29 January 2011


I am gay. There are a lot of terms out there that could be used to describe me. We all use words that we're comfortable with, and that's completely fine. But for me in my gay life, I really don't use much more terminology than the actual word "gay."

For instance, I don't like the terms same-sex attraction (SSA) or same-gender attraction (SGA), which are the terms frequently used in the LDS church. This is because it is often phrased as "suffering from same-gender attraction" or something like that. That just makes it sound like such a terrible thing, like a cancer or a mental disease. I definitely do not believe that being gay is the equivalent of having a disease.

Another term that I don't really enjoy is "lesbian." It's not going to offend me if you call me a lesbian, but I don't use the term much myself. I don't really know why. My only guess is it has something to do with those miserable junior high days.

Of course, there's all the offensive names, which I don't think I even need to mention.

And then there's "partner." I just don't like it. Not really sure why, I just don't. My girlfriend is my girlfriend. Maybe someday we'll get married, or "married" in the best way we can, and then she'll be my wife, or my spouse, and still my sweetheart. I can't explain why on this one, I just know that I don't like how "partner" sounds.

One term I do like, that my girlfriend and I have coined is "qweird" (which is queer + weird). But that's because we are. We're just dorks, and we have a lot of fun, so we love every second of it.

So there's my two cents for today. This is just me, so if you're good with SGA and your lesbian and your partner, cheers to you.

What do you think about gay terms?

(million dollar phone approved)

26 January 2011

Video Blogs

I love vloggers.

I don't know if that's the correct terminology or not, but I just love people who make video blogs.  I find them very interesting, entertaining, and enjoyable to watch.  I could spend hours on YouTube, just watching vlogs.  Don't get me wrong, I love bloggers too, and I have spent hours bouncing from blog to blog, reading story after story.  With vlogging though, you really get to see someone's personality instead of imagining it.  You can hear their tone of voice so you can better understand the emotion behind what they are saying.  It takes some of the projecting and guessing out of someone's message.  I like that.

Of course, I have specific videos that I enjoy.  When I was first coming out, I watched the videos that Clark Johnsen made so many times that I lost count.  Another channel that I have frequently watched is MorMenLikeMe.  This is interviews with Moho's.  I love hearing other stories, how much we have in common, how much we differ on.  Just recently I found AGayADay.  This is a collaborative channel with five different guys, each taking a different day, to make a video.  You can probably guess that they are all gay.  Be forewarned, they are not Mormon, so don't watch expecting religious speeches.  They are secular, but for me, that's part of the appeal.  They are also very young...two are still in high school, I think the other three are in college.  But it's encouraging to see kids that young being so proud and comfortable with who they are.  I find that to be completely awesome.

I wish that I knew of a channel like these, but where it wasn't all boys.  I love gay boys to death, but I think we can all agree that gay men and gay women lead different lives.  If ever I found the right computer equipment and self-confidence to make a video, maybe that is something I would pursue...although, I don't know if I qualify as someone interesting enough or with enough to say to be making video blogs.

Needless to say, I love bloggers of all kinds.  I love you guys!

23 January 2011

Two Baby Boys

One was born on Friday.  One will be born on Tuesday.

The one born on Friday, we'll call him Trey, comes into the world with very young parents.  They are not married.  Trey is their first child.  I don't know his mother's family, but I know his father's.  They are good people, but they haven't had what most would consider to be a stable life.  They all struggle holding jobs.  They struggle maintaining their finances.  Trey is the latest in a line of posterity born as consequence instead of planning.

The one who will be born on Tuesday, we'll call him Fleet, comes into a world where he will not live.  He has a rare chromosomal condition which is not survivable outside the womb.  Will he take a breath?  Will he open his eyes?  Will he live long enough for his older sister and brother to see his face?  No one knows.  His parents are also young, but not as young.  They have been married for several years, have established their family, and have financial stability.  Fleet won't get the chance to be taught by them.  He will be their son forever, but he will stay with them as a memory.

In the scheme of things, relying on what I believe, both boys must be incredibly strong.  I have to believe that Fleet is needed elsewhere.  He only needs to be on this miserable planet for a fleeting moment to satisfy his mortal requirement.  What an amazing spirit he must have.  I have to believe that Trey is also such an amazing spirit, capable of the challenges he will face.  I don't know what kind of life he will have.

Part of me feels like it's an unfair situation.  I know that Trey's parents love him, I know they are happy to have him.  I know that Fleet's parents love him, and I know they want to keep him.  You have two sets of parents, one set who wants to be parents, and one set who ended up being parents.  And the ones that ended up being parents by accident are the ones who get to be parents to their boy.

I hope that God knows what He's doing.  I think he does.  I have to trust that He does.  But situations like this test my faith a little bit.  My prayers and thoughts go out to both families, but for very different reasons.  I feel bad for the personal judgments I have about Trey's family, because I do know them.  But I've seen their pattern.  It's hard to explain without going into a lot of detail, but my heart breaks for them.  I just wish someone could get their nonsense to make sense, for the sake of these kids that they keep bringing into the world.

I don't know if this post makes sense.  It's all jumbled in my head and my emotions.  You don't have to agree with me.  It's just been on my mind lately, so I thought I'd put it out there.

Two baby boys, two very different stories.  Good luck Trey.  Good luck Fleet.

18 January 2011

Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain

My brother-in-law has a sister who is getting divorced.  She is living with my brother-in-law and my sister in their extra bedroom.  Since my mom talked to my sister today and got some of the details, we had a small discussion about it too.  I've been there.  Going through a divorce is not the easiest thing in the world.

I think my mom likes talking to me about stuff like this because I have a way of seeing things that is different than she does.  I heard her telling my sister that divorce is like a death, and you have to go through a time of mourning.  When talking about it, I told her that was right to a certain extent.  But there's more to it.  When you grow up in the Church, marriage is the "happily ever after."  If you get married in the temple for time and all eternity, that's how it will be.  No matter what happens, you'll work it out, because families are forever and you commit to each other forever.  I certainly bought into that.  I knew that marriage wasn't easy, and there would be times where we didn't get along, but because we had gotten married "the right way," we would somehow be protected.

Not so.  Divorce is also broken promises, not only from your spouse, but from the situation as a whole.  You are surrounded by people who make it work--siblings, parents, cousins.  But it didn't work for you.  It wasn't love and happiness.  And it's ending in tears.

It happens.  But unless it happens to someone you know personally, it's never talked about. 

My mom told me about when my dad was in the Bishopric.  We all knew it was really difficult for her that my dad had that calling.  She wasn't even really sure why.  But she talked to her cousin about it at some point, and he reassured her that her feelings were normal.  It's a difficult thing, but it's one of the unspoken things.  It's not talked about.  It's not shared with others.

I told my mom that this is something that I find so frustrating about the LDS culture.  Bad things happen.  Not all of life is perfect.  But no one wants to admit that.  Here we have the Gospel and this great truth, and it's suppose to fill our lives with sunshine and spiritual strength and flowers and joy.  So that's all we plan on, all we teach about, all we talk about.  It doesn't come from actual doctrine.  It isn't a message read over the pulpit.  But it is perpetuated and felt as part of the culture.

And it's really a shame, because the LDS community is set up in a way that it could be such a great support system for people who need it.  Instead, those people are surrounded by an entire group of people that they don't feel they can turn to, because it seems like no one can possibly relate to their struggles. 

That is just sad to me.

But what surprised me is that my mom completely agreed with me.  She sees it too.  Which was very unexpected for me.  But it was also a very interesting and enjoyable conversation to have. 

Sometimes I wonder if my mom feels alone within the ward when it comes to my situation, even though I know someone else who grew up in the ward who is gay.  But I bet my mom doesn't talk about it with his mom.  They probably don't know that the other one is going through or has had similar experiences as mother's of gay kids.  They could support each other and talk about their issues and compare notes if they knew about the other person.

But they don't.  Because you're not supposed to pay attention to the man behind the curtain.  You're supposed to only look at the show he puts on.

Such a shame.

16 January 2011


I realized today that December 27 passed by completely unnoticed.  Well, okay, I lived that day, I'm sure I worked that day, but that's the point.  It was just another typical day.  There was no significance attached to it in my mind.

Good thing?

Probably.  Moving on is nice. 

December 27, 2005 is the day my divorce became final.  The first year was tough.  The second year, I tried to celebrate.  It got easier.  And now, five years later, it's practically unnoticed. 

I can't believe it's been five years.  It feels like a lifetime ago!  It feels like remembering someone different, someone else, someone that wasn't me.

But to be honest, I don't often think about that part of my life anymore.  I find myself wondering about my ex, and it's been a few years now that I have honestly wished him happiness in his life.  I hope his life is everything he wants it to be.  He wasn't, and hopefully isn't, a bad man.  He deserves to have happiness.  I wonder what he would say if he knew about my situation now.  It's a humorous curiosity.  But I don't often spend energy on remembering those days.

I have too much to look forward to, so I'm going to keep my head high and keep moving forward instead of looking back. 

Cheers to regular days.

13 January 2011

Nearly Two Years Later

I was cleaning my room today and I found my journal from just after I came out to myself.  I read some of it, and wow.  That thing is just full of pain.  I'm glad I wrote it down, because it helped me work through so much of that.  I am also glad that I don't have pain like that to fill pages and pages of a notebook.  But it's good to see where you came from.

I liked how Finding My Way shared a journal entry, and finding mine made me think of that, so I thought I would share a post that isn't too dramatic or a tear-jerker.  I remember writing this.  I remember it was one of those first little seeds of peace.


2/26/9 (Thursday)

Today when I would think about me and being gay, it felt like wise mind, exactly the way Kristi usually describes it.  It felt centered and calm and right.  It felt like I was standing in the eye of a storm.  I knew what I knew.  I experienced truth.

I think part of it is that I am trying to see through to who I really am.  I am trying to discover truth.  By looking this in the eye, I am trying to see beyond pretense.  I am willing to drop the facade.  I'm not lying to myself.  It feels better.

I wonder if I can recall this when the storm gathers strength and shifts and spins me back into it.  The problem with being in the eye is that you're still surrounded by the storm.  The eye of the storm still isn't safe.  And it doesn't last.

Sometimes I can say it out loud.  I don't cringe all the time.  For me, it is not always so big.  I feel that I am being more accepting.  I can feel that it makes sense.  Most of my worry thoughts involve other people.  I have a very deep fear of losing my family because I'm gay.  I love my sisters and my parents.  I love my niece and nephew so much!  I couldn't stand it if they weren't a part of my life.  Saying goodbye to them the last time I visited just hit that trigger, that there might be a time where there is a goodbye for good.  The pain of that would be too much.

And yet, if I'm going to be honest, I have to be willing to possibly have that moment.  There will be pain.  There is pain on any path.  There is also a chance that there is joy.  It's still awkward right now, still ambiguous.  And I still don't have to take any action.  I just have to be willing.

I am who I am, and I think that I'm gay.  It's a truth I have to face.  I know that when I have felt willing to face it, I feel like some of the pressure is gone and the weight on my shoulders doesn't seem as much.  Isn't that how you feel when you confess and stop lying after you have held something in for a long time?  Isn't that how it feels to be honest?  Free and right--not like you're diffing your grave and burying yourself at the same time.  That's truth...it seems.  I wonder if it will continue to feel like that in the days to come.

Right now though, I feel like I don't have to run away anymore.  I can deal with this moment.  And in this moment, it's just me and a pen and a notebook.  The pen happens to be black.  The notebook happens to be red.  And I happen to be gay.  I'm still me.  Right now, I don't have to be anyone else.  I don't have to pretend for anyone else.  I can just enjoy a little break from that weight on my shoulders.


Nearly two years later, the weight has changed.  It's not a crushing weight that I constantly feel.  The weight that I do feel comes and goes, but when it comes, it's not nearly as heavy.  I've gotten stronger.  I know I have.  I can be me, I can be gay, and I can be 100% okay.

That's an amazing feeling.

11 January 2011

Practice What You Preach

I'm not saying that this is typical.  I'm not saying that this is true of everyone.  It doesn't happen every week.  I am very aware that for every person that does this, there are probably at least a hundred that don't do this.  But it does happen quite a bit, and I feel the need to gripe about it for just a minute.

If you've followed this blog for awhile, you know that I work in a restaurant.  This particular restaurant is closed exactly two days a year: Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.  We are open every other day, holidays and weekends, and especially on Sunday.

I would say that at least once in a two month span, we get people who come and eat on Sunday, dressed in their Sunday best, and wearing their "Elder Somebody" or "Sister Somebody" nametag.  That's right, missionaries eating in the restaurant on Sunday.  More often than not, it's an older couple, enjoying a meal together or with friends.

Now, really, I don't mind the business.  I hate working on Sundays.  So if I have to be there, I may as well stay busy.  But I was raised LDS.  I remember the lessons on keeping the Sabbath Day holy.  I remember not swimming or playing basketball or shopping on Sundays.  Has that gone away?  Is this no longer part of LDS doctrine?  Because I would think, of all people, the ones out teaching the gospel to potential followers would be the ones you want putting on the best example.  Whether or not these couples are in positions of leadership, I don't know, but if they are, I would think they should be held to an even higher standard.  Maybe I'm crazy though.

I gotta say, if there's one thing that really gets to me, it's "do as I say and not as I do."

05 January 2011

Treat Me Differently


It's a month of new beginnings and big plans.  People re-assess their lives and make goals based on what they're missing or what they have too much of, and what they want to see in their lives in the coming year. 

It's a new year, which for some, means that it's a new chance.  It's a chance for hope.  It's a chance to heal the past and provide a glimmer of hope for the future.  Instead of a resolution, my hope comes as a recommendation to the public at large: treat me differently.

The media will give voices to people with strong opinions.  They will tell you that I'm a threat to America and especially to marriage.  They will tell you that I have an agenda.  They will you that it is a terrible thing to be me and you should hope and pray with all your might that you will never have to know the pain that comes from being me, or being related to me.  Prominent leaders in our communities and of our nation will tell you that people like me will weaken and destroy our once proud military, and bring shame and embarrassment upon our nation.  Their first reaction is to judge.  Their reaction inspires fear, mistreatment, and hatred.  So instead of taking their word for it, treat me differently than they do.

Get to know me.  Hear my story and really listen to what I've experienced.  Know my name.  Remember my face.  Recognize that we are really more alike than we are different.  Know that I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, and a friend.  I have plans for my life and I want to be happy.  Treat me like I deserve to be happy.  Treat me like I'm your daughter, or your sister, or your friend. 

When the world tells you that I am evil, treat me differently than that.  When you hear that I had a choice and I strayed, and I insult God by living this way, treat me differently than that.  When you hear that I am somehow less important as a human being, that I am without value, morals, or feelings, treat me differently than that. 

There are some people with big and loud voices who will tell you I don't deserve to have the same rights and privileges that you do.  In doing so, they are telling you that my life is not as important as yours.  And they are sending that message to our children and our teenagers, the future of our nation and families.

Will you believe them?

Or will you treat me differently?