Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Action, Reaction

I've always known that my gay decisions would hurt some of my relationships. Now, I'm experiencing the hurt firsthand. Ugh. The worst part: it's hurting my relationship with my best friend. I love her to death. And I know she loves me just as much. However, we're still learning how to approach the gay issues of my life.

I must admit before going on that I don't know how I expect her to react to all of this. It's confusing and frustrating for her as well, and it's obviously a conflict for her on some level.

Last night she and I talked on the phone. It was the first time we had talked since I kissed TDH. I told her about the kiss and explained the whole night to her. She listened attentively, even laughing and joking with me throughout the conversation. She also gave some great advice regarding my situation with TDH. Nonetheless, I could hear a tone of sadness or discomfort in her voice while we were talking.

At the end of our conversation, I asked if what we had discussed made her feel uncomfortable. She said she is completely comfortable discussing these issues, but she wants me to know that she doesn't agree with what I'm doing. It hurt to hear that. I'm glad she did share her feelings with me because I always appreciate honesty. But it still hurt. I don't know how I expected her to react to my homosexual stories. I guess I can't expect her to abandon her values and beliefs for me. She is too good to do that. I admire her commitment to her religious core.

I guess I am just sad because we've always been able to talk about everything. She reassured me that I can still tell her about my experiences, but if it's going to be a painful experience for both of us, I don't want to share. Why is it so important to her that I know she disagrees with my decisions? I mean, this isn't the first time she's told me she disapproves. I know that she doesn't agree, and I even respect her beliefs. But why is it so important that I know she disagrees? Why does she have to mention that every time we talk about my gay experiences?

Well, I know why. She loves me. She wants me to follow the church's teachings. It naturally hurts to see someone deviate from the church's doctrines. It hurts me, too. Anyhow, I guess I'm just going to have to limit my homosexual stories with her. Sigh.

Moving on ...

Thaaaaaaank yoooooooou, Bill! I agree full heartedly with his comment on my last post. He said my blog would naturally be self-centered because it's an autobiographical blog! Thank you for pointing that out. That's exactly what I thought when I first read the comment from reader X who said my blog has become progressively more "self-absorbed."

Here's my assessment of the situation. I actually went back and reviewed my blog entries over the past year (you can tell the comment caused some discomfort). I wanted to see if reader X was right. After analyzing my writing, I have to say that I personally didn't see the progressive slide toward "self-absorbedness." I did notice, however, several other changes over the past year. I acknowledge that my assessment is naturally biased, but I still want to share my findings.

First, when I started my blog, I talked a lot about my struggles with homosexuality as a member of the church. It was the first time getting these struggles out in writing, and it was basically my only outlet. As of late, I don't focus on the inherent problems of being gay and Mormon. I feel like I've covered those difficulties fairly well. I can't just keep rehashing them. Well, I can. But I don't like to. Plus, I rehash them enough with the people I've started telling about my sexuality.

Second, my writing was more dramatic at the beginning. I was very serious. The blog focused a lot on my porn and masturbation issues, and I was obviously sad in a lot of my writing. Over time, my posts have become less dramatic, and more light-hearted and sarcastic. It has definitely focused less on deep issues and more on the day-to-day issues I deal with.

Third, over the past year, you'll also notice my writing has departed from the church's rhetoric. It's obvious in my writing that I have distanced myself from the church and from my testimony to a certain degree. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have kissed a guy last week. I'm not saying this is good. It's just a fact of life for me right now.

Those are the major changes that I noticed. But regardless of the changes in my blog, one thing is clear: it's always been ALL ABOUT ME! It has never focused on anyone else. It has never focused on my volunteer activities, my career pursuits, my love for my family and friends, or anything that doesn't relate to being gay and Mormon. (In fact, you might be surprised to know that I have actually been more involved in volunteerism in the last five months than I have ever in my life.)

At the beginning, my blog was about my porn, masturbation and church issues. Nowadays it's about my dating life with guys. Yes, it has evolved. And no, its evolution does not please everyone.

However, let's get to the real issue at hand. I believe that those readers who have been critical of my blog's evolution are simply unhappy with my decisions. And that's perfectly fine. But all three people who have criticized my blog's changes are Mormon. Naturally they are going to be disappointed that I'm not "holding to the iron rod."

I must admit that I feel bad from time to time that my blog has become "less inspiring" for the struggling gay Mormons of the world. I wish I were perfect and lived my religion perfectly. I wish I could be that perfect example for other gay Mormons. Unfortunately, I am human. I am living my life the best I can. Don't give up on me yet! I still haven't made any solid decisions on how I'm going to live my life. I still love my religion, even though I don't live its teachings perfectly. For all I know, I may end up marrying some woman. That seems to be the least likely scenario at this point, but it's still a possibility.

In summary: my blog will continue to change and evolve, and not everyone will be happy with its direction. But that's okay. I accept that.

In any case, I welcome critical comments like the one I received from reader X. It gave me some time for introspection. Believe it or not, I am actually looking for some volunteer opportunities in my area. I really do enjoy doing service, so I'm now more motivated to get involved in the community again. So, basically, your criticisms just make me a better person. ;) lol. By the time I finish blogging, I will be perfect. Keep the criticisms coming ...


Blogger Elbow said...

You my friend are nothing but good and kind. In the times that I have had contact with you, you have made me feel good about myself and have tried to serve me the best way you knew how. You have offered your support and have provided a very positive and empathetic listening ear. That alone says to me that you are willing to put others before yourself.
I feel kind of upset that people would post something negative about you like that "self-absorbed?" I don't get it. It's your blog, and the reason we are all reading is because it's YOUR blog and since it's YOUR blog then by all means make it about YOU!
I just wanted to say that I am proud of you for discovering new things about yourself, and trying to really find out what your life on the earth is suppose to be. Not many people have your courage. If negative comments are made about you then I feel they are out of jealousy and fear.
Continue to learn and grow and if you stop writing about your amazingly complex and introspectively rich life, then I will even still be reading your blog, because I know deep down you are a good person who cares about other people.

5:55 AM  
Blogger CatchingWaterfalls said...

Elbow is right. I wish you nothing but the best.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Peculiar Mormon said...

"It naturally hurts to see someone deviate from the church's doctrines. It hurts me, too. Anyhow, I guess I'm just going to have to limit my homosexual stories with her. Sigh."

Dude think about what you just said. You see that not just sharing your experiences hurts your relationships with friends (and I'm assuming family), but but just HAVING the experiences hurts...I know I'm going to sound like a celibate monk or something, but the gospel is all about keeping our hedonistic urges in check...and I'm not saying you haven't...but kissing TDH certainly can't be helping. Is that the direction that you, in your core, feel like God wants you to be going?

I know how much of a hypocrite I sound like, but I care about ya, GM. I've read enough of your blog to get emotionally invested in your situation, and I've seen firsthand with my sisters how unhappy living the lifestyle can make you...that's one thing holding me back.

There are times when I feel like I want to smack you! Because you admit to your turning away from the teachings of the gospel, and then just shrug it off...yes, we all screw up, but we're here to learn from our mistakes, and try to better ourselves because of them.

Here's a method I use to try to keep myself in check...How long has it been since you tried reading your scriptures (and yes, I reallize that, in many respects, I don't have room to speak, but I'm going to face being a quazi-hypocrite to try and offer what help I feel I can offer...mind, I do feel like I'm calling the kettle black, but I don't really care)? How long ago was it that you prayed to your Heavenly Father and just told him how things were going? Not asking for your trials to be removed from you, but just spill-all to God?

I care about you, buddy...that's why I keep on reading, and that's why it hurts to see you walking the quick and easy path to living the lifestyle. Some of us are holdin' out...tryin' our hardest to not get near the have the power to be EXTREMELY inspirational.


10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to Peculiar Mormon's comments about your power to be "inspirational":

I think that what GM is doing in his blog IS inspirational. It's not an easy decision to search out who he is as a child of God, especially when it goes against what his church (and obviously many of his friends and family) are teaching. Personally, I don't understand what GM is doing wrong in his quest to learn more about himself (I believe that's what the church teaches to do, as I am also a member, who, it should be known, disagrees with the church's stance on this issue). GM, many, many, many individuals are struggling with what you are struggling with. You aren't inspirational based soley on your decision regarding the church, but on your journey through whatever you do.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

I've been fascinated reading your posts the last several months but I hadn't read your blog for a few days and wow! congrats. I know I was concerned when I first started considering myself gay because of all the difficult gay relationships portrayed in movies and how everyone seemed to end up dead or with serious emotional pain. What I've found is that if it's only about sex then bad things probably will happen, just like if you were straight and it was all about the sex. But if you can find someone you truely connect with then sex can be one of the things that helps bind you together and gives you joy. And about sex. Don't feel pressured. Do what you are comfortable with and at your own pace and with someone you care about. Just because you are gay doesn't mean you have to do everything at once or in any certain order, or enjoy every activity depicted in gay porn. In my experience, having good communication and doing what you want, when you want, with the right guy, has led to great happiness, while going too far too fast with someone you don't know very well is a good way to end up feeling lonely and depressed.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Foxx said...

You know, my best friend (who also happened to be my love interest at the time of Upheaval) had a really hard time there for a while with my gay issues. To this day, she still keeps watch over me from her Mormon position, telling me to read and pray, and to watch out for the devil seeketh to have me. It's nice. It hurts, but you know what, it's better that she's there and not gone.

And we got past the whole, "I won't tell you if I think it'll hurt you." After she talked with her therapist, she awakened to a different perspective and is willing to help me out in any struggles I may be having in the relationship world as much as she can. She doesn't agree with my choices to distance myself from the church (I think those hurt her the most), but despite that wound, she knows me. She knows I would never seek anything but the best for myself, and somewhere in her heart, she accepts that I will be walking a different path than the one she was taught.

We're great friends after 1 (going on two) years since coming out. I couldn't live without her. She tells me all her boy troubles and I tell her mine. It's great. I really hope this friend of yours will come around to see the intelligent, motivated person you are.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Dave Walter said...

It could well be that your friend will come around, as Foxx's friend did. One thing you might want to do is not overwhelm her with gay stuff. Make sure your conversations include plenty of the same sorts of topics you chatted with her before you came out.

5:46 PM  
Blogger David said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:57 PM  
Blogger David said...

Carol Lynn Pearson has written a new book and a new play. Both will be out in November. Watch for them, or write me if you want more info. She is faithful LDS but doesn't share the typical view on homosexuality that most Mormons do. I think the book and especially the play will speak to you.

8:59 PM  
Blogger DCTwistedLife said...

First of all, I will tell you that you arent self-absorbed at all. You are very much concerned about others. BUT, this is YOUR blog, YOUR space to do and say whatever you like.

Also, about your friend. Of course you are going to find people who don't agree with 'what you are doing.' But what ARE you doing? You are simply trying to figure out what makes you happiest in life. Maybe the 'Mormon' way will do that for you. Maybe it wont. The point is, its your life to do with what you see fit. Your friend will always love and support you no matter what (if she is a true friend). I am sure its hard for her, but this is also something that is difficult for her to understand. The church teaches that there is one narrow path for everyone, and everything else is wrong... well, it seems that this path is a bit rocky for you, and maybe you werent given the same pair of shoes as everyone else. Maybe there is a smooth path that you can walk barefoot on, and still be happy or HAPPIER as everyone else. Pardon the CHEESY/ stupid analogy... but honestly, these things take lots of time, and it may be best to tell your friend, but to keep it to a certain minimum level, so that she doesnt get all preachy with you, because that certainly help either of you. Let her know that you care for her and that you care about her opinion of you, but that she needs to see that there may be a lot more about homosexuality and life than what the church says, or doesnt say.

5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this the friend that offered you the "gayest weekend ever"? If so, I'm puzzled by her comments.

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've read your entries for several months now, but am finally moved to comment for the first time. I want to congratulate you on the maturity and insight demonstrated in this current post. It is refreshing to see you embrace change and the evolution of who you are and what makes you truly happy, post-BYU and post-mission. Unfortunately, not everyone who is close to you now (family, friends) will embrace this evolution on your specific timeline. If they truly know you and love you, however, they will eventually come around. Their lives will be fuller, knowing a man who is true to himself, true to his creator, and living an upstanding life, while at the same time seeking that which most of us ultimately cherish most -- lifetime companionship and intimacy. This kind of life *is* possible post-mission, post-BYU, and post-mormonism. I know this firsthand.

2:08 PM  
Anonymous David in KC said...

I've dropped in on your blog from time to time. I'm not Mormon but have a good Mormon friend who came out after thirty years of marriage and four children. So, I have some sense of what you're experiencing and the pressures you face.

I encourage you in your journey of discovery. But, don't wait for thirty years like my friend and I did! Don't saddle another poor woman with a closeted or "ex-gay" husband. It wouldn't be fair to either one of you.

And, don't buy any BS about just having an SSA. You'll just be fooling yourself; your sexuality is about who you are at your very core.

BTW, I believe that the gospel (good news) is about liberation - not about keeping hedonistic urges in check.

I don't mean to rant, but I hate to see anyone put himself through the thirty years of struggle that I went through before I finally saw the light.

10:24 PM  

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