Sunday, March 28, 2010

While out shopping

There is just something about weekends.  I'm not sure what it is.  Perhaps being away from the rigors of work brings it all to the surface.  Now things are so touchy that it's difficult to go out shopping with out getting emotional about it.  And not in a 'I'm pissed 'cause Kohl's doesn't have the stylish jeans I want' sort of way.  I really hope this isn't a bad sign.  I mean is this normal?

So I see a pair of guys obviously a couple.  They were in the underwear section checking out the cute gay things on sale.  I hope I don't need to explain gay underwear to everyone.  Anyhow it was just cute watching these attractive guys.  And of course I thought to myself, now see I need myself a guy to buy cute things for.  I happened to notice one of them was carrying a box with the neatest little desk in it.   I just had to see what else there was that might be worth checking out so I started looking.  I went over to the housewares via the fun appliances.  Oooo, I want one of each of those kitchen gadgets.  You mean it crushes blends and stirs your frozen beverages.  I need one of those!

And then I get over to the other section through the linens of course seeing all the nice bed sets and towels wishing I could buy a bunch.  Some really nice picture frames - but I don't have any pictures of anyone.  Those foot stool things with storage in them - classy.  And I see a table in a box just like the one the guy had.  It happened to be next to an attractive outdoor tent complete with a chandelier. It was very classy.

And then it hit me.  What the heck would I do with any of this stuff?  I a few months I'll probably be homeless - provided the house sells.  I sure as heck have no one, not even any immediately close friends to share it with.  And as usual every thing seemed so pointless.  I just wanted to crawl in to the hole where the composter was and bury myself in it.  The days of playing house are long since over.  Before long it will be me, myself and I - and literally no one else.  The idea of coming home to an empty, well, apartment are indeed even less appealing.

I had been told by a number of trusted sources that after the first year things get easier.  Am I just to darned impatient or am I hopeless?

Hell week is upon me.  I suppose I'll have to sweep this back under the rug for later.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Hold your horses

Wow!  My last post has been the most controversial one to date.  Thanks everyone for being such great participants, or perhaps great sports- a touch of humor, truly.  My own little corner here is usually such a dark one that I'm really quite surprised at the number of reactions that have found their way on the comments page.

To those who may have been offended - none was intended.  It was a rather blunt writing after seeing a few blogs dealing with a mixed orientation marriage where things were not going as was desired.  I certainly didn't set out to spend my one year anniversary post shooting down those trying to make something work that I could not.

Just prior to starting this one I put on my other blog how I hope this has stirred a center of conscious thought.  So let me redirect the cross examination a bit.  What I hope everyone can take away from the previous post was an opportunity for themselves.  To give yourself the permission to ask "Why am I/we doing this?"  And to ask it of yourself and should you be so fortunate, your significant other, on a frequent basis.  Is it out of duty, commitment, faith, hope devotion, love, fear, comfort..... Only you can ask the question and (I hope) honestly answer it.

There's a line at the end of Back to the Future.  It goes something to the effect "the future is yours, so make it a good one."  So despite my on the surface cynicism of the last writing I hope and pray you are all able to carpediem... in whatever way that means for you.

Peace all,

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

One year ago: a remembrance

Yesterday I found myself reminiscing while on another Moho blog trying to be helpful offering my thoughts about the struggles of a mixed orientation marriage that I experienced.  I'm not sure I was very successful since it was late at night and I just shouldn't let myself be posting at 11:00pm.  It wasn't until this morning in the shower thinking about what I wrote on their blog last night (and whether or not I should have said anything at all) when I realized it was one year ago today that I first came out.  My goodness what a whirlwind of ups and downs it has been!  A lot of downs and only a few ups - for now.

So after one year it seems worthwhile to hit on where things have been in the last year.  I didn't want to get in to some syrupy post about how much I've grown in the last year.  None of it was easy, fun, or desirable. I think if I had the choice then I would have very much preferred to kick the can down the road.  One way or the other the outcome was inevitable.  On the other hand, I've rediscovered myself and have been able to find a self honesty and self recognition of who I am that never once before existed.

For so many years I led a double life.  The good, talented, Mormon boy that everyone saw, and the fearful closeted gay guy I really was while no one was looking.  Secretly sneaking glances at the cute guy walking by, or discreetly looking online.  Just a couple nights ago for the first time in my life I put a gay themed picture on my desktop that has rather profound meaning (just to the right here->).  I can't exactly remember where I found it.  Nothing stirs my heart more than to see a gay couple expressing their genuine love for each other.  I like this particular image because their aren't faces, and despite how obviously attractive both of these guys must be, they really could be anyone.  Even me.  I have found myself collecting images of gay couples showing affection because that's what makes my heart swell and resonate within my being saying "this is what I want, and who I want to be."

In coming back to how it all began it really is amazing how I have survived it all.  My ex was pretty determined to end things quickly. And then I see so many M-O-M Moho couples determined to make it work whether children are involved or not.  I can't imagine once a spouse comes out and they decide to "make it work" how painful that must be for both in the relationship.  Perhaps it all comes down to the ingrained teachings of the church and the illusive theology on the possibility of gay people being just like all the rest of God's heterosexual creations despite the lack of such a possibility in Joseph Smith's grand design in the Plan of Salvation.

Now being out of marriage and allowed to explore what I avoided for 29 years, I don't understand why any MOM couple would put themselves and their gay spouse through the mutual struggle of denying themselves and their happiness to stay in a relationship that is only minimalistically beneficial.  The only caveat to that being children the couple have together.  So I have to ask the question... is it some kind of selfish tendency that forces one to sacrifice one's self in a relationship that isn't going to work in terms of attraction, love, and physical intimacy?  Why would anyone want to deny who they are and certainly a resulting lack of personal fulfillment and happiness? If there are children involved wouldn't a couple want to be in a stable, trustful, and loving relationship so as to be the best parents possible to the child?

I guess there are still so many things about a MOM that I don't understand.  And it seems, at least for those in the Moho community, there seem to be a million reasons to "tough it out" and silently suffer, and never one reason permitted to be considered to support getting out of what clearly doesn't work for you, a relationship, or children - regardless of what your faith tells you.  Forgive me friends, I just don't get it.  Perhaps those of us raised in the church have some sort of self serving need to be martyrs of the faith like church history paints Joseph Smith as being.  I've heard the line in other blogs that suppose that being married to a gay person is just another trial that won't happen in the next life.  It makes me sad that spouses sometimes have little regard for their own happiness let alone the happiness of their spouse, pushing aside their needs and desires as well as those of their partner, screw on the Mormon smile and pretend everything will just happen to work out.  Well if not in this life then definitely in the next, right?  "Good thing we were sealed in the temple honey so this gay trial will go away in heaven."  The unnecessary torture these families are putting themselves through... and I just don't know how to help them.

It's just so frustrating to see this situation continue to be perpetuated as a rational option for living life. And this is the point where I will pin it on the church and hold it responsible.  If Mormonism, and many other faiths for that matter, didn't spread the falsehood that being gay is an abomination, a massive sin, is something that can be controlled, and all those other lies, none of us would have gone through the miserable messes we have.  I would have been better off not wasting so much of my life and carelessly dragging another person with me.  Things could have been so much more pleasant and odds are life would be a lot more rosey.

The amount of agony I could have avoided watching my ex start dating a mutual friend only a week or so after I came out, and long before we filed for divorce.  The resulting "honesty" that came out of her unhappiness and admitting to me how much she wanted to have an affair (and well technically ended up getting that wish).  I would have liked to have avoided all of it.

So many things I wish I could have avoided.  What can I do but keep moving.  I suppose some good has resulted from the mess.  My first date in the summer.  The first very brief dating relationship with another Moho guy I was interested in.  And the best of all, being able to look at boys and go, wow he's cute, without feeling guilty!

I just keep hoping that picture of the two guys will swiftly come to a reality for me rather than just a figment of my desire as it always has been for the last 30 years.  I keep that picture on my computer not to remind me of what some may have considered a loss while in the closet, but what I've gained.  Freedom and some degree of happiness.  And not just being free from the chains in my closet, but free to pursue my love - whomever that ends up being.  Thank you God for such a blessing, however hard it was in the beginning, but keep walking with me on it since I have such a long way to go still.

An anniversary posting coming soon

Just like the title says.  A bit of a momentous week for me.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

As it was once before is probably now

Borrowed from Rob @ Scrum Central for my own archive here.  If anyone has access to a more original online I would love to have a link.  This one stops and makes you think hence why I have reposted Rob's excellent arranging of this piece.

Dear -----:

It was a real pleasure to greet and have a moment to visit with you and your wife here this past week. It is wonderful to see how enthusiastically you are received by the good people of Utah.

After listening to your talk on homosexual rights, I am very much concerned. Several others have expressed the same concern to me. It does not altogether harmonize with my own understandings regarding this subject; therefore, I thought to drop you a note--not in my official Church position, but as a personal friend. Only President Monson can speak for the Church.

I felt that your views were most liberal on this vital problem in light of the revelations, but nevertheless, I cannot deny you the right of your position if it represents your true belief and feelings.

I would like to suggest you read the teachings of leaders of the Church on this subject. President David O. McKay said homosexuality was even worse than heterosexual immorality and called it a "filthy and unnatural habit." Spencer W. Kimball called homosexuality a habit based on selfishness and caused by masturbation, said it was unnatural and contrary to the nature of God, and declared that no real love could ever exist in any homosexual relationship. He affirmed that it could be cured and suggested that those who failed to overcome it simply had not tried hard enough. As you may know, the organization called Evergreen International, which has unofficial Church backing, offers resources and support for members of the Church with this problem and who wish to change their sexual orientation.

When I reflect upon the statements of these Church leaders and remember what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as to the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations which all tolerated and supported homosexuality, I am sobered by their demise. They went contrary to the teachings of the prophets, unwittingly, no doubt, but nevertheless, the prophecy of Joseph Smith, " . . . those who are determined to pursue a course, which shows an opposition, and a feverish restlessness against the decrees of the Lord, will learn, when perhaps it is too late for their own good, that God can do His own work, without the aid of those who are not dictated by his counsel," has and will continue to be fulfilled.

In this respect, let me give you a personal experience. A friend of mine in Arizona--not a Church member--a great champion of homosexual persons--came to me after my call into the Twelve, and acknowledged President Monson to be a Prophet of God. He wanted me to ask President Monson to inquire of the Lord to see if the Lord would not lift the curse from homosexual persons and give them the privilege of same-sex marriage. I explained to him that the Lord had prohibited homosexuality; therefore, it was the Lord's responsibility--not man's--to change His decision. This friend of mine met a very tragic end by drowning. He was a most enthusiastic advocate of same-sex marriage privileges for homosexual persons and went about promoting for them all the privileges, social, opportunities, and participation enjoyed by the heterosexuals.

The statements of the prophets I reference above have been a helpful influence on me because they accord with my own understandings regarding the homosexual. I cannot, in my own feelings, accept the idea of public accommodations. I do not have any objection to recognizing the homosexual in his place and giving him every opportunity for education, for employment, for whatever contribution he can make to the society of men and the protection and blessings of God. Yet, all these things, in my judgment, should accord with the expressions of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

It is not right to force any class or race of people upon those of a different social order or sexual classification. People are happier when placed in the environment and association of like interests, sexual instincts, habits, and natural groupings.

I am enclosing a little booklet entitled "God Loveth His Children", which you may already have. If not, it is an enlightening exposition and quite well reflects the Church position in regard to these people.

I am not against legislation that would establish basic civil rights for the homosexual if it conforms to the views of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the other leaders of the Church according to the references above given. I fully agree that the homosexual is entitled to considerations also stated above, but not full social benefits nor marriage privileges with each other, nor should heterosexuals be forced to accept homosexuals into restricted heterosexual areas. In my judgment, the present effort to establish so-called "gay marriage" is vicious legislation. There needs to be some modification. The position of the Church cannot change until the Lord changes it Himself. Certainly I am not for exploiting gender-based or religious prejudices, but it is the present play-up to the homosexual voters which is unnecessarily creating problems that by a more firm, sensible approach can be avoided. There will always be a few die-hard leaders, but then that has always been true with any debatable issue. Principle--religious or otherwise--cannot be abrogated for political expediency.

Now, don't think I am against the homosexual, because I have several in my employ. We must understand and recognize their status and then, accordingly, provide for them. I just don't think we can get around the Lord's position in relation to the homosexual without punishment for our acts; going contrary to that which He has revealed. The Lord will not permit His purposes to be frustrated by man.

Please understand that I have a great respect and admiration for you, but because of my feelings I thought I should express myself as I have so you will know my personal position.

This letter is for your personal use only (also your wife's), and is not to be used in any other way. It does not require an answer.

With best wishes and success to you both always, I am

Faithfully your friend and brother

"Surprised? Astonished, even? Think this is a fake?

Well, it sort of is, but sort of isn't either. Replace all the gay references with "African-American" or "race" or what have you, as necessary, and take out one paragraph where I had to substitute some quotes from past LDS leaders, and you'll have the exact text of a 23 January 1964 letter from Mormon Apostle Delbert Stapley to Michigan Governor George Romney, in which Stapley essentially told Romney that his support for civil rights was contrary to God's will. Yet how much of this letter, as I've "amended" it, falls right into line with current Mormon thinking about God's gay children?"

Sunday, March 14, 2010