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.


emma said...

Dear M E: I am touched by your post on several levels: first, that you live in Texas (I joined the church in Austin and have many fond memories of there). Second, that you choose to be faithful despite very difficult challenges. But mostly, in regards to your comment about whether to tell your wife or not. You see, I am the wife of a man who struggles with SSA (and I have no problem using that phrase, for it can be a struggle. I struggle with many things, too -- including wanting to eat too many chocolate chip cookies! ;-)).

You ask a poignant question here: whether to tell her or not of your being gay. As far as I can tell from your description, you have done nothing in your life or marriage that would give her cause for concern. So, it seems to me that this issue is something that is largely a matter of prayer.

I agree with you that there are certain things between us and the Lord. I have my own temptations in life, but I believe the scriptures tell us that the Savior suffered temptations, too. In fact, he suffered all temptations, but 'heeded them not.' I think that phrase may accurately describe you in regards to how you have handled being gay.

The decision to tell your wife is a deeply personal one, and I don't believe there are easy answers here. Again, it is something between you and the Lord, and only he can tell you what is right in your situation (don't you hate it when people give you that advice?!!). My husband chose to tell me before we were married, but truth is, if he didn't have other issues because of it that impact our marriage -- depression and such -- then I can't say that I wouldn't be happier not knowing. There are certainly temptations I face that I don't share with my husband because I do not act on them and I do not see how his knowing about them in a specific way would be helpful. If I were married to a man who struggled with being VERY attracted to other women, but didn't act on it, I don't think I would want to have it thrown in my face.

I think that is enough for now, but I have begun my own blog if you think it might be helpful to get a woman's point of view: All the best to you. Emma PS. It sounds like you have a lovely family. Congrats on soon becoming a grandfather. I hear there is nothing like it.

Foxx said...

Hooray! More gay computer programmers!

Anyway, thanks for linking to my page; that's how I found you. Good luck on your journey and know that you have a net of support out here in cyberland.