Friday, August 31, 2012

Does anyone wish... ?

... that you had a crystal ball to tell you the results of making big changes.

For example, "If you go down this path in life, this will be the result. If you go down this other path, this will be the other result."

It would allow for easier decision-making choices. Its too hard to make difficult decisions when I'm at an intersection of emotions, feelings and faith.

Its hard to dance with the devil on your back, so shake him off.

I have to think about a lot of things for which I am uncertain. And I don't think that prayer is always going to fix if I'm praying for things which might not go forward with the gospel's plan.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

New Normal

So I watched the pilot for The New Normal, a show about two gay men who are going to be fathers via surrogacy. I loved it. Of course, I loved it. It made me laugh at times. The couple is relatively believable. The character of Nana couldn't have been more racist, rude and obnoxious.

So of course I loved her.

KSL, a church owned affiliate of NBC, wouldn't air the show. Is it me or are they just looking for ways to get upset? Here's a show which is cute and innocent and yet people get ticked off because its about two men. If it was a man and a woman, I'm sure some orthodox Mormons would be upset because the church actually has taught against surrogacy.

Of course, I already have a friend who said she'd be a surrogate for me for way less than an adoption would cost. I haven't decided yet if I'd do it, but I would be very much tempted to go ahead with it as a plan if I had the money.

I started working on some of the adoption fundraising website planning. I found some great images from friends. I'm hoping to get something started relatively soon. I'd love to think I had things started.

Maybe my choice to start a family as a single LDS man will become a "new Normal" in LDS culture. Maybe I'll spark others to do the same thing.

Its a cute show. I really relate to the main character.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Social Awkwardness

Social awkwardness is something which affects a lot of people including myself. I've never been popular and never claim to be.

From the time I was about 7 until I was 16 I was painfully shy. Like, I'm not just saying that I was shy ... I was nearly irreversibly shy, especially in social situations. I hardly spoke a word in school. I kept to myself and just painted or drew pictures. It caused a huge inferiority complex to develop in me.

A few weeks ago, a friend took me to dinner where another friend wondered (later on) if I have a form of autism called asperger's... My niece has this issue. It was almost rude of this other person to assume that I had some sort of disease simply because I wasn't tuning into a conversation of which I had little to add to it---it dealt with philosophy and such... of which I am by no means an expert. So instead I just sat and thought things to myself. He commented that I don't look people in the eye---I RARELY look people in the eye. Why? Because I'm a bit awkward in social situations. Why? Because I spent most of my childhood in silence as I had no friends or people to talk to.

It makes me uncomfortable to look people in the eye. I only look people in the eye after I get comfortable with them, which sometimes takes weeks. I certainly wouldn't look someone in the eye or engage them in a long conversation after knowing them just a few minutes. Why? Because I'm socially awkward.

So when I'm uncomfortable in a social situation---which regularly occurs---I tend to be quiet. Why? Because I resort back to my childhood way of coping which is sitting in silence. Its embarrassing that as a 30 year old, I still have difficulty expressing myself or finding value in myself.

I do not have asperger's syndrome. I am just a little socially awkward from having a painful childhood.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

How to not be with you...

Sometimes when I cannot say things in an email which is unsent I represent my feelings through a song. Which I didn't write but which speaks volumes of my heart. 


I am walking home from the subway stop
Lights keep changing but I just stand and watch
I should know what’s wrong
Like I should know which way to go
I should hurt less
And I should remember my way home
But I don’t
I can’t see now that you’re not walking next to me

I don’t know how to not be with you
I don’t remember where I’m from
Know your touch, know everything you do
Well, I know everything except how to not be with you

Hands out and head bowed, I am still waiting for you
You keep on changing
I’m not through
I should hold my ground
I should have nothing to say
Should you reach for me
I should run my heart away
But i won’t
I’m not free
I’m not a lot of things I used to be, baby

I don’t know how to not be with you
I don’t remember where I’m from
Know your touch, know everything you do
Well, I know everything except how to not be with you

If I had not followed you, would I know my way out?
Because I let you lead me home and I can’t find it now
I don’t know how to not be with you
I don’t remember where I’m from
I know your touch, know everything you do
Well, I know everything except how to not be with you
Hands out and head bowed, I am still waiting for you
Hands out and head bowed, I am still waiting for you
I don’t know how
Hands out, head bowed
Hands out, head bowed
I’ll be waiting for you

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Writing my thoughts in an unsent email

I wrote a long email explaining a lot of my conflicts with the LDS church, the gospel, being gay, and wanting love in an email.

Its in my drafts folder.

No one will likely ever read it.

Why? Because it is far too personal. I don't even think I would want to share it with the Savior although He knows how I feel. It is almost a shaming factor. I don't want to admit that I feel differently from how I used to feel.

I love the gospel, but I love the touch of a man's skin too. I love to be loved. I don't always feel loved. I wish I didn't feel conflicts. I wish I was always happy and at peace.

I wrote a lot of things down to tell certain individuals in my life, but I could never tell them. Ever. Its too personal. Its too wracked with emotions. Its too raw.

Some things are better left unsent.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Different in the same ways... dangers of labeling

"That is so gay!"

We've all heard this being said. Sometimes it will be between two gay friends chatting and it is referring to the other one's love of Judy Garland. Between friends, this might be done in jest to lighten the mood. It is almost symbolic of acceptance as "That is so gay!" is more camaraderie. I have a good friend, who I shall call Rafiki to keep his privacy, with whom we joke about some of the gayer aspects of life. I love sewing, although I'm a novice. I love cooking and watching showtunes. If someone who is a friend tells me with a laugh "That is so gay" it makes me smile. If Rafiki said that, I'd laugh and love it because we are mutually accepting of one another. It can be very positive. "I think what you do is a stereotypical gay thing, but I accept and love you!" However, more sinister people might use it as a derogatory exclamation meaning it is a negative thing.

Sometimes you might want to be affectionate with a male friend in public but have fears of hearing "That is so gay!" followed by swearing or even confrontational situations. That is a negative.

Some people who would use it in a negative way might even say that calling someone gay is normal since those individuals are "not normal."

It is a very limiting situation and keeps distance between the two groups.

Such is the case in the Moho community with gay vsa ssa, in my opinion.

People can argue about it to the day their skin turns purple and they have to be rolled out of the room by Oompa Loompas. Some get offended being called one of the other. Some will fight you on the label. Personally, I try to avoid labeling myself as much as possible so as not to limit myself.

We generally think we have two "groups" within Mohos.

First, we have the church oriented types.

Second, we have the "gays"---those who have gone inactive and don't keep a church perspective.

These two groups are polar opposites, right? They're very polarizing ends of the spectrum.

Here are some examples, and decide from each which is the "Churchy-one" and which is the "Gay." I will call them "Gay" so I can differentiate. A "Gay" person is someone not church oriented anymore.

Person 1: Loves to dance, has been in competitions his whole life. Was on the dance team at BYU and won some competitions. Speaks several foreign languages. Has lots of "gay" friends. Served a mission. Has been known to frequent gay clubs with some of his friends from BYU. Loves to work-out and go swimming at the beach.

Person 2: Didn't serve a mission. Loves to garden. Spends time with his friends. Frequents gay clubs. Loves musicals. Has crushes on those with accents. Nearly always impeccably dressed and loves to do new things with his hair.

Person 3: Prefers to spend his time in a library reading books on Chaucer and Shakespeare to going to clubs. Has a really weird fashion sense. Cannot tolerate musicals most of the time. Prefers foreign films and classical music.

Which is which?

Person 1: A heterosexual man I knew at BYU.
Person 2: A Church-Oriented Homosexual I knew back at BYU.
Person 3: A "Gay" Man I knew at BYU.

None of the three read this blog.

It is hard to tell which is which from the description I provided. Sorry, I had to include the heterosexual to prove my point: We're all different in very much the same ways.

What do I mean by that statement? We're all unique individuals, but we as Human Beings tend to share things in common with others regardless or orientation or their chosen label. If we decide based on their label to disassociate with that person, we could easily be at a loss. What if that person could add to our lives in a positive way? If someone is not active in the church, does it discredit him or her from being able to help YOU live the gospel or offering help to YOU on your own spiritual journey?

Just because someone is church-oriented doesn't mean they shun clubbing. Just because someone doesn't go to clubs or have wild sex lives.

Human beings are quick to provide labels and assign associated behavior to that label. I know a lot of active LDS guys who go to church and do their best but they're gay and use that term. I met a guy who had SSA but used that label to hook-up with others. One label doesn't prove anything about the person.

We're all the same in different ways.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

OCD and Stress

For me, being obsessive compulsive and having stress do not work. At all. Since I obsess over every little detail in my life.

For the past week, I haven't been able to sleep. I need a new mattress. I am waiting for a check from a client in order to pay for it. My back really kills every night from waking up in horrible positions. Honestly. It is hell to go to bed.

And then to top it off, I have my big test on Saturday. And still client work to do. I don't know when I'll be able to finish it all. I have to plan it out, I guess, and figure out which client work I can finish and what I cannot... and then go from there. It really sucks.

Adding to the stress, I wonder if I'm cut out for the church in the long run. Its funny because I'd feel so much more free with discussing my adoption plans if I wasn't active in the church. It would screw with my career plans, in a sense, but not necessarily long-term. Since I'm a temp (aka slave) so it wouldn't matter anyway. I am unemployed once November comes around.

I'm just stressed and need to blow off some steam. Anyone have any ideas? I need a sauna, spa, massage and facial. Never had one before but the fluffy robes would be nice.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Obsessive Compulsive and Me

I'm a little OCD at times. I was diagnosed at BYU by my therapist who asked me---point blank---"Do you think its normal what you do?" to which I replied, "Yes, doesn't everyone count their steps and walk in patterns? Then obsess over what people think of them?"

He said calmly "No, especially if it affects your daily life."

Well, in my case it did. I used to be obsessive over my appearance. Ironically, I believed my whole life I was ugly until much later in life, then became obsessed with the idea of beauty and being attractive... but it was always contingent on my following rules. No sweatshirts, no bright colors, no baggy jeans, no polo shirts, no this, no that...

I had long lists of rules. All the time. Rules I lived by.

Confessions over my life with patterns...

I really did used to walk in patterns. I like to count my steps to be in patterns. I love even numbers. I love odd numbers when arranging things. (i.e. Three flowers in a vase are better than 2) I love the numbers 24 and 26 since they're round and easily divided when walking city blocks. I don't care for math but I will walk in patterns, divide the numbers, figure out a pattern, and use it.

Sometimes I obsess over being a failure.

I have an addictive personality, which combined with OCD isn't good. I'd probably become a sex addict if I gave into those thoughts and ideas. I'd probably also use drugs and not be able to stop if I did.

Right now I obsess over figuring out my life. And nothing seems to be working into place. Sigh.

Sometimes OCD is hard.

I have a few friends who can talk me out of my OCD thought patterns. Sometimes I obsess so much over money, stress, work, life, etc. that I don't sleep since my mind turns those thoughts over and over and over again. Until they eventually wear me out mentally.

Yeah, OCD sucks.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Yesterday I did some of the Parade of Homes here in Utah. Basically for nerds like myself, it is basically real estate pornography. Very addicting to take a look at all of the houses and my mouth just utters gasps every time I walk into a new home.

It got me thinking: Do I really have my life planned out or am I just kind of living it right now? Is my plan in my life really what I want...? Do I want to be church-oriented or be free from those mindsets?

I'm so confused this week. Compounded by stress, overwork, no sleep, and I'm concerned for a test I take this Saturday which will help influence my future. Sigh.

Anyone out there want to give me a super big hug? Volunteers will be accepted. As long as you're not creepy. :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Helping others...

Recently some friends got into a discussion on facebook about a silly topic which has got me thinking. The conversation was about the ideals of philanthropy in Africa: How bringing clothing to the poor there doesn't help them in the long run. How hand-outs give little good. Educational opportunities are more important. Helping build up the local economy is more important. etc. How "The Gap" wouldn't be able to anything by giving the poor t-shirts.

Normally when faced with mild confrontation to my ideals, I would experience doubt. This time, I didn't have any. These friends, who I admire for their intelligence and intellectual abilities, did little to convince me that what I'm planning on doing is a bad thing.

I'm going to adopt from the Congo even if it takes me years. I will bring supplies to the children in the orphanage where he comes from. They will get food, clothing, and books. I will bring them a little bit of hope, I feel, by showing them that someone cares. If I have to spend an afternoon there hugging children and playing soccer with them, so be it.

In an ideal world, we'd not have poverty or a need for adoption except in extreme circumstances. We live in an imperfect world where people are literally starving to death. Children in the Congo are dying of malaria which could be cured for a few dollars of over-the-counter medication. Children in orphanages are "guaranteed" a small meal everyday. However, the meal is void of most of the minerals and nutrients they should be getting. Many of them don't have clothes to wear. Instead they were rags covered in dirt, feces or urine as some of the children don't have access to clean water for baths. In the Congo, this is the case in many of the orphanages. The children don't get baths or hugs. No one reads to them at night. No one cares for them. When they die, they are just a statistic.

THAT is revolting to me. Children need hugs, long chats with parents who love them, clothes to wear, food to eat, etc.

This is what I know: Children are DYING. I can do something about it. I'm not going to let intellectual idealism prevent me from making a difference. If people want to do more than what I can do by getting a school in the Congo started: fantastic! I don't have the knowledge or skills or resources to do so. But in the meantime, knowing that a few hundred dollars could buy enough food to feed those kids a month or two... I will do that. I will hopefully save some lives in the process.

I don't need to be an intellectual to change someone's life. I can just be a Mormon gay boy who has a big heart and a self-motivated desire for change.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

2007 vs. 2012

This is a rework of the original blog.

An explanation... I found this list in 2007 and posted it to my blog where I started responding to the questions. I deleted my original responses, sadly, but I am going to reconstruct them with ideas and thoughts present in my mind then to compare with how I view the world and sexuality\attractions now. I published this original post with a different introduction this morning. Then Trev seemed interested in my responses so I thought I'd rewrite to include a 2007 and a 2012 response. 
These are not all my original words from 2007. I deleted those the other day, but I remember the ideas represented in my mind at that time. Remember this is back when I was at BYU. My blog was very different then. I reviewed some of my blog posts from that time to get the feel for my thinking back then.

Remembering some of the painful parts of my BYU days was a little healing. The feeling of being rejected by my peers--including the Mohos---was horrible to think about. It has made me who I am today.

So for your reading pleasure, I give you the 2007 and 2012 Post-it Boy Responses to the same questionnaire. 2007 was written today but with answers reminiscent of the 2007 thinking and mentality I'd had.

1. Can SSA/homosexuality be completely overcome?

2007: I think it can be overcome in different ways. I'm currently going to therapy. My therapist is awesome and he is helping me to see that I just need a change in perspective. He is a cognitive therapist and it has been helpful for me to meet with him. He's helped me overcome my depression issues---he's also helped me become more open to the idea of dating since he told me that its all a matter of perspective. I don't need to be really strongly sexually attracted to women to be married. So in a way, they can be overcome.

2012: No, I don't think so. I think that there are ways to learn to control your urges and sexual drive. I think there are ways to overcome addictions associated with it. But the feelings and emotions are always there. If I got married, I'd be a gay man who was married to a woman I wasn't attracted to. I don't believe in change therapies. 

2. Is it necessary to understand where my SSA comes from before I can deal with it, or is it possible to just accept that I have these feelings and then deal with them?

2007: I think that the causes are shown in a lot of the classes I've gone to with Evergreen Conferences. Some people have weird views about it. But generally most books talk about it coming from experiences we've had as children---not getting enough love---having a distant father and such. I can kind of relate to those ideas but I was never abused as a kid.

2012: Don't think it matters where it comes from anymore. The gospel nor science has given us that answer yet. I support organizations like Evergreen but I don't think anyone has all of the answers---at least no one on this earth.

3. Is it possible to deal with SSA without help from others? If not, where do I go for help?

2007: Build a support network of active LDS guys with good standards. Its not easy to do alone.

2012: Find supportive friends. Find people who will support you in your decision whatever that is. If you want to remain in the church, find friends who will support your decision. And no, I think working through it alone is a mistake.

[Basically I would have said the same thing in 2007 as I said in 2012. But I am more open to non-LDS friends who will support me now---back then I thought anyone outside of the church wouldn't be supportive.]

4. Is being in a relationship before getting a better understanding of all of this going to be helpful or harmful (also thinking about the other person)?

2007: Being in a relationship will probably ruin your life so stay away from it. Being involved in gay things will be damaging to you. Its better to be away from all of that stuff.

2012: I think that desiring to experiment is normal. But keep in mind once you open those doors, you might not want to close them.

5. What is the influence of acting out on my same sex attractions while dealing with SSA - do I start with obedience to the law of chastity, or is that something that can come later?

2007: The law of chastity is the only option. If you divert from that path, it will be too damaging to you. Stay away from all of the influences which will be negative to your journey. I had my first kiss with a guy last year---he was just a friend. I also had my first kiss with a girl last year too. They were very different. Its better to avoid all of that though. Its too dramatic.

2012: I think it is harder to remain chaste once you've experimented around a bit. Even just kissing men CAN be hard to not do once you've done it. Also, it doesn't feel the same to kiss women (I've kissed a few and I might as well be kissing a lamp-post!) Kissing men is far more exciting, for sure. As soon as I kissed men and then kissed women, I knew deep down I could never be married to a woman. If I look back and could cancel that aspect, I might enjoy kissing women more since I wouldn't have anything to compare it to. But, oh well... I would rather cuddle with my dog than a woman.

6. Should I seek contact with other people experiencing SSA or should I focus on good and meaningful relationships with straight people?

2007: Straight friends are harder to come by. I don't have a lot of people to talk to at BYU. I tried making friends with some Mohos but I got rejected by a lot of them. I have only been invited to hang out at BYU by a few people---one Moho and I hung out but then he decided it was too weird or something. So he unfriended me on Myspace. I probably have better friends with straight women than Mohos. I have some good roommates though. I had a moho roommate when I started at BYU but now he's gone and its probably for the best---he and I are not really friends anymore.

2012: I think you should focus on both. :) I think having friends in both realms is important. Keeps a balance. I have straight and gay friends in and out of the church.

[My time at BYU was very painful with friendships. I didn't have a lot of friends. Most Mohos seemed to not like me back then since I was seen as a religious zealot. When in actuality, I was just as confused as anyone else and wanted desperately to connect with people.]

7. Should I focus on developing deeper relationships with women?

2007: Girls are some of the only friends I have. I just make it clear I don't date and usually they're cool with it---girls are some of the only people who will talk to me at BYU. :(

2012: Sure! Doesn't mean you'll become a straightie... but it might help you to have good strong female friends. 

8. Are there any other issues I should address if I want to fully address SSA? What are they?

2007: I think you need to examine your life and maybe try to fill in some needs wherever possible. Maybe see if there's places you need to work on? Do you have traumatic experiences from childhood? Did your father leave you emotionally\physically\etc. and that is causing you trouble? Talk to a therapist about it. The Conferences talk a lot about that kind issue.

2012: I think you should see if there are other things in your life like depression, anxiety, OCD, Bipolar, unhealthy attachments, molestations in your childhood, etc. which need to be talked about and dealt with during your therapies... even more so than the attractions part of therapy. 

9. Is SSA a sexual thing or is it a matter of underlying issues?

2007: Its a sexual thing which is a side result of underlying issues, whatever they are.

2012: Its a human thing. I don't think I have underlying issues which caused it. 

10. Would I be able to develop heterosexual attractions towards women? (Can I change the fact that a woman has to be drop dead gorgeous before I'm even remotely attracted to her, while even an average looking guy immediately seems to attract my attention?)

2007: I've met a lot of guys who are married and its a cool concept to me. Is it possible for me? I hope so!

2012: Is it possible? Sure. But I've never seen it happen to me, and I was even in LOVE with a woman and wasn't sexually into her at all. I've never seen any changes in my sexual preference. If anything, I've just changed my focus to building a family and making a difference to orphans in developing countries.
11. Is the answer found in developing deeper relationships with men or maybe with one man in particular, and then finding out the nature of the needs that are met?

2007: I think I'm kind of like a broken vase where I have to hide the crack against the wall. I definitely have things I need to work on.

2012: I think we all have unmet needs---but don't think they caused the attractions necessarily. 

12. What can contribute to my motivation to deal with this (which ever way it goes) and not give up?

2007: You have to stay strong because there are all sorts of bad temptations out there. Stay strict to the rules. Be strong against temptation! It'll get you in the end if you're not careful. Keep a gospel perspective.

2012: Faith in the gospel. Not wanting to hurt your family will only last so long. In fact, most of my friends who just want to avoid hurting their families have left the church. Not wanting to be gay will only last so long. Since when people find out that gay people are not like the scum of the universe we're initially taught, we might realize that they're not so different from mohos with the same attractions who just don't act on them. Hating yourself won't be a motivating factor at all. Hating "gay people" will not motivate for long either. Any kind of hate is ridiculous. It usually is a result of fears.

Most people get worn down even when they have a strong testimony. If you want to stay in the church, you need to realize its imperfections but remain with your testimony. In 2012, I am shocked to say that I think church leaders go about this in the wrong way. 

13. How will I know the right answers to some of the yes or no questions?

2007: Prayer. 

2012: Follow your heart. Best I can say. :)