Friday, October 17, 2008

I don't know how many of you have read the Gospel Doctrine lesson for this coming Sunday but it includes a story about a gay man who was converted to the church. The story attributes his homosexuality to learned behavior. Here is the story:

"I know [a] good man who was reared in a family without the blessings of the gospel. Through a series of unfortunate events in his early youth, he was introduced to homosexuality, and gradually he became a prisoner of this addictive behavior. One day two young missionaries knocked on his door and asked if he would be interested in learning of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. In his heart of hearts he wanted to be freed from his prison of uncleanness, but feeling unable to change the direction his life had taken, he terminated the missionary discussions. Before leaving his apartment, the two elders left a copy of the Book of Mormon with him, and testified of its truthfulness.

My friend placed the book on his bookshelf and forgot about it for several years. He continued acting out his homosexual tendencies, assuming that such relationships would bring him happiness. But alas, with each passing year, his misery increased.
One day in the depths of despair, he scanned his bookshelf for something to read which might edify and uplift him and restore his self worth. His eye caught hold of the book with a dark blue cover, which the missionaries had given him several years before. He began to read. On the second page of this book, he read of Father Lehi’s vision in which he was given a book to read, and “as he read, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord” (1 Ne. 1:12). And as my good friend continued reading, he too was filled with the Spirit of the Lord.

He read King Benjamin’s benedictory challenge to undergo a mighty change of heart—not a little change, but a mighty change. He was given hope by the comforting conversion stories of Enos, Alma, Ammon, and Aaron. He was also inspired by the account of the Savior’s visit to the ancient Nephites. By the time he reached the final page of the Book of Mormon, he was prepared to accept Moroni’s loving invitation to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness” (Moro. 10:32). My friend contacted the Church and was taught the gospel and was baptized. [Spencer J. Condie, “A Mighty Change of Heart,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 16–17]."

I don't refute this man's conversion to the gospel or his change of heart. What bothers me is that his homosexuality was something that was gradually learned over time. I find it hard to believe that he gradually became gay as a result of some bad choices as a youth. This story contradicts what the church teaches about homosexuality not being a choice. Am I interpreting the story correctly to assume that it says being attracted to the same sex is a choice?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I must be insane to believe that I could ever make a straight relationship work when I am attracted, almost exclusively to men. I can't imagine how I ended up with such an incredible wife and children. I just don't see how this is possible, and I'm scared about the future. There's no way I can keep this up. Where is the logic behind all of this? What are my motives? I've made it this far, but what is it going to take to make it 50 more years, assuming I die at an old age? Am I capable of holding this relationship and this family together? Why isn't there more support and understanding from the church? I need more direction, more strength and more faith.

I am so happy with my wife and family. They are the center of my universe. I would be devastated if I had to leave them for any reason. My greatest fear is that I will do something stupid and lose all that I hold dear. I've come too close on a few occasions as can be seen in my posts. One of the sacrifices I make is having to deal with the guilt of the mistakes I make every so often of looking at porn (nothing hard core), looking at guys, wanting guys, keeping things hidden from everyone (except the occasional priesthood leader or a close friend), and then the once or twice a year I do something really stupid like chat with gay men online or coming close to hooking up.

Will I ever be or feel temple worthy under such circumstances? I want to be clean in every way but am thinking that this will never be the case. I continually repent of my sins to God, and when they are more severe, to my Bishop. But it's not always possible to repent all the time or talk to my Bishop. It takes a lot of trust to confide in a new Bishop every time I move or every four years when a new Bishop is put in place. I really don't think it's fair to have to rehash my situation in order to be temple worthy.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

I've often wondered what it would be like if the tables were turned. What if homosexuality was the way to live as taught by the church? What if straight relationships were the abomination? Would the current members of the church put aside their tendencies toward the opposite sex in order to live how God has commanded? How many would fall away from the church because they weren't attracted to the same sex? How many could handle such a huge sacrifice? I wish this could happen for one day, so that everyone would understand what we as gay men are giving up to live the life that has been taught to us and that we believe to be right. I'm not saying that I actually wish that homosexuality was espoused by the church, but I just wish they could understand what it is really like. Are the testimonies of church members strong enough to handle such a commandment? I really don't think they are. I think the church would quickly fall apart.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Typically, I try not to define my experience with same gender attraction as a struggle, a difficulty, a challenge, a plight, etc. I'm bothered by the connotation of being gay in a straight relationship within the Mormon church as something bad, something negative or something that needs to be changed, fixed or resolved. But, I find it difficult not to use such terminology, not knowing really how to define or describe my experiences without saying I struggle. Being gay in a straight relationship is a very difficult struggle. I have to remain vigilant and true to the decisions I have made and in what I believe is right. Right for me, right for my family, right for my immediate and eternal happiness. So if being gay is something that I did not choose and can not change, why the struggle to do just that? I'm attempting to live a straight life, choosing not to be gay and trying to change or undo this part of who I am.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Typically, I don't write on this blog when things are going okay. There are days and weeks where thoughts of being gay have rare occasion to enter into my daily routine. For the most part, I live a heterosexual life, with the occasional gay moment. So, if you don't hear from me for awhile, most likely I haven't had any gay experiences to write about. Once in awhile I'll think, hey that guy is cute or I may have an inclination to look at gay material on the net. It always amazes me when feelings of same gender attraction hit hard. I seem to forget in-between "episodes" if that is what they can be called. It's the "episodes" that usually end up on my blog as an outlet to help me understand and to get support.

Not having had any "episodes" lately, I don't know what to write about. Are there any questions I could answer for anyone about my experience as a gay married Mormon, or any questions about me in general? Send them my way and I will try to be as open and honest as possible.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why is homosexuality considered a sin according to many church doctrines? Biblically, there are few, if any, real direct references to it. Within the LDS church, I know much about the doctrine of same gender attraction, but I don't always understand the reasoning. I also know why being gay is wrong for me, but is it wrong for everyone else as well? I am also very aware of what the consequences would be if I decided to have sex with another man. Is it these consequences that make the act a sin? The consequences for me, would be devastating. Is it only a sin because it hurts me and others in some way? I have more I want to write about this, but I want to hear some of your thoughts first.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


This is a hard post for me, but I need to talk about it, if not to help me understand what I did, then to at least seek some sort of absolvent. I'll start by just saying what I did, without any emotion or explanation, other than what was felt during my actions. I can always try and analyze everything later. I've wondered before if other gay men thought I was attractive, and even more, if they would want to have sex with me, strictly based on my looks. So, having time to myself this week, I took some photos of myself. They started innocent enough. I chose a great outfit that emphasized my physique, set the lighting, set-up the camera, set the timer, and began taking pictures.

The first set looked pretty good, but I thought that maybe I could unbutton my shirt to show off the tan I have been working on. These photos turned out pretty good as well. However, since I was by myself, I thought it wouldn't hurt to take my shirt off for a couple of photos. Then, I thought, why not unbutton my jeans a little. Then, I had a great idea to use a wet, white shirt - make it a little more sexy. Besides, I didn't have to show these photos to anyone if I didn't want to. I was just having some fun. The wet shirt looked great - I'd never worn totally wet clothes, let alone a white shirt with no undershirt. These photos suprised me a little because they looked so good. Incredibly sexy. I started thinking hey, I could be a model. This was getting real fun.

Then, you probably guessed it, why not try some nude photos. First, I used a towel to cover myself a little. I tried holding the towel in front of me, just enough to cover the real private parts. Wow, these photos looked incredible. They looked nothing like the Forester I and everyone else knows. I had no idea I could look so hot. So, I'm sure you know what comes next - I lost the towel all together. Yep, full frontal. I tried a lot of poses. I was so suprised that I even knew how to pose. What was I doing? This couldn't be good. But I became so involved in the lighting, the poses, like I was photographing someone else. In some ways, it was very artistic.

I ended up with a lot of incredible photos. Now what to do with them. Having been in gay chat rooms before (a long time ago), I thought that this would be a good venue. I wouldn't find anyone on there that I really knew - and if I did, they were probably there for the same reasons. My intent was not to look for a hook-up or to have internet sex, but to just find out if anyone thought I was hot. I downloaded a few of the better photos. At first, I only posted the clothed photos and some of the shirtless ones and waited to see if I got any comments. First it was a slow trickle of "Hi" and "How are you?" responses, then I got some more. This was going pretty good. I kept my conversations simple and out of harms way - no talk of sex. I would ask what they thought of the photos - actually, I found that many would comment on the photos right off "Great photos", "Nice face", "hot chest". This was great. I was getting a lot of guys telling me how great I looked. They were good compliments, nothing overly raunchy, just very flattering. So, I upped the anty. My heart was racing. I was getting caught up in the moment. I posted a few of the wet shirt and towel photos. However, you had to open my profile in order to see these photos. To my amazement (really, I was quite amazed), I started getting so many hits for private chat requests that I couldn't respond to all of them. By now my ego was getting the best of me - so why not post the full nude photos. It was scary, yet so exciting. However, it was getting out of hand. I was getting requests for sex. "Why not come over tonight for a drink" "we can just talk" or "we don't have to do anything if you don't want to, but you're so hot".

Then, something kicked me (or so it felt like). I was alone, but I realized what I was doing. I quickly pulled the plug on the internet connection (I have wireless, so I had to get up and walk into the other room). Still alone - family out of town. I couldn't believe what I had done, but needless to say, I was quite aroused by it all. Masturbation followed, but at least I was off the internet. I didn't even look at any porn (I'm usually pretty good about that, most of the porn offends me). Of course, I was the porn for others. I think being the porn is worse than looking at porn - but at the time, it didn't seem as bad.

I erased all of the photos on the camera and on my computer (I just realized I didn't delete the photos on the chat room profile, I better go do that - or maybe I should stay away all together - but I need to delete them).

Saturday, July 05, 2008

My wife and kids are leaving town for a week, leaving me at home alone, open to my own devices. Without my family, I am not a very good person. I could never make it to heaven without them. I'm a little scared of what could happen while they are gone. Keep me in your prayers.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

As with my previous post, I've been looking back at my life recently in an effort to assess where I've ended up. The past two or so years of my life have been two of the most difficult. It was a little over two years ago that I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I keep looking back, hoping to find answers to the why of this illness but have found few answers. In my research and understanding of gay Mormon men I have found that, for many, depression seems to be a natural occurance. Some would argue that the depression is rooted in the conflict of having feelings of SGA and trying to live a life based on the teachings of the church. For me, the correlation doesn't seem to exist, at least not as the root cause.

Before 2005 I would never have imagined that I would be diagnosed with clinical depression. I had no symptoms before 2005 and was mentally healthy. But when it hit, it hit hard. One day I woke up and couldn't go to work. The thought of doing so caused severe anxiety, which led to depression. Initially, I blamed my career. Then I blamed my propensity toward introversion as the cause of my illness. And yes, I did blame SGA to a certain degree. I learned that I had parts of my personality conflicting one with another. My career was conflicting with my desire to be an artist or a musician. I felt like a part of me was dying internally - a part that I didn't want to lose. This alone created a lot of anxiety and depression. In general, I learned that my anxiety was playing a huge role in my depression.

Now today, having gone through the healing process, I see that in most respects I was mistaken. I actually enjoy my career. I enjoy the life that I have built and find great satisfaction in my successes as a father and husband. I feel the old self coming back to life after being submerged for more than two years. I still have days when I feel like a failure, but now, instead of these feelings taking over, I simply move forward, knowing that I'm doing okay.

I have begun to accept where my journey through life has taken me. I kept fighting against (and still do to some degree) the life that God has given me. Overall, I'm where he wants me to be right now and I'm headed in the right direction. I don't know why I fought it so much. I kept saying to myself that I wanted something different - a different career, a different life. I would ask myself, what happened to my childhood dreams? For the most part I fealt that my dreams were never going to become a reality, that they had been taken from me, and I began to panic, grasping for a glimmer of what I wanted, trying to hold on to the last remnants of who I was and what defined me. For two years I panicked and tried desperately to move back onto the course I wanted for myself. I believed that what I wanted is what God also wanted. It has taken me more than two years of kicking and screaming to finally realize that I'm okay, that this is what God has planned for me. I constantly want control of my life and try everything to maintain this control.

It seems like such a simple lesson, one that we've all been taught since childhood. We will never have complete control over our lives. Some things have to be left to God and his divine plan for our lives. But why is letting go of this errant control so difficult? The control that I thought I had was never really there. I was illuding myself. So here I am, the beginning of the new me - or is it really the old me, the one that was always there, but refused to accept. We are all divine. My focus now is to hold onto this divinity and cherish it more than I have in the past.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Like many of us, I have been going through a transformation for the past two years. The transformation stems from many variables: our gayness, growing older, going through trials, and just life in general. But what if we're not happy with our transformation. I don't feel like I've reached where I want to be in terms of being gay, married, a faithful member of the church, a husband, a father, a friend. I had a different picture of where I would be in my life right now. I think we all did. How could we have ever imagined our plight as gay married men. I say plight, focusing on the trials. But, there are the positives of being gay, right?

The majority of us just want to be right with God. Meaning we want to be where He wants us to be. Is my life on the right path? Is this where he wants to be right now in my life? I just want to be able to serve him and help others. I don't want to have to worry about myself and my own struggles anymore. I won't even get started on my other trials of work and mental health. Maybe if I just focus on others, instead of so much on myself, I will end up where Christ wants me to be. Maybe everything else will miraculously fall into place if I just forget about myself.

When I start thinking about where I want to be and what I want in my life, I just get stressed out and depressed. When I look at myself, I see a big failure at my career, a gay man who is afraid to tell his wife, a husband who can't please his wife, a Father who isn't much of a role model, a friend who is really quite boring, and a member of a church he loves but is falling very short of being a very good disciple.

I started this post thinking that I would make a pledge to myself to be a better person, a better disciple of Christ. I was going to set goals and begin another transformation, but this time a transformation that I had more control over. We've been instructed to not just "go with the flow", but it seems that the "flow" is the "refiner's fire" that is molding me into something else, that I just don't understand right now. I'm having a hard time seeing the big picture anymore. Is this the way it's supposed to be?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

In his most recent post, Young Stranger describes his love for his partner in these words: "My relationship with my partner is not defined by our "gayness." It is defined by our love. Love is the word I claim. The love between us is built on a larger foundation of love, on our Heavenly Parents' boundless love for each of us. If it is not, it cannot possibly last, because if I do not let an understanding of God's love for him structure how I behave in relation to him, I risk becoming trapped in self, letting my own ego become the guide to our relationship."

I was preparing a post that was to use similar wording for my relationship with my wife. Just as his gayness does not define his relationship with his partner, my gayness does not define my relationship with my wife. I could easily replace the words he uses of "partner" and "his" with "wife" and "hers" in the above paragraph to describe my situation of a mixed-orientation marriage. There are those who would say that a gay man marrying a straight woman makes very little sense and only serves to create problems and cause unhappiness. Yes, it does create many problems which could lead to unhappiness, but for me, the benefits far outweigh any struggles. Just as Young Stranger suggests in his post, our relationships are defined by our love.

I do not deny that physical attraction is part of a healthy, loving relationship. I've come to realize this even more lately. Physical attraction is an integral part of a relationship. I've always been attracted to my wife, but just as with any relationship, over time, that physical attraction can diminish over time. Just as we have to work at our relationship in other ways, the physical part requires some work. It's my understanding that this can be the case in straight relationships as well. Is it harder for me because I'm gay? Probably. But I don't let it become more of a problem than it's worth. Perspective helps. Physical attraction helps. But even more importantly, love helps. It's that love for each other and for Christ that conquers all obstacles and allows me to continue on this path I have chosen. It is a good path. It's the path that Christ wants me to follow. It's the path that allows me the greatest chance at happiness in this life and in the life to come. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would still choose the same path, even knowing the struggles that have come from this decision. In the end, I can put aside being gay. In the end, what really matters, as Young Stranger puts it, is the love we share between each other and with Christ.

Friday, March 21, 2008

I feel like I don't know what to write anymore. The days go by, nothing has really changed. My attraction for men comes and goes, but most of the time it's still there, in the background of my life, sometimes forcing its way into a more prominent position. I'm dedicated to my wife and family. I love them and want to be with them every day.

I've been working on my sexual attraction for my wife, but it takes a lot of work and discipline. I'm angry that I have to work on it at all. Isn't sex supposed to come easily? I feel bad for my wife. I love her and am attracted to her in so many ways. She's actually quite stunning physically. Sometimes I think she deserves better than me. Someone who can hardly keep his hands off her. I love just being close to her. I try and make up for it in other ways; cleaning the house, helping more with the kids, just being a better husband in whatever way I can. But I feel like I'll never be able to make it up to her.

I still haven't told her about my attraction for men. I debate back in forth in my mind, weighing the pros and cons, trying so hard not to hurt anyone. I don't want anyone, especially my wife, to suffer for something that is a part of who I am. She would not understand, and for me to ask her to understand something that she never could, just isn't necessary. I guess I don't believe in total disclosure. If I felt that I needed her support, I might tell her. Right now, I don't see my attraction to men as a big deal. It's just part of who I am. Right now I need her support in other ways and for other things that are way more important than my attraction for men. Do guys in heterosexual relationships break the news to their wives that they look at other women? All of us have to keep our attractions, whether they be to men or women, under control. I've made a commitment to love and honor my wife, and only her. None of us are perfect, we make mistakes, but we move forward. I don't dwell on my other weaknesses. But I want to be clear that I don't consider my attraction to men to be a weakness. My weakness is not being totally faithful to my wife. Being attracted to the same sex does not mean I am automatically unfaithful or a bad person.
Since July 15, 2007