- One was where they were interviewing a 16 year old girl. She said that she, and all of the other homosexuals she knows at school, are still virgins, but a lot of the straight girls she knows are either pregnant or have had babies. I found this interesting in light of homosexuals usually being cast as the promiscuous and immoral ones.
- The other was when they were interviewing a couple of the teenage boys. They spoke of how they have much better relationships with girls than they do with the boys in school. many of whom tease them, call them "faggot", "queer", etc. So, it was difficult for them to relate with other the boys at the camp because they had never learned how to relate with boys.
Now, as I've grown into adulthood, my interpersonal relationships have improved somewhat over what they were in high school; but, as I examine my life, I realize that I live in my wifes shadow. My friends are the husbands of her friends. I don't really have any friends of my own; we get together as couples. I don't know anybody that I would just get together with and go do something together. Other guys get together for a round of golf, play basketball, watch football, or some other male bonding activity. I sit at home alone in my pathetic life writing in my blog.
I am extremely suspicious of reparative therapy and the ex-gay movement. But, there is one thing that intrigues me. As I understand it, one thing they teach is how to establish deep interpersonal relationships with members of your own gender. Maybe this is the void I feel, what is lacking in my life. I don't have male friends because I don't know how to have male friends. Growing up I was always the butt of jokes; so, I've always pulled back, never willing to fully give of myself.
Now, to be fair, I have found friends in the queerosphere. But, these are cyber friendships where our only interaction is blogs, email, and an occasional telephone conversation. As much as I value these friendships - I still yearn for a real flesh and blood friend. I've never met my cyber friends in person, and in all likelihood, I never will. I'm not trying to replace my cyber friends, I cherish the relationships we've built - it's just that it's not enough, I need more! I love receiving emails or talking on the phone; but, once I reach the end of the email or I hang up the phone, the emptiness returns. Would it be any different with a real flesh and blood friend? I want to believe it would be - but perhaps I'm only fooling myself, hanging on to a fairy tale dream.
But, what is it that I want in a friendship? This is where my mind goes blank. I really don't know what I want, I just know that what I have isn't enough.
What about my wife? Yes, she is my friend - in fact, she is my best friend, which is as it should be. But, she's also a girl. Sometimes a girl needs to be around other girls doing girl stuff. And, sometimes, a guy just needs to be around other guys doing guy stuff. Therein lies the problem - I don't like doing straight guy stuff - I want to get together with a bunch of guys and do gay guy stuff. I don't want to go golfing or watch a BYU football game, I want to go shopping. I want to go see a movie together. I want to cook a fabulous meal together. I want to paint each others toe nails - OK, just kidding on that last one.
Last week I was in a stake singles adult meeting as the bishopric member over single adults (the over 30 crowd). They were going around the room asking what we were doing in our wards to reach out to the single adults. I told them that, in our ward, we don't do much explicitly the single adults; but, we do make a point to include them in all of our regular ward activities. I pointed out that our relief society has a great deal of success involving the single sisters in their enrichment activities. The priesthood has more limited success involving single men in their weekly basketball. We've even had some of the single brethren bringing desserts and other dishes to to ward potlucks. I then added that, perhaps, the brethren should be more like the sisters and have more activities specifically for the brethren in which we could involve both married and single men. Not as frequently as the sisters, but perhaps monthly or quarterly. Somebody then mumbled something about how, in their ward, they had unsuccessfully tried to organize a Saturday bike ride for the brethren. So I responded that, perhaps, we need to think beyond sports. I even suggested an idea, like getting together for an outdoor BBQ and sharing grilling recipes. The way everybody looked at me you would have thought I had a big booger on the end of my nose. After several moments of awkward silence, the counselor in the stake presidency who was presiding over the meeting said "well, um, thank you for your comments - any other ideas?"
But, why not? Why can't we have more activities for the men in the church? We are the forgotten people in the church. We have activities for primary aged children (3-12), young men and young women (12-18), single adults (young and over 30) and the sisters. But for the men, especially married men, there is nothing. Even for the single men, the activities are usually not for them to bond with the other men - but are intended to put them in contact with single women in hopes of marrying them off. Now, I'm sure there are wards which do a better job at this; but, they are the exception and not the rule.
So, since I can't count on the church to help me bond with other men, how can how can I develop a close interpersonal relationship with other guys? How can I fill this void in my life?
Of course, since most of my blog readers are gay males, we may be the blind leading the blind...