Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Lonely

My truck has been broken down off and on for the last several months and I have pretty much given up on it ever being of much use to me. I am ready to abandon ship and just get rid of the dream of making it my dream ride. I take the bus now and I guess I don't mind it too much. There is a certain freedom that comes with being able to go where you want whenever you want but there is also a certain sense of relief that comes when I am reminded that it doesn't cost me $75 every week or so to fill up my tank. It does get very frustrating however when the bus is late and I consequently miss my transfer bus and consequently arrive late for work not to mention half frozen.

So as usual today, I waited for the bus wondering if it would be on time, just a few minutes late or an exceptional 25 minutes late as it was last week. I kind of like riding the bus though. It is really interesting to see the different people who ride the bus. It's also relaxing to not have to battle traffic on the road. I pulled out my cell phone to call my brother. He and his wife are both students at BYU-Idaho.

Today as I rode the bus to work I reflected on how much more content I am with life in general. I really feel like I am ready to move on with life and start working on my long term goals again. I also reflected on my family. I have lived away from them for some time, but I still keep very close to them. I literally talk to my mother and father every day and at least two of my three siblings everyday. I have expanded my cell phone plan specifically for that purpose.

Life has been pretty good lately. I have been working through some things but overall positive. Last year around this time I was in a very different place as a person and today I feel much more whole and much more stable. But again I find myself very sad. Like last year I will spend yet another Christmas away from my family.

I am very very close to them.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the interaction between God and mankind. God has been so very good to me. There have been times when I thought that surely God was so far from me and that it was my fault. I realize now how close God is to each of us. His reality and the truth of the spiritual world in which we live keeps Him close but so often out of my reach because I get so caught up in the reality of this mortal experience.

I see very clearly how God has lead me and taught me by unusual means of trial. I believe that as time goes on I will continue to see how God has brought me to the next phase -How he has prepared me to fulfill the mission in life that will shape my character to become the person I was created to become.

I look at the world around me and realize how fortunate I am to be able to live the life that I live. So many go without the knowledge of the value of their soul, the understanding of their mission, and the intricate role that we play in each other's lives. There is so much work to be done to better the world and ultimately better ourselves. How can I not be an active participant in this world? So great is the call, how can I refuse such an honor?

I believe that everyone has a mission in life to fulfill. I've spoken with some friends who aren't so sure that they have a purpose. But there are two parts to having a life mission. The first part is finding out who you are and what your mission is. The second part is living up to who you are and fulfilling your mission. Well, that's what I believe anyway. I feel it is true in my heart.

I know what God expects of me and what my calling in life is. But how does one come to know what their calling is? In my experience, I must reflect back on the unique life that God has provided me. I see the heritage that I received, the education, experiences, and of course the most difficult and meaningful parts of my life. As I reflect on the course that this river of life has taken me I can see how God has shaped and molded each experience to match the gifts and abilities he has given me. As I discern which goals to pursue I ultimately learn which goals reflect on the experience and gifts that God has blessed me with.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Honestly, Marriage?

Just this evening I received a comment on an older post of mine about marrying a woman and why I (at this stage in life) will not marry a woman. The comment in full from Parallel Mormon reads:
My advice to you is dump the man and find yourself a woman. The resurrection will fix what went wrong in utero rendering us homosexual, thus you will never again desire a man, instead you will wish you had chosen a woman. Nephi said it and I know it's true, that the Lord will prepare a way for us to accomplish what He has commanded.

Also, no relationship with a man, however well-nurtured, will exist beyond death as anything more than "let's just be friends," which is, of course, what couples say when one dumps the other.

We can bridge our homosexuality and, being gay, find real passion for our wives. I now know this is true and real.

Parallel Mormon I think that, though your intentions are well meant, it is naive of you to assume that God wants me to marry a woman. In each instance where I could have gotten married in the past, I would have had to manipulate feelings and people to achieve something that the Church has told me I ought to do (in general). Furthermore, God never has told me to get married. I have NEVER once heard God's voice tell me to marry a woman. Even in those god-given friendships with some of the most wonderful and saintly women it always felt spiritually wrong to pursue a relationship that would advance into marriage.

So where you say that the Lord will prepare a way for us to accomplish that which he has commanded I agree. I just know he's never commanded me to get married.

Take it a step further, doesn't Alma 34:34 say "that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world." Do we know that our homosexual feelings will go away in the eternal world? Why is that important to know? Why would it be important for them to go away? Where in scripture is this backed up in correlation with what the modern prophets have said? I just don't know. But does it matter?

Whats more is that (as far as I am aware, I may be speaking ignorantly) nowhere, except the Bible, do LDS scriptures expressly condemn homosexuality. In fact they are silent on the matter. Joseph Smith is not known to have spoken on the matter. Even so, in the Old Testament where they condemn homosexuality, there are many practices that were condemned by death or stoning that now under the Gospel are not seen as unholy or sinful. So how are we to know that the modern prophets just don't know and are acting on limited information?

And lastly the Church does not necessarily encourage mixed-orientation marriage -emphasizing my point that perhaps it would be unwise for me to marry a woman.

President Hinckley, faced with the fact that apparently some had believed it to be a remedy, and perhaps that some Church leaders had even counseled marriage as the remedy for these feelings, made this statement: “Marriage should not be viewed as a therapeutic step to solve problems such as homosexual inclinations or practices.” To me that means that we are not going to stand still to put at risk daughters of God who would enter into such marriages under false pretenses or under a cloud unknown to them. Persons who have this kind of challenge that they cannot control could not enter marriage in good faith.

On the other hand, persons who have cleansed themselves of any transgression and who have shown their ability to deal with these feelings or inclinations and put them in the background, and feel a great attraction for a daughter of God and therefore desire to enter marriage and have children and enjoy the blessings of eternity — that’s a situation when marriage would be appropriate.

President Hinckley said that marriage is not a therapeutic step to solve problems. (Click here for more)

So what is the Church's stance on mixed orientation marriage? By interpretation, I believe they do not encourage it, yet under the circumstances that a couple weighs the possibilities without false pretense and prayerfully decides to unite in marriage the Church does not discourage it.

I, however, have not felt a great attraction to a daughter of God in so far as to inspire me to pursue marriage. I want to make it clear that I am not saying that no one should enter a mixed orientation marriage. You state in your blog that you have attraction to your wife. Perhaps there is more bisexuality in your orientation than in mine. Parallel Mormon, your marriage may be exactly what God wants and intends for you and your family and it might not be. Perhaps it is irrelevant to God. But I have no place to tell you what will or will not work for you. I support your marriage. I hope that it works out for you. I believe that if it is right, absolutely God will sustain your marriage.

Your attractions to men obviously are a big enough deal in your life to cause you to blog about it and to share the reality of it with your wife. Thoughts of leaving your marriage were out-of-the-question for you... You cannot only think for yourself. You have children in addition to your wife.

It may be moot to say so, but you were not honest with your wife when you married her. She didn't know that you had attractions to men. Had the two of you discussed this and weighed all options out, perhaps your fledgling relationship may not have lasted. In your blog you mention that you didn't tell your wife for fourteen years. You obviously knew that you were attracted to men the whole time. Do you think that maybe you were marrying her in hopes that it would be a therapeutic step? But most importantly, what caused you to be dishonest with her in the first place? As for me, I could not enter such a marriage without being completely honest. I need to be clear that I am not saying that I will never marry a woman, but rather that I do not see it anywhere on my horizon. Essentially what works for one person might well not work for another. Where your marriage is working great for you, such a situation may not for me.

God has always given commandments in conflict for the betterment of his children.
  • Adam and Eve to procreate and yet not partake of the fruit that will make it possible.
  • Nephi to slay Laban that he might obtain the record of his people yet it was murder.
  • Abraham to offer Issac as a sacrifice yet Issac was to be the fulfillment of prophecy and the heritage of Abraham's lineage.
God may well tell you to get married to a woman and not me. When you decided to get married did God tell you to deceive your wife by not telling her about your attractions? If you could do it all over again would you have told your wife at the onset of your relationship that you had homosexual inclinations? What have you learned from all of this tremendous experience?

Thanks, Parallel Mormon, for your comment and allowing me to expand these ideas. For every answer there are a thousand more questions. May God bless you and your wife.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

So It's been a really long time since I've last posted anything, but I've actually written two posts that I never posted. While this blog was never meant to be a travelogue there have been a couple people who have asked about where and what I have been up to. So I'll take a minute to just highlight some of my recent history.

  • My relationship from this summer with the military guy was quite wonderful. He will always be a great friend. I felt like the relationship was ready to be over and the ending of summer with me moving back to Utah and his reporting to active duty made a convenient end to the relationship while still leaving plenty of room for friendship.
  • Moving to and from Utah is an interesting phenomenon. I don't want to have to live here and then after a couple weeks of living and adjusting, I end up loving it and don't want to have to leave. However it puts me in an interesting dilemma. I don't plan on finishing my education at BYU. I will be leaving for school on the east coast next fall. I am going to have to say goodbye to Utah and all of the wonderful people and experiences with much sadness to the end of a wonderful time in my life.
  • My sister's marriage continues to dissolve and when I talk to her on the phone any more she is numb to the fact that her family of 7 years is going down the drain. I don't know what will become of her and her family but I pray for her.
  • My truck that so kindly broke down in Laramie, Wyoming while driving to Virgina has practically destroyed my financial freedom. In the last year I've spent probably $6,000 in repairs and who knows when it will break down again. And I can't forget to mention the $60-$70 it takes to fill the tank every 250-300 miles. I am in the market for something reliable with cheaper gas.
  • I've come out of the closet a little more during the last couple months than I ever have before. I've told a few co-workers including my manager. All in all it's gone over very well.
But how am I doing? I don't know. Sometimes I feel so good about life and about myself. In fact one of the posts that I never posted basically said, in summary, that I am happy and living life well. But sometimes I worry. I look at the choices I make and I wonder sometimes if I am completely effed up. Sometimes I wonder why I feel unsatisfied with aspects of my life. Why do I feel lonely sometimes even when I have friends? Why am I always searching for something to make me happy.

Some might say that it's because I don't have the Church as a driving force in my life or that I need to repent. And while there may or may not be truth in such a statement, I wasn't very happy when I was completely active in the Church either. In fact I would venture to say that I am happier now than I was before.

My reason for bringing this up is because I don't think I deal with negative emotions very well. I think I very often pursue self destructive behaviors when I get down... which of course only make me feel worse. When I was really working hard (unfinished post).

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Silent

I know I've been silent for some time now. It's been about a year since my first blog post. A year ago I couldn't have imagined myself as happy and content as I am now. Life is really good. I am stable, alive and really just overwhelmingly content.

A whole lot has happened in the last year and not all of which is posted, but I will say that I have really grown into myself finally. In the process of coming to grips with my homosexuality I really lost focus of anything else. I lost my goals, aspirations, beliefs, and even my personality. I've spent the majority of the last several months regaining them. I made choices that hurt other people and myself. I will always be sorry for hurting my friends. All I can say is that I was not myself and I am so sorry. I really feel stable now. As I move on with my life I can look back at the mess of the last year and say "What a relief!" I am finally living.

I don't know that I ever posted this because I was so ashamed of myself, but I withdrew from school last fall mid semester because I was emotionally exhausted. I am finally ready to complete my education I think. There are a couple schools on the East Coast where I am really considering finishing my education. Leaving school was so traumatic for me that I am a little nervous about re-enrolling in school but I gotta do it.

Sometimes I wonder if I am done with my blog. Kind of like a "no news is good news" policy exists with my blog. My blog has been such a wonderful outlet for me for so long. I will forever be grateful for the people who have read and participated in my blog and those that have ventured further and participated in lasting friendships.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Well where do I begin? It's been a long time since I've really written anything of value on here. I'm feeling a bit out of sorts and a little jumbled. Sometimes when I look at my life I say, "Where the hell am I going?" Sometimes I feel like I've lost my zest to live. Perhaps numb would be a good description. I feel like a stranger in my own skin.

So I must ask myself an important question, "Am I happy?" I think yes and no.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Just Do What Feels Like Fun

So I've not posted in awhile and there has been so much on my mind. I have gone through some really stressful times here recently... I roll with the punches pretty well, but overall, I've been on overload. I found a place to live upon returning to UT and by chance two of my three roommates are gay. I'll post more about that another time though.

I had an interesting conversation with one of them moments ago that struck me as noteworthy.

Caspian: You know, I really need to start moving towards my goals. I mean, I really believe that I have a purpose in life. I have things that I am supposed to do. I mean, I really need to finish school and there are so many things that distract me.

Flyboy: Yeah, I used to be stressed out about school, but I don't worry about it anymore.

Caspian: I guess I just believe that everyone has a mission in life... something that only I can accomplish... I feel like I really need to get a move on and meet my goals.

Flyboy: I used to believe that too and I was all worried, but now I just do what I want to and have fun.

Caspian: I just feel that for me, I need to accomplish certain things. Like by accomplishing these things I will have a truly fulfilling life.

Flyboy: We're only 25, you've got your whole life ahead of you.

Caspian: Yeah of course, but still, you only live once and I have so many things I need to do.

Flyboy: Yeah well I didn't graduate and I just do what feels right and have fun. I don't worry about anything else. I just do what feels like fun.

I really don't want to end up not accomplishing my life goals... sometimes I scare myself because I wonder why I don't care about somethings that fundamentally and morally should be part of my life... Other times, I freak out by the idea of someone binding me down with dogmas that only make me feel bad about who I am. At the same time it seems like the harder I try to move toward a goal or an ideal, the further away from them I find myself. Flyboy is a good person and a good roommate, but I cannot let go of my mission in life simply because it's hard. Hearing what he said sent chills up my spine. I must, absolutely must, become the person I was meant to become... I just fear that I don't have the intestinal fortitude to accomplish what I was made to accomplish. I don't want to waste my life having fun or doing what feels nice. I want to live and breathe and make a difference in this world. There are too many distractions along the way... and I fear getting stuck somewhere and one day waking up and finding myself so far away from my goals and dreams with so much time passed that it will be impossible to go back and become what God has made me capable of becoming.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Transitions

Again I find myself at the start of another new transition. My summer here is coming to a close and it has been such a blessing. I have regained my goals in life, a new perspective, and I really am happy. Yet despite all of the wonderful things that have happened I need to take a moment and say good bye to this phase.

I've really loved Virginia. I've made some close friends here and learned a lot about myself during these past few months. It is going to be tough to say good bye to something that has been so wonderful.

Last night I spent some quality time with my boyfriend, who I'll call Timo. It was nice just to sit with him and talk. We talked about him receiving his commission in the army and leaving in October and me going back to Utah and everything that we've gained here in the last few months. Timo had broken his ankle during his last Rugby game of the season in April. He would have left right away for the army after graduation in May, but because of the injury it put him back several months.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Getting Married (To a Woman)


As I have previously posted, I've had the opportunity to get married on a couple different occasions. I know, that if I had just asked, she would have said yes. But I think getting married is a really bad idea for me. Even with being honest with my wife and talking openly with her about my feelings, I would feel trapped. It may be naive of me to say so, but some of my past experience has shown me otherwise.

As I have slowly come out to my closest friends and my family members I have felt a tremendous rel
ief of pressure felt from living a double life. It has helped me to realize that I can make the choice of lifestyle I want to live independent of anyone else. I know that regardless of which direction I take my life, my family and closest loved ones will support me. I really puts me in neutral social territory to make such a decision.

If I were to marry a woman I would not have the luxury of sharing my feelings of homosexuality in a natural and healthy way. If I were to have a close friend and desired to share with him the reality of my homosexuality, I would need to consult my wife first because my orientation would affect my wife significantly. Take it a step further; we would share similar social circles. Being openly in a mixed orientation marriage would provide a very awkward situation for my wife. What's more, what if I have children? It's one thing if your parents are an openly gay same-sex couple, but it's another when it's a mixed orientation marriage and it's a semi-closeted situation. There are so many variables when you bring a spouse and family into the picture.

Maybe I am being too quick to judge the difficulty of dealing with my homosexual feelings in a marriage situation.
I will say this much though, since I have made peace with being gay, told my family about my orientation, and adjusted into a lifestyle that is moving out, I have found that I am less neurotic, not obsessed with pornography, and the unspeakable "M" word is not really such a big deal. I feel more authentic with myself and a closing gap in the dichotomies of being gay and in the church. I feel like I am progressing as a person and generally I am happy. Were I to move a step forward into marriage would I have to deal with that emotional roller coaster again? I don't want to move in and out of depression and sometimes feeling like I am on the verge of mental and emotional collapse. It wasn't healthy when I was completely closeted and it wouldn't be healthy for me to closet myself again for the sake of a wife. It's not fair for a woman to be married to a man like me no matter how great I am.

And then, to throw the last log onto the fire, I want to state very clearly, I am really not very interested in having sex with a woman, much less regular sex with a woman. Sorry, I am gay and that's that. There isn't a whole lot I can do about it. Heaven knows I tried. I'm interested in having sex with a man.

In other news and somewhat off topic, I just wanted to post a little bit about the guy I've been seeing out here. He is so awesome. I've really been enjoying this relationship. I cannot stress enough how comfortable it is. It is drama-free, easy, and honest. We are so much alike in so many ways. We have the same interests, philosophies, and personality types. I am really sad though because it is going to end very soon when I move back to Utah in 2 weeks. I am a little bit scared and nervous about the pending break-up. There is still so much to explore in our relationship and I feel like it is prematurely going to end. Even if I was to stay out here though, the relationship would have to end because he has a 6 year commission with the army in a month. I just wish things weren't going to end this way.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Losing



I hate losing. I don't think it's ever a good thing to be a sore looser, but I won't lie; I hate losing more than I like winning. It has always been this way with me, but I don't think it's a healthy attitude to have and I think it is representative of something much deeper in me. It's the whole reason I never really got into competitive sports even though I know that physically I could perform well. And just like all other obstacles I face, It's all in my head.

In one of my sales books that I've been r
eading I gained some insight into this phenomenon that has stifled my success for some time. Carl Lewis, arguably the greatest track and field athlete of all time and nine-time Olympic gold medalist, was and excellent example of this. After his last event in the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta, when he won the gold medal on his final attempt in the long jump, the sportscaster asked, "Mr. Lewis, what were you thinking about just before you jumped?" As it turned out, Carl Lewis wasn't thinking about medals, money or any of the accolades that would come from a victory. Instead, he said his primary motivation was that his family was in the stadium and he didn't want to disappoint them by losing his final Olympic event.

The fear of failure is a powerful influence. Imagine what would happen if a pack of German Shepherd dogs were actually ch
asing the Olympic athletes down the track toward the finish line. That would certainly motivate me to run faster. People are motivated differently -and while some are motivated by a positive reward, some are motivated by negative aversion. While the book remains neutral on whether or not being motivated by positive or negative results are arbitrarily "good" or "bad," in my personal situation, I think being motivated by German Shepherds is damaging to me. I won't compete against someone else in something if I think I will loose or that there is a good possibility of failure.

I don't play video games for this reason. Video games are designed for you to loose several times over and over again until you can get a little bit further in the game and then you loose and loose again until you get a little bit further and so on until ultimately you conquer the game. Loosing the first time or two is aversion enough to keep me from playing again.


Every morning in my office at work we sit around a big table and have our sales meeting. Half-way through the meeting we clear the table, put up a little net, and play a half hour to forty five minute ping-pong tournament. I always loose. Not because I can't be good at ping-pong, but because I don't want to loose so badly that I psych myself out to the point of loosing on the first round. Then I sit there and watch all of my coworkers play and have a good time for the remainder of the meeting while I sit and feel sorry for myself. I know, it sounds lame, but this has always been the case with me. Don't get me wrong, I don't let it ruin my day, but it's something important to note about myself.

In terms of my sales it also affects me. I have done alright this summer in terms of sales. It can really be a struggle at times. Though I am not at all where I hoped I would be in terms of my personal sales goals, I am in the top 40 percent of my office. The company will periodically throw out sales incentives that are really great. Some of this summer's incentives have been money, I-Pods, Nintendo Wiis, digital camera, Skull Candy headphones, and a cruise. I have won nothing. I've come close a couple times. But I didn't win anything while virtually every one of my coworkers have won at least something. I think the most I've won is $11. I don't want to be bitter about it, but why can't I win something sometime?

How did I get this way? It's not like I enjoy loosing, but I think it's the aftermath of several years of self doubt and personal struggle. I am confident in most things nowadays. I'm not scared of strangers or knocking on someone's door and selling them my product. I'm not afraid of performing on stage or speaking my mind. I enjoy challenge and pushing myself into new experiences. But when it comes to competition, I get very uncomfortable. I believe if I can change my loser's paradigm to a winners paradigm, I will win every time. But I don't know how to change that. Perhaps it's just a matter of forcing myself into the uncomfortable competition and hanging on until I get used to loosing. Regardless, at least I recognize this about myself. Acknowledgment is the first step I suppose.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Doctrine of Happiness

I've been thinking a whole lot lately about the concept of happiness. Mostly in light of the path that I am pursuing, but also in light of some of the recent posts by some bloggers. (Gimple, Stripping Warrior, Elbow, Young Stranger, Forrester) Everyone wants to be happy including me. The pursuit of happiness can be found in almost everything we do -our jobs, school, relationships, goals, hobbies, religion, morals, etc. Yet if everything we do in essence is in some way related to our overall happiness why are so many people unhappy? Shouldn't we be experts on the subject by now?

I think there is a misconception about happiness. People all too often view happiness as if it were a physical tangible gift that comes to you on account of the things you do with your life. I do no believe that happiness is a destination or a place. It's not like we make a choice and then suddenly we say, "Okay, I've arrived! I'm happy now!" Rather, happiness is a progression, a journey, a way of life. I believe that happiness is dependent upon progression or achievement. When I say achievement, I don't mean, winning a medal, getting a job, making a friend, or having a talent discovered and becoming famous. It is the attitude towards earning the achievement that makes one's journey to the achievement full of happiness.

A couple months ago I met a couple that were about to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary. What an achievement! They were a happy couple. They did everything together. I could tell, though time had seasoned their minds with cloudiness of age, their love for eachother was strong as ever. I doubt that on the day of their 65th anniversary they turned to eachother and said, "At last! We are truly happy!" Yet so often I hear people say, "I will be happy when I get this or that. If I can just change this about myself then I will be happy. When I get to this destination in life, then I will be happy." I believe that this concept fools people into unhappiness.

It fools people into unhappiness because it is not the achievement itself that brings happiness, but rather the journey itself can truly be a happy one if we let it. For me, when I make mistakes and do self destructive behaviors it is usually on account of shortsightedness or an unmet need. But through it all, I can still choose to be happy. Wherever or whatever the situation is, I can choose to be happy.

For me, happiness is dependent upon progression. Again, not the progression of achievement, but the progression of who I am, my character, and my calling in life. Achievement is merely a mile marker in that positive progression. Because of that, no one can tell me what will make me happy.

If I can choose to love myself independent of my actions though; love myself as God loves me, then my weakness can be overcome. And when I have overcome the weakness or the trial or made the achievement, it is not the arrival of the reward that makes it all worthwhile, but rather the journey.

Thats why life is hard. Heaven wouldn't be worthwhile if it was just a matter of hanging on long enough to make it from birth to death. Yet so many people treat their membership in the Church with much of the same sentiment. "If I can just hang on and white-knuckle my way through the Church and fulfill my calling, read my scriptures, be obedient, etc. then I will get the reward!" Or in other words as long as I keep trying to be obedient to the Church then someday I will achieve my happiness. Don't get me wrong. I'm not dissing obedience. I'm speaking about happiness. Happiness comes from within. It is independent of any of life's variables. Sin and disobedience are natural parts of mortality and therefore sorrowing over it does little good. Pick up, move on, and be happy.

The well quoted verse, Alma 41:10 states, ...wickedness never was happiness. I completely agree. But too often people reverse the statement and twist the meaning to say: Wickedness is unhappiness. Happiness is independent. Alma was speaking of the resurrection and the restoration being restored to happiness or in other words being restored unto exaltation. If you take it in the context that it is so often portrayed in the church, no, wickedness never was happiness, but neither was righteousness. Happiness is independent.

"Most people measure their happiness in terms of physical pleasure and material possession. Could they win some visible goal which they have set on the horizon, how happy they could be! Lacking this gift or that circumstance, they would be miserable. If happiness is to be so measured, I who cannot hear or see have every reason to sit in a corner with folded hands and weep. If I am happy in spite of my deprivations, if my happiness is so deep that it is a faith, so thoughtful that it becomes a philosophy of life, — if, in short, I am an optimist, my testimony to the creed of optimism is worth hearing." Helen Keller in Optimism

I could sit in the corner and fold my arms and say, "I'm Gay and I'm Mormon! Nothing I can do will change that and consequently I am going to be unhappy with it." Or I can choose to be optimistic and make something of myself.

I've been asking myself a lot lately, "Am I happy? Am I really, truly happy?" I had a conversation with my mom about a week ago about this. Certainly I wish that there were certain aspects of my life that were more perfect. I bet Helen Keller would have liked to be able to see and hear. I would like to be straight. But my happiness is not dependent upon that. Neither was hers. If happiness is not dependent upon my circumstances then it doesn't matter what my circumstances are. I'm glad to be me because I can be happy. I am not the only one in life who suffers with less than perfect circumstances. I can learn and grow in the life that God gave me and I can be happy. I'm not just saying this to convince myself or out of an obligation to convince others but truly because I believe it and I feel it to be true.

So then, am I happy? I really think I am. It's not like a big roller coaster either where one week I'm happy and the next week I suffer, but over all I've been steady. I feel great about life. I feel good about the direction I'm moving and the changes I'm making. Life is really good. I am happy.

Friday, August 03, 2007

River of Life

There is a reason why I like sales. I am not a salesman because I want to be in sales as a career, especially door-to-door. However there is a reason why I did it last year, why I am doing it this year and why I plan on doing it next year too.

I have learned so much from this job. It has really been a blessing in that regard. I don't think that I am out here because of money. Granted, I wouldn't have ever joined this sales team if I didn't think I would make money, but I am out here because of the paradigm shift. I know that if I can learn to be successful at this job, I can be successful at anything in life. This job has been one of the most difficult jobs I've ever had and been very emotionally stressful. However, I keep telling myself,
If I can believe in myself, believe in me and have confidence, nothing can stop me. When I had left Provo in April I was still somewhat emotionally unsure of so many things. I have really regained myself out here this summer.

I believe that life is like a river, wild and flowing. God chooses our river of life and we must ride it. Some people choose to paddle against the current. I used to do that. I believed that if I paddled hard enough against the current that somehow I would be placed in a different river with a different boat. That was silly of me. After I came to the realization that my river, my life, was chosen for me by God, I no longer tried to fight Him nor His plans for me in my life I went through a phase of exhaustion. I was tired of paddling and angry at God for putting me in such a difficult raging river. My canoe could hardly float at times because of how much water I had taken on. I allowed myself to spin and crash into rocks and capsize several times this last fall and winter. I hated life at times. Why couldn't I have a speed boat or a yacht and be in a calm, deep, and wide river? Fatigued, I believed that if there were sharp rocks or a waterfall in my path on my river that I must succumb to my fate. Life was destiny for me. I allowed life to happen to me rather than make life happen for me. Things became very difficult for a time.

This summer I learned that while I cannot choose my river and I cannot choose my obstacles in my river, I can choose to paddle my canoe. God has given me the strength, the mind, and the ability to ride the chosen river he has blessed me with. Rocks will inevitably come, sometimes calm eddies, other times raging rapids and other boaters who will push me into troubled waters. Ultimately I can avoid the most dangerous and troublesome situations if I use my common sense and learn to master this river, enjoy the ride, and be grateful that I was given a canoe instead of just an inner tube or a couple of floaties! It doesn't mean that I can change the landscape of my river, but the greatest challenges can be avoided with experience, prayer, friends, love, and a little bit of strength and technical maneuvering.

In essence, this job has taught me so much about paddling my canoe. I'm feeling more secure, level headed and happy now than I have in a really long time. I have regained so many goals and rebuilt my dreams to a great extent. I won't lie and say that there are times when I still wish I had that yacht or a calmer river, but I am grateful for my experience and glad to be me. There were times last fall when I really came close to jumping out of my canoe all together. It was a scary place to be mentally. I had worked so hard to earn my GPA and get through school and I felt like all my work was for nothing because I was destined to drown. I feel alive again though. I feel like I can again start working towards fulfilling my life mission and being truly happy. I cannot wait to see what lies just around the next bend in the river. Good things will come my way.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Exatly My Point

Here is some proof for iwonder that the US and Canada are the same. :-P

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Telling the truth... again

t has been an interesting past few weeks out here in Virginia. As I had already mentioned previously I have met someone out here. It has been going remarkably well too. I think both of us were caught off guard with how well things are going. Neither of us are in a position to be seeing anyone here because I am moving back to UT in seven weeks and he is going into the army in October. I think both of us kind of recognized that maybe we should just be friends... which sucks. He is so awesome.

On a different note, I finally came out to my sister. I had decided not to tell my sister about me for a long time because she is married to the most in-the-bubble Mormon guy ever. Don't get me wrong, he is a great guy, but not only is he so far into the conservative bubble, but he is so different than my family. I grew up in a fairly liberal family as far as Mormons are concerned. He grew up with a stake president for a father. His parents go to the temple 3-4 times a week. They are all super nice and super shiny people. But very much out of touch with reality. Frankly, I've never really been fond of my brother in law. I mean, I don't dislike the guy but he is so different in every way from me. I talk to my sister about going on vacation and she says that when she and her husband discuss it, he always says, "We could spend $2000 on vacation or we could get hardwood floors in the dining room and living room. Then when we sell the house we can get it back in equity." The truth is, he is too damn practical.

So my sister is a lot like me. She is a go getter and full of life. She has dreams. However the man that she married really puts a damper on her own personal progression and how she feels she was meant to grow. The truth is, my sister never wanted to get married... and if she did, it wouldn't have been until she was well into her thirties and maybe only have one child. She always dreamed of traveling the world and getting an education and joining the Peace Corps of something like that. My sister asked her husband, "If you had to move to any foreign country, which country would it be?" "Canada," he replied. From that simple question a huge argument that lasted 2 days developed. That ought to give you a pretty good idea as to how different they are from each other.

I had wanted to tell my sister a while back but I myself was still trying to understand everything much less try to help someone else understand it all. Whats more, I didn't want her to tell her husband. If he knew that I am gay he wouldn't let me be with my nephews alone because he would think that I was a molester or a pervert or something. He is very homophobic and is one of those people that thinks it's contagious or something. My sister agreed that she won't tell her husband because in her words, "It would be the end-all of [the] marriage."

The reason why it would be so bad on their already strained marriage is because my sister is in TOTAL support of me. In fact, when I told her the words, "I am a homosexual" she immediately said that she had just earlier in the week had a conversation with her best friend about homosexuality and the Church and how such members really have no way to fit in the Church. She understands that there is nothing that can be done for me to change this and that there is no easy answer for me.

I could go on and on forever about the parallels between my sister and I in terms of our personal revolution in our paradigms and religious views. But I will basically say this much: We have gone through some significant changes and we are in the process of revising. This however will cause some major changes for the surroundings in which we find ourselves. In my sisters situation, she has a husband to educate and marriage to mend, if it is indeed salvageable and deal with the aftermath. I have to bear the challenge of coming out of the closet and deal with the aftermath.

It was an awesome experience to talk to my sister. It got both of our minds reeling about so many things and the conversation lasted nearly 3 hours and if we had cared to, it would have lasted longer. It feels great to have another family member on my side now. I only have one more sibling to tell, I still don't know when, but I will. All in all, it was the best coming out experience thus far. It brought us infinitely closer together and repaired a lot of the distance that developed because of her husband and the bubbles that we buried ourselves into..

I'm so tired, but I had to finish this post and get it up. I hope is is quality.

-Cas

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Burdened


Tonight I have the weight of the world on my shoulders. I'm tired. I'm tired of fighting this. I'm tired of carrying this burden. I don't even have the strength to empty my thoughts onto my keyboard and into the bloggosphere. I'm just gonna roll over and hope that morning brings some promise of a better day. But I'm not crossing my fingers nor holding my breath.

-Caspian

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Man-Flirting

It has always been a confusing situation for me. You know how guys are sometimes... they will flirt with eachother. I mean, completely straight guys. They will joke about being gay or doing gay things with their friends. I don't even know if flirting is the right word. Regardless, it has always been something that has perhaps been a little confusing for me because I don't know where to draw the line. Is this guy genuinely flirting with me? Is he just being goofy?

When I was in high school I had a friend that used to man-flirt. I really thought he was cool. He was older than me, was in a band, and he reeked of coolness and oh yeah, I thought he was hella cool. I don't know if the crush developed because he was cool and a good friend or if it was because of his man-flirtings. Of course nothing ever came of it, but I am left wondering if he actually had attractions for me.


I have awesome roommates. It's a really good situation. I have one roommate who I am particularly fond of. I'll call him Blond. He has become my new best friend. We work together and carpool together every day. It's become a mutually strong friendship and at the end of the summer both of us will be disappointed that we will be going separate ways. However, a very peculiar man-flirting element to the friendship has developed. Sometimes it is physical, sometimes it is verbal. It's never grotesque. For example. We'll be riding in the car together in the back seat. He will have his arm up on the back of the seat with his hand resting behind my head. He will tickle my ear or stroke my hair. Sometimes he'll give me a big hug or walk with his arm draped over my shoulder.

The first time I ever noticed any sort of attraction was one time when we were sitting in the back seat of a car and looking up at the night sky through the hatch back window. Then in some how we both looked at eachother at the same moment and made intense eye contact. It was one of those moments where you would have gone in for the kiss. It was surprising because I don't think either of us were expecting such a moment to have arrived.


Another time when we were sitting in the back seat of the car he grabbed my leg and leaned into me. I put my arm around him and gave him a hug. He pulled back because, like all man-flirting, it's just for fun and not serious. Right? Then with a joking tone he said, "What if I really was gay, would that weird you out?" I looked at him and furrowed my brow and said, " Ummm. No." But I should have really asked him the same question.


Last night Blond and I decided to rent a movie. It was just him and me in the apartment and we decided to pull out the hide-a-bed from the couch and pull it right up to our new 48 inch plasma screen (which by the way, I've become quite fond of). We sat there watching the movie, eating snacks and laughing. One of my other roommates came home and decided to join us on the bed. Blond moved over and instead of just moving out of his way, he snuggled right up to me and spooned. I was quite surprised. He only remained that way for a few moments before laughing and moving and returning his attention to the movie.


Earlier that night when he and I had gotten ready to go rent the movie he had gone upstairs to shower and I was waiting for him. I had called up to him to see how soon he would be ready and there was no answer so I went up stairs myself to find him. He opened the bathroom door with his towel on. I said, "Dude, hurry up. Blockbuster is gonna close." He went back into his room and I started talking to my other roommate. Blond decided to get my attention by shouting from the other side of the upstairs (we live in a large 3 story town home). So I turned around and walked back to his room where he "accidentally" exposed himself to me.

So I don't know how to interpret all of this. I don't think he is gay, but maybe just a little curious. It would be one thing if he man-flirted with everyone, but he doesn't. Even my brother said, "You and Blond have a really weird friendship." Which by interpretation means, "I think you guys are kind of acting gay together." If he is gay, he is planning on being with a woman based upon other things I've heard him say. So if he is gay, then, he isn't ready to be gay. So I just don't know how to react around him. Regardless he is a good friend and above all I want it to stay that way. I mean, because if he is straight and would have suspected in the least that I am gay, then I think it would have made him exceptionally uncomfortable to man-flirt with me, even in jest. And I don't want to be one of those gay guys who assumes that every guy is gay or has some sort of gay tendency. It's just weird.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

You Can Meet Me On The Corner Of...


















I couldn't help it. I had to take the picture. Honestly, who planned these neighborhoods here in Virginia?

...Is For Lovers


They say that Virginia is for lovers. I don't know why, but it is I guess. It's just what they say out here. Upon arriving here I had my doubts that Virginia was even for me much less lovers, but I actually have really come to love it here on the East Coast. But to take it a step further, I have actually met someone that I am quite interested in.

I took a tour of a prestigious university and their political science department out here. He was there working in admissions and had just graduated with a BA in Political Science. Thats basically how we met. He is awesome though. It's really casual between him and me and there are no expectations. He is one of the kindest people I've ever met. He treats everyone really well. He's just super nice and good looking to boot. He played r
ugby on scholarship there at his university when he told me that, I'm not gonna lie, I thought it was pretty hot. He's one of those guys that you'd never guess in a million years that he was gay. Anyway for the last 2 weeks or so we've been seeing eachother and it's been really fun. We both know that at the end of the summer I'm moving back to Utah and he is going to be entering the Army so I know eventually it will have to come to an end. I'm trying to stay somewhat emotionally unattached as possible because he is really a one-in-a-billion kind of guy.

On a separate note though, I've never fully posted what my decision is -the three great options I have to choose between. Celibacy. Marriage. Homosexuality. I've dated girls, I've been single for great lengths of time, and the only one that I had not really looked into until last fall as an option was homosexuality. For now, I am looking at what life for me would be like as an open homosexual. I believe that
my life was meant to figure out and if I were to choose any one of those options I could always turn my boat around if it wasn't working out in that direction. I've seen it done before. Both John Galt and Elbow have changed their directions a couple times. Who says I can't either?

At the same time though, when I've read John's blog I am almost sick to my stomach when I think about the situation he was in. It was such an unfair choice for him to make. His blog is partially deleted and I've followed it closely over the last year or so. He had to choose between living his life with the perfect fairy-tale love of his life -a man that he met while on business and his wife, kids, and religion. If you've ever read his blog, it's heart-wrenching. How can a person be made to choose something like that? It's just not fair. I read his blog and I am really sad that he had to make the choice to stay with his wife and kids.

When I read Elbow's blog, it's just the opposite. Elbow is leaving his wife. He was
faithful and tried as hard as he could to make things work out. If you've ever read his blog you'll see that he tried and worked to the point of serious pain and suffering for he and his wife to honor his marriage commitment. In the end, however, it was better for them to separate. When I read his blog I am really sad that a marriage did not work out for him.

Both of these spectacular people have made the choice that works best for them and in NO way do I have any right to say what would be best for them in their given situations. I am like the fly on the wall and the truth is, if Elbow had decided to stay married, I would be sad that he was not able to express his homosexuality and that he was married. If John had decided to leave his wife and kids, I would be sad that he had abandoned his marriage.

In the same way for myself, whatever the outcome is, I will be sad for that which will never be.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Where is God?


I woke up Sunday morning at 3:00. It had been a rough Saturday and I was feeling a bit out of sorts. I was not in a good place mentally. My mind had been reeling all night long in my sleep and I had little peace.
Choices. I was exhausted mentally and physically. My whole body hurt and I could hardly conceive making good choices
for my life while feeling so displaced. Surrounded by darkness. What woke me up? Something familiar. A song. I could hear a song. Beautiful. Angles in a place so far from heaven? No, not a song. A hymn. I was mournfully reminded that far too much time had passed since last feeling the voice of angles in my heart. Where has inspiration gone? Why do I get the feeling that God hears my prayers and responds with a simple "Thats nice, thanks for sharing." I had not been to Church in nearly two months and it has been nearly a year or more since I really felt anything worthwhile in church anyway. Where did God go and why did he leave me without answers? And why on some random Sunday morning did he decide to visit me in my worried sleep?

Perhaps then, God is reaching out to me. I decided to go to church. I canceled my Sunday plans and got ready to go. I cannot describe the disju
nct I still feel there. Maybe I don't want God to give me answers. Then again, I can't imagine there being a satisfactory answer to all of this anyway. There will always be this empty place in my heart. I've made peace with being gay. I understand that I have unique perspective because of my experience as a result of my homosexuality. Not that my homosexuality has gifted me with inherent perspective, but rather that everything from my reparitive therapy experience, to rebuilding my relationship with my parents, to struggling with the church, to coming out to some, to loosing myself esteem and regaining it despite my imperfect life... All of it has shaped who I am. But I cannot live my life without revisiting the sorrow for that which will never be.

I have lied to myself by saying that I don't want to get married a
nd have children. Like the Fox and the Grapes, I say to myself, "I didn't really want those grapes anyway." Certainly there are some benefits to living the single life. I am responsible to no one but myself. I am free to come and go. I can build my life around my own routines and set my own goals independently. But I won't deny that there are somethings that I could gain from having a traditional marriage and I sorrow that it will never be. I will never be accepted legitimately by most of the LDS world being single or in a same-sex relationship. How can I ever expect to feel comfortable in the LDS church when everything is so focused on marriage and family -something I am quite confident will never happen for me.

Why does homosexuality even exist? Perhaps this is an unfair que
stion for me to ask God. If the Church is indeed true, then how come I have so many problems with it? If the Church is true, then why must I not be able to have this ONE thing, the most basic fundamental part of Mormon doctrine fulfilled for me? I understand that there are some people in the Church who don't suffer with homosexuality that never get married, but it's ABSOLUTELY going to be impossible for me to get happily married and stay happily married as I see it now. I've taken a break from complaining about being gay for several months, but I'm revisiting my sorrow for feeling that I've been gypped in life.

I know, I know... everything gets worked out in the Millennium. It's t
he best doctrine the church ever came up with, because if they don't have an answer, they just shift it all over to the Millennium as if it would wet my mouth just enough to promise quenching refreshment in this desert of a life.

I know that some people will always be denied certain blessings in life. My father will never have a father. He comes from a broken home and his father(s) have done nothing for him. He can hardly make it through the movie Frequency without going to pieces. Anything father-son oriented breaks his heart because he never had a father. That piece will always be missing for him and nothing he does will ever fill that void. Some people are wheelchair bound and will never experience a romantic relationship, and no matter what they do, they will always be stuck in their situation. Even if they make peace with being handicapped, they will still be single and that will always prick their hearts. I'm not debating trials in general, but as for me, I feel like I am a whole person and why shouldn't I fulfill my void if it is something I can fill? Or is it like an hourglass and shifting sand from one side to the other will still, always leave an empty side. If I am in a gay relationship, I will always long to be in the Church and married. If I am in the Church (married or not) I will still always feel cheated in life that I am not fulfilling my orientation.

Maybe I am just blaming the Church right now because I have no one else to blame for my frustration and God doesn't seem to react when I shout to him, but the Church will.

Fast and Testimony meeting was lame. There were the usual show-off self-proclaimed holy men and the overly analogous women mixed in with a couple heartfelt sentiments every now and again. Sunday school was dominated by facts without relevance. Priesthood meeting was well scripted as it consisted of a good hour of manual reading with intermittent opinion. The only thing that seemed to hold any relevance to anything was the closing hymn -which happened to be the very hymn that woke me up at 3:00 that morning.

Destiny


I used to believe that I could accomplish anything that I put my mind and heart to. I am not the most gifted student, but I believed that I could work hard and earn good grades. I worked my tail off and over the course of two years of school I was able to maintain a 3.75 GPA. I wanted to travel over seas. I saved my money up and was able to live in a remote country in a place where few foreign visitors ever travel. I studied a foreign language. I took a challenging job. I stretched my musical abilities and was competitive and was awarded a scholarship. I involved myself in leadership and service activities and took on anything that challenged me. I problem-solved and always found a solution. I had little spare money but I was able to always find a creative way to make my ends meet. I was completely active in church. I was a leader. I relied on prayer and faith that I could change anything in my life. I was in complete control. I had my "big secret" that I was gay, but I believed that I could also change that. I followed all of the textbook counsel from the Church on how to change and cope with being LDS and gay. I joined Evergreen. I was devout and read my scriptures endlessly. I was a leader in my LDS peer group and was seen as the "example." I even went so far as to set my phone alarm to go off twice a day every day during times when I knew I would be able to stop everything and pray. I believed that if I could prove to God that I was devout he would heal me. I fully believed that I had the ability to change everything and anything in my life that I wanted to. I really believed that if I could show God how committed I was to the Church and "choosing the right" that he would take away my homosexuality or at least put it to rest so that I could fall in love with a woman and get married.

However everything in last fall came crashing down when I realized that there was nothing within my power to change my sexual orientation and that God really didn't intend to change my orientation. The one thing that I wanted to change more than anything, I realized, was in fact, an inherent part of the life that God created. [By that I mean, God intended this to be part of my mortal experience] I learned that there are many things that I just will have to live with and that I cannot change. It was a traumatic realization for me. All of my life goals and aspirations came into question as a result of this paradigm shift. This realization caused me to loose hope.

But I didn't give up on life and I learned some valuable lessons from this experience. I learned to not stress out about life when it comes at me full force. Things happen to people and sometimes there is nothing that can be done about it. And in many ways this was a healthy change for me and my paradigm. I learned that painful experience is just part of life and that I was not meant to white-knuckle my way through life but rather make peace with life and be positive. I became less pessimistic about life and for the first time I began to open my eyes to the reality of my mortal life. It was a positive change for me.
However, yesterday I had a bit of an epiphany about how I've changed. I realized that in the process of making peace with my life that I now look at life as destiny as a living, breathing, entity with its own agenda that I cannot control nor manipulate. I believed that my life really was beyond my control.

Essentially, I had been successful at so many things and had made so many changes in my life. Yet the one thing that I felt I needed to change, I could not change. I felt, in essence, like I had failed. Suddenly I realized that I was not as invincible to failed attempts at life choices and situations and I became terrified of failure again. I lost all desire, began to fail classes, and eventually withdrew from school; afraid that I would ruin my hard earned GPA. I began to question my life mission and nearly decided to settle for a mediocre life.

Things have gone really well over the last month or two and I have finally felt the return of many of my goals that I had lost. I am feeling more motivated, but not only do I have fear of failure, but also of success. Like I said, I used to believe that I could succeed in anything and I was pretty successful because of that belief. Knowing that I cannot achieve everything I set out to achieve makes me hesitant toward pro-activity when facing challenging situations and trials. It's easy for me to say, "Oh well, I couldn't help that things went this way or that... It's not my fault that I felt that way..." It's this false belief that "life happens to me" rather than "I'm in control of my life." I suppose then the truth is that there is probably a balance and harmony between the two. I just need to know how to find that balance.

I understand that I am the master of my own ship and that there is a thin balance between what I can control and cannot. It makes accountability very difficult because I must question how much control I have in any given situation. Obviously I cannot hold myself accountable for being gay. It's not my fault and I refuse to guilt myself for it. God intended me to have this in my life and I have a good life. I guess the question is then, how do I know what is in my power to control and what is not. Am I held accountable for deciding that I am done with repairative therapy? Is giving up on that a sin? I don't feel guilty for a lot of things I do because I don't let myself feel guilty. I know that guilt is a terrible motivation to accomplish something, but why work at something that you believe you have no control over. It's a gray area and I really don't even know if I am articulating what I am feeling. To sum it up, I don't know how much of my life I have control over and that which I do have control over I am afraid of failure or afraid of convincing myself into believing I can succeed only to find that I cannot.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Hard Work


I'm still here. I'm really working hard towards my goals so that I can achieve the things I really want to. The unfortunate side effect is that I have little time to do much else than work work work. Sometimes it is overwhelming to work this much. I have so much I really want to say. I've just been so busy that I hardly have time and then when I do have time, I'm so exhausted mentally that I loose all desire to blog about the thought processes that roll around between my ears. I keep an active list of things I want to write about. In truth, I have nearly enough stuff I could expound on to write a whole book. But I thought I should at least state that I am alive and well and working hard. There is never a moment's rest out here. But I wouldn't be here if it wasn't worthwhile.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Responsible For YOUR Choices

It's 5:00 in the morning. I should be sleeping right now. I have a long 12 hour day ahead of me. About 15 minutes ago I was aroused from my sleep to the sound of a guitar. It's not an uncommon thing to hear in my apartment as two of my roommates are rockstar wannabes. But at 4:45 in the morning? Usually I can sleep through anything pretty well but it woke me up. It wasn't a big deal. All I needed to do was just turn on the cold air return in my apartment and the white noise would drown out almost anything reasonable.

So I stood there in my underwear, eyes squinting in the artificial light from the kitchen. Immediately my nose was assaulted with the smell of cigarettes and alcohol. My kitchen smelled like a bar. My roommate along with one of my coworkers were up drinking.

Now I am no prude and I understand that if they want to drink it's their choice. This however puts me in a compromising situation. Alcohol is strictly forbidden in the apartment. The apartment is paid for and leased out by my employer. They make the rules. Already one of my coworkers got sent home for drinking in the apartment. It's no secret that it is against the rules. There is a reason for the rules. There is a reason why employers don't serve alcohol in the break room. My apartment is merely an extension of my office. It is the break room.

On Sunday my roommate approached me and asked if I would be upset if he drank in the apartment to which I replied, "Dude, I'm not gonna make that choice for you. I'm not gonna lie for you. If you want to drink that is your choice but I don't want to see it. I don't want to know about it. I don't want the responsibility. Think of the position you put me in by asking me to cover for you. I could get sent home for supporting you. I need this job and I need the money. If you are gonna drink that is your choice, but I don't want anything to do with it."


We also had a conversation previously where he had asked me if I ever drank. I have drank before. I've drank on a few occasions. But looking back, I really didn't care for the way it made m
e feel nor did I care for the way it tasted. I don't like the numbing feeling of humorous stupidity. I choose not to drink because I don't want alcohol in my life. He also knows that I am not an up tight Mormon who is afraid of anything out of the standard paradigm. I guess for him this was the green light.

See, I w
as trying to tell him that it has nothing to do with the morality of drinking itself, but rather the responsibility of loyalty to your job. It's not fair for him to ask me to hide his indiscretion and put my employment in peril. I shouldn't have to police his behavior. I shouldn't have to be responsible for his poor choices. It's just not fair. He worked for my employer last year too and got sent home for drinking in the apartment. Whats more is he is underage. He is still just 20. As for my other coworker, I don't know if he is underage.

I have to report both of them and I really don't want to.
This has ruined my night. How can I be expected to sleep with all of this on my mind. I have a duty to do and I don't want to do it.

"Boy you guys are up late," I said. "I hit a second wind about an hour ago and we don't have to be at the office until 11:30 so... Did we wake you?" "Yeah you did, but it's no big deal." I replied, "I'll just turn on the fan and go back to bed."

I only wish it were that simple....

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Being Gay

I am Gay. What? Did you hear me? I said I AM GAY! Yeah so. Whats the big deal? Is it a big deal? I mean, really now, is it a big deal? Okay, I admit it, I'm gay. Lets move past it already. Puhleez!

It would seem to me that my homosexuality takes up a helluva lot more think time than it ought to and it's become an obsession I think. I mean I think about it a lot. Perhaps not directly but at least indirectly all the time. Is that normal or healthy? I think about the Church and my stance toward God. I think about how much I really just don't have answers for so many things I used to think I had answers for. I mean, I used to really believe so solidly in so many things that the Church teaches. Now, however, when I think of the standard church responses to the things that I face I think the answers seems too simple and inadequate for realities I face. Does that make sense?

Anyway, I just wonder if I am devoting too much time to being gay. I mean, do I think about it too much? Perhaps its kind of like sleep deprivation. When you finally get to sleep after having been forced to stay awake for so long you take several hours of sleep to make up for lost time for a long time. I've repressed dealing with my sexuality in the right way for so long that it's like breaking a dam that has held back a flood of emotion for so long that it's a huge relief to let it out. I rather enjoy my new found freedom in loving myself unconditionally and learning what it means to me to be gay. So maybe my obsession is just for the time being. But what if it's not. What if I will never settle into a normal peaceful routine with being gay. Must everything be about my sexuality? Because I don't want it to be. There is a lot more to me than my orientation. In the same way that I want the rest of the world to see me for who I am -more than homosexual- I want to see myself and live my life as more than homosexual. I just want a content life. I just want to settle into something comfortable. Maybe that's too much to ask for. (I am tempted to want to settle into something normal, but I never expected to settle for normalcy when I took on mortality. I want to live an extraordinary life and I will.)

Sometimes I like dealing with my homosexuality a lot. Is that weird? I like the association of my friends from the blog world and such. I like feeling like I've kind of been able to make more sense of something that everybody is trying to make sense of. Making friends with other gay people in the Church and discussing the realities we face has really added a new demension to my life that I enjoy. I mean, maybe I'm just being a little over optimistic. I mean my life is gonna be a lot harder as a gay man than otherwise. I have a lot of social, political, religious, and consequently emotional factors to work through that were it not for my homosexuality I might not ever consider. Dealing with this has not and is not going to be easy. Because of that it brings me back to the question, I will always be dealing with settling in as a homosexual or will I be able to live ?

Oh and by the way, apparently same sex marriages have been banned in Middle Earth.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Stereotyped


I don't quite get it all. I mean, what it takes to be a gay man and everything. There are so many supposed stereotypes that I guess I'm supposed to fill that I just don't even know where to begin! I feel like a newly baptized member who just got called into the Relief Society presidency.

According to some of the recent comments amongst friends, family, and coworkers, apparently I am supposed to be more ummm... feminine? Is that the right word? Maybe just more gay or something. But I guess that makes me come back to the question, what does it mean to be gay?

I suppose I should explain some of the stupid conversations I have sat through that have spurred this angst.

First of all, I will confess. I am a salesman. It is my profession that gets me through school, pays my bills, and binds me to the world of working. Not only am I a successful salesman, but I do door-to-door sales. Yes, two years ago I found a good summer sales company to work for and it has really been good. For those readers in Provo, Rexburg, or any of you who have had experience with a summer sales recruiter or employee, you know a little of what I am talking about here. Since we are talking about stereotypes today, why stop with stereotyping fags? Typically these boys of summer are super confident. Generally half of them are pretty good looking with beautiful wives or girlfriends. They drive Hummers. They come from successful families with wealthy fathers. Republican. They love to make jokes about anything sexual. They're good at making and spending money. Oh, and they can be total ass holes sometimes. Thats their stereotype. How did I get mixed up with a bunch of guys that typically don't match my supposed gay stereotype?

The truth is, I am somewhat of a shape-shifter. I am far far from being a conformist, but I've learned how to make really good friends out of people who are pretty different than I am. From the emo punks to the jocks to the computer geeks. I have a wide variety of friends. I really refined that skill while serving my mission.

One of my coworkers (who just so happens to be my younger brother) told a somewhat amusing story of a guy to whom he had sold our product. This man, though not obvious in his mannerism, revealed his sexual orientation to my brother by his inappropriate flirtations and eventual proposal of a date. My brother, who is married, told this to the whole office during our morning meeting. I can understand how being straight and hit on by a gay man could be disturbing, disgusting and even humorous to him or a lot of the other guys. It was the jokes that ensued after that I found revealing. They joked about the man for a while -which was fine to laugh at the situation and all, but I realized that everyone just viewed him as some sort of pervert -a confused, misdirected man that only wants raw man-sex. Maybe he was, but the point of it all is that by extension through their jokes, commentary, and one-uppers they stereotyped all gay men as such. I realized that as much as I would like to be transparent and am confident enough to deal with people knowing (I think), to do so would be throwing myself to the wolves. Would my coworkers be afraid of me? What about those that have children? Would they view me as a child molester, a sex-crazed pervert, or someone with a disease that could spread to their children? I'm not any of those things.

Something Samantha Stevens said to me was that when you tell someone that you are a homosexual, you need to allow them the time to react. In the middle of the sales season with all the work, focus, inertia, and stress perhaps to throw this out on the table would be too much for me and even the closest of friends out here. The only one who knows is my brother. Even his wife doesn't know.

On Sunday, my boss and his wife, my brother and his wife, and I went to the beach for the afternoon. My boss's wife works in the mall in a trendy retail clothing store. Somehow in our conversation on the way back one of her gay coworkers came up in the conversation. She commented on how she hated having to work with all those gay men... then a comment about gay men working in clothing retail at the mall...

The one person whom I expected would stick up for me as a homosexual, my brother, really let me down. My brother in a disgusted tone said, "If I ever owned a clothing retail store I wouldn't hire gays to work there." My boss said, "But that's illegal. They have discrimination laws against that sort of thing. They'll take you to court."
"How would they know that it was because they are gay I didn't hire them? They couldn't prove anything."

I wanted to say, "Oh don't worry, Brother, I'd testify against you." But I didn't.

He went on to talk about feminine gay guys and their mannerisms and how much it bothered him. He spoke as if the obviously gay guys were lesser people because they were more effeminate in their persona. Basically he said it's okay to be gay as long as you don't act gay. I wont relate the whole conversation, but it really made me mad.

No, I myself don't find effeminate mannerisms attractive, but I can tolerate them. There are a lot of things I don't find attractive. I don't find obesity attractive, but I can still be friends with, love, and support an obese person. There are somethings that people cannot help. Maybe that's not a good example, but I think you get my point. Being effeminate isn't bad, just different.

I actually know a number of intolerant gay guys too. They act as if being effeminate were a bad thing... I mean, it's not my style, but they judge others. Aren't we free to pursue that which tickles our fancy within the bounds of moral law? Sure, when you see a flaming fabulous gay man you can't help but laugh sometimes, but to degrade someone else for any reason only serves to degrade yourself.

I know sometimes in the church, (especially in Elder's Quorum) there is a tendency to see who can be more conservative as if conservativeness could be equated with righteousness, but my brother isn't the type of guy to talk fluff to impress others. He is a thinker and doesn't say things that he doesn't mean. Thats why it hurt so much to hear him say what he did. I'm really close to my brother. I still have yet to talk to him about how angry he made me for saying everything he did.

I don't know... I guess I wish people could love people for who they are, not just for being Mormon, talented, good looking, or anything else.