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


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!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

With this I relate


Though not Mormon, I think Trey Pearson's story is one shared by many LGBT members of the church. He mentions how
"[trying not to be gay] has resulted in a marriage where I couldn’t love or satisfy my wife in a way that she needed. Still, I tried to convince myself that this was what God wanted and that this would work." 
In my marriage, my wife has sacrificed much to make our marriage work. It makes me sad sometimes, sad for herand for my children who don't have a great role model for what it means to truly love your spouse in all senses of the word love

Earlier this year a member from a ward we used to live in came out. He and his wife were splitting most amicably. His stated reason for the split: he felt he needed to set his wife free. It's a sentiment I fully understand on one hand and can't comprehend on the other. For now my wife and I will continue to muddle through this messy thing called family.

I hope Trey Pearson's fans don't completely desert him. I had never heard of Everyday Sunday until this. Who knows? Perhaps they'll pick up a few fans because of the outing.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

What if one of my sons is gay?

After posting on Facebook this article "Is the Pearl Too Great a Price?" about LGBT suicide, I was asked how I would react if one of my sons came out to me. Would I encourage him to act on his homosexual feelings or encourage him to stay with the church and remain celibate? (This is not an unlikely scenario since I suspect one of my sons is gay.*)

Here was my response:

If one of my sons (biologically it would most likely be the last because later birth order significantly increases the likelihood of being gay) comes out to me here is what I will do (or try to do... no one is perfect).

  1. I will make sure he knows that I love him no matter what 
  2. I will teach him that he needs the Holy Ghost in his life 
  3. I will remind him that I will love him no matter what
  4. I will also remind that promiscuity does not promote spirituality. (Sex before marriage is a bad idea, even for gay marriage. If he decides he is going to act on his gay desires, but can't find a guy willing to wait until after they get married, perhaps he's not the right guy.)
  5. I will teach him to fast to know the will of the Lord for him, to study the scriptures, to invite the Lord into their life through prayer
  6. I will reiterate that I love him
  7. I will invite him to talk with one or two of my MoHo friends who have managed successful mixed orientation marriages. (I did not add that I would likely come out to him, but when the time is right, I likely would.)
  8. Then if he decides to enter into a mixed orientation marriage, I will ask him to make sure that he is certain before he takes the plunge, reminding him of both the blessings that will be his as well as the unique challenges he will face, reminding him that President Hinkley has warned that gay members not marry as a cure for homosexuality.
  9. If he does get married (in either direction), I will rejoice with him in his entering a relationship that will require him to sacrifice and love in a way he never has before.
  10. I will pray that the Lord never give up on saving him (and his spouse) regardless of what happens.
  11. I will love him.

* And here are my son's current crushes
Not the raccoon, in case you were curious.
And this one... of which I whole-heartedly approve: