Monday, June 27, 2005

Etcetera

Before I get back to some of the comments, I want to test a theory I’ve come up with over the past few years. I am bringing this theory before you because I want to know if I am just biased and unobservant, or if I am completely right. I suspect the latter. ;)

Over the past two to three years (maybe five to seven years), it seems like homosexuality has taken over the nation. That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but, honestly, I feel that everyone is talking about homosexuality these days – and not just in political contexts. Nowadays, we joke about it, laugh about it, and simply think about it a lot more. While I was at home over the weekend, I was amazed at how often the topic emerged.

Example 1: We had a family reunion over the weekend, and at it we all had to get up and tell what we’re doing, where we’re working, and what calling we hold in the Church (no, I’m not kidding about the last one). Of the 27 grandchildren, only two of us are unmarried – my 27-year-old cousin and I. As most you probably know, Mormons are expected to marry and bear children early, so my cousin and I are somewhat “black sheep” in the family. We joke about it a lot. Before going to the reunion, my brother joked that I should announce to the family that I am gay – over the microphone. When he cracked the joke, I laughed, but inside I was thinking, “if you only knew.” I wish I had captured my facial expressions on camera, because I’m sure they were classic. Oh the irony of my brother’s comment.

Example 2: Then, while at the reunion, my unmarried cousin joked that he was going to announce his homosexuality and then “out” me in the process. Again, I laughed, but wondered how revealing my facial expressions must have been.

Other examples include watching three shows with homosexual themes over the weekend, my buddy joking about hitting on me, and my other buddy telling me I must be gay because I haven’t kissed a girl in more than five years. I have more examples, but I don’t have time to describe them all. My point is that I’ve noticed an increase in dialogue, jokes, movies, etc about the topic. Is this just me being very sensitive to the issue because I am gay myself?

Returning to a few comments … I agree with you all about my need for therapy. I think it would be wise for me to find a therapist who can help me work through these issues. I’ll see what I can do. I've tried it before, so I may as well give it another go.

Patmos, I agree that God gives us trials so we can help others.

Some anonymous reader said, “When your Dad sees that your computer was logged onto gay porn sites, you lie and tell him it was your roommate. You mislead him. He probably know you're lieing [sic] ... Parents often can tell when their kids are lieing [sic] .... It's better to be an honest gay son than a dishonest one. Own up to it, or tell him it's none of his business, or quit the Covenant Eyes service. But belonging to Covenant Eyes and then lieing [sic] when your Dad gets the reports is pointless. It hurts your character.”

I had to laugh at this comment. I have no idea why this reader felt the need to attack my character, but I hope he feels better. Honestly though, I have never lied to my father about the Web sites I have visited. Why would I? I tell him frankly when I have visited gay sites. Hell, I wouldn’t be paying for a service to send detailed browsing reports to him if I planned on lying to him. I could easily cancel the subscription and keep everything from him, but I choose not to. He knows very well that I look at gay porn. Of course, he doesn’t approve, but he is well aware of what I struggle with.

I know it’s laughable and ironic that I had a gay roommate who was visiting gay personal sites on my computer, but it’s true. I really have no motive to lie about it. This Web site provides sufficient anonymity, and I have been candid about so many other things that it would seem silly to concoct some lie about a former roommate.

Now, in all fairness, the reader did have a valid point with the following comment: “When friends ask who you're attracted to, and you answer without specifying a gender, you are trying to mislead them about who you are. You are ashamed, and don't want them to know. So you're not honest with them. You are more honest with the c1500 strangers who read this blog than the people in your real life.”

I’ve been trying for years to figure out what level of self-disclosure would be fair to me and others. I haven’t figured that out, so your comment may be right. My question is when does a gay man disclose his sexuality in verbal form?

Also, passion in the bedroom would be a definite concern were I to live as a heterosexual. (This comment may seem random, but a reader mentioned that making love “with enthusiasm” would be difficult with a woman. He’s right.)

Scott, you’re right: it’s very self-centered to think only gay Mormons struggle with balancing their sexuality and religion. I know many good men of other faiths who have very similar difficulties.

I really do want to resolve this as soon as I can, Scott. I just can’t make any rash decisions right now.

An anonymous reader laid it out pretty simply when he/she said: “I don't believe you can be both actively gay and actively Mormon (or any type of Christian for that matter). I love my gay friends. But I don't pretend for a minute that lifestyle is favorable to God - no more than being unchaste and straight is. There are plenty of scriptures that condemn both.”

Tell me how you really feel. Just joking, I really like no-nonsense people, so thanks for stating it bluntly.

A few readers commented on the abovementioned remarks. My only rebuttal to their comments would be that God – not man – is the one to reveal new doctrines, such as abandoning the Law of Moses. Though a clergyperson may alter or adjust biblical doctrine, it doesn’t mean it’s God’s will. If that were true, then God would have a lot of conflicting wills and desires. That's why Mormons feel strongly that God has only one true church. That’s really another topic for another time.

I have to admit I laugh quite a bit at comments like, “You know what, deep down, you really want.” Of course I know what I want deep down. This whole blog is dedicated to my “deep down” conflicting desires: that of being gay and that of being a Mormon in good standing.

“Do you want a whole life of loneliness and isolation?”

Yes, please.

“YOU ARE GAY!!”

True.

A reader asked if I worry about my bishop or BYU's Honor Code Office finding out about me. No, because my bishop already knows, and the Honor Code office would only take action if I were a practicing homosexual. I don’t think masturbation counts as “practicing homosexual.” :) The same reader also shared his secret of being a non-believer attending BYU. To that reader: I bet you also feel very unique (and perhaps somewhat alone) at BYU. Thanks for sympathizing with me. If you ever read this again, let me know what your marriage plans are. No, I’m not interested in hooking up. :) Just wondering if you plan to marry a Mormon girl.

Nope, I’ve never considered transferring schools.

The two authors of “Breaking the Cycle of Compulsive Behavior” are divorced and out of the closet? Really?!! Hmmm.

A reader said: “You ask if it would be okay for you to marry a heterosexual woman. My wife was engaged to a gay BYU student prior to marrying me. Her experience with that was incredibly painful. She ended up in psychological therapy for quite a while after the experience, and some aspects of the trauma lasted for years.”

Don’t bother sugarcoating that one. ;) Ha! I really do appreciate his directness. That’s terrible that his wife went through such trauma. I’m curious to know what that reader would have me do. If he is a practicing heterosexual Mormon, would he have me live as a gay man? Or would he rather I just live a celibate lifestyle? He has a unique perspective considering his wife’s background. I’d love to hear from him again. Too bad he’s probably lost in cyberspace somewhere.

I love Randy, the rank apostate. Thanks for the comments.

It was great hearing from Elle, the lesbian Mormon. I’ve never met a lesbian Mormon. In fact, though I feel very acquainted with the gay community, I know nearly nothing about lesbianism. I can imagine that it’s a very similar struggle. If you ever read this again, Elle, let me know what you and your girlfriend are up to. :)

Yes, I’ve read the Newsnet story on gay Mormons. Nonetheless, I’ve explained that I just don’t feel like I was born this way. Sorry. Of course, I can’t speak for others. There may very well be a genetic explanation for homosexuality.

Last comment: A reader said he, too, struggles with porn, and that he should straighten up before telling his fiancé about his problem. I would recommend telling her as soon as possible. Enlisting others in my fight against porn has been one of the most effective methods of overcoming porn. Best of luck to you.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Elle said...

If I ever read this again... lol. I check it every day. What can I say? I have no life... and I'm excited that I'm not the only homosexual mormon out there. Gf and I are good. We move in together in September, maybe earlier because I have been kicked out of my house... (oh how I miss being in that closet)guess we'll see. Her bro is also homosexual so comparing the experiences we've found them to be fairly similar, although it seems to be a bit easier for girls if anything.

Anyways, take care of yourself.

-Elle

9:39 PM  
Blogger Gay Mormon said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:06 AM  
Blogger m said...

i commented last time about not getting tangled up w/ the honor code office at byu. i agree that they wouldn't likely kick you out for being a celibate gay man, but you are very candid about your pornography viewing habits, and i think that that is something that they could use to kick you out if they wanted to.

from what i've heard from friends who have had troubles w/ the honor code office, it can be a very arbitrary and unfair place at times, and if someone wants you gone a lot of the time there's not much you can do about it.

anyway, best of luck at the Y though, hope you don't hit any snags before you get your diploma. later.

5:41 PM  

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