Thursday, December 24, 2009

Lonely is the Man Without Love

Having recently fully emerged from the closet many have felt the need to remind me of the Church's position in regards to homosexuality. One particular friend, who also happens to be a Bishop, reminded me that the Church has no problem with homosexuality so far as one does not "act" upon their "attractions". Hello -- can't they understand how ludicrous that concept is. I wanted to know how he would feel if I asked him to refrain from any intimate contact with his wife for the rest of his life. He had no answer. I remember sitting as a green (new) missionary in a non-members home teaching them the plan of salvation. The topic of eternal marriage was brought up and my companion made the comment that he could not imagine a God who would allow his children to develop such an intimate love as you find within the marital bonds and then expect them to abandon that relationship upon their death. Why is it that "they" expect us to live a life without that intimacy, and preach that our relationships will end at death because of our orientation. Seriously what kind of a God would this be? There is so much more to the infinite concept of homosexuality than our finite minds can comprehend. While we await this comprehension too many remain lonely without love. I can not believe this is what God wants for his Gay Children, my heart tells my the opposite is true. . . Besides I'm feeling somewhat lonely this Christmas Season, I guess it's the Post coming out, Dad dying, prechristmas Funk?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

No More Lying

My family would have me believe that I have let the world down and have caused too much pain and disappointment in their life's.
I'm sorry they feel that way! I'm even sorrier I allowed them to make me feel that way.
Thanks for some sound words of advice Alan, ideas which helped me to understand that this is not the case. I do not mean to sound trite but dealing with the death of my father was in many ways easier than dealing with the family once they found out I was gay. My older brother approached me yesterday telling me how disappointed he was because I had not come to him sooner. He let me know that he had done more for me than anyone else and that he "deserved" better than this. He then told me how disappointed he was because I had lied to him. At first I denied the fact that I had lied to him but the more I thought about it I realized "damn straight" of course I've lied, I mean how could I not have lied in trying to keep this hidden in the closet. If I have to be honest with myself I have lied much more than I would like to admit to way too many people trying to keep them from discovering my secret. The more I have thought about our conversation the more I wish I would have talked about how many times I have listened to my Father and my brothers bash gays, how many times I have listened to my father and my twin talk about how Gays, Queers, Fags, etc are responsible for the degeneration we see within society. About the time I sat in my brothers suburban for over an hour on our way to help a sibling listening to "them" "discuss" prop 8 and the total and complete support they had for the church and their actions in trying to put down gays. How if we allow Gays to continue in their plight for equality they will somehow destroy the family and all that it stands for. They somehow had a way of making the Gay population responsible for most all that is wrong in our world. I wish I would have asked him if this was the group of people I was supposed to have been honest with and told them from the beginning that I was gay. Should I have spoken up at the time and told them that it was I they spoke of, well OK I probably should have but who would? They are oft times angry with us for lying to them yet they continue to foster an environment which makes it nearly impossible for one to feel that they can be honest. Once you have listened to what they have to say and know how they feel about who you are, once you have read the words of a Prophet of God referring to homosexuality as repugnant, ugly, perverse and "The Sin" of the ages, you are supposed to admit that all this is You? Get Serious! If they feel hurt that we have lied to them, can they imagine the pain and guilt we feel for having lied to ourselves? No more lying to neither they nor myself.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's all a part of the Journey

"I" & "Me"; two short but intense words which have become the center of focus much too frequently. An English Professor of mine once gave the following challenge; "I challenge each of you to go for an entire week without beginning a sentence with the words "I" or "Me" in your daily journal entries". As part of our curriculum we were required to keep a daily journal and at first I thought what an easy challenge this would be, boy was I wrong. This experience helped to open my eyes as to how self-centered we as human beings oft-times are. And when I say we, "I" am mostly referring to "me". With all the billions and billions of planets, stars, and galaxies out there how have we come to the conclusion that we are at the center of it all?
This past month or so my life has become self consumed with my own pains, aches, and ails. I know that the Rx to ease these woes would be to put them aside and go find another who just needs a Hug, physically or metaphorically, and to be the one who provides it for them. I think that is what Christ spent his entire human existence trying to teach us. If only we could learn to follow the council given to us in the scriptures; "lose yourself and then you will find yourself", then perhaps our own pains and woes would seem less empirical, less important. It is important to embrace some form of selfishness, for without it we would never be able to face our inner demons and have the strength to recognize our weaknesses and begin to over come them. However when this inward thro becomes all consuming we lose sight of one of the most important principals taught by Christ, that of Charity.

I have felt some guilt for being so self centered in my posts, however I have recently come to realize that it is all part of the journey. There needs be no guilt, just acceptance and realization that it "Is What It Is" each and every feeling and emotion should be embraced and experienced then let go. My end goal is to become less and less self absorbed, to begin enjoying the journey rather than fighting against it afraid of what may lie at the end. Through dealing with my Fathers death and the way my twin brother has dealt with my coming out I have come to realize that we have no idea what the future holds, what lay at the end of our path. I think it is by learning to enjoy life along the way that one finds true inner peace and happiness not by holding in anticipation to what may or may not be in store at the end. If my journey is able to help but one then every pain, every heartache felt along the way is worth what it took to endure. Possible one day someone will come across my blog and read what I had to share. Possibly that one person will think to themselves, "Man, I thought I was all alone? This guy knew the pain and he made it through just fine, maybe I will to. . ."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Uncertainty of Change

Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of this "Journey" is the uncertainty where relationships are concerned. Let me explain; Until recently I have had a healthy social life, being single, gay and in the closet, serious dating had not been a viable option to fill the social needs in my life. Therefore I have filled my life with friends and family. I have considered myself one of the lucky ones because I had more people whom I called friends than most anyone I knew, and I truly considered them friends. Until recently I have seldom questioned how others have felt about me, I have known that people liked and trusted me. Unfortunately the coming out process has caused me to question these relationships more than I thought I would have to. I have come to realize that tho people care, in most cases there are stipulations and or requirements involved. In my heart of hearts I am having a difficult time understanding how anyone could turn on another simple because of their sexual preference. I have believed that brotherhood/ friendship bonds transcend all and could withstand the tests of time. In the long run this may still prove to be true, but for now it doesn't seem to be.

Most of my friends and much of my family have been OK with my being gay. Only a few have completely cut me off, yet the relationships are just not the same. I knew things would change but I guess I was hoping they wouldn't. Communication with loved ones now comes at my initiation and even then I can tell how uncomfortable many are. Even with those whom love you the most, things change. I know this is a normal part of the process and that I have to have patience and give people time, but knowing this does not make it easier. Not that long ago there was seldom an empty evening on my schedule, now they seem to have taken over. Tho I know people care and love me, the invitations have all but ceased. It's like I'm losing my Straight Life and haven't as of yet "found" my gay one. I miss my old friends and am currently unsure as to who my new ones are. I would like be part of a group again, to develop new friendships and kinship's and fear as a result I am at times over zealous in the process. I hope that my new friends and brothers are able to have patience with me as I realign my life.

A few years ago my twin brother gave me a small magnet which read, "We are brothers by birth, but friends by choice". Throughout the years my brother had indeed become my friend, my best friend and many friends had become my brothers. The changes spoken of above have come with me kicking and screaming the whole way striving hard to hang on to what I had. Three years ago my twin brother started shutting me out of his life, I think he and his wife began suspecting but didn't know what was going on or how to handle it. Their solution was to begin closing down and pushing me out the door. Their reactions have caused me to doubt relationships the most. If your twin, literally your other half can turn on you then anyone can. This is not the attitude I desire and am striving to begin trusting once again. This may not be a healthy view but in being honest with myself it is how I feel. A good friend once told me to be ware when coming out of the closet because life would change. He said that when he came out of the closet, being born again took on a whole new meaning. He came out many years ago and talks of what he and others went through in regards to this process. He believes that people often lose everything and have to start over in the rebuilding of their lives in order to truly accept who and what they are. He believes that when this happens the person often comes through it a much better person than before the process began. Who knows? What I do know is that for the time being I feel like a lone tree lost in the center of a thick forest. I am caught between two worlds, no longer in the one but not yet in the other.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dad Died Today

If you recall from last week I had started to tell some of my family that I was gay when I found out that my fathers brother had just passed away and decided it best to wait for a few days to talk to mom and dad. This afternoon I called and made arrangements to talk with them tomorrow morning, a couple of hours later I got a call from my oldest brother informing me that my father had just passed away, totally and completely unexpected. He had laid down to take a nap and his heart just stopped.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gay from the Get Go. . .

I woke up at about 4:00 and couldn't get back to sleep so I turned on the Television and watched the DVD "Christmas Shoes" starring Rob Lowe. I love the song by Newsong but had never before watched the movie. It has been sitting amongst my Christmas collection on the movie shelf for a couple of years and this morning I thought what the heck, Rob Lowe is a cutie why not watch it. Not only did I get to see "Robbie" but was quite touched by the movie itself. I would highly recommend it for those of you have not seen it as of yet. Wholesomeness and Cuteness, dang! you can't beat that combination.

Rob Lowe and Robbie Benson are two actors I like, probably because I had a crush on both as a teen. For some reason watching Lowe caused me to reflect upon a television movie I watched when I was about 11 years old. I believe the name of the show was "Ode to Billy Joe" at least it was a movie adaptation of the song. Like I said I was about 11 at the time and wasn't able to sleep so I snuck downstairs and turned the TV on, found this show and sat to watch. Robbie Benson played a teenager who lived near Choctaw Ridge somewhere in Mississippi. I immediately felt a connection with the character Billy Joe played by a young Robbie. During the movie he and his friends went to the county fair and during their adventures they ended up at the tent row of ill repute. The young teens were going into the tents and visiting the "Ladies" inside. Billy ended up in a tent with a guy in it and experienced his first homosexual encounter. An experience which caused a great deal of shame and emotion within. Living in the South was a lot like living in a Mormon society, one was taught that he would be better off dead than to be a Homo. Billy Joe MacAllister was a self-repressed homosexual, and leapt to his death from the Tallahatchie Bridge out of shame, frustration, and I might add ignorance. I wept as I watched this guy I had just "fallen for" leap to his death. I remember jumping to my feet and yelling "no, don't jump" at the television screen as he prepared to jump. It was the first of a few gay suicide experiences I would encounter in my life. At this young age I could not comprehend why he felt he had to kill himself just because he liked another boy?

How could I have been so naive all these years, I was gay from the very beginning.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Don't Allow the Anger to Consume You.

A good friend of mine was going through some rough times and after crying on my shoulder for a day or two he made the following comment, "I've spend a day or two in tears, now it's time to dry my eyes, see the good in the world, and go help someone before I become so consumed with pain and anger that I allow it to take over".

It's coming to get you?

Ever feel like you've merely stopped to cool your feet in the river and the "Aligator" is coming to ''gobble you up"?

I've been perusing my archive and Dang, the posts have gone down "Funk" lane the past few days. Sorry bout that folks! But what do ya do when you've got all this stuff building inside and there's no place to go? You write about the feelings in your blog. It's a safe venue, the computer screen can't argue with you and tell you that what your feeling has no value. The keys you punch don't argue back, they don't try to get you to see things "their way", they merely allow you to express your thoughts, emotions, and/ or feelings. On the other hand it cannot express any emotion, this thing of plastic, silicon, and steel referred to as a computer has not the ability to give you a hug, tell you your loved, or help convince you that your OK. There are human beings somewhere out there in this cyber-space we refer to as "The Web" who read the things we write and reply with love and concern. To them, Keep it up! Many people have no venue outside of this cyber world or blogoshpere to express themselves and discuss their homosexuality, they need the words of encouragement offered here. People need to understand they are not alone. And dang, this road we are on does at times seem a lonely one. Pulling from the words of a famous author, We have indeed "Chosen The Path Less Traveled. . ."

I knew this was going to be a hard week, but I had no idea how difficult it would in reality be. Things have been fairly strained over the last few years with my family anyway and this has been the icing on the cake as far as many of them are concerned. In their minds, my coming out has proven to them that there were right all along. Thank the heaven's above for reactions like that of my younger bro, he has made the rest hurt a little less. A couple of years ago I began expressing my concerns with the church and some of it's policies. I was not one to rant and rave but for example when my bros and my father were discussing "Homo's" and how they were responsible for the degradation, and or degeneration in our world, and how the "Homos" were going to be responsible for society's downfall if we allow them to continue in their path. . ., I began expressing my concerns with their philosophy and lack of charitable thoughts. I had not as of yet come out, but I knew what they were doing was not right and could no longer keep silent. My family was not pleased with this "New Way of Thinking" and began to warn me of the dangers of questioning the Brethren. From this point on things began to change, family members began pulling away while at the same time pushing me away. My twin brothers wife made the comment to another sister in law that her top priority was the safety of her children and that she would do anything to protect them, even if it meant removing me from their lives . "Protect them from what?" I wondered, as if they thought I was some kind of predator because some of my views differed from their own. Why is it that many so-called Christians have this fear of allowing their kids to associate with anyone who has opinions which may differ from their own. They claim to live the life of Christ and then shout and scream out of anger and bitterness bourne of ignorance. Keep in mind I am referring to my Twin Brother, my other half. If there are any twins out there you know what I am talking about when I refer to the "twin bond". There is a connection that can't be explained. When I was living in Hawaii and he was here in Utah he would always know when I was having a hard time and visa versa. Inevitably I would get a phone call when the day had dumped on me, when I had spent the day in the ER I never had to call and let them know there had been an accident for he already knew and was tracking me down before I had the chance to call. I aways knew that his wife was with child long before they announced it. After moving back to Utah I sat at their dinner table more than at my own. If I missed an evening meal the kids were on the phone wanting to know where I was and why I hadn't come for dinner. In other words, at one time I Was Loved as a family member, until I "started to change" as they put it.
Now? I don't remember the last time I was invited for dinner, His wife generaly gives me the "if looks could Kill" look when she sees me. Once in a while she is able to force herself to be amiable, but that's about it. The separation pains have gone deep and they have hurt over the past couple of years. I thought I had done a good job of accepting the "New Order" of things. However. . . my Twins reaction to our conversation brought all the pain and sorrow back instantly, like a searing hot knife ripping through my soul. I know that this too shall pass, that possibly I am making a much bigger deal out of it than need be, but pain is real and when it is present it hurts. Have you ever felt like you lost a part of you and that no matter what you are able to do and accomplish you are incomplete without it. That's what it's like to have your Twin ripped from you. I guess there's been enough Self Pity, it's time to move on and hope for a better tomorrow where my family is concerned. . .
As I have expressed before I am somewhat of a music junkie. When I get in a funk music helps me to deal with my emotions. This morning I have been listening to my all-time favorite song which was introduced to me by my favorite missionary companion, Elder "C", the name of the song is "Hold On Hold Out" which I believe was written by Craig Doerge and sung by Jackson Brown.

Hold on hold out, keep a hold on strong
The money's in and the bets are down
You won't hold out long
They say you'll fall in no time at all
But you know they're wrong
Known it all along

Hold on hold out, keep a hold on still
If you don't see what your love is worth
No one ever will
You've done your time on the bottom line
And it ain't no thrill
There's got to be something more
Keep a hold on still
You know what it is you're waiting for
Now you just hold on
Hold on hold out, hold on

Give up your heart and you lose your way
Trusting another to feel that way
Give up your heart and you find yourself
Living for something in somebody else
Sometimes you wonder what happens to love
Sometimes the touch of a friend is enough

Hold a place for the human race
Keep it open wide
Give it time to fall or climb
But let the time decide
Sometimes you wonder what's in this for you
But you wait, and you see
'Cause it's all you can do
Just to hold on
Hold on hold out, hold on

For the countless souls beaten by their goals
Keep a hold on now
And the ones betrayed by the deals they made
Keep a hold on
If you hold your ground it'll turn around
Keep a hold somehow

Hold on hold out, keep a hold on tight
Tonight's the night
Wake up and turn on the light
You fight, and you're right...
It's gonna take all your might...

You're a hold out
Well I'm a hold out too
But it took me all this time to figure out
Something you already knew
Will love be true? Can it pull you through?
How long? How strong?
Somethings depend on you
See... I always figured I was going to meet somebody here
and I don't know why
Why should love come down and suddenly just sweep me away
I want to fly
But there are so many things in my way

I guess you wouldn't know unless I told you
I love you
Well just look at yourself...
What else would I do?

Hold on...

Friday, December 4, 2009

I'm Tired and Need a Hug

I'm Tired tonight! I'm tired of talking! I'm tired of listening! I'm tired of writing! I'm tired of wearing the "Mask"! I'm tired of trying to keep a positive attitude! I'm tired of family! I'm tired of friends trying to tell me how patient "I" need to be! I'm tired of being told how inherently evil I am! I'm tired of having God quoted to me! I'm tired of being "Told" how I feel! I'm tired of being told that being Gay is a choice! I'm tired of being told how disappointed people are in me! I'm tired of pasting a smile on my face so the world won't know how tired I am! I am tired of hearing the question, how dare you drop this bomb on me? I'm tired of being Tired! I'm tired and I just want a HUG, and there is no one around to hug me! Just in case you can't tell, "I'M TIRED"! lol Sure do hope tomorrow is better!

Morning After

It's the morning after and I just feel sorta Numb!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Told the Family

Tonight's post is going to be short, It has been a long, tiring, frustrating night. I have talked about coming out to the family in the last few posts and tonight I came out to three of my brothers. My twin brother reacted the worst, but to be honest that is what I expected. He had some choice words to share with me, and made darn good and sure that I knew how "disappointed" he was in me. Phooey Bro! My younger brother who lives in the Midwest totally and completely made up for it though. He was truly the righteous one out of the bunch. Kind of ironic that he claims to be the least righteous, while my twin is so proud of the fact that he is not only righteous but also humble. KUDOS Lil bro, you're the real stud in the family! The rest of the family comes tomorrow, parents and all! I know! I need to be more understanding of them if I am wanting them to be the same to me, but dang it's hard to be understanding and feel Christ Like when someone is thrashing on you? Thank You to a handful of wonderful friends who helped see me through this crazy night.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thorns Only Hurt. . .

I was watching a movie with some friends last night which took place in England during the Revolutionary period. Two young men had taken off their shoes and socks (yes they were cute) and were racing each other across the courtyard. They had been running hard and now were walking slowly along the path when one looked at the other, while ouching, oohhing, ohing, hopping from one foot to the other, and said, "why is that you only feel the thorns in your feet when you quite running". A light went off in my head, EPIPHANic moment. (I sometimes like to make up words) As I look back on my life the thorns have often hurt the worst when I have quite running. Sometimes I run faster than other times, the speed at which I move matters not, for my race isn't against the world, but rather with myself. Besides if I am up and running then it is more likely that I may be able to help pick up another along the way and help them in their race.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Carousel Ride

I wrote the following poem as a young teenager. At the time I knew where my feelings lie but was in complete denial of my sexual orientation. I saw my brothers and felt they were the lucky ones and wanted to be more like them, I felt alone and was letting life pass me by. I now feeling that coming out is like learning to enjoy the carousel ride rather than merely being stuck on it. Once you are out and able to accept who you are one can truly begin to enjoy what life has to offer. I now see the beauty and am continually learning to enjoy this ride called life. As this week progresses I hope that as my family learns about me they are able to recognize that the positive changes they have recently seen in me come because I have finally accepted who I am, regardless I will continue to enjoy the ride.

The Grand ol Carousel

The world is like a giant carousel turning round and round each day.
Creatures sit high upon it's back going round while up and down.
These may be made of wood or stone, it really matters not.
For both look alike to the untrained eye as they whirl by and by.
If you ask each horse what it feels like to be on this carousel
It might amaze you what they say as they go around in flight.
Some will say life is great, you get to ride for free.
While others say it is hard to face each dawning day.
Some will talk of the wind they feel as they as they gently glide around.
While others feel that going up and down has spent their day in waste.
This one see's the ride as hell, unbarable each day.
And then there's he who rides and looks with eyes wide as can be.
To see the flowers and the tree's with each new turn about.
He see's each blade of grass and thinks This one is real grand
It was not here last time around, it must have grown so fast.
He views the world as his training ground, a grand ol place it is.
God must love him to give him such a life.
This guy see's his brothers, in front and back behind.
Each one painted differently so gallant so divine.
He wonders what he might look like, and feels he must be nice.
For God made him just like the rest, each a beautiful sight.
And then there's he who cannot see himself as pretty as the rest
The others look so happy there, He must have been made with haste
To be so sad and miserable He cannot be like them
He must be the only one whose paint has faded so
Why cannot he be like the rest, beautiful and happy too?
Why is he the only one that goes up and down with haste.
The others move higher than he, or perhaps they move not at all.
Oh yes, they are the lucky ones, to sit firmly planted in their base.

Why oh why could he not be them instead of who he was.
For a moment let Us turn unto the one who made this magical thing.
He must have thought how nice it was to sit and watch each horse
As they moved round on this carousel, His greatest creation yet.
He must be proud of each great horse as they pass by His own view.
The love that went into each one still flowed throughout his soul.
Each one different from the rest, yet somehow still the same.
He hears the horse that cries out loud, saying life is hard, unbearable
Sadly this one somehow misses His creator sitting high upon the hill.
He is so caught up with his woes he cannot see past this carousel
He cannot see the beauty that God placed everywhere.
He knows not the reason he goes round and round...
It is so that he can see the world, all there is see.
The horse that sees this ride as wonderful thanks his master dear
He understands that He was placed carefully, in the spot that was the best.
To show him all that He had made, the creator placed him in it's midst.
He shared with him this mighty sight how lucky could he be!
Finally the day came nigh when the ride stood still
it would not move again.
The creator took each horse and showed them to themselves.
They ooh'd and awe'd as they realized each one was the best.
The one who thought he was so bleak turned out to be the grandest of them all
Yet somehow as he gazed upon himself a sorry sight he saw
What had he missed? And then he realized, He would never know.
The others spoke forever of the sights they saw each day.
They gave thanks and gratitude to the creator of it all
For allowing Them the chance to ride, this grand old carousel.
And now he realizes that joy has passed him by.
He will never get the chance again to ride the carousel


FB friends, I've realized that it's easy to let our imaginations get the best of us, it just kind of takes off and runs wild with absurd thoughts. I think that's what I have let happen where telling my family is concerned. There is no way of knowing ahead of time what the outcome will be so why let ourselves go crazy worrying about it, dreaming up every horrible scenario possible. As a teenager I remember seeing a poster in the store with the big ol grizzly bear rubbing up against a tree scratchin' his back. The phrase on the poster read: "What do you mean don't worry about it? The things I worry about never happen." As if the very act of worrying about it was what caused it not to happen, NOT! As a young man this made an impression on me and caused me to think about the time I wasted worrying about things that never happened. Somehow things managed to turn out OK every time. No matter my families reactions I am sure life will continue to move forward and I will continue to laugh, smile, cry, etc. I think when we stop worrying and fretting we see more clearly and oft times the answer is right in front of us.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Telling the Family

It's time to tell the family! I don't know how they will take it but most likely not well at all. My family's way of dealing with difficult issues is to first try to be the saviour of the moment but then abandon the "Offender" when their efforts fail. For after all if one is not living up to church standards then he may be a bad example for the rest and or even try to convert the kids to their way of thinking. I am comfortable with my sexuality and will not allow the family the opportunity of trying to help heal me. When they discover that I have no desire to change that I will be embracing this life I can only imagine how they will respond. One of my dad's brothers was a trans and he ended up alone to the end. He was recently found dead in his apartment and he was so far "gone" that they could not determine the exact cause of death. He was so alone in life that he lay in the apartment for weeks before anyone knew that he was gone, and that only because the neighbors complained of the smell. My father tried to help his brother "change" when he first learned of his "illness". He had left his wife and driven to Colorado seeking a sex change, when dad found him he brought him home and put the man through hell trying to change him. He literally drove his brother from his life through trying to "help" him. He tried to make it look like he had done everything in his power to love his brother but his brother had chosen to leave the family behind and follow his deviant behaviors. His brother only lived a few miles away but he no longer had anything to do with him. Uncle Gary was not welcome at family functions because of the influence he might have on the kids. Is this what lies in store for me? I fear it is, but I will no longer let the fear keep me in hiding. It is time that they know who their brother, uncle and son is.

My greatest fear is that my siblings will keep me from their kids. I love my nieces and nephews with all my heart. I have spent a lifetime loving these kids being much more than just the average uncle, and I will most likely become the apostate one as taught to them by their parents. Many of them are still young enough that whatever their parents say will be taken as fact. I have been "Uncle Richie" for too many years to lose these kids, but am trying to prepare myself for the fact that it could happen.
Wish me luck friends, I have a feeling many of you totally and completely understand.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Lion and The Gazelle

With yesterday's post in mind, and considering the fact that balancing your religious views with what your heart tells you about being gay, it is important to know before the journey begins how difficult it will at times be. Anyone who has run a marathon or triathlon knows that they will eventually "Hit the Wall" somewhere along the way. This is where their body and mind want to quite, it feels like they cannot go another inch. It is at this precise moment that one must grasp a hold of all the inner strength they possess and"push through" to the next level. Those who surrender to the pleadings of a tired body and mind will never know what it feels like to reach the finish line. At the precise moment you want to quite, your body and mind are in such pain that your perception of reality and the final outcome of the race is somewhat eschewed. Knowing ahead of time that this is going to happen you are able to psyche yourself from the beginning to push through. Before you know it you have gotten your second wind and you have what it takes to finish the race, to stand amongst the winners who know what it feels like to cross the finish line. It matters not whether you come in first or four hundredth you are a winner if you endure to the end. So it is with the emotional roller-coaster ride we call life. Everyone has their crosses to bare, ours just happens to be dealing with being gay and having deep spiritual roots in a church that often condemns us. What ever our faith we must not allow others to rip it from our soul, yet at the same time you have to remain true to who you are. Find the balance and you will find the peace. With the oft times harshness of this race called life remember the principal taught in the story of the Lion and the Gazelle.
When you want to slow your pace remember that every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows that it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows that it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. My fellow Gay Bloggers, It doesn't matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle: When the sun comes up we had better be running.
OK so I got caught up in a preachy mood, most likely I am just preaching what I need to hear myself, so self listen up and take note!

Friday, November 27, 2009

What is Real

In my last blog I mentioned that I am beginning to feel like I am losing my religion. For anyone who has been there you might understand how this tears at ones soul. I say this yet at the same time feel a great peace with the direction things are heading. Talk about a Dichotomy. When one stretches and grows it is often painful, yet rewarding. Traveling this road reminds me of a particular scene in the story of the Velveteen Rabbit where the skin horse and the rabbit are conversing one with another:

“What is real,”?
asked the Rabbit one day when they were lying side by side.
“Does it mean hearing things that buzz inside you and a stick out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you’re made,” said the Skin Horse
“It’s a thing that happens to you.
When a child loves you for a long long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful
“When you are real, you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time.
That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have
sharp edges, or have to be carefully kept.
Generally by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off and your eyes drop out and you get loose at the joints
But these thing don’t matter at all because once you are real you
can’t by ugly, except to people who don’t understand . . . .

Pain and heartache are at times a constant companion on this road. Full acceptance of oneself is a long process and doesn't come all at once. And yes it does at times Hurt. That is why many people give up before reaching the end, the self love and peace may not come to those who break easily or have to be carefully kept. This is why many gay men within the church don't make it on the road to closetless gaydom. Metaphorically speaking by the time an individual has accepted who he is and become "real", most of his hair has been loved off, or more likely torn out by his fellow brother, his eyes have often dropped out (or been plucked out by a well meaning Bishop) and he may feel completely loose at the joints from having been tugged and pulled in a thousand directions by the Bretheren's Many Preachings.

Knowing this is what the path holds in store, one must remember that in order to reach the desired results he must remain true to himself and not lose sight even through the harshest of storms. Always remember that the end result is Peace. Once you have experienced the peace of knowing who you are and have felt the Love that your Heavenly Father has for his "Gay" child none of the rest matters because you finally realize that you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand. The anger towards those ignorant souls subsides because you begin to realize that they just don't understand, therefore it doesn't matter if they think you are ugly. Those that matter see the Beauty within your soul!

Is it possible that I am not "Losing my Religion" at all but merely experiencing the pains that accompany growth?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Question of the Day

So far I have tried to keep all of my posts fairly positive however today I have a question that may not come across as such to some. If this (the gospel as found within the church) is supposed to be Gods plan of Happiness, then were is this happiness in His plan? OK like I said possibly not that positive of a question but it's how I am feeling today. Let me explain a little more; If God's Plan of Happiness excludes any particular group, in my case gays, then what good is the plan? I know we are told that it's "OK" to have "SSA", that the sin comes not through ones feelings but the actions that accompany those feelings. STR8 boys are told that the plan of happiness culminates with marriage and children yet that is exactly what church policy denies it's gay memebers. How is it possible for the spirit to scream the absurdity of this to my soul yet bare witness of the truthfullness of it to my church leaders? Who is right? They or I? Ah the perplexity of it all. If anyone has what they consider to be commonsense, hard, informed, just, justified, levelheaded, logical, rational, reasonable, reasoned, sensible, sober, solid, valid, well-founded insights please feel free to share them in the comments section or what the heck just email me at I would love to hear how you feel. Rich

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One Way

I've been following a few blogs as of late, it's always nice to read about others experiences that seem to be similar to your own. The following is a comment made by Chris in His blog "Good To Be Free". The term "Cleave Point" is found in another blog by Scott Dichotomy where he talks about the steps to apostasy as pointed out to him by a "concerned" friend.

[1. Find a cleave point. 2,Elevate that cleave point to imperative status. 3. Seek out others who agree with that cleave point. 4. Search out every possible support for that cleave point until convinced it is absolute. 5. Leverage that cleave point as a wedge between you and the leaders of the church (past and/or present, local and/or general). 6. Stop serving in callings and/or make substitutions in your church duties. 7. Some trigger event produces a final rupture. 8. Publicly denounce church policy and/or leader(s). 9. Leave the church (voluntarily or not). 10. Let bitterness and resentment drive further alienation with both the church and continuing members of the church--including family and former friends."]

Chris's Comment:

"So I guess this is my cleave point. (the thing that Chris is having a hard time with) I do feel like it is cleaving me, not only away from the church, but from myself and my family. I don't want to leave all the good that there is in the church. Is there only one destination on this road, or can I find a different end? I hope that I can."

When I read this it really hit home. I do not want to leave all the good that there is in the church myself. But at the same time there is a lot of confusion. I too feel that I am on a road that will not let me return to my "old" way of life. I am not sure that I would ever want to return. I too wonder if this road has only one destination or if possibly another might be found without having to give up my new found freedom and self acceptance? I too hope that I am able to do so. But regardless of the outcome, I am who I am, A Child of God who just happens to also be Gay! God bless the day that members of the church can accept each other as Christ does without the self righteous piety.

Thanks Chris and Scott for some insightful thoughts to consider.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

For those of you who read my Blog on October 10th, I now have 85 lbs of "Safety Net" OFF! Isn't is amazing what you can do once you "figure" things out!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

One Year Anniversary

October is my one year coming out anniversary! I can't believe that it has been one year since I first uttered the words, "I am Gay" out loud for the first time in my life. Prior to this I would rather have committed suicide than have told anyone that I was Gay. As only a gay man can understand I was so afraid someone might discover my secret and then my life would be over, I knew I could not continue living if people knew my big secret. How wrong I was. I have never felt so freed and self accepting in my life as I have since I came out of the Closet. I won't say that is hasn't been difficult but it has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done in the long run. Not everyone accepts me but I have discovered who my true friends are and they are more than I ever thought possible. I wish with all my heart that I had the courage to come out years ago. I had heard others talk about how freeing it was but I never thought it could be like this, for the first time in my life I love who I am. I am at peace with myself and what others think does not matter as much as it used to. For too many years I tried to deny what my Father in Heaven had created within me. I still do not understand the how’s and whys regarding homosexuality and the Gospel but I have great Faith that someday the Lord will have the answers for us.

One year ago I went to my Bishops office to talk with him about how depressed and devastated my life had become. I had fought for so long just to stay alive and I was at the point were I just wanted to die and end the pain. My Bishop was at odds with what to tell me so he recommended that I talk with a member of the ward who worked in a position within the psychology community where he knew many professionals and might be able to recommend someone for me to talk with. To this point I still had not told anyone that I was gay. I called this gentleman and went to his home to talk with him whereupon I learned that he had a private practice specializing in working with Gay Latter-day Saints. My heart skipped about 50 beats but I still could not bring myself to say the words. We talked about some abuse that I had suffered as a child and he gave me the name of a man whom he thought might be able to do me wonders. I made an appointment with this man and had few fantastic sessions. During about our third session he looked me in the eye and said, "Quite bullshitting me rich, if you're not going to be truthful with me then you might as well quite right here". I was so taken back; I replied that I had been totally honest with him and that I had not told him one lie. He sort of rolled his eyes and gave me that "oh brother" look as he shook his head back and forth. OMGosh, I was ready to die, I was sweating profusely; my heart felt like it was going to explode because I feared he had figured out my "Secret". I left that night more depressed and scared that my secret was about to be discovered than I had ever been in my life.

As I was driving home I knew I had to tell someone and I had to do it soon. I also knew that by next week I would not have the courage to tell my new found friend so I pulled over and called him on the phone and told him that he was right that I had not been completely truthful with him that I had something that I needed to tell him and the reason I was calling was to ask him to "make" me tell him next time I saw him. He laughed and said that's your responsibility, don't dump it on me, if you want to tell me something then take the responsibility and do it. I told him that was exactly what I was doing, that by next week I may not have the courage to tell him what I needed to but that I was taking the responsibility right now to make sure that I would follow through next week. He was silent for a moment and finally agreed to bring it up and make sure that I told him in our next session. I am so glad that I had the courage to call him because had I not I know I would never have told him. Because I had committed to tell him my secret I followed through our next visit. I sort of laugh at the whole ordeal looking back on it now but I was so scared at the time. It took me about 20 minutes to finally utter the words and once they had been said I was so sure that he was going to say thanks for being open with me but please don't' come back. The opposite was true. He went out of his way to make sure I knew that he did not look upon me any less for this, the opposite; he admired me for having the courage to tell him. I could feel the love this man had and I knew he did not judge me in the slightest. He also knew how hard this had been and asked me if I would like the person who referred me to him to come over and talk with me for a minute. Keep in mind the person who referred me specialized in working with gay RM's. I thought that perhaps next time he might be present to talk with me for a second but when he got the call he dropped everything and was there within minutes.

For those of you who are still hiding your identity from the world, I wish I could describe the next hour, I felt such relief, I knew that the Lord was guiding me to the people who could help me to accept the fact that I was a Gay Child of God and that as such I was a wonderful and loved individual. The psychologist that I was seeing was not a member of the church but knew the church intimately. That night a non member helped me to understand my Savior more than anyone else had to this point in my life. I had taught who the Savior was and what he did for us literally hundreds of times while teaching at the MTC and I knew with all my heart that the Savior loved the souls whom I taught and that he paid an atoning sacrifice that they may return home to He and His Father upon leaving this life. Yet I also knew that love did not extend to me, I was a homo and there was no hope for me. My secret would go to the grave and at that point it would condemn me. When ever friends would visit from out of town they would want to go see the Movie "Testaments" at the Joseph Smith building. I got to the point were I hated that movie, each time it came near the end to the part where the Savior is visiting the people in America, there was a scene where the Savior leaves the crowd gathered at the temple and goes to a blind man who was injured trying to save his wayward son during the three night of darkness and earthquakes. The blind man was alive when Christ was born 33 years prior, he saw the signs in Heavens foretold by the prophets that would precede the birth of the Messiah. He had lived righteously his entire life dreaming of someday being able to see the Savior and here He was and he could not see Him, when out of nowhere Christ reaches down and touches him and heals him that he might see. The whole point here was that Christ left the crowd and came to the one. Each time this scene played it depressed me because I knew that the Savior would never come to me, he could not love me enough to do such a thing because I was so evil. Every time I was coerced into going I would end up in tears at the end. Those with me thought that it was because the spirit had touched me during the show, if they only knew it was because the movie was just rubbing Gods displeasure with me into my heart like Salt into an open wound. This night my nonmember friend and councilor along with the Brother in my ward, helped me understand that Christ's love did extend to me, that my Father and my Elder Brother fully loved and accepted this Gay Child they had created. When I left these two men I actually felt like God was proud of me as a Gay Man that somehow part of what had disappointed him the most was my denial of what He created.

Here it is one year later and I still feel this way. I have a deeper understanding of the Gospel and my Savior than I have ever before had. My testimony and my faith are stronger than ever, though I do have different beliefs regarding homosexuals and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For now I have come to accept that what the Spirit has witnessed to my soul differs from that which is taught by the Church regarding this issue. There are many times of confusion and question regarding all of this but I have faith that God lives and that He loves me. Until the day comes in the which he reveals more truth to the world I will continue to live my life as a Gay Man with a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

If anyone who reads this post finds themselves in a situation similar to that which I was in a year ago and would like to chat please feel free to email me at I would love to converse with you in further detail regarding your particular circumstances. God sent some special men into my life one year ago to help me accept who I am and if I can be of any help to you it would be a wonderful way to show my appreciation.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Safety Net

It was pure inspiration, "if I was fat then he wouldn't like me". Perhaps I should share a little bit of background regarding this comment before continuing. . .
I was young and working at a job which required extensive travel. I found myself flying throughout the United States and Canada multiple times a week with more hours than I can count spent waiting in airports. I discovered that I thoroughly enjoyed people watching during these many hours. I would locate a busy spot in the airport with the most amount of people traffic I could find and then sit to watch. Before long I would be checking out the guys walking by and I would catch myself and make myself look for attractive women. . . however before long a cute guy would walk by and I was back to checking them out. This went on for quite some months. I had found a safe way of dealing with my attractions, widow shopping without touching the merchandise. Everything was great in regards to my new game, except having a little guilt once in awhile, until one day this man walked by and totally and completely "stole" my heart. There was something about him that touched heart strings which had never before been touched. Up until that moment I had never understood Love at first sight. But I had experienced it and it felt so wonderful, I felt giddy inside as I watched this gentleman take a seat not that far from where I was seated. For the next couple of hours I sat there completely twitterpated. I knew that I had an attraction to men but this was the first time I felt so completely in Love and it began to scare me to death. The thought came to me that if he were to ask me to "give" myself to him I might not be able to resist. Up to this point the temptations had always been present but because of my commitment to the church and its teachings I had not been tempted to actually fall. These feelings scared me and I told myself that if I were fat he probably wouldn't like me, that if I were fat I wouldn't be tempted to succumb. Looking back on those thoughts I realize how ludicrous they were but that is what I thought. As a safety net against the possibility of having someone else desire me I began eating and eating and eating until I eventually gained over one hundred lbs. My strategy worked, I so loathed myself that I would never be able to believe that it was possible for someone else to take a second look at me. I lived this way for a number of years before I finally came to the realization that being gay, yes even LDS and gay was a great thing. I accepted myself fully and completely for the first time in my life and began to realize what a stupid thing I had done in putting the weight on as my safety net against "falling". Very soon thereafter I began eating healthy and exercising and before I knew it over 60 lbs had dropped from this lovely gay body. I was well on my way to truly actualizing who and what I was. I no longer needed the "Safety Net".

Monday, October 5, 2009

Teaching at the MTC

When asked about my experiences teaching at the MTC I reply that they where among the highlights of my life. I cherish those years with fond memories, even the many hours spend pleading with the Lord over same sex attraction. As a teacher at the MTC it is natural to impose upon oneself impossible requirements by which one must live. You are constantly told how important it is to live a life worthy of the influence of the Spirit so as to be able to rely upon His guidance at all times. You get to the point were you think that if you are not perfect the Lord will not be with you that you will fall short of His requirements and not be able to adequately perform your duties. It is all but impossible to live up to the standards that have been imposed upon oneself and yet I continued to do so. When you have already placed your standards at an impossible level to reach you begin to condemn yourself for even the slightest of infractions. And what can be more condemning than to be attracted to other men. I cannot begin to tell you how many nights were spent walking around the Provo temple, stooped on bent knee to pray, with tears of condemnation flowing. I now find it saddening that such a fine young man could be made to feel so worthless over something which emanates from his very soul. But that is the way it was. Back then I thought I was the only MTC Teacher in existence who felt such feelings, it wasn't possible that another could be so weak as to allow these feelings and thoughts to enter their mind. At least that is how I felt then. I now look upon homosexuality, same sex attraction, or whatever you want to refer to it by in a completely different light. It's amazing to me how many gay friends and associates I now know who also taught at the MTC and have expressed similar experiences. I am proud of the days spent teaching there, and to my knowledge, boundaries were never passed by anyone I know. I was attracted to the MTC because of the Spirit found there, not becasue of the individuals residing there. Yes there were times when I was attracted to some of them but it was neither the time nor the place to act out on such attractions. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ with all of my heart. I, along with my gay teacher friends had deep desires to serve our master and his disciples. These young men and women were beginning their quest in the which they would give two years of their lives to the service of their God and we took our calling in helping to prepare them very serious.

Life has offered a change of course for me, a slightly different path than I was then on, different but still headed in the same direction. In those days hours were spent pleading with the Lord to remove the feelings and temptations. Many promises were made and none of them were fulfilled in regards to removing the feelings. I was taught that if I would live worthily I would be blessed with a change. I can promise you that I lived completely and totally worthy and yet with the passage of time they became deeper and more intense. The question that plagued me was why did not God remove them if they were truly as evil as I had been told. I was attending the temple so often I knew the scripts better than the actors. My scriptures were in such sorry shape from overuse that my missionaries all chipped in one year and bought me a new set because pages kept falling out while teaching classes. The prophet himself declared that if we were to put our trust in the Lord and be obedient to His council by courting and marrying, the Lord would bless us by "changing our hearts" and removing this plague from us. Dating and marriage did "NOT" remove it, the homosexual core remained the same. I have since come to understand that this kind of change does not take place and I have learned to not only accept who I am but to love who and what I am. I am proud to be a Gay LDS man! There are many in the church who cannot deal with this but that is their problem not mine. For the time being I choose to remain celibate but what the future holds I cannot guarantee. I have a strong testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ though I do have some disagreements with the Brethren and how they approach the gay issue. My twin brother likes to remind me that I am on the road to apostasy by voicing such disagreements, I happen to believe that I am following the Spirit of the Lord. Someday we will discover who is correct in their assessments, but until that day I will continue to follow the path which I believe the Spirit of the Lord directs.

Out Of The Mouths of Babes

At first I thought I could tell them, then I discovered just how strong their anti-gay sediments were. It was during the proposition 8 debate something that was especially strong amongst the latter day saints. I was riding down the freeway as a passenger in my brothers suburban. I don't remember where we were going or what we were doing except that my bro, my father and myself were in the vehicle. Others were present too though I honestly don't remember who. They started talking about Prop 8 and the church's stance. They started talking about how gays were responsible for the downfall of society, how they were the worst possible element of society. They started quoting prophets, scripture and whatever other sources they could think of. Finally spoke up and asked what had happened to Charity, everything they were saying was motivated by hate, anger, and ignorance. I aske them were the pure love of Christ came into play?". Eyes rolled, lisps of air escaped twisted lips, and heads were shaking as they talked about how gays deserved what they got. I asked my brother what he would do if one day his own son announced that he was gay? Would he disown him and treat him with this sort of "Love"? He responded that he loved his children unconditionally but would never have to worry about this because his son had been taught righteous principals and would not choose such a path. My comment was never say never. I then asked him what he would do "if" his son announced that he was gay and wanted to bring his partner home to meet the family. He stated that his son would always be welcome in his home, but that a partner would never be welcome. I asked him why and he replied that he would never subject the other children to such evil influence. Once again I wanted to know when God threw Charity out the window, didn't God love all his children? I have many gay friends and I have to ask myself how any of these wonderful Christ-like men could ever be considered an "evil influence"? Ignorance and bigotry do indeed go hand in hand.

The months that followed were filled with conversations such as this with different family members. I knew that some of my family suspected that I was gay but I was not ready to neither confirm nor deny their suspicions. I was open about the gay friends I was hanging out with but that is as far as I was willing to go in talking to people with such attitudes. One day I drove to my parents house and as I was getting out of the car noticed my mother outside working in her garden. She asked me a question which elicited a comment about my brother and how he did not trust me with his children. She made some snide comment to me regarding my worthiness or possibly the lack thereof and I could contain myself no longer. I told her that I had always been a good example for the kids, that I had always made it a point to be such. She looked me right in the eye with this look of anger and hatred and said, "Oh you have have you, how do we know what you've done?". It reminded me so much of the self righteousness of Bobby's mother in Prayers for Bobby. I responded that I was every bit as worthy of a temple recommend as she was, possibly even more so with her judgemental attitude. I have spent my entire life trying to love and serve others. I don't ever remember a time when I purposefully hurt anyone. I can honestly say that nothing anyone has ever said or done hurt as bad as those words coming from my mother. I guess I could have dealt with it had I deserved them but I have done nothing to warrant them. They came from absolute ignorance. Have we as members of the Church become so hardened through the teachings of "The Church" that we have completely forgotten the teachings of the Saviour? How great shall be that day when Christ shall reign personally upon the earth and the Lion shall lie with the Lamb.

Many of my friends know that I am gay and have been fully accepting. Isn't it a shame that I am able to be open and honest with friends but not with family! One of my best friends has a younger brother who is gay and he is wonderful when it comes to accepting and loving his brother. I have a great respect for him and the way he has raised his children. Like myself, my friends brother has a special relationship with his nieces and nephews. When my friend was first married it was necessary for both he and his wife to hold down full time employment in order for my friend to finish his schooling. During this time they had their "still in the closet" gay uncle babysit their young daughter. Because of this the two of them have always had a very special relationship. When his brother first came out to them my friend requested that it be kept from the children for a time. When their oldest daughter turned thirteen my friend decided it was time to sit her down and tell her about her uncle. After he finished telling her she broke down into sobs, and he thinking that she was having a difficult time accepting this new information regarding her uncle asked her what she was thinking. He was prepared to help her understand that tho they disagreed with his lifestyle he was still family and as such was loved. What his daughter said took him by complete surprise. Through her tears she expressed her feelings of sorrow. She stated that she had said some bad things in the past with her friends regarding gay people and that now that she knew one she realized how wrong and hurtful she had been. She knew how good her uncle was and therefore must have been wrong in her thoughts regarding gay people. She felt so much sorrow for having said such awful things. Talk about "from out of the mouths of babes. . ."

Sunday, October 4, 2009


In my last blog I mentioned that the years following my one day marriage were filled with depression and suicidal thoughts. I never wanted to hurt this gal, but I didn't know what else to do. I was attracted to men and I knew it was not going to change. I dealt with guilt like never before, both because I felt like a worthless being due to my attraction to men and the fact that it had driven me to harm this wonderful lady. And I couldn't even bring myself to tell her it was because I was gay, I would rather have died than to have anyone know this secret. So I held it inside and withered away. With the loss of my marriage I had also basically lost my life. I no longer had a place in this church which had been my entire life up until this point. I had just flushed my career down the toilet, if the church frowned upon single men over 27 they screamed bloody murder when it came to divorced men teaching in their Educational System ( and if they had known I was gay?) and though my marriage was annulled the church still looked upon me as a divorced individual. My ward hated me, my Bishop hated me, my one day wife hated me, my own father was so angry with me that he would not speak to me for nearly six months. My father, who was one of the individuals who had told me it was just the jitters , was acting this way without ever once having asked me what was going on or what happened. I think he was embarrassed and out of that embarrassment let anger cloud his judgment were I was concerned. The first thing my mother said to me was that she was so sad, she had become so close with my wife to be while I was living overseas, and now she would not be able to keep up the friendship. . . I was basically alone, a closeted gay mormon man afraid that his secret might be discovered.

I decided that I would start driving truck for a time in order to escape the world. I spent the next few years running, during which time I became so depressed that life itself lost all meaning. One day while alone at my parents home, I found myself standing by a floor to ceiling window with gun in hand, held to the roof of my mouth. At the precise moment I was ready to pull the trigger the phone rang and I happened to look down at the caller ID and saw that it was my brothers home. Immediately I thought of what this would do to the kids as I reached down and picked up the receiver. The sweet little girls voice on the other end saying that she had just called to say "hi to Uncle Richie" made me realize that I could not do what I was about to do and cause such pain to those kids, I would have to find another way. . . A short time later the depression became so bad that I forgot about the kids and one night found myself on the outside edge of a freeway overpass in parleys canyon. I had climbed over the railing and was waiting for the right semi truck to come along. It was one o'clock in the morning when I saw the headlights of a truck in the distance. As it approached I noticed a minivan at it's side and the first thought to enter my mind was that if I jumped, the truck would swerve and kill the family in the minivan. I waited for the next one and it too had a car to it's side. I stood there hanging on the outside edge of the railing for over three hours and each time a truck drove by there was another vehicle close by. After having been there for about a half an hour a sheriff drove up the on ramp and turned off his engine while he sat watching me. He never moved for more than three hours, he stayed put and kept his eye on me the entire time. I can only imagine what was going through his mind. It was obvious that I was planning on jumping and I am sure that he was afraid of what might ensue if he were to approach me, so there he sat for half the night. At close to four thirty I decided this was not the way to do it either, I wanted to die but I was not about to risk the life's of a young family along with my own, so over the railing I climbed, walked back to my car, drove home and went to bed. I wanted to die but did not know how to do it without causing pain and harm to others. Thank God I was not so far gone that I did not care about what it would do to innocent bystanders. So for the time being I kept on living, tho this was not the end of my battle with suicide. In subsequent research I discovered that one of highest genres of suicide can be found among Gay LDS men. This was shocking to me at first but after having thought on it for awhile it totally made sense. When one is convinced, because of his church's teachings, that God does not love him and that there is no place for him in His Kingdom, his own life can lose it's purpose, he may no longer hold it to be sacred or of any value.

A Gay Angels Story

Gay and Mormon. Two words that can hardly be used in the same sentence without gross amounts of emotion ensuing. I was raised in an active Mormon home with parents that taught their children all the correct gospel principals including the teachings that the sin of homosexuality was next to that of murder in seriousness as far as God and the Church were concerned. With this in mind I refused to admit to anyone, including myself that I was gay, a fact that I had known from the time that I was about 11 or 12. I did not label myself as Gay at that early of an age but I knew then that I was attracted to men and not women. I knew that my secret fantasies were of other boys my age and not about girls. My brothers and friends would always talk about the girls they had crushes on and I would wish I did too but then I would see this one particular boy in the ward and think horrible things about him, I thought I was so evil. I can't tell you how many times I followed Elder Packers teachings that if you thought of a church hymn you could drive the evil Imps off the stage of your mind. Yet the dreams and fantasies still came, and I grew up knowing that I was damned.

Dating was a whole-nother experience for me than it was for my brothers. They always had girl friends and more dates than one could imagine, my twin brother included. I felt so out of place, like the "loser of the family" because dating was so horrible for me. The only dates I ever had were set ups which most always turned out disastrous; I just had no desire to go out with girls. Finally during my senior year of high school I had signed up for a co-ed gym class because it was one of the few classes in which you didn't have to play the regular "guy type" sports. In this class we learned how to bowl, play volleyball, tennis, etc. One day we were playing volleyball and I went to spike the ball just as a girl on the other team went after the ball and we collided over the net with me hitting her dead on the breast. She looked me right in the eye and screamed, "You hit me in the Boob". I was mortified. I stayed away from gym class for a week because I was so afraid of having to face her again. Near the end of this week I got a phone call from a young boy telling me to go outside and look at my truck. I had a sweet 64Chevy pickup which I had restored and was scared to death that someone had vandalized it. When I got outside I saw that someone had filled it full of balloons, each one with something inside of it. As I got them in the house and popped them I found a puzzle piece inside each one which when put together was an invitation to a girls choice dance from none other than the girl whom I had hit during the volleyball game. Come to find out she had liked me for quite some time and the "molestation" was the ice breaker.

I accepted the invitation and a two year "romance" ensued. I really did enjoy being with, I shall call her Kim for the purpose of this story, but never had any interest in "romance". I had been dating her just over one year when one day her mother pulled me aside as I was leaving and handed me a letter telling me to read it after I was alone. In the letter her mother told me that if I were going to keep a relationship with her daughter I would have to be a little more affectionate, I would have to kiss her daughter. Imagine that, a mother telling a boy to get "more" affectionate with her daughter. Most parents would do anything to slow the boy down, something that is not necessary when your daughter is dating an In the closet gay boy. The letter scared me to death. I knew that I could not kiss her. At the time I told myself it was because I was being righteous and was saving my kisses for my wife, but deep inside I knew it was because I just didn't want to kiss a girl. Here I was refusing to kiss my girl friend of over a year because I was following the prophet and yet when I would see a cute guy or go to sleep these horrible fantasies would haunt me. Talk about ripping a young soul apart to the very core. I was so confused! I took "Kim" out on her birthday and after the date we went to the park and sat on the swings so we could talk. During the conversation I explained to her that I just wasn't into kissing that I loved being with her and holding hands but that I just couldn't get into the kissing scene because of my beliefs. What a crock!

Our relationship was never quite the same after that. She began dating other guys behind my back, probably to fill her own needs, even seeing an old fling that she had gotten into trouble with before meeting me. There was a part of me that loved her so much, but the romance was just never there. We would spoon while watching movies at her house but the thought of doing something romantic with her never even entered my mind. I was proud of the fact that I was not even tempted to slip into immorality. At the age of 19 I was still a kissing virgin, when asked about it no one could believe that I had gone steady with a girl for two years and had never even once kissed her, a number of people actually called me a liar.

Upon returning home from the mission I dated a number of girls, each time they quickly fell in love with me upon which I would immediately pull away. A number of times I was accused of having commitment problems. Commitment problems heck, what I had was a darn good case of closet homosexuality. Over the next five years I taught at the MTC, worked as a councilor at EFY, worked as a tour guide at temple square, worked as a baptizer in the Salt Lake Temple, and pretty well drowned myself in church service. All the while knowing who I was and trying everything and anything to run from it. The women I dated would see all this and think they had found themselves the next General Authority. I can't tell you how many gals thought they had made the catch of a life only to find that they had merely snagged a "rainbow" trout out of season. (argh argh) People were quite confused with me, they would often ask why such a great guy had not married yet. They would voice their confusion at my lack of ability where serious dating and female relationship building was concerned.

During this time I was attending BYU and was preparing to become a Seminary Teacher. I had finished my student teaching and was readying to receive a class of my own the next fall when the CES department informed me that I had to be married by the age of 27 if I were to continue teaching. The only problem was that I was only weeks away from turning 27 and was definitely not married. You see the church had this rule at the time that you cannot teach seminary full time if you are 27 and single. (I have heard that it has since been changed to 31) Somehow they believe that you are a bad example to the young men and women whom you teach if you are 27 and not married. (Brigham Young refers to this category of men as "Menaces to Society) However in my case they decided to make an exception to the rule and told me that they would extend this to 28 but that if I was not married by that time, out the door with me it would be. I did not go forth to find someone just to fulfill that requirement however soon thereafter I had courted a young lady and asked her to marry me. I had convinced myself that I was in love and could make it work. The week preceding the wedding I knew I was making a big mistake and yet every time I tried to talk to somebody about it they would just tell me that it was the pre-wedding jitters, to buck up and just "do it". So I did. Without going into any details, the wedding night was disastrous. From the time we went to bed I knew I had made the biggest mistake of my life and didn't know what to do about it. We weren't scheduled to leave on our honeymoon for two more days so I made some excuse to get away for a few hours and went to talk to my mission president. As we sat down the first question he asked me was whether or not I had any homosexual feelings, upon which I replied, "come on pres you know me better than that". But inside I began to panic, I knew that I had had them since I was a kid and I was so afraid that he might find out. I would rather have committed suicide than to have had him know this secret about me. I knew that he admired me and that if he knew my secret he would hate me, he would think I was the scum of the earth. Literally I would rather have died than to have admitted my inner feelings regarding men. Keep in mind I had never acted on these feelings but I knew that they were present and that they were condemning me, and that I could not change nor stop them. I left his home scarred to death that my revered Mission President may have discovered my deepest secret.

I then went home to my new bride and told her that I was confused and that I thought I had made a mistake. I told her that I needed some time to sort things out and that I would like to move out and go back to dating her in order to get to know her. (The one thing I left out earlier was that I had lived overseas for a period of time just prior to our marriage) I was convinced that if she would just give me the time to get to know her again we could figure things out. She told me that it was not possible to do so that we were either married and together or we were not, no starting over. I guess she thought this ultimatum would scare some sense into me but it just made me dig in deeper for I knew I was not in love with this woman and that I could not be married to someone I could neither love nor make love to. At this time I went from the idolized young man in the ward to the most talked about, gossiped about person in the stake. People went from loving me, almost idolizing me to hating me and spreading the most horrible rumors about me literally over night. Prior to this incident people in our ward would constantly tell me that I was going to be a General Authority someday and now without knowing any of the details they were saying the most horrible things about me. The Bishop and Stake President treated me like they were fathers of a jilted daughter and yet not even once did either of them ask me what had happened, why the marriage had broken up after only one day. My stake president called me into his office and told me that while on his knees the night before, the Lord had born witness to him that I had committed some horrific sin and that I had lied to both he and my Bishop in our interviews prior to the wedding. He told me that this was my one chance to come clean and that if I refused he would stand as a witness against me at the judgment bar of Christ when my final judgment day came.

It is important to remember that tho I had had these homosexual feelings for many years I had not once acted on them. Yet here was my stake president condemning me, basically with the threat of eternal damnation. I nearly ran from his office denying everything but somehow thinking that the inner me was condemned because of whom I was. Looking back on the whole experience I sometimes wonder which spirit had told him things in his office the night before, for I had done nothing wrong I merely had hidden, unacted upon, feelings for men. It is amazing that I could condemn myself so rapidly over something that had remained undone. But I knew after years of church instruction and teaching experience that our very thoughts condemn us. Therefore after this conversation I knew that I was damned, that there was no place for me in the Kingdom of God. As a result soon after this experience depression and suicidal thoughts slowly took over my life.
As is common with many gay members of our Church most of my life had been spent pleading with the Lord to "change" me. Pleading with the Lord to take away these horrible feelings and replace them with normal yearnings. I never could admit that I was gay but I always knew where my fantasies would take me. When a cute guy would catch my eye I would say it was just because I was envious of his physique, or sometimes I would say that the awesome spirit he carried drew me to him, but always I knew. How is it that so many good, honest, righteous young men and women end up hating themselves with such intensity that it takes them to the very edge of suicide. I am convinced that it breaks a loving Father in Heavens heart to see such turmoil amongst his children. To see his very elect treating others in such a way that it brings them to the very brink of self inflicted death.

Something that I will talk more about in my next blog.