Monday, April 30, 2012

Life slowly getting better

My parents' financial situation is looking better.

My eyes are still usually bloodshot all the time. I have to put in eye drops several times a day. Its not very pretty.

But I feel like I'm beginning to de-stress my life. Being away from the NorthStar discussions has freed up some of my time during the day.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Lemon juicers

Sometimes life gives you a little bit of time to relax and enjoy.

Last night I thought to myself "I wish I had a lemon juicer." I will not disregard juicing limes and oranges of course. Since I actually have a bag of limes in my apartment. However, I didn't have an easy way to juice them.

So today when I went to Park City, I bought a little hand juicer. Its very cute, exactly what I wanted, and cost me $3.99.

I've had a few people message me concerned for my welfare. I don't know if anyone noticed I left the group or if people just learned I left after seeing my post. I'm not like a celebutante on the group. However, I want everyone to know I'm not dead or dying.

I have been plagued with depressing thoughts the last few days, including a mental wish I could just like escape... Not suicide. But just to escape somehow. Maybe find myself on a plane leaving Sydney and then crash into the island from Lost. But maybe post Jacob since then I could hang out with Vincent and Hurley. Eating mangoes.

The little handheld juicer shows that life has some little joys. I was looking forward to maybe finding one for cheap, And I did. Plain and simple.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Continued worries and stress

I don't think my life is ever going to get normal, honestly. I'll always have something which is pseudo-normal. I'll still get dressed in the same clothes, still go to the same job (maybe) and I'll still always be fighting to stay on top of my life before the next bit of stress attacks me again.

That is no way to live.

I need to figure out a way to find some balance or I will go insane.

I almost hit a truck today while driving to work. Totally my fault. Didn't see it at all.

Don't even think anyone's noticed I've left NorthStar. Probably for the best. Since I didn't want to make a spectacle of it.

I'm so tired. I woke up at 8 AM or close to it and I have been dreaming about getting sleep since then. My eyes are bloodshot because of stress and a lack of sleep. Eye-drops only do so much.

Kind of want to curl up and not wake up.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A break

I have voluntarily left the NorthStar Facebook group and will remain a non-member for a few weeks. It stems from a few things...

1) I'm utterly exhausted 24-7 due to the stresses in my life. I am financially strapped. I am not sleeping even when I go to bed. My eyes are bloodshot. I don't see an end of my financial worries. Honestly, I kind of feel like running away from my life right now. I don't see an end to the pain of not having a normal job, a normal paycheck, health benefits... I've been doing this for too long.

2) I don't gain a lot from the group other than adding my own 2 cents. However, I don't gain much other than that. Sometimes it can be kind of an amusing conversation. However, I don't gain much. I'm in a decent place in my life. My sexual attractions don't dictate my life. I don't fit into the group anyway.

3) Problems with one of the members who I have blocked have escalated. (I have multiple members blocked so this is not disclosing the identity since I'm tired of back-talk anyway...) Discovered he was discussing my past life with another member. I emailed him after a very long hiatus of not talking with him. He accused me of more junk. I'm done with being accused of things and him putting my past life on display for others. Its just too many painful reminders whenever I hear or see anything regarding him---Just hearing his name gives me a sick feeling in my stomach. He brings up too many suppressed memories which took a year of therapy at BYU to recover from. I am not blaming him for my leaving---he is one of multiple reasons which was a catalyst. I just want him out of my life and being on the group reminds me of him. Too painful. Not going there.

4) I need to focus my life on more productive things than my sexuality. I have no friends in my ward and few friends who I can just call up and hang out---I feel like a loser with no life, but until I get more normal financially, I cannot expect to have any life outside of work.

5) My parents are going through some financial and personal struggles as well. I need to focus my energy there. I wish I could help them.

If you want to know my thoughts on topics, read them here. If you don't like my views, as several NorthStar individuals have said I am liberal and even border-line apostate, then that is fine. I'm not THAT liberal. I'm not apostate. In fact, I think that my views on the subject are very valid. I preach tolerance and love, including loving yourself and your attractions, instead of viewing yourself as a social or spiritual pariah. If that makes me liberal, then stick a big old rainbow sticker on my butt and call me a granola.

NorthStar is a great group. There are some wonderful people there. However, I

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My brother and I

This past weekend I visited my brother. He is divorced and has expressed how it is difficult being a divorced man in the church. He is a good man and an amazing father to his children. However, being divorced and a Mormon, he's a bit of a social pariah. I wanted to tell him that I totally knew how he felt. But I didn't.

I guess I'm a little chicken.

He and I got into a discussion about some of the problems and issues we both have with LDS culture. It was really nice, and actually, when he dropped me off at the airport he asked if he could circle the airport again to continue the conversation. Later, he texted me saying he enjoyed the conversation.

He mentioned that there is a tendency for the youngest son in a family of a lot of sons to turn out to be gay. As the 5th son and youngest, I didn't want to even use this as a lead into the "How interesting since its true!" lol.

Why was I so quick to disregard informing him about my life? I have kept it hidden from most of my family my entire life. I'm not ashamed. I guess I've kept it a secret for so long that I don't want to risk having any changes in my family. My brother and I have just started getting closer again for the first time since we were younger. I didn't want to risk it.

Isn't that ridiculous?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Negativity towards the future

I have a lot of struggles in my life, but that doesn't really include my attractions or sexuality. My struggles are of a financial nature as I struggle to get a hold on my finances, get my debts under control, etc.

I try my best to look to my future with positivity knowing that all my dreams can become true if I want them to.

Many Mohos have dreams. I know I do. I've talked about my dreams of owning a home, having a family, living the American dream.

Here are some of the dreams I hear regularly from Mohos, but then they say they're unattainable:

1) Marriage: If I wanted to get married, I know I could. I'm attractive, a good guy, friendly personality, and I'm church oriented. I'm sure there are plenty of women I could choose from if I wanted marriage. For other mohos who want to get married, that is a possibility as well. There's nothing which states that marriage is an impossibility---just find a female best friend, get your life in control, and do it. I think marrying a best friend is a great option for men like us. You're already committed to each other on a friendship level. And honestly, the Mohos I know who are married have made very good husbands if they're open and honest with their wives. The worst marriages are those which begin with lies. However, there's no reason why those who WANT to be married couldn't get married. If that's your dream: Why do we limit ourselves by saying we cannot do that? Or say that our sexuality limits us?

2) Career: If I wanted to change careers, I know I could. I choose to remain in my preferred profession because it brings me joy. And someday, I hope it will bring financial success. Employment is a big issue for many people. But it IS possible to be successful and get everything in order financially. It just takes some work. But having a great job is totally possible! Why do we limit ourselves by saying we cannot do that? Or say that our sexuality limits us?

3) Children: If you're married and want children, there are many ways of doing it. Adoption. IVF. The natural way. Fostering. Even as single men and women, its not an impossibility. For me, children are important. Why do we limit ourselves by saying we cannot do that? Or say that our sexuality limits us?

4) Fixing bad habits: We are in control of our own destiny and our actions. Even with addictions, we can get our lives in order. Why do we limit ourselves by saying we cannot do that? Or say that our sexuality limits us?

5) Live the gospel standards: Sure, the church community sucks a lot of the time. Seriously. I hate the LDS culture so much. However, I still want to live gospel standards as much as I can. I hear a lot of complaining about LDS standards in the moho community. "Oh, its so hard... I'm gay, I cannot do such and such..." Seeing the gospel rules from this perspective would make it seem harder than it actually is. If you've chosen the gospel in your life, you get it with the good and the bad. But there's no reason why we cannot mature our perspectives to allow us to remain in the gospel. Why do we limit ourselves by saying we cannot do that? Or say that our sexuality limits us?

Our dreams are attainable. Our sexuality doesn't have to limit them.

Some of us in the church will choose not to remain in the gospel. Some will choose to leave. But we are still brothers and still can be friends. We don't have to let differences of perspective change that. I've met guys who refuse to talk to their friends once that friend has left the church... We don't have to do that. We can and should whenever possible to continue those friendships. We all need friends, love and support. We don't need divisions, splitting hairs, and divisions.

So look to the future with positivity. Work on your dreams. And don't let your sexual preference tell you that your future is unattainable.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

What is Better?

Sometimes even I am surprised by life. Today I found out my blog is on the list of personal blogs from the Far Between website. What a surprise.

So today I thought I'd write about what is Better. We have this whole "It gets better" campaign which was to target bullying and suicide amongst teens. High school sucks for almost everyone and it is even worse if you're an outcast. I hated high school. Although I was still partially in denial at that point and thought my attractions were a phase---I truly loathed high school most of the time. It was an awful experience overall and one I choose to forget. And as someone who has thought about---and even once attempted---to end my life, I know what it is like to be in both circles: the bullying and the suicidal tendencies.

I wish that someone had an It Gets Better video for me back then. Youtube was not even a thought. Social media was the nightly news. I didn't even have a cell phone in high school since that was 12 years ago and no one had cell phones except rich people and drug dealers. :) The internet in my home was dial-up for the first half of my high school years. Sad but true.

I'm so friggin' ancient.

Recently there's been some talk about what is "Better" in this context. Some people say it is seeking a gay partner. Some say it is being out and proud. Some people say it is finding acceptance of your own feelings. Some gay Mormons have an issue with the campaign because it is too gay-affirmative. We, as Mormons, know we have to distance ourselves from the world. Be IN the world but not OF the world. A lot of Mormons are freaking out about the campaign thinking that we're sending the message to leave the church. The recent BYU It Gets Better video never pushed people to apostatize despite rumors to the contrary.

However, is "Better" really any of the above? All of the above? Couldn't better mean something different for everyone?

In my opinion, Better means something other than what you're feeling now and in a positive way. If I really wanted to breed tropical clown fish as a business and that was my idea of having my life be Better, then who is to say that it isn't serving the same purpose?

I've had some people criticize me that one of my ways to make my life Better is to start a family as a single father. I want to have children but I don't want a wife. Thats actually not that unheard of in the gay Mormon community. Is my Better worse than another's Better? If I was sexually active and in a gay marriage, would it be Better or worse that I want a family? I don't know. When I have that kid, will I be met with criticism, respect, admiration, verbal threats about how I'm ruining the definition and sanctity of families?

I'm imagining, and planning on, all of the above.

I don't think that my Better is any worse than another's Better. I'm not going to get married in this life. It is the last thing on my bucket list to do. Honestly, there's no appeal. So why couldn't my Better include a family of my own? I have married female friends who have admitted I'm a better mother to children than they are. I have had fathers tell me I'm a natural with children. So why should I deprive myself from that dream just because I'm unmarried and gay?

So if I am celibate, choose to have a family, and am doing it because I love children and want to provide a loving and safe environment, why is my Better any less than those who marry and have children? Or who choose to have a gay partner and be sexually active?

My Better---which right now includes the gospel---also includes plans for a family. I dream about it every day and night.

And, you know what? My life IS much Better than in High School. So let's not fight the It Gets Better campaign. We're talking about improving the lives of teenagers who feel alone, frightened, and who hate life. Their lives WILL get better after High School. However their Better is.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

It Gets Better

There was recently a video published for BYU students for the It Gets Better campaign.

When I was a kid, I felt really alone.

I remember being attracted to boys from a young age. I had crushes on boys. I had a friend named Kenny when I was little and I always thought he was so cute. I was in kindergarten.

When I went through puberty, the crushes developed into sexual thoughts and attractions. I tried to fight them. I tried my best to turn them into attractions for women instead of men. I would pray for change. I read of miracles in the scriptures and in church history. I hoped I would be chosen for a miraculous healing. I thought "Am I next? Is this the only way for my life to get better?" But I never changed my orientation.

I heard of gay men and women in the church. But the only kinds I ever heard of were those leaving the church in huge numbers. I wanted to be in the church as it was all I'd known. However, I didn't know if members could stay. I thought "Am I next? Is this the only way for my life to get better?" I didn't want to leave. How could I ever live both?

I remember reading about the death of Stuart Matis who was a faithful member of the church who also had depression issues and took his life far too early. I used to think "Am I next? Is this the only way for my life to get better?" Did I have to end my life to make it better?

Then I turned 18 and wanted answers. If I didn't get answers, I'd likely leave the church. I contacted organizations like Evergreen who told me I didn't have to leave the church. I was told that life could improve for me and that I could remain in the church.

I went to college. I saw all my friends get married and begin families. I even met some married men who were attracted to other men. I met an amazing girl. I thought "Am I next? Is this the only way for my life to get better?" I thought that to be happy I'd have to fit in and be heterosexual to stay in the long run.

She and I broke up. I then went rebellious and went inactive for a time at school. I still wanted a family though. How could I balance those two desires---to be a father but not deal with the extra baggage of a marriage to a woman I wasn't attracted to?

Now I'm out of college. I've graduated. I've moved on with my life. I have gone through periods of life where I was inactive. I don't date women. I choose not to. But now I'm active as much as I choose to be right now---I go to church and keep the gospel in my heart. I believe in the Prophets and the Savior.

Is my life better? Yes. It's a far cry from that 5 year old boy who had a crush on Kenny and wanted to be just like the other men in college. Is my life perfect? Nope. But its better.

I don't have to seek out changing my entire life to someone I'm not in order to be happy. I can be me. I can be happy. I can be whatever I want without conforming.

I'm sarcastic at times. I make inappropriate jokes and love when I find people who'll laugh with me. I have a testimony of the gospel. I love pop culture references. I don't fit a mold. I want to adopt and have a family. I want to remain in the church. I live with a really great friend who, although inactive, is a companion who helps to keep me company and help me from feeling lonely. When I have a family someday, my life will just continue to get better. Am I a typical Mormon? Nope. But I'm a Latter-day Saint. And I'm gay. Those two labels can be in harmony.

I can testify that It Gets Better.

Friday, April 6, 2012


Why are there so many self-hating gays out there? I just don't understand this idea.

I see it all the time... people who feel conflicted as to who they are. And people who cannot seem to grasp that "Its okay you have these attractions." Whatever people DO with these attractions is their own decision. Stay in the church. Leave the church. Get married to a woman. Get married to a man. Whatever. Just stop hating yourself and promoting hatred amongst other people!

Seriously people. There's enough animosity from outside groups looking at Mormons like we're weirdos (which is kind of true!) and there's a LOT of animosity from people against homosexuals. What are we doing to stop that hatred instead of pushing it?

I get so tired of hearing hate---from active members of the church who deal with this issue of sexuality in their lives, we should never promote hate. I see, though, all the time this idea that "Oh, this guy isn't LDS anymore... so he's apostate!" Or "He's got a boyfriend now. I cannot be friendly with him... since his influence will get to me!"

If another person can influence you like that, maybe you're the issue and not your friend or ex-friend. Just sayin...

I think that a lot of this comes from a self-hatred. Like, deep down, no matter the face you give to the world.... you don't like your attractions. You don't like yourself. And isn't that a horrible way to feel? Isn't it about time to learn to love yourself---including your attractions? I'm not saying I want become the poster-boy for gay positivity---but I'm certainly tired of hearing the "I hate myself!" idea. I am also tired of people thinking that they HAVE to be struggling in this life. We're not Martin Handcart pioneers---we might have challenges in life, but our sexuality doesn't have to be one of them... why can't we look for positivity in our issues? Find hope amongst the darkness we feel we are in? (Personally, I am in a nice bright room right now---which is symbollic for how I see my sexuality---something which doesn't have to be dark and gloomy!)

Stop the hate. Especially in your own heart for your own sexuality.