Thursday, June 28, 2007

Who are you?

Enough about me - I want to know about you. According to my blog statistics, there are people throughout the world reading my blog. And, 72.87% of you are returning visitors.
  • How did you find my blog?
  • What do you like about my blog?
  • What don't you like about my blog?
  • Are there things you would like to see more of?
  • Are there things you would like to see less of?
  • Any other general comments you might have?
OK, so maybe it is still all about me. But, it is my blog. :)

Feel free to comment anonymously if you're lurking and not ready to unlurk.

BTW, 53.10% of the visits to my sight are using the Firefox browser. Take that Micro$oft!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My Secret Garden

This is blog post #100!; so, I thought I would blog about where I am. A sort of "State of Abelard Enigma" address.

Abelard Enigma takes a lot of pride in his garden. Through a lot of hard work and by the sweat of his brow, there are many beautiful things in his garden.

These are actual pictures of his garden taken two days ago (on Monday).

He calls it his secret garden because it is enclosed in a fenced back yard; so, few people actually get to see and enjoy it.

But, it is a place of refuge, a place Abelard likes to retire for contemplation.

But, with all of the rain this year. He is fighting a losing battle with weeds - they seem to be growing faster than he can pull them.

But, even in the weeds he finds beauty. And, he feels compelled to keep them, even nourish them. He can't allow himself to pull them out of his garden.

And so it is with his life. There are many beautiful things in Abelard's life. Beautiful things that have only come about because of his hard work, by the sweat of his brow. But, there are also weeds in his life - and sometimes, it feels like the weeds are winning.

And, there are some weeds that he finds beautiful to behold - and he can't bear the thought of parting with them. For example, the picture below. For Abelard, this epitomizes what it means to be gay. It's not about sex. To be brutally honest, he finds some of the ways gay men engage in sex to be a bit disturbing. No, it's not about sex at all - it's about love!

Abelard wants to be the man in the white teeshirt. He wants to be wanted by another man - he wants to be loved by another man! His head tells him it is wrong to want that. But, his heart tells him it is beautiful. And, thus, Abelard is a man of conflict.

But, don't fret, Abelard Enigma isn't about to jump ship into the queer culture. He knows his place - and that is at home with his wife and family, and at church with his ward family. He loves french fry's too, but he knows he shouldn't eat them (well, he does eat them sometimes - bad example).

So, there you have it. Abelard has a lovely garden - as long as you ignore the weeds.

... and Abelard doesn't know why he wrote this post in 3rd person.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Decrying Bigotry

A while back I posted a link to a video I had downloaded from the Gay Christian Network. titled "Straight to Heaven". It is a musical parody of the ex-Gay movement which was performed at a GCN conference earlier this year.

The final song in this skit (or play, or whatever it is) is titled "Decrying Bigotry" and is sung to the tune of "Defying Gravity" from "Wicked". I really like the words:
Something has changed within me
Jesus has touched my heart
I wanna change the world
and being truthful is the start
Too long I've been afraid of
things that other people say
It's time to stand up proud
and tell the world ...
I'm gay!

It's time to try decrying bigotry
raise my voice high,
decrying bigotry
and make a joyful sound

You're just deluding yourself;
these people will never accept you!

I'm through accepting limits
on who I have to be
whether they're from ex-gays
or from the queer community!
If Jesus is my savior
and the spirit is my guide
I have to serve the Lord
with what I've got inside!

And that's why I'm decrying bigotry
Raise my voice high
I'm decrying bigotry
and they can't shut me down!

. . .

So if they call me sinful
or if they call me odd,
I'm going to be an honest
"good and faithful servant"
to my God!
And if I'm fighting solo,
at least I'm living free
I'll work to make the church
what God called us to be!

And that's why I'm decrying bigotry
won't live a lie,
I'm decrying bigotry
and I don't care if I'm reviled ...
nothing below,
or from above
is going to keep me from His love
'cause God has claimed me as
His child!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Mixed Orientation Marriage

In a talk titled "To the Single Adult Brethren of the Church", President Ezra Taft Benson said:
My dear single adult brethren, we are also concerned. We want you to know that the position of the Church has never changed regarding the importance of celestial marriage. It is a commandment of God.
Yet, according to the Straight Spouse Network, it has been estimated that there are more than 2 million mixed orientation couples and that more than 80 percent end up divorced.

Speaking of divorce, President Gordon B. Hinkley has once said in a talk titled "What God Hath Joined Together"
But among the greatest of tragedies, and I think the most common, is divorce.

Against such overwhelming odds, should a gay person even consider pursuing a heterosexual marriage? But, if they live a life of celibacy, what is the best they can hope for? In a talk titled "The Importance of Celestial Marriage" President Spencer W. Kimball taught

Even unmarried, we may reach the celestial kingdom, but we will be ministering angels only.
So, where does that leave the single gay Mormon who chooses to remain active in the church? Should they be content to aim for a lesser sphere? Or should they pursue a heterosexual marriage, even with the statistical likelihood that it will eventually end in divorce - the greatest of all tragedies?

And what about those of us who are already in a mixed orientation marriage? How secure are we? How confident are we that we will live to a ripe old age and keep our attractions at bay?

May the best commenter win ...

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Kengo Biddles recently blogged about a journal entry of his where he talks about the loneliness he often feels. His post really struck a chord with me, especially when he wrote
You know, the teen-years were rough, but I don't remember feeling like this -- this stone-cold gaping maw of all-consuming loneliness.

I expect this strikes a chord with many others as well. Feelings of isolation and loneliness seems to be pervasive among gay people. I'm sure there are some exceptions; however, you see gay people speak of the loneliness they feel regardless of

  • Religious preference
  • Activity in a church
  • Single or married
  • Choice of lifestyle

I too experience these feelings of loneliness as expressed in a poem I once wrote titled Alone. My wife looks forward to times when she can be alone;however, I dread the times when I am left alone. Although, the fact of the matter is, I've never really been alone my entire life. I've always had parents, roommates, companions, or a wife and children around me. And yet, I often feel isolated and lonely.

Why is it we feel alone so much of the time? If we discuss why we have these feelings then, perhaps, we can figure out what to do about it.

Why is loneliness so ubiquitous within our gay fellowship?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

In or out of the closet?

Gay Mormon's can often face questions and/or be involved in discussions with others who do not know of their proclivities. These questions/discussions can lead to discomfort when you are completely closeted. For example:
  • "That's so gay."
  • "How about those [insert favorite sports team]?"
  • "You're so domestic, you'd make a good wife" (I've gotten this before)
  • "Homosexuals are just a bunch of selfish perverts."
  • Etc.

Those who are single can face additional questions/discussions that are difficult to respond to when closeted. For instance

  • "Are you dating?" "Do you have a girlfriend?"
  • "Let me introduce you to this girl I know."
  • "What's wrong? Don't you like girls?"
  • Etc.

How do you respond to people to whom you do not want to reveal that you're gay but who ask these kinds questions and/or make comments?

Situations like these can make gay Mormon's feel like they are being dishonest with themselves and others? And so the question arises "Should I come out of the closet?" There is no one size fits all answer to this question as everyone's specific situation is unique. However, it is worth discussing:

  • What are some considerations when making such a decision?
  • Who should you come out to?
  • When and how is the best time to do make such an announcement?

Commenting initiated ...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Gay Mormon Polygamists Flocking to Massachusetts

Check out Gay Mormon Polygamists Flocking to Massachusetts from Broken Newz. It's from February 26, 2004; so, it may be a repeat for some; but, I just came across it today and it amused me.

Camp Rock Hudson, Massachusetts - Gay Mormon polygamists have been arriving in droves at this remote corner of western Massachusetts ever since the state’s Supreme Judicial Court gave its approval last month to same-sex marriages.

“Looks like Massachusetts is going to end up being the ‘Promised Land,’” said Elder Moses Smith, who arrived yesterday at the gay polygamist compound with his spouses Ezekiel, Jacob, Joshua, Zachariah, Zebediah, Nehemiah and Kevin. “We mean no one any harm. All we want to do is to live in peace and to be left alone in order to have non-stop hot male action and watch “Malcolm in the Middle” reruns.

Traditional Mormon leaders denounced Elder Smith and the breakaway church he runs which is called the Church of Latter-Day Interior Decorators. “It’s not the gay orgies that we find so objectionable about the Latter-Day Decorators,” said Joseph Smith VIII, the 98-year old President of the Mormon Church who was speaking from his office in Salt Lake City. “What we really find offensive is that they drink coffee.”

Monday, June 18, 2007

Boy Scouts

Let's see, John has been rafting with a bunch of boy scouts in Moab. I spent some time with our boy scouts out at scout camp last week. Probably most, if not all, of gay Mormon's were in boy scouts as youth, and many are likely Eagle scouts.

I can't help but be amused by the irony that a bunch of us gay dudes are working with boy scouts. And, I'm sure this phenomena is probably not unique to LDS scouting units.

I wonder what they would do if they knew.

Friday, June 15, 2007


The Lord has made us attractive one to another for a great purpose. But this very attraction becomes as a powder keg unless it is kept under control.
President Gordon B. Hinckley

Related to my blog topic about kissing, is it possible for two gay people of the same gender to date while maintaining a platonic relationship? Personally I believe it is. The problem arises when it is viewed as unacceptable in the environment where they live. This forces them to seek out companionship in secret which invites temptation. A heterosexual couple would face similar temptations if they were forced to keep their relationship secret.

If platonic dating is considered acceptable, should it be non-exclusive? Or are exclusive relationships acceptable? What are the boundaries in such a relationship? Can it include things like:
  • Hand holding
  • Hugging
  • Cuddling
  • Kissing
  • Sleep overs
If platonic dating is not considered acceptable then what about hanging out together? What is the difference between dating and hanging out? At what point does hanging out become dating?

Commence commenting ...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.
Song of Solomon 1:2

My blogging about Gay Mormon guidelines hasn't generated as much discussion as I had hoped. Perhaps I erred in picking relatively safe topics to begin with. So, let me try a more controversial topic - and one that seems to be on a lot of minds of late.

Some might argue that two guys kissing leads to temptation so it should, therefore, be avoided altogether. But, isn't that also true for heterosexual couples? By that argument, we should eliminate kissing and dating altogether and go back to having fathers picking husbands for their daughters (... although, being the father of two daughters, I think that idea has some merit, but ...)

In my way of thinking, I don't think the question is if you should kiss or not. I think the question is one of intent. In the picture on the left, even the most ardent George W. Bush haters would have to agree that it is unlikely he was having any erotic desires to jump into bed with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. His intent was to honor the local culture and customs. I think it is also worthwhile pointing out that he is a married man. This establishes that there are acceptable situations where it is OK for a guy to kiss another guy - and this is true even for married guys (although, the acceptable situations will be different than for single guys).

So, what are acceptable situations where it is OK for guys to kiss each other? When is it acceptable for married guys to kiss another guy?

Let the commenting begin ...

Note: I should point out that I, personally, have an aversion to kissing (male or female). So, I'm not looking for any validation, just trying to generate some discussion.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Reconciliation with church doctrine

"... our hearts reach out to those who refer to themselves as gays and lesbians. We love and honor them as sons and daughters of God. They are welcome in the Church. It is expected, however, that they follow the same God-given rules of conduct that apply to everyone else, whether single or married." Gordon B. Hinckley, October 1999 General Conference

To remain active and in full fellowship in the LDS church, we must be willing accept that any sexual relations outside of a marriage between a man and a woman is forbidden. For the gay Mormon who wishes to remain active in the church, this leaves two choices: A life of celibacy or a mixed orientation marriage.

So, for those who have chosen one of these paths, how do you reconcile being gay with church doctrine?

Let the commenting begin ...

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


I thought maybe we might generate more discussion if I posted a single topic to comment on. (thank you, Sean, for the good suggestion). More topics to follow, but I thought I would start with a less controversial one.
  • Acceptance
OK, you have finally accepted that you are gay. Now what?

It's something we've all gone through - the day when we had to face the undeniable fact that we like boys more than girls. We may have had suspicions for months, even years, before that day. But, the day ultimately came when we sat ourselves down and said "self - your gay!"

What then?

  • What are some things you did which you feel were good and would recommend to others?
  • What things you did that you later regretted?
  • Are there things you read that were helpful?
  • Are there things you wish you could have read that would have been helpful?
  • Are there things you read that you now wish you hadn't?
  • If a friend confided in you "I've decided that I'm gay", what counsel would you give them?
Let the commenting begin ...

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Guidelines for Gay Mormons

There is an idea that has been brewing in the MoHo community for the past week or so. It started out in private chats, and became public in -L-'s blog; that is, the need for something like a "For the Strength of Gay Youth" pamphlet to help people with SSA understand what is OK and what is not in their unique situation. This has generated a whole lot of discussion over on -L-'s blog (here and here), with several interesting, and at times odd, tangents.

The idea started out as guidelines for gay youth; however, I personally feel it needs to be more inclusive to be applicable to everyone of all ages. Someone also pointed out that if you are producing something targeted at people under 18 then that opens up a whole can of worms that we probably don't want to get into.

Personally, I feel we need something that is produced by those of us who live with this every day. There are many questions we've all asked ourselves. For someone who is just starting down this path, what is it we want them to know so that they can learn from our experience?

In an effort to get this discussion back on track and to move forward, it was suggested that we first need a list of potential topics. So, I want to throw out a few.
  • Acceptance
OK, you have finally accepted that you are gay. Now what?
  • Reconciliation with church doctrine
How does one reconcile being gay with church doctrine?
  • Activity in the church
How does a gay person remain active in the church?
  • In or out of the closet?
There is no one size fits all answer to this question as everyone's specific situation is unique. However, I do think that a discussion of things to be considered when making such a decision would be helpful. Also, a discussion of who you should come out to and when is the best time to do so:
  • Parents/Spouse
  • Brothers & sisters/Children
  • Extended family members
  • Friends
  • Acquaintances
  • Anybody you meet on the street
Related to this topic, how do you respond to people whom you do not want to reveal that you're gay but who ask questions and/or make comments?
  • Are you dating? Do you have a girlfriend? Let me introduce you to this girl I know.
  • You're so domestic, you'd make a good wife (I've gotten this before)
  • Homosexuals are just a bunch of selfish perverts
  • "that's so gay"
  • ... and the list goes on and on
  • Acceptable relationships with other people of the same gender (gay or straight)
Often, a gay person feels a need to bond with members of their same gender in some way.
  • How does you find someone to be a companion?
  • How much should be revealed to a close friend?
  • How much touching (hugs, pats, etc.) is acceptable?
  • What are some good activities to engage in?
  • What are warning signs that things are going too far?
  • If the friend is straight, how do you make sure they don't get freaked out?
  • Heterosexual marriage
A lot of gay men (and women) are, or have been, married. Some are successful, but many end in divorce. What considerations are there for a gay person contemplating marriage?
  • What needs to be disclosed? And what is best left secret?
  • What should be disclosed before marriage?
  • What should be disclosed to parents and/or family members?
  • Intimacy between a husband and wife when one of them is gay
  • Children
  • Divorce
Sometimes a marriage just isn't working and a divorce is the best option for all concerned. What considerations are there for someone who finds themselves in such a situation. How can such a separation be amicable? If there are children involved then how can both parents remain involved in the lives of their children?
  • Dating
Is it possible for two gay people of the same gender to be 'boyfriends' or 'girlfriends' while maintaining a platonic relationship? Personally I believe it is. The problem arises when it is viewed as unacceptable in the environment where they live. This forces them to seek out companionship in secret which invites temptation. A heterosexual couple would face similar temptations if they were forced to keep their relationship secret.
If we accept the premise that a platonic dating relationship can be acceptable then what are the boundaries? Can it include things like:
  • Hand holding
  • Hugging
  • Cuddling
  • Kissing
  • Sleep overs

That should be enough to get this ball rolling.