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.