Sunday, September 27, 2015

That one time a haunted house date nearly turned me straight

Happy Fall! I love this time of year. Cooler weather. Football. Start of the holiday season.

Seeing the sudden display of Halloween decorations at stores (they sure do get bigger and bigger every year) reminded me of a date that was a big turning point for me.

Many years ago, I went on a group date to a haunted house. (I probably don't need to tell you this, but yes, it was a Mormon group date.) This haunted house was one of the super freaky deaky ones in the middle of nowhere. The employees work and prepare all year for their one month of business.

Now, haunted houses don't really bother me, EXCEPT for when I have to crawl. For some reason, claustrophobia hits me like a rock when I have to get on my hands and knees.

But anyway, back to this date. The girl was awesome. Great person to talk to, funny, cute, we had similar interests, all the good stuff. (So what if I had no physical attraction to her whatsoever!) :-)

She, on the other hand, wasn't a big fan of haunted houses. It only took a few minutes of scares and screams before I knew she was miserable. I think her exact words were, "I don't like this."

Then something interesting happened. Something I had never felt before. She grabbed my hand. And held on tight. She moved in close to me as we walked. I am considerably taller, so she fit just right under my chin. I felt this sudden burst of power. My typical bubble had been burst. She was looking for comfort and security and I was able to give it to her. I was ENJOYING this physical touch.

This gave me a new high. Maybe I could develop feelings for a woman?! It's like the gay switch was turned off and I'm now heterosexual!!! Woo hoo!! Plan of salvation here we come!

But the high didn't last long. The key word for this story is: temporary. For just a few moments, I thought I could be straight and live the life I was taught to have. When the night was over, and I went back home, I likely imagined what it would be like to hold hands and comfort another guy. (And it probably would have felt a LOT better.) The date was a temporary rush that quickly dissipated.

I've had a lot of these temporary moments. I start having a really good time with a girl, and think, maybe she's the one! Only to return back to who I really am once I get home -- gay. And always will be.

The high I felt at the haunted house, followed by the low at the end of the night - was the deciding factor for me to stop trying to find "the one" (girl.) There's no way I could turn these temporary bursts of attraction into a life-long marriage to a woman. I felt horrible leading these girls on - and it was time to move on. The haunted house was a turning point as I started to shift my focus to dates with guys instead of women - and as I've mentioned many times throughout my blog - I've never been happier.

Have I gone to a haunted house with a guy? No. But I think it would be fabulous! (As long as there's no crawling.)      

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Appearing on the TLC Network will only get you into trouble

I remember the good ol' days of the TLC Network, back when they showed stuff like Trading Spaces. Today, the network is surrounded by controversy:

*Mama June in "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" was linked to a convicted sex offender.

*Hypocrite Josh Dugger in "19 Kids and Counting" admitted to molesting his siblings and then cheated on his wife using an Ashley Madison account.

*"Breaking Amish" (which I actually watched) turned out to be completely fake.

I could go on and on.

And now it looks like the dudes in "My Husband's Not Gay" are facing some unwanted attention. I reviewed the show back in January and made note the three married guys were all involved with "People Can Change" and Journey Into Manhood - a place for "men who are self-motivated and serious about resolving unwanted homosexual attractions."

Recently, Jeff Bennion and Pret Dahlgren, who both appeared in "My Husband's Not Gay" have resigned from their leadership positions in North Star. The gay LDS support group says their continued participation may be a distraction to their mission. It goes on to say: "North Star has never advocated any specific therapy, including reparative or 'conversion' therapy; we feel that message will be made more clear if we no longer fill leadership roles."   --- (Which is funny because I found this message in one of the Northstar discussion groups:)

"Is NorthStar becoming nothing more than a reparative therapy sales center?? That's all I ever see mentioned here are Evergreen conferences, JIM events, and pitches for people like Ritch Wyer. Is there nothing for people who aren't interested in reparative therapy, or who tried it and didn't get anything out of it?"

I can't say the TV show is directly responsible for their resignations, but I'm sure their on-screen appearances played a role. A recently published op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune may have also been a contributing factor. In any event, the TV show exposed a few extra skeletons in their closet (no pun intended) which led to unwanted media attention.

EDIT: If you have some time to kill, check out the transcripts from the public gay conversion therapy trial mentioned in the Trib article. It's a VERY interesting read.

What are my thoughts? Well, since I believe nothing good can come out of North Star, I could care less about these changes. But the younger Mormon LGBT community still trying to figure out themselves will benefit without the influence of Bennion and Dahlgren.

I still don't know why these guys and their wives appeared on "My Husband's Not Gay" in the first place. We probably will never know why. But considering all of TLC's controversies, how could they imagine that anything positive could come out of it?

I mentioned this in my original North Star post, and still feel it applies right now. Please, please, PLEASE think before you record a video or appear on a national cable network for something that could be seen as controversial. It's just not worth it. There are other ways to get your message across. (For example, start an anonymous blog!) :)

Another case in point - why does this Voices of Hope video have over 10,000 views while the majority have barely hit 500? This is why.  :(