Sunday, September 29, 2013

"It's a day off from church!"

This will probably surprise no one, but I really have a hard time during General Conference.  I mainly blame it on my (self-diagnosed) ADD. Sitting still and focusing for long periods of time is virtually impossible.

For example, I love watching baseball games on TV, but I have to be doing at least two other things while watching!  I feel the same way for Conference.  But in the past several years, I've put GC in the background, or just avoid watching it all together.  And things really went downhill after October 8, 2010. (My fellow Moho's should know the significance of this date - which I will write about in a future post.)    

I now constantly roll my eyes while reading some of the Conference related Facebook posts on how excited folks are.  (They're just a little over the top.)  In fact, they've already started. One friend posted that it's only one week until Conference, followed by 14 exclamation points.  Are people REALLY that excited or they just getting bonus blessing points if they express Conference feelings in a public setting?  

I remember back in the day, a lot of my friends would say twice a year, "Yes! We get a day off from church!" I'm sure there are people that still have that attitude, but they'd never post THAT on Facebook!

I also remember a church leader (probably a Stake President) who said that if we were to watch conference at home on the Internet or on TV, to put on our church clothes.  Stuff like that makes me mad because what I do in my home is my business and no one else's.  (I know, I'm such a rebel.)

After my mission, I got really good seats in the Conference Center for the Saturday PM session.... And I fell asleep.  I tried to stay awake.. So hard!  But this was before Smartphones and Twitter, so all I had was an extremely comfortable chair and soothing voices.

So while my overly enthusiastic Facebook friend with 14 exclamation points can't wait for Conference, I just chalk it up as another weekend.  Maybe I'll have it on in the background, while blogging, cleaning and doing laundry at the same time.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tale of Two Videos

Am I horrible person that I get more emotional, more goosebumps, and (dare I say) more feeling of the spirit with this wedding proposal/flash mob in Utah...

Than when I watch this active, gay Mormon share his story and struggles?

I try to feel something when I watch Video #2 (and all the others), but I got nothing.  Being gay and Mormon, I SHOULD feel something, right?!  Probably because ten years ago, I was the guy in Video #2. So focused on church and the Lord.  Big desires to marry a woman. Anything associated with "gay" was a "struggle."  But a lot has changed in ten years.  My faith in the church has dwindled, I refuse to marry a woman, and I'm happy.  Fortunately, I didn't record my story a decade ago and have it forever set in stone on the internet.  I often wonder if any of these single guys or married couples regret sharing their 'voice' to the world. If not now, give them a few years.    

Oh and BTW, the engaged couple appeared on Ellen, and when the one guys puts his hand on the other guy's leg... I just melt.

Monday, September 23, 2013

I got asked out by a guy via email...

After my post on friends, I'm about to drop a bombshell!

As 'far out' as this may seem, the following story really did happen.  Promise!  To protect those involved, I will slightly change some of the details.

Here goes.

I'm out in public a lot with my job.  I meet people through community meetings, public events, etc.  In other words, I don't sit at a desk all day.  (This is one of the reasons I'm so closeted.)

For being so 'out and about.'  It's easy for anyone to contact me.  One could easily get my (real!) email, Twitter, Facebook, etc.  Plus my (real!) name is unique enough, a quick Google search will give you any and all contact info.

One day, I get an email from a guy.  This person had seen me 'out and about' and wanted to get to know me better.  He complimented my looks and personality.  He gave enough details describing myself that everything seemed legit.  He nonchalantly asked if I was gay, and if so, he wanted to "buy me a drink or dinner."

After the first skim-through of the email, I was quite excited.  A guy interested in me?!  This just made my day.. my week..  heck, my year!  A guy asking me out on a date?!  This would be the first, and it felt so nice.

I then read the email a second time, this time more thoroughly.  And it was just too... perfect.  The phrase "if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is" was going through my head.  The excitement quickly went away and I became upset.  I did a search of the email and name on Facebook and Google and got nothing.  Yep.  I was had.

But why?  Who sent me the email?  Was someone trying to out me?  Again, the email was directed to me, thanks to all the details provided within.  (This ain't no Nigerian email scam.)

I wasn't going to let this go.  So I did more research.   I learned awhile back you can take the IP address from the email and (sometimes!) get the sender's location.  I gave that a try.  If the person was local, I could respond, but avoid answering the gay question, for now.  I knew I was being had, so why not turn this into a game?!  

I took the IP address from his email, plugged it in, hit search... And my mouth dropped.

Not only did I get the sender's location, I also was given the employer of said sender.  It basically put a bullseye on him.

(I know these IP searches don't always work, but I am 95% convinced.)

I knew him.   He's a good friend who now lives in another state....  A married friend.....  LDS.....  With a family.

Why?  Why did this friend pretend to be a gay guy and fake ask me out?  Or is my friend really gay and is actually interested?  Or was it a plea for help?  If he is gay, why did he get married 'for time and eternity' to a woman then ask out people like me?  

I never wrote back.  Not his fake identity or his real identity.  If he were single, I'd contact him.  But I can't mess with someone who's married with kids.  If she somehow found out, I could possibly ruin a marriage.

I'm telling this because these are the types of stories that never get told.   I'm telling this because it's been on my mind ever since it's happened, and I've told no one.  It's starting to mess with my head, and I had to get it out in the open.  (Would YOU confront a married guy who was attempting to hide under an alias?  Am I being too overprotective of his wife and kids while he gets away with it?)   I'm tired of reading about all the happy Mormon married stories on the 'net, all while a husband is going behind his wife's back and contacting other guys.  

I do have a message to my friend, if you ever read this:  Contact me by my real email or Facebook.  To answer your question, yes, I'm gay.  Let's talk about it.  I still want to know 'why?'  Why did you make up a fake identity then contact me?  Everyone thinks you have the perfect life and job with a wonderful family.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hi, friend!

Warning.  There is nothing gay about this post.  (I'm allowed to do this, right?!)

I have a friend and whenever we greet each other, she always adds the word 'friend' at the end.

"Hello, friend."

"How are you, friend?"

"Good to see you, friend."

She may not even realize that she does it, but it means the world to me.  I don't need any type of confirmation that we're friends, but I love the fact that she still says it to this day.

I've relied on friends when family wasn't readily available.  I moved to a pretty foreign place after graduating college and fortunately, I made friends that became like family.  When I wasn't able to spend Thanksgiving or Christmas with my [real] family, these friends were right there to be the perfect substitute.  I don't know where I'd be without them.

Now that I have a friend who calls me 'friend,' it's made me realize how fortunate I am to have wonderful friends in my life.   (Let's see how many times I can cram the word 'friend' into one sentence!!)

I'm now trying to share the wealth and telling my friends how important they are in my life.  And you can give it a shot as well.  Next time you greet someone close to you, add the word 'friend' at the end.  See if their face lights up, or if they smile, or possibly even get caught off guard (in a good way.)  Or if you really want to be daring, you could sing 'The Golden Girls' theme song.  THAT I'd love to see.

Have a good week, friend.  

Friday, September 20, 2013

Awkward combination of topics in this post: The Pope, North Star and Affirmation

The Pope seems like a pretty cool guy.  Yesterday, he said the church is too "obsessed" with gays (and other stuff) that actually deters from its mission to be a "home for all."


Yes, Pope Francis still believes homosexual relationships are sinful, yadda, yadda, yadda.  But his words yesterday were kinda refreshing.

Sometimes I wish some LDS members would feel the same way.  The church should focus on being a "home for all."  This all came together in my mind after reading the news stories on the Pope and a NASTY discussion in the North Star Google Group about Affirmation.

Last weekend, Affirmation held their annual conference.  It made big news because ex-NFL QB Steve Young and his wife Barb were the featured speakers.  I did not attend, but read some positive articles online.  I sense it provided some hope for the Moho's and it seems those that left the conference had some nice warm fuzzies.

Someone in the North Star group mentioned the Affirmation Conference and it went downhill from there.  I wish the Original Poster knew that North Star and Affirmation are like oil and water.  (You'd think all gay Mormons would get along.)   The preceding comments were horrible.  One North Star member even said Barb Young is "extremely ignorant of sound fundamental principles."  Ouch.  Someone tried to calm the crowd saying Affirmation provides plenty of good, prevents suicide, provides love for everyone.  But that didn't help.  Hurtful and hateful remarks were thrown at the person trying to back Affirmation.

I'll never understand how people who "live in harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ and the doctrines and values of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" can be so hateful and un-Christlike.

Sadly the discussion on Affirmation is similar to many of the posts on North Star.  Some people need to take the Pope's advice and remember that church is "a home for all."

I have plenty of beef with North Star.  I hate myself for even finding the group.  I plan on writing more on my thoughts and feelings of them.  And since this is MY blog, it's more appropriate to do it here, than try to share my opinion on similar discussion groups.

Ok.  That rant's over.  TGIF everyone.  Have a good weekend.  (Except for that person who reads this post 3 months from now on a Monday and is all WTF?!)


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I'm not very good at this whole gay thing

Hopefully by now, you've picked up that I would be up to dating guys.  I feel my laid-back 'whatever' approach in my writing shows that.

When I finally got over the denial and accepted my sexuality, I made myself two promises:

1) I refuse to stay celibate.
2) I refuse to marry a woman.

Both those go against what I've learned in the church which is why I shared my struggles in my Q&A.

Here's the deal - I have yet to go out on an 'official' date with a guy.  To be honest, the idea of it kinda freaks me out.  (How do I act?  What if someone I know [from church] sees me?  Who pays?)

I've chatted face-to-face with other gay guys (all who happen to be Mormon) and it's mainly been a lot of talking.  Sharing stories and secrets with each other, venting, etc.  No real 'dates.'  And I wasn't ready for dating in my meetings with these guys.

But lately, I've been itchin' to try out the whole gay dating scene.  I prefer to find someone with an LDS background or basically the same values, but unfortunately, I've yet to find someone in this category where I live.

So let's say I do find someone, I'm still freaked out by the date itself.  And I was reminded by this just a couple days ago.

Quick story.   My car was in the shop and had to be kept overnight.  The dealership was out of loaner cars, so I went with Enterprise Rent-a-Car  ("We'll pick you up!")  I was picked up from the dealership (to take me back to Enterprise) by a very tall, attractive girl.  We chatted the whole ride.  We laughed.  We shared life stories.  We had a good time.  We were basically BFF's by the time the ride was over.  Next day.  I am taken back to the dealership by a tall, attractive guy.  Nothing.  Crickets.  We barely said a word except for his forced question of, "So... How was the car?"  The longest ride ever.  It was discouraging.  I'm all ready and excited for the new adventure of dating a guy, and I can barely even talk to this one.  (I feel the Enterprise dude was straight, but that almost seems irrelevant.)  Or should it be relevant?  So confused.

I KNOW I can talk to guys.  Heck, the first gay Mormon I ever met in person, we chatted for 8 hours straight.  But I feel my little rent-a-car experience was a setback.  I WANT to talk to guys.  I just need more practice.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

You know what happens when you assume...

I've always wondered how many people I know personally are gay.

Many years ago, when I realized I wasn't alone, it became a relief to find other gay Mormons online and chat, share stories, and in some instances, meet in person.

But what about the everyday people I see at church?  My social group?  People at the church activities?  There's gotta be a few more Moho's in the crowd, right?!  But they're too afraid, like me, to come out to the world.  Gaydar always seems to go off in Sacrament meeting.  (and yes, even with the married dudes.)    

I've made a few assumptions here and there among friends and acquaintances.  Disclosure: I'm slightly too old to be a YSA, so I'm always surrounded by Single Adults.  This means the assumptions automatically go up.  I've wondered why some friends aren't married yet and my mind shifts to - 'could they be gay?'  In some cases, though, I find out they're divorced.  (But still, that doesn't mean anything in today's world!)  Some folks in the Single Adult crowd have assumed that I'm divorced.  (So basically, there's a whole lotta assuming going on.)  

Sometimes, I wish us Mohos could have these invisible markers that only other gay Mormons could see.  Yellow dot on the forehead, red x on the hand, rainbow mark on the back of the neck.  Just something that shows, "yes, I'm gay too, let's talk about it."  It probably would have made growing up Mormon a whole lot easier.

But it all goes back to being too afraid to say anything.  I may assume someone is gay, but there's no way I would question them or even hint.  A few people from my mission have since come out of the closet and announced their newly formed relationships or engagements on Facebook.  (And surprisingly, the ratio is much higher for the sister missionaries.)  I'll "Like" the status but just can't come to terms to confessing that I'm gay as well.  (I have told one person from my mission.  He is one of the 'fewer than 10.'  He approached me first, we chatted, and I ended up coming out to him.)  It was a relief, but a little exhausting at the same time.  

So for now, the assumptions will continue.  And I'll keep looking for those dots, X's, or rainbows.  :)  


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Being gay? Ain't nobody got time for that!

As I mentioned earlier, less than 10 people know about my sexuality.  (Well, I have actually told less than 10 people.)  The main reaction is usually, "Why?!"  They wonder how I've kept this secret for so long without going crazy.  A few reasons I've thought of...

A lot of it had to do with denial.  'Me? Gay? Never!'  (maybe just a little bi.)  I felt if I stayed a good Mormon boy, everything would take care of itself, I'd fall in love with a beautiful woman, have lots of babies, and we live happily ever after.  I forced myself to date and like girls.  I refused to label myself as gay.

Another way I never went crazy was I stayed busy.  Always busy.  During high school, I stayed active (not so much on the sports side, but more the academic side) and I had a part-time job in the evening.  The more time I was doing stuff, the less I had to worry or even think about my sexuality.  The busy-body mentality continued through college with my two part-time jobs and classes.  'Drowning my sorrows for being gay: Ain't nobody got time for that!'  (Sorry, I just had to squeeze in that famous phrase somewhere!)  It was after college when I really got my career started, that I felt tired.  The denial was slipping away, I actually had MORE free time during that first 'real' job.  I accepted (finally) that I was gay and I made a choice on how to live my life.  And life is good.

Last reason for not going crazy.  I stayed happy.  I think this was the key.  I didn't let the denial or exhaustion ruin my mood.  

I'm sorry if these paragraphs sound like all the other gay Mormons' lives and I'm totally boring you.  I feel I need to throw out a little background before I talk about my present day thoughts and feelings.

Ok...  Changing the subject.  (I probably should just end the post now and do this another day, but it's been on my mind.)

A habit of mine (and I'm sure other people do this) is when I see a blog post, I'll scroll down to see how many comments there are, and that determines just how 'juicy' the post really is.  Well, I hope to get a comment or two with this little thought I had today.  (Not for the comment count, because I really am curious to read your opinion!)

When were you taught that being gay was bad?    (Let me clarify, that I 100% no longer believe this.  I accept and love who I am and think the whole gay thing is a blessing, albeit all the challenges.)   Gay is good.

I extend the question because I can't answer it!  And now I feel like a jerk.  :)  When did the negative connotations of homosexuality reach my brain?  Was it in elementary school?  Did it come from all the priesthood interviews or church talks?  Did it come from friends who talked bad about gay people?  Was it the media?  Or is it all of the above?!  While I can explain the denial and the busyness, I can't explain when or how being gay got such a bad rap.  I know there are few readers here (one more post and I'll add myself to the Moho Directory) but I hope I can learn a few things from your responses.

(I use parentheses way too much.)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

That one time I called Jonathan Knight cute... or was it Jordan?

I can't remember what I had for dinner last night, yet this story is still quite vivid in my mind.  I don't think I'll ever forget it.  It happened during elementary school.  New Kids on the Block was THE band.  The One Direction of the late 80s.  "The Right Stuff" is now going through my head.  It was also the time for jean jackets.  A cool thing for the girls was to have bright, colorful pins on the jacket.  You were just the bomb diggity if you had these pins attached to your clothing.

I remember one girl came to school with a new set of pins - one for each member of New Kids.  During recess, all the girls were ogling over each member of the band commenting on their hotness.  Well, I wanted to play this game!  I joined in, pointed at Jonathan (or Jordan) Knight and said, "He's cute."  Oops.  Big mistake.

It was the first time I had heard the word "gay."  Why am I being called "gay?"  Was does this "gay" mean?   It wasn't the best feeling in the world, so I knew I did something wrong.  So I kept it quiet.  For years.  Along the way, I'll learn (probably in church) that being gay IS wrong.  So I kept it quiet.  For years.  Never told a single soul.

It's funny (and ironic?) I still remember this story so many years later.  It was the moment I knew I was different - and I had a long road ahead of me.  And it all started with Jonathan freakin' Knight.. or Jordan.  (I'd like to THINK it was Jonathan, since he's the gay one, and my gaydar was in full swing at such a young age.)  :)  

While the road of life was long, it wasn't horrible.  I wasn't bullied (except for a few rough patches in Junior High, but who wasn't made fun of in the 7th grade?!) And I've never thought about suicide.  Life, for the most part, has been good and I'm extremely blessed.  However, I now read about others' experiences of being bullied and suicidal thoughts, and my heart breaks.  I really wish I could reach out in anyway possible and help those going through difficult times.  Please contact me if you need to.

Sheesh.  I was hoping this blog could be a nice, organized timeline, but I jumped from elementary school to the present in just a few paragraphs.  Maybe by the 4th or 5th blog post I'll have this all figured out.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Who is GMS?

I think I'm definitely in the Honeymoon stage of blogging. I have so much in my mind, I want to get it all out there and blog, blog, blog.  I'm sure in a couple weeks, it'll all die down.  But I'll do my best to keep a good rhythm.

Ok.  Q&A time.  As I've mentioned in blog numero uno, I enjoy reading the stories and experiences of other gay Mormons.  But I appreciate it even more when I feel like I know the person.  So here are some typical ice breaker facts to pass along.

If I end an answer with "FBP," look for a Future Blog Post on that particular topic.  (So in essence, I'm preparing my own Table of Contents with this Q&A)

Were you 'born this way'?

When did you first realize you were gay?
In elementary school when I was called gay after calling another guy cute.  FBP

What was junior high and high school like?
Junior High was that typical awkward stage, but I loved high school.  Had a good balance of friends, church, family and work.

Did you serve a mission?

How was life post-mission?  
Good.  Still kept that good balance of friends and school.

What about the gay thing?
I was still in denial even through college.  I didn't want to call myself gay and still had hopes I would wake up straight one day.   FBP

When did you finally accept yourself as gay?
Not until my first job outside of college.  I got tired of the denial and knew I wasn't going to change.  I actually became a happier person because of it.  FBP

How many people who know you face to face know you're gay?
I hate to say it - but very few.  Less than 10.   FBP

Were you good at hiding it?  
I actually think I was.  I dated a lot of girls and felt I fooled a lot of people.  As I get older though, I'm sure there are plenty of suspicions.  If I came out today, I'm sure most won't be surprised.  FBP

Any family know?
Nope.  (I haven't admitted it. Again, I'm sure there are suspicions.)

You've accepted yourself as gay.  You're also Mormon.  How are the two together? 
It sucks.   FBP

What's your biggest qualm of being gay and Mormon?
I hate how divided all the gay Mormons are.  (The North Star/Evergreen crowd vs. The Affirmation/Mormons Building Bridges crowd)   FBP

Are you active in the church?
I go, but not sure why.  It's become a lot more difficult in the past couple months.  I go mainly for social/cultural reasons.

What advice do you have for other gay Mormons?
Never marry a woman.   FBP

Ever dated a guy?

Guy crush?
Top 2 - Josh Duhamel & Jenson Ackles

You love your Mormon bloggers.  Who are your favorites?  
I love 'em all.  (Well, almost all) But a few that I enjoy -- Gay Mormon PioneerBroken LightsIn Search of Acceptance, and then the compilation of bloggers at No More Strangers

Any reason?
Their writing styles.. I can relate..  I feel like I know them..  I want to give them all big hugs..

Any more questions from the group?!

That was longer that I expected.  Again - it's the Honeymoon stage.  :)

Next Blog Post - That moment in elementary school I knew I was different.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Choose the Left

I know what you're thinking.  'Not another Gay Mormon blog.'

I'm probably thinking the same thing.  Why am I doing this?  Good question.

To be perfectly honest, blogs like these have really helped me out over the years.  I feel like it's my turn to share knowledge to the next generation of Gay Mormons.

I look forward to sharing my story, my experiences, and life in general.  I was lost when it came to reconciling my faith and sexuality, but since then I've developed quite the opinion.

As you probably figured out by the title, not only am I gay, but also left-handed.  (Which means I'll be double cursed to hell.)  Kidding.

I look forward to communicating and discussing things with you - the reader.  I've made it easy.  Email is and Twitter is @GayLDSSouthpaw.  (So much for consistency; my blog title is "Too Long" for Twitter.)   If you're reading this, you're most likely gay and Mormon so I know what you're going through.  I'm here for you anytime.

And so it begins.  'Another' Gay Mormon blog.  Happy to be here.

NEXT BLOG:  GMS Q&A  (I'll write and answer my own questions; feel free to submit any if you'd like)