Friday, August 24, 2007

I sent an email a few days ago to my gay cousin who is living in a monogamous relationship with his partner. What follows is an excerpt from that email. It's about a dream I had and some things I've been feeling. Of course, the names have been changed.

"Hey John, I just needed somebody to talk to and thought I would send you a note. I've had a couple of dreams about you lately. The last one, the other night, we were at a family reunion at some resort in the mountains. You and your partner Mike were feeling dejected and others in the family were talking about you behind your back. Needless to say, I stood up for you. I let you know what was going on and you and Mike decided to leave. I was really torn because I didn't want to stay at the reunion without you guys, yet I also felt obligated to stay at the reunion with my wife. My kids weren't there for some reason. I needed your support in the dream and needed to talk to you some more. I was really sad to see you leave and wanted to really leave with you.
There are a couple of things the dream made me realize. First, how much I respect you, feel a connection with you, and have a desire to talk to you and Mike in person. Second, it made me realize how torn I have been feeling over the past couple of years between being gay and living a straight, married life with kids. I've been trying to figure out a way to come and see you and Mike in Salt Lake but haven't found a way. I could tell my wife that I'm going on a business trip, but I don't particularly want to lie. However, I think in this case, I may need to do it anyway. I'm not thinking about leaving my wife, I just need some answers and need to talk to someone who would understand. I wish I could come tomorrow. That's how important I feel this is. Are you going to be in town the within the next couple of weeks?"

I haven't heard back from my cousin yet, but a trip to Salt Lake may do me some good. I would also like to meet a few of you who blog here.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I haven't had this problem before, or at least hadn't really noticed it too much, but today in EQ I couldn't stop staring at all the good looking guys. My ward has an abnornally high proportion of fine looking 25-35 year old men. Rather than continue in my seemingly sinful state (not that I necessarily felt guilty for having these feelings), I got up and left about half way through the meeting. I didn't leave because I was overwhelmed by guilt, I left because I was feeling sad and irritated that I couldn't pursue any of them. Like I said, I don't think I've felt this way before. It was more overwhelming than usual. Typically, I would feel more guilt about wanting to see these guys naked, but today I just didn't want to feel anything regarding SGA, whether it was attraction, guilt, longing, pitty for myself, hatred toward myself, anger for having to deal with this, or whatever feeling associated with this plight I am in. So, I got myself out of the situation. I went down to the gas station and bought a Coke and sat in the car, just not thinking about my SGA.

Do I really want to have sex with these guys? What is it that I'm longing for? What price am I willing to pay to get it? I want to be closer to these men but I don't know how or don't have the courage. I don't fit in. I want to be like them. I want to be straight, but I don't really know what that means. I don't know what it is that I'm feeling. The world calls it gay, the church calls it SGA. All I know is that this is how I feel and I go from day to day, trying to do what is right. I have obligations to a family I love and can't imagine being without.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

So what is it that keeps me from pursuing a relationship with another man? What is it that I do from day to day that allows me to stay with my wife and kids, attend the temple, take the sacrament and participate in all church functions? What are the daily functions that I adhere to that keep me where I'm at? I'm not sure if there is any safe and sound, tried methodology. I, like many of you in my same position try to pray daily, read the scriptures, serve in my calling, fulfill my obligations as a husband and father, hold family home evening with my family, and attend church each Sunday. Are these the things that keep me from giving-in to my need for a male relationship? I know these things help, but I can't imagine that they are the determining factors.

Perhaps it is because I have a personal testimony of the teachings of Christ as taught by the church. But, this too, in and of itself could not be the determining factor. So what is it? Maybe I'm afraid to lose my wife and family. I also don't believe that pursuing a relationship with another man will really make me happy. All these things combined could lead to my not taking action on feelings within me that are so powerful and seem so natural. But I also know there are others who are doing the same things on a daily basis, who feel the same way I do, who have strong testimonies and beliefs in place that are even stronger than my own, who have decided to pursue a same-gender relationship. So what is the determining factor? Does it simply come down to making a choice? A choice that I must make on a daily and sometimes hourly basis?

I definitely don't claim to be perfect. There are times I regress and look at porn, usually being more offended than aroused. But if I can find just the right amount of "soft" porn, I can be aroused without being offended. Do I look at images and videos of naked men because I have a need to do so, with the end result being masturbation? Yet, I seem to be able to get up each morning, kneel before my God and my Creator, sincerely asking for forgiveness and moving on with my life and my daily responsibilities of work, family, church and society. I read yesterday in the scriptures that sharing your testimony can help with forgiveness of sin. I think I should share my testimony more often.

So here I am, writing this blog, trying to piece it together and make sense of it all, but it's simply too miraculous to make any sense. Ah, there it is. It's a miracle. It's not just what I do each day, and the choices I make, it's a heavenly gift. Perhaps it has correlation with the greatest sacrifice of all. It's the process of forgiveness and allowing myself to receive this most incredible gift from a loving and understanding Heavenly Father. There is no way that I could deal with my beliefs, my convictions and same gender attraction on my own. It's not simply what I do and what I believe, it's what is freely given to me. His grace. His love. His perfect love. Christ's love.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I'M NOT GAY! I no longer want to be associated with this label, or any label for that matter. I am me, an individual. I understand the need to be associated with a group of people, to band together, to support each other and to feel accepted. Although there are many good reasons for being identified with a group of people (in this case men who are attracted to men), I've just recently begun to notice some of the harmful and damaging consequences of labeling myself as gay. Having feelings of same gender attraction, or "struggling" with SGA as many in the church use, is also not acceptable to me. Using SGA fits closer to what I feel and believe but it's still a label I am not comfortable with.

Some of you may say that I'm in denial, and perhaps I am, but the point I am trying to make is that I am seeing a negative side in myself, and in others who blog here, that really bothers me. For those of us who have decided not to act on our feelings of SGA (meaning that we have chosen not to have sexual relations outside of marriage between a man and a woman), using the broad term of "gay" implies too much. The main negative consequence I have noticed in myself is that my focus has changed or has become too narrow. I feel like I'm limiting myself to being gay or not gay. Although I didn't choose to be gay or be attracted to men, I am now choosing not to be gay. I think what this means is that this is isn't the sole focus of my sexual identity, nor is it a major defining piece of who I am. Our lives really are greater than the sum of our parts. When considered with how complex we are, feelings of SGA begin to take on a much smaller role.
Since July 15, 2007