21 December 2010

Gay It Forward

I don't know if any of you watch Will and Grace.  I watched it all the time when I was younger but there were so many jokes lost on me.  Now that I'm out, it's absolutely hysterical.  I don't get to watch it a lot now, but I happened to catch an episode last night.

The premise for the episode is that Karen sets up Will with her cousin Barry.  Barry just came out.  Will doesn't want to go out with him because he doesn't appear attractive and he's shy.  Jack meets up with them at the restaurant just after Will has let Barry down easy.  He tells Will that they should help Barry, coach him, teach him.

JACK: The point is, we senior gays have a responsibility to the freshmen. To teach them, to bring them along. Why, I helped turn this caterpillar into a chubby butterfly. And now you should do the same for Barry.
WILL: Why? Why is this my responsibility?
JACK: Because that's what we do in the community. We gay it forward.

I wouldn't consider myself a senior gay yet, but I know I'm not a freshman anymore either.  It's nice to have some confidence and some experience, for lack of a better word, behind me now.  

The "freshmen" come in all shapes and sizes, all ages, all types.  And I feel for you.  It's not easy.  So how do we "gay it forward" for them?  

I like the "It Gets Better" Project, reaching out to people and letting them know that life can get better than however it is right now.  I like this blogging sphere and the great sense of community we have.  I like that the Nicholson's have parties so we can socialize and get to know each other and interact.  I like that Abelard maintains the MoHo Directory so we can read each other's blogs and be supportive of each other through daily life.  And I have learned that even just blogging about your experience can help someone out.  Sometimes just being yourself can help someone be less afraid to be who they are.

I wish that I had the means and the time to do more.  This world can be such a beautiful place, even though there are dark hours experienced upon it.  There is a lot of love out there too.  You just don't hear about as much.  Love is soft and gentle.  Love doesn't make it on the news a lot of time, but it's there.  It's here.  Arms waiting to surround you, accept you, help you heal.  

Gay it forward.  I love it.

14 December 2010

Saddest Story

I'm facebook friends with a lot of you, but for those of you who I don't know, this is what I look like (it's relevant to the story).

For my job, sometimes I'm a manager. This was the case on Sunday.  It was getting to be the end of the night, so there weren't a lot of tables in the restaurant.  We're supposed to do table visits as managers to make sure that the food and service are great.  Usually this happens when entrees are out.  So I go to check on this table.  It's a family--mom, dad, two young girls.  I would say the girls were about six and eight.  They were giggling and having a great time when I approached the table.  I did my spiel, made sure everything was good, and told the girls I was glad they were having a good time.  Nothing out of the ordinary.

A bit later, the server of that table came to me and asked if everything was good with that table.  I said yes.  She said that they were asking for the manager and one of the little girls was crying.  I thought that was weird, but went back to the table, not knowing what to expect.

It was just the father and the older girl at the table, and she was indeed crying.  Practically sobbing.  The dad says "we asked you back here because she has something to say to you."  So I look over at the girl, who won't look at me.  She manages to say "I'm sorry."  She's clearly embarrassed and I am feeling so bad for her, while still being so very confused.  So I look back at the dad.  He says to me, "After you walked away, she asked 'was that a girl or a boy,' and we didn't know if you heard or not, but I didn't like it and I won't stand for it, so she's apologizing to you."

At this point, the girl just starts saying "I'm sorry" over and over.  So I told her that I accepted her apology, mostly to appease the father, and I told her that it was okay.  I told her I hoped she would come back and see me and that we could be friends if she wanted.  She said "I don't know if I can come back," still crying, and it practically broke my heart.  So I told her I hoped I would see her again soon.  I told the father thank you, because even though I don't agree with the way he went about it, I can appreciate that he's trying to raise his kids to not be judgmental.  At least, I hope that is what he's trying to do.  I don't know what he said to her, or if it was what he said that made her cry to that degree, or if she was just embarrassed to be having to apologize, but in my mind it was kind of unnecessary.

I sent the server out with two of our free kids meals cards and told her to tell the girl "no hard feelings," just trying to make her feel better.  I really do hope they'll come back and be okay.  It was so sad!

And for the record, I guarantee, as a girl with a haircut like mine, it's not going to hurt my feelings or offend me if you think I'm a boy.  Just saying.

13 December 2010

Bridging The Divide

I don't know if anyone else watches the USA Network, but I watch it religiously.  They show a lot of Law and Order: SVU, which is one of my favorite shows, and I love their original series too.  Anyway, this month is Characters Unite Month, which is a really awesome idea in my opinion.

They made a documentary called Bridging the Divide.  It is about the discrimination that still exists in America.  It talks about immigrants and refugees, people with disabilities, people of different races, high school kids, and of course, LGBT people.  I watched it today.  Okay, I cried through pretty much the whole thing.  I'm such a softie.  But I thought it was a great documentary and totally worth watching.  If you go to www.charactersunite.com , the documentary is available to view there.

Also on the site, you can take the Characters Unite Pledge.  I did, because I believe that every person has a story worth listening to, and I know that every life is beautiful.  You should have the chance to be the character you are without fear or judgment.  One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all. 

I think this is such a good message, especially for kids who are struggling in school and with tough stuff.  We are all aware of the epidemic of bullying and the lives that have been lost because the pain was too much to bear.  I appreciate the It Gets Better Project and the efforts that have been taken to help our youth understand that life is worth living.  I think this project is another way to reiterate that there are so many people ready and willing to accept you with open arms, no matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or who you love.

Check out the documentary.  Take the pledge if you'd like.  Be the character that you are.

11 December 2010

Worrying About Drama

Tonight is the family Christmas party for my dad's side of the family.  Since I didn't find out about it until about five days ago, I'm not going.  I have other plans.  I kind of wish I was available to go, but I'm also kind of relieved that I'm not going to be there.  The fear of the unknown gives me more anxiety that practically anything.  I get nervous around them, because I never know what to expect, and now that feels even more true than before. 

Some of my dad's family knows.  What would their reaction be if they all knew?  I imagine it as a wide spectrum.  My personal idea is that I think there would be more misunderstanding than anything.  In my experience with them, they tend to take the "react first, think about the consequences later" approach.  That doesn't always bode well for a softie like me.  I've always felt like there is a lot of judgment instead of unconditional love.  Just my observations.

I worry about my dad though.  It's his family after all.  I know he's having a really hard time with everything that's going on with me.  Some days, he will hardly speak to me.  He gets really weird and the feeling I get is that he doesn't want to be around me.  Some days, it's like it was before, when we were buds.  I just try to ride the waves as they come and be understanding.  I know that where my life is now is never where my parents planned I would be.  But it is what it is.

I don't know if it will come up at all.  I really really hope that it doesn't.  But it doesn't really matter to me one way or the other.  I'm still going to live my life.  And I guess if they are talking about me, they won't be talking about anyone else, and that might be a good thing.  Not everyone has a picture perfect life, you know?  If you're going to speculate about someone's life, talk about my dirty laundry instead of someone else's.  That won't bother me. 

If anything gets said tonight, in any sort of negative or demeaning way, I have no doubt in my mind that my mom will stand up for me and defend me and fight for me if that's what it comes to.  She's tough that way, and I know she loves me.  I think my relationship with her has improved so much since I came out.  It's better now that it probably has ever been, even back when I was being straight.  She'll turn into Mama Bear for any of her kids.  But I'm not sure what my dad will do.  I would hope first and foremost that nothing will get said to them at all.  But if it does, I don't know my dad's response would be. 

It's a crazy thing to have doubts about the love you get from a parent.  It's even difficult to try to explain.  The deep down love I know is still there.  I know he loves me.  I know he's having a hard time showing it.  It's just weird sometimes, a really weird feeling.

But I will say this, and if any of my dad's family ever reads this, I would hope that this is what they would remember:

I am gay and that is no one's fault.  My parents had absolutely nothing to do with it.  They didn't make me gay by the way they raised me.  They didn't choose it and I didn't choose it, and we're accepting it and doing the best that we can.  We're just doing the best that we can.  What more can you ask?

I'm crossing every finger and every toe that there won't be drama.  I really really really hope that it can just be a nice family Christmas party, with laughter and good food, Grandma and Grandpa playing Jingle Bells on their harmonicas, my dad blowing everyone away on his saxophone, and everyone leaving happy.

02 December 2010

Stop and Stare

My girlfriend and I went to the Festival of the Trees on Wednesday night.  For those of you who don't live in Utah, this is a yearly benefit for Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City.  Hundreds of trees, wreaths, gingerbread houses, and stuff are decorated and donated, then auctioned off to raise money.  Then they have four nights of exhibition for the public to come view the trees.  It's a really awesome event and if you are in the SLC area, I suggest you go.  It's at the Sandy Expo Center through the 4th.

Anyways, we're at the Festival, we're looking at trees and loving life.  In public, we don't act like a couple, meaning that we aren't affectionate, holding hands, things of that nature.  An observant soul could probably figure out that we're together, which is fine, but we don't advertise.  We're cautious.

I don't know if there were a lot of observant souls around last night, but we were both noticing how many people seemed to be staring at us.  Maybe it was an acute case of paranoia.  Maybe we were both having an awesome hair day and some people were jealous.  Maybe people could tell that we're gay but we're also happy, and gay people are "sinful" so we're not supposed to be happy.  That can be confusing for a Mormon, I think.  I don't know.  But it happens a lot when we go out and about.  People like to stare at us.  We just do our thing and try not to care, because we are happy, and that's what matters to us.

So I know we're adorable and all, but I think it's interesting that it happens to us.  Does it happen to you?  Why do you suppose that is?

29 November 2010

What I Am Thankful For

I know that I have so much to be thankful for.  My Thanksgiving this year was different from any Thanksgiving I've had.  It was new and almost weird, but it gave me time to really reflect on what I'm grateful for.

First, I'm so grateful for my wonderful girlfriend.  She is amazing and amazingly good to me.  I hate my job, but I love that it brought us together.  We laugh often, we fight very rarely.  We love each other and I can't imagine my life without her.  More importantly, I don't want to.  I really feel like she's my soulmate and I'm so thankful that she is.

Second, I'm thankful for the presence of God in my life.  I see His influence in so many small but significant ways and it continues to amaze me.

I'm really grateful for my family.  They have made such leaps and strides in the last year.  Last Thanksgiving, it was a massacre, complete with tears and guilt.  In the last year, I have seen how they have really made an effort to understand me and to still show their love for me.  It is a miracle as far as I'm concerned, and I love each and every one of them.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to go to school.  If I had my way, I wouldn't work, I'd just be a student.  I love being on campus, I love learning, I don't always love homework but I do love the opportunity it gives me to learn more and to incorporate knowledge in my life.  I love that school helps me feel like I'm doing something important and going somewhere beyond a restaurant.

I'm glad that I got to spend Thanksgiving with my new family, and I'm grateful for their acceptance of me.  I love my girlfriend's Mom.  She is such an amazing person and I know she has one of the biggest hearts in the world.  I'm glad that my girlfriend's brothers are awesome and I love watching the the four of them with my girl.  They are an awesome family.

I have so much more that I could list, but those are the big ones.  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and going into Christmas, I hope I can continue to remember how blessed I am.

18 November 2010

Be Who You Are

I was on the Affirmation website last night and I stumbled upon a memorial for someone I went to junior high with.  I knew him.  His name was Marshall Myers.  Two years ago, he killed himself.

I wish I had a loud voice or a blog that was read by millions, so I could shout and tell everyone that
it really is completely okay to just be who you are.

Yes, you might be rejected by some, but
by others.  I mean, you could be rejected for being a BYU fan these days, or liking the Jazz, or being a Democrat. 
But none of that is worth your life
You are worth more than what ignorant people will tell you
You are beautiful.

You are here for a purpose and the world is less without you.  There are so many people who are willing to stand around you and be your support and show you a world you can't even dream of.  It's okay to be happy.  It's okay to live.  It's okay to be who you are.
Please don't give up.

17 November 2010

I Hate Sheryl Crow

Or more accurately, I hate what Sheryl Crow invokes the memory of. 

For those of you who have followed my blog since the beginning, you know that in the process of coming out, there was only one friend that I lost.  We had been friends since high school, which was about nine years, and roommates for four of those.  It was unfortunate, but it happened.  It has now been about sixteen months since I spoke with her.  The last communication I had from her was an email...which we won't really talk about.

Her favorite music was the musical stylings of Sheryl Crow.  Non-stop.  Road trips, cleaning the house, running the errands, Sheryl Crow.  Of course, mixed in with other things, but a lot of Sheryl Crow.  I even went to her concert with my friend because she couldn't find anyone else to go with her.  At that point, I didn't mind the music but it wasn't my favorite.  I had an okay time at the concert so it wasn't a complete loss.

Now she's definitely not my favorite.

I know that I am still bothered about the way our friendship ended.  There were a lot of things that went unresolved I suppose.  There are things I wish I would have said, but after the email, I decided that it would be better to just not respond.  After all, the Golden Rule teaches us that if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

I hate that every silver Honda Civic makes me remember her.  I hate that Sheryl Crow plays on the muzak channel at work.  It's really annoying to me.  She was my friend for nine years and in the end, she treated me like someone she had known for nine weeks.  I don't want to be reminded of her anymore.  I don't want to think about her anymore.

So why am I?


16 November 2010

The Verdict

So I've had time to ponder my blog and its place in my life.  I know I'm not the first to have the "blogging identity crisis" and I'm sure I won't be the last.  But I think I know where I'm at now.  Here's what I've been thinking about.

First: it's times like this where I wish I had a web camera so that I could accurately portray my mood and tone of voice.  Alas, the technology for that escapes me for now.  So I'm left with the disclaimer approach, which goes something like this...

I am a passive person, sometimes referred to as a peace-maker.  Conflict is not my game.  None of what I write here is written in the spirit of anger, resentment, frustration, anything like that.  It is just how I would say it if I were talking with a friend, and that's the tone that I most often use when writing on my blogs.  If I'm all fired up about something, usually I will make mention of that.  Not the case with this post.

Second: this blog is really important to me.  I know that being able to write about my feelings and my experiences has helped me work through some of the negative issues that I have personally come across.  Being a part of a blogging community has also helped me immensely, because I'm not alone, I'm not the only one who feels this way or deals with the religious ripple effect, and I've been able to meet some really great people in the "real world" because of it.

Third: I still have things I want to say and write and put out there.  I feel this is important because, for whatever reason, there are more male Moho's than female Moho's.  To be a voice and to be a potential point of hope for someone is a great honor and privilege to me. 

Fourth: This is my blog and will own that.  If you are unhappy with anything you've read, don't hesitate to contact me and we can discuss it.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion and feelings and I'm totally on board with that.  Know that I will give you and your opinion respect if you return the favor.  If you continue to be unhappy with my posts and my thoughts and what I put on here, by all means, please don't read.  It won't hurt my feelings. 

To my unintended audience, I think you can guess who you are, allow me a few words.  Perhaps the knowledge of me that comes from this blog is a surprise to you.  Perhaps it's not.  Regardless, I am who I am and this is the path I am embracing.  Maybe you thought you knew me all those years, but there were so many things I never shared.  I was miserable.  I was hurting myself.  I was suicidal.  I hated everything and everyone because I was so unhappy.  That's not a way to live.  I am not that way anymore.  I am happy.  For the first time in so very long, I love my life!  I feel like I've solved the mystery that hung over my head all those years.  I feel whole and complete.  I know that God loves me and He is still very much a part of my life.  I invite Him daily to be with me and I feel His presence.  I do not consider myself wayward or corrupt or evil.  I am proud of who I am.  If you don't like that, you don't have to.  I'm not asking you to congratulate me.  I hope that whatever stereotypes or ideas you have about gay people, you will remember that I am not a stereotype and I am not typical, and being gay is not a curse or a crime or a reason to hate.  I am just me, mostly like you have always known, except with more sunlight in my life now. 

My life is good and I enjoy it.  And I'm going to keep blogging so I can share that joy.  Come with me, if you like.

03 November 2010

Could This Be The End?

I haven't been blogging much lately because I feel like there's been some drama.  I am a person who is not about conflict and drama at all, and I hate that there has been drama.  I understand it, I understand my part in it, I accept that, but I don't have to like it. 

This is mostly because it has come to my attention that I have an audience that I perhaps did not plan on.  I've been in a place of indecision and hesitation because of this.  I am a person who is still very much a work in progress, I still have a lot of insecurities (even though I'm working on it), and news of these potential readers has put me into a sort of limbo.  I've been weighing choices and consequences and trying to determine what I should do with this blog. 

I started this blog as an outlet for my feelings, my thoughts, and my reactions to the world I live in.  That may not be the same world that you live in.  The things I write are purely my perception, and not much else.  I don't think that this blog reaches a particularly large audience, but maybe I'm wrong on that. 

I have really enjoyed having this blog.  I really enjoy being a part of a blogging community and reading the blogs of other people who share similar circumstances.  That has been such a blessing for me.

So I don't know what to do yet.  I'm still in the middle of the arguments.  I really don't want to stop blogging.  But I need to figure out what to do and where to go from here. 

I hope it isn't the end.

18 October 2010

My New Favorite You Tube Video

It Gets Better

It Gets Better - Zachary Quinto

17 October 2010


I know I need to get things out of my head when my dreams/nightmares are concerned about it all night long.

I hope I sleep better tonight.

16 October 2010


Sometimes I don't understand people.  I work with the public, I see them all the time, I talk with them, I answer their questions.  Granted, it's a specific type of interaction, but it's still being with them for an hour or longer.  You can learn a lot about someone in a short amount of time.  But even then, all that interaction with people doesn't help me understand them sometimes.

I suppose that's why it's understandable for me when I get misunderstood.  I know that it's difficult to put yourself in someone else's shoes.  I know that even when you think you know a person, or know a little bit about them, that doesn't mean you'll understand where they're coming from. 

I get that there are misunderstandings.  But sometimes the reasons still make me scratch my head.

09 October 2010

Things I Learned This Weekend

1: I enjoy wearing a tie. I think the Half Windsor knot is my favorite. Maybe that's weird but oh well. I'm weird. I'm okay with it.

2: I would really enjoy it if I could find just straight-leg slacks. I don't like boot-leg or flare and I'm not into the "form fitting" look. Even better would be girl slacks with boy pockets. Girl pockets aren't made to hold ANYTHING.

3: Even if you guess that someone will decline an invitation to dinner, they would still like an opportunity to decline said invitation (sorry Sister).

4: Being in a city that you are familiar with while being with people who are unfamiliar with the city is weird. Also slightly frustrating/maddening when you don't have a loud voice.

5: I'm not super picky about hotel rooms but if the shower sucks, that's a problem. I'm glad I don't have long hair anymore.

6: October is an awesome time to get married in St. George. Congrats Mitch and Lee!

(million dollar phone approved)

Location:E 370 N,Washington,United States

06 October 2010

The Real Consequences

So I didn't watch Conference.  I don't have first hand knowledge of what Elder Packer chose to say.  But I did read the Salt Lake Tribune article.  It was the top story on the front page--GAYS CAN CHANGE.  Fantastic.

Here's my thing.  Elder Packer is entitled to his opinion.  Anyone is.  Say what you want, I guess.  That is your first amendment right.  But I also think that as a person in a position of power in a large organization, you have to be mindful of how your words and your opinions are going to reflect upon your organization.  I think you should also consider your audience.  When you are standing--or in Elder Packer's case, sitting--on a platform that is being broadcast out of the state, out of the country, shouldn't you get out of your Utah tunnel vision goggles? 

I know very devout Mormons.  I have friends, I have family, I have acquaintances that are dedicated and faithful to the LDS Church.  And I'm sure that if I asked them, not a single one would want one more child to die.

These kids that have been taking their lives are tragically young.  They are the future of this country, and now they are gone.  One is too many.  Now the count is at least at seven.  Young, bright kids, with so many beautiful things and experiences ahead of them, with potential to do great things and change the world, with families and friends who love them.  And they're gone now, because they couldn't bear the external and internal pressures they faced.

We think that words don't mean anything.  We think the weight that words have is easy to carry.  We think that we can state our opinions and no one is listening.  But they were listening.  Raymond, Justin, Asher, Tyler, Alec, Billy, Seth...and how many others?...they heard the message loud and clear that they weren't good enough, that God didn't love them, that they were so wrong to be who they were, and they couldn't live with it anymore.

If I was given the chance to do one thing on this earth that mattered, I would do something for them.  I would try to help all these gay teenagers who are rapidly losing hope, whose lights are burning out because of the words being thrown at them.  I would give them somewhere to go, to be safe, to be loved as they are, and I would try to help them know that they are beautiful and strong and just as good OR BETTER than they have been told.  Being different is not a reason to die.

Life is precious.  We should try to protect life and especially the lives of the children in this country.  Have your opinions, but remember that you never know who is listening to what you say, and you never know if what you say will be the final straw for someone who is struggling.

I've been that kid.  I've been to the brink.  I've been at the edge between life and death, wanting to take the final step out of mortality and into eternity.  I wouldn't wish that on anyone.  If we can help, we should.  If I can help, I will.

I really hope and pray with all my might that this epidemic will end.

04 October 2010

My Two Cents

This last week and a half has been a bit of a roller coaster.  Big stress stuff, dealing with the craziness that life can throw right at you. 

Probably the biggest curve was the sudden and unexpected passing of my grandma.  It's still really weird to me that she's gone.  It doesn't seem real, then it seems all too real.  This grandma is my mom's mother.  I went with my mom when she was with my uncles, making plans and being at the house, finding pictures, stuff like that.  I wrote my grandma's obituary and I spoke at the funeral.  Crazy.  I miss her.

I did notice though that through this, I felt a renewed sense of spirituality.  Many of us expressed such a sense of peace about the whole thing, a general feeling of okay-ness.  We know that she's with grandpa, that she's safe and whole.  We have sadness, because we miss her, but not sorrow.  She was an amazing woman, faithful and stronger than she knew.  We had a family fast, which I participated in.  I shook the dust off my scriptures when writing my thoughts for the funeral.  I consider myself to still be a spiritual person, even though I don't regularly attend church, but this was a different sense.  Perhaps it had to do with the nature of the reason for being spiritual in the first place.

Regardless, the spirituality part was kind of nice.  It was nice to be able to be stand in front of my family, in a church, and say the things that are truly in my heart.  While I would have much rather not had the opportunity as it presented itself, it was an opportunity to show my family that I am still a good person with a strong and current faith.  I may not be completely active in the LDS church, but I feel that I'm still close to God.

And then Conference happened.

My sisters live out of town and when they returned home after the funeral, my parents went with them for Conference weekend.  I chose not to watch Conference.

Facebook was all a-flutter with plenty of reactions though.  I am glad I didn't see or hear President Packer's talk.  It worries me that my family did.  I felt like we were making progress, and I am hoping with all the hope I have that it won't be set back by the message President Packer chose to give.

What will the consequences be?  Do the brethren think about that?  They talk about the Family: A Proclamation to the World, but do they think about all the families out there that have wedges between them, built with words spoken in their voice?  What about the mothers and fathers who want to be devout and follow the leaders of the Church, but love their children unconditionally (as I believe they should) and want them to have rights and protections too?  What about all the people they advised once to marry as a "cure" for same-gender attraction, whose marriages disintegrate, whose children cry as their parents separate?  Do they think about that?

Do they care about family or not?

I worry that they sometimes do not understand just have grave the consequences can be, that they do not understand how far their voices actually reach, that they may be saying things that will be the final straw for some struggling, quivering soul.  Some people need hope, but instead of finding the hope they so desperately need, they may have found yet another reason for shame, guilt, and devastation.

I'm sure not all of Conference was bad.  I'm sure there were messages of beauty and goodness too.  You can usually count on Elder Holland and President Uchdorf.

So there you go, that's my two cents.  I'm sure it's not worth more than that.  Just mostly thinking in the form of blog.

30 September 2010

Be Still, My Soul

(hymn 124)

Be still, my soul:
The hour is hast'ning on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored
Be still, my soul:
When change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Today was a rough day.  Today we said goodbye to my Grandma.  I know she is safe, I know she is happy, I know she is with my Grandpa and all is well.  And I will miss her so much.

Love you Gram.  Until we meet again...

20 September 2010

The Happenings

I have a few moments, so I thought I would do a quick update on what has been happening for me lately.  I noticed that it's been nearly a month since I last posted.  Where does the time go?

I haven't been feeling the blog bug too much.  I have spare thoughts every now and then that I think, "I should write about that," but it often doesn't go much further.  I should probably start keeping a list.  Then when I have a light homework week, I could pump out a few posts.

I am a full-time student this semester.  I haven't been a full-time student since 2002.  Welcome to a university.  The first week was okay.  It was more than I'm used to, and everything seemed like it would be hard work, but it felt manageable.  The second week, the gloves came off.  I thought I would lose my mind.  I've had to adjust things, but I'm making it work.

I really enjoy being a student.  I listen to some of the young kids in my classes gripe about teachers and classes and how they are boring and they would rather do almost anything else than go to class.  I don't feel that way about any of my four classes.  I think my art teacher is slightly insane, but that's the only thing.  I really like my classes.  I would really like to just be a student and not be working.  If only.  But I am getting to know the campus better, figuring out how to manage the HORRIFIC parking situation, and I am loving it.

Of course, I am still working.  And working.  And working.  I'm so over working all the time.  But it has to be done.

There have been some positive developments in my family situation, but I would rather dedicate an independent post to that subject.  I will say that some of the pressure has been lifted, at least for me, and I have experienced a greater happiness in regard to the situation.

I am looking forward to seeing my sisters soon.  My girlfriend's brother is getting married in October in the same city where my both of my sisters live.  I usually have a great time with them and it's always good to see my nieces and nephew.  They're growing up so quickly and they are so much fun!

Other than that, I'm just enjoying football and fantasy football and trying to enjoy the little things in my life.  I'm pretty sure that my life is happening at light speed, but I'm loving it.

31 August 2010


I love finding little tidbits of inspiration.  They seem to occur in every day life, they can seem fleeting, but if you really pause and think about it, there are sometimes deeper meanings hidden within small things.  I love finding meaning in little moments like this.

I picked up one of these tidbits in my English class last week.

Since it was the first class, my teacher was giving his spiel and making his presentation about what he expects, what the class will entail...you know, the usual.  Then he said that one thing he wanted from us as students was to have an open mind.  He said it drives him crazy when people are close-minded because it defeats the purpose of teaching and learning.

Then he said that if you go to the biology department and look at the classifications they use to define a living thing, one of them is the ability to change.  "So if you insist on being close-minded and refusing to change, you may as well be dead."

I find this to be completely applicable to the struggle many of us Moho's have.  We are between two ropes, religious obligations pulling us one way, natural inclinations pulling in another way. 

Change is not an easy thing to embrace.  Often there are a wide range of emotions that roll over us when change occurs.  For me, there was a long time where I refused to change.  It wasn't willful, it was just how it was.  I do not remember those days with much fondness.  I didn't want to be in my situation, but I didn't want to change.  I was afraid to.  And I can truly testify that I felt dead.  What I lived through wasn't really living.  And I didn't want to live.  I would have rather died than change the parts of my life that were causing me so much frustration, pain, and anxiety.

Fortunately for me, God intervened.  I found something to help me, I found people to help me, and I found that I had the strength and courage to embrace a change.

John 11: 43-44
(43) And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
(44) And he that was dead, came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin.  Jesus saith unto them, loose him, and let him go.

I have always loved the story of Lazarus.  It has always given me great hope and a very great sense of peace and comfort.

Life is good and it has much to offer, especially to those of us who are strong enough to be born both gay and into Mormon families.  It's an experience that isn't made for the weak or faint of heart.  I believe that we have been given the opportunity for our growth, and for the inherent courage that we have deep within our precious souls.  It is difficult and it is intense.  Sometimes it gets overwhelming.  But when we are in that place where it feels like something in us has died, we can return to the living through our Savior.  He has made it possible, especially for those of us who cry His name and beg for relief.  He was there for me.

Every day, I thank God for the infinite blessings He has seen fit to bestow upon me.  I have so many.  He gave me a good heart, a caring and compassionate personality, where I have deep concern for what happens within the fabric of mankind.  I have a good family, a family who is trying very hard to love me.  I have amazing people in my life who embrace me, and in turn help me embrace myself.  I was given the opportunity to find my soulmate, and I am so grateful that she loves me and is good to me, and that we can intertwine our lives for the better.  I am grateful for the sense of spirituality I have that allows my faith to be simple and sustaining while still being powerful and close to God.

I know that God gives us the ability to change, so we can live.  I know that Christ helps us find the ability to change, so we can live.  There is beauty all around, and we can find it when we live.

We can live.

27 August 2010


Ever feel like this?

I, I won't justify
The way I live my life
'Cause I'm the one livin' it
Feelin' it, tastin' it
And you're just wasting your time
Trying to throw me a line
When you're the one drowning
I like where I'm at on my back
Floating down in my own riptide
The water is fine.

This is the chorus to a Sick Puppies song called Riptide.  I really like it (the whole album is really enjoyable actually, and if you like rock and hard rock, it's definitely one I would recommend--it's called Tri-Polar). 

The message though is one that I've been pondering in some way lately.  There are so many people out there, trying to save the world, trying to save everyone else.  But what if the person they are trying to save doesn't need saving? 

This is a thought that has been tumbling around in my head lately, and I will likely be addressing it here in the near future.  I'd like to stir it around a little more before posting.  Until then, do you have any thoughts?

18 August 2010

After Midnight

So I received a comment on my writing blog from a person who wished to remain anonymous, basically saying "thank you so much, this helped me on my college assignment."

Needless to say, I am making my writing blog private.

I honestly don't know who reads and who doesn't, so if you would like an invitation to view my blog, please send me an email or comment on this post.  I'm happy to invite anyone, but I'm not about to let my ideas be used for something I don't give permission for, ESPECIALLY a college grade.

09 August 2010


Whenever I see this sticker on a car, I wish I had some way of thanking that person for their display of support.  I wish I had some posterboard or piece of paper that said "thank you."  I wish there was a way to make eye contact and pass that message along.  But more often than not, and for my safety and the safety of others, it's a silent acknowledgement, and it's a silent "thank you" that I send out into the universe, hoping that somehow, it reaches that person in some mystic, karmic way.

Thank you for your support.  Thank you for believing people like me deserve rights too.  Thank you for understanding that equality is important.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Even if you do nothing else, if displaying this sticker is all that you do, it is more than some do.  And for me, it is enough. 

It means something to me, and I am grateful to you, and for you.  Thank you.

Two Daughters

As I start this post, I am very much aware that I don't quite know where I'm going with it.  I suppose that I am doing what I have always done...working out my emotions through writing.

Last year, my great-grandmother died.  She was 99 years old.  She always had an important place in my life and the lives of my sisters.  My parents made sure of it, and for that, I am eternally grateful.  My cousins missed out on her goodness, her love, her humor, and her influence.  I consider myself lucky that I did not. 

She was not a member of the Church.

Last week was the one year anniversary of her death.  My mom arranged for my great-grandma's temple work to be completed.  My parents and my grandma went to St. George, where both my sisters live, and they all participated.  There was an ordinance for everyone.  My mom was telling me about it and who did what and what happened and all that.  I had a somewhat difficult time listening, finding myself distracted.  I wondered about what my great-grandmother was thinking of all of it. I wondered what they told my grandma about why I wasn't participating.  I wondered about what my sisters and their husbands thought about my absence, if they noticed (which is selfish I suppose, but relevant...at least, to me).  When they were going into the endowment session, my mom had to go ahead with my grandma, who has problems with her knees.  She was saving a place for each of my sisters.  When someone asked if they could sit next to her, she relied that she "had two daughters coming still."

Something about that struck me.  Two daughters.

My mom talked about when they finished the session and were there in the celestial room.  I found myself feeling sad in a way.  To clarify, it was my decision to not be there, and it's a decision I'm okay with.  I didn't renew my temple recommend when I was being good, and they wouldn't issue me one now anyway.  And that doesn't hurt my feelings.  But I feel like I missed out on something.  Maybe I just miss being with my family, when it was still easy to be a family.  And since typing that just brought tears to my eyes, I'm going to say that's probably a very valid thought.

I think I also feel sad because I think my mom gets sad too.  I know that religion is so important to her and my dad.  Everything in their life revolves around the centerpoint of being a Latter-Day Saint, and being a faithful Latter-Day Saint at that.  I'm sure that when they were all there in the celestial room of the St. George temple, mom noticed my absence.  I wonder if part of her feels that is any indication of how the eternities will be.  If she does, I think I can say with some degree of confidence that it is a dreadful thought for her to have.  And that makes me sad.

It has never been my intention to make my mom sad, or my dad distant, or my sisters disappointed.  It has never been my desire to remove myself from their lives, or to remove them from mine.  But it's not easy right now.  I miss them.  I miss being loved by them.  Not that I think they don't love me, but it feels different.  I feel like they're in the "love the sinner, hate the sin" place, and that leaves room to doubt the love they do give, like it's an conditional love that's only given because they have to, not because they want to.  I don't know if that makes sense or not.  I wish I could describe it better. 

I find myself in that place of believing what I have to offer won't be good enough.  I feel like my parents are so proud of my sisters, so happy with how their lives are, so content with how they raised them to be the wonderful and faithful daughters, wives, and mothers that they are.  I envy them for making mom and dad proud.  I don't feel like I do.  Will they always be disappointed?  Will it ever be easy to be a family again?

I find myself frustrated, because at this very moment I am sitting next to a wonderful woman too, and they may never know that.  Will they ever open their hearts to the possibility of having four daughters instead of three?  Or will it be easier to acknowledge two daughters instead of three?

I don't know.

Here's what I do know...I don't think much about the afterlife.  I don't worry about my fate.  I have total and complete faith in an omnicient, loving God.  I am totally and completely comfortable with the knowledge that He and I will talk about the things that happen in this life.  He will fill in the blanks, He will know the details, and He will have the final say in where my soul will reside.  And I know He won't make a mistake.  Upstairs, downstairs, wherever, I'll end exactly where I am supposed to.  And I'm good with that.  All I can do is the best I can.  I have to be the best I can.  And to be the best I can, I can't limit who I am.

I can only hope and pray that someday, my family will find some small piece of understanding about me, and the pain that all of us feel will ease.

04 August 2010

Total Happiness

This last one is probably my favorite.  I love being happy.

(all photographs taken and prepared by the fabulous J. Michael Wiltbank)

Propped Up

Today is a good day.

Today, Judge Walker in California made his ruling on Proposition 8, and the news is good for our camp.  Prop 8 has officially been overturned!  Who knows how long it will last, but let's enjoy the reprieve while we have it. 

I really admire him for what he said about it:

"Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians. The evidence shows conclusively that Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples."
Morals are wonderful to have.  As one nation under God, I think morals founded this country and have guided us through history.  But like so many other things in this world, morality is subject to personal opinion, and opinions differ far too often.  That's why we have checks and balances, and judicial review.  I am personally grateful that the morals of Judge Walker guided him to the decision he made.  I'm glad that he sees civil rights as more important than segregation and double standards.

I pray for good people in government.  I am grateful for the religious freedom people have to go to church and cultivate morals and standards.  I pray that churches of all faiths teach the same compassion and love for mankind that our Savior has for each and every one of us.

And tonight, I pray with gratitude for good men like Judge Walker.

I'm sure there are many who are disappointed by today's ruling.  To those people, I say this:

Look into my eyes and tell me I'm not equal.  Stand next to me and tell me I do not have the right to marry the person I love.  Tell me I'm not the same as you, that I'm not good enough, that you deserve to have the privileges that I don't.  Tell me that my love is irrelevant compared to yours.  If you were here, if you knew me, if you had to say that to my familiar face, I don't think you could.

I am a person.  I am a daughter.  I am a sister.  I am an aunt.  I am a friend.  I am an employee.  I am a student.  I am not a nameless, faceless, ominous threat.  I am real, and so is my love, and my desire to one day marry the person I love.  The fact that the person I love is a girl should be the only thing that is irrelevant.

Step outside of your own shoes. Stop thinking about how the country is going to hell in a hand basket. Stop worrying that your children will be corrupted because two men or two women can marry. I promise you, that is not the case. If your children have questions, it's your job to answer them.  But no one can verbally persuade someone to be gay or not gay.  My parents can't talk me out of it.  They can't talk my sisters into it.  It's up to you to teach, and I hope when you do, you teach love instead of hate.

Love conquers hate, and that's what is propping me up tonight.

03 August 2010

Such A Doormat

Sometimes I wish I wasn't a nice person.

Sometimes I want to be mean.  I want to say what I really think.  I want to tell someone "no" and not feel guilty and terrible about it.  I want to be able to stand up for myself and not feel like I don't have the right to do so.

Why is everyone else's happiness and well-being more important than mine?  Why should I work so hard to keep everyone else comfortable at my own expense?

Maybe I'm not a nice person...maybe I'm just a weak person.

Either way, right now, I just wish I wasn't that person.

22 July 2010

Out and About On Facebook

Maybe this is something that I shouldn't do.  Maybe this is something I should have done a long time ago.  I don't know.  Regardless, I'm doing this now.  The recent loss of life has, for whatever reason, hit me very deeply.  I feel like I can't sit still anymore when it comes to being who I am.  If I lose friends, they weren't really my friends.  If my family gets angry, they'll just have to be angry I guess.

I am coming out on Facebook.

"Speaking Out"

Most of the time, I am of the opinion that my personal life is just that--it's mine, and it's personal. I don't share a lot of details with many people. But there are times when you have to put your personal discomforts and insecurities aside. I am nervous to do this but I feel that the responsibility to do this outweighs my anxieties.

On Monday, a young man named Todd Ransom chose to end his life. He was just 28 years old.

I didn't know Todd, but I know pieces of his story. They are pieces that are part of my own life, and the lives of many wonderful people I have gotten to know and trust, and love. Please read these pieces with an open mind and an open heart. I do not share them lightly, or for dramatic effect, or to the detriment of my family. I just want you to see, and hopefully find, some piece of awareness.

Todd was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He was a man who was loved by many. He was a son, a brother, an uncle, a husband. He was a volunteer. And he was gay. Being from an LDS background and being gay is a very difficult and painful thing. I know this because, like Todd and the two other people we lost to suicide this month, I am gay.

The LDS religion is an all-consuming religion. It is a part of every aspect of your life. So when you are gay, every aspect of your life is suddenly between a rock and a hard place. You have leaders that you look up to, that you look to for guidance and hope, telling you that you are a threat to the family and to religious freedoms everywhere. You hear that you are immoral and wrong, a disgrace and an embarrassment. If you have the courage to come out and speak to your priesthood leader, you are told that your only hope is to deny yourself the love and companionship you have been taught is the only avenue to happiness and eternal life. Is it any wonder that there are many young men and women who are consumed by despair when presented with these options?

To quote my good friend Michael, we all lose when we lose someone to suicide. "No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less...; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." (John Donne)

For some of us, the pain of a suicide is especially strong. We know what it feels like to lose someone, no matter how they die. We also know what it feels like to be in such agonizing pain that death is the better option. And my heart aches for those people. I spent years hurting myself to try and ease the pain I felt inside. I spent nights crying, feeling like there was something wrong with me and I couldn't do anything to fix it. I tried to die. And I survived. Now, I am glad that I did. But there are some who don't get the chance to tell their stories.

The intolerance has to end. The silence has to stop. Not talking about something doesn't mean it doesn't happen, doesn't make it any less real, and doesn't make it go away. Silence has real consequences. Right now, there are so many of your brothers and sisters out there who are suffering in silence. And some would rather die than step away from a Church that teaches intolerance.

"The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works." (Psalms 145: 8-9)

"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God." (1 John 4:7)

Compassion is the pure love of Christ. I know my Savior loves me. I know He died for me. I know that He knows me better than anyone else ever could, and I rejoice that He alone will be my judge. I listen for His voice and I strive to follow the teachings He left behind.

I plead with you to do the same. We have to say that enough is enough when it comes to blind, hurtful words. The price is much too high if we don't. I promise you that someone you know is gay, whether you are aware of it or not. What message would you like to send to them?

There is always someone listening.



Now we'll just watch and see.

01 July 2010


Some choices are easy to make.  There's no real fear of their consequences.  Something in you knows what choice needs to be made, so you make it.  Easy. 

Some choices are much more difficult and require much more thought.  For me, that leads to some sleepless nights and stress.  We weigh the options and try to measure the consequences.  We pick up each piece to examine it and try to see what future it could possibly bring.  The simplicity doesn't exist within the threads of these choices, but a choice must be made.

Other choices are placed in front of us because of the agenda of someone else.  These are the choices that, if you were really given the choice, you would never see and never have to make a decision about.  These are the unimaginable, the dreaded, the choices that present themselves in your nightmares, because facing them in the real world is, by definition, a nightmare.

For me, and I would guess for a few others in this great wide world, one of those nightmare choices would be having to decide between my family and being who I am.

My brother-in-law once said that if I decided to live my life openly, there would be a day when I would have to choose between my family and my lifestyle.  On the recent family vacation, my youngest sister brought this up in a discussion we had at her insistence.  She has remembered those words from my brother-in-law and is worried that the prophetic day is moving ever closer.

And yet, if that choice was actually given to me, it would be one that I would choose to never see.

Both of my sisters are married.  My youngest sister even mentioned to me that she could understand how I felt to a certain extent, because given the choice, she would rather spend time with her husband than with the rest of us.  But that's how it's supposed to be.  You grow up, you find someone you love and want to spend the rest of your life with, and you do.  You leave the nest.  You build a nest of your own.  You find the pieces of your life and you make something beautiful out of them.

I love my girlfriend with all my heart.  She is amazing and beautiful and I miss her when I'm not with her, even if I know I'll see her in a few hours.  She loves me completely, she treats me well and wants to be with me.  We both want to spend the rest of our lives together.  And just like my sister, I would rather spend my time with her than with the rest of the family.

My brothers-in-law have been welcomed with open arms.  Naturally.  They married my sisters and my parents couldn't be happier.  They honor their Priesthood and are sealed to my sisters.  They golf with my dad.  They are good fathers and husbands.  They get birthday and Christmas gifts from my parents and grandparents.  Their phone numbers are programmed into cell phones across the family.  My parents ask my sisters about them, wondering how they are and hoping they are well.

This is not the case for me.

My parents don't want to meet my girlfriend.  Neither does my middle sister and her husband.  They don't want to hear about her, have her in their home, or even think about her.  I'm fairly confident that they hope that I'll come to my senses and escape the spell she has on me.  There won't be a birthday card for her in August.  There won't be a gift under the tree in December with her name on it.  She won't be invited to the next barbeque.  Therefore, I do not have the option of being with my girlfriend and being with my family at the same time.

If the choice was given, I would change that.  I would give up the compartments I keep my life in.  I would spend more time with my family because I wouldn't have to give up any time with my girlfriend.  She is my future.  She is my life.  Time without her is empty.

So whether they know it or not, making that choice will not be my choice.  It will be theirs.  They will be the ones who ask me to give up her for them.  I know the reverse will not be true.  They will be the ones who force that decision, not me.  And if they don't want me to have to choose, they shouldn't put it in front of me.

28 June 2010

We're Everywhere

I just got back from family vacation.  The rest of the family is still out in California.  I had to work and I have school, so I had to come back early.

Initially I was not excited to go.  There was all sorts of stress leading up to leaving on this vacation and it was difficult to get fired up about it.  This was vacation with my mom's family, so her two brothers and their families and my grandma were all there too.  Out of the twenty people though, ten were from my immediate family.

We went to Disneyland / California Adventure.  I liked that we could hop back and forth from park to park, so I got to ride pretty much everything I wanted to.  I had fun with my youngest sister and her husband and my dad and I have been roller coaster buddies for years.  The nieces and nephew were of course adorable and they loved every second of seeing characters and riding kiddie rides. 

I really missed my girlfriend though.  It's so difficult for me to be with my family and have to censor everything I say so that they aren't uncomfortable.  I'm glad that my brother in law gives me space to talk about her and the things that really go on in my life.  He's such an incredible person and I'm glad he's married to my sister.

On Saturday, my dad and I went to the park earlier than everyone else.  I had a lingering feeling of sadness, missing my girl and wishing she was there to share the vacation with me. 

On this particular morning though, I happen to see several lesbian couples, one with kids, three without.  And even though I didn't talk to them, didn't really go near them, and only made eye contact with one girl, it was like their presence comforted me in some way.  I wasn't alone.  Something about seeing them just made me feel better and I knew it would be okay.

Later that night, I snuck away from my parents to buy a Mickey Mouse pin, shaped like Mickey's head but striped with the colors of the rainbow.  I thought it was funny and would make a good gift for my girl (and we had a good laugh about it).  I bought a Disney Star Wars pin for myself too.  The girl that was at the register commented that she thought it was a cool combination, being Rainbow and Imperial.  She also told me about a rainbow lanyard that Disney makes for pin collecting, because she wore it to Pride.  We had a small conversation, but an enjoyable one.  Again, it made me feel better.

I'm glad that we're everywhere and I'm grateful that my other family was able to be there for me when I needed them, even if they'll never know it.

20 June 2010

Me and My Girl

I don't have pics from Pride yet. My computer and I are fighting.

My girlfriend and I did take some pics last night after Brandon and Michael's wedding though, and since I'm not fighting with my phone, I thought I would post some of those.

This is my girlfriend. She's my favorite. :)

I'm so lucky to have her. I just love her.

13 June 2010


How would this be?

Someone I know was telling me that when his brother finally came out, his parents were ecstatic for him, because they had already assumed for awhile that he was gay. "Good for you," they said, "we know you'll be happier now."

When his sister got engaged to a Mormon, his parents called a family meeting to discuss it.

The "bad" and the "good" is really in how you perceive it.

10 June 2010


I suppose the title of this post could be somewhat misleading, so allow me to preface with this: I have not been kicked out of my house.

That being said, I am writing this post from the safety and comfort of my car, because I have the night off and should be studying for my history midterm, but I do not want to go home.

A brief summary of roughly the last ten months goes like this:

I lived for four years with a friend from high school. I moved out when I came out due to the strain that put on our friendship. I have not really spoken with her since. Not having many options, I moved back in with my parents. About three weeks later, I got together with my girlfriend. In September, her brother, whom she lives with, bought a house. And now to make a long story short, I keep my possessions at my parents house but I spend most of my free time and all of my sleeping time at my girlfriend's place of residence. Her brother has no problem with me being there and I want to be with my girlfriend, so that's where I am.

Moving forward...

I realized the other day that I am kind of mad at my parents. When my mom found out I was going to Pride, she made a comment about how I am just getting deeper and deeper into "this" and she doesn't like it. She used her best disappointed-in-you tone of voice. And I, of course, went to Pride anyway.

I guess it's frustrating because I thought she was making progress and it was apparent to me that she believes this "gay thing" will pass. I'm sure the Phase Argument is one that many parents go through. And even though this encounter was just with my mom, for some reason I have lumped my parents as one on this. Can I blame them for still reacting the way they do? No. Would I like to anyway? Absolutely.

And now, sitting in my car, I am realizing that I am much too independent at 27 to be living with my parents in any capacity.

That is a good thing. We're all suppose to fly the coop and live our lives. But it doesn't do me a whole lot of good when I have the night off but my girlfriend is working...and I don't want to be anywhere near my parents...and I am paying for school instead of rent...and my girlfriend wants to get out of debt before we get a place together...

Hence, the title. Right now I feel homeless.

At least I love my car. ;)

(million dollar phone approved)

09 June 2010

Pride Highlights

Pride this year was so much better than last year and I loved every second of it! If you have never been to Pride, next year you should go with me.

Here's a few significant moments:

** The very best thing ever was that I was there with my beautiful girlfriend and we could actually hold hands and act like a couple without any fear!

** The sunshine was out instead of hiding behind massive rainclouds, and I was not soaked to the bone.

** I remembered sunscreen and didn't get sunburned (which is really quite a feat for me and my fair skin).

** I got to dress how I wanted, spike my hair, and sport a bandana.

** I got to spend all day with great friends and wonderful people in a safe and accepting, supportive environment.

** We saw from afar and had a very brief encounter with my girlfriend's ex-wife, which was interesting to say the least. Good or bad? Probably neither, but definitely memorable.

** I saw three of my favorite boys, Michael, Brandon, and Michael, and they got to meet my girl. LOVE them!

All in all, it was just as wonderful as I hoped it would be. It was awesome to actually be free. It was beautiful to feel free. And hopefully I can get the pics I took uploaded to my computer soon.

Hope your Pride weekend was good for you too, no matter where you are.

(million dollar phone approved)

08 June 2010


Today in my Geography class, we discussed the layers of the Earth. I have heard this before on someone else's blog, but I now have firsthand knowledge of the Mohorovicic Discontinuity, shortened to the Moho Discontinuity.

And it's really weird to hear the word "Moho" from your college professor and know the conversation has nothing to do with religion or sexual orientation.

I wonder if anyone else in the class knew of the "other" kind of Moho.

Can't wait to see it on a test!

03 June 2010

How I Do Pride

Pride is this weekend and I am so excited! Last year was my first Pride and it managed to be both great and miserable a the same time. I was only out to about four people. It was an amazing experience to be in an environment where it was 110% acceptable to be loud and proud about who you are. At the same time, I felt sadness about not being more out. And I vowed that never again would I be in the closet for Pride. I made it a personal goal to make great strides before June 2010.

Mission accomplished! I have a short haircut, a girlfriend, and a rainbow belt, all of which will proudly be accompanying me to Pride. I will also have my amazing friends, who love and support me in being who I am. I'm out at work and to my immediate family, which really is the majority of my social circle. That's really quite a feat for one as introverted as me.

I'll be there Sunday. Will I see you there?

-- blogged from my iPhone --

25 May 2010


Last week I pretty much cut all my hair off. Well okay, I didn't cut it, a trained professional did, but it's cut nonetheless. It used to be down to about the middle of my back. Now it's more the length of Ellen's, to use an example you might relate to.

The thing that has surprised me most about the comments I've received is that I am "so brave."

So I looked up "brave" in the dictionary and it means "showing courage." And "courage" is "the ability to conquer fear or despair."


I didn't feel any fear about cutting my hair. My only despair was that I couldn't get it chopped sooner than I did. It was something I wanted to do and something I was ready to do. I'm not super girlie (shocking, I know), so I'm not really attached to my hair. My philosophy is that it will grow back. No worries. But I know other girls who would rather lose a limb than their hair.

It got me thinking. I guess BRAVE is like good, evil, fun, and boring: it's a point of view.

From my perspective, what I did was not brave. I hadn't considered a haircut from any other angle. From someone else's perspective, they can't imagine doing what I did.

So then I started thinking on a larger scale. Regardless of where you're standing in your life, I say there's a certain amount of bravery in every life. Sometimes it takes courage to cut off your hair. Sometimes it takes courage to take a job interview. Sometimes it takes courage to be who you are. Sometimes it takes courage to get out of bed in the morning.

Just because it's easy and requires little courage for me doesn't mean it's easy for someone else.

So here's to you, whoever you are, because I know you are brave and strong. You are courageous because you live.

23 May 2010

Will and Grace

I used to watch Will and Grace when it was new on TV. It was part of the Thursday night lineup with Friends and ER. Best night on television. And I loved it.

When I was at my sister's house a couple weeks ago, I watched a re-run. And I just about died laughing.

Will and Grace is a completely different show after coming out and hanging out in the LGBT community! I get the jokes now and I just giggled pretty much the entire time.

I'm going to look into getting the seasons on DVD now. Heaven knows we all need a good laugh.

08 May 2010


There was an accident on Thursday night.

My girlfriend and I were watching a movie.  She lives next to the train tracks.  When I looked out the window to see what was making the noise I was hearing, I saw a FrontRunner train.  Stopped.  That was weird in and of itself, but we assumed that there was something malfunctioning with the train or that there was something amiss with the tracks and went back to watching the movie.

Then it sounded like a helicopter was going to land on the house.  I looked out the window again.  The cul-de-sac was alive like a firework display of red and blue flashing lights and all the neighbors were out of their houses.  Firefighters, EMT's, and police officers were carrying a rescue gurney down the tracks to the Union Pacific gate that is a few hundred yards from the driveway.  The helicopter that I heard was Life Flight landing in the next cul-de-sac over.

We stood on the porch and watched the scene, anxious and curious.  Life Flight didn't see the cul-de-sac where my girlfriend's house is, and while there isn't a large distance between where it landed and the railroad tracks as the crow flies, to walk that distance, especially while carrying the weight of another human being, is another story.  Shortly after the gurney was out of our sight, an EMT came racing back, pleading for the use of a truck parked on the street.

Turns out that a young man had jumped from the bridge onto the tracks in an attempt to commit suicide.  He was coherant and talking to officials as they reached him and carried him, but shortly after they were on the street, his blood pressure dropped and his vitals became unstable.  I imagine that's about the time the EMT went searching for the owner of the truck.

The damage was done though.  Despite the heroic efforts of emergency crews, he didn't make it.

I don't know any more about the story than what I witnessed.  I don't know his name.  I don't know for sure how old he was, as one official said 18 and another said 20.  I don't know how long he laid on the tracks, if he felt any physical pain, how many siblings he had.  The only thing I know about his life was that he didn't want to live it anymore.

To be so young and to be so hopeless, so desperate to end the pain you feel...that is tragedy to me.  What makes it especially heightened is that I have been there myself, desperate and hopeless, and I know those emotions do not have to last.

I have thought about him a lot.  I have wondered about who he was.  I have prayed that his family can be comforted as they ask their own questions and try to manage the grief that comes when a loved one leaves this life.  I have prayed for his safety and comfort as well, and hope that he can feel of the impact his life has had and the love that exists for him.  I pray that the Spirit of God will grant him the peace that he could not find, and that it will be with him now and forever.

This incident has also brought to mind one of John Donne's writings, Meditation 17.  I have posted it in its entirety, but particularly the paragraph where he says:

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

For the rest of the night, as FrontRunner trains would pass, the sound of their bells could be heard.  I'm sure it was a potential warning to anyone who could still be in the area investigating.  It seemed fitting in some way, some small mention that something had happened, and that mankind was the less that night, and from that night forward.

Again, I resound my plea, that if you are at the point where this young man was, desperate and hopeless, and you are done with living the life that you have, please please please just wait a minute longer, ten minutes longer, an hour longer, a day longer.  There is beauty in this life.  There is joy in this life.  There are small things that matter a great deal and there are people who love and care about you more than you can believe or imagine.  You have the strength to grow from the pain.  You have the courage to take another breath, and another, and another, and let your heart keep beating.  I know you do.  Just pause...for a moment...and find it within yourself.  Take my word for it if you don't believe in the power you have.

The pain I feel surrounding this young man's death cannot compare to the pain of those who knew him, those he left behind.  But it's a pain I feel.  He had no way of knowing that his life would touch mine, however briefly, and that he would forever imprint my memory.  We are all connected.  Our lives are intertwined.

This world would be the less without you.

John Donne's Meditation 17

(From Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions)

Now this bell tolling softly for another, says to me, Thou must die.

PERCHANCE he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill as that he knows not it tolls for him. And perchance I may think myself so much better than I am, as that they who are about me, and see my state, may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that. The church is catholic, universal, so are all her actions; all that she does, belongs to all. When she baptizes a child, that action concerns me; for that child is thereby connected to that head which is my head too, and ingraffed into that body, whereof I am a member. And when she buries a man, that action concerns me; all mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated; God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice; but God's hand is in every translation, and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again, for that library where every book shall lie open to one another; as therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come; so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness.

There was a contention as far as a suit (in which, piety and dignity, religion and estimation, were mingled) which of the religious orders should ring to prayers first in the morning; and it was determined, that they should ring first that rose earliest. If we understand aright the dignity of this bell, that tolls for our evening prayer, we would be glad to make it ours, by rising early, in that application, that it might be ours as well as his, whose indeed it is. The bell doth toll for him, that thinks it doth; and though it intermit again, yet from that minute, that that occasion wrought upon him, he is united to God. Who casts not up his eye to the sun when it rises? But who takes off his eye from a comet, when that breaks out? who bends not his ear to any bell, which upon any occasion rings? But who can remove it from that bell, which is passing a piece of himself out of this world?

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

Neither can we call this a begging of misery, or a borrowing of misery, as though we were not miserable enough of ourselves, but must fetch in more from the next house, in taking upon us the misery of our neighbors. Truly it were an excusable covetousness if we did; for affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it. No man hath afflicion enough, that is not matured and ripened by it, and made fit for God by that affliction. If a man carry treasure in bullion or in a wedge of gold, and have none coined into current moneys, his treasure will not defray him as he travels. Tribulation is treasure in the nature of it, but it is not current money in the use of it, except we get nearer and nearer our home, heaven, by it. Another may be sick too, and sick to death, and this affliction may lie in his bowels, as gold in a mine, and be of no use to him; but this bell that tells me of his affliction, digs out, and applies that gold to me: if by this consideration of another's danger, I take mine own into contemplation, and so secure myself, by making my recourse to my God, who is our only security.

Donne, John. The Works of John Donne. vol III.
Henry Alford, ed.
London: John W. Parker, 1839. 574-5.


20 April 2010

I Stand

I thought I would share one of the family pictures that was taken this last winter.  With things I've recently read and watched and thought about, things pertaining to gay marriage, I find this particularly relevant, because I stand alone.

I didn't plan on being gay. It wasn't on my list of things to be when I grew up.  I didn't choose it.  I didn't decide it would be easier for me.  I'll say it again: I DID NOT CHOOSE TO BE GAY.

I didn't choose to be Mormon.  That is the life I was born into.  That is how I was raised.  That is what I was taught was truth.  That is what I was told would be my pathway to happiness, both in this life and throughout the eternities.

I do not think I can be both.

If I decide to live the Mormon life instead of the Gay life, the family portrait for me will remain unchanged.  I will be alone and stand alone in all of them.  My sisters families will continue to grow.  My parents will undoubtedly glow with the joy of watching their family tree grow.  And I will continue to stand alone.  By LDS standards, it's almost the perfect family, because it looks almost exactly how it is supposed to.  And even if there is not a man by my side and children at my feet, at least I am protecting my eternal salvation.

But what about my heart? 

I believe that love is honest.  I believe love has no boundaries.  The law and the religions of the world can try to contain it and tell you how it is supposed to look and what it feels like and how it is to be directed, but love doesn't abide by the same rules that society requires.  I believe love is a sweet miracle that could only be given to us from a loving God.  I believe love is good.  I believe I have been given the chance to love and to be loved.  And because I have love in my life, no matter what anyone else tries to tell me, I will stand for something and I will be exactly where I need to be.

And even if my girlfriend is never included in a family picture, she's my family.  She means more to me than my ex-husband ever did, because I honestly love her, and I love her for good, honest reasons.  A man at my side and children at my feet might look good, but for me it would be a big lie, because I'm not that person.  I've already lived that lie and I won't be that dishonest again.

I did not choose to be gay.  I do not want to be misunderstood and judged and talked down to and compared to crimes that are morally unfathomable to me.  Whether you believe me or not, I can only live the life I was born to live.  I was born to be the person I am, perhaps if for no other reason than to fight for tolerance and to give someone else the opportunity to stand up and accept me as Christ does.

16 April 2010


I've been pondering all sorts of things lately, mostly when the day is over and I'm trying unsuccessfully to sleep.  Perhaps if anyone out there can put their own spin on my wonderings, it will help me either put my mind at ease or formulate a response I can live with.

For whatever reason, I've been thinking about my history as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Maybe it's because I've been re-watching some of my favorite video blogs on YouTube and I wonder about what I would say if someone asked me about where I've been and what I've been through as a person who is both gay and Mormon.

As of this moment, sitting at my computer and typing these words, I am not an active member.  I don't pursue any sort of affiliation with the LDS Church and I make no excuses about that fact.  I try to live by my own morals and my own values and instead pursue a life I can feel comfortable with as I listen to my own conscience, which I believe to be given to me and influenced by a loving God and His Spirit. 

Being a gay Mormon is a really interesting experience in my opinion.  Across the blogging world you can read about the different types of gay Mormons, and really the thing that puts us into different categories is the level of activity we choose to have with the Church as a whole.  There are some who are completely dedicated to "overcoming the temptations of same-gender attraction" and remaining faithful members.  There are some who get excommunicated.  There are some who voluntarily request that their names be removed from the records of the Church.  There are some who just withdraw their involvement and quietly slip away.  Really, there's a lot of variety, and I really like that. 

As I think about personal experiences I had as an active member, I know that being gay was not the only thing that led me to withdraw my involvement.  I think about how difficult it was when I was ten and we moved into a new area.  I didn't feel very comfortable in my new environment.  I didn't feel welcomed at Church.  Instead I felt like a joke.  There were two girls my age who were really nice to me and we became friends.  There were a few girls who would be nice to me at Church and be mean to me at school.  I hated feeling unaccepted and I really despised the hypocritical front that those girls exhibited. 

I think about experiences I had at Church that were more damaging than good.  I remember being told to leave my primary class because I wouldn't open the snowflake I made and everyone else had.  I remember dreading every Sunday because I didn't feel good at Church.  I counted the minutes until it was over.  I remember my (ex)husband being so concerned about what the ward would think of him if I wasn't at Church with him, not really caring that I was afraid to be there.

And really, being gay was just the final brick on my pathway out of the the Church.

I know I'm not the only one who has had experiences like that, that made you almost question your faith and allegiance rather than strengthen it.  I was talking to a friend not that long ago about how his patriarchal blessing was really amazing until he learned that it was almost word for word the same as someone else who had received their blessing from the same Patriarch.  I have another friend who has decided to take a more agnostic approach to his life now, after being raised LDS, because of the experiences he's had with the Church.

So I guess I wonder about these experiences and the responsibility that goes with it.  If I buy into the LDS principles and ideas about this life and the life to come, and we are put upon this Earth to be tested, have I somehow failed by letting my experiences lead me to a life that is not active in the LDS faith?  Am I the one that will be solely responsible for my reaction to those situations, or will the other people have a part in that as well?  Will the Church leaders who so encouraged the Yes on 8 Campaign, who got involved with their time and money and got other members to do the same, be held to the same accountability for their actions and I will for my reaction to their actions?

Ultimately I understand that I am responsible for my life, for my choices, and for the consequences that I receive because of those choices.  But I make choices based on my situation.  If Situation A wasn't created, I wouldn't have made Decision B, which led me to Situation R, which led me to Decision Y, and so on.  But what if I wouldn't have created Situation A on my own?  Does that get taken into account?

I really like where I'm at right now and I like how my life is turning out, and I have to admit that it's a lot easier to like myself when I'm not actively a part of a homophobic religion.  As far as what I believe, I do believe there is life beyond this one.  I believe there is a loving God who is watching over us and I can see His hand and influence in my life.  I know He knows me.  I know He understands me.  I know He hears my parents prayers for me just as much as He hears my prayers for my parents. 

I just wish I knew what His thoughts on cause and effect are.