Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Post #400

This is it - my 400th blog post. That's a lot of blathering and bloviating.

I wonder, is there anybody out there who has read all 400 posts? Well, first off, you deserve some sort of endurance reward, second, you probably need to get a life, and third - what changes have you noticed in me since post #1?

I don't remember the exact date; but, 3 years ago, just about this time of year, I finally sat myself down and said "self - accept it, you're gay."

For as far back as I can remember I knew that I was different from other boys. Although, it wasn't until my junior year in high school when I first dared to think I might be gay. We didn't have the internet or gay hot lines back then. I remember searching the phone book for someone I might be able to call. I had no where to turn and became very depressed. Thoughts of suicide started entering my mind. My parents were perceptive enough to know that something was going on with me. They were afraid to leave me alone. I'm the youngest of 6 children and was the only one left at home. They tried to make sure that one of them was home before I left for school in the morning and once I came back home in the afternoon. When one of them couldn't be there then they would call me on the phone. Fortunately, I don't really know how, but after a few months I was able to pull myself out of my depression - enough to be functional and for my parents to not worry about me so much.

I just couldn't bear the thought that I might be a homosexual. I had been taught all my life that homosexuals were perverts who hung out in restrooms waiting to molest young boys. I wasn't like that - so obviously I couldn't be one.

College came, I joined the LDS church, served a 2 year mission, and got married in the temple. I felt that I had done all that God had asked of me and I sincerely believed he had healed me. That feeling lasted less than two years. After marriage I got back into college. It was in a college P.E. locker room, being around all of those naked guys, that the realization forcefully came to me that I was, in fact, not healed.

So, I've known that I'm attracted to guys for a very long time - but I wasn't gay! I refused to accept myself as a gay man. This was my cross to bear, the thorn in my side, my test for this earth life - a dirty secret I was prepared to take with me to my grave.

I don't actually know what precipitated me accepting finally myself as gay. I remember I was having a really hard time - I was feeling depressed. Although I've been taking antidepressants for over 10 years, thoughts of suicide were once again entering into my mind.

But, when I finally let myself be gay - it was as if a tremendous burden had been lifted from me. Although I hadn't told her yet - I remember my wife commenting that I seemed happier than she had seen me in a long time.

After that, I spent hours on the internet - looking for someone else like me. Someone who was gay, Mormon, married, and trying to stay active in the LDS church. Initially it was very discouraging - but, I finally found the mormon queerosphere and others like myself. I also got to know many others who had chosen a different path, but were respectful of the path I was on. At last, I had found my long lost family that I never knew I had.

A couple of months later I started this blog. A month after that I told my wife. And the rest, as they say . . . is history.

So here's to 3 years of gay acceptance, 400 blog posts, and who knows how many blog readers who've put up with all of my angst, self doubt, and occasional childish behavior over the years.

I don't know what the years ahead hold for me. I can never go back to being in denial about being gay. I'm still married and intend to stay that way. I'm still a Mormon and active in the LDS church - although, to be brutally honest, staying that way no longer seems as certain as it once did 3 years ago. I'm still deeply closeted - but that will certainly not remain as the status quo - it's a matter of 'when', not 'if' I step out of my closet and into the light. That's not to say I'm planning on getting a boyfriend, parading around in a rainbow shirt, or anything like that. I'm just reaching a point where I am no longer ashamed of being gay - and my closet is becoming stuffy and unnecessary. I just want to be able to be myself and not worry what others think about me. I want to be able to talk about my gay friends with my non-gay friends. I want to be able to invite my gay friends into my home to meet my family. I want my family, friends, and acquaintances to know a gay man who does meet their stereotypical image - and to, hopefully, realize that much of what they thought they knew about gays is probably wrong.

8 comments:

Bravone said...

Let me be the first to congratulate you on your 400th post Abe! Other than the 400 posts, I could have written this post. Right down to the locker room!

I too am gay, Mormon, married, and plan on staying that way. My perspective has changed a ton. My feelings about church have also changed, which required more faith than it used to, but I'm okay with that.

Hope to read many more of your posts!

Max Power said...

Awww, Abe, I was just about to mail off that rainbow sweater I knitted for you. ;)

Beck said...

I think I can say that I have read every word of all 400 posts! Do I get some kind of reward?

Thanks for continuing the saga...

Abelard Enigma said...

I was just about to mail off that rainbow sweater I knitted for you

If you knit me a rainbow sweater - I promise to wear it to church every Sunday :)

Do I get some kind of reward?

My unceasing gratitude???

Ned said...

Wow, congrats on 400 posts!

As a Mormon gay father who is married to his first wife and active in the church, but somewhat new to the queer blogosphere (I've only been blogging since January 09), I've very glad that you have blogged this path ahead of me. Thank you!

Thanks, also, for the background you've given in this post. I related to you in several ways:

1. I also knew early of my different-ness.
2. It became much more obvious to me in junior high. In fact I crushed on an older neighbor boy who I hadn't really ever noticed before. Just like staight boys find girls much more appealing after puberty hits, I found "Kent" suddenly fascinating.
3. I also remember quietly despairing, I've got to tell someone about this but who?
4. My suicidal feelings took considerably longer to develop. I was 48. After six months of hell, my depression finally started to respond to counseling and anti-depressants and minutes and seconds no longer seemed like never-ending days and hours.
5. It took me decades after high school and college to gain the gumption to re-enter a locker room, but the effort has been well worth it in terms of confidence and comraderie.

Enough about me. Congrats again. Keep on blogging and growing!

p.s. I'm willing to contribute to the rainbow sweater. Just let me know to whom and how much!

Alan said...

Your blog was like Christmas morning for me when I finally came out to myself and to the first other person I ever told. You have made more good things possible than I think you realize.

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