Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Cafeteria gay Mormons have it the hardest

I've been thinking the last couple days and developed this opinion. The topics I'm about to bring up are all my thoughts, and you're free to disagree! And since I'm such a nice guy, I am capable of swaying my opinion with the right arguments.

Here goes.

When it comes to confusion, wasted time, depression, and overall difficulty, I believe that the cafeteria gay Mormons have it the hardest.

Before you throw your tomatoes, let me try and explain.

As I've already discussed the different types of gay Mormons, I feel the need to point out the different type of Mormons. The two main categories I can identify with are:

TBM - or True-Believing Mormon 
Church is 100% true
You go to church every week, participate, honor your callings, etc.
Growing up, I never really had many TBM friends. The ones on my mission, I struggled to get along with.
Oh, and I know you are a TBM if  you have a picture of a temple or some GA's quote on your Facebook timeline. (This is somewhat of a joke; I'm not trying to be rude!) :)

Cafeteria Mormons
Believe in the church to an extent, but realize there are issues with church history, etc.
Pick and choose what commandments/church rules you follow.
Personally, I've always prefered to befriend these slightly more liberal Mormons. I feel more comfortable around them.

(There are also New Order Mormons, Jack Mormons, and probably a bunch of other little subgroups.) 

Now my explanation:

I want to focus on the "wasted time" issue. In my 20's, I was always on the fence of staying with the church or leaving it to pursue a gay relationship. Early on, I wanted to remain active. I spent many years trying to be a good guy, albeit never a TBM, and thought that if I sailed by performing my callings, serving a mission, being a good example, that someday I'd wake up straight and live happily ever after with my wife and 2.5 kids. But I've never been strict on myself when it comes to keeping the Sabbath Day holy or even the Word of Wisdom. I was the first to complain about all those meetings before AND after church.

Once I figured out that I would never wake up straight, having this 'cafeteria' attitude meant that I started to believe that gay relationships were OK, even though the church was against it. TBM's hated me because I was living in sin. Gay TBM's hated me because I was a bad example.

I wasted at least 10 years because I was a cafeteria Mormon. The constant back and forth/picking and choosing makes me want to pull my hair out! If I had jumped ship early on, my life would be much different, and probably happier.

TBM's who happen to be gay see their homosexuality or "SSA" as a trial, something they'll overcome either in this life or the next. There was never a fence. They're not "wasting time" like I am, because they made the promise to follow the commandments and guidelines of the church. They've accepted the fact that they'll either remain celibate, or if things work out, they'll marry someone of the opposite sex. Yes, many are depressed and I've witnessed a lot of self-loathing, but it seems after prayer, reading the scriptures, hanging with their support groups, they seem to (temporarily) snap out of it and move on. Straight TBM's LOVE them. No matter the trial, gay TBM's always seem to overcome it once they've accepted Christ's atonement. (Something that I've never been able to do.) Do I wish I grew up a TBM? No.

So -- if you're reading this, call yourself a cafeteria Mormon, and just realized you're gay, you've got a long, confusing road ahead. If you're TBM, you probably won't be reading my blog anyway. :)

I had a bunch of stuff in my head this week, but as I type it out, it's not sending the message I had hoped. Maybe you all can help. Any thoughts? Do Cafeteria gay Mormons have it tougher?


  1. I have long been fascinated by this quote by Saint Augustine (from The Magnitude of the Soul); "To trust the word of another is one thing, to trust our own reason is a different thing; to take something on authority is a great timesaver and involves no toil." It takes a lot more effort to determine good from bad, right from wrong, true from false, than it does to accept what someone else has already determined. That said, There is pressure for one to gain one's own testimony about principles, doctrines and claims of the church. This I find to be quite difficult. While some seem to easily accept the Church as a whole, I am often caught up by side issues that are difficult for me to accept. Saint Augustine seems to suggest that our reason should be the authority to while we look. However, I know my reason is flawed, and I have seen many reasonable people come to conclusions vastly different than mine. For this reason I am glad I can look to the GA and follow their teaching as I seek to understand.
    Living those teachings isn't always easy. Indeed, it can be quite frustrating, but it is probably easier than trying to figure out and teach myself. Furthermore, from a church culture perspective, I would think the gay TBM would be more accepted, though I do think we should get better at accepting everyone.
    Those are just my thoughts. I hope they make sense and are helpful.

    1. Hi Yeti! As always, thank you for your comments. I really appreciate your insight and opinion. And that's a good quote by Saint Augustine - I had not heard that one before.

      You're very right - living ALL the teachings isn't easy, and I too hope the whole crowd (TBM's and Cafeteria Mormons) can be more accepting of everyone.

  2. The one thing about Cafeteria gay Mormons, there is always Jell-O salad.

    1. Hahaha! So true. And probably a casserole or two! :)

  3. Hey, I just came across your blog today and I'm glad I did! I like hearing your perspectives, as I'm also a Mormon "gay"/"same-sex-attracted"/whatever-you-wanna-label-it guy. I can't say I'm either "TBM" or "Cafeteria," probably somewhere in between. I'm still figuring a lot of things out, but there are a couple simple things I know for sure. I have personal moral standards, which include not having a homosexual relationship-- but at the same time, my standards aren't weapons. They're for me, between me and my God, period.

    I love the gospel so much, but I am really not a fan of some aspects of our church's culture-- such as the passive-aggressive judgement and the sacreligious casting of stones. But I guess that's not just Mormons, it's probably just humans as a whole. Anyway, thanks for your interesting perspective!

    1. Hey Logan!

      Welcome! Glad you found the blog. Sound like we're similar in various aspects!

      I hope you find the answers you need as you travel this challenging journey! If I may make one comment - you mentioned you were avoiding a homosexual relationship because you have morals. Again, I used to have the same view. But now, I see a monogamous, gay relationship as 'morally OK.' If two people love each other - and aren't cheating behind each others' backs - it's OK in my book. I'm sure many of the other cafeteria gay Mormons have this mentality as well. :)

      Thanks for your comment. We're here for you!