Sunday, June 05, 2005

This Blog is Longggggg!

Here’s a fun side note to begin with …

I just googled the words “gay mormon,” and I was pleasantly surprised to find my blog listed as the No. 7 return! That is so great – but a little bit scary for me. I’m thrilled that my little area for openly discussing my struggles has become a top google return. However, I am a little nervous because now more people will be able to identify me and I may feel more inhibited in my writing. At this point, I’m not too worried. I’ll start getting nervous when Friend X writes me and says, “I was reading this blog, and I think it might be yours.” Actually, that would be pretty funny, so I’ll keep on being candid in my writing.

There is one other problem with being the No. 7 return: it’s only No. 7! Is that the best we can do? I think we can do better. I say we shoot for the stars – we’re going for the No. 1 spot! From this blog on, I am going to use the words “gay Mormon” in every sentence of each paragraph! We’ll be the number one return in no time! Just kidding. :). I’m satisfied with the hundred-some-odd visitors I get each week. No reason to make this a million-hit-a-day site (even though it would be fun – ha!).

Back to business ...

The following comments come from a blog reader who emailed me directly. I really liked what he had to say, so I’m posting his thoughts here. I’ll speak to some of his comments after you read them. I’ve edited any personal or identifiable information from the comments. Nonetheless, the changes didn’t alter the meaning. Here’s what he said:

1) After you come out, you will find that other things that now seem like big problems will resolve themselves naturally. That is once you are involved in a relationship with an actual guy (which I think will happen eventually). The interest in porn will diminish somewhat with no effort on your part; getting what you really need (emotionally, sexually) will reduce the need/interest of the porn (which is a fantasy substitute for what you really want).

2) You can't fall completely in love with someone you're not sexually attracted to. It's naive to think that you could love a woman completely if women don't turn you on as much as guys. Love isn't just willpower, or good intentions, or being a good friend. Get experience with both sexes.

3) It is just more fun to share important events with someone whom you find really great looking, and are really attracted to. I'm going to [a place] this Sunday with a guy whom – to me – is about the best-looking guy around (besides being a great guy). It will make the event ten times more fun than if I went with someone I liked, but did not feel the same way about. I mean, just looking at him is a joy. Just going with him today was fun. Before I figured out I was gay, I'd take women I liked and
respected on dates, but it wasn't the same thing. When you went to "Wicked," you had eyes for the conductor. When I go out with this guy, I have eyes for him. (Not ONLY him – I notice other guys, that's natural. But I feel I'm with someone special.)

I think the author may be right about his first comment. I can see how getting into a relationship with a guy would diminish the porn and masturbation desires. I’m sure other things would be resolved as well.

Regarding point No. 2, I don’t know what to say. I agree that physical attraction is a very necessary part for a relationship to work; however, I don’t know if I believe that deep physical attraction is absolutely necessary. Not to seem rude, but I know a lot of guys and gals who are very unattractive after 5, 10, 15, 25 years of marriage, but I don’t see them getting divorced. I’d like to think these people remain wed because of their undying love to one another. Perhaps they just feel obligated to stick it out. Maybe a combination of the two. I don’t know.

Also, I am often physically attracted to women; it’s just not as strong as the physical attraction I have toward men. Like I said, I’m not repulsed by the thought of having sex with a woman. I think I’ve mentioned this in a blog before, but I see sexuality as a continuum. Some people are on the completely “heterosexual” side. Others are on the completely “homosexual” side. Then there are tons of people in between. On a scale of one to ten (one being heterosexual and ten being homosexual), I’d rate myself as a seven. In other words, I’m very much attracted to men, but I can still be attracted to women.

I really wish I could “experiment” with both sexes. I just don’t think it’s right for me to do that.

I also agree that being with someone you’re attracted to can be very fun.

Good comments. Thanks blog reader (a.k.a. C.D.)!

Now to address Matt’s comments ...

Before I begin, can I just say that I loved Matt’s posting! Not only did he share very insightful thoughts and serious life stories, but he also had me laughing on more than one occasion. He’s a very captivating writer. At the risk of playing into stereotypes and making a huge generalization, I must admit that I believe British people are unusually clever and witty! I just know I sure laugh a lot when I’m around them. I love them. I laughed especially hard out loud when I read, “I seem to have a habit: relationships end on me on a Sunday before bank holidays.” Very funny. Anyhow, enough of my tribute to the Brits ...

To begin, I must say I feel bad that Matt’s parents weren’t more understanding of his situation. That would be very traumatic to lose the support of those you’ve relied on most throughout life. I can’t even imagine.

I also admire your resolve to date men in a very morally grounded manner. It isn’t easy to do that – for heterosexuals and homosexuals alike. Congrats on being committed to principles you believe in.

I agree that “experimenting” with women seems very wrong on several levels. Even mentioning the thought feels very dehumanizing. Are a woman’s emotions so insignificant that anyone can play with them without regard to their fragility? Seems cruel to have a woman fall in love with you, and then crush her heart and dreams by telling her you were just “experimenting.”

I must dissent on one point. You said, “Could I live with the knowledge that she may worship the ground that I walk on, yet all I could muster for her were the feelings of a close, platonic love?” I would agree whole-heartedly that no woman deserves a “platonic” love. Yet, I don’t know that the physical attraction deficiency would ultimately end in a “platonic” love. For example, I have a very good friend with whom I spend a lot of time. She is the most amazing person ever. I could spend days upon end with her. In fact, I’ve even thought to myself that I could easily marry her and love her for the rest of my life. Admittedly, I’m not super attracted to her; nonetheless, I think our love could be more than that. I think we could have a beautiful marriage and life together.

That said … it’s obvious I’m not fully convinced. Otherwise, I’d be trying to marry her right now. :) I just wanted to share my feelings on the issue.

Matt, I certainly wish you the best. I hope you do find that perfect man who is worthy of your love and affection. Perhaps you should consider moving to a more Mormon-populated area if you’re looking for gay Mormon men who still abide by many of the Church’s standards (everything but the little “homosexuality policies” – a minor hang-up, really). There are quite a few in Utah, New York, California, D.C., etc. Europe is a tough area to find members of the Church, period – let alone gay ones. We’re certainly a rare breed. :)

Scott, you’re absolutely right: many a gay Mormon has been able to successfully come to terms with their sexuality. I’m sure I could do the same. I just have to decide what I want out of life. I’ll keep you posted (pun intended) on my progress. :)

I certainly hope I can get through this as soon as possible as well. I really don’t want my career and life to suffer from my sexuality. Thanks for your well wishes.

Lastly, I really do appreciate your opinions regarding the Mormon Church. You have been very clear about where you stand with regards to doctrines, beliefs and lifestyles. I am glad you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts on my blog – I hope you continue. I just want to make sure I’m clear about where I stand regarding the Church.

I love it! I would have given up on it long ago if I didn’t constantly feel that this is God’s Church. I believe that God does guide it through revelation. Of course, men do run the Church, and its history is not perfect. I can criticize the organization on many different levels; however, I still believe its God’s Church. The doctrines are perfect; the church itself is not.

Perhaps I’m just too human. Perhaps my desire to see purpose and meaning inthis life is just a natural, but foolish desire. I don’t know. All I know is how I feel. I love the way the Gospel makes me feel. Until I get a concrete answer that there is no God, no purpose to life, then I will continue to follow my feelings – even if they are not convenient to me.

Just so you all know, I do realize that I am a bad example of what a member of this Church should be like. I do not follow the counsel given (e.g., porn, masturbation, homosexuality). I often fail to live the standards. I challenge everything the leaders of the Church say (a fairly healthy exercise, I believe). I really do fail on many fronts. But I believe in God and his plan, even if I don't follow it perfectly. All I can say is that I’m trying.

Moving on ... Sophia, I hope you’re successful in capturing your thoughts in your upcoming work. I must admit that I have adopted the phrase, “a version of happiness,” into my own vocab. I hope that’s not a problem. :)

I don’t want to belabor a point I have written about so often, but I want to quickly agree with you on your point of making sure to be completely open about everything before marriage. I would never even discuss the topic of marriage with a girl before telling her about my sexuality. You’re absolutely right: it is her RIGHT to know. I have had this argument many times before – even in church meetings. I find it surprising and alarming that so many people my age feel that it’s appropriate to hide “past” problems, inclinations or issues. It’s just a bad idea in my opinion. The ONLY motive for hiding those things is pride. How embarrassing for someone to know about the darkest corners of my life! It is embarrassing, but that’s life.

It’s WAY past my bedtime. Next time I’d like to talk more about Matt’s interesting fact: the Mormon Church no longer advocating marriage as a solution to homosexuality. Interesting. I’ve had some great conversations with people about this topic. Next blog session should be fun.
Good night.


Anonymous Scott said...


I have to say finding this blog has even helped me. Maybe not in the way you may think. It has given me the opportunity to revisit all the "stuff" on the web and confirms I made the right decision to follow my feelings many years ago. I am a bit older than you and coming out was very different (and I believe more difficult) 15 years ago. God bless those who had the strength to pioneer many years before either of us and make these very difficult decisions when there was virtually NO support system.

When I came out to my father, he indicated that his uncle, my great uncle, (born in 1890), was more than likely gay. He served a mission, had impecable taste in clothing (pictures prove this), was a neat freak, impecable gardens, etc. I remember him when he was VERY old and I was a child, but he made an impression that I remember to this day. He was kind and gentle and for some reason took a liking to me. In fact, he gave me his copy of the scriptures (used on his mission) shortly before he died.

Times being what they were, he NEVER married and lived his life as a bachleor, being very close to his sister, my grandmother. He seemed to be most content in the mountains tending sheep.

There are many stories still circulating today about the spinsters who chased him and how he would hide in the cellar when they would bring baked goods over.

He was, in his day, a very peculiar man and I admire him even more as I learn more about him. I continue to ask my father more about him to the point of annoyance. I can only say that I wish he had the opportunities that we have today, and that he didn't have to rely on my grandmother for his companionship. Wouldn't it have been wonderful, if he had someone to share his life with.

Don't become a "fox in sheep's clothing." By this I mean be who you really are. Being gay is as much a part of us as the color of our hair. As a redhead, and as much as I would want to be a brunette (not that I do), it is not natural for me to try to become a brunette. Sure, I could die my hair, etc, but I would look ridiculous and most people would see through this. (A red mustache on a brunette is NOT convincing) The same goes for trying to be straight. I'm sure you can identify others in your life who where obviously gay and tried to pass themselves off as straight. They too look ridiculous and often pathetic.

Since it was so many years ago that I came out and since I now have a very loving partner and friends, I have not been looking for the kind of support you are on the web, etc.

While reading your blog, I have taken some time to revisit what is out there. Perhaps it is time for me to begin to question my official membership in this church. Let's face it, I have not been in a chapel for about 10 years, and I should be practicing what i am preaching to you.

I read with much interest the church's dealings with Sgt. Matlovich in the early 70's. He was excommunicated twice! Initially he was disfellowshipped and in that letter (on the web) the church indicated he could not participate in the activities, pray in public, take the sacrament, etc.... yet they indicated he should continue to pay his tithing!!!! Can you believe that! And even in his confirmation of excommunication, they suggested he put his tithing in a fund that when and if he returned to the church, he could turn the entire fund over! This shows a side of the church that many of want to believe does not exist.

Unbelievable!!! Yet because we all have such an emotional tie to the church we put up with and can justify this behavior. We would not put up with this behavior in any other aspect of our lifes from any other organization or person.

I guess this is a little rant and raving for my own behalf. Sorry. Perhaps I should start my own blog

Once again, good luck to you.


8:43 AM  
Anonymous C. D. said...

Scott--I enjoyed your post a lot. I had no idea Sgt. Matlovich was Mormon. He spoke at the NJ Gay Alliance once; I found his courage and integrity, as a gay man who served in the military (when there were few role models), inspiring.

Dear Gay Mormon: The first year or two of any relationship is usually the hardest, as two people try to work out accomodations and see how their lives will mesh together. If you're starting a relationship with someone you're sexually really deeply attracted to, it is easier to work through the hard spots. You are apt to be much more forgiving of your partner if you can't wait to get into bed with your partner. The intense sexual passions, and feelings of high romance will naturally dampen over time. If the relationship lasts, feelings of conmfortable domesticity may take their place. But couples that last a long time--5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years etc.--are more likely to last that long if they start with a love that includes deep sexual attraction. It helps create the bond so you can weather the disagreements. Then, as your lives interwne, the relationship becomes more self-sustaining. But trying to form a marriage with a woman if you're more interested in guys puts the relationship under great strain from the start.

You deserve to fall in love with your partner. That will probably only happen if you come out as a gay man. And having a guy to love (and be loved by) will give you , I think, more joy, and enable you to be loving (in a general senmse) to more people, more easily. But if you try to live a straight life, whhile frustrating your deepest emotional/sexual needs, you may find you have less to give anyone. ASnd take o the scrunched look of the chronically, hopelessly frustrated.-- C.D.

12:36 PM  
Blogger Patmos said...

Dear GM,

I have been silent, not my choice, but by the busy life that has come upon me again. I have had to number my things to do and leaving comments has been towards the bottom of my list.

It seems as of late that the encouragement has become one sided, to jump in, to get in and get wet. It will "solve" all of your problems, it will bring joy and happiness to your life and comfort for your troubled soul.

I almost hate to mention this, because I don't want Scott or C.D. to think that I am "gay bashing" I promise you Scott and C.D., this is no effort on my part to make you out to be the "boogie" man or your lifestyle is that "sin" which God cannot forgive. In the last 5 years I have been labeled a homosexual more times than a hetrosexual and I have been married for 11 years.

I have not shared this with you nor anyone else in the blogg world. Almost 14 years ago, I was taken and raped for over 12 hours by two men of the homosexual life. I was at the mall, leaving at night, and the next thing I know, with a cut on my head I awaken to the torture of two men. I have said before, that if anyone has a reason to "hate" this community it would be me. Yet I have a great love and compassion, and I sometimes wonder, if it is why I caution so about the life of the gay community. Let me STRESS again to these two great guys, I am in NO means, putting the entire gay community in this one box. I have found from the hands of men and women in the gay community compassion, gifts, and in ALL honesty a greater sense of love and care from them.

I have said all this, to not have a long comment, but to let you see, where I come from and why I say what I am about to say.

You see your faith, is what has kept you from making this decision a long time ago, and now what has been your anchor in the past, has just become your excuse. I don't understand people when they say... I understand your faith is keeping you from enjoying what you know to be wrong, so what you need to do is give up (anything less than where you were is giving up) your faith and join the rest of us. You see it use to be your faith that separated you from others, NOT MADE YOU BETTER than others, but separated. Now this race that you once ran, with the torch ever so bright, has now become a life of looking for a shadow to cover your glances and the glances of others upon you. This race that you use to run, that once outran the temptations, has now become a ride on the subway, wondering if he is going to give me that wink or nod, so I will know he is gay.

I know that I will be crucified for pulling out the scriptures, but can I ask you a question now, before it haunts you tomorrow...

Gal 5:7 ~ "Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?"

Now I can hear it.... You say that my truth is a lie, and that your truth is correct. No I do not argue that point. No one can tell you what truth is... You must know what truth is, you cannot live my truth and I cannot live your truth, now we can live the same truth, but I cannot live your truth, now how does that ever make sense? :)

I prepare myself now for the opening of pandora's box.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Sophia, St Louis said...

I am totally hooked to this Blog! Due to that fact you are one of a handful of people who know about my project, you may certainly continue to use the phrase...'A Version of Happiness.' If I had more talent and knew the right people I am sure I would be done by now! It is still a work in progress. Here is a cool thought I came up with a few months ago.."Be careful how you live today, it will someday be your past. Plan carefully your next tomorrow, for it could surely be your last." Many a man have said similar things but I have never heard it put just like this, have you?

8:42 AM  
Anonymous C.D. said...

Personally, when faced with temptatation I do like to remember the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith, recorded in the official "History of the Church" (5:361): "It is pleasing for friends to lie down together, locked in the arms of love, to sleep and wake in each other's embrace and renew their conversation."--C.D.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Patmos said...

I worry... What happened to all the comments? I was really enjoying this little get together.

12:43 PM  

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