Monday, April 30, 2007

The Master

the tempest is raging!
The billows are tossing high!
The sky is o're shadowed with blackness
No shelter or help is nigh.
Carest thou not that we perish?
How canst thou lie asleep
when each moment so madly is threatening a grave in the angry deep?

I love this hymn (#105 "Master, the Tempest Is Raging"). I wish we would sing it more in church. Unfortunately, it is also a long hymn, and it is one of those hymns that you really need to sing all three verses. So, we don't get to sing it that often, at least in my ward.

with anguish of spirit I bow in my grief today
The depths of my sad heart are troubled
Oh, waken and save, I pray!
Torrents of sin and of anguish sweep o'er my sinking soul
And I perish! I perish! dear master
Oh, hasten and take control!

The first two verses describe how I've been feeling today.

the terror is over.
The elements sweetly rest.
Earth's sun in the calm lake is mirrored,
And heaven's within my breast
Linger, O blessed Redeemer!
Leave me alone no more,
And with joy I shall make the blest harbor
And rest on the blissful shore.

I wish I could feel like the 3rd verse more often. But, today I feel tormented. I feel like I'm in a tug-of-war - and I'm the rope.

Maybe it's just a letdown from all of the frenzied activity over the past few weeks leading up to my son's marriage on Saturday. But, all I want right now is to be a real boy. One who could love his wife like real boys do. Is that too much to ask for?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Where is everybody?

Where have all the gaymo's gone?

Long time passing

Where have all the gaymo's gone?

Long time ago

Where have all the gaymo's gone?

They've not been bloggin, every one

When will they ever learn?

When will they ever learn?

(sung to the tune of "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?")
Sure seems more quiet than usual out in the Mormon Queerosphere.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Pride is a funny word. It seems that there is good pride (pride in ones family, country, achievements, etc.) and there is bad pride. I guess in that sense, it's sort of like cholesterol. Like cholesterol, we not only have to be careful about the amount of pride we have, but we also have to maintain a proper balance of good and bad pride.

I seem to be cursed with pride - and it's mostly the bad pride. You know, the kind that is often used in the scriptures in conjunction with words like wickedness, abominations, and whoredoms. I don't mean the boastful kind of pride (I guess that's one advantage of having self esteem issues). but the exaggerated estimate of one's own abilities type of pride. the kind of pride that prevents one from asking for help when help is needed.

Not asking for help in completing my deck is just the latest example of my pride. Last night I was thinking about this, and I remembered an earlier experience where my pride prevented me from asking for help when help was needed. This was before my youngest child was born. My son who recently returned home from a mission was just a baby. But, first I have to backup and relate the story of

Our family vacation from Hell!

We were going to a family reunion in Hot Springs, South Dakota. We were a young couple with three young children. Money was tight, so we decided that we would drive (instead of fly) and camp (instead of hotels).

Day 1
We left early Saturday morning. Heloise (my wife) had made a lunch. Unfortunately, the contents of our cooler shifted, and the sandwiches fell to the bottom and sat in the water from the melting ice.

That night, the campground was full, so we were directed to the overflow camping area. We ended up setting up came near another family who was awake all night partying. They kept having to go get more beer. The door on their car was, evidently, damaged because it took 3 or 4 tries to get it to close. Also, I think their car was in serious need of a new muffler. So, all night long it was

"dang, we're outta beer"
Vrrrooommm, putt-putt-putt ...
(about 20 minutes later)
... putt-putt-putt Vrrrooommm
"Oh good, Earls back with the beer"

Day 2
I awoke early (actually, I'm not sure I ever got to sleep). The air had that feeling of impending rain. So, I woke up Heloise and suggested that we skip making breakfast at camp, instead we should break camp and stop for breakfast after we had driven for a while - and we almost made it. We had the kids in the car, all of our stuff. We just had to take down the tent when the sky opened up. By the time we got the tent into the car, Heloise and I were drenched. We stopped at a restaurant down the road for breakfast. It was Sunday, and the restaurant was crowded with people in their Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes when we walked in grubby, drenched, and three crying children.

That night we camped in Missouri. The campground was nice. The only bad thing was that our baby got a tick on his head which grossed us out. We didn't have any tweezers, neither did the camp office nor any of the other campers we talked to. But, we finally got the tick removed. (in case you are wondering, no, I'm not an Eagle Scout)

Day 3
Somewhere in Nebraska, on the last leg of our journey to South Dakota, the air conditioning in our minivan went out. Other than that, the journey was uneventful and we arrived safely in Hot Springs.

Day 4
First day of the family reunion, uneventful. I drove to a nearby town to a dealership to see about getting the a/c fixed (since it was still under warranty), but was told they didn't have any in stock and it would take a week. So, I decided I would wait until we got back home to address the a/c.

Day 5
I took my two older children fishing at a small lake near our cabin. Heloise walked over to the lake to take pictures, slipped, fell, and broke her leg. Her parents took the kids while she and I spent the rest of the day at the local hospital. This was a very small hospital (I think they had 6 beds). The emergency room didn't have a doctor on site, just a nurse. So we had to wait while she called a radiologist in to come take xray's, and then for a doctor to come in to look at the xrays and say "yup, your leg is broken".

Days 6&7
Cutting our vacation short, we loaded up the minivan and began the long journey home without a/c and with Heloise's leg in a cast. The first day wasn't so bad. But, by the time we made it to Oklahoma and Texas, it was getting pretty uncomfortable. Heloise was dipping towels in the cold melted icewater in the cooler and draping it around my neck as I drove. We finally made it home late in the evening.

Day 8
We're home but baby was getting sick, so I took him to a doctor who immediately checked him into the hospital. He was diagnosed with Rocky Mounted Spotted Fever (from the afore mentioned tick), so he spent several days in the hospital.

There we were: My baby was in the hospital, Heloise had a broken leg. Problem is, Heloise was the Relief Society President. Who does the RS Pres go to when she needs help?

Did I ask for help? No,
Did I even accept help that was offered? No.

I was too proud. I interpreted offers of help as saying that they thought I couldn't handle it on my own.

I've always been an independent person. I paid my own way through college. My parents are non-members and weren't too thrilled about me going on a mission, so I paid for that myself as well. But, sometimes, I think I take this independence too far.

Maybe it's the gay thing. I have this part of me that I don't have any control over, so when I find something that there is, at least, an illusion of control, I go overboard. I'm starting to come to terms with being gay. But, this damn pride thing is driving me crazy!

Monday, April 23, 2007


I'm feeling really stressed right now.

My son is getting married on Saturday.

We have a bunch of people coming to town for the wedding who will be staying with us (well, OK, my daughter with her husband & baby plus my wife's parents).

They are having a ring exchange on the deck in my backyard

I haven't finished rebuilding the deck; plus, I've got a bunch of other work I need to do in my yard.

Things have really heated up at work so I've been having to work 10-12 hour days.

I had scheduled some vacation days over the last couple of weeks to work on the deck that I've had to cancel.

I have vacation days scheduled later this week that I'm not sure I'll be able to take.

It's supposed to rain tomorrow.

This last Saturday, I got up at 3:00am and was out working on my deck using halogen shop lights.

I was going to work on the deck some more on Sunday. I rationalized that it was an ox in the mire. But, I just couldn't do it.

It's after 5:00pm and I'm stuck sitting in a stupid work meeting right now (via teleconference). Everyone keeps droning on and on (I think they like to hear themselves talk). I just want the meeting to end so that I can go out and work on my deck some more.

I'm feeling really stressed right now.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The other Manly Men

AtP made reference in a recent post about gay clothes which resulted in an irreverent discussion of gay clothes in the comments. Many of the comments were quite funny (if you ask me). One person lamented that gay clothes don't come in his size. To this I responded:
That's the beauty of being gay - you can go take a sewing class and learn to make your own gay clothes, and they will look fabulous!

Us gay guys are so confident in our manliness that we can do girlie things without shame.

(Another funny comment, if I do say so myself). I added this comment in jest, of course. But, later I got to thinking about the last part and started to wonder if, perhaps, maybe there is hidden truth buried in those words.

I mean, take drag queens for example (a topic of another of AtP's posts, what goes through that kids head anyway?). It takes a lot of moxie to go out in public like that. I don't think I could do it. For a closeted gay like me, I spend a great deal of effort trying to appear straight when out in public. However, I have to respect those who are totally open, confident, and unashamed in their gayness.

Drag queens may be an extreme example. But, there are other things as well. For example, I used to be embarrassed when people learned that I'm not into sports (something which I've gotten over, I'm thankful to say). So many of us just try to fit in and not do anything to call attention to ourselves. There are certain things that our society has dictated to be girls only; so, people take notice when they see a guy doing these things, like scrapbooking.

And that has gotten me to thinking - are these the real men in our society? Anyone can act macho. (belch, fart, crush soda cans on their forehead, yada, yada, yada). It takes a lot of courage to act gay (whatever 'acting gay' means).

BTW, does anybody know what happened to Foxx? His blog is getting a 404 error, and the domain he was hosted on has been suspended

Sunday, April 15, 2007


We're safe! Just in case anyone was worried.

Huh? What's that you say? Were you in danger?

Yes, well maybe, kinda sorta. You see, we had a storm move through the area Friday evening (yes, Friday the 13th). There were 5 confirmed tornado's in the general area. The closest touched down about 20 miles from where I live and did quite a bit of damage.

But, we survived. We had golf ball sized hail, but it only lasted a few minutes. And, we haven't found any dings in our cars - yet.

So, what were we doing when the tornado sirens went off? Had we sought shelter in a downstairs inner room without any windows? No. We were standing in a line at a new Mexican restaurant waiting for our food. We had ordered it togo and were going to bring it back home to eat. But, when our food came, we looked out at the golf ball sized hail coming down and decided it might be better to eat in the restaurant and wait the storm out. By the time we finished eating, the worst of the storm had past and we were left with a gentle rain - so we drove back home.

BTW, the picture I included is an actual picture of one of the Tornado's Friday that somebody had uploaded and posted to the web site for our local newspaper.

So, does anyone want to move to Texas now? The thing is, natural disasters can occur no matter where you live. I grew up in California. Out there, it wasn't if, but when you would experience an earthquake. Here, the probability of experiencing a tornado is really quite small. The town I live in has only had one tornado - and that was 50 some odd years ago. The story is that it touched down on the lake and didn't do any property damage.

Although, I have experienced a Tornado in my life time. But, not in Texas. It was on my mission in Missouri. My companion and I were at the library in the church meetinghouse using the typewriter (I don't recall why). My companion was typing and I was standing at the window watching the rain. I recall there being some wind with the rain, but then the wind suddenly stopped and the rain was falling straight down. Then a fierce wind came up, ripped all of the leaves off of the trees and plastered them on the window so that you could no longer see out. I grabbed my companion and dragged him into the hallway (although, in retrospect, it was probably too late by then). Afterwards, we went outside of the church building and surveyed the damage. The church itself had only minor damage (I think it ripped off a few shingles). But, there was a house right across the street where it had lifted the roof off and then set it back down at an angle. The next few days we didn't do any proselyting, we rode around town on our bicycles looking for people we could help clean up debris.

The thing that amazes me with tornado's is how selective they can be. One house can be totally leveled and the house next door barely touched. On my mission, I recall seeing a house where it had ripped off the roof and two walls leaving the living room totally exposed. However, the furniture in the living room was still left just as it had been. There were even knickknacks sitting around untouched.

BTW, our Boy Scout troop was camping Friday night. And, yes, they stayed the whole night (from what I heard, the campground was a muddy mess from all of the rain), did all of the things on Saturday they had planned to do, and came home.

Are we just a bunch of dumb Texans that don't know when to stay out of the rain? Perhaps. But, I prefer to think that we aren't going to let other things that we have no control over dictate our lives for us.

That's how I like to think of my same sex attraction. I don't believe this was a choice; it's not something I have any control over. This is just part of who I am. I accept that now. But, I'm not going to let it run my life. I'm gay, and I am no longer ashamed. But it is not my defining characteristic. When I finish my mission here on earth, I hope my gayness is merely a footnote in the story of my life. And, oh, by the way, he was also gay.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday the 13th

I'm not normally a superstitious person. But, I'm having a really bad day today - and it's Friday the 13th.

  • I had planned on taking today off as a vacation day, but some things came up at work so I had to cancel my vacation day.
  • I shut down our home computer last night. This morning it would not boot. (it was working fine last night).
  • I think I'm coming down with a cold and I feel crappy.


Update: Well, it turns out the day didn't end as bad as it began.
  • I was able to finish up some things at work and start my vacation day at 2:30pm. That only gave me a couple of extra hours - but I'll take what I can get.
  • After thinking about it and researching a couple of things. I determined that the power supply in my computer was the culprit. I looked in the Fry's ad and, lo and behold, they had a 500 watt power supply on sale with a $50 instant rebate. So, I drove to Fry's and bought a new power supply and then installed it this evening. Now we are back up and running. Good thing since we still need to finish our taxes.
  • I'm thinking it was allergy symptoms I was having this morning rather than cold symptoms. It rained this evening and now I'm feeling better
And, as an added bonus, to make up for a lousy morning
  • We tried a new restaurant that opened up nearby and we really liked it. It is a Mexican restaurant that has authentic Mexican cuisine, not the TexMex that we normally get in these parts. I like TexMex, but it's nice to get the real stuff once in a while too. We could tell it must be good since we were the only gringos in the place.
  • Star Gate season starts tonight!

Monday, April 9, 2007

A new name?

Oh, Oh, I have it!

(for Gay Mormon -ites)

Is it too close to Gamofites (Gay Mormon Father -ites)?

Sorry, it's 10pm, and I've been up since 5am. I guess I'm just tired (and I'm old, at least that's what my kids keep telling me)

Gormans, and MoHo's and HoMo's, Oh My!

I've been intrigued by the recent discussion of the origins of the term "MoHo" on Tito's and -L-'s blogs (See Just what *is* a 'moho'? and MoHo). I feel like I'm on the cusp of history. I can envision myself one day, sitting on a porch in a rocking chair, telling all of the young gay Mormon whippersnapper's gathered around me saying [old person voice] "yeah, I was one of the early MoHo's. I remember once when another MoHo ..."

I had, mistakenly, attributed the term to -L- simply because his blog is where I first saw it used (in the context of the "MoHo Book Club"). I'm glad to be corrected in my misunderstanding. We even know the exact time the term was coined (June 2, 2006 at 3:38 pm). How many terms that we use in our everyday conversation can we say that about? (I just had this visual pass through my mind. A sort of Iwo Jima scene, only it's a bunch of guys in pink shirts raising a rainbow flag. Oh, and the flag has has the Moroni statue superimposed on it. Sorry, I hope nobody is offended - that's just how my brain works sometimes as it processes information)

Although, I will have to admit that I'm disappointed that "MoHo" is intended to refer only to true believing Latter Day Saint homosexuals. I mean, how am I supposed to refer to all of my friends here in the Mormon queerosphere? My MoHo, FoMoHo, HoMo, and CuMHo friends? (OK, scratch that last one. I was thinking of Cultural Mormon Homosexuals, but ... well, nevermind)

Personally, I think we need a term that is more inclusive. One that includes homosexuals who are:
  • True believing Latter Day Saints
  • Cultural Mormon's
  • No longer associated with the LDS church, but who value their Mormon heritage

I liked Moho. It's concise and it's catchy. And it doesn't bring to mind preconceived, and incorrect, notions when people hear it (like "Gay Mormon" does). But, I will respect Tito's wishes and try to only use it in the intended context.

So, I guess it's back to the drawing board. Gormon doesn't work for me. MoHo & HoMo doesn't work for me. Maybe trying to derive a term from other words is too restrictive. Perhaps we should just invent a word (like 'glirk') and then define it however we want (or, then again, maybe not)

This requires way too much thinking for a Monday morning. Is there an Etymologist in the house?

Friday, April 6, 2007

An Easter message

As it turns out, April is my month to conduct Sacrament meeting. As such, it is also my month to write the monthly Bishopric message. So, I thought I would take a break from being gay and share my Easter message with my MoHo friends. (...and anyone else who might be reading this blog)

Sorry, I deleted my Easter message because -L- brought up a good point in his comment. Someone who knows me could potentially recognize it and unmask me.

It's unfortunate that I have to play these games. Such is the plight of a gay Mormon, especially one who must remain in the closet.

I know my spiritual side doesn't always come through very strong in my blog - simply because that isn't what I focus on in my blog. But, I do have a testimony of the atonement. I don't fully grasp what it all means - but I know the Savior loves me, that he suffered and died for me. I also know that I am not worthy of his atoning sacrifice, that I fall short in many ways. But, I also believe that this is not a race - we shouldn't compare ourselves to others. For me, the important thing is: Am I a better person today than I was yesterday? Am I a better person this week than I was last week, or this month or this year.


And, besides, I was "Saved" in a protestant church before I joined the Mormon church, so I'm covered either way :-)

(sorry, sometimes I just can't resist these feeble attempts at humor. You should hear some of the things I try when I'm conducting Sacrament meeting - most of which fall flat on their face)

And maybe, just maybe, I can make it through Sacrament meeting without screwing up somehow. So far I've:

  • Forgotten to do the Sacrament (twice)
  • Worn mismatching pants and coat
  • Forgotten to acknowledge stake visitors
  • Forgotten to do callings and releases
  • Forgotten to read in the names of new move-in's
And, the last time I conducted (which was March 25th since we switch who conducts on Fast Sunday) ...
  • I stood up at the pulpit, announced the opening hymn. And, as I was just about to announce who would be giving our opening prayer - I realized that we hadn't asked anyone. In desperation, I turned around to face the Bishop, and he pointed to the 2nd counselor.

Now, in my defense, normally our Executive Secretary finds people to say the prayers, and he was out sick that day. But, I still take full responsibility for not making sure we were ready before starting the meeting.

Easter Sunday should be a good Sacrament meeting in our ward. Our choir is putting on an Easter program. The primary children will be singing. And, I asked our Gospel Doctrine instructor to be the closing speaker and give his thoughts on the Atonement. He is a very good speaker - I'm looking forward to hearing what he has to say.

Plus, my son is bringing his non-member wife to church, and my daughter is bringing her non-member boyfriend. So, life is good!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Wifie Heloise

I've decided that I need to come up with another name for my wife other than "my wife". So, she will be known as Heloise (as decreed by Samatha, the Queen of the Queerosphere)For now, she will be "wifie" until I can come up with something more clever .

Tonight, wifie Heloise and I went to Cracker Barrel for dinner. I was a bit apprehensive because, last time, we had this drop dead gorgeous guy waiter and I spent the whole meal staring into my plate (See Out of the closet, day 14). This time we had a really cute girl waiter, whew!

As we were driving home from dinner, wifie Heloise was telling me that she wants to go visit the Cowgirl Museum in Fort Worth someday. Then she added "I know it's girls, but you can still come." I wasn't sure what to make of this last remark, so I just sort of ignored it and changed the subject. But, I'm not sure if that was the best course of action either. Why are girls so hard to understand? Even straight guys complain that they don't get girls. Us gay guys don't stand a chance. Or should it be that we do understand girls? I'm so confused!

When nature calls

I work for a large computer company that makes everything from Itty-Bitty Machines to Incredibly Big Machines. A couple of years ago I was reclassified as a work@home employee as a cost cutting measure since all of the people I work with are geographically dispersed (in fact, only a few are in the US).

Being a work@home employee, much of my work day is spent sitting at home emailing and on the phone in teleconferences. fortunately, I have a headset and a cordless phone which affords me a certain degree of mobility.

Yesterday, a meeting was going particularly long. Nature was calling and I decided that I couldn't wait any longer. So, I took my phone into the bathroom to heed the call of nature.

This isn't the first time this has happened to me. My biggest fear is that, one day, I'll forget to press the Mute button. Or that someone will ask me a question, or say something that I have to respond to at an inopportune moment. That would be so embarassing

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

First waterlily

I have a couple of water gardens (ponds) in my back yard. Today, two water lilies bloomed - the first blooms of the season. A pink one (shown in the picture) and a white one.

I always get excited when my water lilies bloom. For me, it marks the end of the gloomy winter months. It makes my spirits rise.

I love spring and summer. I'm not so big on fall and winter. I even love Texas summers when it gets to 100 degrees or more. Water lilies love lots of sun - we have lots of sun here in Texas. And the best part? They never have to be watered :-)

Monday, April 2, 2007

Is it OK to be Mormon and gay?

A couple of weeks ago, in my blog posting titled Secrets, a blog reader named Brett commented:
Some of the language you've come to use and ideas you're growing to embrace are much more reminiscent of the Affirmation crowd than one who is as committed to the Church and your family as you say you are.
Ouch! That stings!

To be honest, when I first read that comment from Brett, I didn't really think much of it. I just figured everyone is entitled to their own opinions. But, then my wife made a similar observation recently. She said that she is concerned about my increasingly leftist views. It causes me to sit up and take notice when two people make similar observations: One who knows me intimately, one who only knows me via my blog.

The thing is, I'm not sure I understand what either of them are referring to. I asked my wife for examples of where my views are moving to the left. She brought up a couple of examples, however I was able to point to things that I've always said on those topics demonstrating that my views those particular topics haven't changed. She conceded that the examples she gave were bad examples, but it is just a feeling she has.

I don't feel like I'm changing that much. My views on what it means to be gay have certainly been evolving the last few months. But, I don't perceive that spilling over into other aspects of my life. I'm still very conservative in my political views (I actually like President Bush). I'm just as active in church as I've always been, if not more active (Saturday was the first time in a while that I actually wanted to go to the priesthood session of general conference). I still struggle with the same things that I've always struggle with (for example, I've never been very good at doing my home teaching). Yet, something must be different about me.

I can rationalize each of these comments individually For Brett, I could tell myself that the persona that comes across in my blog is not an accurate reflection for who I really am. For my wife, I could tell myself that she is being overly sensitive right now since she just recently learned she is married to a gay husband, so she is making a big deal out of little things. But, I'm not sure I can rationalize these two comments together.

What is it about me that other people are seeing that I'm not seeing? Has the devil cheated my soul and is leading me carefully down to hell? (paraphrased from 2 Nephi 28:21)

I've always been messed up in some ways, and I still am. But, overall, I'm much more content with my life now than I was before I accepted the fact that I'm gay. My wife has even commented on a couple of occasions that I seem happier now than I was several months ago. I don't want to go back to the way I was in those dark depressing pre-gay days. Maybe I am changing. But, is that a bad thing? Even if I am changing, I still love my wife and family, and I still love the church. And, I don't want to do anything that might jeopardize either my marriage or my standing in the church.

I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. And still just as confused as ever.