Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Heading to California

My wife and I talked a bit yesterday about "the bombshell" (as she affectionally calls it). We haven't talked about it much in the last week or so. She said she is doing OK. She said that one thing she doesn't understand is me looking at cute guys because she doesn't look at cute guys. I reminded her that men and women are different and then asked "do you think straight guys don't look at cute girls?" She then replied "I guess you're right". Then she added "but, if I were to look at a cute guy, it occurs to me that you might be checking out the same guy" and then started laughing. I guess this means we're making progress when she can laugh about it. Although, I will have to admit that it caught me off guard so that I only muttered something to the effect of "I guess so."

Tomorrow (Thursday) my wife and I are flying out to California for the blessing of our new granddaughter on Sunday. This will be my first time seeing my granddaughter in person (second time for my wife since she was there for the birth). Although, thanks to modern technology, I've been able to see lots of pictures of her. As an aside, my son at BYU-Idaho has discovered that sitting at a computer in the school library looking at pictures of his baby niece is a great way to pick up chicks.

We will return to Texas on Tuesday, March 6th. I don't know how much computer access I'll have while we are gone. So, I probably won't be blogging during my absence. In fact, even if I have access to a computer, I doubt I'll be checking my blog because I don't want to leave breadcrumbs to my blog on my daughters computer. That would be very awkward if she and/or her husband were to discover my blog.

"Confessions of a Mormon Boy" is playing in West Hollywood which I would kind of like to see. It's a bit frustrating since I'll be right there (my daughter and her husband only live about 10 miles from West Hollywood). But, I'll have to pass - this trip is about my granddaughter and her parents, not me. I'll just have to wait until if/when it comes to Texas.

As a closing thought, let me quote some lines from the play "My Turn on Earth"
Satan: Let me take care of you. If you follow me, I promise that not one soul will be lost. Why, that man over there will lead you into dangerous paths. He's a warmonger. I tell you that if you follow him, there will be wars, there will be bloodshed, starvation, crime. The powerful will prey upon the weak. I promise you peace, happiness - all of you. I will see to it personally that you are all taken care of and returned here without difficulty. Follow me!

Jesus: I cannot promise you the same. It's true that if you follow me, there will be dangers, difficulties. Perhaps even wars and bloodshed. For you will be free to choose them if you wish. I cannot do everything for you. no one can - no one should. For the most precious gift we have been given, next to life itself, is the power to direct that life. We must have the opportunity to choose. And there must be the possibility of wrong choices. To discover the powers that are within us, and not look continually to someone else. To use our own free agency. This is growth - and growth must be!

From the gospel of Carol Lynn Pearson and Lex de Azevedo.

Later ...till next week

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Pet Peeve

This weekend is Stake Conference. Actually, it will be a regional broadcast for Texas, Oklahoma, and (I believe), New Mexico. So, all of the stakes in the region are having Stake Conference.

Yesterday I went to Priesthood Leadership in the afternoon and the adult session of Stake Conference in the evening. Prior to that, I attended another leadership meeting on Thursday evening. This afternoon we'll be attending the general session. Overall the meetings have been good and I've been uplifted, and I'm looking forward to being uplifted again this afternoon.

However, I have a pet peeve that I want to get off my chest. I don't know how it is elsewhere in the church, but in my stake there is a proclivity to bash men while putting women up on a pedestal. We are constantly reminded how the visiting teaching percentages are much higher than home teaching. This week they were focusing on the youth program, and they talked about how the young women's program is much more organized than the young men.

It is true that there is a disparity in programs run by men compared to those run by women. What they fail to mention is that there are fundamental differences in the programs that can explain the disparity other than men are pigs and women are angels.
  • Visiting teachers can make phone calls and even mail letters and count it as a visit. Home Teachers can only count physical visits.
  • With focus on women not working outside the home in the church, women, in general, tend to have more time that they can devote to their callings than men.
  • In the Aaronic Priesthood programs, there is more of a focus on having the youth plan and lead the program rather than having adults organize everything. I'm not saying that young women don't have this focus. But, I believe, it is stronger focus for the young men. Young Men adult leaders are continually reminded that Deacon and Teacher quorum presidents have the keys - not the adult leaders. And that the adult leaders role is to advise and counsel, not to lead.

I'm not trying to imply that women leaders should run things more like the men. I'm just saying that there are fundamental differences in the programs, so comparisons are meaningless (apples and oranges). Maybe it's just because I like boys, but, I tend to have more faith in my fellow brethren than what I hear preached from the pulpit.

In our leadership meeting on Thursday, they also touched briefly on same sex attraction. First they talked about mental illness (e.g depression, schizophrenia, etc.) and then segued into same sex attraction. Maybe I'm just being overly sensitive, but that kind of bothered me.

They discussed the causes of SSA. Apparently, many men have SSA because of sexual abuse from their childhood by an older male; and, many women have SSA because of sexual abuse from their childhood by an older male. Evidently (at least what they explained), when a boy is abused by a male he reacts by wanting to become intimate with other boys; but, when a girl is abused by a male she reacts by rejecting all men and only wants to associate with girls. Again, perhaps I'm being overly sensitive, but I was bothered by this over simplification of SSA and its causes. Plus, I don't think the cause matters. For me, what is important is what I do about it in the here and now.

I will say that I was impressed by the Stake Presidents admonition that we need to have more compassion and understanding for those that have SSA. For both the mental illness discussion and the SSA discussion, he was telling the Bishops that they shouldn't just focus on the actions of members, but they need to take into account the possible cause of their actions. He explained that there may be other factors driving them to their actions other than they are just making bad choices. Perhaps this is why he was lumping mental illness and SSA together because his advise and counsel to the Bishops was the same for both. (although, it did tend to come across as SSA being a form of mental illness caused by childhood abuse).

He also explained that many people with SSA want to be faithful church members, but they feel guilt because of their feelings and attractions which drives them away from the church. He said that we need to make sure they understand that the feelings and attractions are not sinful. I almost wanted to stand up in the meeting and shout "Yes! I'm a fag, but I'm a good faithful church member just like the rest of you!". Well, I didn't really want to do that, but it would have been funny to see everyone's reaction if I had.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

States of Grace - God's Army II, part 2

My wife was out a few evenings ago with her scrapbooking group. My daughter was out with her boyfriend. Since I was home alone, I decided to watch "States of Grace - God's Army II" again before I returned the DVD to Netflix (thank goodness Netflix doesn't have any late fees).

The movie was better the 2nd time than it was the 1st time even though I knew what was going to happen. There were some little things in the movie that bugged me. This time I noticed a couple of things that I hadn't noticed the first time. But, it is still the ending that gets to me. This time I cried! I've never allowed myself to cry in a movie before. I've always made fun of people who cry at movies. But, this time I cried with real tears and everything. I even had to get my handkerchief out of my pocket to wipe away my tears.

What's happening to me? I feel kind of silly. I've never allowed myself to show emotion before because I didn't want to appear un-manly. Now that I've accepted that I'm gay, is this the true me coming out? Who is the real me? Is he a blubbering fool? This is certainly a new development. I never considered that, in addition to hiding the gay side of me, I might also be hiding another part of me - the real me.

Or, maybe it's all just a fluke. Perhaps I was just getting caught up in the emotion because of all the stuff that's happened the last few weeks. Perhaps I'll regain my composure and be my old self again, the me I've always known.

How do I know who the real me is?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Eternally gay?

33 And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.

34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.
Alma 34:33-34

We read this scripture this morning in our scripture study. Afterwards my wife asked me for my thoughts and I responded that I didn't have any. But I lied, I do have thoughts, but not any that I felt comfortable discussing with her. It is the last half of verse 34 that has given me pause.

... for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.

Does this mean that if I'm gay in this life that I'll also be gay in the next? I've read other gay Mormon's write things to the effect that they know these feelings and attractions will only be present in this earthly life and that they will no longer have to endure them in the afterlife. But, what is the scriptural basis for such a belief? Isn't the spirit which possesses my body right now attracted to other male spirits? And, according to Alma, won't that same spirit be with me in the eternal world? Am I going to enter the next life thinking "Wow! Nephi is even hotter in real life than he is in the pictures"?

Or are my attractions to men purely physical - like hunger? If that is true then wouldn't that also hold true for straight guys and their attractions to women? If I'm not going to be attracted to male spirits in the next life then doesn't it also hold true that straight men won't be attracted to female spirits in the next life?

This scripture is, of course, not new to me. I've read it many times before. I recall having discussions with missionary companions about this. We would often use examples to the effect that if a person is is a stupid jerk in this life then they will also be a stupid jerk in the next life, unless they do something about it in this life (i.e. repent and forsake being a stupid jerk).

But, what does this mean in regards to my attractions to men? I can repent of my actions, but do I have any control over the attractions? If I can't control them then is repentance necessary? How can I forsake something I cannot control? If I cannot repent and forsake my attractions to men, then what promise do I have that these feelings won't be with me eternally?

There are some who claim that same sex attraction is a choice, and that I can choose to not to be attracted to men. But, these claims are made by people who have never experienced them. I don't know why I am attracted to men. But, one thing I do know beyond any reasonable doubt is that I did not choose to be this way. The very suggestion of choice defies logic - why would I choose to be attracted to men and then torture myself for the rest of my life by not allowing myself to act on these attractions?

When we teach young men about the law of chastity, we often quote Elder Boyd K. Packer where he says:

"It was necessary that this power of creation have at least two dimensions. One, it must be strong, and two, it must be more or less constant.

This power must be strong. Except for the compelling persuasion of these feelings, men would be reluctant to accept the responsibility of sustaining a home and a family. This power must be constant, too, for it becomes a binding tie in family life."
Aaronic Priesthood Manual 1, lesson #45 "The Sacred Power of Procreation"

But, what does this mean for those of us where something was cross wired so that the urges within us are directed at our own gender rather than towards women? It is still just as strong and constant. And, if our strong sexual urges compel us "accept the responsibility of sustaining a home and a family", then what is compelling me, with my attractions to men, to accept that responsibility?

I don't know where I'm going with this train of thought. Maybe I'm just in one of my "why me?" self pity moods.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Six interesting facts about me

This is for Master Fob where he issued a challenge in his latest post to list six interesting facts about ourselves.
  1. I used to live in an antique store. When I was in 7th grade, my father opened an antique store. When I was in high school, he moved his store to a building that had a small apartment in the back. This is where I learned to play the keyboard. He had an old pump organ in the store. I would go out in the evenings and play it. Using a keyboard diagram, I figured out where middle C was. I then counted up and down and figured out what the other keys were. I already knew how to read music; so, using an old hymnal that he also had in the store (an old protestant hymnal, although I don't recall the exact denomination), I painstakingly learned to play "Oh Come, All Ye Faithful", note by note, and measure by measure. To this day, I can still play that song from memory.
  2. My first computer programs were written on punch cards. Although industry had pretty much moved beyond punch cards by the time I was in college, my school was kind of behind the times and had an old Control Data computer which used punch cards. I worked in the computer center, and it was my job to pick up the card decks in the computer lab, run them through the card reader, retrieve the printouts, and return them to the lab. I worked the night shift, so it wasn't very busy. I used my spare time to work on my own programming assignments (in FORTRAN). BTW, this school computer was a state of the art machine which filled a room and had a whooping 48K of memory (that's right, Kilobytes, not Megabytes or Gigabytes). It used the old magnetic core memory. There were 3 memory modules which were each the size of a large bookcase and had 16K each. The operator console used a modified IBM Selectric typewriter (the one with the ball). It also emitted all of these noises that sounded amazingly similar to R2D2. Each of the different input/output operations had their own sound they would make. The professional computer programmers for the school would often come into the computer room to listen to their programs run. They could tell if there was a problem with the code just by the sound it made while running.
  3. I worked in France for 3 months. A few years ago, an opportunity came up at work to go on a temporary assignment in France for 3 months. I was in Orlean, which is in the Loire Valley. I don't speak a word of French having taken German in school (and then only 1 year). It wasn't a problem at the office since everyone spoke English. But, it could sometimes be a problem evenings and weekends when I was out on my own. Often in restaurants, I would just point to something on the menu and hope that I didn't just order lambs brains (or something equally disgusting). BTW, did you know that the computer keyboard on French computers is different? Some of the letters are in different places on the keyboard, and you have to use the shift key to type in numbers. This can be a real problem for a touch typist like me. I was told that I could come home once during the 3 month period. Instead, I opted to bring my wife to France for 10 days while her mother stayed with our children back home.
  4. I like to get together with friends to play games. My favorite games are "Pig Pile" and "Dirty Uno". Pig Pile (not to be confused with "Pigmania" where you roll the pigs) is a mindless game, but it is fun. Dirty Uno is like regular Uno with some additional rules added: Swap Hands - whenever someone plays a '0' (zero) the players all pass their hand in whatever direction the play is going at the time. Magic Number - at the beginning of the game, all players count off 1, 2, 3, ..., this is their own personal wild card which they can play if they can't play anything else, although, they do not get to change the color. Stack - if a player plays a "Draw 2" or "Wild Draw 4" and the next player happens to have that card, they can play it and the player after them has to draw 4 (or 8). If that player also has the card then they can play it and the amount to be drawn goes up correspondingly. Stacking is only available for the player whose turn it is and the color of the "Draw 2" does not have to match. Match - if a player plays a card and you have the same exact card (color and number) then you can yell "Match" and play it even if it isn't your turn. Play then continues after the player that matched. If matching a "Draw 2" out of turn then the color also has to match. Finally, if a player can't play a card, they have to keep drawing until they can.
  5. I don't like being cold. I grew up in California. I moved to Texas after I was married with two children when my company transferred me here (23 years ago). I tell my wife that I'm content to live my life south of the Mason-Dixon line. I just don't like being cold. I once had an opportunity at work to transfer to Boulder, Colorado; but, I turned it down - too much white stuff in the winter. Even here in Texas it gets colder than I would like in the winter sometimes. Personally, I wouldn't mind moving to Florida; but, my wife (having grown up way North) says she could never live there because of the heat and humidity. So, where we live is a compromise. It's as far North as I'm willing to live and as far South as she is willing to live. I shiver during the winter and she melts during the summer. Fortunately, it never stays cold for long here. But, it sure does stay hot for long periods of time in the summer - what's up with that?
  6. I used to like giving my missionary companions back rubs. I guess I was seeking out some sort of physical contact even though I didn't admit to myself at the time that I was gay.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Living on the edge

We celebrated my birthday on Sunday. We invited my oldest son and his fiancée (and twin babies) and my youngest daughter with her newest beau over for dinner. I had decided that I wanted a Mongolian Hot Pot for my birthday dinner. For those who have never heard of a Mongolian Hot Pot: Basically, you put a pot of simmering broth in the middle of the table (using a fondue pot, or something similar) and have a selection of raw meats and vegetables. Using fondue forks, everyone cooks their own meat and vegetables. You then have a variety of sauces that they can use to season their food. It can be a lot of fun with the right people. Although, I'm not sure we had the right people. I think my son enjoyed it, but I'm not so sure about his fiancée. I don't think my daughter enjoyed it much (she is a very picky eater), and her boyfriend probably thinks we're just really weird.

Anyway, for the Mongolian Hot Pot, I prepared a variety of meats, vegetables, and sauces, including:

* Raw pork, sliced thin
* Fresh spinach
* A sesame seed sauce that had raw egg in it

And, to top it off, my wife made me a Peanut Butter cake. Yup, and she used that big ol jar of Peter Pan peanut butter that we have. She reasoned that it would be OK since the cake is cooked. Although, the peanut butter frosting that she made wasn't cooked.

It's a miracle that we're all still alive to talk about it!

Seriously though, I never give much credence to anything that the media picks up on and hypes to death.
  • I don't worry about West Nile virus when I'm working in my garden (even though we have lots of mosquitoes here in Texas and there have been reported cases in the area)
  • I have zero interest in who's sleeping with who in Hollywood circles (or who's marrying/divorcing who, or who's having a baby, etc.)
  • I'm skeptical about Global Warming
And now I can add to my list
  • I eat Peter Pan peanut butter (with a batch number that starts with 2111)

Living on the edge I am. I can just hear my mother (God rest her soul) "If all of the other gay Mormon's jumped off of a cliff, would you jump too?" No, on second thought, I can't hear her saying that, I can hear her saying "You're a what!?!?!"

And now for something completely different ...

Went to Barnes and Nobels yesterday and bought the book "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell" by Susanna Clarke. First I had to decide if I wanted the hardback edition, the paperback edition, or the mass produced paperback edition. I opted for the latter because it was cheaper. But, then I had to decide if I wanted the version with the black cover or the lovely red cover. I opted for the black cover. What's up with having the book come in different color covers anyway? Looking on Amazon, I think it also comes with a white and green covers. Are we supposed to collect all of them?

That book has lots of words in it. 1,006 pages of words. As I flipped through the book, I noticed that it also has footnotes, and the font used in the footnotes is even smaller (lots more words on a page). Fortunately, my wife and I are heading out to California the first weekend in March (to be there for the blessing of our granddaughter). So, I'll have lots of time sitting in airports and on a plane to read. I had also reserved it at our local library (on their web site). After seeing that it is on the bestseller list and reading some of the reviews, my wife said she is going to go ahead and check it out from the library and read it too.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Peanut Butter

We're all gunna die!!!

Heard the news on the Radio about Peter Pan peanut butter being recalled because of possible Salmonella poisening.

Went and checked our pantry; and sure enough, we have a big ol jar of Peter Pan peanut butter. Checked the batch number and it starts with 2111 (gasp!)

The thing is, we've had this jar of peanut butter, it seems, forever. Now that the kids are grown, we just don't go through Peanut Butter like we used to. And this is a big jar - 54 oz. (3½ lbs). Plus, we've already eaten, at least, 2/3's of it - and we haven't died yet, not even a little queasiness.

So, do we throw this jar of Peanut Butter out? Or do we just continue eating it until it's gone? According to the news reports, we can save the lid and get reimbursed for the cost of the jar. But, is that the honest thing to do since we've already eaten most of it?

Maybe I should just go downstairs and make myself a Peanut Butter & Raw Pork sandwich.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Deep and Thoughtful

I was reading other gay Mormon blogs and was impressed on how deep and thoughtful they are. My blog seems so shallow. So, this is my attempt at being deep and thoughtful.



And then there's ...


Seriously, I guess my brain just isn't wired to be as insightful as others.

There is a movie my wife and I watched the other day that was thought provoking. The name of the movie is "Hard Pill" and is about a lonely and sad gay man who participates in a medical trial for a pill to turn gay men into heterosexuals.

Before I get into the movie, I want to point out that I recorded this movie from LogoTV which does a good job of editing out bad words and scenes. The movie is unrated; but, I would rate the version I watched as PG, and I was comfortable watching it with my wife. Although, there were a couple of spots in the movie where I could tell something got edited out (I have no idea what they were). I just didn't want someone watching the unedited DVD version and wondering "what the heck is ME doing watching this kind of stuff?" Overall, my wife liked the movie too. The one thing in the movie that bothered her was men kissing. There wasn't anything hot and heavy, or graphic (at least in the edited version I watched). Just the thought of men kissing bothers her.

I expected the movie to end with gay guy deciding that he was happier being gay and returning to his gay life - but it didn't. Trying not to give anything away, the ending was actually very sad. I also thought the movie did a very good job of presenting all sides of the issue. The outrage expressed by the gay community verses the religious community wondering what is wrong with giving people a choice. They also addressed the gay marriage issue with one of the openly gay men expressing his reservations about it (when he says "it's just one more thing that I'll be expected to do"). It wasn't the kind of movie that tries to steer you in a certain direction. It just presented all sides of the issue and then left you to your own conclusions.

Regarding the question
If there was a straight pill, would you take it?

This is actually something I have been thinking about for a while (even before watching the film, which is probably why I wanted to watch it). As recently as several weeks ago, I would have answered "Yes" to that question without hesitation. Now, I'm not quite so eager to answer "Yes". Although, I'm not ready to answer "No" either.

Having these feelings and attractions without allowing myself to act on them is difficult and challenging. But, I find myself wondering if excising these from me would destroy some other part of me in the process. Would it be like losing my appendix (which I'm not even sure what it does and I doubt I would ever miss)? Or, would it be like losing my right arm (and having to go through extensive therapy to adapt)?

The fact of the matter is, I like boys. I've been this way my entire life, and I can't even imagine what it would be like to feel otherwise. If you take away my attractions to men, would they be automatically replaced with attractions to women? Or would I become asexual without any attractions? Is it better to feel some attraction, some attachment, to other humans than to have no attractions at all? And, what sort of complex interactions do these attractions have with other aspects of my identity?

These are deep and thoughtful questions. Unfortunately, I don't have any extra insight into them. It seems the more I ponder this, the more questions I come up with rather than answers. This deep and thoughtful stuff hurts my brain. Maybe I should just go back to thinking about what flowers I want to plant in my garden this spring, or something along those lines.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentines Day

Today is Valentines Day. So, how will we be spending our day? First of all, we got up and did our scripture study. Then we went to work out (we've been working out 3 days/week). Afterwards I suggested we go out to get some breakfast; but, my wife had to decline because she had to be to work early. If she gets home early enough, we may go out to lunch.

Tonight, the youth at church are hosting a dinner for their parents; so, my wife and I will be there to help out. I was asked to take pictures of the parents as they arrive; so, I'll be setting up my portable studio. I'll probably stay after to help cleanup.

When I got up this morning, there was a live orchid plant on our kitchen table that my wife bought me. When she got out of the shower, there was a box of chocolates and some kitchen doodads sitting on the kitchen table that I bought for her. I usually try to put the gifts out the night before, but I ended up going to bed before her last night.

So, there you have it, Valentines Day in our household. Not as romantic as some, but a typical Valentines Day for us.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Out of the closet, day 14

It has been 2 weeks since I told my wife that I'm gay.

Friday wasn't a good day for my wife. Of course, being the dunderhead that I am sometimes, I didn't notice until I came into the bedroom to go to bed and noticed that she had been crying. So we talked. We talked (and other stuff) for about 3 hours. Saturday morning, I took her out to breakfast.

She was feeling much better on Saturday morning; I was feeling good. And then the waiter came up to ask us what we wanted to drink. I looked up at him and then had to look away - he was drop dead gorgeous. Later, when he brought us our water and juice and took our order, I just stared into my menu and mumbled "I'll have the country breakfast." Of course, then I had to make some decisions: how did I want my eggs cooked, did I want ham, bacon, or sausage, etc. I just wanted him to go away. Well, not exactly, I really wanted him to sit down at the table with us so that I could bask in his beauty. Why does God do this to me? Couldn't he have sent the old lady waitress that I saw as we were escorted into the dining area? Maybe we should start eating at Hooters - wouldn't be any temptation there, so I've been told. I've never actually eaten there - but I hear they have good wings :-)

One thing my wife and I talked about is that we need to do more together. We both have our hobbies and tend to get caught up in our own activities and interests. We feel that we need to find something that we can both do together - something totally different than what we each do individually. So, Saturday, after doing some chores around the house, we went to the downtown area in the city where we live and visited a couple of glass blowers that we knew teach classes. It certainly met the criteria of 'totally different'. We haven't decided if that is what we want to do yet, right now we're just exploring ideas.

BTW, I love the town we live in! How many towns have glass blowers? We have two of them as well as art galleries, etc. - all within a mile of where we live (a town with about 45,000 people - not too big, but not too small either). But, I digress.

Saturday afternoon we both went went to the Worldwide Leadership training broadcast. The theme was "Teaching" and they emphasized that we are all teachers. It was a much more informal setting than what we are used to with general conference and other broadcasts. The things that I brought back from the training are:
  • We need to truly love those whom we teach.
  • We shouldn't feel like we need to teach everything in the lesson manual in the allocated time. We should pick 2 or 3 principles from the lesson and focus on those.
  • We need to adequately prepare our lessons. It was suggested that we first read the lesson a week prior so that we can ponder it during the week.
  • We need to end each lesson with our testimony of the principals that we taught.

They also talked about how we need to "teach by the spirit"; but, I'm not exactly sure what that really means. It is one of those phrases that tends to roll off our tongues. But, how do we really know when we're teaching by the spirit? I know when I've taught the young men, some lessons go really crappy and others I come away from feeling really good about. For the ones I felt good about, does that mean I taught by the spirit? Or did I just do a good job of teaching the lesson? Even for the crappy lessons, isn't it possible that there was something said in the lesson that touched the life of one of the young men? Isn't that teaching by the spirit? Oh well, I guess I'll just have to ponder on this some more.

There was a lot more that they talked about; but, it was kind of warm in the Stake Center where we were watching the broadcast and I was tired from our late night talking marathon. So, I think I dozed off a couple of times. Or, maybe it was because I was sitting next to our High Priest group leader who was also nodding off - he was demonstrating to me how to be an old person, and I was just practicing.

Our ward choir sang today. I didn't sing with them because my allergies are really bad right now and I can't sing. So, I got to listen. Afterwards, I went up to the choir director and told her that I thought the choir sounded fabulous. I can't believe I used that word: "fabulous". That's such a gay word. How many straight manly men do I know go around saying "fabulous"? What's next, am I going to start wearing a pink shirt and rainbow tie to church?

Friday, February 9, 2007


The masses have spoken (which, at the time I'm writing this, is 7 people); and, they have decreed that the MoHo Book Club selection for February is Poetry (well, 5 of them decreed it). The Goal, as described by -L- is:
Anyone could provide a few poems on their blog and then comment on them. Whatever is personally meaningful.

I have a number of poems, quotes, etc. that I started collecting way back when I was just a wee little Mormon convert. While I was serving my mission, I started to compile these into a notebook. I continued to add to this notebook in the months following my mission. However, I stopped after I married - I don't really know why. I suppose it was just the time and stresses associated with being married, a full time student, and working to support a family.

Anyway, there are a couple of poems in my notebook which have special meaning to me and which I've tried to live my life by. Unfortunately, I wasn't very good about notating source references.

The Monument by Blain M. Jorgason

Before He sent His children to earth
Gave each of them
A very carefully selected package
Of problems.
He promised, smiling
Are yours alone. No one
Else may have the blessings
These problems will bring you
And only you
Have the special talents and abilities
To make these problems
Your servants.
Now, go down to your birth,
And your forgetfulness. Know that
I love you beyond measure.
The problems that I give you
Are a symbol of that love.
The monuments you make of your life,
With the help of your problems,
Will be a symbol of your
Love for me.

This poem is a strength to me whenever I start feeling sorry for myself and asking "why me?". I've used this poem when teaching lessons to the youth about Adversity.

Impossible by Alveda Polyak

You told me
And like the innocent child I was
I believed you.
You, with your lying
Twisting words that left me
Buried in despair.
You declared me
Before I had a chance
to live. But now I've
Grown. I've learned.
Some inner belief
Born in me
Unbound the iron clasps
And with eyes wide open
I see the world.
Now I can live,
Knowing throughout my entire soul,
I can do anything,
Everything, whatever
I faithfully believe
I can do

Something I've battled my entire life is low self esteem and a self defeatist attitude. I constantly have to remind myself that I am a child of my Heavenly Father. That I am worthwhile. And that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to do.

Who's Crazy? by Dayle King

You're crazy, they said, to aim for the stars.
The stars are much, much too high

You're silly! they shouted,
Look at yourself; You're human,
you can't even fly.

And so as I jumped and sprang and leaped
Laughing they all stood around.
I did not reach the stars, as they said,
But at least my feet left the ground.

You've all heard the cliché "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." I hate that cliché. If we truly lived by that proverb then we would still be plowing fields by hand. I believe there is always room for improvement in whatever we do. We need to take risks. And we need to set our sights high. We may never achieve our goals, but we will still be better off than had we done nothing. The other thing this poem teaches me is that we shouldn't be concerned about what others think. We need to do those things that we feel are right.

Finally, since coming out to myself a few months ago, I have tried my own hand at writing poetry. I've never done anything like this before, and I'm sure they would probably make an English major cringe. But, they do have meaning to me as they describe the feelings and emotions I've had as I've gone through this coming out process. You can link to all of my poems in the right nav bar. >>>>>

As I go back and read these, I'll be the first to admit that some of them are kind of pedestrian. But, there are a couple which have special meaning to me.

Alone describes how I felt when I first sat myself down a few months ago and said "self, admit it, you're gay". To a certain degree, I still feel this way at times.

The Way I Am describes my acceptance that this is who I am. I arrived at this point a few weeks after admitting to myself that I'm gay.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Ted Haggard

The queerosphere is all a-buzz these days over Ted Haggard and his miraculous conversion to heterosexuality in just 3 weeks. So, I thought I would weigh in on the topic.

I pointed to the article that was in our local newspaper yesterday and asked my wife what she thought. Her response was something to the effect of "knowing what I know now, I don't believe him." I then asked what her opinion would have been a couple of weeks ago (before the great coming out). She responded that she wouldn't have cared. She would have seen the headline and just skipped the article entirely.

She then asked what I thought. I responded that I thought he was a snake oil salesman. I then added that I would have probably said the same thing even before all of this came out. (I try to respect all religions and beliefs, but these millionaire preachers with their mega-churches are exempt from my respect.)

I then pointed out where the article said that he and his wife will be pursuing a career in psychology and how that was my real concern. Given his previous stature before his fall, he is obviously charismatic and is able to convince people to give him millions of dollars. Putting that kind of person in a position of trust as a counselor, I believe, is a dangerous combination.

I can just imagine the infomercials
Having problems with those evil homosexual feelings?

Do you wish you could look at women the same way you look at men?

Call 1-800-555-HOMO.

For just 5 easy payments of $29.95, we can convert you to a complete heterosexual.

Call 1-800-555-HOMO.

And, if you act now, we'll throw in a Playboy magazine as a bonus so that you can fully enjoy your new heterosexuality.

Call 1-800-555-HOMO.

Thats 1-800-555-HOMO.

Call now!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


Thrasius posed a question in his blog recently:
Why have so many LDS guys with SSA chosen to get married without first disclosing their 'gayness' in any way?

As I commented in his blog, It is a fair question and one that needs to be asked and openly discussed.

Beck also discussed this in his blog. Although, my experiences are different from his. I spent my formative years in California, near Santa Cruz. At the time, Santa Cruz had an openly gay mayor. Santa Cruz is only about 75 miles South of San Francisco which had already established itself as a, sort of, gay mecca. Also, my father owned an antique store. Antiques is one of those areas that tends to attract a higher percentage of gay people than the population in general. I recall conversations between my parents, referring to the owners of other stores (two men) and wondering which one was the guy and which one was the girl.

So, I was not naive about what 'gay' meant. I first started having thoughts that I might be gay in high school. However, after joining the church in college, I was taught, as a new convert, that anything I may have done prior to my baptism was washed away. The Lord would remember them no more and neither should I. Not that I did anything really bad; I've never acted on these feelings. But, I did have unholy thoughts about some of the boys at school, especially those who shared a PE class with me.

I don't mean to sound like I'm trying to justify my actions. But, when I married, any thoughts of being gay was just something that was part of my past and did not need any further discussion.. I married about 5 years after joining the church. During that time I had decided to serve a mission, dropped out of college to raise money for a mission, served a mission, got back into college, and was now preparing to move onto the next phase of my life - to marry and to start a family. Any thoughts I had of men earlier in my life was just a phase I had gone through - one that I genuinely believed I had overcome. It wasn't until after our 2nd child was born that the feelings and attractions returned - this time with a vengeance.

I still remember distinctly the catalyst that caused these feelings to return. I was in my senior year at college. Upon verifying that I had met all of the requirements for graduation, I discovered that I was missing a PE class. So, I enrolled in one my final semester. I had taken another semester of PE earlier in my college years; but, it was one of those wussy classes that didn't require getting dressed up. This was the first time since I had graduated from high school that I was in a boys locker room. At the risk of sounding crass, I have to say that some of the other guys in this class were really good looking, especially when they took their shirts off during class. But, there was one boy in particular whose locker was next to mine. Three times a week I had to endure being next to him as he walked back from the showers. He always stood facing me while he dried himself off and got dressed. I tried so hard not to look - to not sneak a peek. I did not want these feelings to return. But, I found myself having unrighteous thoughts about him, dreaming about him, even fantasizing about him. That summer, after college, for the first time in my life I sought out gay pornography. We didn't have the internet back in those days, so I bought a magazine in a bookstore. After a couple of days I was disgusted with myself and so overcome with guilt that I threw the magazine away. I recall ceremoniously finding a trash can far from where I lived because I did not want it anywhere near me or my family.

There is more to this story which I may blog about sometime; but, suffice it to say that I have dabbled in pornography other times since then, but it is not a problem in my life right now. I used to sometimes wonder how my life might have been different if I hadn't taken that PE class. But, in retrospect, I don't think my life would be any different. If it hadn't been that PE class, something else would have come along as a catalyst to trigger these feelings within me and bring them to the surface again. And, even though I had a few years where I genuinely felt that I had conquered these attractions - that God had cured me. The reality is that the attractions never really went away; I just did a good job of rationalizing them as something else, such as brotherly love. All that PE class did was trigger the same feelings inside of me; only this time I couldn't rationalize them away as something innocent.

But, I digress. A corollary question to that posed by Thrasius might be:

Why didn't I confess these attractions to my wife once I realized that they had returned and that I had not overcome them as I had believed?

Another fair question - one that I don't have a good answer to. I will say that this is something that my wife and I have discussed a couple of times since I came out of the closet to her. She has said that if I had told her this while our children were young, she doesn't feel like she could have handled it. The implication being that it could very well have resulted in our divorce.

So, if I knew then what I know now would I have told her before we married? I want to say "Yes", but, truthfully, I don't really know. Some things are extremely difficult for me to say. For example, I never actually said the words "will you marry me". I just sort of shoved the ring in front of her face and hoped she got the hint. So, how would I tell her that I was gay? Wear a pink shirt and shove a rainbow pin in front of her face? (did they even have those back then?)

Would I recommend to others who have same sex attraction to talk about it with their fianceé before marriage? Absolutely! Although, I realize that sounds hypocritical.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Out of the closet, day 9

We had another discussion this afternoon. My wife said that she feels like I am withdrawing from her. Truth is, she is right, so I couldn't deny it. I then told her that I didn't know what to say because I didn't know if what I said would bother her and make her cry. She then brought up an incident that happened a few days ago when we were in a restaurant. I had leaned over to her and asked "would it bother you if I told you that the waiter over there is cute?" It was one of those things that seemed like a good idea at the time, but in retrospect, it was probably better left unsaid (sometimes I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree). It did bother her. She told me that when I said it, and she has brought it up a couple of times since. This time, our conversation went something like:

her: The reason it bothers me is that you even said it. Married people don't say things like that to each other.

me: (getting defensive) Is that true? Ever since we've been married you've had the hots for Robert Vaughn.

her: When I was 15!

me: Then why are you recording old episodes of "Man from UNCLE" on our DVR?

her: (long pause) Now that you put it that way...

The truth is, there have been several times in our 27 years of marriage when she has pointed out some guy and let me know how good looking she thought he was. Not that it bothers me. I'm just pointing out that her premise that 'married people don't say things like that to each other' is false, at least in our marriage. Although, I've never pointed out a girl and told her how pretty I thought she was (but, not for reasons of purity of heart. I just don't look at girls that way).

But, back to the issue at hand, the reality is, I don't know what to say to her. Whenever I say something to her that drives home the reality that I like boys, she tells me it bothers her that I feel that way. But, what else is there to being gay? Isn't that what being gay means? Should I tell her that, because I'm gay, I'm having unnatural desires to redecorate the living room?

I guess I'm starting to get a little frustrated. I'm starting to feel like I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't. I know this is hard on her - that it is a lot for her to take in right now. But, I think she needs to give me some guidance here. This is uncharted territory for us.

Maybe we do need some counseling. If nothing else, to help us figure out how we can talk about it without upsetting each other. I don't want this to become the elephant in the room that we both pretend to ignore.

I'm going to the Temple tonight. This time alone because she has another meeting that she needs to go to. It is our ward Temple night, so I talked to some friends who are giving me a ride. Perhaps a Temple session will help me clear my head. I think I'll add both our names to the Temple roll this time.


I was reading through the messages on q-saints and came across one titled "Faith . . ." by Larry in Virginia. (I won't include the entire message here; but, it is message #38240 for those who have access to q-saints)

There is one line in this message that really struck a chord with me and which I want to blog about. Referring to a discussion he had with his Bishop, he said:
"...he believes (as do most people) that heterosexuality is about relationships but homosexuality is about sex."

When I read this, it was as though a light came on in my head. A 'eureka' moment, if you will. Although I'm attracted to men, it's not sex that I crave. I don't look at a cute guy and think "He's hot, I want to bed him". I'm married and can have all of the sex that I want. It is experiencing an intimate relationship with another man that I yearn for. A hug, holding hands, that sort of stuff. No kissing though, I don't like to kiss (men or women). I just have this thing about stuff touching my lips. I guess I wouldn't make a very good drag queen :-)

Why can't the world understand this? Well, for one thing, I think we can place part of the blame on Hollywood. Shows like "Will & Grace" depict gay men as thinking only of sex and doing everything they can to avoid relationships. I'm sure that there probably are people like that, both homosexual and heterosexual. But it is wrong to categorize all gay men to be like that. I've done enough reading the last few months to know that there are a lot of gay men who just want to find the right man - one to whom they can have a long term relationship with. That's what the whole gay marriage brouhaha is all about - gay couples want to have the same kinds of relationships that heterosexual couples have, including the legal benefits associated with those relationships.

How does this new understanding help me? I don't know. Although I yearn for an intimate relationship with another man, I am committed to my wife and will probably never experience it. Does understanding my yearning more make it any easier to endure? Probably not. But. it does make the yearning seem less tawdry.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Out of the closet, day 8

I think my house must have been then only home in Texas without a TV tuned to the Superbowl yesterday. Before Saturday I couldn't have even told you what teams were in the Superbowl. However, I heard enough people talking about it on Saturday, at church on Sunday, and on the radio this morning that I know what teams were playing, I even knew who won at some point. But, I think I forgot because I don't care.

Instead, my wife and I watched a movie I had recorded on our DVR last week: "Jeffery". Yes, I know it is "R" rated; but, the channel I recorded it on does a good job of bleeping out all of the bad words and inappropriate scenes (is that a rationalization or what?). Anyway, I didn't like the movie; so, I turned it off about 1/3 into the movie and deleted it from our DVR. Smutty is the word I would use to describe that movie. I think the only reason I wanted to watch "Jeffery" is because it has Patrick Stewart in it (Patrick, I'm disappointed in you).

Anyway, after I stopped the movie, my wife and I had another discussion. Referring to the movie, she asked if the gay culture appealed to me in any way. I answered honestly that it does not. She then asked why I wanted to watch movies like this (meaning gay themed movies). I asked her to envision herself in another country, like Japan, where it was obvious she was different from everyone else (physical characteristics, culture, language, etc.). Then imagine that she saw another American. Wouldn't she feel some affinity towards them? I then explained that is how I feel towards other gay people, even fictitious people in a movie. I feel a connection with them even though I don't really know them and may disagree with their lifestyle. She said that she understood, although it bothered her that I felt that way. I responded that I was just being honest in how I feel.

So, that's where we are. Often we are both doing OK. But, sometimes she cries. Then I feel like a jerk for making her cry which brings me down. But, we are continuing to talk.

Although, I'm beginning to think that telling my wife isn't going to have the outcome that I wanted. I was hoping that I would have someone I could talk to. But, if she is always bothered by what I tell her and starts crying then I don't think I will want to talk to her; I'll just continue to hold it in as I've always done. I'm already finding myself not volunteering much information. I answer her questions as honestly as I can. But, I stopped initiating any conversations. I haven't even ask her how she is doing today as I've done all other days since coming out. I just hate seeing her cry, especially when I'm the source of it.

Maybe we should go in for some marriage counseling. She did some research on the web and found an LDS counselor in our area who spoke at an Evergreen conference a couple of years ago. I don't know if I would be comfortable going to a counselor who advocates the Evergreen approach. I don't want to be 'cured' of my homosexuality, mainly because I don't believe it is possible. I just want to figure out how we can make this relationship work now that my wife knows she married a queer. She found another LDS counselor who happens to have an office within our our Stake boundaries (in the ward next to ours) and presumably lives in the area. I don't think I could do that either. It would be awkward running into them at Stake meetings.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Out of the closet, day 7

Today is the 7th day since I told my wife I'm gay. Actually, I didn't really tell her I'm gay, I told her that I have same sex attraction. Even now I'm having problems saying the actual words out loud (either gay or SSA). I just say things like "that thing about me" or something along those lines. I've held this secret for so long and so deep within me, it is difficult talking about it out loud to another person. Hopefully, that will get easier over time.

Yesterday wasn't so good. My wife was having a hard time. I think things are beginning to sink in with her. My day started out good, but when she has a bad day then I also have bad day. Somehow it doesn't seem quite fair. I have good days and bad days just as she will have. Except, if her bad days don't align with my bad days then my good days may turn into bad days.

Today was also the first Sunday since my coming out of the closet. That made it kind of weird. As I sat next to the Bishop up on the stand, the thought occurred to me: "what is a fag doing sitting up on the stand?" As my eyes scanned the congregation, I thought "what would they think if they knew there was a queer boy sitting up on the stand?" And, yes, those are the words I was thinking. I tend to think in those words when I start getting down on myself.

But, when the sacrament tray was held in front of me, I partook of the sacrament, and I realized that I was doing so worthily. I'm not perfect. In fact, I'm about as imperfect as they come. But, I have a testimony of Christ, I am living the commandments as best as I can, I am striving to magnify my calling (even though it takes me out of my comfort zone), I attend the Temple regularly, I read my scriptures. I pray. There is, of course, much room for improvement in all of these things; but, I am on the right path.

Best of all, I wore matching trousers and suit jacket today (unlike last Sunday). As I was getting dressed this morning I was trying to remember which suit I wore last Sunday. Then it dawned on me: "Oh yea, both of them."

So, today I'm doing OK. Not good, but not bad either. And my wife said she was doing better today. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Friday, February 2, 2007

States of Grace - God's Army II

It's day 4 of me coming out of the closet, or dragging my wife into my closet, or whatever it is that I did. Anyway, we are doing OK today. We've been having open and frank discussions. One thing that my wife did tell me that was encouraging is that she has been feeling a wide range of emotions, but anger hasn't been one of them. She says that she is still trying to grasp what this all means; but, she thinks she'll be OK. Most importantly, she said that she realizes that I haven't changed. I'm still the same man she married, and the same man that she loved a week ago, and the man that she loves today. I really don't know what I ever did to deserve a woman like her to be my wife.

Anyway, I thought I would blog about something different today and write my review of the movie "States of Grace - God's Army II". We were finally able to sit down and watch it last night.

Unfortunately, we were not able to watch it without interruptions. In the first part of the movie, I got a phone call from the Scoutmaster. Although our Mutual night is Wednesday, the scouts meet on Thursday because we have several non-members in our scout troop who are involved in their own church activities on Wednesday evenings. Last night, it seems that no one had a key to the building. So, I had to pause the movie and drive down to the church to unlock the building for them (fortunately, it is only about a 5 minute drive to the church building from my house). Later in the movie we had a problem with the DVD skipping (a disadvantage of using Netflix). Fortunately, there was only one spot and we were able to get past it.

Before I get into my actual review, I must say that I've never written a review before. Also, I am not nearly as articulate as the other members of the MoHo Book Club. English was never a strong subject for me in school (and I had the grades to prove it). Technical writing is my strong suit. If you need programming specs, user's manuals, etc. then I'm your man. But, creative writing has always eluded me.

Having gotten that out of the way, I will say that, overall, I liked the movie. Was it the greatest movie I've ever seen? No, "Little Shop of Horrors" still holds the #1 place in my book. But, it was a good movie, and one that I would recommend to others to watch. Best of all, it was tons better than God's Army I; but, it didn't have to try hard to achieve that.

Overall, I thought the acting was very good. I did find myself wondering how many of the actors were LDS. Also, the 2nd half of the movie was much better than the 1st half. If I had written this review after watching just the 1st half then I would have said that it was an OK movie.


From this point on, I will be revealing specifics about the plot; so, be warned.

Now, let me talk about the things I didn't like to get them out of the way. From an accuracy point of view it had some problems. Some of the missionaries seemed much older than your typical 19/20 year olds. Granted, there are missionaries that are older (I was one of them since I didn't even join the church until I was nearly 19); but, they are the minority. Also, a missionary apartment with a beach front view? Come on, that was just silly! And boy was that apartment roomy. Much more room than I ever had in a missionary apartment. And a sister missionary playing basketball with the elders? I don't think so. And, the missionary not calling his zone leader as soon as he realized his companion wasn't in the apartment - that could be grounds for getting sent home dishonorably. Not to mention letting a homeless man stay in your apartment.

Also, the storyline was pretty far fetched. I just have to say that the last 2 weeks of my mission were pretty gosh darn boring compared to Elder Lorenzo's. But, it was just a story. Most movies have far fetched plots. If movies depicted real life then why would we want to watch them?

I found it kind of funny that one of the missionaries was named Elder Farrell because he kind of looked like Will Farrell.

And, I thought Elder Lorenzo's tattoos were excessive. It didn't bother me that he had tattoos. We once had a missionary serving in my ward who had tattoos. He had been inactive as a youth and had joined the military out of high school. However, when Elder Lorenzo related his story, he said that he wasn't really a member of the gang, he just hung out with them with his brother. He was being initiated into the gang when he was shot in a gang war, hospitalized, and put into a hospital room with an LDS missionary who had been in a car accident. Yet, he had tattoos like that of someone who had been involved in a gang for many years.

Now for the stuff I liked...

There were some unexpected, but welcome, plot twists. Elder Lorenzo woke up one night and saw that his companions bed was empty. He immediately assumed the worse and went and pounded on the door of their neighbor who was a pretty girl who had been flirting with his companion. I was really quite surprised to learn that Elder Farrell did actually commit fornication with the neighbor girl next door. I was expecting there to be some logical explanation for why he wasn't in his bed during the night when his companion woke up. Later, as he was being sent home, he tried to slit his wrist. His father, it seems, had told him that he would rather he come home in a casket than to come home dishonorably (his father was a real jerk, if you ask me). Even with that, it was surprise when he actually did attempt to take his life. I truly didn't know if he was going to live or die after being taken to the hospital. After being surprised twice, I wasn't even going to try to guess that outcome.

I was glad to see that the preacher guy didn't end up joining the LDS church. Maybe that didn't come out quite right. I just mean to say that it would have been trite for the preacher guy to end up joining the LDS church in the end and they all lived happily ever after. The same can be said for the grandmother.

But, the ending of the movie, where the disgraced Elder Farrell was holding the baby in the live nativity while crying, was very poignant and touching. It made my wife cry (and, boy was I glad to not be the one she was crying about this time). It was that ending that made the movie worthwhile. If it had ended any other way then I think I may have given this movie a thumbs down. You could just feel the anguish and remorse that Elder Farrell was experiencing because of his actions. But, you could also feel his gratitude because of the unconditional love of the savior. The message I got from this movie is that God loves all of us. No matter what we do in this life - he will always love us and be there for us when we are ready to accept him.

I especially liked the diversity that the movie depicted. The Lutherans with their live nativity, kneeling down and praying for the disgraced missionary. The preacher who got his own church. They are all teaching God's word. Maybe not the fullness of the gospel; but, God's word none the less. Perhaps this is my protestant upbringing is coming out. I do have a testimony that this is the restored church; however, I don't think we have exclusive rights to truth. And, I think we can stand to learn a lot from some of our other Christian (and even non-Christian) brothers and sisters. Especially in their devotion to God and how they are unashamed to show it outwardly. Personally, I think it would do us some good to hear some "amen's" during sacrament meeting, to join hands in prayer, and to be unashamed to pray openly in public.

Bottom line, if you haven't seen the movie then I've probably spoiled it for you; but, watch it anyway. If you have seen the movie then watch it again - I think I will before I return the DVD to Netflix.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Out of the closet, day 3

First of all, I have to say that I'm overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support I've received from my friends here in the blogosphere (or queerosphere, which ever term you prefer), both through comments to my blog entries and via emails sent directly to me. I want to publicly thank everyone who has reached out to me. I don't feel so alone anymore. I just wish there wasn't the geographic separation between us because I feel like I want to give each and everyone one of you a big hug.

I think my wife and I are making progress. She really is a strong woman and I pulled the rug out from under her; but, I think she is starting to regain her composure. Yesterday, we made it through one day without her crying, at least that I was aware of. She came home from work at her normal time but then left again to run some errands. Afterwards, she said she wanted to make dinner. I tried to tell her that I had it taken care of, but she insisted. So, I cleaned out and loaded the dishwasher and then set the table while she was making dinner. After dinner we both went to Mutual. Afterwards, we came home and watched "Hero's" which she had recorded on Monday night. So, it was a pretty normal Wednesday evening for us.

My wife works with the young women and I normally go with the young men at Mutual; so, we aren't usually together in the same room. Last night, however, we had the Teachers, Priests, Mia Maids, and Laurals all together making invitations for a Valentine's Dinner they are putting on for their parents in two weeks and finalizing the plans for the dinner. I was doing my normal banter with the young men which, sometimes, includes putting my arm around their shoulder. But, it occurred to me that she may start looking at these kinds of things in a new light, and some things may start to bother her. I'm going to have to learn to be more sensitive to her feelings.

I've been trying to be near her as much as I can when she is home in case she wants to talk, or if she just needs a hug. But, I'm beginning to perceive that she is starting to feel like I'm smothering her. So, I'm going to back off a bit. I'm thinking she needs some alone time now so that she can process this information.

This morning, I got up early and showered. As I was getting dressed, she asked what time my meetings started and if we had time to talk. I didn't have any early morning meetings today; so, I got right back in bed and took her hand in mine, and we talked for over an hour. Yesterday, I had sent her a link to Wife of a gay Mormon. She said she had been reading it. She also linked to her husbands blog, gaymormonandmarried, to read his story. She said that it was giving her a much greater understanding. This was the first time she was introduced to the term 'SSA'. She explained that she liked that term much better than 'gay' because of the connotations with the gay culture. I told her that I understood what she was saying and then explained that I didn't particularly like the term SSA (or SGA) because it makes me feel like there is something wrong with me, and I don't feel like I'm broken. I added that I do not think in terms of the gay culture, but more in terms of personality, interests, attributes, etc.; and, that in those terms, I probably have more in common with other gay men than I do with most straight men. This particular topic of conversation, I'm sure, is far from over.

She also said that she realizes that I have a need to explore this side of me and that she needs to learn to trust that I won't do anything inappropriate. I believe that latter comment was in response to something I did yesterday. I was testing the water a bit; so, before we left for Mutual, I told her that there was a show on Logo TV (a GBLT cable station) that I wanted to record so that I could watch it later. As I was setting up the DVR, she walked through the TV room and noticed that I was having problems because there are already two shows recording at that time; so, she pointed out one of them and told me I could cancel the recording because she probably wouldn't watch it anyway so that I could record my show.

Finally, she said that she was feeling much better and that she didn't feel a need to go talk to a therapist anymore. I pointed out that I really didn't come out of the closet, I've pulled her into my closet. I explained that she may start feeling alone at times with no one to talk to; but, that the option to go talk to a counselor was always an option for her.

After we talked, I finished getting dressed, and we went into the kitchen for our morning scripture study. We've been trying something new lately by doing more of a topical type of study rather than just reading start to finish. We started with 2 Ne 25:23 ("...for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.") and have been going through the references, reading the Bible dictionary, etc. This morning, after we read some more of the references and other links, she got out the hymnal and looked up hymns dealing with "grace". She was particularly drawn to "Rock of Ages". ("Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in thee..."). That is, actually, one of my favorite hymns. I believe the events over the last couple of days are giving her a new perspective. And, perhaps, for me too.

We still haven't watched "States of Grace - God's Army II" yet (too much other stuff going on); but, she said that, maybe, we can watch it tonight. Good thing Netflix allows you to keep the DVD's as long as you want. I was hoping my daughter would watch it with us; but, she's got a new boyfriend; so, we don't see her much anymore. I did actually get a chance to meet her new beau Tuesday, and he seems like a nice enough fellow. Unfortunately, he is not LDS; but, he is involved in his church. They are both members of the same World of Warcraft guild which is how they met. Whoda thunk it? World of Warcraft as a dating service?