Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Anonymity


Well, I feel like I may have made a mistake that has compromised my anonymity here in blog land. I got an email from a "fan" of my blog and he expressed interest in meeting for the sake of support and discussion. I agreed. Things did not unfold as I had expected. I was pretty miffed about the whole thing and when I got home I wrote this email to him:
JS-

I just want to make a couple things clear so that you understand where I am coming from and for the sake of transparency.


I really wasn't expecting to be introduced to any of your friends gay friendly or not. You need to understand how completely awkward of a situation you put me in. You introduced me to them as someone you met on a blog. Ok, I guess, but they seemed to understand that this was a blog that dealt with gay latter-day saint issues. Immediately I begin wondering, "Wow have they read my blog and now know who I am?" "What has JS told them?" "Can JS accurately describe my ever-changing feelings or do I need to offer and explanation to these two strangers?" As far as I know they haven't read my blog and I assume and would appreciate it that you won't share with them the link to my blog nor the contents of my blog. You have to know that it is intensely uncomfortable to walk into a situation where you have no idea what the other people know about you, but simply know that they know about the intimacies of your life on some level and you know NOTHING of them.

That's the reason why I have my blog, I want to remain anonymous. I broke a personal rule by meeting you. I was not expecting to meet anyone else. Don't get me wrong, your friends seem like great people and I am sure we would get along just fine. But I am forced to put a lot of trust in strangers with one of the most intimate struggles of my life. Even if they know next to nothing about the details of my struggle, they have not earned the privilege to know; the privilege to be trusted. Even some of my dearest friends that I am closest to do not know about my struggles. Call it closeted if you like, but I say its keeping my sacred struggle sacred.


I also want you to know that my blog still remains my one place where I am able to be completely honest. Don't be surprised if you read something on my blog that mentions my frustrations about tonight. And, yes, I will respect your anonymity. If this meeting has compromised my ability to be both transparent and anonymous in my blog then I will delete my blog and start over. Do you understand? I'm not writing this to be an ass. I need you to understand where I am coming from and why it is important for you to respect my wishes.


I am not ready to be identified as either gay or straight or bisexual. I am not part of an underground gay LDS community. I am me. I have friends and support. You expressed interest in meeting me because you wanted to know more about my stance and opinions -an open dialogue. And simply because you and I share one thing in common, it doesn't mean that we are instant friends with an instant kinship or "brotherhood." I am willing to be friends, but friendship takes time and needs to be built upon multiple commonalities. You may very well find that you don't particularly like my personality and that's ok. We aren't expected to be friends with everyone we meet. Simply because I am a Mormon it doesn't mean that I am friends with the greater part of Provo.


JS, I am sure that my forthrightness may be a bit harsh sounding,but I really need you to understand.
I'm sure on some level in writing this I may have hurt your feelings as well and I am sorry. It is not easy to write something so critical to someone that I hardly know and then expect them to respect my feelings. But that is what I am asking you to do. I also hope on the same token that you will be frank and honest with me. After all, this is partially my fault for being so careless with keeping my privacies private.
So that is what I wrote... I am left feeling pretty uneasy right now too. Ya know, I mean hell, the fact that I have same-sex attraction whatevers doesn't mean that it is the only defining feature of my life.... there is a helluva lot more to me than that. That is one reason why I don't feel such a need to share it with even my closest friends.

And I do feel that my struggle is sacred. It is what I was destined to have as part of my life. Its what I do with it that matters. Isn't that how it is with all aspects of life?

Why? Why do I do this to myself? Why do I stress myself out??? Grrrrrr.

I need some feedback on this one guys...

-Cas

5 comments:

Gay BYU Student said...

Since you can't go back and change the past, there's no need to tell you what you should have or should not have done. Sounds like you've done that enough already, too. I think a lot of this situation will depend on how JS responds to your email/requests.

If he has told them about your blog and you feel that your annonymity is compromised, maybe you would be more comfortable starting a new blog. You have to feel comfortable to talk about ANYTHING on your blog or it just doesn't seem to be as effective. I would hate for you to feel like you have to censor everything you say from here on out.

And you have every reason to be upset at JS. He should have told you his plans before he did that. It sounds like he was a little bit deceptive. Another reason to be extremely careful with meeting people you found online.

the Baker's son said...

I understand exactly what you are saying. I also once trusted someone and was pretty harshly and quickly betrayed. I came really close to deleting my blog and starting over. I still might do it, I'm not sure. its really sucky. Its hard or impossible to go back to your prior state of anonymity, and being anonymous is important.

Kengo Biddles said...

Well meaning or not, JS crossed a line. I know that I'm just as guilty, as I've sometimes rammed my opinion down others throats, as Chris can attest (still sorry 'bout that.)

Not all people will out you. In fact, many people will treat you with the respect that you expected.

If you do delete your blog, keep blogging, under whatever guise you choose. I use my blog as my journal, my safety valve of things I don't want Miki to see, just yet.

I'm sorry for the trauma. It sux.

Scot said...

It seems like too obvious a lapse to miss . Did he say why? Maybe he was nervous and didn’t want to meet alone, but, still, something should be said long beforehand.

If I were in your shoes, and no doubt it goes without saying, I’d probably chalk this up to “a thing not to try again”. But JS should probably do the same.

When I came out we didn’t have the “Internet” ;-), but there were similar dangers. As a general rule for gays just coming out, I’d most worry about those people who’d show more than a betrayal of trust. There were some scary people out there, troubled people waiting to prey on those just getting the bearings again.

Sir Robert Chiltern said...

It's always awkward when you find yourself in a situation where it feels like you're the odd man out, and not only that, but everyone you're meeting already knows all about you. Someone who is now a close friend once put me in a similar situation long ago. Because of this, may I simply suggest that perhaps JS was simply at a much more comfortable stage in life, and it may not have occurred to him. My advice - don't stress too much. Everything will be ok.