02 August 2013


The Sunstone Symposium is happening this weekend.  I attended the free lecture with my girlfriend, mostly because I wanted to see the short film, "Families are Forever," featuring the Montgomery family.  I had seen previews online and saw a few of my high profile gay Mormon Facebook friends promoting it.

I wasn't sure what to expect from the event.  But being there was definitely a positive experience for me.  It was an emotionally exhausting evening and I left with much to think about.

Ultimately, I was very impressed with Wendy Montgomery.  What an amazing mother.  It was an honor to meet her and talk with her.  I found myself wanting to talk more with her, like spending hours conversing and sharing stories.  Her son is very lucky to have the family that he does.

I also found myself wondering how different the Montgomery's experience would be if they lived in Utah instead of California.  It's different here.  The Church is different here.  The people in the Church are different here.  I'm generalizing, of course.  But it has been my experience in meeting LDS people who weren't raised in Utah that even they feel like outsiders when they go to church on Sunday.  I don't know what it is about Utah Mormons, but it sometimes feels like they are so stuck on themselves that they can't see anything else, and anyone who doesn't fit this perfect Promised Land mold is not as good as they are.

I think it's interesting to hear that LDS people from other states or other countries sometimes feel that way too.  And it's sad.  For a Church that preaches fellowship and Christ-like love, it's not always obvious to others.

So I think that it's lucky for the Montgomery's that they live in a place where their neighbors are probably more willing to see a different perspective.  Is it easy to be gay in the Church, or to have a child who is gay in the Church?  No.  Regardless of where you live, it's not easy.  I admire people like Dr. Caitlyn Ryan and Bob Rees who are working to help people understand that it isn't a choice, and more importantly, that parents don't have to choose between their faith and their child.  There is much work to be done and we need people who are willing to help.

The other sad thing though is that, while parents don't have to make that choice, a gay Mormon does.  We have to choose between faith and life.  Do I want to spend my life with someone that I love?  I can't be a Mormon if I do.  Do I want to remain the the faith of my family and my youth, a faith that was everything I knew and is directly tied to everyone I know and love?  Then I have to be alone.  I can't date.  I can't marry.  I can't love.

What an impossible choice that is.

And I wonder sometimes how people can justify asking us to make that choice.

19 July 2013

He Took The Midnight Train Going Anywhere

I am Gleek.  I have been since the beginning.  I watched the pilot episode when it was a teaser, months before the show actually premiered.

I realize that not everyone is a fan of Glee.  But I love this show.  So I was very shocked and saddened to hear that Cory Monteith, one of the leading men from the show, had died last week.  I was even more surprised to hear that his cause of death was heroin and alcohol.

Stuff like this has the potential to really freak me out.  Cory was a year older than I am.  That freaks me out.  And I suppose that celebrities have this certain invincibility about them.  I tend to think that when someone has the appearance of a good life, everything to live for, that they will indeed live.  But addiction is no joke and it's so difficult to live with.  I knew that he had struggled, and it makes me sad to think that it still had such a hold on him.  It seemed like he was doing better.  The compassionate part of me feels so bad that people get locked into these things and they can't break free.  It breaks my heart.  I suppose that I just want better things for them.

And then I start wondering if I really have the right to get upset, and to cry, and to be freaked out.  I never met the man.  I didn't know him.  I realize that the real Cory Monteith is not Finn Hudson.  He has a family and a life that is entirely separate from everything Glee.  But as I was watching the season 3 finale yesterday, and not doing a good job at holding back tears, it came to me that something that I love is gone.  And for that reason, it's okay to mourn and not feel bad about it.

I hope that he has peace, and that his family and friends will be comforted in this time of loss.  Thank you Cory, for what you gave to so many Gleeks, myself included.  It won't be the same without you.

14 July 2013

Colorful Colorado

Last week, my girlfriend and I and one of our friends went to Denver.  We were there for the weekend.  Ever heard of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival?  Up until we started planning the trip, I hadn't either.

The festival was awesome.  The venue was not as good as the one we have in West Valley, but the music was loud and rowdy and our friend got to meet the band he most wanted to see.

It was a much needed and wonderful mini-vacation.  We're all ready to move to Denver.

For the most part, I like living in Utah.  My family is here.  I like the seasons and the scenery and the outdoor stuff.  But there are things that I don't like too.  And it seems like everything I don't like about Utah is fixed in Colorado...with the exception of my family.  However, Colorado is close enough that if we were to move there, we could come back and visit.  I'm not saying that it would be perfect.  And I'd love to spend more time there to see if it is truly how it appears right now.

My girlfriend and I know that there's a good bet that we'll be moving once I'm done with school.  We'll go where I get a job.  After this trip, I think I've added Denver International Airport to my list of places I'll apply to in the next year.

02 July 2013

A Supreme Moment of Relief

On the morning of June 26, I awoke to a text message from a straight Mormon friend of mine, asking if I was listening to the news.  I had been participating in SCOTUS watch, along with friends, and had known that the ruling would be coming down that morning.  But in my groggy state, it took me a few minutes to realize what she was talking about.

I stumbled to the living room and turned on the news.  I texted my friend back, saying "wow."  She wrote back: "Enjoy!"

In anticipation of the rulings, I had been feeling anxious and nervous.  In the wake of what was actually determined, I was overwhelmed with relief.

I think that this is all transpiring in the way it needs to.  I was actually glad that there wasn't a sweeping "gay marriage must be legal country-wide" decision.  I don't think this was actually a real possibility, but I was glad nonetheless.  Don't get me wrong, I look forward to the day when this country is united in equality.  And change is coming.  With Proposition 8 being thrown out, there are 13 places in this country where same-sex marriage is completely legal.  However, I think that, to a certain extent, people have to be ready to accept marriage equality.  And it doesn't seem like the majority is there yet.  There is still work to be done, and hearts to be softened.

I am not naive enough to believe that all people will accept it.  There will probably always be people who disagree.  Do I think that Utah will be one of the last places in the country to have marriage equality?  You bet I do.  But do I think it's possible that it could happen?  You bet I do.

I am hopeful as I think about the future.  I am glad that the fight for equality is moving as it is.  Perhaps it is not quick enough for some people.  But I believe that patience and hard work will pay off, just as it is supposed to.

17 June 2013

Little Things Make Me Smile

...and most often, they involve a dog, or a photo of a dog, or some mention of a dog.

I can't wait to have a four-legged friend again.

12 June 2013

Being Brave

I have read from a few different sources that the song "Brave" by Sara Bareilles could be considered an anthem for the LGBT community.  I like Sara Bareilles.  So I finally listened to the song.  And I really like it.

I've been thinking about Grant a lot lately.  I've been kicking myself a little bit, because once upon a time, he wrote this really awesome blog post.  I liked it so much that I printed it, because I wanted to take his ideas and make them fit into my own life.  And now I can't find it.  I tried to retrace the blog steps but it was on a blog that doesn't exist anymore.  And it's not like I can ask him about it.

The post was called "No Apologies, No Regrets: A Gay Manifesto."  From what I remember, he talked about how he had noticed that a lot of Moho's see their "same-gender attraction" (or BEING GAY, for people who don't think it's a syndrome or a disease) as a negative thing.  He wasn't surprised, given the way we are raised.  But his point was that it didn't have to be.  He wrote a manifesto, or a declaration, where he stated his intentions.  I wish I could remember what some of them were.  And I wish I could find that printout!

I was going to write my own manifesto.  But I didn't.  And I still haven't.

I don't think suicide is something that is going to go away for us any time soon.  Yes, things might be getting easier as far as what the American population thinks, what the upcoming generation thinks, and the number of places where same-sex marriage is legal.  But, as we are so often reminded, there is still a long way to go.  And sometimes that long way is just too far.

We're blessed to be a tight-knit community.  We call each other FAMILY for a reason.  And unfortunately, due to outside circumstances that are so often out of our control, we end up knowing the sorrow that comes when someone in our family takes their own life.

I will never blame someone for making that decision.  I ABSOLUTELY WISH THEY WOULDN'T. But I always find myself in a place of sad compassion.  I always find myself wishing that they could have stayed around a little bit longer.  Just stay with us.  Just be brave for just a little bit longer.  I know it's not easy and I know that it's painful and I know that it can absolutely suck.  I know that you get tired of hearing people say that it gets better.  And I know that you want it to change and be better right now.  I wish I could snap my fingers and send all my love to anyone who was feeling that way, and make it all better.  I would.  I so would, in a heartbeat.

Life isn't easy.  I've been through some unimaginable heartaches.  And I'm glad that I'm still here.

If you're thinking about suicide, know that you aren't alone.  No matter how much it feels like you're alone and no one would miss you if you were gone, the ripples that will extend from a decision like that will reach farther than you could imagine.  You're important.  You are so important to this world.  Please reach out before you give in.  Because you're amazing.

Show me how big your brave is.


by Sara Bareilles

You can be amazing
you can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
you can be the outcast
or be the backlash of somebody's lack of love
or you can start speaking up
nothing's gonna hurt you the way that words do
and they settle 'neath your skin
kept on the inside and no sunlight
sometimes a shadow wins
but I wonder what would happen if you

say what you wanna say
and let the words fall out
honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

everybody's been there
everybody's been stared down by the enemy
fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
bow down to the mighty
don't run
stop holding your tongue
maybe there's a way out of the cage where you live
maybe one of these days you can let the light in
show me how big your brave is

say what you wanna say
and let the words fall out
honestly I wanna see you be brave
with what you want to say
and let the words fall out
honestly I wanna see you be brave

innocence, your history of silence
won't do you any good
did you think it would?
let your words be anything but empty
why don't you tell them the truth?

say what you wanna say
and let the words fall out
honestly I wanna see you be brave
with what you want to say
and let the words fall out
honestly I wanna see you be brave

08 June 2013


As much as I love books, I also love music.  My dad is a jazz musician, so music has been a part of my life since before I took my first breath in this world.

I love a wide variety of music.  I'm not a huge fan of techno or country.  My world would be much better if I never heard another Sheryl Crow or Taylor Swift song.  But if you were to look at my iTunes library, you might be surprised at the diversity.  When I put my library on shuffle, it might go from a Stone Sour song, to an Incubus song, to a movement from Copland's Appalachian Spring, to a Reba McEntire (my ONE exception to the country music rule), to a Five Finger Death Punch song, then maybe something from a Broadway musical.

The thing that I love about music is its ability to speak to your soul.  Music can express emotion in ways that words never can.  And sometimes, when there are no words, music is where I turn.

I know there are a lot of things that are bothering me, things that I really haven't been dealing with.  The excuses are numerous.  The result of doing nothing is the same.  The first half of 2013 has really been filled with some difficult months.  As such, my iPod has gotten a lot of miles lately.  It makes my soul feel just a little bit better.

07 June 2013


I just finished reading Dan Brown's new novel, Inferno.  I am a big fan of his novels featuring Robert Langdon.  I find the symbology fascinating, and I have so much respect for someone as smart as Dan Brown, that he can create these intricate puzzles within the novel.

I really liked it.

In fact, I think that I'll add Dante's Inferno to my summer reading list.

I love books.  When I was a kid, my mom would take us to the library about every two weeks during the summer.  I would check out five books at a time.  I feel lucky that I love to read.  This is my summer reading list so far.  If you want to suggest any others, feel free to do so!

Inferno - Dan Brown
The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown
Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
Time for Andrew - Mary Downing Hahn
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle
Inferno - Dante Alighieri
Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil - Drew Karpyshyn
The Turn of the Screw - Henry James
The Aspern Papers - Henry James

I'm also thinking of re-reading A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin.  It's my favorite in the series.  And I've only read A Dance with Dragons (the fifth book in A Song of Ice and Fire) once, so I might look into that also.

Happy reading!

30 May 2013


I live by a military base.  I'm close enough that I can hear it when they play the Star Spangled Banner at 5:00pm (if I happen to be home).  I'm also close enough that I can hear it when they play Taps at night.

And I heard it last night.

It was kind of eerie, kind of tear-jerking, especially considering that I had learned the night before that another Moho had taken his life.  And this was someone that I somewhat knew.  Well, I suppose it might be more fitting to say that I knew of him.  As soon as his name was mentioned, I could see a picture of his face.  I could remember things that I had read on his blog.  And I was shocked.

It pains me so much to know that he suffered in this way, so that he felt ending his life was the only hopeful option.  I was there once.  I stood on that ledge many nights, and many times a day.  I looked down into the abyss that was chewing on my soul and tearfully pondered if it would just be easier to let go, to give up, and to end the fight.  I know how that feels.  And I wouldn't wish it upon anyone.

So I stood, outside, listening to Taps.  I shivered.  I thought of Grant.  I thought of Todd.  I thought of Stuart.  I thought of Kevin and Kareen and Ryan.  I thought of the countless lives and names that I do not know, people who were here and who mattered, but who have chosen to leave this world in the same way that Grant did.

I wish there was some way to make lives continue instead of anguish, and sorrow to end...instead of lives.

Peace be with you, my brother.

29 May 2013

Leisure Time

I know I said I would keep blogging, and I meant it...and then last semester happened.  Those four classes pretty much kidnapped and manhandled all of my time.

So now it's summertime!

I'm still busy but I have time that I can devote to things I want.  Not that I don't want to work hard in school and be done...but it's a different kind of want.  It's a leisurely type.  And it's strangely unsettling at first.  But I'm getting used to it.

Rather than catching you up on my crazy semester, I'll just say that I've missed blogging here.  So I'm hoping to have some good summer posts forthcoming.


23 October 2012

Define Marriage

I've seen many a post on a many a social network discussing propositions that will soon be voted upon.

Given the diverse groups of people I mingle with on these social networks, I've seen the extremes of both sides and the smattering of those in the middle.

I've seen the "let them have their rights, just don't call it marriage" posts.

I've seen the "my relationship is just as valid as yours" posts.

I've seen the "how does one marriage demean or lessen another marriage if they have nothing to do with each other" posts.

And for the most part, I just keep quiet.  I recognize that some people like to get into discussions or debates or dramatic conversations, depending on who you ask.  I am not one of those people.  That doesn't mean that I don't feel strongly about this issue, and that I don't have the urge to jump right in and start throwing verbal punches like everyone else, defending myself and people I consider my friends.

But I've really been thinking about this "define / redefine" marriage idea.

For one, I don't think you can define marriage in the simple terms of who it consists of.  You can put a man and a woman together and have them get married.  That doesn't mean they have a marriage.  They have a contract between them to stay together.  And they have all the rights and privileges that come as part of that contract.

But a marriage...well, I would say that a marriage is something more.

There are many elements that define a marriage.  Love.  Trust.  Companionship.  Sacrifice.  Respect.  Laughter.  Compromise.  A not-to-be-taken-lightly sort of undertaking.

To name a few.

Would any of those qualities be lacking in a same-sex marriage?

Well, I know a few same-sex couples who are married.  They exemplify these qualities and more, and have stronger marriages than some straight couples that I know.  And why is that?

I would say that the components of a marriage are the same, whether it's John and Jane that get married, Jane and Mary that get married, or John and Joe that get married.  If a couple enters into a marriage with the belief that it is a sacred union, with the intent to give themselves to each other whole-heartedly, with the understanding that they are committing to a life together, then the qualities that make a marriage will be there.  No one is trying to redefine that.

There are just some of us that would like the opportunity to have that commitment recognized and upheld in the same way as some of you other people out there.

Redefining who gets to have a marriage doesn't necessarily mean that we redefine marriage.  When taken seriously, marriage would stay the same.

For those of us who come from an LDS background, marriage is the ultimate gauge of adult success.  It's the top prize.  And we are taught to prepare for it, to seek it, and to protect it when it finally becomes yours.

I'm not trying to take that away from you.  I congratulate you on your temple marriage and your commitment to your lives together.  And I'm glad that you are happy.

What I don't understand though is how Mitchell and Brayden's marriage in any way makes your commitment to your spouse less of a commitment.  How does Ella and Sarah's marriage make your marriage weaker?  How does Michael and Dustin's marriage lessen the trust you have in your spouse, the love you have for your spouse, or the sense of companionship between you and your spouse?

Because if it does, I would argue that you don't have a marriage to begin with.  You have a contractual arrangement that might need a little work.

Oh, and of course, you still have the rights that come with marriage.  You don't have to worry about not being able to see your spouse if they happen to be seriously injured in a car accident.  You get to make any needed medical decisions in the event that your spouse is incapacitated.  And if they die, you get to access to their social security and life insurance.  If it was an accident that was their fault, your conversations can be protected through spousal privilege should any legal action happen.  You don't have to worry about any of that, which might be nice, since you're so worried about how Ella and Sarah's marriage makes yours less special.

Kind of a nice contract, yes?

Just my two cents.