Friday, May 25, 2007

Married, Mormon, and Gay

Well, I've had my interview with -L- about what it's like to be Married, Mormon, and Gay for over 25 years. I've slept since then. Now I thought I might share some additional thoughts on the topic.

As I said in the interview, I've been Married and Mormon for 27 years, but it's only been relatively recently since I've accepted the Gay part. I've been gay all that time too, of course. But, I just wouldn't accept it. How could someone be a good Mormon boy and be gay at the same time? And a married guy at that! It just doesn't make sense - it does not compute.

It still doesn't make sense to me - but now I'm OK with that. To my little brain, it is analogous to the story of the Garden of Edan. I believe in a literal garden of Edan as described in the scriptures. But, I also believe in dinosaurs living here on Earth millions of years ago and ancient civilizations. Just because I can't make sense of it doesn't mean that this all doesn't make sense to God somehow.

In a recent post, Max Power spoke of Emotional Immaturity. It may come as a bit of a surprise, especially to some of the single gay Mormons, but I feel that way too. MoHoHawaii once commented on this and referred to it as a gay adolescence. It is something many of us go through, especially those of us who accepted our gayness late in life. I think the best way to deal with this is to look at the counsel we give to real adolescents (for lack of a better term).
  • We need to wait until we are sufficiently mature before we start to build relationships with those to whom we are attracted to. For teens, 16 is the magic age where we say they can start dating. But, I don't know what the gay adolescent equivalent of 16 is.
  • When we first start having relationships to those to whom we might be attracted, we should first do it in groups. We should avoid being alone with someone that we find attractive.
  • We should try to build relationships only with those that have the same values we do.

In my interview, I spoke of a co-worker years ago whom I found attractive. We were roughly the same age (I was just a couple years older). And, through no fault of my own, we found ourselves working together a lot AND I was alone (i.e. my wife and children were out of town for a couple of weeks visiting her parents). But, there is more to this story ...

First of all, this co-worker did not hold my same values. For example, over lunch, he would often talk of the latest porn movie he watched. But, he was fun to be around, and he was just damn good looking, so I conveniently ignored his indiscretions. Once, while my wife was gone, I was talking about how weird it felt to be apart for so long for the first time in our marriage. I then looked at him and joked "you'll have to come spend the night at my house to keep me company." He then replied "sure, but only if you give me a blow job." I turned beet red, which was the reaction he wanted (he liked to tease me and my prudish ways). But, in reality, the offer was mighty enticing - even at that time in my life when I didn't accept that I was gay. Looking back, it scares me to realize just how close I came to breaking my marriage covenants. Fortunately, there is a happy ending to this story. While I did fantasize about him for a while, I never crossed the line. Eventually, our careers diverged, he accepted a transfer to another state, and we haven't seen or communicated with each other since.

As I commented in my interview: Being married and gay really isn't any harder or easier than being single and gay - it's just different. And, in reality, it really isn't all that different. We all face the same temptations.

That what I really like about our little corner of the queerosphere.

I started my blog late last year (5 months and 6 days, to be exact). During that time, it's been amazing to me how I come to feel about my gay Mormon brothers and sisters. For the most part, I only know you (and you know me) through a pseudonym. There are few that I've even seen a picture to know what you look like. I have never met any of you in person, and it's unlikely that we ever will (given our geographic separation). Yet, I find myself laughing with you, crying with you, crying for you, praying for you, and thinking about you throughout my day.

I hold a leadership calling and am actively involved in my ward; yet, in some ways, I feel closer to my gay Mormon brothers and sisters, than I do the members of my own ward. Not that there is anything wrong with the members in my ward - it's a good ward full of good people. I just feel more of a kinship with my gay Mormon brothers and sisters.

We don't agree on everything. Some of you have chosen the same path that I have - to remain active in the church. Others have chosen to leave the church behind - yet you still cherish your Mormon heritage. Some of you are young, some are old farts like me. You live in all parts of the country. Some of you are single, some are married, some are contemplating marriage, some divorced, and some have children. Some are gay virgins while others have tasted of the forbidden waters. Some of you are comfortable using terms like 'gay' to describe yourselves, while others of you prefer terms like 'same sex attraction'. Some of you are completely closeted, some of you are completely out in the open, and the rest of us are somewhere in between. But, what we all have in common: We're all Mormons and we're all queers - we're gay Mormons!

You have all helped me in ways that you'll never know through your blogs, your comments on my blog, and your personal emails to me. It is incredibly comforting to know that I'm not alone - that I'm not just some freak of nature. I hope that I, in some small way, can help others. And, I just want to say

Thank You!

We'll now return you to your regular blogging ...


playasinmar said...

Doth mine eyes deceive me or hast thou posted a picture of a guy whose pants are missing the seat thereof?

iwonder said...

You're awesome Abelard, I love you. I just wanted to say that.

And I also found the picture somewhat startling, but appealing :) It's interesting how natural it looks to me for men to kiss each other.

iwonder said...

Did I mention that you're awesome, and that I love you?

Yeah, you do help me, so keep at it!

Abelard Enigma said...

Hmmmm, I didn't think the picture was that bad. Of course, I hadn't noticed the big hole in the pants. Now that's the first thing my eyes see whenever I look at the picture (thank you very much playasinmar :) )

Beck said...

Very nice interview and very nice post. The "thanks" are in your direction! You've been open and real and that is what makes you so endearing.



P.S. I love the picture! Please don't remove it on my account.

Abelard Enigma said...

Remove it??? The thought hadn't even occurred to me.

-L- said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
-L- said...

I would have had a very hard time with the kind of temptation you are describing. I often wonder if the only reason I've made it through my life thus far without having had gay sex is that I've not had a really easy opportunity. I know folks who find the opportunities a lot more easily, and they often end up getting into more trouble. I guess this is one of the reasons I choose not to come "out" to people around me. I don't think being gay is something to be ashamed of, but when I have gay coworkers who are hot and looking for whatever quick thrill they can find, I'd rather not have them see me as a possible encounter. The frequent temptation that would come from that might well destroy me.