Monday, May 30, 2005

The Dialogue Continues! Yay!! :)

Wow! A lot has happened since I last blogged!! The dialogue between various readers is a veritable dream come true! Thanks for the comments, questions, advice, etc.! I love hearing your thoughts about the issue. It makes me think things through thoroughly.

Though I probably have too many points to address, I’m going to try my best to get through some of them right now.

First off, Scott and I have had similar experiences with telling our fathers about our sexual orientation. When I told my father, he immediately asked if I have ever had sexual attraction toward women. He wanted some glimmer of hope to hang on to, something to help him reconcile his religious beliefs with his son’s sexual orientation. I responded honestly to his question: of course, I’ve had sexual attraction to women – especially when I was in elementary school. Even now, I’ll occasionally feel sexually attracted to a girl. These moments are rare, and they usually don’t last long; nonetheless, they have happened.

But, to address your question specifically, I don’t know if I could have sex with a woman. One of my most frightening thoughts is that I’ll have to think of men while in bed with my wife – a nightmare indeed. That would squash the romance in any sexual experience. ;) It’s a huge consideration, I realize, but I think I could probably have sex with a girl. It's not an absolute repulsion for me. I doubt for me it would be as exciting as sex with a man, but I think it could work.

To C.D.’s point, I agree that being able to change some desires does not mean one can change any desire. However, though I may not have stated it explicitly, I do know gay men who have been able to “change” or “overcome” their homosexual desires – at least that’s what they tell me. They have lived with men in the past, but have decided to “change” to living with women and having a family. They say they are happy now with their families (happier than they were in their homosexual relationships), and I really have no reason to doubt these men.

Realistically speaking, I doubt I’d ever lose my homosexual desires all together. Many of you may dislike this analogy, but I would think “overcoming” homosexuality would be much like an alcoholic deciding to stop drinking. For the rest of his life, he may have urges, desires and longings to drink again, but he realizes it’s not what makes him happy. I realize likening homosexuality to alcoholism may offend some of you, but it’s not my intent. It’s just an analogy to help you understand the feelings I would probably have as a gay man married to a woman.

C.D., I suppose the crux of the debate lies in one question: How deeply entrenched is my desire to be a homosexual? Perhaps it’s just too deep. You may be right. I don’t know.

Last, but not least, I wanted to comment on your final sentence: “Marrying a woman – when you cannot give her the full measure of love that someone totally attracted to her could, and when you are going to feel more attracted to others than you would feel to her – is most likely going to shortchange the woman. And yourself.”

Don’t we all “shortchange” our partner in some way or another? None of us is perfect. What if I am completely in love with a girl, though not sexually attracted to her, and she is completely in love with me (with complete knowledge of my sexuality)? Would marrying her still be wrong? Honestly, I think that somewhere, somehow, we all “shortchange” our partners in this life. But they love us despite. Because that’s what love is: loving someone despite his or her flaws, imperfections and shortcomings. Am I wrong? Is a woman who marries a homosexual man shortchanged beyond repair? I’ll be honest: I’ve never been in love with anyone. My deepest understanding of the topic is based on a familial love, such as love between my mother and me. Maybe I am a hopeless romantic and believe that love truly can conquer all. Perhaps I need to come back to earth. Are there issues that love simply can't take on? Diseases, disorders, personality traits … sexual orientations? I don’t know the answer to this. My only point is that I don’t think marriage is easy for anyone. There will always be challenges along the way.

Moving on to Bill’s comments. Bill is a long-time blog reader, and I admire his wisdom and understanding. I must thank him for pointing out my insensitivity to the many of you who are simply being who you are. I agree that my incessant referencing of the “gay lifestyle” must be annoying, and I apologize.

That said … I want to respectfully disagree on one point. I believe each person makes a decision to live as a homosexual man. I’m not saying that person chooses to be gay. I realize I’m walking a fine line in trying to make this point, but hear me out. I believe homosexual men have been on earth since the beginning of man. Nonetheless, many cultures, civilizations, time periods, etc. were not welcoming to the idea of homosexuality, and thus many gay men married women and lived their lives as if they were heterosexual. I’m not trying to say it was right or wrong of them to have done so, just pointing out that they chose to live contrary to their feelings or identity, if you will. Fortunately, we live in a time, culture and place where homosexuality is more acceptable, and gay men can live together without intolerable repercussions.

My point is that though you may be living who you are, you still had a choice (as "nonchoice-ish" as it may seem). When I refer to the “homosexual/gay lifestyle,” I am simply trying to delineate between two different choices before me. I can either date men or date women, marry a woman or settle down with a guy, raise children with a wife or raise children with another man. You get the idea. I mean nothing negative about my reference to the “gay lifestyle;” it’s just a way for me to draw the line between two options. Forgive me if I have annoyed you or offended you. I will try to think of another way of making the distinction between my choices.

Another quick point of clarification. Scott asked how I define the “homosexual lifestyle.” For me, it would be dating a guy, falling in love with him, and spending the rest of my life in a monogamous relationship. That’s the “gay lifestyle” I would likely have – or want to have. Though I have sexual urges oozing out my eyes, I wouldn’t want more than one partner. Though probably fun, I don’t think having multiple partners would make me happy in the end. Bill’s life sounds great, to be honest. I’d want that.

Okay, it’s way late, and this blog is way long. Sorry for boring you all out of your minds. Before going, I just want to do a little foreshadowing … In my next blog, I am going to touch on a huge point that Chip made – WASTING ENERGY! (And I'm not talking about the environment – sorry, check out another blog for that type of content).

Good night.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Gay Man + Heterosexual Woman ... Can it Work?

This is great! I love dialogue! Scott, Patmos: thanks for sharing your perspectives! I think only good can come from discussing the issue from all angles.

In this blog, I want to speak to a point I’ve talked about earlier, one that Scott mentioned twice in the past two or three days.

Should a man who is attracted to other men marry a woman? This really hits at the heart of my struggle. Though for the past decade I have always planned on marrying a girl, within the last few years I’ve started to reconsider. As Scott asked, would any parent want their daughter to marry a gay man? Would any woman want to deal with the problems associated with having a gay husband?

I can only imagine how hard it must be for those women who do stand by their homosexual husbands. It must oftentimes be demoralizing, humiliating and stressful to deal with. I can only imagine how a woman must feel in that situation. I’m sure it’s not easy. That’s why I am very, VERY far from the marriage path. I just don’t want to put a woman through that.

However, I know there are many women who do live in those circumstances, women who seem to be happy. Those women’s gay spouses also claim to be happily married, love their children and have good marriages. This leads me to believe that there is a way to make marriage between a gay man and a heterosexual woman work, without making the woman’s life a living hell. I imagine that creating such a marriage would require a lot of open communication and love from both spouses. And I doubt it is easy. But when has marriage ever been easy? (What’s the latest statistic on the nation’s divorce rate?)

Consider this: every person brings a certain amount of “baggage” to a relationship/marriage. Whether it’s past mistakes, medical problems, character flaws, etc., each partner must learn to love the other person and work together. Let’s say I decide to get married to a woman. If I promise to love her and stand by her through thick and thin, in sickness and in health, etc, etc, who’s to say it wouldn’t work out?

Again, I know gay men who say their attraction toward men has decreased as they have worked to overcome their homosexuality. I have no reason to doubt these men. They are good people, men whom I trust. It’s really not hard to believe that one could decrease his sexual desires through concerted effort. People change behaviors – and even desires – all the time. Consider former smokers, alcoholics, liars, cheaters, potty mouths, anorexics, overeaters, etc. People are able to control, diminish and even change desires. It’s not easy though. Consider also all the people who have tried to make changes for years, even decades, but who are not able to. Sad stories. True stories.

The road to change is not easy. I’ll be honest: I think coming out may be the easy way out for me. I really think I could weather it fairly well. That said, I just don’t think the homosexual lifestyle is right for me.

So now we see where I stand ... I am too scared to inflict pain on a woman by marrying her, and I don’t believe living life as a gay man is right for me. Yep, I’m sitting dead smack in the middle of the fence. I’ve got to fall on one side or another sometime. Till then, I’ll be blogging. :)

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Being Fake

To begin … I don’t understand everyone’s aversion to telling me their opinions! Please, continue to share your thoughts, no matter what you think I want to hear. One, I don’t get offended easily, and two, I want to hear other people’s perspectives on the issue.

Scott and Patmos, I really do see both sides of the issue. I’m really not on either side of things. That’s what I’m trying to figure out right now. Please don’t censor yourself in the name of trying to not “bother” me. There is no bothering going on here. :)

Scott brought up several very valid points. First: fakeness! One of my main struggles with living the heterosexual lifestyle – even though I am homosexual – is that I don’t want to be a hypocrite or have to live a lie. In fact, for that reason, I have promised myself to share my struggles with any girl I date seriously. It is not only her right, but also my responsibility to tell her and then let her decide whether it’s something she wants to take on. In addition, if I did get married, I would likely tell people that I am homosexual, but have chosen to live a heterosexual life for religious reasons. I would hate to be fake all the time.

I was just considering how we Mormons can often be so fake. Let me share a personal experience. Two nights ago I participated in a priesthood blessing (a religious ritual within the Church that involves pronouncing a blessing upon a person in the name of Jesus Christ). Please ask any Mormon about priesthood blessings in order to understand them better. A Mormon friend of mine asked me for one because of some personal struggles she’s been having lately. I did not want to give her one because I had looked at porn (I know, sad story) just the night before, and I was not feeling worthy to act in the name of Jesus Christ. So I deferred the responsibility to another guy friend, but I still assisted in the blessing. Even though I didn’t give the blessing, I was literally sick to my stomach for participating. I shouldn’t have. The only reason I did was to avoid having to explain that I am not worthy. I have since committed to never participate in a priesthood ordinance when I don’t feel worthy. I hate being fake!! Ahhhhh!

Here’s a funny side note: I just barely found out that my buddy who administered the blessing looks at porn too. I found this out just a few minutes ago. Let me explain. After returning from a Broadway show (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – it was good), I came to the computer lab to check my email. When I entered, I caught my buddy sitting in the lab with his hand down his pants. Upon seeing me, he immediately removed his hand and acted nervous. Because of my curious nature, I tried to get around the aisle to see what was on his screen, but he had just closed all the windows on his computer – the screen just had the desktop on it. He was beginning to reload Internet Explorer when I sat down next to him. Additional evidence: the conversion was awkward from his end – the type of conversation you have with someone when you’re trying to cover something up. I am all too familiar with those types of conversations because I have had them many a time after almost being caught.

Of course, I doubt he knows I know because I acted like I had no idea. I didn’t want him to think I am judging him. I struggle with porn as well; who am I to cast the first stone? Please understand that I really do think this kid is a GREAT, GREAT guy! Porn does not make one a bad person. In fact, I like him more because he seems more human now. Before, he just seemed too perfect to me. I really do understand his situation completely – for obvious reasons.

Also, I’m not trying to say he's a bad person for administering the blessing even though he looks at porn. I have participated in blessings when I probably shouldn’t have.

The point I'm trying to make with all of this is that the more time goes on, the more I realize that I am living a very deceptive life. I hate misleading people – whether intentional or unintentional. I really want to start living a more open life with regards to my sexuality (regardless of the lifestyle I decide to pursue).

Before I close, I must confess something. As mentioned above, I did cave to my temptations. I had almost gone three months without porn, but then I gave in during a moment of weakness. It was stupid because I wasn’t even feeling very horny. I just found myself looking at porn. How stupid of me. (You happy now, Jon?) Oh well, life goes on!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Comment on Me

I recently received an email from another Mormon guy who is gay. He and I have corresponded before. He made some interesting points – intriguing enough to make me reevaluate. I’m just going to paste the email right in here, and then I’ll discuss it at the end. I’ve edited out a couple identifying remarks, but besides that, the email is represented here in its entirety.

“I just read your entry from the 12th ... you are headed into bed with a guy soon, it sounds like. I think you hit on a key point with your comment about how, since you started your blog, your attraction to guys has only increased. It's because your blog is your way of living the lifestyle without living it. It's your wish book... know what I mean? Yes, there's the occasional testimony of the church, but it's typically the "courtesy" testimony, or a slight nod to your testimony. The real energy of your writing (and living) is in your "gay moments"-- looking at the conductor at "Wicked" and admiring his eyes, his shape, physique, movement, and perhaps even undressing him in your mind. Or it's in your comments about the conversation you had with that guy the other day after all the other guys left – and he knew you were gay. That's where your energy and wishes are ... Men have got your full attention right now.

Everything you're doing is leading [down the wrong path]. You're in New York City, for goodness sake! It's all around you. It sounds like you're not surrounded by many members of the church. A few, perhaps; but they don't know where you are most of the time. You're free to [do whatever you want].

What are you waiting for?!? Scared of the consequences? But you want it so badly!!


So, to avoid these consequences, you continue to live your fantasies in your mind, where you can create the actions without the consequences. It's nice, isn't it? But you're still jealous of all the guys in NYC who get to go to bed with their male partner every night and seem perfectly happy about it. Why can't you do that too???? It sucks, I know. Every night that you lay down to go to sleep there in NYC, within a 10 mile radius of you there are thousands of men doing what you dream of. Literally.

What am I saying by all of this? I don't know. You haven't looked at porn for weeks (perhaps more than a month now). And you jerk off rarely, and yet you still want guys.

So, what to do? I hope by this email I haven't talked you into going out and doing it with some guy.

I really want to say, "Get a clue!!! Stop what you're doing!" Taking baby steps into bed with a guy (instead of running into bed) doesn't make it O.K. And you're clearly taking baby steps right now, as an effort to "get used to the temperature of the water" as they say about boiling frogs.

I'm starting to meet with a counselor this week. He recommended a book to me by Jason Park: "Resolving Homosexual Issues: A Guide for LDS Men." Jason Park has apparently been through these issues and is now happily married with children. It looks like it may have some practical insights and advice into understanding these issues. I haven't bought the book yet, and I tend to question these types of books quite a bit. But I'm going to give some real effort into approaching it with an open mind and real consideration. I need to find the truth of these matters.

I'd recommend some counseling. It's very insightful. I've done it before (I don't remember if you have), and it's helpful to have someone outside of family, church, and social circles to discuss these things with. I'm sure they have some good ones there in NYC who have worked with many guys with these issues.

And, I would recommend that you either stop blogging, or change your approach to it. Just like you've stopped looking at porn and masturbating, make one more rule: don't mention your "gay moments" in your blog. When they happen, because they still will, just acknowledge them and move on. Don't go looking for them. And don't dwell on them. Make your blog a place to write down the good things you do or experience every day. Have it be a record of the good and uplifting/enlightening/truly beautiful things of NYC. There's lots of that there, even with all of the craziness that also exists there. Do that for two months, and only discuss your struggles about same-sex attraction with a counselor, your parents, or bishop. You'll still need to process those things and seek to understand them (you don't need to repress them), but we need to not dwell on them. There are so many other good things we need to spend energy and time on!

I think I need to follow my own advice, huh?”

Where do I begin? The author brought many valid issues to the forefront. First, he has a point that if I’m going to live the gay lifestyle, why I am I taking so long to make that transition. I need to make a hard decision on one side or the other. After all, I’ve noticed, and have openly acknowledged, that I am slowly slipping down that path that I have dreaded all my life, so I may as well commit to one side or the other. I don’t know … it just seems so difficult to do that. Slipping into it seems so much easier...

A good friend pointed out to me today that I only have to make the decision to be homosexual once, and then there’s no going back; whereas, I’ll have to make a conscious decision to be heterosexual each day of my life if I continue to pursue the heterosexual path. That doesn’t make getting up each morning any easier. :)

Regarding his comment about my references to the Church, I do admit and feel bad that I don’t write much about my religious convictions. I doubt this will change because references to my religious convictions are only relevant inasmuch as they relate to my homosexuality. I’ll have to start another blog if I want to devote more time and energy to my religious beliefs.

Regarding his suggestion of getting counseling, I’d love to participate, but I don’t have the funds right now. Counseling is not cheap for the college-aged person. :)

For the record, my homosexual desires are honestly not very sex-based. The emailer said I play out my fantasies in my mind and on my blog. He’s right that I do fantasize about gay men, but I assure you the fantasies have become cleaner and cleaner as time has passed. I really don’t even think of having sex with guys very often. I think of cuddling with a man, holding his hand and simply being with him. I don’t deny that I have sexual desires to be with men, but they really are secondary to the aforementioned desires. Perhaps I’m kidding myself, but that’s been my observation. How much time one spends with sexual fantasies is not easy to quantify. I’ll try to observe how much time I spend fantasizing about sex, and then I’ll report back. Perhaps the emailer’s point has nothing to do with the nature of the fantasies, but I just wanted to make it clear that my fantasies are relatively clean.

Okay, I’m done for today. Perhaps I’ll blog sometime later this week. In the mean time, I’m going to give some serious thought to the emailer’s comments...

Thursday, May 12, 2005


So, tonight I went to the Broadway musical "Wicked." It was AMAZING!! I loved every minute! It’s definitely worth seeing! The best part is that I amazingly had front row tickets (we won the lottery, and so the tickets only cost $25--I know, I'm very lucky). I think I may have had another gay moment at the theater. You’re probably wondering why I might not be sure about something like that. Let me explain.

During the show I would occasionally get distracted by the conductor of the orchestra, who was less than 15 feet away from me, because he was very entertaining and good looking. Every once in a while we would make eye contact. I was very happy about the eye contact because he was this younger (early thirties probably), good-looking guy who could have passed for Italian. He was just absolutely beautiful – and he was cracking me up because he was singing all the lyrics to the play in a fun, joking manner. Anyway, a few times throughout the performance he would randomly look at me and smile. Afterward I really wanted to go say hello and tell him good job on his performance, but I was kind of on a date with a girl. That complicates things. :) After it finished, as I started walking away from my seat, I shot one last glance and we made eye contact and he gave me a total head nod and smile. Perhaps he just thought I was an adoring fan, but I didn't notice him giving glances to anyone else. I was so sad not being able to meet him.

Am I asking for trouble or what!!?? As time passes, the more I just want to be with a guy to try it out. Ahhhh! There was a time when I wouldn't have ever wanted this, but now I don't know if I could ever be satisfied not knowing what it’s like to be loved and held by a guy. I am in trouble! Rather, I am asking for trouble!! Ahhhhh!!!!

I have realized in recent weeks that since beginning my blog, I have become less and less commited to overcoming my homosexuality. It seems like I have gone down hill since I began, and I feel bad that my progress is so evident on the World Wide Web. All the stuff I’ve put on the Web is going to come back to bite me on the ace some day! Ha! It’s a risk I’m willing to take. It’s a very therapeutic thing for me. In any case, I just hope that my progress isn’t discouraging to any of you. I actually think I’ve made progress in some areas while I’ve regressed in others. It’s a win-lose situation.

For example, it has been more than two months since I looked at porn. Occasionally I have looked at some eye candy in speedos and underwear, but nothing hardcore – or even semi-hardcore. It’s funny because I didn’t even realize how long it had been. It just hasn’t been much of a temptation for me lately. Someone must be praying for me! Thanks Scott!

On the other hand, I seem to have even stronger desires now to be with men – but not really in a sexual way. The attraction is more toward the relationship and caring aspects of having a boyfriend. I would love to experience that. I just don’t know if I could resist the physical temptation if I got into such a situation.

I’ve also done well with masturbation. Until last Monday, I hadn’t masturbated in more than three weeks! I was somewhat impressed with myself. So much so that I was going to try for a temple recommend. However, after masturbating, I remembered how unworthy I am for the temple. I don’t know if I’ll ever make it back to the temple. I just can’t imagine the day when I’ll feel worthy to be there. Afterall, even when I was more worthy, I didn’t feel quite worthy enough. Oh, pitty, pitty me. Ha! I sound like such an idiot! I’m sure I’ll make it back to the temple. It’s just going to take some time. I just hope I don’t screw up between now and that time.

For the record, I love the church. I truly believe it’s God’s restored Church with apostles and prophets called to guide it. If I ever do anything to get myself excommunicated, I can only blame myself. Admittedly, some members (myself included) can be idiots, but the doctrines are pure and beautiful. It’s complicated, but if I do decide to live a homosexual lifestyle, I will be living that life with the knowledge that what I am doing is not what God would have me do. That’s what I believe. It’s very deeply engrained, as you can tell. Religion and beliefs run deeper than anything I know – otherwise, I would have thrown in the towel long ago. :) Good night!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Dropping My Beads

It’s been a while since I’ve posted! Wow! Time flies when you’re having fun in NYC!!! I [heart] NY!! I absolutely love it here. I think I could spend the rest of my life here and be very happy. It’s probably a premature judgment considering I have only lived here for two weeks – but nonetheless, I love it!

So I had an interesting experience this last week. I was sitting in the computer lab of my dorm building (where I sit typing this email right now), and I struck up a conversation with the guy sitting next to me. There were probably four or five people in the room, so we just had a normal conversation. While we were chatting, I noticed that he had some gay chat rooms open on his computer.

Finally, all the other people in the room left, and it was just he and I talking. He finally turns to me and says, “You like hanging with boys, don’t you.” I was so stunned by the question that I just admitted to it. Anyhow, we had a talk about being gay and being Mormon for about an hour or so. He said he could tell I was gay because he was gay as well. He reassured me that I wasn’t effeminate and that he could tell I was homosexual because it takes one to know one. Admittedly, he was very good looking, so I may have shown I was interested by the way I talked with him. I don’t know. It was weird though because I’ve NEVER had ANYONE confront me on my sexuality – okay, except for my sister. After our conversation in the lab, he asked me if I wanted to go somewhere to talk. I politely turned him down because I didn’t want to get myself in any trouble. I doubt anything would have happened because he said he never rushes into physical relationships with guys, but I didn’t want to risk it. I’m pretty weak and confused right now, so I didn’t even want to allow for the slightest possibility.

I realized from that conversation that it is very difficult for me to talk about my sexuality with others. I thought that I was okay talking about it, but it’s quite challenging. My voice was pretty shaky during our conversation, and my heart was thumping pretty hard. I think part of the problem was my attraction toward him. I’ve never talked to someone whom I’m attracted to about my homosexuality. Anyhow, I don’t think he’s interested in me, so there’s no chance of me getting into trouble with him. I sometimes regret not going with him to talk. Anyhow, that was the first time that I’ve talked to another attractive gay guy about being gay. Interesting experience – to say the least.