Friday, December 16, 2005

One Year Later

Hmmm. What’s the last thing I should be doing at 2:30 a.m.? That’s right … blogging. :) I feel bad that my blog has gone rather unattended in recent months. My apologies to all those faithful readers who can’t make it through the day without hearing from gay Mormon boy. I’m sure there are so many like that. No, I am super happy that I have the few readers that I do have (that sentence sucked structurally ... but I don’t feel like recasting it … it’s going to stay).

Well, it was a little over a year ago when I first began this blog. What a wonderful experiment! I started thinking about my blog, and I wondered: what has this blog done for me? One reader said about ten months ago that even after a year's time I would be at the exact same point because I can’t make up my mind. He’s right. I don’t think I’m any more decided on my sexuality than when I first began this blog. I still believe the church is true. I still have homosexual desires.

However, I don’t think this blog was a waste. Let’s do a quick recap of the year.

1) I was able to come out to two friends – something I probably wouldn’t have done without this blog. This dialogue has helped me become more confident in myself as a gay person. Two people may not be a lot, but it's a beginning.

2) I have realized that I love who I am. I love my personality and I love being me. I have imperfections, but that’s okay. I’m still a good person (at least I think I am).

3) I have come to realize that people are wonderful! So many blog readers have said so many wonderful things about me. Maybe it’s just because I’m a sucker for flattery, but I think you all are phenomenal. I wish I could meet you all. I just absolutely love reading the nice (and even the not-so-nice) things people have said on this post. I realize that the group of people who read this blog has probably changed dramatically over the past year, but I hope you all know how grateful I am for your wonderful comments. Thanks everyone!

4) I have come to realize that both sides of this debate have equally valid points. It’s a tough dilemma: religion v. sexuality.

5) Last, but not least, I have decided to gradually reveal my homosexuality to family and friends. I just decided this recently. In fact, I was so close to coming out to my best friend last night. I chickened out – for several reasons – but I told her I wanted to tell her something this Sunday. I’m nervous about it, but I feel like it’s time. I feel like she has an idea and that she should know. I just hope telling her doesn’t change our relationship too dramatically.

Speaking of telling her, how should I go about it? I was thinking of a top 10 list of funny/horrible /cheesy ways to come out to somebody. I didn’t come up with 10, but here are the ones that I did come up with. You can vote on the one you like best (see side bar). We’ll pretend my good friend’s name is Heather.

A) Heather, you and I are so much alike … we both like peppermint hot chocolate, we both love to dance, we’re both attracted to men ...

B) You know how we both love David (mutual friend)? Well, I really do LOVE David.

C) Heather, I’ve been meaning to tell you something for a long time. I’ve been thinking about us a lot lately. I know we’ve always just been good friends, but I think we should take this relationship to the next level. That’s why I’m going to tell you something I’ve never told another girl in my entire life. Heather, I’m gay.

D) Oh, I have a funny story for you. You know how I'm gay, right? Well the other day...

Any other funny ways of telling your best friend your gay? I’m definitely open to ideas! I'm positive you all have funnier ways of saying, "I'm gay."

18 Comments:

Blogger Silus Grok said...

I'm out to all of my friends, numerous acquaintences, and anyone at church who's tried to set me up on a date... but I'm not entirely out to my family.

So it was a big thing when I decided to tell my brother and my mom.

I told my brother a few weeks back, and will be telling my mother tonight... but the way I told my brother was ingenious:

* ring *

"Hey, bro... ( small talk ). So, I'm coming out to mom some time before Christmas, and I wanted you to know first — that way, if she needs some one to talk to, you'll be in the loop."

Coming out obliquely has its pros and cons: it's easier for the guy doing it, but it doesn't really leave a lot of room to discuss stuff. Which isn't always good.

Anyway, good luck, bud!

10:29 AM  
Blogger DCTwistedLife said...

I think you should just tell her. Just say, "Listen Heather, There is something I need to tell you, I am telling you because you're my best friend, and I want you to know all of me. Maybe you already know, or think this. But, I'm gay."

No need for ways to casually mention it. But thats just me. I told my sister when she asked me how thing are with me lately. Luckily for me, she responded beautifully. All I got was support and love. And I am sure your friend will be emotional about it, but I think it will be worthwile for you to tell her.

As far as you having to 'choose' Religion or sexuality, I dont necessarily agree. I now think that organized religion works for some, and not for others. I've never in my life personally felt that there is one "true" and only way to God. I fear that there may be, but if thats the way it is, I think its a nasty system.....

Anyway, good luck, and let us know how it goes! You will do great when you tell your friend, I am sure it will go well. Love is always there.

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill here:

A year already? I had to go into the archives just to confirm it for myself. Gee, really nice knowing you for a year, GM.

As for "Heather"--I think Dctwistedlife has the right approach. Whereas your poll suggestions are genuinely funny, Heather is your best friend for a reason. You can be open with her, I am sure. Often your friends know you better than you know yourself. I won't be surprised if she already knows.

As always, I wish you much success and happiness.

7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

G.M.

You have a wonderful interesting blog that I read regularly. Please don't stop.

You sound like you are ready to expand the circle of loved ones who know about your sexuality. And I think that's great. The more we open up to people about our true thoughts, feelings, and beliefs, the more comfortable we become with ourselves.

Ideally, we like to think that every reaction to our revelation will be loving and positive. But some may not be, and negative reactions might be difficult to handle. But I'm confident that you will feel MUCH better about yourself and your relationships after you have taken this step. Those relationships that are genuinely valuable will become more valuable. Good Luck.

8:37 AM  
Blogger Peculiar Mormon said...

This might be me playing devil's advocate, but lemme interject a little bit. GM, you tend to use the term 'gay' alot...now...I don't know about you, but were I to say "I'm gay," for me, that'd be announcing that I'm completely out, I'm living the lifestyle, and there's no turning back for me. My therapist and I were discussing the term "gay," and really there is no concrete definition.

There was a study done (I don't know which, specifically, or where, but bear with me) within the last century of a number of thousands of "gay men" here in the United States, trying to get a definition of just what "gay" meant...what all did it take for a man to be "gay," as opposed to having sexual propensities that they can't act on (in our case, towards men)...by the end of the study the following were shown:
- Almost ALL of the men had not remained faithful to their 'partners,' when in an established relationship
- Less than 4% remained 100% 'faithful to the lifestyle,' and the other 96% had experienced at least some kind of an attraction contrary to their self-pronounced homosexuality.

The fact of the matter is this: you and I battle with Same Sex Attraction (I'm sure you've heard the term "SSA")...yes, we're attracted to men, but from what I can tell thus far, you haven't started living the lifestyle, even outside of the Utah bubble...therefore, in my book you're not GAY, per se...you've got/deal with SSA.

Stew on that a bit. Always awesome to hear from you!

3:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope Heather doesn't or hasn't ever had a thing for you...she may be hoping that you are going to tell her that you are in love with HER. YIKES.

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Charles B. said...

I think you just need to tell her. It doesn't have to be planned out, but I also know it helps to ease the nerves a little. As you come out, there is always a risk you might lose someone, but you will find supportive friends.

4:34 PM  
Blogger meg said...

As a girl who has had been the first for multiple boys to come out to, the best thing to do is just tell her. She'll be supportive and non-judgemental. From what you've said, it is obvious she cares about you and will be helpful through the whole "coming out" process. Good luck!

8:09 AM  
Blogger CatchingWaterfalls said...

Well, I just found your blog a few months ago, but I do enjoy gettting the updates on you, even if I don't really know you. I think it is awsome you are telling people. Even if you do decide to try and live as a hetero, haveing people know and support you is very important.

8:43 PM  
Blogger Jade Rampant said...

Hey there. I haven't really read your blog much. I just came across it maybe half an hour ago. But I wanted to say how much I respect you. I'm LDS as well, and I'm really touched about your desire to be worthy of a temple recommend, and I know you can do it. Have you ever read the book In Quiet Desperation? If not, you really have to read it. It has had a great influence on my view of homosexuality--particularly within the Church. You've probably already read it, but I thought I'd comment on that, anyway.

Way to go. Keep the faith, my brother. God loves you.

11:51 PM  
Blogger Dave Walter said...

Sorry, Peculiar Mormon, but you're WAY off-base. The study you refer to sounds so preposterous as to be either fiction or the propaganda of an antigay group.

First, a study done "within the last century"? So, theoretically, it could have been done in 1905? Anyway, any study done more than 10 or 20 years ago simply isn't valid today.

Second, take a look at this: "...what all did it take for a man to be 'gay,' as opposed to having sexual propensities that they can't act on...." Sexual propensities that they can't act on? Why can't they?

Third, the dubious finding that almost all of the gay men in relationships weren't faithful to their partners implies that gay men can't have relationships. As one who has been in a same-sex relationship for 25 years, I can state with authority that such a suggestion is rubbish.

Fourth, the claim that "96% experience at least some kind of attraction contrary to their self-pronounced homosexuality" is patently ludicrous, and it lends credence to my suspicion that the study is just the product of a bigot's imagination.

Fifth, you seem to be obsessed with making a distinction between same-sex attraction and being gay. You say, "...but from what I can tell thus far, you haven't started living the lifestyle." What lifestyle is that? It's sad that you apparently have no realization that there is no such thing as a "gay lifestyle," just as there is no such thing as a "heterosexual lifestyle."

Sorry to come down so hard on you. I really do feel for you and for GM. But I cannot allow the misinformation you shared to go unchallenged.

Dave

12:39 AM  
Blogger Jade Rampant said...

Dear Dave,

I think when he said "can't act on," he meant "don't act on." Of course, I could be wrong. I don't know him, after all. But that's how I read his comment. Also, I see what he's talking about with the differences between SSA and being "gay." His choice of words might not have been the best, but I think I understand the point he was trying to make. There's a difference between having Same Sex Attraction and being gay in the full sense of the word. I think what he was trying to say is that "gay" should be defined as people who have acted on their homosexual feelings and should not include individuals who have the attraction but do not act on it. I dunno if I made any sense, but hey, I tried.

-Jade

10:24 AM  
Blogger Dave Walter said...

Jade,

I know you mean well, but what I and others are trying (perhaps futilely) to do is shift the context for GM and Peculiar Mormon from struggling with a problem to celebrating a God-given part of their being.

Having same-sex attraction and not acting on it can be roughly compared to having cravings for chocolate, but not eating any. In both cases, the individual is suppressing a perfecly natural human impulse. The difference is that the Mormon religion considers one unacceptable and the other quite acceptable.

A person's need to distinguish between same-sex attraction and homosexuality is merely a coping mechanism, an apparent attempt to cling to the hope that one can live with same-sex attraction but not be a homosexual. But an adult experiencing same-sex attraction is a homosexual, period. Whether or not he or she chooses to act on that innate sexual orientation doesn't change the orientation.

I once had lunch with an acquaintance who considers himself to be an "ex-gay" person. He stopped engaging in gay sex, got married, and had children. But he never stopped being a homosexual, and he never developed an attraction to women. He simply forced himself to engage in heterosexual sex; he considered it a price worth paying to escape the "gay lifestyle" and achieve a "normal" life.

When I asked him what the "gay lifestyle" was, he responded that it was a life of sex with multiple partners, drugs and drinking, and staying out in bars and bathhouses until four in the morning. What he didn't comprehend is that that was not the "gay lifestyle" -- it was a particularly destructive lifestyle that he entered into, but which had nothing to do with his sexual orientation.

Clearly, he never got over the self-hatred he felt because of his homosexuality. Neither the self-hatred nor his homosexuality will go away, though, regardless of how much he tries to mask them with a wife and family. It is likely that, eventually, he'll have to deal again with the issue of his homosexuality.

It's too bad the guy didn't initially choose, as a self-loving gay person, any of the thousands of lifestyles that don't revolve around indiscriminate sex and substance use. (And I'm not condemning such a lifestyle, by the way; my religion doesn't condemn any lifestyle that doesn't hurt other people.)

By the way, the book you recommended, In Quiet Desperation, refers to same-sex attraction as "a heavy burden" and "clearly one of the most difficult and perplexing challenges of our time." The book is exactly the opposite of what a struggling young gay man -- or anyone else -- should read to gain a true understanding of homosexuality.

GM and Peculiar Mormon should check out www. affirmation.org, the site for a group of LDS gay men and lesbians who have gotten past the "struggle" and are living happy, fulfilling lives as both Mormons and active homosexuals. To GM and Peculiar Mormon: If you are unwilling even to check out that organization, you should think long and hard about why you're unwilling to do so.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Jade Rampant said...

Dear Dave,

The thing is, Mormons actually believe there is a difference between SSA and being gay.

You say you want to help them celebrate a God-given thing. But what you're really asking them to do is give up their religion--a religion that is so deeply believed in that they would actually resist their sexual urges because of their beliefs. That is strong belief.

Contrary to what you say, I thought that book was quite positive. At least it seemed so to me when I read it. I read it at a time in my life where I was wondering about my own sexuality, afraid that I felt more than platonic love for a friend. That struggle within me is another story for another time. What I'm trying to say is that during that confusing time in my life, that book gave me comfort. You say it refers to SSA as "a heavy burden." Well, it is to a lot of people. And it obviously is for GM. But it didn't dwell on that. It told about a young Mormon man who was gay but still a worthy priestood and temple recommend holder.

The book is written by the man's parents to try and show people that homosexuality doesn't make you a bad person. Directed primarily at Mormons, his parents wanted to show how he was still a righteous young man. I found the book to be uplifting and comforting. I knew that even if I did have an attraction to my same-gender friend, it would be okay. I could work through it and live with it and still be close to God. I think it's a wonderful book to read, particularly for any homosexual Mormon.

My recommendation still stands.

And I personally believe that one cannot be an active homosexual and still be a Mormon. Not truly. Maybe they still attend church meetings, but that's not what makes a Mormon. Follow the gospel of Christ is what being a Mormon means.

GM loves his religion, loves God, and is trying his best to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord. I admire him because of that, and I think that that book I recommended will help him have strength and hope. It did with me.

-Jade
P.S. This is probably the first time I've gotten into a discussion with someone about homosexuality and the Church. Thanks for discussing with me. :)

3:15 PM  
Blogger Dave Walter said...

Jade,

I'm glad you're sharing your thoughts here.

"And I personally believe that one cannot be an active homosexual and still be a Mormon."

We fundamentally disagree on that point, and I don't believe the chasm between us can ever be bridged.

From my point of view, any book or other source of advice that counsels a homosexual not to engage in homosexual sex is not only unhelpful, but harmful to the well-being of the person.

While it is totally comprehensible to me how someone with sincerely held religious beliefs could not fathom deviating from those beliefs, I know that the only true path to happiness -- and to properly serving God, for that matter -- sometimes demands that one or more of those beliefs be reassessed and, as warranted, discarded.

That will be a tough leap for GM and Peculiar Mormon to take, and it's one that most Mormons would strongly advise against, but take the leap, they must -- and the sooner they do so, the quicker they will experience true peace, happiness, and immeasurable relief.

Aloha,

Dave

3:49 PM  
Blogger Jade Rampant said...

Dave,

I definately agree that neither of us are going to persuade the other to our way of thinking. Which is fine, obviously. However, when you say that the path to happiness and properly serving God "demands that one or more of those beliefs be reassessed and, as warranted, discarded," I must disagree with you. I do see where you're coming from, and I do believe that one's ideas and beliefs must change and mature as the individual does, but I think that such is not the case with religious beliefs. Some religious beliefs, perhaps. But when something is stated in no uncertain terms from men who you believe are prophets and called of God, then you can't change your belief without denying your religion. If the prophet says something, it's from God. Someone who truly believes that he is a prophet cannot say "Well, I believe that he speaks for God, except for that one thing . . ." If I had time to find my notebook, I would give you a quote from one of our leaders that says pretty much the same thing. However, I have to leave at the moment. I'll find the quote and post it when I do.

-Jade

5:52 PM  
Blogger Dave Walter said...

Jade,

I won't discuss theology; we could debate that for eons and get nowhere.

I'll leave you with two things. First, this passage from the Affirmation Web site:

"We believe that a same-gender orientation and same-gender relationships can be consistent with and supported by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We affirm that we are children of Heavenly Parents who love us the way they created us and will judge us, as they do all, based on what we make of our lives here and how we have treated our sisters and brothers."

Second, this link to an Affirmation Member's Letter to the author of In Quiet Desperation.

Dave

11:32 PM  
Blogger DCTwistedLife said...

Interesting discussion.... I personally think that people need to do what makes them happy. I find myself caught in the bind between acting how I want to act, and trying to live the church lifestyle. But then I think sometimes its all some act. Right now, I'd prefer to be dead than to be 100 percent Mormon and miserable...or on the other hand 100 percent in the gay lifestyle. GM, like everyone else in our situation, is probably afraid to make such a decision.... I understand that. For straight people to sit in Utah and tell gay people how to feel, how to act. I think is wrong. They will never understand what its like. There can be no empathy, and there is very little sympathy, because in reality, they simply DONT understand. Because there is supposedly only one way, and thats it to them. Its a narrow path. If you dont fit, move out of the way.

12:38 AM  

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