Saturday, July 02, 2005

Riled Feathers

First off … I just want to explain that, no, I wasn’t suggesting I am sad about not being a bishop by age 25 like my father. I just thought it was ironic that a reader said, “I was very intrigued by your last post and your family reunion. The thing that stuck the most was how your entire family revolves around what each of you have accomplished regarding church callings, etc. Obviously a 30-year-old Bishop would have been one of the signs of real success.”

Isn't that funny? I shared it to give more background on my family’s culture. Really, I don’t ever want to be a bishop. I think it would be one of the most difficult experiences, and I don’t like all the hoopla associated with big church callings.

The Church is very important to my family. They don’t seek callings, and they are some of the most down-to-earth people I know, but they really believe in the Church. And I think it’s a good thing. I think more people should exhibit pride in the organizations of which they are members.

Regarding the whole dad-son theory on homosexuality, I was really just speaking from personal experience. The research that I have seen has been mixed. I’ve heard it from both sides – the Evergreen folks and the gay community – and none of it is conclusive. Nonetheless, I just know that I personally have a poor relationship with my father. I also have a hard time building close relationships with men. I have many guy friends, but none of them are my really close buddies. Just good friends (which I’m happy about). I’ve noted in past blogs that once I get to know a guy, I’m usually no longer attracted to him. Perhaps that’s because I accept that he’s heterosexual and that I don’t have a chance with him – I don’t know.

I just thought I would see what you all had to say about it. Apparently everyone who reads this blog believes that homosexuality is strictly a genetic issue. I’ll be honest: I’m still skeptical. I have very distinct heterosexual memories that make me think otherwise. I’m not saying it’s not genetic for others, but I don’t know if my homosexuality is genetic-based. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I believe it’s a combination of both genetic and environmental factors. I think both play an important role in determining sexual orientation.

It’s good to know that many gay men have great relationships with their fathers.

By the way, I had never heard from the Church nor from BYU that homosexuality is caused by poor male-male relationships. I wouldn’t be surprised if they espoused those views, but I learned about it from Evergreen and like organizations.

C.D., that’s interesting that so many people have poor relationships with their fathers. You may be right that homosexuality has nothing to do with that.

Randy suggested that one can have homoerotic dreams, but not be gay. So does such a person not feel any attraction toward men during the day? Is that person only a gay sleeper? I don’t understand. Feel free to clarify if you want. I, personally, have had very few homoerotic dreams. Does that mean I’m a homosexual by day but a heterosexual by night? ;) Sorry. I’m just being a smart ass.

One reader said, “It sounds as if you are trying desperately to find a cause for your homosexuality.” He’s right. I think knowing the root cause of my sexuality might help me to resolve many issues. He’s also probably right that I’ll never truly know the cause. He raised some excellent questions about lesbians. Like I’ve said, I am totally ignorant about lesbianism, so if anyone wants to feel me in on it, please do.

BYU certainly has the ammo necessary to kick me out. I suppose I should be more careful, but, honestly, if they kicked out all the BYU students who look at porn, they’d lose a fifth of their student body.

I always knew that my parents would be very embarrassed if I came out; however, I had never really thought about it much until I read Scott’s comment. I absolutely agree. I think my father is very concerned about how my sexuality will reflect on him. In fact, I’ve begun wondering lately why my father has been supporting me so generously. He literally has given me several thousands of dollars over the past year. I wonder if he isn’t trying to pay me off to stay in the closet. :) That’s kind of funny. I’m probably over analyzing it. He’s probably just a loving parent who wants to help out his poor college student.

I found Andy’s comments to be very sincere and insightful. Thanks for the great thoughts. I’m still processing many of them.

Yes, the prophet and general authorities are human and fallible. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t inspired men. The Church does have some black marks in history, but that doesn't mean its not true. To understand the Church’s history, one must consider context. The Church doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and to a certain degree it does evolve over time. I could easily argue that God would have it that way. Anyhow, this is really too big of a topic for me to discuss right now. Plus, I doubt either of us is going to convince the other of anything. :)

No, I don’t plan to stay in Utah. I would like to leave after I graduate. Anyone know of a public relations, marketing, or sales job I could have? Ha!

I love Utah, but I like the adventure of living somewhere new.

Is my sexuality reason enough to abandon my family, move to New York and surround myself with homosexual friends? I really do love my family, even though they are homophobic.

So, the United Church and Spain recognize homosexuality. Interesting. (I really don’t know what my response to those article was supposed to be. Is the one who posted those articles suggesting I move to Spain? Join the United Church? What's the implication? Just kidding. I’m just being a smart ass again. I’m in one of those moods.)


Anonymous CD said...

Dear GM: You're talking as it's "Evergreen versus the Gay Community. It's "Evergreen versus the consensus of scienfic opinion." Theries are discreditede by empirical researc, whic can be replicated whether thec researche is gay or straight. The notion that distant fathers and close mothers produce gay kids has bee discredited by researc. It's not a gay rights issue.

Moving to New York (or any environment more sophisticated than Utah) and surrounding yourself with friends--both gay and straight--whoknow you for who you are and accept you for who you are--will help you. Your sexuality is not some little teeny part of your makeup you can choose to ognore, to stay closer to your family. If you want to have closeness with a liofe partner, you leave your parents and cleave to the partner. The basic principle is the same whether you're straight or gay. And yes, you will have better relationships with mkle friends once you are out and can be open. You will have closer friendships once you are hones. I don't think you can say you have close friendships with guys if you aere not open with them about the fact that you are gay. You don't trust them. That is not a close friendship, as I might define it. Or, to say it better, you will have CLOSER friendships when your friends know ou're gay and ccept it, and it's no big deal. My friends are both straight and gay. But 'm open about ho I am. It's easier to live like that.

Many of us have sexual fantasies, thoughts, feelings, dreams, smetimes about both sexes. Kids who are raised t believe homosexuality is bad may suppress awareness of their gay feelings for a whiile.

Kinsey's lamdmak studt on human sexuality notes that of the American males surveyed, fully 50% acknowleged having had some homsexual fantasies (even though most of those men are predominantly heterosexual). It's a part of our makeup. His research suggested that 4% of American males were exckusively hmosexual in fantasies and actions in their lives. About 1% were more homosexual than heterosexual (taking into account both fantasies and actions) for at least three years. Over a third of the males admitted having t least one homseuxual experience to orgasm) ith another male at some point (including experimentation, fooling around hile drunk one night etc.) As Kinsey famously noted, homosexality is not limited to homosexuals. But if your strongest desires are homosexual, you have probasbly always been homosexual in your orientation (even if you had some incidental heterosexual desires/fantasies as well). That's my take.

Finding a job in public relations in a city like New Yor, ncidentally, is even easier if you're openly gay, since the field is pretty mch dominated by gay people, and will be more comfortable who's gay or at least gay-friendly. Almost everyone I know who works in PR in the NY area is gay... It's one of those fields, like dance, here being gay isa plus.... m CD

1:12 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

The thing about straight men having homoerotic dreams is that non-sexual concepts can take a sexual form in one's dream life. Sex is a very powerful form of union, not just physically, but spiritually as well. Thus, a man may have homoerotic dreams that reflect a craving for closeness with other men or a need to love himself. A man who has those kinds of dreams isn't necessarily homosexual at all.

Sexuality is such a primal force that I'd be leery of any theory that results in something so simple as distant fathers/close mothers as a cause. A little cognitive therapy should be able to "fix" something with such a simple cause, and yet therapy doesn't seem to "fix" homosexuality.

4:21 AM  
Anonymous Fellow said...

Please be aware, if you are not already, that Kinsey's studies have qualitative importance, but not statistical importance. The population from which Kinsey pulled his data was self-selecting and highly unlikely to be representative of the general population.

10:44 AM  

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