Thursday, March 8, 2007

Something in the air?

I've been catching up on what's been happening in the MoHo blogosphere while I was gone. There are big things afoot. Gay BYU Student came out to his parents. My Best Is All I Have is talking about coming out to his parents. I found a new MoHo, drex, who recently came out to his parents. And, it's only been about 6 weeks since I came out to my wife. Is there something in the air? Is this a byproduct of global warming? Has someone spiked our water supply?

All kidding aside, this is serious stuff. The memories of telling my wife are still indelibly imprinted on my mind. As are the subsequent doubts on whether I did the right thing or not. This is a big step. I know for me, the decision to come out to my wife was one of the most important decisions I've ever made; right up there with my decision to join the church, to serve a mission, and to get married.

I believe the decision to tell my wife was the right thing to do. I had some doubts in the days that followed (especially since it seemed like my wife would end up crying every time we talked about it). But, I've had a few weeks to ponder this; and, my wife has had a few weeks to let it sink in (and she hasn't cried for a while). I think we are closer now than we have been in a while. Before I came out to my wife, I was beginning to feel like we were more best friends and roommates rather than husband and wife. Now, I feel like a husband again. I expect something similar will happen in the weeks following coming out to parents.

Although, I think, in some ways, telling your parents that you are gay might be even harder than it was to tell my wife. At this point, I have no plans to ever talk to my parents (my father, since my mother is no longer with us in this life). I may tell my children, someday. But, I have no intention of ever telling my siblings.

It seems like fathers have a more difficult time accepting a gay son. I have a theory about this. In the not so distant past, there were some who taught that homosexuality was caused by the father either being absent or otherwise not involved in the lives of their sons as much as they should have been. In fact, this was even mentioned in a general conference once where J. Richard Clarke said "Homosexuality would not occur where there is a normal, loving father-and-son relationship." ("Ministering to Needs through LDS Social Services," Ensign, May 1977). I haven't heard anyone espouse this ridiculous idea in recent years; however, it is likely that men who are fathers today heard this when they were younger. They may not even consciously remember it. But, the idea may have been implanted causing them to wonder what they did wrong - would their son still be gay if they had been a better father?

And, why are straight people obsessed with trying to find the cause of homosexuality? Gay people don't seem to care - we just accept that this is who we are. I've read everything from childhood sexual abuse to absent fathers to being fed soy products during early childhood. Why is it so difficult to accept that some of us are just born this way? We can accept that some people are born without any arms or legs; some are be born into abject poverty in an oppressive culture. But, suggest that someone is born gay and we hear "God would never allow that to happen!" I'm not saying God did this to me (maybe he did, I don't know). Sometimes, things just happen. And, the only thing we can do is to try to make the best of the situation that we find ourselves in.

So, Gay BYU Student, My Best Is All I Have, drex, and anyone else who might be contemplating this big step, my prayers are with you. Telling a loved one isn't going to make things any easier. But, sometimes, it's just nice to be able to be yourself around someone you love. Where you don't have to constantly be on guard and afraid that something you say or do might tip them off that you are gay - they already know, so it doesn't matter.


Gay BYU Student said...

Thanks for the advice and encouragement. It was definitely hard to do at the time, but I've felt good about it since. And although I haven't heard back from my parents since I told them 6 days ago, I think it will ultimately be a good thing for me and them.

And I have also noticed the plethora of coming out experiences popping up in the blogosphere lately. I'd like to think I started a small fad, but that might be giving myself too much credit =).

iovan said...

Yes it helps to read about other people's experiences and see how they handled telling others. And yes being in the middle of deciding whether to come out or not is driving me crazy! Well, maybe crazy is too big of a word. Hard to know what to do though.

Thank you for posting

drex said...

Hey, I've been linked 3 days into my blog! I haven't perused your prior entries yet (man this whole blog thing is intimidating sometimes), but it must have been incredibly difficult to tell your wife. I'm guessing that telling loved ones is such a unique experience for every person that it's unfair to compare them directly. As we're each given unique challenges in this life, we'll probably get taken to the edge of our own personal comfort level multiple times in order to facilitate our own growth. I'm glad to find yet another blogger who seems to be on the right path. =D