Monday, March 31, 2008

Is it time to move on?

I joined the Mormon queerosphere about 15 months ago (December 19, 2006 is when I published my first post). Overall it has been very good for me. I had only recently accepted, and was still coming to terms with, the fact that I'm attracted to guys - a fact I had unsuccessfully tried to suppress and deny my entire life. I hadn't even told my wife yet of my attractions. The Mormon queerosphere has shown me that I'm not a freak of nature - that there are other people like me. I've made a couple of really good friends. I've received a lot of support from others; and, I hope I've been able to be of some benefit to someone.

But, the Mormon queerosphere is like a living organism and is continually evolving. And, now I'm starting to ponder my place here. For one thing, it seems as though the average age of the gay Mormon blogger has been declining over time. Not to suggest that is a bad thing. But I have children older than many of the active bloggers, or so it seems; and, it is causing me to wonder if there a place for an old curmudgeon like myself. Or would it be best for all, myself included, if I were to just fade back into obscurity? Perhaps I need to move on.
I've got to move on and be who I am
I just don't belong here
I hope you understand
We might find our place in this world someday
But at least for now
I gotta go my own away

The thing I worry about is other people like me - older and, after years of suppression and denial, coming to terms with their sexuality - especially those who are married and whose children are older. Often it feels like we are a demographic that's not supposed to exist. By the time you reach the stage of life I find myself in, it seems many have yielded to their sexual attractions and have left the church, sometimes even their families, in pursuit of a happiness which they've been unable to achieve. Those of us who are still hanging on are a statistical anomaly - presumably too insignificant to even acknowledge.

There is no denying that the Mormon queerosphere has played an important part of my life. It has helped me come to terms with a part of me that I've spent most of my life trying to ignore - which is why I feel so torn and conflicted; why it hurts to think that the Mormon queerosphere has evolved into something that is no longer a haven for people like me, a place where we can feel a sense of belonging. Where else is there for someone like me to turn to? Perhaps I am a statistical anomaly - is there anyone else out there who is active in the LDS church, married, an empty nester- and gay?

I haven't made any firm decisions - this is not intended to be a farewell post - just saying what's been on my mind lately and why I haven't felt much like posting. Perhap's it's finally happened - maybe I've just run out of things to say.

UPDATE: Results of the age poll


A.J. said...

Your voice is important.....I am 41 married with young kids and a same gender attracted woman. There isn't a lot of folks like me either. Please stay your view point is important. I can't find many people like me either.-A.J.

Scot said...

You'd be missed my this blogger, and I'm not a kid anymore :-).

Sean said...

I love you my friend! I would miss your words and experiences of life. Sure you might be older than me, but I enjoy reading your insights. I love sharing emails with you, even though we don't do it enough. I think that you have a lot to say and a lot of experience with life.

MoHoHawaii said...

Is your situation really that unusual? Back when you and I were young, it wasn't all rainbow flags and reality TV like it is now. I mean, dude, it was pre Will and Grace. If you can even imagine that. At that time the church had a formal policy of encouraging marriage as a way to resolve homosexuality. Many, many of us in that era did what we were told. There are a lot of us.

By the way, I feel your pain about being the oldest person on any given thread. What do you think of the Bloggernacle, the set of a dozen or so LDS-oriented blogs? Most of these bloggers and commenters are grownups.

MohoInTx said...

I always enjoy your posts and your input on my posts.

You are so open minded when it comes to both sides of the "gay Mormon" issue. I consider that admireable.

You're a great guy, and I hope you never decide to just stop posting. Next time I am in the DFW area, I want to say hi! :)

Max Power said...

Love ya, Abe. Do what you gotta do. Sometimes a break is in order. Not necessarily a complete severance, but just taking a step away and catching your breath.

One of So Many said...

As I've said before you are the pillar of the Moho Community. You keep the great list of bloggers and are impartial as to what side they may be on. You are a good example to what this Queeroshphere should be like.

Beck said...

"Perhaps I am a statistical anomaly - is there anyone else out there who is active in the LDS church, married, an empty nester- and gay?..."

I, for one, am active LDS, married nearly as long as you, have kids that are in college or approaching high school graduation, and am gay. But, of course, you know all that... (just wanted to go on record that you're not totally alone here).

I, like you, have very similar thoughts. Maybe it is time to move on... maybe folks like us are an anomaly, and as such, we are irrelevant, invalid, insignificant... but hey, we're still here and we're still trying to be heard and counted.

It's been a good ride. But, as much as you try, you're not 23 anymore, and you're probably not going to hook up with one who is, leave the church, and ride off in the sunset with your newly found boyfriend, either.

But, your voice has meaning. Your voice has touched many lives. Your voice has touched my life! And I'd hate to see that influence for good in this bloggosphere go away...

If you don't have anything further to say, then don't say anything, at least for a while, like Max suggested.

But, know that you are loved.
Thanks for being out there.

Molly Sue said...

You can't leave now, I just got here!!

Incedently, I think I'm the only one who voted "mostly attracted to opposite gender", Mostly, that is, mostly.

MoHoHawaii said...

Abelard, Beck,

What's this talk of insignificance? Maybe I'm missing the point. Is anyone judging you? I've certainly never seen that on your blogs' comments. Does it matter that many bloggers in this community are young men whose concerns are typical of their age? Does it matter that some of us went native? So what?

There's good and bad in every situation. From your blog posts it's clear that your situations are mixed. However, from the LDS perspective, you guys are winners. You are keeping your commitments to your families. You are not leading double lives. You have full standing in your church. You have all of the safety, comfort and fellowship that LDS life provides. You are surrounded by family. This is what you get.

You sacrifice some things to have what you have. And, yes, those things are nice, too. I'm not denying that.

Would you honestly trade for what I have? Believe me, I don't get the strokes that you guys get from the outside world every day. Being a divorced father is a social disadvantage, not even to mention the part about being openly gay in an often homophobic world. I'm not complaining... I chose my path and give thanks for it. I may have peace and a kind of love that works for me, but it was hard won, and I didn't get to keep everything. (Example: Although I am extremely close with my grown son, I am on poor terms with my daughter.) Would you trade places with me? I didn't think so.

As a reader, I truly enjoy what you write. Interacting with you helps me reconcile some of my feelings about the church. Hopefully, whenever I'm not being too obnoxious, I can add something that helps you or gives a new perspective.

So, both of you. Chill. Stick around. Please.

Peter said...

Don't go!

We need your sage wisdom and experience and voice of reason and moderation . . .

We can't all be immature young emotional roller coaster wrecks, some of us (aka you) have to be wise. Can you imagine Frodo going on his quest without Gandolf (who, incidently, I am convinced is gay. So is Frodo. And Sam.)

J G-W said...

I've found your blog (and my bloggerly interactions with you) SO helpful... Having never been married (not even close), hearing about your experience first hand has helped me to sort through some of the myths and stereotypes that circulate in the gay community about gay men who stay married.

I hope you won't go. I hope change and growth means your blog will change and grow, but that you will stay put.