Sunday, November 1, 2009

Where I Am in My Journey

I guess I'm a day late posting on the October Mohosphere theme, but I wanted to write a bit for we go: 

How did I get to where I am today?
Ummm...where am I today? I guess I'm at a different place than I was a year ago, and at a very different place than I was 4 or so years ago.  I haven't posted my coming out story, and I'm not going to go into that too much right now, but 5 years ago I was in control of my life, or so I thought. My secrets were carefully tucked away and didn't cause me great concern. I wasn't truly happy, but I wasn't sad either. Depression wasn't an issue. I didn't realize at that time what love really was, even though I was in a significant relationship, but I was coasting along fine.  Then "IT" happened...and the secrets and feelings that were bottled up inside exploded, causing a significant re-examination of where I was and where I wanted to go.  Depression, pain, and sorrow were the result.  Then came a long period of questioning, thinking, and self-examination. And that's where I am now...toward the end of that period, and figuring out where to go from here and how to make that happen.

Am I happy with where I am?
Meh. Some days yes, other days no. I've got a few good friends, I've learned some important lessons, and I'm getting a picture of where I want to go. Probably more stressful days than completely happy days. Not out to all of my family, but I'm pretty sure the rumors have gotten around.  Not out at work, but I keep people guessing. But I want more...where's this exciting, glamorous gay lifestyle I was cautioned against??! :p

Where do I see myself in the future?
Life is never either/or, but I think my life can take one of two possible paths...I can find my Prince Charming and settle down and live happily ever after, or I can grow increasingly bitter and eventually become one of those lonely, slightly creepy single older guys that all wards have.  Hopefully it's the first path. I've mostly come to terms with being a gay Mormon (the church is important to me and I mostly believe in it, although I can't both fully comply with its teachings and be honest about who I am), and I want to have a strong monogamous relationship with a loving guy while having good morals and helping others. I'll need lots of luck...

What roadblocks do I have and have overcome?
Family is one to be overcome...not that it's a roadblock, but more of an issue that still needs to be dealt with. My sexual preference is the elephant in the's there, but maybe if we ignore it long enough it will go away.  Maybe it's just a phase. Maybe I just need to pray more or be more active in church. Oh well...I've been dealing with this alot longer than my family has...hopefully they will come around. At least they haven't kicked me out of the family and told me not to come back.  Other roadblocks...emotional immaturity, social retardation, etc., etc....all the good stuff that goes along with being a gay Mormon.

What advice do I have for others following my path?
I'm a strong believer in everyone having their own path to follow.  What's right for me isn't necessarily right for someone else, and just because it didn't work a certain way for me doesn't mean it won't work for you. If I had to do things over again, I would come out alot earlier than I did. I think there is alot more in place now for people to come out and be supported, and I think that by not coming out sooner I did significant damage to my emotional well-being and self-esteem.  I wish I would have come out in high school or shortly after.  Other completely honest with yourself and others, don't feel pressured to make decisions quickly, don't judge others that are on a different path or in a different place, and keep in mind that even though people will make you feel like you are evil, confused, or wrong, your Father loves you no matter what.

Advice for family and friends
Be open-minded. Don't judge. Think before you speak. Realize that your loved one has likely gone through significant emotional and mental turmoil to get to where he/she is now. We need support from people that love us. We don't need to be "tolerated".  This isn't a phase. This is who I am, and it's been a long journey for me to come to that conclusion. There is no such thing as a "gay lifestyle", just like there isn't a "straight lifestyle." Just because I'm gay doesn't mean I'm a danger to children or a menace to society. I don't want to have sex with every guy I see. If you're straight, you don't have to worry about me hitting on you. Just love me and accept me for who I am.  Come on, it's're stuck in the past if you're going to hate someone for who they love.


Ben said...

Thanks for sharing where you're at. It's fascinating to see other people's paths.

Frank Lee Scarlet said...

"My sexual preference is the elephant in the's there, but maybe if we ignore it long enough it will go away. Maybe it's just a phase. Maybe I just need to pray more or be more active in church."
This is how it is with my family, too. :/

Thanks for your advice--I really appreciated it, and can totally relate with a lot of what you say. Especially the social retardation bit... :)

Clicky Web Analytics