Friday, April 14, 2017

Progress

As a teenager, my church leaders sold a false dichotomy: heterosexual marriage or the “gay lifestyle” (which consisted of cruising and anonymous sex and eventually loneliness, despair, and death, likely from AIDS). I remember one night as I was falling to sleep I had a clear vision of two possible paths my life could go: I could have a family with a wife and kids or I could have a loving relationship with a man. That was when I realized that I didn't have to buy into the “gay lifestyle” narrative. In the end, though, back then I couldn't have both a family and a gay partner. I chose a family (and I have an amazing family).

Today these two visions are no longer incompatible. If I were coming to manhood now instead of back in the 90’s, I could have a gay husband and we could adopt a family. (How awesome is that!)

Progress




Sunday, April 9, 2017

What about my son?

Hello world! It's been a few months because... well... life.

Today my deacon son passed the sacrament first to his mother, who happened to be sitting up on the stand today, and then to me down in the congregation. As he did, I couldn't help but reflect on his future. I found myself wondering what future I wished for him.

I believe I've mentioned in past posts that I'm fairly certain he's gay (or at least bi). His type is becoming obvious:

(Maybe he's not gay, but just has a thing for hot superhero men.)

I admit that part of me wants him to know the joy that I found watching as he was born, holding him in my arms for the first time, knowing that in a very literal sense he was half my fault (in a good way). The birth of your own offspring is such an amazing, humbling experience. I realize, however, if he is gay that this may not be in his future.

But I also want him to experience things that I never experienced. I want him to date guys and find out what characteristics he likes and doesn't like in a boyfriend. His older siblings have their heterosexual dating relationships. They kiss each other good night and presumably make out when they're alone (hopefully in a respectful, appropriate manner). Why would I want anything less for my gay son (if he is in fact gay)?

I absolutely do not want him to remain celibate. The current church teaching, "It's ok to BE gay if you don't DO gay" is complete bullsh*t.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

On friendship

I was listening to a podcast today. (On Being with Krista Tippett if you must know.) They started discussing what it takes to build a strong friendship. I started crying. I realized that I don't have many good friends. Besides my wife and kids, I don't have any really. I mean I have acquaintances, people with whom I am friendly. And coworkers with whom I get along. But no real friends.

The closest I have to friends are my wife's friends. She has lots of friends. And consequently her friends have sort of adopted me. She is popular on Twitter too. She has friends from all over the world. (I'm afraid sometimes she may be too friendly.)

It's one of the problems with growing up gay in the Church. (Perhaps outside the Church too... I only know the "in the Church" version.) For me, I never had really good guy friends because I wanted more. I wanted them to want me the way I wanted them, but then I would check myself; I wasn't supposed to want more. I never had great girl friends either. Well I did in high school but then I went to BYU. There I had a few girl friends but they wanted to be girlfriends (or at least I feared they did) and so I didn't get too close with any of them or really maintain any of those relationships. Plus, they went and got married and I didn't want their husbands to think I was the creepy guy friend who kept in touch with their wives. (Even if I really was harmless.)

And I'm sad.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

mormonandgay

So we're about to hit the one year anniversary of the exclusion policy, you know, where the LDS Church mandated "courts of love" for any one who married his or her true love if they happened to be of the same-sex. And where the LDS Curch barred children of said couples from being baptized until they've reached the age of majority, moved out, and disavowed their parents lifestyle choice. (We wouldn't want anyone sympathizing with "the gays" now would we?)

The traditional gift for first anniversaries is paper, but this is the modern era. So, to honor this momentous occasion, the Church has given us virtual paper (i.e., a new webpage). It's an update to its mormonsandgays.org website. They dropped the "s" making the site more about the individual than two groups of separate people. (I appreciated Andrew S's post on the topic over at wheatandtares.org.)

A lot has been said about the website's pros and cons. I'll leave that conversation to others who have more time. I do want to highlight the section that evoked the most emotion in me.

In Josh's story he says, "Life kicked me in the gut, so I began to explore my homosexuality by dating men. For the first time I understood why heterosexual couples fell in love and what that actually felt like."

As I read this, I realized that I have never actually felt this. And it made me sad.

I don't regret getting married, though I do recognize that when I got married it was very selfish and I think that staying married is kind of selfish, but I believe getting a divorce would also be selfish. I have no plans to leave them. We have an awesome family.  But I am very pained at what the Church is doing to the next generation, to my children.

Thankfully Church leaders have stopped publicly telling gay kids to marry as a cure for their homosexuality (though if some of the stories told by exmos are to be believed, they're still privately advocating this).

But celibacy? Really?!? If homosexuality is wrong because it keeps men and women from their divine roles as parents, is celibacy really a better option? No. I'm sorry, but if one of my children is gay (a distinct possibility) I want them to know what it is like to fall in love.

Monday, September 12, 2016

An awesome Mormon Stories

I highly recommend this Mormon Stories episode. (My fave LGBT themed episode is still the Benji Schwimmer trio of episodes, but...)

This story so perfectly captures how messy missions can be for LGBT missionaries, from the comp who'd eaten cray cakes (but didn't get sent home) to the wild emotions you feel for other missionaries. (I got lucky and never had a companion who was my type. I did kind of crush on one AP though. We slept in separate beds the one time we did go on splits together. *sigh*)

Anyway... great stuff this podcast. Nice work Jacob and #JohnDehlin.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

(Mixed orientation) marriage & melancholy

In a recent, This American Life, host Ira Glass interviews Alain de Botton about why people choose the wrong partner when getting married. Botton's thoughts on marriage are gloomily accurate. At one point Botton (who by the way has a lovely British accent) explains why melancholy is a helpful trait in a successful marriage. He says
We're trying to do such a complex thing with someone. We are trying to find our best friend, our ideal sexual partner, our co-household manager, perhaps our co-parent, and we're expecting that all this will miraculously go well together. Of course it can't. We're not going to be able to get it all right. There will be many areas of misunderstanding and failure and a certain amount of sober melancholy is a real asset when heading forth into the land of love.
As I listened to this I realized this quote in part explains why my mixed orientation marriage works. My wife is my best friend, my co-household manager, and my co-parent. In these areas my wife is perfect for me. In these areas (most of the time) her strengths compliment mine well. It's really just in the "ideal sexual partner" category that things aren't perfect, but we make it work.

I've said it before. I'm not advocating mixed orientation marriages for everyone. I really do hope and pray that everyone learns to listen to the Lord--not the Church or their parents or friends, but the Lord--and find out for themselves what life path He feels is best for them.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Important truths I've learned from Twitter

A week or two ago my wife taught me how to use Twitter. I don't really have time for any more social media, but my wife plays a game of trying to get famous people to follow her. It sounded like fun so I thought I'd check out this Twitter thing too.

Important truths I've learned from the hours spent on Twitter these last few weeks:

1.) Ari Shapiro, co-host of NPR's All Things Considered, is hot.

2.) Actually, there's really only the one thing.

Then Google taught me that besides radio, Mr. Shapiro sings too. Be still my soul!