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!!

Consequences.

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...

5 Comments:

Blogger Patmos said...

You know, You know, You know that I have a comment for this. A matter of fact, I am going to fast my dinner for you, I would do my lunch, but I am eating a great slice of Jersey pizza! :) But seriously, I am fasting dinner for you, and going to keep praying. If there is ever a time you need to really consider what you are going to do, it is now. The road is ugly, abusive, and unforgiving, it has many rest stops call shame and many dangers called guilt, your life will forever be changed and the thief that robs your inocence will never stop. Your journey just as the prodical, will take you further than you wanted to go, keep you longer than you wanted to stay, and take you to the place that you said you would never go. Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! find a way around this, PLEASE... Circle the airport just one more time, before you decide to just crash land. I think you have my phone number, if not, I know I run a big big risk by this, but here it is again 432 770 8025 if you can't afford to call me, I will reimburse you as soon as possible, I am not telling you to call, I am just telling I am here. Not sure what good that will do, but I am here.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Scott said...

I made a comment on your "wicked" post. I was the one who was looking through a time machine at myself with exactly the same feelings. It looks like you are getting support and encouragement to stay the course. It is probably what you want to hear but I do have a few comments. I will not bother you with again with these thoughts.

Even though I am not effeminate, my sexuality is 100% gay. I played sports in high school and participated in the intramural sports at BYU. I dated women and tried everything to make something happen. As I mentioned, I didn't "whack off" once for over 3 years. In fact, I dated a woman for over 2 years and never had sex with her. Everytime things got the least bit intimate, I would get nausiated by the thought of further intimacy. I equate this to forcing a straight man to be intimate with another man. I assume it would physically make him ill. I got out of that relationship not too gracefully. It was a few years later I had a talk with this woman. Things were made clear to her regarding my past behavior. In fact, we are still friends even though she married another man and they have a happy life together. Thank God I never went further with her. Both of our lives would have been miserable and I would be living a lie!

I did go through some counseling with an unbiased Physciatrist. My personal doctor set this up because he could see some potential self distructive bahavior. These sessions were extremely helpful in helping me get through all this.

I would, however, caution you about hopping in bed with the first good looking man who came along. I treated my dating life with men the way most other faithful mormons do with women. The consequences were wonderful and rewarding for me. Since we cannot get married, the first time there was sex, I did not feel guilty at all. I was not expecting that! It was natural and fulfilling for me and my partner.

Even though I speak with Bishop fairly regularly, I do not attend church any more. As I mentioned to him, I would not be welcome there and don't think it appropriate to put myself in that position. Even though he does not say, I believe he feels it best that I don't attend either. The Bishop, the home teachers, and the missionaries are always welcome in our home and they know this. They usually don't try to change or chastize me (except an occational missionary.)

I don't pretend to be someone I am not. I have a successful construction business and I am "out" to my employees, sub-contractors and customers. It is really a much better "lower stress" life.

I know that God created me this way for a reason and I don't question it. I refuse to be a hypocrite and pretend to live a life that is fake, humiliating, etc. The church should not expect any of it's members to do this! In fact, I believe it is immoral for them to try to change anyone from the person God created.

I have the respect of my friends and my "died in the wool" Mormon family. They are very proud of how I conduct my life.

Nuff said from me. I will not post here anymore and be put in the position as the "devil's advocate."

Perhaps you are NOT 100% gay (kinsey report), and you may be able to work this out with a women, but remember you must be able to live with yourself and the consequences of involving a partner who does not know the "real" you. For me, it would be entering a relationship based on a lie.... and NO good can come from this.

Would any of these people who are posting here encouraging you to stay the "mormon" course be willing and encourage you to date and marry their daughter or sister?

Good luck to you!

Scott

2:35 PM  
Blogger Patmos said...

Scott,

I realize you are going to think, what in the world is this guy trying to say, because no doubt, I might seem as one who is going back on what he said. Yet I don't feel that is what I am about to do.

Although I have urged this friend to avoid the lifestyle that he is so walking the line of, I do not have anything (hatred or ill feelings) toward the life that you have chosen to live.

I am a minister, not of the Mormon fellowship, but of a very well known denomination, I can promise you that if any knew I would dare say to a "homosexual" man that his lifestyle does not turn my stomach, I would no doubt be taken outside of the city and stoned.

Most of them that call themselves my "brother" would tell me to return to the written word of God and repent, yet my response to them is... I have heard you gossip, slander, and speak of hate that is in your heart towards your very own sheep, you tell me who is more righteous?

I hope you read this, I really do. I also hope that you don't think that I am saying, your life is wrong and my life is right, I would hope that you would see me as one that does not judge, but has within him the voice of warning towards one that I fear could as quickly change his life forever, and then have a life of regret and shame to cause his load to become unbearable.

Please Scott, don't feel as if you are to be silenced, I would love to visit with you, and glean from who you are and where you are in life.

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Scott said...

OK, I will add some more thoughts. First, I appreciate some of Patmos' comments and was a little intrigued by his background and how he somewhat questions the dogma of his religion regarding homosexuality. That being said, his comment:

"and then have a life of regret and shame to cause his load to become unbearable."

I can only speak for myself regarding the anticipated guilt and shame I was expecting. My first sexual experience was a burden lifted and believe me there was no guilt, anxiety, or shame. I assume you are a straight man. Imagine you being told you can only have a relationship with men. How relieved you would feel if you finally decided to buck the system and venture into a "forbidden" relationship with a woman. Don't you believe this would be a burden lifted???

So in a nut shell the anxiety and burden is MUCH greater not being able to love the natural way your body and brain is telling you to.
As I mentioned in my very first post here, I have been in a relationship with a man for 11 years. It is not perfect but we dearly love each other. Our life together has all the elements of a hetrosexual relationship. He calls asking me to buy milk on the way home, He waits for me to take out the trash, He yells at me for tracking mud into the house, He patiently waits for me to fix things in our own house when I am too tired because I have been fixing other people's houses all day, and we can never agree on what resturant to go to when we go out....

All of that being said, I still have someone I can hold and spoon during the night. I get excited when I catch him with a "woody" in the middle of the night. I know I can reach over and grab his "stuff" and I hear him gently moan with satisfaction while half asleep. I drive him to work every morning and if we miss our kiss at the door, we get it in the car outside his office building.

I am telling you here.... It doesn't matter how much I wanted to, I would not be able to act this way with a woman.... It is NOT in me and NOT natural for me. Unfortunatly, I would only be on auto pilot and probably resent performing the smallest gestures with her. MY PARTNER deserves more than "auto pilot."

I am going to venture into the most current post of "gay mormon." If I was his female wife, I cannot imagine being introduced as "This is my wife whom I settled for because of religion." Probably not the exact words, but definetly the message! I'm sure there are women out there who would endure this, but I believe this is on the verge of emotional abuse. Always looking over her shoulder to see who you glanced at for an instant longer than normal. Always wondering what you are looking at on the internet, etc. Remember, if you were straight, she could compete with another woman and give you things she believes you see in another woman, however she can never compete with a man! She can't grow a penis or a beard. She is the one who has the unbearable burden. You only transfer it from you to her.

Please "gay mormon", don't take any of these things personally. I know you are struggling and working through this. I know because I went through this almost to a tea. I don't expect you, or even want you to jump into something before you are ready. If you do, there may indeed be remorse, guilt or shame. Go through this at your own pace. You will know when and if the time is right!

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there is a LDS Family Services near you, you bishop can provide access for you at very low cost. Otherwise he may be able to make other arrangements.

8:36 AM  

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