Sunday, January 31, 2010

High Heels?

Arguing with my child the other night she sighed her "I just want to hurt someone, and it's gonna be you!" sigh and exclaimed "Can't you please just look at it from my point of view!"

I could. I owed her that. So I tried. And five minutes later she still was upset at me because I wouldn't let the chickens sleep the night in her dollhouse because, as she pointed out, the lightning was very scary that night.

Really, it didn't hurt me to look at her situation from her position on the bed where we sat for a minute as she explained about Antoinette's broke wing, and Goldie's reoccurring nightmares about dogs, lawn mowers & some neighbor boy with big teeth.

It didn't kill me at all. And she feels better about a dad who would at least try to see it from her perspective.

Sometimes we learn a lot by seeing things as others see them. Sometimes not so much. I really didn't learn much from listening to her concerns that night, but I appreciate her more for the tender-hearted soul she is. And frankly, I never would have thought to concern myself with "chickens dreams" on a cloudy night. (sounds like the Mamas & The Papas)

If walking for a mile in the other dudes moccasin's isn't your style, try stilts. Or, try just listening without pushing your own agenda.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Proposition Ate My Homework -Revised

Should Gay Men Marry Men?

I'm not sure I am up to this essay. I posted it, un-posted it and here it is again. Taking a stand is better left for the smart and strong. Honestly, I feel as nervous as Obama without a teleprompter. (Had to work that in)

Let's jump right into it. Is there a god? Does god have the power and knowledge we usually associate with someone so omnipotent and ominous? Would he have the authority and knowledge to establish structure?

If the answer to the above is yes, then are we/can we be privy to his mind/will?

I say "Yes" to all the above. I believe that God does have the power (Reminds me of He Man). I believe that he is all-knowing. And I believe that he can communicate his will to those on earth, and that he does so through his prophets.

Imagine that, if you are saying “neigh” to the general thought process of most of the world, and that you do, for the sake of argument, believe in God, and that he knows everything, and that he can tell us what he knows and that he does this through a dude in SLC – Thomas S Monson today, and before that Gordon B. Hinkley.

If we believe this, then do we choose to follow the prophet or no? And what does that mean? Does following the prophet mean that I have to create or uphold laws that insist marriage is for M and F? If I do that, are my other brothers and sisters screwed? If I had chosen to go a different route and had tried to find a man to be with as a team and partnership and marriage instead of a woman, would I feel the same?

Somehow, I think that no. I would be fighting for my rights. Just as I feel I did in the war in heaven. I was on the side of freedom of choice and you would probably recognize me if the veil was lifted. I fought, and I fought hard. And I don't think Lucifer likes me very much.

Originally at this point, I published the parts 'o the PROCLAMATION ON THE FAMILY. I believe it is scripture - words reveled to the prophet GB "the man Hinkley. I still recommend everyone read it - even if you have in the past, even if you think you know/remember what it says.

Honestly, if you read it without agenda and don't see good in it for families and children, you may be too agnostic to get anything out if this silly blogspot. Even the staunchest gay rights supporters that I know have praised it, at least in theory, for trying to protect the family as an institution. There is a little difference in opinion at one point. Well, not so little. (Name that movie if you can)

I think if we substituted for "Man and a Woman" for something like "those in a committed relationship" (there is a reason I am not a classical or political writer) every reasonable human would applaud - mostly for the reason that it creates safety for children.

I think that most would agree with, and here are a few high points of, the proclamation...

1. ...the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

2. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

3. ...the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between
lawfully wedded...

4. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God's eternal plan....

5. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by...
those ...who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.

It's like a freaking manual for excellent parenting! Of course, I substituted "Those" for "Man and a Woman" if you remember. But it reads like Dr. Spock or some other scholarly 70's reference equally as vague.

So, where does this leave a hunk of people who want to have families and validate their relationship?

I think that the Proclamation is inspired. Does that mean that I should interpret it to exclude those wanting what I have? In a marriage, I mean? I don't think so.

Could the answers change in the future as it did with the priesthood became available to all worthy men? Maybe. Do I know the reason for a possible future change? No, but I would follow the council and be thrilled for everybody affected. Do I understand why it is what it is? No. I have ideas and opinions though – like everybody who cares. Bottom line for me: I don't know why. I don't know why I don't know or if I ever will know while on this earth.

What if the real test is not who gets married and who doesn't, or who has kids and who doesn't, but how do we treat each other when we have HUGE disagreements over what we think is right.

I am Mormon. I am gay. And I am proud to be a man. And I want to find a way to do this blog-thing so that everyone feels important and validated and loved.

That is all I really know.

Thanks, Michael. I think I got it this time.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Just Saw My Bishop

...for something not gay related. It could happen.

He wanted to release me from the best job I ever had in the church: Gospel Doctrine teacher. I guess my tenure was up. Either that or someone ratted me out for disguising my caffeinated beverage as a flower arrangement and sipping from a tulip periodically. But this isn't about me. Its about you! What do you think of me? (If you are really gay man, you can name that movie)

I respect the guy. I have had good luck with bishops - for the most part. Only once did I have a bishop spend more than an hour giving me examples from his lengthy and amorous past to prove to me how gay he was not and would never be. In my sorted BYU youth I had a bishop put me through the handbook ringer for a year to get back in full fellowship, and after a year of doing everything he told me that the stake president, whom I had never met, wanted me to go another year. At that point I went off the deep end and almost didn't make it back. But I did.

My current bishop was a neighbor of mine before he was called, and is still living several houses down from me. Having him as a neighbor has been a blessing, and not in the way you might think. You see, I think of him as my friend and neighbor first, and a bishop second. I remember him mowing his lawn in his plaid shorts and his white legs. I remember his silly Halloween decorations that the neighborhood killer dog ate and left for yuck. I remember he is a guy first, and a bishop second.

Most bishops are. Being guys, they bring to the table what they are, and sometimes what they are not. Trying to do things by the spirit doesn't always work so well for guys. We are all learning. How is the Lord going to get things done here without using guys like my neighbor?

I would want him to give me a break if I were in his boring black lace ups, cause I wouldn't get everything right by a long shot.

With all the horror stories of how insensitive bishops can be (and I have seen some Lou-Lou's on the Internet) I just wanted to let men and non men who are reading here to know that the bishops are on our side, and by us I mean people who could use a bishop, and by that I guess I mean me. He wants to help.

Yours may want that, too.

It Socks

I am folding socks today. I had to recruit two of my kids to assist and not because the task is so daunting and the pile is so high. But the task is daunting and the pile is high, and I get depressed sitting here surrounded by socks that are procreating as I sort. My one good wool sock begat and begat and is still begating and they are taking over the basement to the point where, to be effective, I have to move them to the living room. People come over and I say, "Here, sit and have a cookie and you aren't leaving until you fold a dozen pair or two".

I think the best thing to do is to throw a few away. But which? I love the wool – one of Maria's favorite things. I like the sporty strips and cool patterns. Plain black silk feel good. I love the sort-a see through-ish ones that grampa used to wear to church.

This is gonna hurt.

And it's gotta be done. I gotta pick the ones that I can handle and toss the rest away.

And there's my metaphor. Like my favorite GA. Only if he told this story it would have a happier ending with all the black socks being matched and put snugly away in the appropriate drawer cause his wife was a peach and bought him thirty of all the same.

My wife is not a peach, and I buy my own socks. I have a socks fixation. However my socks fixation is taking over the world. If I don't clean house, I am gonna be cleaning house for the rest of my life.

Let us see now, clean ones proverbial house before socks take over, get rid of the old beliefs and traditions that are holding us back, buy all the same socks or don't be bothered by mis-matched leggings ...did I get them all? Maybe there's another one or two there.

You decide.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Proposition Ate My Homework -The Prequel

Hey Handsomes and Prittys. I wrote the essay with the above title, posted it and went on my merry. I removed it because I needed to re-think it due to some rather painful but true-as-heck feedback. I just posted the version I should have written the first time. Maybe I may add a photo of me and we'll all target practice. (And there it is! Gosh, I'm good!)

A question for you readers. Are you OK with me not knowing stuff? To keep this blog moving, do I have to know? If that is the case, then, as a good friend pointed out to me, I may be done here.

I really want to create a space for people who are making decisions in their life to be able to read and think and discuss and maybe to go to the lord in prayer. For some reason my wonderful blog to help people is turning into a soapbox or a reloading dock or worse. That's not what I wanted it to be.

I spent an hour arguing with a guy on line last night about whether the term "SSA" was valid or not. WTFF? (Where's The Freakin' Faith?) It was like bad Benny Hill. Is that what I'm here for? Is that what I have created? I make a rather lousy keystone cop. (Ah, come on? You haven't seen Benny Hill?)

Anyway, read the new and improved version if you please. And forgive me too, please.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The PPP* Part#2

I love my priesthood. My priesthood. How silly to say, cause it ain't mine. I get to hold it. I get to use it. I get to be in cahoots with someone much better that I am.

It's the Lords. He shares. I don't know if I would be so generous if he were me.

Quaint, huh? The archaic thought that I can hold something that is part of God. Not a very popular notion these days. In fact, with “God is love and everywhere and nowhere” being a metaphysical part of Gods work is a concept that is out of style, out of date, and out an audience. Even the most conservative of the conservatives have evolved to a “All you need is love...da, da da, da da...” belief that has evolved into an "all there is is love" belief that means everything and nothing to most people who seem to want less and less responsibility.

Treating everyone with kindness and love is a huge part of what it means to follow the Lord. In fact, the New Testament is all about His higher law: Love. His Sacrifice. Repentance, Forgiveness. These are not passive things. And there is more.

The priesthood could be considered several categories away form popular cultures beliefs of how God operates. On the Wheel of Fortune scale, there is about seven spaces between “God is love” and “Gods Priesthood power". In between are “Bankrupt”, “You lose”, “Be nice to others”, “Pay taxes” and a few that are less or more intelligent. “Love is good, and good is God is all and nothing” is a little hare for Vanna to spell.

Priesthood is power. Priesthood is responsibility. Priesthood is God on earth.

No one can transgress the laws of chastity and expect to find peace unless he sincerely repents of the sin. The Book of Mormon tells us that the Holy Ghost will not dwell in unclean tabernacles. And if we lose the power of the Holy Ghost, it is impossible for us to use the priesthood authority bestowed on us.

But I want to use the priesthood! I want to wear the clothing that reminds me of the commitments I have made. I want to be spiritually connected to something better than, smarter than, greater than myself. I also want to have gay sex.

The Lord said, “And let all things be done in cleanliness before me” When we are morally clean, the Holy Ghost can work through us to help us exercise our priesthood power properly. In this way, the priesthood is a great protection against sin. As we use it righteously, we not only serve others effectively but also obtain power to turn away from temptation. Elder A. Theodore Tuttle gave an example of how unrighteousness prevents us from using our priesthood authority:

“A foolish young man had been interviewed for a mission,” wrote Elder Tuttle, “and even though he was asked some very direct questions, he answered them with lies. … Then he went out and tried to teach the gospel. That, of course, was the final test, and the test in which he failed. The missionary found out he could not do missionary work without the Spirit of the Lord. …So this missionary had to repent and…set himself right with those who had interviewed him before the Spirit of the Lord would be with him”

Here's a guys bottom line: Keep hands off another guys bottom or repent. A little glib. Sorry.

Is holding the priesthood more important to you then gay sex? It's a toss op for a lot of guys. It was for me. Especially for men in our twenty's and thirty's – when things point in a different direction – glib again. The more I know about the two options, the more I tend to gravitate towards having the power. The priesthood power.

To where are you gravitating? Is it getting you what you want?

Are we really going to leave it up to Vanna?

*PPP = Promiscuous Peter Priesthood

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What Are You Looking At?

Why do our genitals seem to run, and become the very focus of, our life?
Look out and up, Men! Sex is a part of a very full life. What are the other parts? And how are you living them? And if you don't have other parts, I think you should get some!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Yo, Yo, Dude!

As a writer, I try to embrace some popular stereotypes to use as quick and humorous literary devices and I use them often – like a good malapropism (are you a Jew or a Genital?) or a word that begins in k, like Kazakhstan. Or anything from Northern Arizona. In doing so, I accept the un-PC nature and the consequences inherent in there use. In short, stereotypes can be quick, to the point, and make people laugh.

I also, picture this, piss people off (my second least favorite “P”word). Just because I am okay with a well placed humorous stereotype does not mean that everyone else it so enjoys. (funny sentence)

Examples: A man eating pant-suit wearing Hillary. It might anger, but you get it quickly.

Tighter than my mother in law at a yard sale. My wife may not laugh.

Flannel wearing gun toting bubba. Not so funny to my dad's best friend, Bubba.

Here's a new one. The gay promiscuous Peter priesthood. Here-to known as the PPP Ouch! Been there, done everybody.

Now, I feel like I can use this stereotype because I have been one in the past – like I can use Arizona stereotypes cause I'm from there, or BYU jokes cause I am a Zoobie. I know "us" from the inside out. There was a time when I was as promiscuous as ...a really promiscuous dude. I learned it at the Y, perfected it out in the world, and before I contacted AIDS or had my wanger fall off, I stopped.

I made another choice. Currently I am a homosexual Mormon man, but I do not live a gay lifestyle. This for me means that I have sex with my wife when we have it, and no one else. I do not pretend that all is well in Zion by day and rule Babylon at night. Please understand, newbies, that there are those who do this still.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong in so many ways. It was wrong when I did it, and it is still wrong. I understand the feelings that lead a guy to do this, but it is wrong.

So what does a homosexual Mormon guy do? You can't find the right guy and marry him and then enjoy a full sex life. Mormon men don't marry men. One can't hold the priesthood and marry another man. And these are not my rules.

Back in what was a very dark time for me - one way by day, another by night - I didn't feel like I had enough information to make a choice, that I was not smart enough or important enough to get the help I wanted. I went from being a sex-fiend to trying to be holy, to holy than thou, to no one gets me to sex dude again.

I have read some of the blogs that talk about this cycle, and I know it too well. We want to do right, we get depressed with the dichotomy, we have sex and more sex, we feel guilty, we try to do right again...

This was my cycle. It continued until I stopped it. Wanna know how I stopped it?

It was simple as pie. You are thinking that I am going to say that I started reading the scriptures. That I prayed the gay away. That I got a blessing and then suddenly... Nope.

I started drinking.

I figured that I was boffing half the guys at BYU, so how was a wine cooler going to make it worst for me in hell? No chair? A room with no view? Amazingly enough, I felt worse about the drinking! So, now my cycle was to have sex or to drink and then try to be good. I changed mine by 33.33%! When I wasn't having sex, I was thrilled that at least I wasn't drinking, and when I wasn't drinking, I was happy not to be getting it on with some anonymous guy I would never see again. And then I tried to go dry from both while I tried to be “good”. My cycle was just as disruptive – only bigger this time and more diverse.

Now, at this point I am sure to have offended several of you for one of several reasons. I tend to be a multipurpose offender. I am not saying that these are the choices everyone has at their disposal. I am saying that these are the choices I felt I had to choose from: Sex, numbness, or on the church wagon.

To get out of this cycle I had to deal with the underlining cause. Of course, I had to understand the underlining cause in order to deal with it. I am still understanding. I am still dealing. I still have no answers but one: I had to include the Lord.

Sometimes I still want a drink. But I don't drink any more. Haven't for some time now. Sometimes I still want a night of anonymous sex. I don't do that any more. I haven't for some time now.

Most of the time I want to be worthy to hold the priesthood with worthy hands.

This I can do.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This Weeks Mantra Brought to you by Starkist, and by the letter "G"

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, What do we do? We swim! Ah, Ah Ah Ah, Ah Ah Ah, Ah Ahhh...

Feeling Trapped?

My name is Cal. I have no answers. If I had answers I would be on Oprah. Really. I wouldn't be shy about coming out and saying to the world "These are the challenges that I face every day of my life".

My wife may be, would probably be okay with everyone knowing private stuff about her sex life - my sex life is hers more or less. She may be/would be okay because I would hand her a house in Montana where she wouldn't have to deal with anyone and she could go fishing with the kids, and quilting with the ladies and she would be content.

But I don't have a second home in Montana, or a lot of money, and if I came out and told everyone what I deal with I wouldn't trust the world at large to take it in stride. People are not okay with me being a gay Mormon who expresses an opinion that different from the fray. There is so much controversy, and so much negative mail sent by those brave anonymous users. Makes me wonder if I am doing the right thing.

There is no one for me to ask. Most of the friends I have made "on-line" have different opinions - which is why I started the blog to begin with. Now I'm accused of dealing porn. (sorry about the Queen Photo. I thought it was funny)

So, I'm a liberal, I'm a conservative, I'm a bad husband, rotten father, lame Mormon, bad writer, worse speller - it's an ever increasing list of what other people think that I am and am not.

All I know is that I want to be a husband and father. I want to be a good neighbor and friend. And above all these, I want to be worthy to hold the priesthood. I want this more than I want to get laid.

I haven't been able to say this for all my life, but I can now. I am a gay Mormon man and I like who am - what the Lord created. And I am more than just a penis and a pair. And though there are things about me that I would change - like my paycheck - there are things that I wouldn't. Things I cherish. Like the priesthood.

Like my homosexuality. Get over it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Wisdom of Monty Python - Honorary SSA Mormon

One of the brighter moments in an otherwise brilliantly conceived film - right up there with "The Producers" and "Saturday's Warrior". OK, maybe not "Saturdays Warrior"- though I still want to be Tod Richards

I don't do logic. I mean that I would like to be the guy who could go from A to B to C in an organized way. I tend to go from Nick at Night to the history channel to KBYU willy-nilly. Algebra and Calculus did me in. I went the foreign language route for graduation instead. I'm not so good at arguing any point to a logical conclusion. I have kids - nuf said. Most of the time I try to get as much information as I can and then make a decision based on my guts - and whatever I ate that day.

Most people say that you can't be a gay man and a Mormon. I can't argue with them. All I can say is that I am both. The next argument is that I can't be really gay. Oh, Honey. I would like to see this gay-o-meter they judge me by. I would be right up there with Ms. Garland, Bree and swarovski crystals.

It sounds logical, if you do the logic thing, that if you are gay then what you profess to believe concerning Mormonism can't possibly be true, that if I accept myself as gay then I have to accept that what the Mormon Prophet teaches is wrong.

That I am Gay and Mormon is not an unfathomable conundrum. Nor is it an oxymoron (or oxymormon) The LDS church is true. It's teachings are correct.

Also, I am Gay. The two are not mutually exclusive.

I remember watching Monti Python's Search for the Holy Grail. As a gay man, I know the musical version of it inside-out as it was "lovingly ripped off" from the movie. Toward the beginning there is a group of townsfolk who have captured an elusive witch, who is being blamed for societies ills. To prove that this poor girl, with a carrot tied onto her face to elongate her nose, is indeed a witch and not just the bakers wife from next door, there is used some dubious-at best-logic.

Is she a witch? "YES" the smelly townsfolk scream.
How do you know? "Because she turned me into a neut". The crowd stares at the man.

I got better! he back-peddles.

No! We must prove she is a which! How do we do this? Witches are made of wood! Therefore, if she floats, she is a which! They proceed to dunk the soggy woman into the pond.

Now, whats a girl to do? If she doesn't float, then she is not a witch and gets to live, excepting that she is drowned in the process. If she comes up for air like a good non-which, then she is burned at the stake - her reward for having to breath.

So here is some current popular logic: The Mormon church doesn't believe in gays. You can't be gay and be Mormon. If you claim to be SSA and you still have a temple recommend, you are a liar or you're not really gay.

Boy does this open an other can of worms. Lets eat some.

1. First of all, the Mormon church does believe in gays. They believe that we exist. We are here and we are to speak. They know this. The whole argument whittles down to this. One cannot live a gay lifestyle, i.e have gay sex and have a temple recommend as a member of the church in good standing. Let me clarify. One cam be homosexual and hold a temple recommend. One can not have gay sex without going through the repentance process and hold a temple recommend.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, this is not a huge issue with those having gay sex. Most of those doing so are not terribly concerned with their membership in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.

However, there are an increasing few that do care. The LDS guideline - simplified - is that being gay is not a sin. Having sex outside the bounds of marriage is the sin. Therefore, a life lived as a gay man in the church would be sexless - meaning, and let me be clear on this - no sex.

Including masturbation.

Now, for the sake of brief humor, I would be fearful to see the image you have of me at this point. Either you see me as a wonderful strong and virtuous Nephi-dude with good legs and the self control of a stripling warrior robot, or you see me as a gosh-darn untruth teller

I am neither. I can not, nor would ever write a claim that implied that never have I never M-worded. I can talk about this because I am not a GA or an official representative of the church. I am a Mormon man.

Indeed I have. Not as much now as when I was, say 14 through 30 with a two year break (of which I am very proud). To imply that I don't masturbate currently would be wrong for me also, though I don't want the focus of this to focus on that. For, me, and maybe for you, it happens. There have been times when a moment to myself has kept me out of bigger and better trouble when I was feeling week. I suppose a better man than I would say "Never!" and mean that it was his motto, too. I wish I was a better man. But I ain't'.

Anyway, the point is, if you have feelings of homosexuality, you generally can not act on them and retain membership in the Lords church.

If membership in the Lords church is important to you, then, guess what? If you decide that sex is more important to you, then, guess what?

So, no gay sex for me. I have made up my mind. This means that the gay Mormon man is going to have a life reminiscence of the dreaded knight of Monty pythons black forest - with hands and feet cut off down to nothing waiting for the after life for our reward. Is that what the lord asks of us?

How full and christian a life can you have if you deny this part of a god given ability?

Pretty damn full, I say.

And your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries!

The Wisdom Of Monty Python - Honorary SSA Mormon

I don't have brothers, I have cousins. Here they are with the best Northern Arizona has to offer. Who says you can't get a decent date in a small town?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Maybe I should have checked out the water main before flood season.

Sometimes a good friend, neighbor (and home teacher BTW) can help you pull your head out when you are in too deep. And take his shirt off while you take a dive.

This is a picture of my couch.

Couch happens to me sometimes - as in sleeping on the - much like an episode of Bewitched, only Endora isn't floating in the corner of the room out to get me.

It doesn't happen to me often enough that I have a “me” indentation in the living room sofa, but I am thinking about painting the living room ceiling with stars or something calming for those stressful days.

It's early in the am my kids want to watch TV cartoons. They ask me if it's OK. They wake me up to ask me if its OK. I say yes. Do I have a choice? “No, honey, Daddy was up arguing with mommy about why she isn't enough woman to satisfy her man. Now let daddy sleep.”

So I say sure, honey. Watch cartoons. See how life is from watching Scooby Doo. The bad guys get it in the end and the good guys never want to. Get it in the end, I mean.

I hate arguing with my wife about me being gay. Most of the time we just ignore it. But I am having a hell of a time getting it up these days. I try to be a loving husband and do all the things a loving husband does, and for the most part I do OK. I am a decent provider, I am more kind than I am unkind, I treat the kids well, I clean and do laundry and do dishes and landscape the yard and paint and sweep the floors and do things with the family and with her. Somehow, my being gay is an assault to her ego. It hurts me when she takes the responsibility for me being gay personally. As if, somehow, she is not enough.

How do I tell her that she is enough? It's just that I am attracted to men. It wasn't something I choose, but I live with it daily. So does she. I tell her that I truly believe that my spirit is not gay, but my body is. When I tell her that, there is something inside of me that tells me it is true.
I sometimes wonder if I made the right choice. We did walk into this marriage with eyes wide open. She has issues also. Completely different issues. I was willing to take hers on, and she was willing to take on mine because I loved her and she loved me. We forget that sometimes.

But can anyone not dealing with SSA know what they are getting into?

I do not currently have sex with men. I have not been with a man for the time we have been married. I don't seek it out, I don't chat, I don't do porno as a rule – though I have slipped on that goal a time or two. I sometimes masturbate, but I do it privately and not during dinner time and it doesn't keep anybody awake. I stay away from inappropriate relationships and conversations. Why am I not enough?

So, sometimes she finds me not-so-hot in the sack. Is that much different from straight couples who have been married for 15 years? Are they always hot and ready?

I took this from my journal from awhile back. Sometimes,when I am preaching about the straight and narrow, as it were, I sound like I am superman and my wife is a wonder of a woman.

It just ain't so. I have the same problems as do my friends both straight and gay. Marriage is tough enough without the pride parade that is my life. Sometimes it's worse than others. Sometimes it's great. I've been told that as long as the good times are more frequent that the bad, it's worth it.

It's worth it. Now let me sleep.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Open Your Mind!...Now Close it a Little

What do ya' think? Too much for Relief Society?

I am a gay Mormon. I boldly state this here in blog-land, obnoxiously so at times, so that you know that I know a little about what I write.

I truly do not define myself by “Homosexual” uniquely as my defining characteristic. I don't wish to limit myself that way. Do straight men define themselves by sexual preference”?
"Hi, I'm Barry, and I like women."
When you ask a straight man what he likes to do, do you get a description of what he does in the bedroom? No - as a rule. Though I must admit that I met a guy last Wednesday that fit this bill and he could not talk about anything else. Different story.

I, however, am a creative, accountable, loving man. I am also gay.

I've also been called a bigot, old fashioned and a poor speller. Two of those accusations have substance. I'm not sure about the other. I truly hope not.

To be frank with you, I don't feel that I am a bigot. If I go into an ice cream parlor, I tend to get vanilla cause it's what I know.
I am willing to look at that with an open mind. I'm gay, after all. And I'm not just a pretend at gay to give myself a way to be different. Or to get an audience for my blog. I am real musical-theater loving, semi-articulate speaking, Designing Women following, general stereotyping, sex with men having gay.

Though I feel that my friends who have come out to their family and friends & are living as openly gay are bold and daring, in this day of neo-liberalism it is just as bold to come out for the right, and by right, I mean right-wing. (I'm not so arrogant to think that I am always correct. Ok, a little).
If I am not of the norm, then do I need to be accepting of others who are not of the norm? Maybe the Lord gave me exactly what he thought I needed to be a better man.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

And Now For Something Completely Different...

I'm the one on the left in the long shorts.

Some guy touched my butt today.

I really should explain, though I am contemplating leaving that statement just as-is for a bit of mystery.

Playing basketball at the church has been something I haven't done since we made differentiation between teams with shirt-vs-skins. Being that I was a bean pole and I didn't have a chest or anything on it, I always had something else to do when the guys got together at young men's. I stopped playing sports as a deacon which wasn't a very long career because I had just started as a deacon the week before. Never did I play team sports again with one brief exception of a half a season of boys volleyball until the unfortunate erection episode of '85. You may have heard about it.

So, playing ball, or even wanting to play ball anywhere is difficult for me.

Today my home teacher, Matt, who is in the elders quorum presidency, called me frantically to tell me that there were only four men from the team at the stake center ready to play, and that if there wasn't someone else in five minutes that they (We) would have to forfeit. "So, forfeit", I say. Who needs the stress? If you show up to play the outcome of the game is still in question. If you forfeit, then it's done and over with sooner with no tension at all. However, he pulled a quilt trip on me, which is like a guilt trip only more strings attached, and guess where I was in five minutes - with shorts and shoes and three layers of tee shirts so that if I had to take one of them off there would still be two to cover what has filled out to be enough chest for three of younger-deacon-me.

Now, the thing is, I can't play basketball. I am tall, yes, and I watch a lot of B-ball on TV with my boys, but I don't play.

I just pass the ball. If I just need someone to pass the thing around, then I am your man. Or cheer lead, yes, I'll be there with the manliest pom poms around. Or to stand there in shorts. I can still do that. But "dribbling" is something I usually have to clean up at home. If I really have to block a guy from shooting, I do a Liza impression.

But Matt the Elders Quorum man didn't need me to play. He needed me to stand there and be counted as number 5 so "We" wouldn't forfeit. Standing I can do. So while standing there being number five, I happened to trip up the opposing team-guy who fell flat on his face and was then charged with fouling me. That's what happens when you mess with the dude with the pecs, three tee shirts & a tan who is camping just above the key.
That's when it happened. Some guy smacked my butt and said “nice job, man”.

I have never had a guy touch my hiney to get my attention only to then run off. It was a dude from my ward - the one with the fauxhawk and the little girl who screams bloody murder in sacrament meeting.

This guy ran off and turned to give me a thumbs-up. He booked it across the court like he had just been burned by acid, or like he was waiting for a fast break, which, in retrospect, I suppose he was. Not one from me though. I was busy standing there looking good. That was my job.

And I felt like a guy for the first time in a long time. Some straight guy smacked my butt, and suddenly I was one of the guys - something I have wanted to be all my life.

I don't think I will be washing my left cheek for a long time.

I truly do not wish to be disrespectful, but this rendering answers several questions for me that I felt were important enough to share with you.

1: The Word of Wisdom must be an astonishing kind of thing that I, for one, will be happy to continue to follow.

2: Speedos can most assuredly be a fashion yes for the 30's crowd.

3: With abs like that, the answer to the question asked of every modern man in this case was definitely "Briefs".

4: Refer to #1, and then read your scriptures.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Essay Where I Loose Half My Readers.

I don't have to tell you that there are people within the Mormon church (and without I suppose) that are freaked out but the phrase "Gay Mormon Man".

It is a little freaky. Try it for yourself. It will be like the worlds most fruity science fair experiment. Stand in the corner of the relief society room as they are setting up for Sunday school and pretend to be in conversation with someone. Both of you laugh as if something funny was said and as laughter is dying down, one of you mutter loudly "A Gay Mormon Man?", or better yet, "He is Gay?". It will be like hyenas saying "Mufassa" in the elephant grave yard. (See how I play to the stereotypes of musical theatre-loving, semi-intelligent gays for comic effect so you will keep reading?)

Be prepared for a silence worthy of a closet in the temple. There will be stares to rival anything on Housewives of Orange County. There will be weapons drawn, and by weapons, I mean scriptures. Someone may ask to see your recommend. You may loose your cushioned seat in Sacrament meeting. There may be hot glue spilled!

There is much stigma attached to The GMM that is not seen with, say, an alcoholic Elders Quorum President, or kleptomanical ward clerk, or an ex-con hymnal picker-upper. We in the church have a degree of sympathy for the scout leader who cheats on his taxes. But a priesthood guy that wants to touch some dudes butt? Nope. Not gonna happen.

Yes, we have come a long way as a society, and a culture, and as a church. I am seeing much more tolerance for people and their ways than I ever saw growing up - not that my experiences are the standard for Mormon Acceptance of Others. But from what I hear at General Conference, I truly believe that we, the Mormon People, are growing more realistic. The Relief Society president may have a son in jail. Mine did. The bishop's daughter may be hanging out with a bad crowd and have one too many pierced earrings.

It is, I think, becoming acceptable to not be perfect.

Now, there are those that are upset at my comparing Homosexuality to alcoholism, or dis-honesty, or jail, or drug abuse. How dare I make such a comparison? It's because I am an idiot. How offencive. It is so not a even remotely perfect analogy. I will change it as soon as I think of something better.

Yet for now, I dare. It points to the fact that there are some things in life that we are to overcome. I believe living a gay lifestyle to be one. Notice that I don't say that it's Homosexuality we are to overcome. I don't think that is possible. It's the choice to have gay sex. We may chat about this more...if I am not pulled down from my perch and beaten, which may be sooner than I thought. I hear someone at the door...

Remember that I am gay Mormon man. A big one. I yearn sometimes for a mans touch so bad I cry, and not just big 'ol sissy tears cause I'm a fag.

And yet I know that what I think I want is not on the menu. Like drinking. Or stealing. Or any other weakness that is experienced by man.

I can't say as I am terribly thrilled at the thought of living a celibate life style because the Mormon church says that I cant have gay sex; or any sex for that matter outside the bounds of matrimony, which the church has made very clear is between a man and a woman.

You know what else I am not thrilled about? Being fat. Fat does not thrill me. Does it thrill you? "No fats or fems"; it's not part of the gay life. Its not a wanted part of a straight life. I cannot think of one person who, given the choice between being fat or not fat would pick fat.

Would you?

So it's decided. Fat is not for me. I am going to put myself on a diet. No more butter, cause my doctor says I am a butter freak and it ain't doing my gut a bit of good. The thing is... I LOVE BUTTER MORE THAN LIFE IT'S SELF!

That is exactly my Doctors point, by the way. It may be down to that choice. Life or butter.

So, loving life and wanting to stay around awhile to annoy my kids now that they are worth annoying, I will cut back on the butter. It's not fair, I know. My Doctor knows. The french know. Anyone with taste buds knows that life ain't fair without a cube of butter on it. But I have to pick what I want more.

I love gay sex. I want to share that kind of time with a man. It ain't fair that I can't.

I get to make a choice. Do I follow what I believe the lord wants for me, or do I grease up? Lots of butter, I mean.

Its not a perfect analogy, but I can't think of a better one. If I do, I will share it with you.

Sacrifice is giving up something good for something better. Is following the council of the prophets worth not having sex?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Elders Quorum: Stomping Grounds of the Gay Mormon Man

I am getting ready to teach a lesson in my Quorum (group of Mormon men) on the qualities of a priesthood holder. "Priesthood" is what Mormons call the power to act in the name of god. We believe that this power was given to ancient prophets Peter, James and John who received it from Jesus Christ himself. These men gave the power under his direction to Joseph Smith who gave it to worthy members of the LDS church. I received it from my dad, who received it from Spencer W Kimbell, who received it from Heber J Grant, from Brigham Young, from Joseph Smith. It is something we take very seriously. It is something I take seriously.

There is a classic example of how Jesus Christ would have priesthood holders minister to those who are in need. When Peter and John, as was recorded in the book of the Acts of the Apostles of the New Testament, approached a man who had never walked and who was at the gates of the temple, instead of giving him money, the apostle Peter said to him, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” (Acts 3:6.)

He didn't just give him stuff or drop a dime into his cup - though there is nothing wrong with helping a dude out - don't get me wrong. Peter used the priesthood power which had been given to him to use in the name of Jesus Christ.

Then, Peter took the beggar by the right hand and lifted him up. (Acts 3:7.) Remember that it wasn't enough for Peter to command him to walk. Peter took him by the hand and lifted him up.

As priesthood holders we are to, like the apostle Peter, take those in need by the arm, encourage them, and give them a sense of security and respect for themselves until they can rise above their challenges to stand on their own feet.

The power to act in the name of god, and revelation from god are two of the most important differences between what Mormons believe and what other Christians believe.

Well. There was part of the little sermonette for class.


Anyway, I am preparing for my lesson by cross-referencing a few scriptures so I can appear intelligent. I like looking like I am smart. It is almost as nice as actually being smart. The best is when I look smart, yet caring and tolerant of others who aren't quite as brainy or well informed. What a guy I am.

Here is the list of qualities a priesthood holder strives-for: Patience, Long-Suffering, Gentleness and Meekness, Love Unfeigned, Kindness, Intelligence, Caring Of & For Others, Seeks to Improve the Talents Given, Seeks To Encourage Others, this list looking familiar? Mormon men and gay men want to be sensitive. Mormon men and gay men are caring. Mormon men and gay men wear nice suits. OK, that was silly.

The success of priesthood holders is measured in part by a capacity to love others. I am not trying to say that a bunch of men in a room trying to love one another is like being gay, or that one would have to be gay to sit in a room with a bunch of men to learn to love each other. I am saying that there are an awful lot of qualities shared by the two groups.

With one exception.

Mormon men don't have sex outside of marriage.

Caffeine and the Worthy Goal

I am looking at creating a few new year resolutions today. I am trying to approach new year goals with a serious resolve I usually reserve for the scriptures, my CD collection, or desert. Don't laugh. Desert is a serious subject for those who do not drink, smoke, steal or have sex outside of marriage.

A lot of people I know tell me they don't believe in making resolutions for the new year. They believe that they are just setting themselves up for failure by setting a goal that is unobtainable, or one they know they aren't going to keep anyway.

Why set a goal you don't think you can reach? I always think I can reach these goals. That is my charm and my downfall. If I really am serious about a goal, then dang it, I'm gonna get it done! It's my resolve that I question - not my ability.

I believe, due to my exhaustive experience in goal-failing, that success is is really based on attitude. If you, after three days of going without a Diet Coke have a complete and total meltdown and inhale a caffeinated beverage at breakneck speed suffering whiplash in the process, then yes, you screwed up. You recommit to the goal or make a new one. You don't just give up! You don't just say screw it, I can never give up caffeine, so why even try.

How about a goal to loose weight. I would love to loose ten pounds this year. Actually I would like to loose ten pounds this week. So I do well for several days and then, Whammo! I eat an entire Marie Calenders chocolate silk pie with pecan crust. Is it over for me? No freakin way! I will chase it down with a large caffeinated beverage of my choice and try it again tomorrow!

Trying to be moral has been like this for me. Hoard a pie and then a week diet - a really funky cycle that I had to break. Fortunately, the cycle has been broken up to a huge degree for me. I still face challenges, but I have had some huge successes also. Thank God, literally, for successes that keep us in the game.

Remember that failure is never final and caffeine is forever. Keep trying. That is the point that I am not making very well. Make Heavenly Father part of the process, keep a sense of humor, and keep trying.

And hand me a Diet Coke.