I remember sitting in my office one day after having attended a friends wedding in the Salt Lake Temple feeling extra lonely and knowing that marriage was not something that was coming my way. I was pleading with God to change things and somehow make it so that I too could marry a young lady and experience what all my friends were. I was 25 years old and had attended over 15 weddings so far that year alone, and it was only March. I had a lot of friends and had attended more temple sealings than anyone should ever have to endure. And I was alone. And I was lonely.
Over a decade and a half later I find myself just as lonely. Yes I have accepted the fact that I am Gay, and embraced the life, and for that I am so grateful, yet loneliness is still my constant friend. Last night as I was listening to a friend, who by the way is stricken in love, tell me about how wonderful it is to wake up with your loved one next to you, to wake up to the smell of your favorite breakfast wafting through the air. To wake up your loved one with a tray of their favorite food in front of them in bed. As I listened my heart yearned to have the same. And it hit me with such force that I honestly had no idea what love really was. I have suppressed romantic love and sexual expression for so long that I now wonder if it will ever have a place in my life? Have I killed something for so long that it is now something of the past that will elude me forever? Am I now so blind to it that I actually push it away without knowing what I am doing? I take a look at who I am and realize that I am a pretty normal person on the outside. I was not blessed with eternal HOTNESS, but neither was I cursed with hideousness, My looks are fairly normal for a guy my age. I am successful at my job and make a decent living, drive a nice car, enjoy boating, travel, riding my crotch rocket and generally experiencing a good life. I have set goals to go skydiving this year, ride five of the scariest roller coasters in the world and run some heavy duty whitewater in a raft with a good friend of mine who is a river guide. To make it short I'm not a bad catch. I may not be the hot little piece of eye candy but I am a normal guy who has a lot to offer and yet here I sit. Two decades ago I was the center of attention where ere' I was. I was the guy in the ward that everyone thought would be the next general authority. I was the guy that every woman in the ward over 25 was trying to set up with their best friend and then none of them could understand why it didn't work out between their Friend and I? I do still get the invites to set me up though I now respond with questions like, "do you have a picture of 'him' that I can see. I can't help but wonder what life might have been like had I been allowed to find the man I love and marry him at a time in life when the rest of my peers were finding their mates. I have always loved kids and though I have none of my own I have more that refer to me as "Dad" and or "Uncle Richie" than I can count. I have a special gift when it comes to children, especially teens, I would have made a good dad. Many who read this will immediately want to comment and tell me that you can't live your life in regret or wonder of what might have been, please know that I understand this and don't live every waking moment in regret or wonder. But I also wouldn't be human if it didn't come up every once in a while.
I don't write any of this to complain and scream "Oh poor woe is me"! I write it to express the wrong that is done when a good person is forced to suppress what is a normal desire and basic human instinct for decades, That being the desire to love. And when I look at why I suppressed my desire and need to love for so long I must admit I get a little angry. I try not to allow the anger to become all consuming but admit the anger is there. I want to know how a group or organization of people can claim to be doing what God commands when those actions bring such turmoil and anguish into the lives of so many. I am not speaking solely of the LDS Church here but any group who condemn another because they are different, any group who feel they have the right to deny another that which they are freely allowed because it is different from that which they have.
I don't know if I will ever find love, but I will forever find joy in the love that those who I love find. Because I KNOW what it is like to be alone and without romantic love, I melt inside when a loved one discovers love. My best friend is a ring and a question away from marriage, and though I am a "little" jealous I am happy that one more person has discovered Intimacy, Romance, and a better way. I would love to hear from those who have had similar life experience.