Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Stuart Matis story

In my web surfing, I've come across the story of a gay Mormon who committed suicide on the steps of an LDS Stake Center in California on February 25, 2000.

Our Book of Rememberance > Suicide Memorial
Henry Stuart Matis (1967-2000)

To Be Gay — And Mormon

Alone in the fold: Many LDS gays struggle to cling to faith despite their yearnings

Requiem for a Gay Mormon

To Be Mormon and Gay

The last link is an excerpt from a letter Stuart Matis wrote to his 18 year old cousin. A statement in that letter haunts me:

The church has no idea that as I type this letter, there are surely boys and girls on their calloused knees imploring God to free them from this pain. They hate themselves. They retire to bed with their finger pointed to their head in the form of a gun. Every waking moment of every day they must be on constant alert not to divulge any clues that will identify themselves to their peers. "Was my glance at that boy too long? Does he think I'm gay? Will he now publicize my secret and beat me up?" They are afraid of their parents. They are afraid of their bishop. They are afraid of their friends. They have nowhere to go but to lay on the floor curled in a ball and weep themselves to sleep. ...

I relate to this so much. Reading the The Stuart Matis story makes me want to cry. It just seems that there isn’t a place for gay Mormon’s in this world. We are forced to hide our gay selves from church members; but, we aren’t accepted in the general gay community, especially if we haven’t totally renounced the church. It’s no wonder to me that so many of us feel so lonely and, sometimes, just want to end our lives. I hope that I am able to find a place in this world so that I don’t reach a state of total despair.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Christmas Message

Today is the morn of Christmas Eve. Church isn't until 1:00pm. Normally, I have other meetings starting at 8:00am; however, being Christmas Eve, all other meetings have been canceled except for our 3 hour block of meetings. I could have stayed in bed; but, I was wide awake; so, I got up at my normal time. My wife is busy catching up on some last minute sewing, and my daughter and son are still in bed. My older son and his girlfriend will be coming over later this morning to go to church with us. For a while, I have a bit of time to myself; so, I thought I might share my thoughts on Christmas.

First of all, as a Mormon, I do not believe Jesus Christ was actually born on December 25. Although, this idea was not new to me when I joined the LDS church. When I was a young boy, years before I became a Mormon, I would hear people say that Jesus was likely born in the Spring time. Their reasoning? Shepherds do not watch their flocks by night in the dead of winter. Over the years I've heard various theories as to why we celebrate the birth of the Savior on December 25th. The important thing, however, is that it doesn't matter when Jesus Christ was born. What matters is that he did walk upon the Earth, He gave us His Gospel, He suffered and died for our sins, and He brought about the resurrection from death.

So, what does Christmas mean to me? I think the best way to illustrate my thoughts is to talk about my favorite Christmas Story. While many people like to read about the story of the Nativity, as told in the Gospel of Luke, my favorite Christmas story is a fictitious account of a 4th wiseman named Artaban. I don't know if this story is copyrighted or not (I first read it in one of the "Especially for Mormon's" books). So, rather than repeat it here, I'll just post a link.

The Other Wise Man

Artaban spent his entire life searching for the Christ child. He dedicated his life to serving others whom he came across during his travels. As his life neared its end, he finally came to the realization that, by serving others, he had found his Lord, Jesus Christ.

One of my favorite scriptures is in the Book of Mormon where King Benjamin says:
And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.
Mosiah 2: 17
So, for me, the spirit of Christmas is about service to others. The thing I love about Christmas is the small acts of service we see all around us. It just seems like everyone smiles a little more during this season. Everyone is just a little nicer. In our modern society, Christmas has become all about gift giving. But, even that speaks of service if done in the right spirit: Spending time searching for the perfect gift and then presenting it to a friend or loved one can be an act of service. Talking with family or loved ones on the phone is an act of service. Spending all day in the kitchen making a nice Christmas dinner for the family is an act of service. Helping clean up the kitchen afterwards is an act of service. True, these are small, almost, insignificant things; but, as the Lord tells us:
You know, brethren, that a very large ship is benefited very much by a very small helm in the time of a storm, by being kept workways with the wind and the waves.
D&C 123: 16
May we all have the Christmas spirit of service to others throughout the year.

Friday, December 22, 2006

To be gay, or not to be gay

Since I'm married and gay celibate, I try not to look at nor think about other guys; much like a married straight guy tries to not look at nor think about other women (OK, so maybe I look a little; but, be honest, don't straight married guys steal glances at other women?). So, what is it about me that makes me gay?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I don't think being gay is all about having sex with other men. I believe that there is also a non-sexual aspect to being gay. I am referring, in part, to personality and interests. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I prance around my house in my wife's clothes when I'm alone. Nor do I think I act effeminate in any way. I'm not even an emotional person (at least around other people).

To illustrate my point, a few weeks ago, I was attending the Gospel Non-Essentials class during in Sunday School (which takes place in the hallways and lobby at church). There were a couple of guys standing in the hallway talking about some football game (or something else equally as boring); so, I moved onto the lobby where there were some women talking about grocery stores. I joined the conversation and mentioned how excited I was that a Central Market was opening up in the area. I then went on to describe the Central Market I had been to a few times. Now, how gay is that? (BTW, our new Central Market has a salt bar - how cool is that? Now I need to do some research into different salts.)

Speaking of sports, what is it with straight guys and sports? As you can probably guess, I'm not into sports at all. (Which is likely one of the big reasons I was always the last one picked in P.E. class back when I was in school. But, I digress). I can comprehend how some people enjoy playing sports. There are certain activities that I enjoy; so, I can understand that there are different activities that other people enjoy. I can even comprehend how some people might enjoy going to a sports event. I was in band and went to the football games. I couldn't tell you what the score was at the end of the game; but, I enjoyed the camaraderie with the other band members. But, what is beyond my ability to comprehend is how anyone can sit and watch a football game on TV. I think I would rather go have a root canal than to sit and watch a football game on TV (and, I've had three root canals, so I know what I'm talking about). I just don't get it! And, don't bother trying to explain it to me because I don't care to get it. (how gay is that?).

Now there are certain aspects to the gay stereotype that I do not fit into. Fashion, for example. I am more of a fashion disaster. In my world, comfort trumps fashion. I work out of my home and often wear the same thing for several days in a row (or until my wife makes me take it off so that it can be washed).

Other things I'm interested in:
  • Music. Not so much listening to music, but creating music. I sing in our ward choir. I'm really into folk music and play several folk instruments (hammer dulcimer, penny whistle, recorder, autoharp). Back in school, I played the String Bass as my main instrument; although, I also played Tuba in marching band.
  • Photography. I love taking pictures. I have a Nikon D70 Digital SLR camera which I take with me just about everywhere.
  • Model Railroading. Specifically, the G scale (or large scale) model trains (LGB, Aristocraft, etc.). I have a garden railroad that winds around my back yard.
  • Gardening. Correction, I don't really like the actual gardening part; but, I do like having a nice garden with lots of flowers. I try to have different flowering plants so that something is in bloom throughout the growing season. I also like to include plants that attract butterflies (both as a food nectar source and as a larval plant for butterflies to lay eggs on).
Not everything about me is gay. I do have some stereotypical male traits. The TV remote control, for example. I must have it in my hand when watching TV; No one else is allowed to touch it. And then there are hardware stores. I love going to Home Depot and Lowes. A few months ago I needed to purchase a new cordless drill. I spent the better part of a Saturday going back and forth between different stores looking at drills. I especially love all of the neat accessories you can get for the drill (OK, maybe I'm starting to get a little gay again).

So, how can a guy be both gay and straight at the same time? The fact of the matter is, being gay isn't a black and white thing. There are degrees of gay-ness. They've even made a gay scale (called the Kinsey Scale)

0 = total heterosexual
1 = predominately heterosexual with some homosexual tendencies
2 = predominately heterosexual with strong homosexual tendencies
3 = bisexual
4 = predominately homosexual with strong heterosexual tendencies
5 = predominately homosexual with some heterosexual tendencies
6 = total homosexual

So, where do I fit on the Kinsey Scale? I'm definitely not a '0', '1' or '2'. I don't think I'm a '3' because, frankly, I'm just not all that interested in women (except for my wife). But, I don't think I'm a '6' either (I don't think I would be able to stay married if I were). By default, that means I'm probably a '4' or a '5'. I guess I'll just go with '4.5'.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A little bit more about me

I decided that I should tell a little bit more about who I am:

My life in a nutshell ...

  • My parents are devout Christians; but, as I got into High School, I decided that I was agnostic and stopped going to church. However, in college, I got involved in the LDS (Mormon) church and was baptized my Freshman year. Later that year I decided to serve a mission for the LDS church; so, I took a leave of absence from school to work and raise money for my mission. After working for two years, I was called to serve in Missouri where I spent two years preaching the gospel.
  • While I was investigating the LDS church, I met the woman who would eventually become my wife (we were in the same family home evening group). After my mission, we rekindled our relationship and were married in the Oakland Temple of the LDS church. My wife worked while I finished college; and, we had two children by the time I graduated.
  • Upon graduation from college, I began my career in the I/T field as a computer programmer. After working for two years in Palo Alto, California, I was transferred to Texas where we've lived ever since. After moving to Texas, we had two more children.
  • My oldest daughter is married and pregnant (due early in 2007) which will be my first grandchild. My oldest son will be getting married in 2007. My youngest son just returned home from his mission. My youngest daughter graduated from high school in May 2006.
  • My wife and I have raised our four children in the LDS church and have always been actively involved. We are now reaching the empty-nester stage since our youngest child is the only one left living at home.
  • I continue to remain active in the church, pay my tithing, attend the Temple regularly, and hold a leadership calling in my ward.
  • For most of my adult life, I've held callings relating to the youth.

Now for the gay stuff ...
  • For most of my life, I've tried to suppress the same sex attraction, and even deny it; however, I've paid a price for this denial in the form of depression and thoughts of suicide (which, fortunately, I have under control via medication).
  • I find the same sex attraction comes in waves. Sometimes the waves are small, sometimes big. And, occasionally, I feel like I've been hit with a tsunami; it is during these times that I struggle the most.
  • A few months ago, I decided to finally to stop denying that I had these feelings. Initially, I thought of myself as 'struggling with same gender attraction'. I thought that this was my cross to bear, the thorn in my side.
  • More recently, I've been starting to think of myself as simply 'gay'. I don't really like the term 'struggling with SSA' because that implies that something is wrong with me. I no longer think I'm broken; I'm starting to accept that this is just who I am. Some people are tall, some people have blue eyes, and some people are gay.
  • Although I'm gay, I choose to remain gay celibate and to remain faithful to my wife.
  • Coming out to myself is only the first step that I've achieved. I've yet to tell my wife about my same sex attraction. Nor have I disclosed this to my church leaders; although, I don't feel a need to tell them since I haven't committed any transgressions that need confessing.
  • I want to tell my wife; but, I first need to decide if it is the right thing to do. Would she be better off knowing? Or would it be better to continue keeping this a secret? Although, if/when I do tell her, I suspect it won't be a complete surprise.
So, that's my life in a nut shell. I'll probably blog about more this in the future focusing on specific details.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Lost by Mormon Enigma

Today, we lost another brother
He did not abandon us
But we abandoned him
And, with his departure
A part of each of us goes with him
We all become somewhat less than what we were
Because no one reached out to embrace him
To accept him for who he is
Instead, he was ignored along with others like him
Pretending that he and his soul mates don't exist
Forcing him and others to hide their true selves
Living in constant fear that their secrets will be discovered
Is it any wonder that we lost yet another brother?
How many more will be lost
Before we realize that these losses diminishes each of us?
How much more can we be diminished before we too are lost?


Angry by Mormon Enigma

I am angry with God
Just as a child can sometimes be angry with his earthly parents
I am angry with Him for putting these burdens upon me
Unlike burdens that other people have
These burdens tempt me to violate his most sacred laws
Why would He put these feelings in me
And then tell me that I can never ever act on these feelings?
What kind of a test is this?
Am I being punished for something I did in the preexistence?
Although I followed God,
Was I sympathetic towards Lucifer’s cause?
Did I not rally around Jehovah as much as I should have?
Is the Celestial Kingdom not within my reach?
Am I destined to spend eternity as a ministering angel?
The scriptures tell us that “men are that they might have joy”
But, how much joy can one really have
When they have to take medication
To keep them from wanting to just end it all?
But, with time
These feelings subside
And so does my anger with God


Sad by Mormon Enigma

Today, I am feeling sad
Sad, for the burden I must carry alone
Sad, because I cannot tell others of my burden
Sad, for others like me with similar burdens
Sad, because the feelings within me ache
Sad, because I must suppress these feelings
Sad, because I feel like I’m betraying those I love by even having these feelings
Sad, because I know tomorrow will be more of the same
Sad, for the day after tomorrow as well
Sad, because there is no end in site
Sad, because, sometimes, I just want it all to end
Sad, because I feel selfish for thinking only of myself
Sad, because of the hurt I would cause if I ended it
Today, I am feeling sad


Torn by Mormon Enigma

I am living two different lives
Separate and distinct from each other
One on the outside that everyone sees
And another on the inside that only I know
And ne’er can these two lives ever meet
For they are in direct conflict with one another
And I must keep them separate
Like oil and water
They cannot mix
But, can I keep this up forever?
Or, will there come a day when these two lives cross?
What then?
Will I be forced to choose one over the other?
I cannot bear the thought
Because if I reject one of these lives
Then part of me will die with it
And I will no longer be whole
Or, perhaps the crossing of these two lives will destroy me forever
Taking not only my soul
But also a piece of the souls from those whom I love
So, I cannot, must not fail
These two lives must always remain distinct
And I must extract whatever the cost to do so
For I cannot bear the thought
Of what might happen to me
Or to those I love
Should these two lives ever meet


Weakness by Abelard Enigma

“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”
These words pierce my very soul
I want to be a good person
I want to do the right thing
But, I fear my weaknesses may one day betray me
What will I do if faced with temptations at a time of weakness?
Will I betray those that I love
Or are there some lines I will not cross
Regardless how strong the temptation?
It is not faith in God that I lack
If only I had more faith in myself
So that I could know, with a surety,
That I will never give in to certain temptations
There are no sure things in life
So, I must be content with the knowledge that today,
I did not yield to temptation
And a hope for tomorrow
That I can say the same

I wrote this verse in my personal journal on November 13, 2006. It was starting to understand that successful mixed orientation marriages are extremely rare. It was also starting to realize that admitting to myself that I'm gay at the ripe old age of 50 isn't all that unusual. Prior to that I had been deluding myself that since I made it this far then I could make it all the way. At this point in my life, I want to remain married to my wife and I don't want to do anything that might jeopardize either my marriage or my standing in the church. However, I started to discern that I may not always feel this way. I can't imagine not feeling this way; but, a year ago I couldn't imagine calling myself 'gay'.

The Way I Am

The Way I Am by Mormon Enigma

I don’t know why I am the way I am
I don’t know if it is an inherent trait from birth
Or the culmination of experiences from my youth
But, one thing I do know
Is that I did not choose to be this way
The choice was made for me
By forces beyond my control
Conspiring together to make me who I am
And, I must believe that there is a purpose
God would not punish one of his children thus
Therefore, it must be part of His grand design
And, if it be from God
Then I must accept who I am
For, to do otherwise
Would be an insult to God
But, what grand purpose does He have
For making me the way I am?
What is it that He would have me do?
Life is an exploration
A journey
So, as I travel down the road of life
It is up to me to discover my purpose
My reason for being
And to seize upon the very essence of my existence
So that when I return to God
He will say to me “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”
And I will spend the rest of eternity
Praising God
For making me the way I am

I wrote this verse in my personal journal on November 9, 2006. This marks the time when I finally accepted myself as a gay man. I had reached a point where I no longer felt shame about being gay. This was a major turning point in my life and has put me on a different path than I was before; although, I don't know where this path will ultimately lead. But, I am feeling better about myself - more than I ever recall feeling before in my life.


Paradox by Mormon Enigma

Two truths
Taken together
They are contradictory
And defy all reasoning
Yet by themselves
They are self evident
And absolute
Two truths
Diametrically opposed to one another
But individually, they each speak of
And acceptance
How can one believe in both truths
When together
They are implacably opposed?
How can one reconcile
The irreconcilable?
I believe

I wrote this verse in my personal journal on November 6, 2006. I was starting to realize that I believed in the church; but, I also believed in being gay. Being gay feels right; yet, I can't be an openly gay man in the church. I cannot resolve these two seemingly contradictory ideas; yet, I strongly believe in both.


Memories by Mormon Enigma
Inspiring me
Haunting me
Memories long forgotten
My memories define me
They tell me who I am
And who I was
They remind me of my strengths
And my weaknesses
But, some memories shame me
Do I embrace all my memories?
Accept them
Capture them
Write them
Save them for eternity
Or are some memories best forgotten?
But, can they be forgotten?
Or will I carry them with me always?
Even in my shame

I wrote this a couple of days after I wrote the verse titled "Unrequited Love". I had really opened up to myself in my personal journal and was feverishly writing anything I could think of relating to early recollections of being gay. Some of the memories I dug up were painful which resulted in this verse.

Stuck on the horns of a dilemma

Stuck on the horns of a dilemma by Mormon Enigma
Two choices
Both desirable, yet repugnant
Either one might bring me relief
Either one might bring me happiness
Either one could me bring misery
Either one could me bring sadness
Advocates on both sides, praising one and cursing the other
Hearkening to me that their choice is best
How to choose
Must I choose?
If I don’t choose, will a choice be made for me?
I plead, give me another choice
Another option
I cannot abide by either of these choices
As I am afraid that either choice
Will ultimately extinguish my soul

I wrote this verse in early November 2006. I don't know the exact date because I didn't write it in my journal. I had started to collect these verses into an MS Word document on my computer which is where I wrote this verse.

The choices referred to in this verse are to either forsake or embrace being gay. The reality is that I don't want to do either. Being gay is part of who I am. If you take that away then I am no longer me. I cannot forsake being gay any more than I can forsake having curly hair and blue eyes. However, I am unwilling to embrace being gay and living a, so called, 'gay lifestyle'.

Unrequited Love

Unrequited Love by Mormon Enigma

His face illuminated me
His touch excited me
His presence assured me
But, alas, these feelings were not mutual
He liked me well enough
But, I was just friend, one of many
A friend from a previous era
A friend long forgotten
But I haven’t forgotten
He was my first true love
Can we ever forget our first love?
Even a love unrequited?

I wrote this verse when I was reminiscing in my personal journal about a boy I knew my freshman & sophomore years in high school. He was my first crush and I loved him, although I wasn't thinking of myself as being gay at that time in my life. Kevin was the kind of guy that was popular and I was the kind of guy who was often made fun of and had few friends. Yet, Kevin was a friend to me. I enjoyed being around him. He made me feel good about myself. But, I don't think he had the same feelings for me that I had for him.

I lost track of Kevin after my sophomore year when my family moved forcing me to change high schools. But, I still thought about him. Even now I have occasional fleeting thoughts of him. I've even tried searching for him a couple of times using internet people search sites. I don't know why; I don't know what I would do if I ever found him as I'm sure he has forgotten all about me. But, I still think of him as my first true love.

The only other person I had those kinds of feelings for was the woman who ultimately became my wife. My love for her is even stronger; but, I don't think I'll ever forget Kevin.

There is kind of a funny story with Kevin. I wasn't a Mormon yet (I didn't join the LDS church until a few years later in college); however, I had obtained a Book of Mormon and was reading one day on the bus. Kevin came and sat down next to me. When he saw what I was reading, he told me that he was a Jack Mormon. I just find it kind of funny that my first crush was for a Mormon boy (albeit, an inactive one).


Consumed by Mormon Enigma

I am consumed
Consumed in my thoughts
Thoughts I cannot share
Yet, I long to share
My thoughts dominate my very being
Overshadowing everything else in my life
My heart aches to share these thoughts
But, I cannot
Must not
Will not
But, how can I not share?
If I don’t share, I will explode
But, if I do share, I will implode
How to decide
When either choice could destroy me

I wrote this verse in my personal journal on November 4, 2006. Looking back at my journal, there was a lot of activity in this time period with, sometimes, several entries per day. This realization of being gay was occupying my thoughts day and night which led to this verse.

Two worlds

Two Worlds by Mormon Enigma

Two worlds, opposing one another
Each thinking that they are right and the other is wrong
Each saying vile things about the other in their rhetoric
With me caught in the middle
Trying to put one foot in each world
Understanding each worlds point of view
Yet, unable to reconcile
And unwilling to reject one world in favor of the other
Longing to be accepted in both worlds
But, I am shunned, rejected
A man without a world to call his own
In a void

I wrote this verse in my personal journal on November 3, 2006. A comment in my journal that accompanied this verse is "Gay-ness is a very politically charged topic in our society right now. Although I consider myself gay, I find myself on the opposite side of the fence politically. So, if I were in a room with other gay men, what would we talk about? Would they accept me and feel a bond with me? Or am I an outcast in both worlds?"


Alone by Mormon Enigma

In a room full of people
People talking
Talking all around
Talking with each other,
Talking with me
Talking at me
People moving
Moving all around
Moving towards me
Moving away from me
Bumping into me
And yet
I am all alone
Alone in my thoughts
Alone with my secrets
Dark secrets
Dark, deep secrets
Yelling in my mind
Help me
Help me with my dark deep secrets
But nobody hears me
Nobody sees my anguish
Nobody sees my pain
I adjust my mask
Must hide my anguish
Must hide my pain
What if they learn of my dark deep secrets?
Afraid what they will think of me
Will they reject me?
Will they shun me?
Can I risk it?
So, I’m left standing
With a mask, smiling
Nobody can know
Nobody can suspect
Must only see my mask
Must not see the real me
Me, with my dark deep secrets
Eating away at me
Devouring me
Slowly killing me
And I am left standing
In a room full of people
I am all alone

I wrote this verse in my personal journal on November 2, 2006. A comment that accompanied this version in my journal said "This is the first time I ever tried writing like this; so, I hope this isn’t too corny." This was just a week or so after I finally admitted to myself that I was gay; and, I was feeling very much alone. Actually, at that time I wasn't calling myself 'gay' yet. I considered myself as a person who 'struggled with same gender attraction'. But, even that was a major step for me. Prior to that I tried to deny that I had these attractions.

Since that time, I've joined a few discussion groups. I've met other people like me on the internet, several of which I correspond with via email. And, I've started this blog. So, my feelings of loneliness have somewhat diminished; but, I can still relate with this verse.

Gay and Mormon?

I was thinking about this blog I created last night after retiring for bed; and, I thought that I should probably explain the gay thing a bit more.

First of all, the LDS church doesn't like us calling ourselves gay, preferring us to use terms like "same gender attraction" (SGA) or "same sex attraction" (SSA). The concern being that some people have preconceived notions of what 'gay' means and often associate it with the, so called, 'gay lifestyle' or 'gay culture', (which they believe to mean promiscuous sex, drugs, etc.).

I, however, believe that there is more to being gay besides having sex with other men. I believe that there is a non-sexual aspect to being gay. I am married and I'm 100% faithful to my wife. But, the truth of the matter is, in personality and interests, I probably have more in common with other gay men than I do with most straight men. I will probably blog more about this in the future. For now, suffice it to say that I would probably feel more at home if I were to join a gay mens chorus than I would playing basketball with the brethren from church.

Speaking of the LDS churches position on homosexuality. Being the good Mormon boy that I am, I make extensive use of the resources that can be found on On one such occasion, I searched all Ensign articles (which includes most conference talks) that contained the word "homosexual". I extracted each paragraph that mentioned the word and organized them in chronological order. After studying this list, I made the following observations:

  1. In the period of time of 1971 to 1986, homosexuality was often associated with words such as: perversion, inspired by the devil, seldom happy, encourages promiscuity, harmful, morally wrong, a vitiating disease, abominations, gross sin, unholy transgression, heinous sin,
  2. During that same time period (1971-1986) homosexuality was also linked with other things such as: alcoholics, drug abusers, fornicators, adulterers, murderers, abortion
  3. Although, interestingly, even as far back back as 1971, church leaders condemned “persecution of homosexuals”.
  4. In 1977, J. Richard Clarke blamed homosexuality on lack of a “normal, loving father-and-son relationship”.
  5. In 1980, we start to see statements against “homosexual marriages” as part of the opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment
  6. In 1980, Steve Gilliland stated that “individuals tempted with homosexual or other abnormal tendencies can, with patience, commitment, and faith, control such desires and permit normal desires to awaken and take precedence over the abnormal”.
  7. In 1982, Bruce C. Hafen reported that “American Psychiatric Association recently voted to remove homosexuality from its list of disorders” and then quoted a study stating that “that 50 percent of the male homosexuals surveyed in one American city had had at least 500 sexual partners and 28 percent had had 1,000 partners”
  8. Starting in 1988, there is a softening of the rhetoric against homosexuality by using terms such as: homosexual behavior, homosexual relations, homosexual inclinations or practices, homosexual tendencies, homosexual or lesbian susceptibilities or feelings, homosexual difficulties, homosexual attraction, homosexual struggles, homosexual activity, homosexual lifestyle
  9. Although, it is still considered an “addictive behavior” (Spencer J. Condie, 1993) and a “perversion of God’s plan of happiness” (Joseph B. Wirthlin, 1994), “homosexual relations are sinful” and “homosexual relations, fornication, and adultery are grievous sins” (A. Dean Byrd, 1999), “abuses of the sacred power to create” (M. Russell Ballard, 1999)
  10. Starting in 1995, we start to see statements refuting claims that homosexuals are “born that way”, “is inborn”, “acquired by birth”, “determinative”, “caused by genetic inheritance”, “innate and unchangeable”, “biological or physiological causes”
  11. In 1995, Dallin H Oaks condemns “gay bashing”
  12. In 1995, Dallin H. Oaks also counsels “… words [like] homosexual, lesbian, and gay are adjectives to describe particular thoughts, feelings, or behaviors. We should refrain from using these words as nouns to identify particular conditions or specific persons.”
  13. In 1999, A. Dean Byrd concedes that “homosexual attraction may not result from conscious choices,” and quoted President Hinkley as saying “Marriage should not be viewed as a therapeutic step to solve problems such as homosexual inclinations or practices,”. He then says “When homosexual difficulties have been fully resolved, heterosexual feelings can emerge”
From this I conclude that the LDS Churches position on homosexuality is evolving and, I believe, it will continue to evolve over time. I don't know that we'll ever see a time when practicing homosexuals are accepted into full fellowship; however, I do look forward to a day when people who have same sex attraction are not ignored. I read somewhere that there are, on average, 5-6 people in every LDS ward who have same sex attraction. That's 50-60 people in an average stake. That's a sizable group of people for whom little, if anything, is done to address their needs. Mormon's are good people. If I had a physical handicap, an alcohol or drug addiction, or some other challenge in my life, the people at church would be tripping over each other in their efforts to assist me in any way that they could. However, as a gay man, I am forced to hide that part of me from other church members.

I know that there are probably other Mormon's who disagree with my decision to call myself 'gay' while remaining active in the LDS church. On the other side of the coin, there are gay people who cannot fathom why I choose to remain active, as a gay man, in a church that is largely homophobic. The 11th article of faith in the LDS church states:
We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
I believe this extends to gay people as well. Although I choose to remain gay celibate, I allow everyone else the same privilege to live their life as they see fit and only ask the same from them. And, I hope, we can all be friends.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


To be honest, I've never understood blogging. Why do some people post intimate details of their lives for everyone to see? And why to other people read blogs? Yet, I find myself reading blogs, and now I am writing my own blog.

But, that's the story of my life - a life filled with contradictions. For example, I'm happily married, father of 4 children, and soon to be grandfather, and I'm gay. I'm a registered Republican, but I oppose the NRA. I don't support gay marriage, but I do believe in equal legal rights for committed gay couples. I've lived in Texas for most of my life; but, I don't speak with a Texas accent.

Being gay also creates other contradictions in my life. For example, I'm actively involved in the the LDS (Mormon) church which is not exactly known for being gay friendly. That brings up yet another contradiction - a Mormon living in the middle of the Bible belt.

So, I'm creating this blog to try to sort all of this out. I started keeping a personal journal; however, it occurred to me that other people add their own comments to blogs. And, reading comments from others might be beneficial in helping me to understand it myself.