Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Quick update

Just a quick update on me since I haven't written anything for almost a month. Life doesn't suck. I guess the vitamins I've been taking are working! I haven't been super happy about anything, but I haven't really been down or depressed either.  Which is good, because the holidays usually overwhelm me with the pressure to be happy, spend money, etc.  I feel guily lately about complaining, because my life could definitely be alot worse.  Yeah, I don't really like my job too much, but I'm grateful that I have one. I get lonely sometimes, but I have really good roommates that I've been hanging out with and a few other friends here and there.  My heart will probably never be whole again, but I have three little people that love me unconditionally.  I'm getting old and ugly, but I have my health and I can do things outdoors that I enjoy. I struggle for money but my bills get paid, I have a roof over my head, and a car to get me places.  Things could always get better, especially in the Prince Charming department, but I'm grateful for what I have and recognize how lucky I am. :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Book Review: The Less-Dead

The Less-Dead by April Lurie

Noah is 16 and is the son of the Bible Answer Guy, a local evangelical Christian radio personality. Noah has pretty much rejected most of his father's beliefs, although he still goes to church and is in love with the pastor's daughter.  Noah meets Will, another student at his school for troubled kids who shares Noah's interest in music and poetry. Will and Noah quickly become friends even though Will is gay and Noah is straight.

Meanwhile, a serial killer is on the loose and is targeting gay teens.  Noah believes that the killer has been a caller on his dad's program.  After Will becomes the third victim and Noah finds clues written by the killer in Will's journal, Noah decides to investigate and is in danger of becoming a victim himself.

This book is like other books that address homosexuality and religion, such as The God Box by Alex Sanchez (highly recommended) but is different in that it's a murder mystery with a gay character in a supporting role.  Some of the plot elements were pretty far-fetched and the end wasn't too much of a surprise, but the characters were likeable and well-developed.  I finished the book in a few days, and that is usually an indication that I liked it.

I didn't really identify with any of the characters, but I think the book gave a realistic picture of how things are nowadays between straight and gay kids.  We hear alot about bullying, but most kids don't care one way or the other about their friends' sexual preferences.  Noah is a little bit weirded out when he learns Will is gay, and things get awkward when he finds out that Will kind of likes him. Noah regrets that his last interaction with Will was pushing him away.  I like how other characters interact with Will and deal with homosexuality as well.  Noah's conservative dad is a little nervous about Will at first but has a good discussion with him over dinner.  Most of the kids in the church don't care that Will is gay, and the pastor's daughter is instrumental in getting her dad to stop affiliating with a group that tries to change gay people to straight.  The church's youth pastor is also gay-affirming.  This isn't the deepest book in the world, but the characters confront a number of important questions such as what it means to be a Christian, how to confront hate, the nature of faith, and the difference between saying you are gay-friendly and actually having gay friends.

Not as good as Sanchez's The God Box, but a good read nonetheless. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I have alot of thoughts bouncing around in my head and I'm not quite sure how to write them down in an organized fashion. So I guess I'll just write and see where things go. 

This week was my birthday. It was pretty much just a regular day like any other, and I deliberately didn't set my expectations too high so that I wouldn't end up disappointed (like other birthdays).  Lots of people wished my happy birthday on facebook, a few called or did it in person or sent a personal text, and a couple of people invited me out to celebrate.

This weekend was good, though. It doesn't take too much to make me happy, and meeting a friend for lunch and shopping, and then hanging out with my roomies and going to see a movie was enough to put me in a good mood.  It's great living with other introverts...I can say "I'm going to take a break and be antisocial for a little while" and they'll know exactly what I mean. Usually I just keep to myself at home, but lately I think we've gotten closer as roommates and we enjoy being together.

The friend I had lunch with...I always enjoy spending time with him.  Unrequited love sucks though.  From what I can see, I have three options:  cut him off, be depressed and jealous, or love him as a best friend and brother and be happy for him. I've half-heartedly tried the first option and it isn't what I want. The second option is what I've been choosing, but it's getting old. So I'm trying for the third option.  I want to be happy that he's happy with his boyfriend. I want to be excited for him, even when he does things with his boyfriend that I wish it was me doing with him...going on a roadtrip, meeting his parents, etc. I'm honestly not to that point yet, but hopefully I'll get there. At least I know he cares about me as a friend.

I've been pretty down and depressed lately. I'm about due for another round of depression anyway, and the cold weather and the holidays are always hard for me.  My symptoms aren't as bad as they have been on other occasions, but I'm more irritible than usual, I'm sleeping a bit more than usual, I cry for no reason, I occasionally lock myself in the bathroom (for some reason that's my "safe place" when I feel too overwhelmed), I have a negative outlook on the future, and checking out permanently is always at the back of my mind (although it's not a realistic option at this point).  I've been reading up on how certain vitamins help the brain absorp antidepressants better, so I've started taking some to see if I can get them to work better. So far I'm having fewer mood swings...I don't know if it's just a placebo effect or if it's really working. We'll see what happens.

I'm going to try to get into the habit of praying more, especially when I'm feeling down.  I tried it tonight, asking for comfort from my lonliness, and it popped into my head that Heavenly Father doesn't want me to feel that way. It makes sense...he loves me and I'm sure it makes him sad to see me suffering. I guess that's my small contribution to the "it gets better" theme. So far it really hasn't for me, but if I could tell something to a young person that is suffering, it's that God doesn't hate you, he loves you with all his heart and it makes him sad that you're struggling so much. He is there with you even in your darkest moments.

That's it for now.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


It's probably a good thing that I feel too blah and unmotivated to do anything stupid. Guess I'll just keep faking it til i make it. But God, if you want to send some happiness my way, I'd sure appreciate it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Never Been Kissed

I loved this week's episode of Glee. Maybe I'm just in a sensitive/sentimental mood, but it really impacted me, especially Kurt's and Coach Bieste's storylines. The songs were awesome too. The character I identified with least but wished i could be the most was Blaine. So hot, so confident... the exact opposite of me. I'm in love! When he was singing i couldn't help but think about how much easier it is to be young and gay today than when i was in high school. It's already gotten better, ya young whippersnappers... what i wouldnt give to be an out and confident highschooler. Or even an out and nonconfident highschooler. At least you guys are out, and not stuck in the closet til it's almost too late. But back to Blaine (mmmm, yum)... if i was confident like him maybe i wouldnt have such a problem getting guys to notice/like me. Something to work on.

Lately i haven't liked Kurt very much. He's so moody and victimy... reminds me of somebody (me). Ugh, is that who i am? I would definitely like to be Kurt though now. He's gonna get the sweet sweet hotness of Blaine's.................. lips. But yeah, i guess i identify with Kurt. I know what i want but I'm not confident enough to get it, and i blame life for sucking but i don't do much to change it. So hopefully what happened to Kurt will happen to me... lucious sexiness will suddenly appear in my life (yeah right). Seriously though, what i learned from Kurt is to stop being a victim of life's suckiness. Accept it or do something to change it but dont be the whiny bitch that i am about it.

The character i identified with most, unfortunately, was Coach Bieste. Not that I'm 40 and never been kissed, but I'm abrasive and awkward and not very attractive. Like Bieste, i have a nice marshmallowy inside, but the outside scares people. She (and I) has friends that care about her, gets pity kisses, and has reasons to smile sometimes. But the two of us are pretty beat down and don't have the energy to fight it anymore. We dont have realistic prospects for love. We're cynical and resigned to life's suckiness. Yep.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Life and death

I've always figured that if I don't die suddenly in an accident or by some freak sickness, I'll probably die by suicide. Now, don't go getting all worried...I'm not depressed at the moment, and I'm not thinking of taking my life anytime in the near future.  But I've always thought that I'd rather move on to the next life instead of being sick or old, wasting precious resources and being a burden to others, or not being in control of my body or mind and being able to live a quality life.  I've been thinking more about this lately because of my grandpa.  He's in his late eighties or early nineties and recently was in the hospital because he fell and broke his hip in a couple of places.  He can't get around very well on his own, is going blind and deaf, and has a hard time remembering who people are.  At first they weren't sure if he was going to make it, since a hip injury in people that age can be pretty serious, but he recovered enough to get out of the hospital. My grandma decided that she would need to put him in a nursing home until he gets better since she wouldn't be able to manage his needs.  This was a very hard decision, and she knew that he wouldn't want to be there.  I can't speak for my grandpa, but if it were me in that situation I would probably rather move on to the next phase of existence rather than be in a nursing home.  Apparently he is lonely and depressed and angry.  I would be too.

This might sound pretty callous, but in a way, it's not really my grandpa that's in the nursing home.  It's a broken, weak shell of a body that doesn't work very well anymore, and a mind that is only there part-time. It's the remains of a man that has lived a long, fulfilling life. It's not the World War II veteran who spent time in a Japanese prison camp. It's not the caring father who raised 6 daughters and 1 son.  It's not the architect that designed and built his own house. It's not the grandpa that would play with me when I was a child, letting me run the controls of his model train set or look at his coin collection that he hid in a secret compartment in a wall.  That man is long gone. Or if not gone, imprisoned in a physical body that will only continue to deteriorate.

I'm glad I don't have to make decisions about what to do about my grandpa. I dread having to make decisions in the future about my own parents. But for me, I know that I don't want to get to the point of others having to make decisions. When I get to the point of not being able to make my own decisions, I don't want to be around any more.  I'd rather end my life on my own terms and move on while I still have the capacity to say goodbye.  That might seem selfish -- I would be leaving behind people that care about me and probably don't mind taking care of my needs. But at the same time, wouldn't it selfish of others to keep me around in my pain and suffering, just because they don't want to let me go? Especially if who I am is pretty much already gone, and it's just my shell hanging on to life? Wouldn't it be more compassionate to let me move on to whatever comes next before it gets to that point?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

What I Learned at Church

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fulness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Text: Katharina von Schlegel, b. 1697;
trans. by Jane Borthwick, 1813-1897

My blog has been pretty religious lately. Not sure why that is - maybe I'm getting old and spirituality is becoming more important to me. But I've been taking comfort in it lately, and knowing that I have a Father in Heaven who loves me no matter what has helped me get through the past few weeks.  We sang this hymn in church today, and it pretty well sums up my feelings. For some reason, the third verse above isn't part of the LDS hymnbook, but when I went searching for the lyrics, it was exactly what I needed to read. I have a "dearest friend" who has pretty much departed (not died, just drifted away) and for the past little bit I've been pretty down about it ("all is darkened in the vale of tears").  I've questioned if "It Gets Better" is really true (as has another friend, read his awesome blog post here) for those of us single, not-so-young-anymore, never-were-really-much-of-a-twink-anyway guys.  This hymn says that sorrow and pain are only temporary, and God is there for us to take it away. I'm glad I have Him on my side :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Silly ignorant friend

I received the following on facebook this morning:

Dave, how's it going? I hope this message won't seem too offensive, but I thought I should perhaps write it.

I don't know but have you ever thought you might want to tone down a little your activism on gay rights? I mean, I don't want to offend you or anything but from a gospel standpoint you may not want to support gays or spend too much time with them if there would ever be any danger of becoming one yourself!

Traditionally back in the day saying something like that might be considered as an insult, but...

I don't want to 'not' send a message like this and then spend a bunch of time worrying if it was something I should have brought up. And obviously you already know I have a rep for being rude on FB, so... Just thought it might be something to consider in case you hadn't thought of it.

If giving up gay rights activism would make your life seem a little empty and boring, there's always Socialism! ha ha

<silly ignorant friend>

I responded:

Sigh...are you still stuck on this?

I could write this to you: "Have you ever thought you might want to tone down a little on your hate speech and homophobia? I don't want to offend you or anything but from a gospel standpoint you may not want to appear so unkind and uncharitable. Jesus said Love One Another and spent his time with sinners, right?"

The church's position is stated pretty clearly here:

It states: "As a church, our doctrinal position is clear: any sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong, and we define marriage as between a man and a woman. However, that should never, ever be used as justification for unkindness. Jesus Christ, whom we follow, was clear in His condemnation of sexual immorality, but never cruel. His interest was always to lift the individual, never to tear down." I hope this doesn't offend, but your posts pass the line of "unkindness" and approach "cruelty". Let Jesus do the condemning; it's not up to you.

I especially liked the second-to-last paragraph in that document: "God’s universal fatherhood and love charges each of us with an innate and reverent acknowledgement of our shared human dignity. We are to love one another. We are to treat each other with respect as brothers and sisters and fellow children of God, no matter how much we may differ from one another. "

I'm not too worried about "becoming one myself", as you put it, since I already am one. To most people it just doesn't matter. Besides, homosexuality is not a contagious disease.  As for "not supporting them or spending too much time with them" that would mean not seeing family members or close friends, which would be silly and judgmental.

I appreciate your concern, <silly ignorant friend>, but I will continue to stand up for my beliefs. No hard feelings.


Silly, silly friend. I think he didn't realize I'm gay.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Boyd K and Postmodern Mormonism

I've tried my best to not say too much about good ole Boyd K.  I've posted a few comments on blogs and facebook, but I'm not going to write a post analyzing why his conference talk sucked or give my reactions to it (other than what I just said).  Sociologist David, rather, is pretty interested in other people's reactions.  We all know how it played out:  Utah's gay community protested, national gay rights organizations got involved, some LDS members were confused and bruised, and others came out in support of President Packer.  Pretty nasty things have been said on both sides:  comments like 

I know that God loves us and am grateful He gave us prophets to guide us through these last days when Satan has such a strong hold on the hearts of so many people. I'm grateful to have prophets who can remind us of what's good and right while Satan is fooling people into believing that evil is good and that those who stand up for what's right are hateful and bigoted.


Now, if one insists that they can be Christian and still be gay/lesbian, or that it is acceptable before God because He loves us all and that he allows this practise, then you are sadly misinformed and can hardly call yourself Christi...an as your claim is totally inconsistant with scripture.

are some of the tamer comments to be found at the We Love You President Packer facebook page.  It has touched me personally as well. I've had to deal with statements from one friend such as: 

"I actually hate the whole idea of homosexuality and gays. I just wish it didn't exist, because if it didn't, then I wouldn't have to deal with people thinking I might be gay because I'm still single. They say they hurt no one... well I have a different opinion about it. They have poisoned our entire society. Sorry that is just my opinion. I am sure your gay family and friends are fine people (other than the fact that they are gay), but..."


What the heck? Which GOOD or even just fairly ADEQUATE Mormons said that they felt confused and bruised by Elder Packers comments? Homosexuality being wrong is a fairly basic doctrine if you ask me. And whether they can change their attractions or not, they certainly can't engage in gay behavior and stay in the church...... or are we going to be rewriting the Bible now?

But I also got a letter from a more open minded friend that said:
I am truly devastated by the recent conference address. I follow that particular issue closely and have felt we (as a church) were making some slow headway recently. So when people say that recent comments were nothing new, I think "maybe not ten years ago, but they seem like a step back from where we were headed". While it has been rough for me to reconcile my feelings, I cannot even pretend to understand what you are feeling. But I did want you to know that there are more people out there than you are aware of that support and love you!
Needless to say, it's been a pretty polarizing issue.  Something else that's interesting to me is how gay mormons themselves are reacting to it, and to negativity by the church in general.  Many leave and speak out against the church, some become bitter but stay quiet, and others would rather just leave the church behind as part of a former life.  There is a small but growing group, though, that is staying in the church and wants to try to make changes from the inside.  I used to think that I was the only one that wanted to stay in the church AND be gay, but I'm seeing that I'm not alone anymore.  People from Turner Bitton (hopefully that facebook link works, he gives an excellent message) to David Baker to John Gustav-Wrathall to the amazing Brent Kerby (another facebook link), just to name a few, are building on the Church's official policy of treating gay and lesbian members with love and respect.  The vocal minority inside the church are against people like us, but many members are not.  This gives me hope for the future.  Lately I've been reading alot on the Emerging Church movement in Christianity, which is basically believes that the organizational and institutional church is a thing of the past, and that Christianity is changing as our post-modern society does too.  I believe that the LDS church will have to confront this sooner or later as well.  Leaders such as Elder Marlin Jensen and President Dieter Uchtdorf are maybe taking baby steps in that direction already.  As I wrote to my ignorant friend, "Your hurtful views are increasingly becoming antiquated...the older generation (and you) look on gay people with disgust; our generation probably doesn't like them but tolerates them; but the youth of today don't care one way or the other. To the generation after that, the importance of sexual preference will be on par with eye or hair color. They will look back on us with astonishment just like we look back with astonishment on having different drinking fountains for black people...it's just something we can't fathom, and we wonder how skin color could have mattered so much." I'm glad we have gay Mormons that are staying in the church to help lead this movement.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Book Review -- The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd

It's been awhile since I've read/reviewed a gay-themed book.  I picked one at random from my "to read" list, and it turned out to be a good one.  The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd takes place in a nondescript midwestern town during protagonist Dade Hamilton's last summer before going away to college.  He's somewhat of a loner (why are gay kids in books always misfits or loners?) working a job he hates at a grocery store, and he doesn't have any friends other than his secret "boyfriend" (more of a hook-up buddy) Pablo, who is a football star and dates the prettiest girl in the school.  Over the summer he meets new best friend Lucy, a lesbian girl staying with her aunt for the summer, and mysterious badboy Alex Kincaid, whom he is instantly attracted to.  This gives him the confidence to begin coming out to people and making the transition from confused teenager to comfortable college student.  Side plots include Dade's distant parents' crumbling marriage and a young girl who has disappeared or been kidnapped.

I identified fairly well with Dade (other than his and the other characters drug use and drinking).  He's a loner, is out to himself but not very confident, and is stuck in an unhealthy relationship with a "friend" (Pablo) that doesn't treat him very well and can't give him the relationship he deserves.  He's not quite sure what direction his life is going to take and although he is at a crossroads, he is letting himself float along rather than taking ownership and responsibility of his life.  I can also identify with Pablo -- he is obviously deeply closeted and confused about his sexuality, and he comes from a conservative and patriarchal culture where masculinity is valued.  This confusion leads him to a depression which shows itself as anger, promiscuity, taking advantage of other people, and the "brain damage" that many of us have experienced in the coming out process in a conservative Mormon culture.  I didn't identify with Alex much, who is comfortable with who he is but, like Dade, is floating along in life and has even fewer opportunities to change things.  Although Dade and Alex don't have much in common other than being gay, lacking direction, and liking weed, their relationship helps Dade realize what a good relationship is about and gives him the confidence he needs to take charge of his life.  He is able to finally put Pablo behind him and move on to something more positive.  All of the characters were well-developed and likeable.

I have to say that I absolutely hated the ending of the book.  In fact, I was mad about it for days after I finished it.  I won't give it away, but things didn't get resolved in a way that left me feeling happy and positive.  That's not necessarily a bad thing though.  A good book makes me think and feel strongly, whether in a positive or negative way, and this one definitely did.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


So I went to tonight's moho party at Scott and Sarah's and stayed for about 15 minutes.  I guess it's just not my scene anymore.  I tried talking to a few people but kept getting the vibe of "if you're not a twinky BYU student we don't want to know you" and felt like I was wallpaper or something.  The strange thing is, though, ..... wait for it ......that I didn't even care.  Before, even like just a few months ago, this would have sent me into a tailspin and totally crushed my self esteem and I probably would have gone home and cried.  Tonight though, it was more like "ummm this is a total waste of my time and I'd much rather go home and curl up on the couch and watch a movie." So that's what I did :) 

It made me wonder, though....am I finally growing up and moving out of this damn adolescent period that I've been stuck in for years? Interesting....

I've met some really cool people at moho parties and found some good friends there. I think I'm going to be done with them for awhile, though.  Nothing against Scott and Sarah, they are both very welcoming and loving, and two of the best people in the world. But the parties are just not for me anymore. If I ever get a free Wednesday, I think I'll give Simply Social a try.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Faith and Bitterness

Two somewhat related topics, and I'll start with the negative one:  I've come to the conclusion that I'm at high risk to become a bitter old man.  I pride myself on being open-minded, accepting of everyone, and respectful of all points of view.  But lately I find myself easily irritated by certain groups of people (e.g. twinks, ultraconservatives, pseudoadults, and ironically, bitter people) and it makes me judge them and not want to be around people in general.  Worse, I've slowly lost my ability to be happy for other people.  I'm not yet at the point where I derive comfort from others' misfortune, but I find that I get jealous of people's successes and think "why can't that be me" rather than be happy for them.  So...I think that all needs to stop right now. I don't want to be that kind of person! It's not who easygoing, nonjudgmental me is! I'm going to focus on being happy for others and not being jealous of them.

Second topic: at church today, I realized that the answer to my Why I Stay post (i.e. why do I keep attending and believing in a church that officially doesn't like me as a gay man) is because of faith.  This actually comes as kind of a relief -- I've been worried about things such as do I stay out of guilt, fear, brainwashing, etc.  But it's because of faith.  The nature of faith is believing something that is impossible to prove by scientific means, even if it doesn't make sense.  A lot of mohos have some level of resentment toward the LDS church, whether it's because of personal experiences, the church's institutional support of Proposition 8, or that the doctrine just doesn't make sense anymore.  I've never really felt that resentment even though I do disagree with some of what the church does/teaches, but I've never been able to pinpoint why.  But I think it's because of the faith I have in a loving father in heaven.  I can't prove he's there, and I can't prove that he is more merciful that what other people may think, but I have faith that he loves me and will judge me on how I treat other people and how honestly and morally I live my life, rather than who I fall in love with or what kind of anatomy I like.  Although I don't necessarily keep all of the commandments as the church has interpreted them, I've pretty much put my life in His hands and rely on His mercy that things will be fair and all get sorted out in the end.  I don't worry too much about things that get in the way, such as Proposition 8 or less-than-Christlike members of the church.  It's all between me and Him.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Antisocial, introverted, or just happy with myself?

Two of my close friends recently ended their relationships with their boyfriends.  Both of them are understandibly sad and feeling down and missing the person they broke up with.  When I started blogging a year or so ago, I was very dependent on other people to make me happy.  I hated being alone and even got panicky if I wasn't talking to or texting someone.  I felt down if I didn't have anything to do on weekends and felt like a loser for staying home by myself.  I took rejection pretty hard.  My happiness depended on other people, and even though I'm an introvert I felt like I needed to be at every party and get to know every guy.  "Needy" is a good word for what I was.  I feel like I'm different now though...I don't have to know what friends are doing every minute of the day, I don't have to fill every minute of my time to feel good about myself, and most of all I don't mind being by myself or just hanging out with family.  I usually tend to stay in more often than go out, and I don't mind it. 

My friends tell me I'm antisocial...I don't interact with very many people at parties, I don't have that many friends, and I don't look for opportunities to meet people. I don't "put myself out there."  One of the friends I mentioned above kind of made fun of me for not dating anyone recently.  I've kind of taken the antisocial label for myself, though, as well.  It's my way of coping with rejection and lessing the pressure of being an introvert in social situations...if I call myself antisocial then I can act that way and be okay with it.

The thing is, though, I don't think I'm really antisocial (although my friend says I'm in denial).  Asocial maybe...I don't interact with too many people and I'm kind of a loner. I don't care about having a million facebook friends and I'm perfectly fine sitting on the sidelines most of the time.  But I don't think that's necessarily bad anymore.  I'm alot more comfortable with myself now that I was a year ago.  I can spend time by myself and not have a panic attack.  I get bored and crave human interaction, but being alone doesn't make me depressed or sad (most of the time).  I don't need other people to make me happy.  I agree that I would probably be happier in a relationship, but it's not a must anymore.  When refuting my friend's assertion that I'm antisocial, I told him "Why should my happiness depend on other people? If I don't enjoy my own company how will others enjoy it?" For some reason that made him mad and he stopped talking to me.  But I truly believe it -- if I can't be happy on my own then I don't have a good foundation and I'm dependent on others...I might be happy when others make me happy, but when they're gone I don't have a foundation to fall back on.  I see myself as taking baby steps...I used to dislike myself but I'm getting more comfortable and happy with who I am.  There are still things I dislike about myself, but maybe as I get used to liking myself I will be more social and reach out to others.  So for now, although I call myself antisocial, I don't really think I am...I'm just getting comfortable with who I am and less dependent on other people.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Why I Stay

Why do I still attend and consider myself a member of a church whose position is that I'm a bad person? It's something that I've been thinking about off and on for awhile.  I took the following stupid internet quiz and got this result:

You are 23% Mormon
You have some of the Mormon values, but overall you're far more normal than most Utahns. You realize life is out there to enjoy, family is important, and there are better ways to spend a Sunday than at church!

Should You Stay Mormon?
Take More Quizzes

I also took the Belief-O-Matic Quiz on Beliefnet.com (probably a bit more reliable) and got the following:

1. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (100%)
2. Liberal Quakers (83%)
3. Unitarian Universalism (74%)
4. Orthodox Quaker (72%)
5. Baha'i Faith (71%)
6. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (69%) 

So, why do I stay? Especially since, in its simplest form, I've made a conscious decision to disregard some of the teachings of the church and rely on God's mercy but understanding his justice? To be honest, I'm not quite sure.  Part of it is probably just inertia, I've gone my whole life attending church on Sundays, and so it's just part of the routine.  Second is probably family pressure:  my whole family are strong, conservative Mormons, and I don't really want to rock the boat.  Third, I want my kids raised in the church.  I attend with them on Sundays since their mom doesn't go much anymore. 

But fourth, it's because I believe in most of what the church teaches.  I believe in God the Father and that he created us and is the father of our spirits.  I believe Jesus is the son of God and gave his life for us so that we can be forgiven of our sins and return to God's presence.  I believe the Holy Ghost can help guide us and influence us.  Although it seems somewhat far-fetched that God would deliver his gospel to some insignificant desert tribe like the Hebrews, I guess he had to start somewhere.  So I believe the Bible to be the word of God, mostly. It's gone through the hands of many different people with many different agendas, so it's definitely not God's literal word.

So far, so good. I'm at least Christian.

I believe in the restoration of the gospel.  At least, I believe things got pretty screwed up after Jesus died.  Studying the early Christian church is fascinating.  Tons of bloodshed, kidnappings, greed, blackmail, bribery, and everything else in the name of God.  Since I believe in a God that loves us, I believe he would do something to get things back on track.  I believe in the Joseph Smith story, and I believe that God revealed the true gospel to him.  I find it pretty easy to believe in the Book of Mormon as well.  It just makes sense that God would talk to other people besides his insignificant tribe in the Middle East.  The stories of how Joseph Smith translated it are pretty fanciful, but I still believe its God's word without all the baggage the Bible has.  I also find it pretty easy to believe in continuing revelation.  Again, if God loves us, it doesn't really make sense that the would set things in motion, talk to a few prophets a long time ago, send his son to earth to die, and then disappear.  It makes sense that he would continue having prophets on the earth to guide his people.  It also makes sense that he would authorize people to act in his name, rather than letting anybody do it on his own.

So...I'm essentially Mormon.  I don't know of any other religion that believes in all that.

But then things get sort of hazy.  I'm sort of following the temple recommend questions here when I talk about what I believe.  Do I sustain the Prophet and the Quorum of the Twelve as prophets, seers, and revelators, and other leaders as called? Well, sort of. But I don't believe they are infallible. Look at some of the crazy things Brigham Young taught.  Heck, look at some of the crazy things Boyd K. Packer has said! Do I believe the LDS church is the only true church? Well...pretty much.  Like I said, I don't know of any other church that teaches everything we do. But at the same time, who's to say God doesn't have other prophets he communicates with? If I believe he had at least two communities in ancient times, why not now?

Do I live the law of chastity? Do I keep the covenants I have made? Am I a full tithe payer? Do I keep the word of wisdom? Well...this isn't going to turn into a confessional.  Let's just say I'm not a perfect person.  But I do believe in the reasons behind these rules.  And I hope to find a husband and live the law of chastity with him.  And that sentence pretty much answers the question about if I support any groups whose teachings are contrary to the church. (The last time the bishop asked me that question, though, I answered "yes, I'm a Democrat." He laughed.)

So rules/laws/ceremonies/rituals....I fail the Mormon test there.  Which is why I don't have a temple recommend, or feel right having one.  But what about the spirit of the law?

Is there anything in my conduct with my family that is out of harmony with the church? Absolutely not. My kids are my life, and my goal is to be the best damn dad possible.  Does being gay prevent me from being a good father? No way.  Am I honest in my dealings with my fellowmen? Absolutely.  That is something I take pride in.  Do I believe in the church's focus on families, service, kindness, etc? Yep.

So, I guess I stay because it's what I believe and I can't get it all anywhere else.  I see myself as being on the outskirts of things in relation to most members of the church, obviously.  If I had to label myself I would call myself a liberal Mormon, or postmodern Mormon, or something like that.  But still Mormon. 

(End note:  I absolutely respect others' beliefs.  I'm a relativist -- just because something works, or is right for me, doesn't make it right for someone else.  Truth can be very broad.  Many mohos and gay people have very different opinions about the church, and religion in general.  Many have been hurt pretty badly by the church.  Feel free to comment and give me feedback, or ask questions.  Respectfully.)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Catching up

Summer has been pretty good to me, I've been keeping my demons at bay by focusing on myself and my family.  I've gotten into photography lately and have taken a bunch of road trips to combine some of my favorite things:  taking pictures, being outdoors, geocaching, seeing new places, and being with the kidddos.  I've been spending alot of time by myself doing things I enjoy too:  reading, watching movies, etc.  I feel like I've distanced myself from superficial people that bring me down, but probably unintentionally distanced myself from friends too, just to avoid getting hurt and because I don't really trust anyone emotionally any more.  I forgot to take my happy pills with me on one of my road trips and was doing just fine without them, so I figured I would detox myself from them and see what happened.  I told myself if I found myself crying for no reason or hiding from people in the bathroom that I would go back on them....now that I'm back to the daily grind of a job I don't really like and not much time for myself, let's just say I'm going to go back on them :)  I did apply for a new job, though, and thought the interview went well...still waiting to hear back from them tho.  I hope I get it, because it would be a needed change.  Lonliness catches up sometimes, but like I said I'm not going to write many negatives in my blog anymore...don't want people to get the wrong idea about me or feel sorry for me.  I wish I could say I had an active social life with lots of close friends and did exciting things with them every weekend, but it wouldn't be true...it's all good though, I'm making my own fun lately and learning to enjoy being with myself.  And of course, I have the kiddos to drive me insane, but keep me sane at the same time...if I didn't have them, I wouldn't be here anymore :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dear You

Dear You,

You don't read this blog as far as I know, so you're not actually going to read this.  Unless I decide to send it to you, which I probably won't.  I don't know, I don't think it would serve any purpose and just cause more drama.  But I need to get my feelings out somehow.  I'm giving up, and I want to let you know why.

When I first met you, I thought you were the awesomest guy in the world.  Heck, until very recently I still thought that.  You're still an awesome guy, but you're not the same guy you were when I met you.  That's natural, of course, everyone changes, but the more recent you is hard to deal with.  You're distant, you don't communicate, and you don't give any cues at all about what you're feeling or what I can do to be a good friend.  You don't give me any feedback at all when I share my feelings with you.  I have no idea what you're thinking, and sometimes I feel like I'm interrogating you to get any information at all from you.  I hardly ever see you or hang out with you, and I don't hear from you unless I initiate contact.

You claim it's because you're so busy and because of your living situation.  At first I went along with that, trying to be understanding, but I'm gonna call bullshit on that now. I'm never too busy for friends, and if they mean something to me I make time for them.  Even if I've had a hectic day, I still make time to send a text or talk with them for a minute.   If they want to talk and I'm busy I just let them know I'll get back to them later.  If they want to hang out and I can't, I suggest another time.  I generally know what they are up to and what their mood is, and they know the same about me. 

If I didn't know you for as long as I have, I would think you weren't interested in being friends or were trying to blow me off.  At this point I don't think that, but at the same time I don't know what to think.  I guess it's just you being you.  But I don't like you being you.  And that realization is what has helped me decide that it's not worth my time to keep trying so hard.  I never try to force my expectations onto people or expect them to change.  But for awhile now all I get from you are negative emotions...or what I mean is that interacting with you generally makes me more sad/mad than happy.  And that's not what friendship should be.  I find myself frustrated with you most of the time because of what I wrote above...no communication, no time, no seeing you, etc.  I think the straws that broke the camel's back are the time I came up to see you and you basically made me feel like crap for doing it, and last night when you knew I wanted to hang out and didn't have plans...but when your plans fell through you didn't call me or let me know.  Not to be dramatic, but your actions scream "YOURE NOT THAT IMPORTANT TO ME!!"

So I'm done.  If I'm totally wrong on this and am just being insensitive and a bad friend by not being more understanding, I apologize.  But like I said, I have no idea what to think.  I'm not going to end our friendship, but I can't keep thinking of you as a best friend and hoping that you think the same about me.  It's too frustrating and I can't do it anymore.  If you want to try to save things, please talk to me and let's figure out how to do it.  If not, I would still appreciate some feedback from you on what I have said.  It would help me with closure to understand where you are coming from.  And of course we can still be texting and facebook friends if you want to.

Love forever,

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Two Books

I've been meaning to write this post forever.  I read two good gay-themed books lately that I want to recommend.  I'll shamelessly copy the summary of each one from goodreads.com and just write some quick thoughts.

The first one is Bait by Alex Sanchez.  First, the summary: 

When a guy in his class looks at him funny, Diego punches him in the face, and ends up on probation. At first he wants nothing to do with his probation officer. But as Diego starts to open up, he begins to realize that Mr. Vidas is the first person in his life who ever really wanted to listen to him. With Vidas's help, Diego begins to make real progress in controlling his anger. He even opens up enough to tell Vidas about the shark tooth that his stepfather gave him that he uses to cut himself. But only if Diego can find the courage to trust Vidas with the darkest secrets from his past will he be able to heal completely.

In this bold story of a boy trying to grow beyond a painful past, award-winning author Alex Sanchez calls upon his personal experience as a probation officer to reveal the complexities of one of his most genuinely realized characters to date.

And the quick review:  Alex Sanchez is one of my favorite gay YA authors, and, I would say, one of the better ones.  I read his Rainbow Boys trilogy when I was coming out and it helped me alot (even though I'm not chronologically an  adolescent, I still am emotionally sometimes), and all of his other books are good too.  This one was a little bit different in that the main character was not gay but one of the supporting characters is.  The story was somewhat predictable but the characters were well-developed and likeable.  I identified with Vidas, the probation officer, since that is what I used to do.  It made me really miss it and want to get back into a job where I directly help young people better their lives.

The next one is Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green.  Again, the summary:

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.
Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both them legions of faithful fans.

And the review:  This book was awesome.  The premise is pretty unlikely, but I could identify just a bit with all three of the main characters, two of whom are gay and one who is straight.  Will#1 has two rules for life, which I also try to follow as best I can:  first, don't care, and second, shut up.  Will#2 is moody, pretty straight-acting, and looking for a relationship.  Tiny is way over the top, the stereotypical gay diva, but I could identify with his bad luck in love.  The book is well written and has some hilarious lines.

That's it!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Misunderstood, a Bible Verse, and a Couple of Books: Part 2, the Bible verse

In Sunday school last week the lesson was about the part of 1 Samuel where Saul becomes king, fails, and David beomes the new king and fights Goliath (for some reason I get an ironic/perverse pleasure linking to lds.org from my blog lol).  Usually the teacher is pretty good, and the ward is not uber-conservative and fairly nonjudgmental.  But this time he skipped over my freakin' favorite verse in the Old Testament and didn't even mention it!!  1 Samuel 16:7... "But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; ... for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."  This verse gives me such comfort.  God doesn't care what I look like or how I present myself to others.  He doesn't care how other people view my actions or lifestyle (ugh, how I hate that word).  He doesn't care if a person has tattoos or body piercings, or how much money they make, or how well they dress.  Heck, he probably doesn't even care that I voted for Obama.  What He cares about is what is in my heart.  He cares that I treat others with kindness and respect.  He cares that I am honest and hard-working.  He cares that I am the best father I can be.  He cares that I love Him and worship Him in my own way, and doesn't place too much importance, I sincerely believe, on the anatomy of the person I happen to love.

There is a lot more from this lesson that demands discussion. For example, does the Lord make mistakes? (1 Samuel 15:11, the Lord says "it repenteth me that I have set Saul to be king").  I'm not sure, but I do believe an omnipotent God can change his mind about things.  Saying he can't would be limiting his power. Also, which is more important, ceremony and ritual (animal sacrifice, in this instance) or obedience?  Samuel says obedience, and I tend to agree...at least as far as what is in our hearts is more important than whether we attend church every Sunday, etc.  But this can be taken way too far, and alot of time it is.  Saul got in trouble for sparing the life of a rival king and keeping some of the animals to sacrifice.  The teacher presented this as Saul did it deliberately as an act of rebellion to make himself look better, but I'm not so sure.  The Lord knows his heart.  Might he have done it out of mercy for his enemy and love for the Lord, even though it was perhaps misguided? In any case, even though he asked forgiveness, the Lord rejected him from being king and Samuel took the rival king and "hewed [him] in pieces before the Lord."  Hmmm...the God I worship and obey is a God of mercy and love, not one that is violent and unforgiving.  Which one do you believe in?

Misunderstood, a Bible Verse, and a Couple of Books

I've had a few topics for posts bouncing around in my head for awhile, but I haven't gotten around to writing them.  So I'm just going to squish them together into one post and not elaborate too much on any of them.  Okay, wait, I changed my mind...lol...I'm going to do 3 mini-posts separately.  So read all of them and comment!! :)

A couple of weeks ago I wrote to an acquaintance and asked him point-blank, "What made you blow me off after we met and not want to be friends?"  I was over the somewhat hurt feelings of extending a hand of friendship and having it rejected, and wasn't looking for an apology or pity or a passive-agressive confrontation (and I told him this).  I just wanted an honest answer, and I knew (or at least sensed) that he was the type of person that could answer this question in a constructive way.  And he did.  He gave me some very good things to think about and helped me to identify some things I could change next time I'm trying to make friends with somebody.  I appreciated his comments and wasn't hurt or angered at all by what he had to say.  BUT....his answer basically came down to "the more I read your blog the more I realize how high-maintenance you are, and I already have one high maintenance friend and can't really handle another.  And I'm not really looking for friends anyway, I'm more focused on finding a relationship."  I'm summarizing alot, and he said it in a positive, non-offensive way. But it was kind of just one more strike against blogging too much any more, especially about feelings and emotions, and double-especially when they are negative.  This acquaintance knew me through my blog and based his impressions of me completely on what I had written, rather than getting to know me better when we met in real life.  I can't really fault him for that; I suppose I would do the same thing.  The problem is, my blog is only one side of me, and lately I use my blog as a therapeutic way to get my negative emotions out.  I vent alot and seem pretty emo sometimes.  But it's not all of who I am.  I do it partly because writing is very helpful for me to get my feelings out, and also partly because I recognize that friends get tired of hearing negatives all the time...and since I don't want to burden them by venting verbally all the time, I do it pretty openly on my blog.  In real life though, I'm fairly private with my feelings and when I'm feeling down and emo I withdraw rather than burdening other people and bringing them down with me.  But most of the time I'm a very understanding person, an attentive listener, a supportive friend, and fun to be around in my own nerdy/quiet way.  So basically, what I want to say is this:  if you're a regular reader of my blog and happen to meet me in real life, don't judge me just on my blog!! Get to know me in person! I come across as a lot more emo in my blog than I do in real life, I promise!!  Yes, I can be a demanding friend, but I do it with good intentions and I'm not going to burden you with all my problems! And I'm working on being less demanding!! </rant>

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I Am an Island

Wow, it's been a month since I've posted anything.  My last post alluded to my "screw the world" attitude, and that's probably the reason why.  My mood has been good overall; I've had a few down days, but nothing too significant.  I've just gotten used to being alone, and so I haven't felt the need to share anything.  I guess that has its advantages and disadvantages.  I get lonely sometimes but I have learned to rely on myself for my happiness and not be dependent on other people to feel good about myself.  I don't put up with crap from "friends" anymore since I don't really need them.  

I've built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.

I've found activities that I can enjoy on my own:  reading, hiking, going for walks, etc.  I've focused more on the people that matter...which is mostly family.  I've been a lot less social, have skipped activities that I used to look forward to, and haven't made much of an effort to meet new people.
I have my books
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.
It just seems like everyone around me lets me down.  Someone I consider a close friend let me down hard yesterday.  Before I would have ignored it or excused it, but this time I confronted him on it.  He apologized, but for some reason it didn't really mean much.  Before I would have been sad and depressed, but now I'm sad and angry.  It's easiest just to withdraw.  And if I don't have friends or meet anyone to crush on, I won't get hurt.  The only thing I want to make sure of is that I don't withdraw from the people that truly care about me.  I know there are a couple of them, and I want to make sure I don't push them away.
I won't disturb the slumber of feelings that have died.
If I never loved I never would have cried.
I have some book reviews I want to post, but I think I'm just going to stay away from "feeling" posts for awhile.  I don't want to feel anymore.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I'm not very good at being mad at people

...or disliking them, but it's alot easier and less painful than dealing with my real feelings. I was going to put that as my facebook status but i figured i could elaborate on it more here. I suppose that should be obvious to me rather than new and insightful...I mean, having worked with teenagers, part of what i did sometimes was helping them go deeper and figure out where their anger was coming from and what their real feelings were. And realizing that, i find it weird that I'm trying to use it as a coping mechanism now. It's something I usually help people avoid. I'm not very good at being mad...I usually give people the benefit of the doubt and forgive pretty quickly and apologize for things so that everyone can be happy. I hate conflict. But i'm starting to understand firsthand why people use anger. I'm tired of feeling down and depressed when people are stupid, and its alot easier to just be mad at them. It puts up a wall and masks my hurt and confusion. It puts the ball back in the other person's court and puts the responsability on them to solve the problem. Not caring means not hurting. I have a certain friend that really takes me for granted and I've been bottling up alot of feelings toward him for awhile. Last night I let them out and told him. Not in a mean way or a mad way, just straightforwardly. And now being mad at him makes it easier to cope. Instead of feeling bad and apologizing for my feelings, and texting him and asking him to not be mad at me, I just tell myself to be mad at him and let him deal with it. It feels good. Screw him, i dont need him. Of course, i dont really mean that, and I understand perfectly the feelings i'm avoiding, but its an easy way out, and thats what i need right now. And thats probably the reason behind my new "screw the world" philosophy with meeting new people...if i dont care, i dont have to make an effort, and i wont get hurt. It's just interesting that i'm using a not-usually-very-positive technique to feel better.

Monday, April 5, 2010


I crave stability in my life.  I like being spur-of-the-moment and trying random things, but I like to know that I have a safe place to go back to when I'm done, and I like knowing what is going to happen in the future.  I realized that when I feel down and depressed, it's usually because of a lack of stability.  Not that I'm unstable...I have a permanent job, a family that is a constant in my life, and the anchors of good friends and my spirituality.  But there are areas of my life that lack stability, and this affects who I am.  One example is that where I lived for the past year I never decorated or made it look homey because I knew I would be moving in a year, and it wasn't worth the emotional effort to make it a home.  Another example is that I crave a boyfriend because I know what it is like to be in a long-term relationship, and I want the stability of knowing I'm loved and that someone is there for me.  When I don't have stability or know what to expect in the future I get stressed and anxious and depressed.

Hopefully things will be a bit more stable in the near future.  Despite the stress I had about moving, things are falling into place and I'll have 3 rent-paying roommates soon.  I love the new house and desperately hope that it will be a long-term living situation.  I've kind of moved away from looking for new friends and trying to find a boyfriend...I think both of those things made life too unstable.  Reaching out to people that don't care (e.g. Ben, Nick, many BYU mohos) has taken an emotional toll.  Trying to meet guys online has not been successful.  I'm not as anxious now to meet new people and make new friends...I'm happy (for now) with what I've got and rather than focus on new people I want to focus on what I have. I want to develop and improve relationships with the people I already know (e.g. Brandon, Michaels, Scott).  Trying to make new friends with guys who don't know what they want (and have crappy social skills) isn't promoting stability for me right now. And it seems that the closest friends I have (Mike, Steve, Chris) are ones that I haven't tried to force or move along quickly. So I'm not going to be antisocial and avoid people or reject new friendships, but I'm just not going to make it a priority right now.  Feel free to get to know me, but if you don't make an effort I'm not going to either.
I didn't watch or listen to a single word of conference this weekend.  A couple of other bloggers have written that this is a sign of their escaping the clutches of the Mormon church...or at least it not being as important in their lives.  I usually watch the Priesthood session with my dad and brother, but this time my dad was out of town and I was just getting back in to town, so I missed it.  I usually at least pretend to watch the Sunday sessions at my mom's house, but they didn't get back into town til Sunday evening.  And I didn't really miss it.  I'll probably go back and read some of the talks, but I think conference tends to promote instability in me at times as well.  Many of the general authorities are kind and loving, but others are clueless about how what they say opresses people.  On the other hand, as I mentioned, my spirituality is a great source of stability for me.  Deciding to take what I want from the LDS church and fit it with who I am has made me feel loved by God.  Of course, some might say that I'm deluding myself and being led away by the devil...but oh well.
I had a great trip to Las Vegas and Death Valley this weekend.  After the move and stress at work, I needed a break.  Usually I go to Ogden and hang out with Robbie to escape reality, but I needed something more this time.  It was very relaxing and I got both the glitter and glamor of Las Vegas and the peace and serenity of nature in Death Valley.  I need more vacations.
I'm on a diet. I've never dieted before.  But I'm fast approaching the part of life that doing nothing isn't going to cut it anymore.  My clothes are getting a little bit tight and my stomach is sticking out more than I like (what a way to get the cute guys who are reading this, right?) My ex and I are doing it together, and today was the first day.  Instead of 3 big meals and snacks in between, I'm going to attempt 4 small meals and a small snack at the end of the day.  It was kind of painful today, but hopefully I'll get used to it.  Instead of eating 2000+ calories like I usually do, I ate 1410.  I'm committing to 2 weeks.  Maybe I'll even get motivated to exercise.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Stress is getting to me.  Most of it is good stress (meaning stress resulting from positive changes) that is temporary, but it gets me overanalyzing things, which gets my bad stress going, which...you get the picture.

I'm really excited for my new living situation.  I'm going to be living with three other moho friends in a cute duplex, and saving alot of money at the same time.  Hopefully.  I have to move out by next week, and we have to all get together to sign the new lease before I can move in.  I put down a deposit, and now doubts are arising such as what if someone flakes out and doesn't want to move in...then I'm out the money.  And homeless, or responsible for a much bigger chunk of rent.  I don't have too much stuff, but I don't have a truck, and I'm probably going to have to move during the week when most people are working.  And I feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start. Ugh...I'm sure it will all turn out ok though.

I've kind of been feeling jealous and resentful toward a certain person lately, and my stress is making it flare up even more.  I'm not sure why I can't just let it go.  It's not a person that really matters...it's just an acquaintance, not even a friend.  The funny thing is that this person probably has no idea that I'm feeling resentful toward him.  And if he did, he would think it was weird, since we don't even really have a relationship other than talking a bit here and there.  If it were a friend I wouldn't have any problem talking to them about it. But I don't really feel comfortable doing that with this person. On the other hand, I need to do something, because right now it's just festering and bringing me down. Any suggestions?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Holy Positiveness, Batman!

This is more of a journal post; skip over it if you don't care about my life....hahaha that sounds alot more harsh than I meant it to...

This week was pretty blah, and I started the weekend expecting boredom and loneliness, since I'm generally a planner and I had no plans.  It actually turned out to be a really good weekend, though.  Thursday night I hung out with my crush/friend, snuggled during a movie, snuggled during the night without doing anything we shouldn't, and then I made him pancakes for breakfast and we hung out a bit more before going our separate ways. 

Saturday morning one of my future housemates and I went looking at houses, and we found one that both of us really like.  The landlord seemed to like us, so hopefully it will all work out.  We're cutting it kind of close (I have to be out of my current place in a week and a half!) but I'm starting to feel excited and not so stressed.

Saturday night I expected to spend alone, but I figured I would bug my friend/crush and see what he was up to.  I didn't want to monopolize his time, since I had just seen him, but he was just at home doing homework so I asked him if he wanted a food break. To my surprise he said yes (usually he'll say something like David it's too far for you to drive, David you don't have money to be buying me food, blah blah blah) so we ate pizza and ended up watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show. No cuddling or spending the night this time, but we both (I think) had fun.

Which brings me to a little bit of confusion.  I've known this guy for awhile and he knows I have a crush on him, and that I count him as a really good friend and have mostly given up on anything more with him.  He's a really good guy and wouldn't deliberately use me or set out to hurt me.  He was pretty clear with me a few months ago (7 I think?) that we are just friends.  So I'm not expecting or even hoping for anything from him.  BUT...I'm sort of confused.  I know people have different views on cuddling...for some it's just something to do with friends and it doesn't mean anything.  For others (like me) cuddling is something special and intimate, and I generally only do it with someone I really like.  And I definitely don't share my bed with just anyone (friends can sleep on the couch or the floor) and on the off-chance that I did share with a friend, he would be on his side and I would be on mine. No cuddling or rubbing (appropriate body parts) most of the night. No squishing into a twin bed. One wise friend, when I asked him to opine on wth he thought was going on in this guy's head, replied "That's a territory I'm not gonna explore.... And you shouldn't either. You should just go with it and not read into it."  Which is pretty much what I'm doing...like I said, not expecting or hoping for anything. But you cuddle whores out there (or anyone else who is better at me than reading signals from confusing guys, which is pretty much everyone) is there such a thing as "just" friendly cuddling in a tiny bed all night long? Does it not mean much of anything?

P.S. -- Maybe my friend/crush is just an idiot...who the f wouldn't fall for a guy that made him pancakes in the morning??!?!?! I sure would!! :D

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Book Review -- What They Always Tell Us by Martin Wilson

Even though I'm a grown-up, I love teen fiction.  They are usually quick easy reads, but present fresh voices and viewpoints on current topics.  What They Always Tell Us by Martin Wilson is no different.  I'm sure I put this book on my "to read" list  because it was a teen fiction book with a gay theme.  However, when I picked it up at the library, I had honestly forgotten what it was about and why I had gotten it.  The book is written by two narrators, James and Alex, who are brothers and high school students.  James is a senior and waiting for a college acceptance letter to Duke, and Alex is a junior who recently drank Pine-Sol at a party (a suicide attempt?) and has now lost all his friends and withdrawn from everyone.  The book deals with Alex's coming out to himself and later to James, and the role that James' friend Nathen plays in it.  There are other subplots, such as James's relationships with girls and friends, and a strange boy that lives across the street whose history is somewhat of a mystery.  The book was kind of a combination of The Perks of Being a Wallflower (which I reviewed here) and Boy Meets Boy (which I haven't reviewed but is a very good book) by focusing on a social-misfit kid with a (spoiler alert from here on out) fairy-tale ending.

This book was very realistic (in the things Alex had to deal with as a (suspected) gay teen, and the way people reacted to him) but, for me, at least, was a fantasy as well.  I loved (and was jealous of, at the same time) the relationship between Nathen and Alex -- how Nathen took Alex under his wing, saw what he was good at, built on his strengths, and encouraged him to be the best person he could.  I love how Alex found Nathen at just the right time, when he needed someone the most, and thrived with his support.  It made me long to find my Nathen -- someone who genuinely cares about me as a person and makes me want to be better.  It also made me long to be someone else's Nathen -- find someone that truly needs me and that I can help grow and thrive.  So far, guys like that don't exist.

This is not a work of great literature or a deep analysis of what it means to be gay. The writing is not outstanding (in fact, the third-person present-tense gets annoying sometimes) and it's not going to be at the top of the list of good gay teen fiction.  But the characters were well-developed and I felt drawn to Alex, Nathen, James, and the other minor characters.  Oh, and the shower scene was definitely hot!  It is a good story and I want to see more of these characters...not all the loose ends were tied up, and I want to see what happens when Alex comes out to his parents and how he deals with Nathen going away to college. I recommend this book as a quick entertainment read.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A bunch of stuff

I have alot of things bouncing around in my head right now.  This week has been generally blah, but not for any specific reason.

Last weekend, with all I could have done, I ended up doing only one thing...hanging out with one (gay but non-moho) friend. I'm kind of taking a moho break, I think. Not on purpose, but now that I think about it, that's what I'm doing. I'm over the two moho crushes I had, mostly because they turned out to be not who I thought they were and really didn't make any effort to get to know me. I'm avoiding moho activities (again, not on purpose) just because I'm a bit disenchanted, I guess.  I feel like I'm too old for the college/BYU crowd but too young for the older guy crowd (if there is such a thing).  This paragraph sounds kind of whiny, but I don't mean it that way. I'm fine with it...I'm just accepting reality.  On the other hand, though, the moho scene has proven to be the best way to meet new friends, so I doubt my break will be very long.

But hanging out with my friend was awesome.  We just hung out and watched a movie, made an appearance at a "no-pants party", went back to his place, and then went to track down his drunk roommate after the previously-mentioned party apparently got busted (and who I was mad at for interrupting our cuddling!)

I'm stressed about my living situation.  I need to change it to save money.  My contract is up at the end of the month, and I've already given notice that I'm leaving.  One option would be to get a 1-bedroom apartment by myself (which doesn't sound like a money-saver, but it would be). Another option, which is what I want, is to get a 4-bedroom house with 3 other mohos.  We've looked at some places, but I don't know if things are going to come together by the end of the month. I won't be homeless if that doesn't happen, but I will need to get creative about what to do with my stuff. And I HATE moving...I don't want to have to move out of here, store my stuff somewhere, live in a temporary location for a bit, and then move again. But it would be fun to live with 3 low-maintenance guys.

This weekend was not too exciting either...I've mostly just hung out with my new best friend Redbox, because my closest friends have been busy with other things, and I haven't made the effort to look for a date or ask other people if they want to hang out.  Kind of like taking a break from the moho scene, I'm taking a break from people in general.  I'm done with wishy-washiness, excuses, and lots of work for not much benefit. I don't really want to make any new friends because it's too much work. I realized that I haven't been looking for people to date either, and don't really want to. Why bother? That sounds kind of cynical, but that's my mood right now.  I'm just focusing on the friends I have and maybe trying to get closer to friends that aren't close friends yet. But Friday night I hung out with family, and tonight I was on my own. And I didn't mind at all.

Thursday though...pure awesomeness.  On the spur of the moment I decided to take a friend some food (same friend from last weekend) at work. Disclosure: this is a friend I've been crushing on since I've known him, for about a year and a half. He knows it but doesn't want a relationship.  I've resigned myself to the fact that it's doubtful we'll ever be more than just friends.  If I said I'm over him I would be lying, but lately I've come to love him more as a best friend or brother than a potential mate.  But dang....I really do love him. Anyway, he told me to wait for him to get off work, so I just hung out at his apt while he finished and then we watched a movie.  We cuddled a bit, and by the time the movie got over it was way too late to drive home.  So he told me to sleep over, and we pretty much just cuddled the rest of the night as we slept.  The awesome thing, though, is that it didn't go any farther than that. Nothing at all to regret. I was in heaven. Ugh....if only he would recognize that I'm the one for him....

So I guess to sum up, I'm cynical but generally content in being anti-people for the moment.

I don't get many comments on my blog lately.  Is it because I'm too negative and people don't know what to say? I always appreciate constructive criticism or tactful feedback. I don't want to be a comment whore or blog just to feel validated by people's comments though.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The birds and the bees / When it rains it pours

This week i get to go to a "maturation program" with my kiddo. One memory that stands out from my childhood is when i had mine, i think in the 5th grade. Parents were invited of course, and while the girls had their program the boys got a long recess. We were all nervous about what we were going to learn. Sex (and even puberty) werent talked about in my family, so the little i knew came from more knowlegeable kids. Anyway, when it was our turn we went into the room and my dad was already in there, so i sat next to him. He didnt really say too much, and i'm sure he was as nervous as i was. We watched a movie and had the program, and it really wasnt very memorable. What stood out though, was when it was done, my dad just said bye and went home...no discussion, no asking what i thought, etc. I was left to digest the information on my own. It kind of sent the message that sex is not something we talk about, and that probably had alot to do with me hiding my gayness and never coming out to them as a teen. It wasnt to be talked about, so i was left to struggle on my own. I dont want to make the same mistake with my kids. We've never had "the discussion" but i've tried to be open and let them know that its nothing to be embarrased about.


If youre a regular reader, you know i tend to get down and lonely when i have nothing to do or no one to hang out with, especially on the weekend. Well this weekend i've had about 6 invitations to go do various things. (I also extended one invitation and was shot down). So i have plenty to do to keep myself busy, but silly me still finds a way to feel bad. Ive had to turn down most of the invitations because they conflict with each other or because of family obligations. So i dwell on the fun that im missing out on, i somewhat resent the obligations i have and wish things were more flexible, and i worry that people will tire of inviting me to things because i turn them down. I think about how i feel when i get turned down and figure everyone else feels the same way. And even if they dont get tired or hurt, it makes me more invisible like i talked about in my last post, and they forget to invite me the next time. I mentioned this to one friend that i had to turn down, and his response was "true dat." Not very comforting :(

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Usually I Like Myself, But Right Now I Don't

Meh...another kind of pity-party post...I would advise everyone to skip over it since it's mostly just my way of getting my feelings out. I'm not looking for anyone to feel sorry for me.
I feel lonely. Lately I've gotten used to being more social and trying to put myself out there. I like it. I enjoy going to parties and meeting new people.  I actually even enjoy the small talk and sharing information when getting to know someone.  The thing is though, it generally doesn't go any farther than that.  I meet them, we become facebook friends, and that's that.  I don't know what it is about me, but people don't generally want to text or chat, let alone hang out with me, after we meet.  It's not an "eww he's weird" type of thing; I don't believe that people actually dislike or avoid me, but it's more like I become invisible.  It's like I have a forgettable personality, and when it comes time for hanging out or doing things to develop a friendship I get forgotten.  Sometimes reaching out and making an effort works -- I definitely have a few close friends, and others that are becoming closer.  I suppose I should be happy with that.  But it sucks reaching out to people and getting rejected.  Actually, it's not rejection that hurts...with rejection, I have a clear picture of where I stand.  And that rarely happens anyway.  What hurts more is indifference. And it seems like I get that alot.
I went to a party on Saturday, and it was the type of party that I usually enjoy.  I was feeling extra introverted though, not depressed or antisocial, just introverted -- I hadn't really had time to recharge my social batteries that weekend by having some alone time, and it was showing. Things were getting to me that wouldn't usually bother me...loudness, hugs with everyone, the initial awkwardness of meeting someone new, etc.  I was just emotionally spent and didn't want to make the effort that I usually make at parties.  I had a good time seeing and talking to people that I already knew, like J and M and B and MW and MR, but after that I just felt spent and went off to sit by myself...again, not because I was feeling down or looking for attention, I just felt emotionally tired.  I guess I did feel a little bit down though...there were a couple of people there that I had met before was interested in being friends with, but (as I described above) when I reached out to them, invited them to hang out, etc., I was met with indifference.  So that made me not want to make any more effort with them, or make an effort to meet new people.  One of them came up and started talking to me, though, which made me happy and helped me relax. So maybe there's hope with him, at least. I felt invisible to the other one, though. Ugh, I hate being socially awkward and not knowing what to do about it.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Being gay: First crushes

This is part 4 of my coming out story; part 1 is here and part 2 is here. Part 3 hasn't been written yet; I don't feel ready for it. It will be a hard post to write.
For the purposes of this post I'm defining "first crushes" to mean the drushes I had on guys after starting the process of ending my denial, if that makes any sense. I had other crushes previously, but knew they would never go beyond that, and the crush would never find out. I'm writing about "crushes" rather than "crush", because it's hard to define what exactly a crush consists of...anyway, it will be come clearer as I write.  Oh, and this post will count for the February Moho Blogger Theme.

First was Raul. I found his email address on some penpal website, and I was lonely and decided to email him. I don't remember if I knew at the time that he was gay, I might have found out later.  Anyway, he was a few years younger and living in Canada at the time, but his family was from Panama.  We emailed and IM'd and got to know each other pretty well.  We might have called each other a few times too, but I don't remember.  He gave me support that I needed and I gave him support too.  I would always look forward to getting home from school and getting on the computer to talk to him.  I was definitely crushing on him...I don't remember if I told him or not though. It took awhile for us to be able to meet in person, since he was in Canada and Panama and I was in Washington and Utah.  One time we both happened to be in Puerto Rico at the same time, but I was too scared to meet him. Our first in-person meeting finally happened when he was in Utah visiting his sister and I was there visiting family.  I remember being very nervous, but ended up glad that I had gone through with it. He and I are still friends and see each other occasionally.

Second was David. I would define him as a crush, but definitely not a relationship.  In fact, we never even talked in person, all our communication was online.  I "met" him through another online friend, and both of us were in similar situations...barely out to ourselves, hiding it from others, etc.  We decided to be "boyfriends", but he never wanted to go beyond talking online.  I don't even want to consider that he very well might have been someone other than who he said he was...I was young and naive.  I definitely had feelings for who I thought he was, but we eventually drifted apart and stopped talking. I have no idea where he is now.

Third was Lino. He was a significant turning point in my process of coming out.  We met on myspace (back when myspace was still cool, of course!) and talked on there, and then started talking by phone almost every day.  I was very attracted to the fact that he was completely out and had no problems with it.  He and I shared very personal information with each other, and it was obvious that I was falling for him hard.  We couldn't meet in person, since he lived several thousand miles away.  But we always talked and I felt very close to him. Unfortunately, I became very emotionally attached to him and was happy only when I talked to him.  This was one of the factors involved in me becoming very depressed and realizing that (to make a long story short) I had to either come out, go crazy, or die.  (I'm still here and mostly sane, so obviously I chose to come out).  Anyway...the stiuation came about that he needed help moving from New Mexico to Dallas, and we decided that I would go down there and help him out and we could meet.  It was definitely an interesting trip, in which I had many adventures and gained some very good memories.  However, the trip also turned out to be a disaster in many ways.  Long story short, I realized that he and I would never work and I was not mature enough for a relationship with a guy anyway. I don't regret the trip because of the experiences it gave me, both good and bad. Shortly afterward, he and I fought and stopped talking. I found out that a short time later he was involved in a drunk driving accident in which he killed another driver.  He and I have talked occasionally since then, just on facebook or IM, but neither of us are really interested in maintaining a friendship and both of us have moved on.

Fourth was Peter. He and I also met on myspace, and our first date was to see a movie.  We both liked each other and started spending more and more time together.  We decided to become boyfriends.  All my memories of Peter are good...and sometimes I regret ending things with him (life took me geographically elsewhere, and we broke up).  He is a very kind and caring person, being with him made me realize that up until that point I didn't really know what it meant to love someone (which sounds very cheesy, and extrememly sad given my life situation).  We still consider ourselves to be friends; I have his number in my phone and we're both friends on facebook. We don't talk all that often as we have both moved on with our lives, but we're still friends.
And that's it for post-coming-out-to-myself, pre-coming-out-to-other-people crushes.  Not sure where my coming out series will go from here, but it will go somewhere.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Being gay: Doing the Right Thing

Part 2 of my coming out story; part 1 is here.

After high school I tried to do all the things a good Mormon boy should do, and figured that if I did them I wouldn't have to worry too much about my gay feelings escaping. I didn't know any other gay people, and didn't really try to seek any out, and didn't really feel too conflicted...I was confident that I could handle my attractions and they weren't a big deal. I went to BYU for a semester (my memories of that semester are of being very lonely), put in my mission papers, and left for the MTC shortly after the semester ended. I was pretty nervous but excited at the same time.  I had a huge crush on my MTC companion (probably because this was my first time being so close to another guy) and on a few other companions, members, and potential investigators.  But I put my heart into the work, and even though I was somewhat anti-authority I loved the people I worked with.  It's trite to say, but my mission had a huge impact on my life and shaped my interests and goals and the direction my life would take.

After the mission, back to BYU. It was an ok experience, but I was still pretty anti-authority and liberal toward the church in general.  Again, I didn't meet any other gay BYU students; I just figured it was my struggle to deal with.  I didn't have any crushes on roommates and didn't do anything that I shouldn't have, other than a bit of porn here and there. I did have a crush on my best friend, though, but never did anything about it.  Thinking back, though, I wonder if he was gay too. I've lost contact with him and wonder about him alot. 

Toward the middle of my senior year I started panicking. I was almost done with BYU and hadn't done the most important "right thing" that BYU students should do. I was going to go off to graduate school and I didn't want to go alone. So I did what normal BYU students do - start dating.  Which led me to get more anxious about my "gay side."  I wish I had been more in tune with my feelings then, and I wish I had had support from others in my situation and known that I wasn't alone. I wish I had had the courage to stand up for myself and realize that what I was doing was wrong. I'm not talking about being gay or acting on it...I'm talking about being so in denial and not realizing that I was setting out on a course that would ultimately nearly destroy two lives and seriously affect three others.  I wish I hadn't given in so quickly to the chorus of voices around me from friends, roommates, family members, parents, and church leaders pressuring me to do the "right thing" and get married.  "We want grandchildren," the voices said; "why haven't you gotten married yet?" asked others. But the leaders I talked to and the church literature I read convinced me that it was the right thing, and that it would cure me of my gay feelings.  I wish I had put more trust in God and asked him instead.


This is a fairly pessimistic, even selfish post...I am ashamed of the hurt I have caused due to not being stronger and standing up for myself. But the next post will be even more so.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Being gay: Background

I've never really written my coming out story down, so I think I will outline my story in a series of posts. I'm probably going to leave out alot of the gory details; I'm not a strong person and I've done a few things that I wish I hadn't.  But anyway, here goes.

When did I first realize I was gay? Honestly, I think I knew I liked other boys before I even knew what gay was.  One time in third or fourth grade a friend brought a Playgirl magazine to school that he borrowed from his mom and I remember being very interested in what was in there. I also remember being in kindergarten or first grade and seeing a same-age girl changing out of her swimming suit and not being interested at all.  I remember looking at my dad's anatomy books and looking for the male figures but skipping the female ones.  In junior high I had a few crushes on girls, but it was mostly due to wanting to fit in.  My hormones never got going with them and I never wanted to do anything physical.  On the other hand, the highlight of the school day was showering after gym class and sneaking peeks at the other boys.  However, I never did any "experimenting" with anyone, boys or girls...no kissing girls, no crazy scout camps, etc. My first kiss, if you could call it that, was a goodnight peck on the lips with my junior prom date.  In high school I knew I wasn't really interested in girls, but no other guys were "out" -- probably partly because it was a conservative Mormon area, and partly because being gay in high school was alot less accepted then than it is now. My only gay "experience" was at a cast party after a play, and a boy who everyone suspected was dancing around in his underwear and put his crotch in my face. I acted grossed out and disgusted, but in my mind I wanted to go in the other room alone with him and see what happened.  Once I turned 18, when I was a senior, I would go to the magazine shops downtown and look at the gay porn magazines...it gave me such a rush but it also made me feel incredibly guilty.  And one time an older guy kept smiling at me and followed me outside. He scared the crap out of me and put an end to the magazine stores.  I never felt particularly conflicted about my gay thoughts...I always just figured I would keep them at the back of my mind and not let them out, and live a normal life.

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