29 March 2011

A Grain Of Sand

I tend to be a lurker sometimes.  I don't always comment on blogs or Facebook threads, but I do a lot of reading and contemplating, and often sympathizing with the poor, unsuspecting soul who had a status update turn into a comment war between their friends.

Such was the case the other day. 

As I was reading the comments posted on this fellow Moho's status, one of the thoughts that crossed my mind was the degree to which a non-Moho does not understand the plight of a Moho. 

Here we all are, growing up in this faith, being taught the same things--marriage is under attack, only marriage between a man and a woman is ordained by God, homosexuality used to be a sin all by itself, but now it's not, and as long as you don't act of those same gender attractions (aka "temptations"), you're not a bad person...but not everyone believes that you're not a bad person, and there are those who still believe that it might be better to be dead than to be gay (SO UNBELIEVABLY NOT TRUE!!!)...and a non-Moho will take that at face value with no reason to question it.

For me, that grain of sand took a very long time to change into a pearl.  But I had to, because it was about me, and something inside me didn't buy what I was being sold.  I had reason to question, I had reason to doubt, and I had reason to chew on the conflict between what I was being taught and what I was actually feeling.

Someone who does not have that same grain of sand will never understand what that truly feels like.

If the leaders of the Church decided to proclaim that blonde hair was contrary to God's plan, how would someone born with blonde hair feel?  Perhaps they could dye it, make sure that no one knew, make sure that no one ever saw, make sure they did everything within their power to conform to what is acceptable in God's eyes.  But they would still have blonde hair.  And either you keep pretending you're a brunette, or you dare to question, to consider that blonde hair doesn't actually offend God, and maybe He thinks you're beautiful no matter what your hair color is, and maybe He still loves you despite the fact that your religion preaches against your "sinful" nature.

Maybe it's nice, to go to church and never worry about what will be said.  Ignorance may be bliss for some people.  But faith standing on ignorance seems awfully shallow to me.  Heaven forbid they ever meet the test that comes from a grain of sand.

23 March 2011

The Ones We Lose

I've recently been thinking about the ones who go by the wayside when our true identities are revealed.  This wasn't just a random thought.  I noticed the other day that I had been unfriended on facebook by two of my friends from high school. 

Now Facebook is not a huge deal to me.  It's not that they aren't my Facebook friends anymore that upsets me.  It's that they were really good friends to me in high school.  We were close.  Just the other day, I found a letter that T had written to me when she went away to college, encouraging me and telling me that I had so much to offer, and that I needed to find a way to share my personality and talents with the people around me.  She wrote that I was a good person.  She wrote that she was happy to be my friend.

But high school was awhile ago now.  I get that.  Things are different now, ten years later.  She's married, has a family.  And I'm not.  Instead, I came out.

I remember seeing things on my newsfeed from her, things that seemed more like something Glenn Beck would say than she would, so I guess I could have predicted that me changing my relationship status to dating a girl wouldn't go over so well.

And then there is the case of my former roommate.  Those of you who have followed this blog for awhile know what I'm talking about, but I'll provide a quick recap for those who have recently joined.  I was friends with C since my senior year of high school.  We worked together, and we became roommates after I got divorced.  We lived together for four years.  The closer I got to coming out, the further I got from her.  And when I finally did come out to her, she asked me to move out.  It was messy, and we really haven't spoken since.  That was about a year and a half ago.

Coming out is not an easy thing.  But we get lots of practice at it.  When we meet new people, we are constantly entering into that place of having to come out, or weighing the pros and cons of doing so. 

Not always the most pleasant place to be in.

So sometimes we lose people.  The lousy thing is, these friends will probably not be the last.  If they decide they can't accept me for me, it's unfortunate.  I don't know all of T or TE or C's reasons for deciding that they are better off without a gay friend in their life.  I don't fit into whatever box they define as their ideal life, I guess.  That isn't my fault.  It doesn't always ease the sting though.

Does it hurt?  Of course.  Is it worth losing friends if I can be true to myself?


17 March 2011

Unfriendly Publications

My parents were out of town last week, so I was "watching" the house.  My dad has a space on the counter where he puts a lot of his work papers and where his cell phone charges and things like that.  It's just his general area.  So when I was sorting the mail, I happened to glance over to the "pile" and lo and behold, there was a copy of "God Loveth His Children."

I've heard a lot about this pamphlet through the Moho world, but I've never actually seen a copy.  I flipped through it briefly, but figured "whatever."  I'm not a fan of it, I'm not a fan of the policies and double standards, but whatever.  The Church is pretty much everything to my parents, and I know this, so of course they are going to turn to doctrine and publications to try to process my sexuality.  That's fine.  We all try to deal with things in the best way we know how.

Now, by itself, this incident is not really a big deal.  But there's more to the story.

Rewind a few days, before my parents left, when I was at home before school.  My parents get both the Salt Lake Tribune and The Deseret News, so there are newspapers everywhere.  My dad is the type that will rip out an article or comic when he thinks it's interesting or that someone else will find it interesting.  It's one of his quirky things, I guess.

Anyway, there was one of these ripped out articles on the stairs.  It was actually from the Letter to the Editor section.  Some guy had written in about a study that he had read about.  It was a reparative therapy type of study and apparently about 30% of individuals reported that their homosexual tendencies had significantly diminished.  The conclusion, and consequently the headline, was that "gays can change."

Again, by itself, this incident is really not a big deal.  I know that my dad has had a more difficult time in accepting me than my mom has.  I think it's because he and I were closer than my mom and I were before I came out.  I don't know if it's because he didn't see it, or because it makes sense now when he thinks about it, but he's still pretty distant sometimes. 

In combination though, putting the two together made it into somewhat of a big deal.

I don't really know how to act anymore around my dad.  I'm not as angry as I was, but I'm still kind of hurt by the whole thing.  And that makes me kind of angry too, because I hate it when I can explain something logically but my emotional response is the complete opposite. 

It's not my most favorite situation, not my most favorite response.  I hate how my dad can ignore me for days, not speak to me when we're both home, and then other days it's like it used to be.  He just talks to me like nothing has been wrong at all.  It's really not a lot of fun to have that sort of back-and-forth game get played.  I try to remind myself to be patient.  I try to remind myself that it's not easy.  I try to remind myself that Time can give me hope.

In the meantime, I swiped "God Loveth His Children."  Maybe not the most ethical thing to do, but I figure he can always get another one if he really needs it.  I just wish he would find some more friendly publications.

16 March 2011


I have finally seen 8: The Mormon Proposition.  I've been wanting to see it since it appeared at Sundance, but I just haven't had the opportunity.  So I thought I would write a couple of my thoughts about it, even though I know that a lot of you have seen it and blogged about it already.

First, I think Tyler and Spencer are absolutely adorable.  I love cute gay boys, they make me happy.  I think Tyler and Spencer deserve every happiness and I'm glad for them, that they took the opportunity to get married while they could.  Hearing their story was such an emotional experience, but I am glad that they would share it.

Secondly, there was a lot in the film that reflected my own feelings about Proposition 8.  I think that this country was founded on the belief that people should be allowed to practice their religion without interference from the government.  I think this is a fundamental right.  But I also think it should work the other way as well, and that government should be free from the religious interference. 

I know there are arguments about what gay marriage will do to society.  One of them is that gay marriage will be taught in schools to impressionable children.  Okay...but what about evolution?  Evolution is taught in science classes and is generally accepted as fact.  Yet the Bible and many churches will teach about creation.  So what do you do when your eight-year-old comes home after learning about Darwin?  We were told that evolution was science's explanation, but our religion taught us to believe in creation, and that's what we accept as fact.  I really don't see gay marriage as being any different from this.  Be a parent and teach your children what you think are acceptable values and morals, and if you disagree with gay marriage, so be it.

I am not asking to get married in an LDS temple.  I have no desire to try and pick a fight over that matter.  Besides, I don't really want to pursue having the blessing of a Church that has no interest in granting it.  And that's fine.  Religions should have the right to dictate their rules and regulations about all aspects of their doctrine and religious practices, marriage being one of them.  But if the government is willing to allow marriage to gay couples as well as straight couples, they should have the right to. 

Perhaps there are those who don't share my opinion.  And that's fine.  This is my opinion, I will own it, and I'm also not going to fight about it.

But I've gotten a bit off track here.  All in all, I found the film to be interesting.  I would watch it again.  I didn't really find that the film changed my opinion about the Church.  Regardless of what you think about the film or the filmmaker, or religion and politics, it's difficult to deny that the Church was involved in the campaign in California.  Based on their actions during Proposition 8, I already felt betrayed and hurt by the Church, so anything that was brought up or discussed during the film didn't have any more of an effect on my opinion.

Perhaps my favorite part was Tyler's mom, Linda.  She is an absolutely amazing person, so supportive and so strong.  You can tell that she really loves her kids, including her son-in-law, and that she would fight for them at any time, in any place.  I have actually seen her before, I just didn't know it.  My very first Pride in SLC, when I was still basically in the closet, Linda and her husband marched with the PFLAG group.  I remember them because of the posters they were wearing around her neck.  One had a picture of Tyler, and their daughter Amanda, and it read "proud of our gay kids."  Now, the PFLAG group always brings tears to my eyes, but I remember that poster, and I remember them, because I remember wondering if my parents would ever even think the words "proud of my gay daughter."  I still don't know if they ever will.  But Linda is awesome, and I would love to shake her hand one day.

I also didn't know that David Baker was in the film, so that was a pleasant surprise, to see him in it and hear a part of his story.

But there you go, that's my reaction to the film.  If you're gay and LDS, or if you're LDS and know someone who is gay, I would recommend seeing it, if for no other reason than to see a different perspective about the effects of Prop 8, and how it changed real people.

Quick Recap

So I've been absent for most of this month, so I thought I'd take advantage of some much needed Spring Break time to catch you up on the little bits and pieces of my life. 

Being a student is taking up a lot of my time.  But the good news is that I'm making progress.  Hurray!  I am in my last semester at Weber State and I will be receiving my associate's degree after this semester.  Once Spring Break is over, there are four weeks left in the semester, and that's it!  It feels like it's going by quickly, then it feels like it's dragging and I'll never get through it.  But I've gotten signed off by my advisor, I've filed for and paid my diploma fee (of course, they can't let you graduate for free, no matter how much money you've ALREADY paid them to get the darn thing), and I'm just trying to get through these last fourteen credit hours.  It's not easy--my nutrition class is the epitome of evil.

The only other consistent thing I do is work.  Which is the same.  But I've decided that I should write a book about the people that come into the restaurant and ask their crazy questions or make crazy comments.  I've got some great stories already.  Anyone know a publisher?

My girlfriend and I are doing well.  She's been so amazingly supportive of me during school.  It's nice, especially when I get frustrated.  We're trying to figure out what I'm going to do in the fall.  I'm trying to decide between two schools.  The one that I would really like to go to is a private school (don't worry, definitely NOT BYU), so it's more expensive.  It's going to depend on my financial aid.  But I've got a backup school if my first choice doesn't work the way I want it to.

We are still dorks, just hanging out and being happy with each other.  We've been together for nineteen months now, and it's still really good.  Sometimes it feels like we've known each other for so long, because we're so comfortable together and we watch out for each other like we've been together for longer.  In other ways, it still feels new and exciting, and we both just want to be with each other all the time. 

That's probably kind of sappy, and not necessarily information that you all need to know, but I like telling it, so I'm leaving it in this post.

In other brief news, I'm really disappointed in the Jazz management these days, but I'll always support my team.  I just may have to become a Nets fan on the side, but I haven't fully committed to that yet.  I'm finding my social networking to be branching out, thanks to Twitter (@drakames , if you're interested) and Words With Friends and vloggers on YouTube.  We're looking forward to baseball season and March is the only time I watch NCAA basketball, so it's going to be a good few weeks for sports.  Also, the USAF Thunderbirds kicked off their season, and they are coming back to SLC this year in September, so I'm really looking forward to that!  I love that jet noise.  We're also talking about going to Seattle for their Pride this year.  We've got a lot of stuff to look forward to, and I think it's going to be a great time getting there.

Hope you all are doing well!

03 March 2011

Hello World

I know I have been absent lately, and I hate that I have been. School has buried me for the last few weeks but my Nutrition teacher has promised that the second half of the class is a lot easier than the first half, so I'm hoping I will have time to blog again soon. I've got a few ideas for posts. I'd like to get them actually posted!

So I just wanted to let you know that I'm alive and I've been thinking of you, out there in Blog Land. I hope you're doing well.

I was also thinking that if anyone had a question or topic you would like my opinion on, I'd be happy to take suggestions.

Have a great day everyone!

(This post made possible by: my awesome iPhone)