28 June 2009

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

So I went to Scott and Sarah's party tonight. It was a good time! It was good to catch up with the two guys I knew, put faces to blog names, and meet new people. Plus I took the night off of work, which is always nice. :)

Once again though, I am a girl surrounded by guys. Thank goodness for Sarah, or it might have been awkward. I did have a lot of fun and really didn't feel as socially awkward as I have in the past. I consider that to be a success any day. While I don't always enjoy standing out, I've noticed that it's easier for me when I'm put in a social setting like this. As I was driving home, I realized that there are some really good things about this kind of situation.

First, there's really no pressure. I know that the boys aren't looking at me in any special way, and they know that I'm not looking at them that way either. It is really easy to just relax and enjoy the company of other people. It takes the speculation and expectations out of a social encounter, and I feel like it's more real in a way, more honest. And it's easier to be honest. And that's nice for a change.

Second, there's no one else with my name. I'm sorting through a lot of David's and Michael's, but I'm the only Amy.

Third, it's easy for me to step back and just watch. I really like people watching and just observing. Situations like this certainly afford me the opportunity. I can just be there, with people who are entertaining and caring and interesting to me, and enjoy the moments. I feel like I learn a lot about people this way and then it makes it easier to approach and converse with them.

All in all, I consider it to be an evening well spent. Thank you Scott and Sarah, for opening your home and not only inviting, but welcoming those who come. I appreciate your generosity and sincerity. Hope to see you again soon!

26 June 2009

Contradiction Confliction

Something has been on my mind lately and has been bothering me. I've tried to find answers, and I have come up empty. Maybe I need to do more research, maybe I'm not looking in the right places or the right material, maybe someone can point me in the right direction. God Loveth His Children...I have only read this pamphlet thingey in the last few months, though I know it's been around for a couple years. Perhaps someone out there can explain this to me, because all I see is the contradiction.

In God Loveth His Children, it says this:

ELDER WICKMAN: One question that might be asked by somebody who is struggling with same-gender attraction is, "Is this something I'm stuck with forever? What bearing does this have on eternal life? If I can somehow make it through this life, when I appear on the other side, what will I be like?"

Gratefully, the answer is that same-gender attraction did not exist in the pre-earth life and neither will it exist in the next life. It is a circumstance that for whatever reason or reasons seems to apply right now in mortality, in this nano-second of our eternal existence.

The good news for somebody who is struggling with same-gender attraction is this: 1) It is that 'I'm not stuck with it forever.' It's just now. Admittedly, for each one of us, it's hard to look beyond the "now" sometimes. But nonetheless, if you see mortality as now, it's only during this season. 2) If I can keep myself worthy here, if I can be true to gospel commandments, if I can keep covenants that I have made, the blessings of exaltation and eternal life that Heavenly Father holds out to all of His children apply to me. Every blessing--including eternal marriage--is and will be mine in due course.

Wait...gratefully? Good news? A circumstance that only seems to apply right now in mortality? Interesting. Perhaps it's my sensitive nature asserting itself, but Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Elder Wickman? If you're telling me that this part of who I am won't exist when I get to the next life, I have issues with that. This circumstance of mine...who am I without it? Who will I be without it? Are you telling me that there's something about me that is only good enough for the dirt and dust of mortality and beyond that it's eternally irrelevant?

But in Alma 34:34 it says this:

"...for 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."

I realize that this verse in context is talking about sin and repentance. And Church leaders classify acting on same-gender attractions as sin. And those attractions, though I am trying not to think of them as sin, will probably still possess me when I go out of this life, whether I act on them or not.

Seems like a contradiction between Alma and Elder Wickman to me.

24 June 2009

Is There Sunshine In My Soul Today?

I've been noticing that sometimes at home, I find myself feeling very frustrated and angry. Today is one of those angry days. So I'm trying to focus on some positives.

I took my math placement test for school today, so I should be able to register tomorrow. I'm looking forward to going back to school and doing something different. I don't want to work in a restaurant forever. At least I feel like I'm moving a little bit now, despite the depth of the rut I've been in. If anyone wants to help me survive Math 1010, I promise you I'll need the help. :)

Something you might not know about me is that when I was fourteen, I developed a pretty nasty habit and it continued for eleven years. I'm not proud of it, so I'm not going to get too specific here. I felt like it was absolutely impossible to give up. But I've done it. Next Thursday--only 8 more days--is my one year "clean" mark. This is HUGE for me! I'm so excited to finally have a life without it!

My great-grandma is still alive. She's 99! Recently she had to be hospitalized for a medical problem and severe dehydration, and she's been in a care facility for about the last two weeks. I've been really worried about her and it's been tough to see her as frail as her years might suggest she is, especially since she's normally such a firecracker. They are still concerned about an infection in her lungs that could possibly become pneumonia. She's receiving excellent care though, and is doing much much better. She's starting to assert some of that lovable spunk again. I'm so glad!

I got to see both of my sisters this last week. My youngest sister and her husband were up for a friend's wedding over the weekend. My other sister brought the two kids up on Monday to visit Great-Great-Grandma. I love seeing them and I always enjoy playing with my niece and nephew. It's like nothing else when they see you coming, drop everything to run to you and give you a great big hug. They call me "Maymie" and I just eat it up. They're almost 2 and 3, so they're so much fun.

Let the peaceful, happy moments roll.

I Like This

Maybe you've already heard or read about this. I saw an article on it in the Standard Examiner today and checked it out immediately.


This is a petition to the First Presidency of the Church, a plea for reconciliation, to be delivered in November on the first anniversary of Prop 8 being passed in California.

There are already so many more names tonight than there were when I was on the website this afternoon. I've added mine. I haven't had much time to really peruse the site today, but I'm definitely hoping to spend time with it soon. This has done my heart some good today.

I like this.

19 June 2009

Sweet Dreams

For as long as I can remember, I have had difficulty sleeping. I would sleep in chunks. It seemed I'd spend the night looking at the clock...1:30...3:52...6:19...until much to my dismay, my alarm clock would be informing me that it was time to get up.

In the last few months though, I've noticed something absolutely AMAZING. I've started sleeping through the night. I can hardly believe it sometimes, but it's true!

There are a couple things that I've started doing differently. For instance, I've started hanging out with different groups of friends, going out on weekends, and I find myself generally in a good mood. It's funny how more people like to be around you when you're happy. For the most part, and more and more, I feel better than I have in a long time. I really think this stems back to just being able to be who I am. Finally.

And since I'm getting more sleep, the good mood continues. Sleep is nice!

15 June 2009

The New Normal

I bought a new book, which is one of my favorite things to do. As I was reading the other day, one of the passages really caught my attention, so I thought I'd share it here. As a bit of background, the character is in the midst of some serious family conflicts, and is here thinking of a memory.

"She was tired of crying and tired of being strong and tired of research and just plain tired. She was trying to be more like those palmetto trees after Hugo ripped through. Everything on the island had been indelibly scarred, but the palmetto trees stood tall, their ability to adapt and bend in all circumstances making them less vulnerable than their brittle, inflexible counterparts. Accept the new normal. That was the message."

So lately I've been caught up in a lot of emotions, mostly negative emotions about myself and my feelings. It seems like a hurricane sometimes and I admit that I don't know how to handle it.

I think I've been brittle and inflexible. I know that I get frustrated with myself for the feelings I have, the attraction that I feel for other women. The emotional part of me just happens, and then the reasoning part of me reacts based on what I've been taught, things I've observed and learned, experiences, memories, all that. The emotion just is what it is, and that's all it wants to be. Seems simple. But the reasoning part can't just let it be. The reasoning part of me is a fighter. It likes to work in a complex way, bringing in bits and pieces from the media and my parents and my junior high memories. I think I've been fighting still, trying to talk myself out of being gay, trying to shift my feelings to something more "normal."

And there's part of the problem. What is normal? It's different for everyone, and it can change. I think part of my misery is really because I've been trying to live a "normal" life by someone else's definition. I'm now thinking that if I'm going to be happy, if I'm going to be at peace with myself no matter where I am, if I'm going to be Amy, I should know what is "normal" for me. If I don't want to break, I have to know what is normal for me.

More importantly, I want to know. Someone else's definition isn't sufficient for me anymore.

09 June 2009

Rain Brings Rainbows

I went to Pride this last Sunday. It was my very first and for the most part, I had a good time. It was raining like the prophet could have been named Noah, and we all got completely drenched. Once I stopped trying to avoid the downpour and just accepted that I was going to get wet, it was a lot easier to just enjoy playing in the rain. I almost felt like a little kid again. Two days later, my shoes are finally dry.

The parade was awesome and we actually joined in carrying the huge rainbow flag. My favorite part was probably when we got to the parade's end and they were asking us to lay the flag down on the road. They didn't want it to get bunched up, and I heard someone telling us all this: "Don't say 'make it straight,' say 'spread it out!'" I loved that! We then walked around the festival at Washington Square, enjoying the booths, the people, getting pictures with drag queens, and munching on festival food. I went with four other girls. They were all so excited to be there and they pretty much loved every minute of it.

Of these girls, two know of my circumstances, two do not. There was a lovely little discussion on the drive down to SLC about gay marriage and Prop 8 and the involvement of the LDS Church. I didn't participate, but it was good to hear these other girls support gay marriage, despite what Church leaders promote. That helped me feel a little more at ease, and at the same time, I didn't feel the need to tell them that I was gay. That's where the conflict came in. In my opinion, it's a difficult thing to be at Pride and still be in the closet, hiding from the people you go with. There was so much freedom there, acceptance and love, boyfriends, girlfriends, families, dogs. I wanted so much to be a part of it, so much that it hurt. In the end though, my fear won out, and I stayed separate from the freedom that was surrounding me.

There have been some good things to come out of this though. First, I now know that there are two other girls that I work with are also lesbians. I had suspicions, but since it's a non-issue for me, I didn't feel the need to pry. We ran into one at Pride with her girlfriend. We saw the other girl there too, but I didn't get to talk to her until the next day. We compared notes on the festival, I told her that I was gay and we talked for awhile just about life. It was really, really nice.

Second, I've vowed that next year, I'm going to be in a place where it doesn't matter who I go with, I won't be in the closet for Pride. It's a celebration, and it's a place where it's really okay to just be who you are, no matter who you are. I can work towards being proud of who I am.

Third, I now have some more information about where two of my friends stand when it comes to people who are gay. I think that will come in handy when I decide to really open up more about who I am and I feel like I am perhaps a little closer to being able to tell them my truth.

And last, but certainly not least, I got a really good therapy visit out of my experiences with all this. :)

Amy fact of the day presents - Amy's teams: Utah Jazz, Philadelphia Eagles, Boston Red Sox. I like watching soccer but I don't have one team that I follow. I'll also take BYU over Utah. There's a story there, but that's for another time.

08 June 2009


First, I'd like to say thanks for the responses I've got to my guilt/shame question. I appreciate what you've said and you've helped me process through this a little more. Also, I'm going to do a post about Pride and how that went, but not tonight. I have another question for y'all.

So when you're talking about males, you can say "guys" and it seems to suggest a person who's around my age. It doesn't sound as old as "man" or as young as "boy." What is the in between for females? "Woman" would be old, "girl" would be young, and the middle would be...?

Gal? Lady? Chick? What's the comparable term?

Amy fact of the day: my favorite band is Incubus.

06 June 2009

Justified or Unjustified?

So Friday I had to work. I was in a great mood, having just come from watching the Thunderbirds rehearse for the weekend airshow. During the course of my shift, I noticed that I was noticing a few attractive women, more so than usual. There are a couple of explanations I've come up with for this...

1) There were more cute women than usual coming into the restaurant that night.
2) I had sub-consciously given myself permission to actually look at cute women coming into the restaurant.
3) I was actually looking for attractive women, and therefore seeing them.
4) A combination of all of the above.
5) Another explanation that I haven't considered.

Unfortunately, noticing my thoughts and feelings about the above mentioned situation also triggered my guilt and shame. I personally didn't really want to be feeling ashamed or guilty for noticing these women and being aware of my feelings, however superficial they might have been.

I talked to a friend about it and she seemed to think that it was actually progress for me. She told me that it was normal for me, and good for me to be in that space, of actually paying attention to my emotions.

What I know about guilt and shame is this: the emotion of shame is generally felt in regard to characteristics about yourself, while the emotion of guilt fires about your actions or behaviors. Shame is justified when you will be rejected from a group you care about if characteristics of yourself or your behavior are made public. Guilt is justified when your own behavior violates your own values or moral code.

So my question is this: are guilt and shame justified or unjustified in this situation?

I haven't been able to determine an answer, so I'm asking for your opinions. What do you think?

04 June 2009


On Sunday, I'm going with some of my friends to Pride.

I've never been to Pride before, and I'm kind of anxiously excited about it. I don't know what to expect really and new situations make me nervous. But I'm going to be with people I trust and I've heard good things about Pride, so I'm also looking forward to it.

Anybody else going?

Amy fact of the day: I can't sleep if I'm cold.

02 June 2009

One down...

...three to go.

My youngest sister and her husband came up last weekend for a family birthday dinner that we do once a year with my mom's side of the family. Over the course of the lunch conversation we were having at our end of the table, the inevitable question came up yet again, this time from my sister, and therefore worded appropriately...

"So have you dated any foxy guys lately?"

The answer is always the same. NO. I don't know if it was the expression on my face or something else, but she stared at me for a moment, then leaned in and whispered, "do you even like guys?"

I think I would pay for a polaroid of the shock that must have been written across my face. Most definitely a Kodak Moment.

We were in the process of leaving the restaurant when this whole exchange took place, so while everyone else paused outside the doors to discuss Father's Day, my sister and I went around the corner to talk. And talk we did. I was honest with her, I answered her questions, and she in turn was very understanding, loving, and accepting. As she's my baby sister, I forget sometimes that she's all grown up. In this case though, I'm glad that she is.

In the moment, it felt really okay to tell her. It was kind of validating to hear that she kind of thought I might be gay, not in a bad way or anything, but simply because I don't talk about guys. Now that I'm not in that moment though, I'm kind of having minor freak-out moments every now and then. It was always in my plans to tell my family, and I always knew that I would tell her first. I just thought it would be further down the road, in the distant future, and not so soon. I'm still trying to get used to having someone so close to me be "in the know."

I guess technically it's two down, since she also told her husband (with my approval), which means that I actually have four more to go. Regardless, I'm very glad to have a sister who cares, who is on my side, who wants me to be happy, and who assures me that she's always my sister and she loves me no matter what.