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:

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

"I like your socks!"

So a couple of months back as I climbed the stairs at work I noticed the guy in front of me had on cool socks. When we got to the landing I said, “I like your socks.”

He turned around and smiling broadly said, “Thanks!”

Two things happened. First, my gaydar immediately kicked in. Hard. Second, I started crushing on him. (To be completely honest, I'm not sure which happened first.)

He was a little shorter than I usually go for, but he was fit, well-dressed, and nerdy cute. What can I say? I have a thing for nerds.

I immediately started to keep on the lookout for the cute nerd and a few days later figured out where he sat. OK. I’ll admit it. I let my stalker tendencies (we all have them to one degree or another) kick in a bit. And thanks to name tags on cubicle walls I now knew his name. Dan*.0

Later that night, thanks to modern technology and the fact that he has a very unique last name, I was able to locate him on Facebook. From his few public pics I confirmed my gaydar is functioning at peak performance.

If I were in high school, I would have started fantasizing about dating him, having a life together, and let's be honest, sex. (Isn't that what all high school boys think about?) I'm older now and happily married. But that didn't stop me from crushing a little. It’s just now my crushing mainly involves friendship instead of romance. We’d become fast friends. I imagined inviting him and his partner over for Sunday brunch. (My wife would eat him up.) It’s like my brain starts thinking “I'm gay; you're gay; surely we'll be good friends.” (I know it’s absurd. It’s about as sensical as saying “Hey, I like blue; you like blue; surely we’ll be good friends.” It’s a fantasy; fantasies regularly throw sense and reason out the proverbial window.)

I realize that my daydreaming, while not sexual like my adolescent obsessions, was no less unhealthy than those fantasies that filled my teenage mind.

There is really only one solution I have learned for taming these dysfunctional thoughts. Fantasies fail to see the object of our affection as a fellow son or daughter of God. This is true whether the fantasy is of the sexual or Sunday brunch variety. As soon as I remind myself that my dream-boy is loved by Heavenly Father as a son, my fantasy fades and I find myself back on planet Earth.

I have found one of the best ways to do this is to introduce myself. As soon as I tell him my name and a little about me and he tells me his name and a little about himself we cease being one human with a daydream and become two human beings sharing a connection.

And so, after about three months, I am proud to say my cute nerd’s name is Daniel. Sure. I knew that already, but somehow it’s different when he tells you.

*Names fudged to protect the guilty… namely me.