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.


  1. As someone who survived a disastrous marriage too, I completely agree with so much of what you've said. So much I could have avoided. Grateful to have a second chance and to be able to say Wow, he's cute. Not fearing to point directly at any church that perpetuates the problems. The freedom from the closet and ability to pursue love that feels right. And so grateful for it all.

  2. Not all marriages of MOMs are unhappy, miserable, disastrous. Sure, there are issues and circumstances to face that may be beyond the norm, but what if a marriage is still happy and fun, and fulfilling, and rewarding beyond the kids and the obligations that go with them? What if there is a possibility that things are still pretty good together with a partner that you love and she loves you - all of you, including the "gay" part? What if she knows that you like "cute guys" and yet doesn't want to go off and have an affair, but is content to build an even stronger relationship? What if... well, you get my point.

    Sometimes it makes sense to keep going and it isn't just because of religious fear of eternity.

  3. @ Beck - I'm not very good at dealing in "what ifs." I left that behind when I left the church. The simple fact is that statistically a MOM has an extremely low percentage of being successful. Sure there may be the exception to the rule... I forget what the numbers are, but it seems like less than 5%. Just reading the blogs of others in the Moho community supports that. Sadly the church encourages a naive optimism that a MOM will work out - because of course that is what is deemed an acceptable relationship in the church.

    I don't believe in the notion of acceptable collateral damage in a relationship - that being that one or both in a MOM must deny their own happiness or identity in order to make it work. I have yet to see any truly gay man say he is happy and wouldn't changed anything being married to his wife. Or a wife that is truly happy that her husband is always got one eye looking around for cute guys and not her. If you can find such a gay man I will show you one who is still in the closet, or a wife who gives in too much. Either way it is not a healthy or balanced relationship.

  4. What you call collateral damage, I call compromise. Compromise is part of any relationship that succeeds. Maybe I'm not "truly gay" or more likely I have bought into the "naive optimism" of hope that my MOM will work, but either way, there is still the 5% chance of it working, no?

  5. I'm a bit conflicted on this post. I agree with much of what you wrote and I do think the church inflicts a lot of the MOM conundrum on people. It is probably true that if I didn't grow up in the church I would have accepted my homosexuality much sooner and probably would never have gotten married.

    On the other hand, I didn't get married just because the church said that I had to. My wife and I actually fell in love with each other and have a great, uplifting relationship. Both my wife and I are now disaffected with the Mormonism and promises of "eternity" aren't keeping us together, yet our relationship continues to be good. I'm not at the point where I feel I should throw out our relationship with the hope that I can find something better with a man (perhaps I'm still early in my journey and mostly closeted). Currently I see more collateral damage resulting from ending our MOM than from trying to keep it going.

  6. I like the idea of being reminded of what you have gained vs what you have lost. It's easy for me to get frustrated about the things I may have missed out on, but I (hopefully) will have a lot of equally wonderful opportunities in the future.

  7. Man, you really hate the church, don't you? Your sarcasm abounds when you call the plan of slavation coming from Joseph Smith. You don't believe for a second that it came from Jesus. So, if you hate the church as much as you fucking say you do, why align yourself with the mormon gay bloggers? why have anything at all to do with the church? Do you also sit around and bad mouth your ex-wife? be a man, man, and move on. if you hate something then hate it, and move on. Why do you have to be so fucking crazy about it? just leave it.

  8. @ Pete- after looking at your own blog I can see that you also have a large chip on your shoulder about something. All five of your posts are about calling people liars and frauds. What's up with that bro? Someone must have really wronged you or pissed you off for you to be suspicious of everyone.

    I wasn't being sarcastic saying the plan of salvation is crap made up by JS, I'm being serious. Just as I believe all of the BoM was made up by Joe. That's why I'm not a member - but why should you care anyhow? I don't align myself with gay mormon bloggers per se. Some of these people are not active members either but have the frame of reference of having been a member and/or married while dealing with their orientation. I draw strength and support from some of them as perhaps some get the same from me. It's part of being a community. But a person of your vitriolic negativity probably doesn't understand that. Bad mouth my ex - no not usually, unless she happens to be bad mouthing me to her family and boyfriend. What goes around comes around. Again why the personal attack - do I know you?

    Be it as it all may - why are you so hostile. Remember that as a commenter you are a guest on my blog. While you may not agree with some of my thoughts, you could be so kind as to show a little respect or at least some sensitivity.

  9. Well I guess I should say something considering I believe it was our blog that got you thinking.

    I don't want this to be some defense of our marriage or the choices that we have made, because honestly, they need no defense to our family, friends, church leaders, or any one else. Camilla and I have faced our challenge in the best way that we know how. We have tried to do things thoughtfully and deliberately. This is, I believe, being my authentic self. While the context of our marriage vows has certainly changed since I came out, our situation merits thought, ration, faith and love. If in the end things don't work for us, we will have the knowledge that we did things the best that we could.

    You misunderstand my position when you say, "Good thing we were sealed in the temple honey so this gay trial will go away in heaven." This certainly does not reflect my feeling. I suppose I should do a post on my current feelings on this subject.

    If I may be blunt, I believe that you are projecting your obviously difficult experience onto other MOMs that you view from a distance on our blogs, which are an inherently biased account of our lives. I know you had a horrific experience with your ex, but that is not mine, and as such our decision will necessarily reflect a different reality.

    I know you are concerned for us. I know you want us to avoid pain, and despair. I appreciate your love and concern. You are a good friend and we are lucky to have that from you. But please know that we have no delusions and will make the best decisions for our situation that we are able to.


  10. My dad is 82 and before he leaves this planet , his wish is for me to go back to church,Catholic, AND CONFESS MY SINS, meaning confess that I am gay, A VERY HANDSOME SEXY GAY THAT IS, This will let him pass on with relief that I will be forgiven and when I die go where ever we go forgiven ...???the church priest knows my dad personally and If I did this because I love him And want him to be happy on his passing bed, I will. I love myself and he loves me for me . He is freaking out right now because its getting closer to the days he may die. I am ALREADY IN MOURNING AND AM VERY SAD. Can't live without my dad. I only wished I had a lover , because he would have loved him.