Monday, January 09, 2006

If only I had known that coming out was going to be so easy!

My brother already knew about my sexuality. They all seem to "already know." This one actually claims that he KNEW, not just speculated, that I was gay. I guess God had been telling him for a while now that I'm gay.

The brother I told tonight has been one of my closest brothers throughout my life. We're very similar in our thought processes – though I could never claim to have his level of intellect. He is really a brilliant person, a very deep thinker. Anyhow, as one of my closest siblings, he wields a lot of influence over me. I came away from our conversation reconsidering a lot of things that I've been ignoring over the past little while. By "things," I mean my religious beliefs. It's so easy to forget the things you believe, and why you believed them in the first place.

This brother and I have a great relationship. We can discuss things openly and honestly without judgment. And when we do get into discussions, we always approach our arguments very passionately, but calmly. I sometimes struggle in our conversations because he, like me, is never wrong. Even more challenging: he refuses to separate religious beliefs from his arguments. He believes in absolute truth and righteousness. This doesn't mean he isn't sympathetic or understanding of my situation; he simply believes in right and wrong, and he does not deviate on that. The man is a rock in his faith. If I had the same faith, I would not have any questions about the path I should follow.

Our 3.5-hour discussion tonight gave me a lot to think about. Happiness mainly. That's really what's at issue here. I simply want to be happy. What will bring me the most happiness? I don't know. That's why I've wanted to try things out with a guy. I want to see how it feels. I want to see if that would make me happy. I'll be honest: I know a lot of unhappy gay people, so I'm not too convinced that "accepting myself" and living a gay lifestyle is the answer. Nonetheless, I'm open to the idea. Of course, my family is terrified that by "trying things out" I will be stepping past the point of no return. Maybe they are right. It's too hard to tell at this point.

I was sad to learn that my other brother -- the one I told three weeks ago -- had actually called and told this brother about two weeks ago. It's not the biggest deal because most people in the family already know or suspect it. Still there's a part of me that is extremely bugged because I had asked him not to mention it to anyone. He was simply struggling to deal with the fact that I'm gay, and he needed someone to talk to. I can understand his internal struggle, but couldn't he have waited three weeks! Honestly! I simply don't need him outting me to the entire family. I want to be the one to do that. He's stealing my thunder! I guess that's the risk I take by coming out to different siblings at different times. Maybe I should do a conference call and tell the whole family at once.

One final funny note ... my brother thinks I might become more effeminate and gay acting if I start to identify as "gay." I tried to explain that I don't look good in tight leather, that I hate rainbows, and that people with lisps and other speech impediments bug me. He just didn't understand. Apparently I'm going to be wearing those butt-less leather chaps very soon. You know the ones I'm talking about. I think it's a requirement for gay porn stars to own a pair before they can join the Porn Actors' Guild. Before long, I'll probably be a porn star too. It's just a matter of time.

Now you have something to look forward to: the release of "Gay Mormon's Hot and Horny Struggles." That's a blockbuster hit waiting to happen.

7 Comments:

Anonymous M l'Homme said...

Dude,

There is no "point of no return" except the one you choose for yourself. Only when you decide to stop listening is any option closed to you.

M l'Homme

P.S. Of course, you'll never be able to be pregnant or wear bottomless chaps and be respectable, but we're not talking about the self-contradictory here--only the possible.

7:16 AM  
Blogger gaylds said...

The problem with "trying things out" as you know is that for lds, is complicated because should you decide that it isn't worth it, the return is very difficult. Possible excommunication, etc.... Not impossible, but there is a reason most gay guys don't come back after they left and it isn't because they've all found happiness. Some just can't handle the emotional toll that trying to come back into the church can be after an excommunication. I doubt I could. One of the things that keeps me in.

7:18 AM  
Blogger CatchingWaterfalls said...

I really hope you do find true happiness somewhere.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Dave Walter said...

First, congratulations on continuing to come out to your family. Given that you're still struggling, I'm not sure the timing is best, but it's more important to be open and honest about yourself than it is to get the timing perfect.

"Even more challenging: he refuses to separate religious beliefs from his arguments. He believes in absolute truth and righteousness. This doesn't mean he isn't sympathetic or understanding of my situation; he simply believes in right and wrong, and he does not deviate on that."

Unfortunately, his adherence to absolutes with regard to homosexuality, and his resulting unwillingness to entertain other points of view on the matter, reflect a closemindedness that makes him incapable of truly understanding or appreciating your situation. I mean, how can you take seriously someone who has the bizarre (but not uncommon) notion that you'll turn effeminate and "gay acting"?

OK, he's your brother, and you're very close, and is very influential, but he just doesn't seem to know what he's talking about when it comes to homosexuality -- other than to parrot the Mormon Church's proscriptions against it.

"The man is a rock in his faith. If I had the same faith, I would not have any questions about the path I should follow."

You would still have questions. You're a homosexual; your brother is not.

"Our 3.5-hour discussion tonight gave me a lot to think about. Happiness mainly. That's really what's at issue here. I simply want to be happy. What will bring me the most happiness? "

Yes, happiness is what it boils down to. I'd like to think that you know, in your heart, what will make you happy, namely, that you need to be you, you need to choose the path that is in harmony with the being you are, the being that God made you.

I can see, however, how your religion -- and everything that goes with it -- could be so severely at odds with the "right path" as to prevent you from viewing the gay- and church-related issues with sufficient clarity.

"I don't know. That's why I've wanted to try things out with a guy. I want to see how it feels. I want to see if that would make me happy.

What do you mean by "try things out"? If it's engaging with sex with a guy, that won't provide you the answer you're seeking. If it's dating a guy, spending quality time with him, enjoying each other's company, supporting one another -- and having sex, too -- then you likely will find the answer you want.

"I'll be honest: I know a lot of unhappy gay people, so I'm not too convinced that "accepting myself" and living a gay lifestyle is the answer."

I know only happy gay people. That's probably because those who I know have all gotten past the unhappy times. They, and I, have been through the struggle -- and what a struggle it was! -- but now we're plenty happy and content with who we are.

By the way, none of my friends and acquaintances lives a "gay lifestyle." In fact, I can't recall any previous friend or acquaintance who led a gay lifestyle. I'm not even sure I know what "gay lifestyle" means.

All of our lifestyles are different. I, for example, lead a pretty typical suburban lifestyle. I live in a house with my husband. We have one set of gay neighbors. All the rest of our neighbors are (apparently) heterosexual. My "gay" activities are pretty much limited to going on walks around the neighborhood, or on hikes into the hills near our houses, with a gay neighbor.

Virtually any lifestyle you lead as a heterosexual, you can lead as a homosexual.

"Of course, my family is terrified that by "trying things out" I will be stepping past the point of no return."

Past what point of no return? Do they have any inkling that you are not just mulling over becoming a homosexual, but that you are one, now and forever? Do they have even the vaguest sense that God made you homosexual, not as a demon to overcome, but as a good thing? And that, if God intended to give you something to struggle with, that thing is your family's (and your religion's) lack of understanding of homosexuality and the real lives of gay people?

The only inevitable point of no return will be when you accept that God made you gay and you decide to live as He intended -- as a gay person.

There are other possible points of no return, with regard to the church. Some gay Mormons opt to leave the church and not return. Others opt to keep their religion in whatever ways they're able. Still others challenge the church and, in at least some if not most (or all?) cases, end up excommunicated, but at peace with or proud of what they've done.

If you choose to live as a gay person, there will be unhappiness in your life, no doubt. It's quite possible that some family members will refuse to embrace you as a gay person. Ever. And when the day comes that you celebrate your marriage or commitment ceremony or whatever with your "husband," the family and church won't be celebrating with you the same way they celebrated with your heterosexual siblings.

So yes, there will be sad times. But the unhappiness that you will experience will be the result of your family's, your church's, and society's fear/hatred/misunderstanding of homosexuality. Being happy with yourself as a gay person will outweigh all that unhappiness immeasurably.

You'll see.

Dave

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm quite happy for you, GM.

Keep in mind that your brother, like you, is only human. He may have an unmatchable intellect, but he is not perfect. And because his intellect was developed within the culture of Mormonism, he is probably an extremely effective advocate for Mormon doctrine.

But there are many intelligent people in this world. If we were to poll everyone with an IQ of 150 or above, I guarantee that their views on religion and God would be about as diverse as the views held by the general population. So you can't rely on your brother's intellect as definitive evidence in the truthfulness of the Gospel.

That's not to say that you should ignore his rationale arguments. But always remember, he is approaching the situation as someone who is NOT gay. And so he can never truly empathize with your perspective.

One can believe in absolute truth without believing in a particular religious doctrine. Just because absolute truth exists doesn't mean that a particular belief espoused by a particular religious organization constitutes absolute truth.

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill here:

First, congrats on all this coming out all over the place. If you and your brother are close, it is so right that you have told him about your struggles.

Secondly, I have been out since 1979 and the only thing I ever wore that was buttless was a jock strap.

Finally, I don't know how you should approach "trying things out." I wasn't willing to fully accept that I was gay until I met my lover. Before him, I had some encounters that left me feeling empty. I also wasn't willing to accept being gay until I had been with a woman. That was pretty good, but it convinced me that the lust I felt for men wasn't just some phase I was going through.

I don't want to sound like a hopeless romantic here, but in all of this discussion of lifestyles and homosexual tendencies, there is very little consideration of the one thing that is so important if you are going to be happy--love. That's really what tipped the scales for me.

3:51 PM  
Blogger David said...

I'm happy that you are approaching things with a bit of humor, it really can make all the difference.

3:52 PM  

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