Sunday, December 28, 2014

I'm not sure how I feel about this...

Nice arms, boys.
Hello again. Yes, it's been awhile. Take any excuse in the book and that could be used for my lack of writing. For all you Moho's out there, I hope this blog provides answers and support. You are the push I need to keep my story active.

I'm still amazed at the dozens of folks who end up on this blog looking for info on Tom Christofferson. (Seriously, D. Todd, you should really write an Ensign article or conference talk on your brother.)

Ok, now to the purpose of this post. I'm sure you've heard about the upcoming TLC reality show, "My Husband's Not Gay."  When the news articles started popping up, I was actually spending Christmas vacation with my family. I would have shared my thoughts sooner, but wasn't too keen on the idea of updating my anonymous blog with family members in the next room. :)

To sum up the show, three married couples and one single guy share their stories. The guys (all LDS) are attracted to men, but still marry/date women. I watched the trailer, and while cringing, I recognized the married guys from their Voices of Hope videos. They are also big North Star advocates, while I am the complete opposite.

I read the articles and comments that followed and really disliked the fact that these guys get a platform to share their story. I hate that these stories will be used by the parents of younger gay Mormons ("These guys can marry women, why can't you?!"). It's sad you never hear about the marriages that DO fail in the mass media. It's sad you never hear about the married men who sneak behind their wives backs and mess around. The Mixed Orientation Marriages get all the attention and support from the hardcore Mormons, and it's always rubbed me the wrong way as most MOM's end in divorce.  I've told myself that I could never marry a woman because it would be selfish. It's not fair to her as I'd never be 100% attracted to her.

But then I had an epiphany of sorts. As I started to accept myself as a gay man years ago, I became more accepting of others. I wanted to help, support, hug, etc. others going through the same thing. That led to me become more accepting of people with different beliefs, different political affiliations, just different people in general. (Basically the less Mormon I am, the more accepting and compassionate I become!) So shouldn't I accept these people who are gay (or 'obviously' bi) and choose to marry a woman? If they're happy, shouldn't I be happy? That's my dilemma. I'm single, never been married, so I can't really speak my opinion from experience. My good blogger friend, Dad's Primal Scream CAN speak from experience and has definitely expressed those views in his last blog post. (He does make some great points, by the way.) So I'm obviously on the fence about my feelings of the latest reality stars.

Now, my main question is: Why? Why would these 7 people share their story on the same network that brought you "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo."  These 7 people will be mocked and laughed at for years to come, and their poor kids will be brought into the mess. The show will likely affect future job opportunities for all involved.

I did some research and found the three married men participated in Journey into Manhood by the organization "People Can Change." I've got the North Star Message Board posts to back that up. JIM is for "men who are self-motivated and serious about resolving unwanted homosexual attractions." Ok, I said I am more accepting of a lot of things these days, but I have a hard time agreeing with this retreat! Man, I'm all over the place with this post. I'm rusty since it's been so long! 

So this brings me to one thought as to why these folks are doing the show -- Could these couples be indirectly promoting the money-making People Can Change organization?! Could the couples get some commission for new referrals?! I know it's a stretch, but this is how I think! The publicity has already worked - their Voices of Hope videos have some of the highest views (which doesn't say much) but I know there are gay Mormons who still want to marry women - and combine the reality show and the JIM retreat, and these couples are bound to get some followers.

Why else would 7 people agree to do this show that's humiliating to the LDS Church, and hasn't even aired yet? Please, enlighten me! 

And since I'm all over the place with this post - I really liked this interview with Wendy Williams Montgomery. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Southpaw's one year birthday, Google searches, and Tom C (again)

Twitter sent an email wishing me a Happy Twitterversary.  I started the Twitter handle right when I started the blog and sure enough, my first blog post was about one year ago. (Time flies!) It's been a great year and I've met some awesome people. My only regret is that I feel I was negative a bit too much. If you knew me in person, I'm not so much a Negative Nancy. Thank you for all your comments and personal emails over the past year. Here's to another fun-filled 52 weeks!

Now onto today's topic at hand -- Google searches.

First, a little background. I love random data and stats. (Which is surprising, since I got a horrible grade in Statistics when I took it in college.) I enjoy reading about which movie did the best at the box office, which TV show was the most watched for the week, and glancing at the New York Times Best Sellers List.

So, I became very excited with all the data and stats you're given as the author of a blog - including how people found my blog using a search engine. In the past year, most of the searches include "Gay Mormon" in some form or another, but lately, I've noticed an interesting trend. Here are some search terms that have led people to Gay Mormon Southpaw (and some were used more than once):

tom christofferson gay
todd christofferson brother
D. Todd Christofferson gay brother
tom christofferson 
Tom Christofferson gay LDS
picture of tom christofferson brother
Tom christofferson north star
tom christofferson boyfriend 
d. todd christofferson brother gay
elder d todd christophersons brother 
elder chrisofferson's brother is gay 

Yep, seems like a lot of people are curious about Tom Christofferson, the gay brother of Elder D. Todd Christofferson. I have no idea who is typing in these search terms. It could be a closeted gay Mormon who heard through the grapevine that an apostle has a gay brother. Or it could be a bunch of straight people looking for the same info. There's no way to know who these people are. But what does that tell me?  People Google stuff like this when there's a lack of knowledge among organizations, and are looking for some sort of confirmation.

So if the higher-ups from the church are reading this, maybe you should let Elder Christofferson talk about his brother in the next General Conference. I'm sure it would mean a lot. I would definitely be listening.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ouch. Right in the feels.

I don't know the history behind this. But a recent pic on PostSecret brought back a range of emotions.

I hope the person that mailed in this postcard soon realizes he can be happy and normal AND gay all at the same time.

This may be a good time to those holding on to the secret like the one above to reach out. I'm here (contact form on the right) and there are a multitude of gay Mormon bloggers here to chat it all out. Please don't be afraid to ask for help/guidance/support.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

I need a break.

I need a break.

I need a break from church in general.

I need a break from LDS friends who make snide comments about homosexuals; who find the thought of two men falling in love as "disgusting."

I need a break from trying so hard to be loved by members of the church, when I get more compassion and empathy from people who are no longer Mormon.

I need a break from family members who 'still' ask me when I'm going to get married.

I need a break from worrying so much about the wellbeing of Single Adults in my stake. Some are just plain crazy and need professional help; not just a priesthood blessing.

I need a break from church leaders who give the evil eye when I decide to stay at church for just one of the three hours.

I need a break from following (and obsessing over) the lives of a certain group of gay Mormons. Especially the ones who I apparently make "look bad...."

... and the ones who put gay folks into the same category as Hitler.

I. Need. A. Break.

.......and I need a break from writing about so much negative stuff. :) So, here's a pic of Chris Pratt. Ain't he pretty?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

If this Reddit post from BYU-Idaho is true, then I'm sad

I admit it. I'm a Reddit addict. If there's ever a slow moment at work, I can glance at the front page of Reddit and get a kick out of a cute puppy, funny gif, or random news story.

I feel 'cool' knowing the Reddit lingo such as "TIL" ("Today I Learned...") and "TL;DR" ("Too long; didn't read") and "AMA" ("Ask Me Anything.")  

But a recent posting to the LDS subreddit has me a little worried. Here's the full post. It's written by a student at BYU-Idaho. I've copied and pasted the poster's TL;DR (summary) below:

"I am a member with SSA who meets with a group of other men who have SSA as well, support group. We do not teach anything contrary to the Gospel -- the purpose of the group is to strengthen our commitment to living Gospel standards. The group has been around for a couple of years but with the new stake president and area seventy, we have been told to stop our group, not allowed to meet in any church building in the stake anymore, and effectively told us to "Seek counsel from ecclesiastical leaders, not support groups". But it's hard because most of us have a hard time relating to straight priesthood leaders about our SSA."

If this is all true - then I'm angry. I can't believe the leaders are basically shutting down the gay support group. If you read the post, the student says the sudden uptick with women and the priesthood and gay marriage are the main causes for the shutdown. I feel sorry for the student who made the post and for the rest of the group. They're young, confused and just need some help. It bugs me that they're being told to "seek counsel from ecclesiastical leaders."  Yep, a gay 18-year-old male should talk to his 40-year-old straight & married bishop for guidance. He'll have ALL the answers. (sarcasm)

Now, personally, I'm not the biggest fan of support groups, and I've made that very clear. But as I mentioned above, these kids are young. (I was older when I went looking for help.) This may be the first time they've opened up about their sexuality, and they need that camaraderie with those who share similar experiences. This support group is that first step before they all start to plan out their future. If you checked in with the group's members 10 years from now, I'm sure half are sticking with the celibacy/mixed-orientation marriage route and the other half found a cute boyfriend/partner after graduating. But no matter what they do 10 years from now, they NEED to talk about it NOW. Discuss sexuality and life, all in a SAFE place. And a bunch of church leaders want to take all this away. I don't get it.  

In reading the comments in the Reddit post, other folks have given advice on what to do. I hope something can be done to change the leaders' minds. There are times when I think the church is moving forward when it comes to gay members, but stuff like this just puts us two steps back.    

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Is Tom Christofferson a game changer?

UPDATE on 8-6-15 -- Since this is, by far, the most read post on my blog, I feel the need to add this -- I've heard through the grapevine that Tom is no longer with his partner and is currently working on rebaptism to the church. This blog post he wrote doesn't directly confirm this, but gives details here and there. When asked on the Mormons Building Bridges Facebook page if Tom is still with his partner, Kendall Wilcox of Far Between said: "Tom has not shared all the details of how his relationship with his partner has evolved so respect and circumspection in speculating about the nature of the "break-up" is best advised." 


I'm surprised this hasn't been discussed more on the blogosphere. Either I'm thinking too much about the topic or the Moho Blogging Scene is slowly dying. (I really hope it's not the later.)

First, this is nothing new: gay Mormons who 100% want to stick with the gospel and its doctrine have two choices.

1. Remain single.
2. Marry someone of the opposite sex.

I refuse to follow those two, so I'm obviously not 100% in accordance. But many gay Mormons/SSA'ers are.

What I'm trying to get to - I was surprised (in a good way) that Elder D. Todd Christofferson's brother, Tom, was invited to speak at the recent North Star conference.  Y'all already know how I feel about North Star, so need to elaborate on the organization.

Tom has quite a story and currently lives with his partner Clarke in Connecticut. For more backstory, here's a talk he gave earlier this year in Arizona.  But wait, North Star folks are 100% in accordance with the church doctrine and Tom doesn't comply with the above two choices.

Does Tom's story bring on a third possibility?

3. Be in a same-sex relationship but still be active in the church.

I'm seriously curious because I haven't seen much response and reaction post-conference. All the media attention happened before the conference, and most of the spotlight was put on Tom (who wasn't even a main speaker.)

I've met, both in-person and in online forums, those who in no way would seek out a same-sex relationship, but does Tom's story change things?  Does it give more hope?

Could it be that North Star is softening their stance?  (The conspiracy theorist in me thinks North Star is losing members so they are exploring all options, rather than being so strict in accepting only those who follow the first two qualifications.)  I started to think they were softening their stance, but then they put out stupid stuff like this, and I change my mind. 

Whatever the reason to bring in Tom, I think it's a step in the right direction. It removes some of the guilt and shame some gay Mormons carry.  It shows we don't HAVE to be lonely.  It's nice to know that there are more than two options, and possibly be accepted by friends and family if remaining single or marrying someone of the opposite sex is not your forte.

Next thing we know, Ty Mansfield will speak out FOR gay marriage!  (Ok, ok, I guess we shouldn't go THAT far.)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How the game show "Double Dare" became one of the first signs I was gay.

I've decided there are plenty of Kate Kelly/ John Dehlin/ excommunication posts on the Internet right now, so I choose to refrain to make any extra comments.  :-)  Plus this blog post topic came to me before all this stuff went down.

It's funny what triggers memories from your childhood. The other day I noticed a link to a YouTube vid that features a compilation of Double Dare prizes. 10 and a half minutes of Double Dare prizes.

Go ahead and watch.  I'll wait.

Now,  I LOVED Double Dare/Family Double Dare as a kid so I was excited to check out this video and have a nice (long) dose of the good 'ole days. I'm aging myself, but the shows were on the air from 1986-1993, which puts me in elementary school during its original run.  (And I know for a fact that some of my readers weren't even born yet!)

Ok, I'm rambling. As I was watching this video at work, the 0:17 mark brought on a rush of memories and emotions.  Whoa.  The guy. The male model. The prize presenter. I don't know exactly what to call him, but I know as a kid, I was fascinated by this guy.  Those stonewashed jeans. That hair. Those rolled up sleeves.  He wasn't the ONLY reason I watched the show, but he was definitely the icing on the cake.  Fast forward to today, I realize I had a massive crush on this guy from Double Dare who was only seen for seconds at a time. Even at only 8 years old, there were signs that I was gay. (I just didn't realize it back then.)

I kept watching the video, and the more I watched, the more I realized I was enamored with this guy.  I mean, look at the way he shows off the video camera at 3:25 and that stance next to the bike at 10:44. These clips are from over 20 years ago, but I vividly remember these prizes he showed off.

Double Dare guy was the first of many guy crushes.  :)  If only life were still simple when I was an 8-year-old.

BTW, I have NO idea the name of this guy. Can anyone help?   (Google didn't provide much luck.) I do know the girl's name was Robin.  I wonder what the mystery guy looks like today.

I'm sure he won't be the same without the stonewashed jeans.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Dreams can come true?

A couple months ago, I stopped taking a vitamin supplement because it gave me the weirdest dreams. Nothing too scandalous but the issue was how vivid they were. I remember extremely minor details the next morning.  It freaked me out.

Recently, I've been having another round of memorable dreams without being on the supplement. This round involves guy friends. Again, nothing too scandalous but still quite vivid. The dreams include random guy friends from past and present, gay and straight. (And sometimes a stubbly Joel McHale will randomly show up.) My dreams consist of hanging out, flirting, some turn into a semi-romantic relationship, I'm almost always happy. Many people would jump on a dream interpretation site for clues and how to relate to real life. But I think I've interpreted the dreams myself without any guidance. I feel I'm so lonely being a closeted gay man that I have to build these fantasies in my mind. I've struck out when it comes to relationships (note: haven't really tried) that the dreams fulfil that want/need for attention and affection.  

The key word in the above paragraph is "closeted." Over the years, I've reached out to many other gay Mormons, and many gay Mormons have reached out to me. Those that are 'out,' always ask me the same question: "Why are you still in the closet?" And most don't beat around the bush, they ask the question quite bluntly. I usually throw out a few excuses as a response and change the subject. All while those still in the closet seem to "get" me. The loneliness is directly correlated to me being so closeted. There are days that I'm totally ready to be out and proud, then someone close to me makes a homophobic remark, and I get pushed right back in.  

I've pulled off the closet pretty well that sometimes, I wish I could get caught!!! On the couple 'dates' I've gone on with guys, I halfway wished I would see a friend or family member causing some 'splaining to do. But nope, just the other day the wife of the second counselor in the Bishopric tried to set me up with her sister.  Argh.  (The most recent 'nearly caught' was when I showed my Home Teacher my new phone and my blog popped up. Nothing earth shattering.) In fact, I'm so close to just typing my real name right here --------. I have a unique enough name I'd be easy to find.  But not yet.    

While I absoultely love my gay Mormon penpals and wouldn't give them up for anything, the distance between us is a depressing truth. (Quick reminder: I don't live in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona or California.) I could chat and email for hours til my fingers fall off, but at the end of the day, I still feel so lonely. And I continue to seek out this dream of being in a relationship; to be loved.  

In light of all this - I've tried something new as I hope to eventually leave the closet behind and squash the loneliness. I've reached out to someone in my city who used to be LDS. I 'found' him after reading a blog post of his that had to do with gays and Mormons, discovered he lived close and sent him an email - we've emailed back and forth a couple times. I like that he's an ex-Mormon with little ill will towards the church. (I think.) I mainly wanted to know where I could start finding gay friends who have similar backgrounds.  If I can't find other gay Mormons in my town, let's broaden the search a bit.

We'll see where that goes.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

"But, I have friends that are gay," and other things that make my skin crawl.

Well, hello there. It's been awhile. Sorry for falling off the face of the earth for a bit. I've been busy with other stuff (good, positive stuff) and put the whole blogging thing on the backburner.

This is my first post since the little North Star rant. (Holy cow, has it really been more than 3 months?!) And I want to first thank those who contacted me privately and left comments. I had never felt so nervous to publish a post, but when the comments started rolling in, I felt a sense of peace.  (BTW, anyone going to the conference?!?!)

Speaking of rants and since it's been so long since I've blogged, I have a few things all bottled up. So this post is all about stuff that bugs me. (I mean, isn't that why we all blog - to bitch and moan?!) Some local TV stations have a "What's bugging you?" segment and I thought I'd answer that question.

As a gay Mormon who's also a proponent of equal rights, I'm easily bugged.  All I need is a quick glance at the comments on my Facebook feed from the extremely conservative/anti-gay so-called friends and that's when I catch myself doing an eye roll.  (The reason for the abundance of Mitch from Modern Family.)

In keeping with my love of lists - here's what's bugging me:

  • When gay people discriminate against other gay people. To this day, I still don't get it. 
  • When people use the line, "I have gay friends." *Cue the eye roll again.* The line is used as a buffer before laying on, "love the sinner, hate the sin" mentality.  I see this line, but interpret as "You're still going to hell anyways."  
  • When people try to take a stance by simply posting the Family Proclamation. It always seems to conveniently pop up whenever the gays are in the news.  
  • When people say "the gospel will never change." Yet, blacks, polygamy, etc.  
  • When those "struggling with SSA" pull the justification card.  
Let me get out of list mode for a sec as I explain the justification.  I've noticed that many SSA'ers will use this as a coping mechanism to help them overcome their attraction to the same sex.  In other words, they'll justify what they're doing as a method of improving their lives. (when in turn, it makes no sense to me.)  Here are some real justification examples I've witnessed among the North Star "support" groups.  (I ain't making this stuff up!)  OK, back to list mode.

  • It's OK for me to cuddle with another guy because the more I do it, the less sexual it becomes and the more it turns into "healthy touch."
  • It's OK for me to skinny dip with other guys because it helps me forget about my attractions to men.
  • It's OK for me to sleep in the same bed with another guy because it improves male bonding.  
  • It's OK for me as an older gay guy to spend time with younger gay guys because I'm happily married to a woman - and what I'm doing is completely harmless.   
  • It's OK for me to be celibate in this life because everything will work out in the afterlife.  
  • It's OK for me to be a scout leader because I am simply "struggling with SSA" and married to a woman. 
The last point is actually the main reason for this post. It bugs me to no end that the Boy Scouts pulled a church's charter because there's an openly gay scoutmaster, yet there are many men in the LDS Church with "SSA" who can still serve with scouts and in other callings.  It's not fair to the openly gay folks.  Whether you're SSA or openly gay, you're still attracted to men. I personally think the Scouts should change their policy and allow openly gay leaders, but again, it goes back to the fact that those with SSA can get away with it. And that doesn't make me happy.  

So that's what's bugging me.  What's bugging you?!  

Phew. It's good to be back and vent! I should do this more often. 


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

How a gay Mormon "support" group really screwed me up

Happy New Year! Everybody surviving the polar vortex?!

I'm not too thrilled starting off the new year with this post, but feel the time is right. With all the media coverage of North Star here, here, here, here, and here, it's time for me to throw in my two cents.

I'm actually quite nervous to publish this.  I fear offending someone or hurting someone's feelings. But this is my true story and experience of North Star.  And in all honesty, it was this offensive article that pushed me over the edge and gave me the desire to publish my story. (EDIT: The article has since been deleted, but thanks to the Internet Archive, here you go.) To help me with my nervous feelings, I'll provide some suggestions later on if you're contemplating in joining the group.  Here goes.    

Going through life as a gay Mormon, I've had many stages.  There's the denial stage, the maybe-I'm-gay-but-too-busy-to-do-anything-about-it stage, the gay-but-confused stage, and the gay-and-happy stage. Right at this very moment, I'm happy, content, and loving life.  But it took awhile to 'get happy.'

Years ago, at the moment I got rid of the denial and accepted my sexuality, I felt the need to find support. I can't be the only gay Mormon out there. And North Star was the go-to spot. (They were the ones who popped up in a simple Google search - gotta give credit to their SEO person.)

For those that don't know, North Star is "a place of community for Latter-day Saints dealing with issues surrounding homosexual attraction and gender identity who desire to live in harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ and the doctrines and values of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."  There are discussion groups on Facebook and Google. They also hold scheduled firesides and they're planning their first conference later this year. North Star's brother is Voices of Hope, a "growing repository of video and written essays by [LDS] who experience same-sex attraction..."

Now, I'm the type of guy who reads the comments in Amazon before reading the product description provided by the manufacturer. So, I headed straight for some sort of discussion group before dissecting all the informational pages within North Star. After agreeing to about 10 questions, and writing a short paragraph, I was in. Awesome. I was about to meet other gay Mormons out there and go through life together, confusion and all.

The excitement quickly disappeared after getting a taste of the discussion topics. If you were to record my initial reactions, they would consist of:

"Why is everyone here so depressed?"
"Why are people here so homophobic?"
"I can't believe how many of these guys' girlfriends and wives don't know they're gay."
"Why are so many people contemplating suicide?"
"Why are so many people encouraging me to marry a woman?"
"Why are so many people touting this Journey Into Manhood program?"
"I'm really getting tired of people saying they "struggle with same-sex attraction."
"Why is there so much hate towards guys who 'live the gay lifestyle?'"
"Why is there so much discrimination?"
"Your definition of 'healthy physical touch' sounds a lot like spooning."

It was awful. And made me even more confused. I just came in contact with a bunch of self-loathing, judgmental people (who I thought I could relate to.)  I'm gay, these guys are gay, why do we disagree on so much? I'm OK with dating a guy, these North Star guys are not.

This is when the real depression set in. Am I bad person? These guys are so set in the gospel, and I disagree with their viewpoints.  Am I the one in the wrong? Am I broken?!  I was always taught to love everyone and not judge (thank you, parents.) So why do I sense so much hate, resentment, and bullying from these guys trying to live the gospel? Up to this point, I finally got to the point of accepting my sexuality, but was pushed backwards. It was definitely the most depressing time in my life - all thanks to a "support" group. For the first time, I felt like I didn't belong in my own church anymore.

I've compared North Star to a bad accident on the side of the road. You want to ignore it and keep going, but I always went back and looked - I always read and observed the discussion topics, becoming way too involved in the guys' lives. I couldn't let go. I wanted to disagree with the points being made among members, but you would immediately be pounced on by a moderator and risk being kicked out of the group if you veered away from anything non-gospel related.

It got worse. I HATE how much pressure there is for the single guys to date women and eventually get married. Celibacy is accepted, but basically frowned upon. Outside of North Star, I've never met a married gay man who recommends a Moho marrying someone of the opposite sex. I fear many of these guys are developing a false hope that some day soon they'll be married to a beautiful woman.

I now needed support to recover from the support group.  :) Back to Google, I had to feel some kind of normalcy and find others who had disastrous results with North Star. (Were there any?!)  And I found what I was searching for. The article by Dad's Primal Scream summed up all my feelings. In my continued search for other gay Mormons against North Star, I found them. Turns out, there's an underground group of guys whose lives were also screwed up by North Star. Through chats and emails, I returned to that normalcy. I came to the conclusion that I'm NOT a bad person. And it's OK to be set in my ways of refusing to be alone all my life and refusing to marry a woman. I felt like a typical Mormon again.  (But still gay!)

There may be some folks out there that could really use North Star. I've read testimonials that the group 'prevented' them from suicide. (I would really like to hear stories of HOW North Star prevents suicide.)  So in keeping with my habit of short, random thoughts, and with my anti-suicide attitude, I have some tips if you're thinking about turning to North Star for support.

  • If you are prone to change your mind on everyday topics, North Star is probably not the best place for you.
  • If you feel all homosexual relationships are a sin, North Star may be a good starting point. 
  • You must absolutely, positively, 110% believe the church is true and can either look past the horrible things leaders have said about homosexuals, or be a darn good apologist.
  • You can be 'for' gay marriage, but don't tell anyone.
  • If you decide to pursue a relationship with someone of the same sex, be prepared to be dropped like a rock.  You will be judged.  
  • There 'ARE' cuddle parties.
  • The moderators are ALWAYS right.
  • If you ask a question relating to sexuality, your answer will likely be random scriptures or quotes from church leaders. It can be VERY annoying.
  • Remember, the big guns in North Star are PAID to tell you homosexual relationships are a sin.  (Many are therapists and their job is to help folks get rid of "unwanted homosexual attraction.") 
  • The North Star folks like to get together and do stuff. I asked a guy heavily involved in North Star if getting a bunch of sexually repressed guys together was a recipe for disaster. His response was, "Yes, but...." I don't remember what he said after the 'but' because it's irrelevant.
  • One of the creepier points I still don't get -- many of the older married guys will try to befriend the younger dudes. There's absoultely no reason for a married man to chat about sexuality with a younger guy. Again - it's a recipe for disaster.  Please only communicate with guys similar in age and experiences.  
  • Read over the descriptions of North Star, Affirmation, and Mormons Building Bridges to guide you in your search for support.  

For those who want to film or write an essay for Voices of Hope, I hope you will seriously think and contemplate this action. Will you have the exact same thoughts a year from now? 5 years? 10 years? As your thought process changes, do you really want your testimonial online for everyone to see? And as we've learned with Josh Weed, once it's on the Internet, it never goes away. Within the last week, one 'Voice' has disappeared from the website. Did his outlook change only months after the video was published? ... Will your video affect future employment opportunities, etc? Not because you're gay, but because you're directly associated with some controversial folks. (Mansfield, Bennion, Matheson, etc.)  Will you be seen as fanatically conservative because of the association and a possible risk?

I honestly feel North Star and Voices of Hope will fizzle away as the world becomes more accepting of gay folks and marriage equality. In my opinion, North Star does more harm than good. Once others start realizing this and tell "their story," the ruined reputation will lead more to this fizzling.

I personally know folks active in North Star, and I personally know folks who left the group. Those who left are so much happier and have an amazing outlook on life. They have this special glow to them.  At the same time, I see some really good guys still in North Star. I wish I could help them, give them a big hug, and offer the obligatory cliche, "It gets better." (It really does!)

In conclusion, (this is turning into a term paper!) are support groups really necessary?  My biggest support comes from gay Mormon penpals! Some I've been in contact with for 2 years.  Weekly emails, texts, phone calls, check-ins.  We keep an eye out for each other, and it's the best support I can get. And we don't ONLY talk about gay stuff, so much more make up our lives besides sexuality. It's these penpals that make me happy.  And since I've started this blog, I've added a few other wonderful penpals and blogging friends. (I'm afraid to list the blogs, for fear I'll forget someone!!)  

I'm breaking one of my rules of keeping things simple. But I wanted to get all my thoughts out there at once. I would love to hear your North Star stories - good and bad - in the comment section. You can even submit them anonymously using the contact form, and with your permission, I'll publish them.

I'll try to be less serious and more funny in my next post.  :)

Stay warm.