment made my blood boil within a split second. I lost it.

“Are you kidding me? Seriously. That’s what you have to say to me right now? Go to fucking bed! This is precisely the reason I hate coming home, because I have to deal with asshole comments like that. I’m done with this.” And I left the room.

My mother ran after me, apologizing for my brother. “You know he means well. He loves you. Blah blah blah.” She was doing her motherly duty, again. But, again, it comes across as my mother seeing everyone’s side but mine. I explained why his comments were completely inappropriate, and then I addressed the main issue I’ve been having over the past year.

I resent my mother. And I told her that. I love her, but I absolutely resent her. This woman, who loves me so much, and whom I love so dearly, is incapable of showing empathy. That’s clearly a biased statement and untrue, but that’s how I perceive it.

I told her, “Mom, I resent you because you know me so well, you care for me, you worry for me, yet you have never said to me, ‘wow, that must be hard’ or ‘I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through this’ or ‘I’ve never thought about it from that perspective.’”

All I hear is her defending the church, my family, and the whole Mormon perspective. I just want her to acknowledge that I am a reasonable person who makes logical decisions. I want her to recognize that I took more than a decade to make this decision. I want her to acknowledge that the struggle was very difficult for me. I want to hear from her that she can’t understand how I feel (because she can’t), and that she is sympathetic to my situation. That’s what I want to hear.

Her reaction: “You can’t expect me to accept this.” What does that even mean? I have no idea. (She even repeated that statement numerous times throughout our conversation.) I’m not asking for her to carry rainbow flags in parades. I’m simply asking for empathy, and I don’t feel any from her. Does that mean she hasn’t shown me empathy? No. But perception is reality, and I do not perceive any empathy.

When I put it to her that way, she gave me the courtesy “I do feel bad for you” talk. Of course, she’s quick to follow up with the “you know where I stand” talk, which nullifies everything she said previously. She even went so far as to ask if I would start reading the scriptures again and going to church and living the church's teachings.

That’s the whole problem. I know where she stands and what she believes. I don’t need her constant reminding. I don’t need her perspective on homosexuality or the church. I know it. I lived it. I’m over it.

She then launches into her big “it’s my fault your gay” talk. Again, back to my mother. It’s so ridiculous how my sexuality always comes back to her. I have told her countless times that she was a perfect mother and taught me everything perfectly. She did. She was a perfect mother growing up. But now she blames herself for all her children’s faults and alleged “sins.”

I explained that she needed counseling. I insisted that she needed counseling. I offered to pay for said counseling. She refused. “I’m fine. I don’t need counseling. I’m fine.” That was her mantra for the night. I told her I needed counseling, too. My expectations with my family are clearly overboard. I want too much and I expect too much. It’s not fair to them. All I ever think about is abandoning them. I know that’s a ridiculous thought, and I don’t really want to do that, but that’s what I think about all the time.

Who knew I would get to this point. I was discussing my situation with friends, and I realized that I’m lucky. I live in this beautiful bubble called “San Francisco.” In this bubble, being gay is no big deal. People don’t think about it. It’s completely normal. It’s just another trait to describe a person. Then I leave the bubble and go to another bubble called “Utah.” (It’s not fair to clump all of Utah together, but it fits the analogy, so I’m keeping it.) In Utah, being gay is weird. It’s different. It’s sinful. It’s a really hard thing for my family to deal with. I’m not used to people treating it that way, so I immediately get annoyed with people and situations. I end up in emotionally intense conversations with family members. It’s just not pretty. I need counseling.

I suggested to my mother that she and I take a “break” ... avoid each other for a few months to figure things out. That suggestion was apparently the worst thing I could suggest. She lost it. She started crying so intensely that I immediately backpedalled on the suggestion. She “couldn’t handle” that. It was frightening to see her react that way.

I walked away from the conversation feeling the same way I usually feel after a conversation with my family – questioning whether the convo did more good than harm. It’s so hard to tell.

Before I forget, during the convo, I asked my mom if we’d ever get to a point where she could ask who I’m dating. She said maybe eventually, but she doesn’t want to hear about my sex life. I was caught off guard entirely.

“Huh? Why would I tell you about my sex life? Who do you think I am? Don’t you know me better than that?” Those were my immediate questions.

“Last time we spoke about this, you told me too many details about your sex life,” she responds.

Because I was very cautious with my words in our previous conversation, I knew exactly what she was referring to.

“Mother. I told you that I had ‘physical relationships’ with other men," I said matter of factly. "Nothing about that phrase is detailed or graphic. I simply used it to make a point, and apparently it worked.”

She felt it was too much information. I agreed to never mention it again. Sometimes I feel that I’m demanding too much; other times I feel like I make far too many concessions. That’s so ridiculous that I can’t even hint to the reality that I have sexual relationships with men. I have no plans on giving details. Sheesh.

Anyhow, I do feel a little better now that I’ve gotten this down in writing. The truth is I don’t know what to do. I think I do need therapy to figure this out. It’s just not working for me. I am actually beginning to avoid conversations and interactions with my family members, and I hate that I am doing that. Clearly I have let my feelings build up to an unhealthy state. My goal for 2009 is to find a way to have positive relationships with my family. I have to figure it out. I’m pretty sure I will, and the answer might be time. Time heals all, right?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Another Dad Email

I kinda thought my dad was accepting things as they are and was ready to move forward with our relationship, despite our differences. Apparently I was a little wrong. I received another email from him recently, urging me to come back to the church. Not my favorite email to receive, but at least this email was less full of damnation and hellfire talk. I'm not sure if he'll ever give up hope -- I can live with that. Anyhow, here's the email:


It was good to see you on the weekend of March 16th; we enjoyed having so many of our family home that weekend.

Mom and I attended the temple for two sessions yesterday; it was the 4th and 5th times we have attended in the month we have been home. Each time we go through a session our thoughts go to family and the eternal nature of every living person. We desire greatly that all our children and their children live the covenants which will ensure they inherit the highest degree of glory in the Celestial Kingdom.

Benjamin spoke of the joy of these inheritors: "And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it." Mosiah 2:41

One of the most well-attested facts is that men and women continue to live after they lay down these mortal bodies--the physical body returning to the earth or clay from whence it was organized or created--but the spirit, our real self, our personality, our intelligence lives on. Literally millions of people through the years have seen their loved ones beyond the grave and have received communication from them.

More than 500 people witnessed the physical resurrection of Jesus the Christ either at Jerusalem or in Galilee. He did rise from the grave and received His body again, glorified, physical consisting of flesh and bones. His resurrection is a fact! And ours is testified of by Him and all the Prophets who have written about the Atonement.

At the end of his discourse, Benjamin said, ". . . there is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives."

"For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?"

"Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen." Mos 5:8,13,15

Mom and I know this to be true. And you have known this also. We pray often that you will return your thoughts and desires to doing good and to obeying the Lord's commandments. This is the only way to have true happiness and peace of mind.


I decided to dismiss his email entirely. Here's my response:

Hi Dad,

Thanks for the email. How are things? Have you adjusted to life at home? I've heard from several people that they're so glad to have you and mom home.

How's the health? What's new with work?


Friday, April 11, 2008

Emotional Exhaustion

My parents returned from their mission recently, which meant that I too needed to return to Utah for a familial visit. As always, it was really fun to see all the siblings, the parents, and the nieces/nephews. And, as always, it was exhausting. I have to admit that this visit was especially exhausting – but from an emotional point of view.

I ended up having two separate 90-minute conversations with family members. Both were somewhat intense, though the one was especially intense. The real kicker is that both conversations were spurred by the word “damn.” That’s right. Damn. Damn word. Word damn.

Let me preface a little bit before I go too far. The first conversation was with my brother who is closest to me in age. That convo was fine, and I’ll address that later. The second, more intense conversation was with my oldest brother’s wife. She and I used to be quite close, but since I disclosed my sexuality to her, she has been quite awkward whenever I’m around her. I feel like she’s trying to be normal, but the resulting conversation just feels extremely forced, and she seems to have a pained look on her face and uncomfortable tone in her voice. She’s really one of the sweetest people on the planet, so please don’t misunderstand me on this. She’s always been uber kind to me, and she always will be. She’s a very good person. Nonetheless, out of all my family members, I’d say she’s the one who is the most awkward since I came out to her. She’s likely pained and awkward with me because all she can think about is how much it will suck to see me in the Telestial Kingdom (sorry for the Mormon doctrinal reference, if you don’t understand it). Essentially she’s in pain because she has strong religious beliefs and she loves me.

So the story begins. The uncomfortable sister-in-law, my brother (with whom I had the first convo), my 16-year-old niece, and I were upstairs playing cards, and the rest of the family was watching television in the same room. All of the other nieces and nephews were downstairs. I happened to lose a hand of cards, so I said, “Damnit.” Now, you need to understand that I have always sworn around my family – for at least the past 6 years or so. This is not a new phenomenon for me, and I am far from being the worst swearer in my family. The entire family is fairly laxed with the “damns” and “hells,” and my other brothers are not strangers to worse words, including but not limited to “shit,” “ass,” “bastard,” or even “fuck.” The last word is fairly limited to my one brother, but still it can be heard from time to time.

After I swore, my sister-in-law called me out on it. She said, “GM, you swore!” I was a bit surprised that she was calling me out, but I thought I would joke it off. I replied, “You must have misheard. I didn’t swear.” I thought it was obvious that I was being sarcastic. Apparently it wasn’t. “No, you swore,” was her response. I rolled my eyes, and kept playing the game.

Later that evening after everyone had gone to bed, my one bro and I were chatting. I asked him how offensive my swearing was. He said that the word “damn” isn’t highly offensive per se, but my sister-in-law didn’t want me to swear around my 16-year-old niece. That’s a fair criticism, and I acknowledged that, but I asked why I’ve never seen her call any other brother out on swearing. I’m more than certain that other siblings have sworn in front of the kids, and she hasn’t been quick to jump on them for it. Perhaps I just haven’t noticed. Anyhow, I told my brother that I felt that maybe I was being singled out. It seems that the family is really watching me, looking for validation that my gay lifestyle is leading me down a slippery slope of evilness (which could be a fair assessment from the Mormon perspective – ha!).

My brother disagreed with my assessment (which truly might be off base), but then he said, “GM, you do swear 10 times more now than you did two years ago.” Now that seemed a little ridiculous to me. Certainly I have increased my swearing to some degree since I began working in a very adult, non-Mormon environment two years ago. Also, I don’t spend a lot of time around kids, so my life is very adult oriented. I would agree that I do swear some more, but I feel 10 times may be an exaggeration. It seems the family is really searching for sins or faults to tackle, since it’s not easy to attack my sexuality, which is the main point of contention. It’s much easier to channel the frustration, disappointment, or anger into the little things that offend them. I honestly feel that this is one of their ways of releasing their feelings.

Anyhow, our conversation progressed, and he asked me what I believed, if I believed in the church anymore. I told him that I loved growing up Mormon, that I feel I gained a solid moral foundation, that I learned the importance of being a good person, but that I have fundamental disagreements with the church and its doctrines. I said that I have no hard feelings, but just generally disagree.

He was actually pretty cool throughout our entire conversation. He was really focused on telling me how much I’ve changed in the past few years (which I’m sure is true to a degree, but certainly not to the degree he is describing). He said he feels that everyone is dealt challenges and temptations, and we can’t just act on them. He illustrated his point with this: he might have urges to sleep with other women, but he knows it’s not right in God’s eyes, so he doesn’t. I agreed with him and said that I’m sure I’ll have desires to cheat on my future partner someday, but that I’m going to do my best to resist that temptation because I agree that a commitment should be respected. I think he was disappointed that I wasn’t taking his illustration the way he intended. Ha!

Our discussion was long and involved, and none of it was heated or crazy. It was very nice, in fact, and I felt fine about the whole thing. I did ask at one point if it would be a sin or wrong for the family to stop hoping I change and instead hope that the church changes its stance on homosexuality. He said that I can only expect that from the family if I am willing to accept that homosexuality is not God’s will once they find a medical fix for it. (He said this in more words and less directness.) I told him that I’ve contemplated the “straight pill” scenario. If there were a pill that I could take that would make me straight, would I take it?

My friends and I have discussed this question often. It would certainly be a difficult decision to make, and I can’t honestly know what I would do if I were presented with a “straight pill,” but at this point I don’t think I would take it. I am very happy with who I am, with where I’m at, with my friends, with my life. Why would I want to change it? Again, a disappointing answer for him.

So that was the gist of his and my conversation. The next day, I was in the computer room looking at my niece’s facebook pictures. She was going through her friends with me, and I wanted to show her my friends. I was doing my best to connect with her because she’s in the 16-year-old attitude phase and is kinda too cool for me and the world. Anyhow, I started going through my pictures, and several of them were fairly gay. Very g-rated, but definitely guys with arms around each other, etc. She asked, in a disgusted tone, “Are they gay?!” I told her, “Watch what you say. These are my friends.” Then she said, “Are you gay?”

I asked if it mattered, and she said it didn’t, so I said, “good” and continued the picture browsing. Again, we ran across two friends hugging. She says, again in a disgusted tone, “Are they gay too?!” I said, “Be careful because these are my friends and they’re really great people. You can’t say it in that tone.” She asked again, “So are they gay?” I finally said, “Yes, they are. I have a lot of gay friends, and they’re all amazing people.” She then said, “You’re gay, aren’t you?” I asked if it mattered, and she said it didn’t, so I said, “Yes, I’m gay.” It was a judgment call, and I came to regret that call.

Fast forward to the next day. I decided to call my sister-in-law because the whole swearing thing was still on my mind, and I was generally bugged that our relationship was so strained. I started by explaining how I felt singled out that she called me out. She explained that she just didn’t want me swearing around the kids, and I conceded that I shouldn’t swear around them, and I agreed that I was going to work hard not to. I also told her she was welcome to call me out on it, as long as I’m not being singled out. She assured me that she has called several other brothers out as well, and I can only take her word for it. She mentioned that I swear a LOT more now (which is funny because I’ve only seen or talked to her two or three times in the past year, but whatever). Clearly my “swearing” is a talking point among the siblings.

I told her I felt our relationship was quite strained in the past year, and I was sad about that because she and I used to be so close (which is absolutely true). I told her I just wanted to clear the air because I don’t want us to dread seeing each other, which is exactly where our relationship is headed. She mentioned how hard it has been for her and my brother to deal with my little revelation, and she said it will just take some time to get used to things.

Then she said (and this is my best summary): “Well, I’m glad you called because you really offended me this weekend. I just found out you told my oldest daughter you’re gay. I can’t believe you would do that. I find it highly offensive and inappropriate that you would do that without consulting me first. This is something that I wanted to be there for, and I can’t believe you didn’t come get me so I could be there or deflect the issue to me and your brother. It’s really not your call to decide when to come out to my children. This is not an easy subject for them, and we really need to be a part of it … etc.”

I asked if her daughter had told her the circumstances under which I “came out,” and she said she understood that I was put on the spot, but felt I should have deflected or avoided the situation altogether (i.e., not shown pictures from my facebook, etc.). I told her that it was a judgment call and that I was really sorry I offended her. It certainly wasn’t my intention to make her life as a parent more difficult. I just don’t want her to think that it’s this big secret or a big deal, because it really shouldn’t be blown out of proportion. I am still the same guy, and one of my traits should not be the only defining factor.

She then said, “I’m especially offended because you asked if you could come out to her, and I told her no.” That’s when I got upset.

“What?! When did I ever ask that? I have NEVER nor would I ever ask for permission to come out to your children!”

“Yes, you asked, I remember.”

“Oh really? Because I have NO recollection whatsoever, and I think you’re creating memories. When did I ask? Where? I need details because I think you’re making this up. Do you really think I would want to come out to your kids? Is that something I’m looking forward to? Do you think it’s fun for me?”

“I don’t know, but I remember you asking.”

“Well, I deny it. And I think you must have misheard or misinterpreted. Perhaps I was joking, or perhaps I asked if you had told her, but I certainly had no desire to tell her.”

That’s where we left that portion. Our conversation progressed to a discussion of beliefs. I told her the same things that I told my brother. She then told me how I needed to really re-consider the church and really give it 100% of my effort. How I needed to really focus on finding out that it’s true because she has found out it’s true, and she knows it’s the only way to be truly happy. I told her how I’m happy she’s happy, but she has to believe me when I say I’m happy too. I tried to explain that I just have some very fundamental issues with the church.

I told her, “I know that we’ll probably never see eye to eye on these issues, and I called to see what I can do to make us feel comfortable around each other. I don’t want us to avoid each other or feel burdened to see each other. I want us to have a solid friendship and family relationship. After all, according to Mormon doctrine, we have only this life to enjoy each other, and so I want to make the most of it.”

At this point, she started crying. So did I. We were crying for different reasons, though. She was crying because I won’t be with her and the family for eternity. I was crying because who I am puts so much strain on my family and our relationships. Just sad all around.

She and I really talked for 90 minutes, and I couldn’t possibly summarize it all right now. The saddest part is that I’m not sure the conversation was even productive. I walked away wondering what I had accomplished. I feel even more awkward about talking to her. Ugh. So depressing that religion effs things up so much (by the way, the word “eff” as in “effing” and “effs” is a swearword in my sister-in-law’s book – it’s off limits).

Other items she and I discussed:

1) How I offended them by bringing my best friend with me when I came out to them. My best friend and I were too giggly and laughy apparently. They found it rude and offensive. I had no idea. I really do feel bad about that. My friend and I were trying to lighten the mood with jokes, and I brought her because I really wanted someone with me. It’s so exhausting having these conversations, especially when you’re outnumbered.

2) My sister-in-law thinks I am gay because I looked at male pornography in high school. I tried not to rip her apart on this one, though I was tempted. Who in the hell thinks that? That’s honestly the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard, and it’s embarrassing, sad, and upsetting that certain dumbass family members actually believe this shit. Yes, shit. They claim they’ve read “studies” about it … RIIIIIGHT! Who authored those studies? I guarantee for every study that suggests homosexuality is caused by gay porn, there are ten studies that suggest otherwise. Honestly, I remember being attracted to guys as early as 5th grade. When I finally did look at gay porn in 10th grade, I assure you I was seeking it out on my own free will.

3) My brother is in a sort of depression because of me (and another brother). He feels he has lost two of his brothers. That’s really sad to me. I wish I could help him not feel that way.

4) She can’t hope for the church to change its stance because that would likely lead to apostasy. I hate that about the church – disagreeing with anything (no matter how small) means you’re on the fast track to apostasy. So lame, and so wrong. I know plenty of strong Mormon members who think for themselves, but are faithful members.

5) She’s confident we’ll get through this, despite the struggle right now.

I hope so. It’s just too exhausting for me. But I know I need to be patient and loving, and I know I can’t say I’m surprised that this is a tough thing for the family. I knew it would be. I’m certain that we’ll never see things from the same perspective, so I need to figure out how we can maintain positive relationships, despite our differences.

Long post, eh? I am so tired and I was speed typing this, so excuse the errors.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Welcome 2008

The holidays came and went in a blur, didn't they? It's nice to have things calm down a bit, but I do miss the excitement and energy of the season.

I thought I'd share a bit of good news with everyone. I received a Christmas letter from my parents right before Christmas, and I was thrilled about one particular line in it. Unfortunately, I can't find the damn letter, so I'll have to guesstimate the exact wording.

It went something like this: "GM, we love the teachings of the gospel, and we hope you keep them close to your heart, even if you choose not to live them."

I was touched by the comment. It wasn't the most monumental progress, but I feel that my parents are realizing that although I might not always live the teachings of the church, I can always treasure and respect the doctrines, which is something I want to do. I liked the letter.

I also liked that my parents are starting to deal with the thought of me being inactive. It sounds like they are realizing that maintaining a positive relationship is what we all want, and they are working toward that. Also, my dad sent me a thank you email for a gift that my siblings and I gave to him for Christmas. It was really nice of him. Here's what it said:


Thank you for leading the charge of your siblings in providing a new shaver for me. The Braun Pulsonic electric shaver is probably the best one I have ever used--and my face hasn't yet adjusted to it. I thank you for helping to pay for it as well--hope your brothers and sister help you pay for it.

I appreciate your thoughtfulness. I now shave in 10 minutes instead of 20-30 minutes with the two Norelco razors I was using. They just weren't doing it, even when the shaving heads were new. The automatic cleaner is great. I never have to wash it out or to brush out the whiskers.

Thanks again.


I'm glad this email shows the other side of my father (the less serious, damnation-speaking side). To be honest, it kinda sounds like he copied and pasted a testimonial from the Braun website. His email made me chuckle.

Maybe I'm reading too much into these little notes, but I don't really care -- I see progress, and I wanted to share.

Happy New Year! 2008 will be great.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Last Emails

Thanks for all your comments on the last post. I really appreciate all the kind things people said.

As an update, I did receive one more email from my dad. I thought this one was much more loving and kind. In fact, it even tugged at the heart strings a bit; whereas, the prior emails elicited other responses. ;)

In any case, I think (hope) that he and I are done with these intense emails. Here are the final two written conversations:


I didn't respond in kind, to your last email. It was well written in explanation of your lifestyle, but I think you brushed aside many truths taught by God to His children. It also rationalized away some basic truths about God and the eternal laws of justice which He must follow as well as we must learn to face and obey, if we are to inherit the glory of the highest kingdom.

I seldom have enough time in our schedule to prepare a complete explanation or answer to your assumptions, so I will, instead, give short bursts of truth or bits of wisdom.

Thank you for 'absolving' us, your parents of any responsibility for your current behaviors. That was generous of you. However, you as a son cannot release us from a responsibility which you did not bestow on us. Heavenly Father assigned you to our house, and only He can free us from the concern and worry of children who do not live His laws.

There is a 'grief that can't be spoken and a pain that goes on and on' for parents of children who choose to sell their birthright for the pleasures of the flesh. Having traveled life's road a little farther along, we have seen the end results of serious sin--and it is not well or good for anyone. "The loss of a soul is a very real and a very great loss to God. He is pained and grieved thereby, for it is His will that not one should perish." (Jesus the Christ, James E. Talmage p. 461) The loss of one's child to wicked living is no less painful for mortal parents.

We do remember the sweet young son we knew as he grew from infant to child, to adolescent, teen, then to manhood. We are aware of your great talents for doing good--which you showed to the family, our community, to those [on your mission]--be it members, elders or mission president and wife. You were like a young David, so full of goodness and with unlimited potential for working righteousness in the Lord's Church and Kingdom on the earth.

We regret, as will all who knew you, your fall from grace; it will be very painful for them too. The heavens weep as well.

As parents, we love all your good qualities and look forward to seeing you and welcoming you home. But, there is no happiness in wickedness, only moments of pleasure that will eventually turn bitter in your mouth.




My response:


As always, I appreciate your love and concern. I believe we understand each other's position, and I'm confident we can maintain a positive relationship despite our differing beliefs.

Love Always,

This exchange happened mid last week. I haven't heard back from him.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Because of Love

I have to say that I really need to start reading the comments on my blog sooner. I just barely went through them, and I enjoyed them immensely. They always make me think, which is good for me. I probably don't do enough thinking these days ... it's a problem.

The comment that hit me the hardest was from "Anonymous." (See comments from "Thoughts on God.") I'm always intrigued by my reaction to these comments. I was surprised to find myself getting defensive about and finding arguments against what he wrote. It's very clear that I am Mormon through and through, and I will never escape that. The mere fact that his beliefs could elicit an emotional response in me is evidence that I still share those same beliefs.

I probably will always think like a Mormon and have beliefs rooted in Mormonism. And I'm going to have to be OK with that. The truth is Anonymous might be absolutely right, and I have to accept that. That said, he might also be wrong, and that's the problem -- I can't be sure. As long as that's the case, I'm going to have to follow my heart.

In other news ...

My father and I had a little email exchange this past week. It was interesting, to say the least. It was all started by a conversation my mother and I had a week and a half ago. She called, and we got to talking about church attendance. I've never lied to her about anything I do; I simply withhold information, unless it's solicited specifically.

During our conversation, she called me out on being inactive in the church, and I didn't deny it. She told me I needed to go to church, and she asked if I would go for her. I laughed and suggested that there might be better motivations for a person to go to church. I used humor, hoping she would let the topic go, but she wasn't letting it drop, so I ended up telling her that I'm not active and that I don't know if I'll ever be very active in the church.

I felt bad because I knew the conversation was ripping her up inside. Poor thing. The only good thing is that maybe this small revelation will help soften the blow when we finally have the big "I'm gay" conversation, which I'm not looking forward to. After an intense 10-minute conversation about my church attendance (or lack thereof), we lightened the mood with laughter and casual conversation and hung up. Regardless, I knew she was affected by our conversation.

The following day, I received this email from my father:

Dear GM,

Your mother spoke to me of last night's conversation with you; she is heartbroken that you and Tim have chosen not to obey God's commandments, nor to make yourselves worthy to keep your temple covenants. She sorrows greatly for you both.

I too, have sorrow for you and your brother, but I don't sink into depression as she does. It is becoming increasingly difficult to keep her spirits up and to keep her from staring into space, in deep grieving for her sons.

I have not told her of your particular situation; indeed I have kept my word to you & have told no one. You revealed it yourself to your brothers and sister. They have not said anything to your mother. She knows that you are not living right, but not the full story.

I don't believe she could take that shock at this time. I find it ironic, that when we are serving a mission, at a time when we should be most happy, that we suffer 'a grief that can't be spoken and a pain that goes on and on'.

The commandment, "Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee," is still in effect. So is the first commandment: "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." we are not the only ones who sorrow for you. Your Heavenly Father and Mother are also sorrowing. You also are not honoring them.

GM, you were given a legacy of righteous living in our home; you know the commandments, including: "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination" (Lev 18:22) "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators . . .adlterers, . . . nor abusers of themselves with mankind." (1 Cor 6:9) Through our modern prophets, our Heavenly Father has warned against this sin in our time. Sexual sins are second only to murder in seriousness.

You are at your present state in life because of your addiction to pornography through the internet; Tim also has been affected by this scourge of filth.

I do not say these things in an angry, condemning manner, but in simple, plain truth as God has outlined through his prophets and in his scriptures. And by your own admission, you have cut yourself off from this lifeline, this iron rod, which can and does provide the strength to overcome sexual addition and every other sin--when used with prayer and repentance.

Be assured, your present lifestyle is not approved by God; it is directly against His teachings. No worldly rationalizing will change it. You also must face the fact that as you continue down this path, you will not be with your mother after this life. You are creating a gulf between yourself and her with every impure thought, with every crude word you speak, with every unclean act you participate in. "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." (1 John 2:4)

She is a holy, pure, Godly woman with very tender and delicate feelings of righteousness. She loves both of her very gifted and intelligent sons who are choosing the path downward to Telestial living standards; this causes us both continual, unspeakable sorrow.

We love you and desire that you live Celestial standards, that you might return to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ; we want you to be a part of our family forever. As the apostle John wrote: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." (3 John 1:4)

I personally would like to see my sweetheart and companion be happy once again. And that will only happen when her sons are both back on the path of righteousness living. Please help her; I know you love her, please show it with deeds and not by words only.


To which, I responded:

Dear Dad,

How are you? I hope you're doing well. I received the postcard from Amish country earlier this week, and I must say I'm very proud that my parents are converting the Amish. It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it. Speaking of, did you know 95% of the people from my mission believe the Mormons are Amish? Why, you ask? Because the movie "Witness" was mistranslated, so everyone read "Mormon" in the subtitles whenever the movie talked about the Amish. I spent two years being mistaken for people who won't ride bicycles because the technology is too sophisticated. Anywho ...

In regards to your email, I want to thank you for your love and concern. Though I rarely express it, I have two of the most loving, caring, fantastic parents on Earth -- even despite your inability to take my counsel on email forwarding etiquette. ha! I thank God daily for my wonderful life and loving family.

In fact, that's precisely what makes my situation so difficult. I know exactly what my family expects of me, yet I am choosing a different path. I really am sad that my decisions affect you and mom (and others) in such an adverse way. I hate to disappoint and worry you both -- especially mom -- and that's why it took me until age 25 to decide to live an openly gay lifestyle. I know you probably cringe just reading that phrase, but I want to be honest and upfront with you.

Trust me: I've thought about living in secrecy and lying to you guys about the decisions I've made. It would certainly delay the disappointment and heartache on your end, but eventually the truth would come out, so I've decided to be completely open and honest. That's how I have been for the past two years with all my close friends, family, and co-workers. Everyone who knows me well knows I'm gay, with the exception of mom, who must be mighty suspicious at this point. Please feel free to disclose my sexuality to whomever you choose -- I trust you completely.

For the record, it was you who convinced me not to tell mom when I was contemplating telling her a few years ago. ha! We both know she doesn't cope well with difficult/disappointing situations, so I conceded to your request. Nonetheless, eventually she will have to face the reality of my situation, so she may as well start preparing. Don't worry -- I'll wait until she returns from her mission to tell her.

Back to the church ... it seems to me that the crux of the issue is the afterlife. Both you and mom are very concerned about my salvation, and I understand your perspective -- I really do. That said, I personally don't know what's going to happen to me in the afterlife (I know your beliefs on the matter, so feel free to skip your rebuttal to this paragraph). I simply hope for the best ... hope God is as merciful, loving, and understanding as I believe he is; hope I've lived a good life here on Earth; hope I haven't offended the Creator too horribly; and hope things turn out well for my loved ones. I believe God knows what He's doing, so I have faith everything will turn out well.

However, between now and the afterlife, I want to make the most of life, and that's what I'm trying to do -- even if my decisions are hard for you. I love my life and I don't regret the decisions I've made (except for the decision to take Ancient Civilizations 345 - I hated that class). I know it's fundamentally impossible for you to believe this, but I'm happy. I am. I have a good job, a great boss, fantastic friends, a loving family -- I am completely content and fulfilled. And I still have so much to look forward to in life! I am very blessed, and I acknowledge that.

I just wish you and mom could be happy for me, or at least try to be. Let's say you're right, and I do end up in the Telestial Kingdom alone. That means we have only this time on Earth to be with and love each other. Let's make the most of it and not dwell on all my failures and shortcomings.

The reality is you and mom -- especially mom -- carry too much of the burden of your children's sins. You worry, you stress, and you get depressed when your children make choices you don't like. Your children are imperfect humans who have agency, and they will make decisions that are not popular with you. That's life, and I hope you both learn better coping mechanisms to deal with these stressors. Have faith in God that He will work things out, and leave the bulk of the stress to Him and Christ. That's the whole Gospel plan, isn't it? Letting Christ carry your burdens? Maybe God/Christ could free you and allow you to love and enjoy your sinner sons. :-) I'll tell you what: I absolve you of all responsibility for my sins. That's my gift to you.

Let's be honest -- when you get to the Celestial Kingdom, and I'm not there, do you think God will let you live an eternity in misery because your youngest didn't make it? Absolutely not. He'll work things out, and you'll have joy beyond belief, so please don't let my decisions affect you so much.

It's easy for me to say these things, but I know life is more complex than what I state above. I really don't expect you to come to a point where you're 100% OK with my decisions. What parent ever reaches that point with a child? I do, however, expect you to come to terms with my decisions and learn to be happy despite. I love you, mom, and my siblings, and I want to build, strengthen, and enjoy our relationships for the rest of our lives. I hope and pray that you and mom find peace relative to me. It will take time, I'm sure, but I believe it's possible. I love you all and plan to always have you in my life.

I know where you stand on these issues, so you don't need to keep reiterating, though I'm sure you will - ha! But there is a limit ... at some point we must move past the same redundant talking points because I sincerely doubt we'll ever be on the same page regarding my choices. We disagree on these issues, so we have to work around them. How? Well, that's really up to you. Perhaps you could try remembering that I'm a fairly good kid. Well, at the very least, I'm a decent person. (That's what a few friends and homeless people have told me.) I think most parents would consider me a success story -- or at least a partial success story. Just focus on the positive (namely my nice teeth, sparkling eyes, and charming personality). I'm sure you're loving this advice. ha!

In all seriousness, I'm sorry I disappoint you both. I hate to disappoint anyone, especially mom, but I can't live my life for mom or for you. I love her dearly, and I always will. I sincerely hope she'll be able to love me, laugh with me, be there for me, and be happy for me, despite my sins/choices. I hope the same for you.

Love Always,
Your Son, GM

Dad's response:


Thank you for your clear, concise explanation of present situation in life--as you see it. I have known through the Spirit, and from bits and pieces from your siblings of your choices and lifestyle for some time. I don't however, remember it being my decision not to tell Mom; I'm sure I felt that way as time went on and we were serving a mission. However, in the beginning, you were the one asking me not to reveal your SSA to any of the family, and I kept that promise. Your siblings noticed your dark countenance, and listened to your pattern of speech and they began to discern your lifestyle. Some did voice their concerns to me, but I was mute on the subject.

I have known that you don't want to discuss this matter with me, so I haven't tried to--not when we were alone dumping garbage, nor when you announced over choice over the phone while I was in PA.

However, with my understanding of the laws and commandments of God, neither Mom nor I can have joy in your wrong choices--even while we love you and remember all of your good qualities, your great God-given talents, abilites, and gifts--beyond the beautiful teeth, pleasing personallity, etc., etc., et. al. It's such a shame you should squander these gifts, bury these talents in the dark side of the force.

But, you are an adult now, and accountable for your own actions. Have a good day.


What can we conclude? I am a cast member of Star Wars, fighting for the dark side of the force, and in desperate need of a facial because of my dark countenance. And my dad wants me to "Have a good day." Really? That's his closing? haha! Cracks me up! I know he loves me and writes me these things because of love. I really do understand that.

Honestly, I didn't mind his response. It was a little cold with a few jabs, but, at the end of the day, we agreed to disagree. That's all I can ask for. Hopefully he will learn to cope better as time passes, because things are going to get sticky when I start dating someone. Not that I anticipate that will happen any time soon. But still.

OK, I've said enough for one day. I feel like this long post has made up for many months of being MIA. At the rate I'm going, I won't be posting for another six months.


Saturday, October 06, 2007

Druggy McDruggerson

I'm not giving up on the question. The rhetorical question, that is. I've realized recently that I always avoid using rhetorical questions in my writing because that's what I was taught to do. I'm now changing my mind - because that's what people do ... we change our minds. I'm using rhetorical questions going forward. Is it such a bad thing, really?

See! It flows. That's my soapbox for right now. I was just thinking about that randomly before I logged on. Anyhow ...

So I have been "out" for nearly two years now, and I must say that my life is good. In the past two years, I've experienced a lot in the gay world: Pride parades, Folsom street fairs, hookups, clubs, alcohol, drag queens, etc. But one aspect of gaydom that I've always avoided is drugs. Now I don't judge - or at least I try not to - because I have some friends who like some coke from time to time. People can live however they want, and I respect that.

Nonetheless, for me and for myself, I've chosen not to get involved. I might be naive and silly, but drugs are scary to me. (I feel like a 5th grader saying that. ha!) They really are. Additionally, I see them as a destructive influence in people's lives, and I really don't feel like I need them. I get enough pleasure and enjoyment from life and from the legal drugs -- namely, alcohol.

Yet, drug use is pretty prevalent in the gay world. I've been really fortunate in that most of my friends don't do any drugs. However, one of my closest friends loves coke, and he does it fairly often. He usually reserves his coke usage for weekends, which I guess is better than daily use. Like I said before, people are free to live their lives how they want, and I'm going to love him regardless.

I just get so frustrated when he tries to involve me. He used to just do it behind my back -- which I preferred -- but for the past two weekends he's been doing it openly and in front of me. Last weekend he asked me to drive him to his dealer (I hate that he has a dealer), and at first I was going along with it. Then half way into the ride, I just snapped. Something hit me and I realized that I was just too close and too involved. I don't like his coke usage, and I don't want him to do it, and I don't want him to think I support him. So right then, in the middle of the intersection of the Tenderloin, I flipped a U-turn and told him I wasn't going to take him.

I just don't want to support him in it. Am I a terrible friend? My little rebellion did no good -- he still got the coke. And he will always get his cocaine, regardless of what I do.

I just refuse to be a part of it, and he gets pissed because of it. He makes me feel like a bad friend and I hate it. I hate that I feel bad about not driving him to his dealer. I hate that he trash talks me to his best friend (whom I adore) because I don't just drive him to his dealer.

I told him he just needs to plan ahead and get his coke before we go out. Obviously I can't stop him from getting or using it, but he can at least keep me out of it.

Alright. Going to bed. I just wanted to vent. Why do so many gay men do drugs? Grrr.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thoughts on God

I have been thinking a lot about God lately – particularly the Mormon God, the God I was taught about growing up. Let me preface these comments by saying I don’t know much about God. I doubt I ever will. Nonetheless, I have begun to change my views on the Supreme Being.

Let's recap: At this point, I have come out to everyone in my family, except my mother. Now, my mother isn’t stupid, and I’m sure she has a clue (at least I pray she does), but we haven’t had the official conversation to verify suspicions/nightmares. I’ve been waiting to tell her this information because she and my father are currently serving a Mormon mission, and I don’t want to distract them. They’re having a great time, and there’s no need to stress her out right now.

But I will have to have the conversation soon – probably in a year or so. In anticipation, I can’t help but think about the tactics I’ll want to use to calm her down. The fact of the matter is I don’t want to hurt my mom, and I know this confirmation will hurt her. I know she won’t understand and she will take it personally. She’ll blame herself, and she’ll have a very tough time coping.

It frustrates me to no end knowing that my actions affect my family members so deeply. I hate causing them pain, worries, or stress. I just want them to know that I’m happy, and I want them to be happy for me as well. I know I’m asking too much because there’s no way they’ll ever believe I’m happy (Mormons believe there’s absolutely only one way to be happy – the Mormon way). I simply don’t understand why they are so affected by my actions. That’s a lie – I do understand why. I was raised Mormon, and I know the thought processes.

But that’s what I’ve been analyzing lately – the thought processes that lead faithful Mormons to be so miserable when their loved ones choose not to continue down the Mormon path. There are many reasons for this misery. First, Mormons believe strongly that families can be together in the afterlife only if all members live faithfully. Second, there is always a sense of loss when someone leaves the group. It’s like losing a member of your club – even if you don’t like the person a ton, you still have an odd sense of sadness when you find out someone is no longer a part of the group or doesn’t want to be a part of the group.

There are other reasons as well, but I really want to focus on the first, considering that’s what all my family members have cited as the reason for their concern.

So the Celestial Kingdom (the highest of the three heavenly kingdoms in Mormondom – go here for more info) is supposed to be the grandest, most glorious place ever – completely indescribable because words do not exist to describe it. This is the place where faithful Mormons will end up, if faithful. This is why Mormons abstain from alcohol, premarital sex, black tea, rated-R movies, and coffee. This is why Mormons attend church weekly, devote countless hours to church service, bake casseroles for their neighbors, go on missions for up to two years, and avoid buying things on Sunday. This is the big Mormon goal, and it’s a glorious goal to Mormons.

However, many Mormons stress about their loved ones who may not make it to this wonderful place because of their decisions (e.g. gay Mormons). Even though they believe this place is going to be full of endless happiness and glory, they dread the thought of not having their loved ones there with them. This seems so counterintuitive to me. I’ve explained it to several of my siblings: Why worry about me and my decisions, when they will most surely be extremely happy in the Celestial kingdom – even if I’m not there.

Are they really going to be miserable and sad if I don’t end up in the same place? Is my mother going to live an eternity in misery because I didn’t make it? If so, that’s no glorious kingdom. Let’s go one step further. Mormon doctrine teaches that men and women can become Gods and Goddesses. So let’s assume my parents do that – they become a God and a Goddess together. They create their own little world and populate it with people. What happens when their children on their planet go astray? What happens when they disagree with their decisions? Do my parents feel miserable? Do they consider themselves failures? If this is the Celestial scenario, it sounds more like hell than anything. And Mormons really don't believe the Celestial kingdom will be miserable like this.

So it comes down to this: If my family members truly believe their Mormon faith, then they need to trust that God will work it out and that they will be happy in heaven. They need to trust that God really does know what he’s doing. They need to trust that the Plan, the Mormon Plan, really is as great as they profess it to be.

To me, and this might sound silly, their concerns about the afterlife show a lack of faith. Who am I to judge my family’s faith? I’m their brother and son, so I can. ;)

Perhaps my family would argue that they will be happy in the afterlife, but that they will always worry about me and my decisions while here on Earth. That’s probably true, but it’s still a lack of faith on their part. They can’t see the front to the end. They don’t know how things are going to turn out – not for me, not for themselves, not for anyone. They just need to trust in a loving, caring God who will work things out.

Ultimately, I’ve concluded that my family believes that God is a failure. God has more than six billion children on Earth, yet less than 0.2% of them are Mormon and will return to him. Let’s assume missionary work really takes off and tons of people start accepting Mormonism now and in the afterlife. Fine. Let’s say a solid 40% end up accepting Mormonism. Fine. Still, that would mean 60% of his children did NOT make it back to him and his kingdom, and I suppose that would mean God is a failure. He did not succeed in saving all his children or even a majority. Heck, even if 95% make it back, there are still 5% who won’t. Is God miserable? Is he depressed beyond belief? Does he start the day with Zoloft? Honestly!

I know that Mormons don’t believe God is miserable. They actually believe he is disappointed / saddened by those who don’t choose his path -- even God experiences sadness and emotions. Nonetheless, overall he’s happy. So, in conclusion, if that’s the case, then my family needs to focus on being happy despite my decisions and the decisions of their loved ones. God will ensure they are happy overall, I'm sure.

I really do have a problem with this whole scenario. I just don’t think God is angry and disappointed with 99.8% of his children. I think God loves them all, unconditionally – that’s what I’ve been taught, and I still believe that. I think God is understanding and loving. I think God just wants us to love each other unconditionally. I really do believe life is about love, and I hope my family can love me and be happy for me, regardless of my sexuality. I hope they can eventually look past my sexuality and start judging me on things that matter -- clothing, hair style, and shoes, for example. ;) Or maybe just stop judging me all together.

That will never happen. I’m asking too much.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Clearly I'm the one who's full of shit ...

Thank you all for your comments! I was very touched by your comments and by the fact that several of you still check this site on occasion. I wish I weren't so unpredictable with my posts these days.

Anyhow, I want to address a few comments and then give a little update.

So, Playasinmar pointed out that I said the following in one of my first posts: "I was not born a homosexual; rather, certain events in my life led to my current situation (I know this for sure)."

Isn't that funny? Clearly I have become "less sure" on that point. Ha! I'm glad he pointed out my obvious hypocrisy. I've thought about this, and I realize that I have started believing that my sexuality is more biological / genetic than environmental.

Am I being brainwashed by the gay community? Am I looking for justification? Am I manipulating reality? I'm not really upset that I have changed my mind -- just genuinely surprised that I am flip flopping on this. I thought I was less wishy washy ... apparently not. ;)

I guess I used to feel that my fascination with boobies in or around the 2nd and 3rd grades was evidence of being born straight. I have since reconsidered. I also realized that I ignored other earlier signs of my homoness.

Without giving too many details, I do remember some homo moments with a boy my age when I was probably in the 1st grade or so. It was nothing serious or anything, but I think I chalked those up to “childhood experimentation” -- which they were, but which can't be ignored if I'm going to consider boob attraction as evidence of straightness.

Anyhow, interesting. It just goes to show how memories can be manipulated. As I get older, I'm sure of fewer things – that’s for sure.

Second comment -- Beck, I don't remember saying you're full of shit, but, as evidenced above, I don't remember things well. Ha! Can I write that off as a PMS moment?

And, now, my update:

I told my remaining two siblings. I approached them over Easter and confirmed to them what they had already suspected. It's never a comfortable conversation, and I really don't know how they feel about things, but it’s nice to have it over with. My sister just said she felt bad for me because of the complications it adds to life. (It was really nice to hear her express some sympathy because she had been pretty beotchy about the topic in previous conversations.)

My other brother didn't say a thing. Just nodded a lot while his wife talked. I guess that means he doesn't know how to respond. He doesn't agree with my decision, so what can he say? I don't know.

I haven't heard from either sibling since telling them. This was three weeks ago. I figure they'll need some time to deal, so I haven't tried contacting them. I should give them a call before too much time passes.

I just have mom left to tell ...

I hope/pray she will be ready for the news. She's just so fragile and takes things so personally.

Well, there's the update.

Hope all is well with you.