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.

10 comments:

  1. I can't recall ever meeting a gay man who when first asked "what he likes to do," gave me a description of what turns him on.

    What is a "pretend gay?"

    Do you think that someone "living an openly gay lifestyle" (whatever that means) is being arrogant?

    I think that the writers of Avenue Q would be sad that their music would be used to justify any actual bigotry.

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  2. Thanks for the questions as this essay-ette was in answer to your comment. I will speak directly to each of your concerns.
    Q#1 A: My experience has been that “out” gay men often state their sexual preference as an ice breaker. I do not know others groups that do this – with the noted exceptions.
    Q#2 A: As used in the essay, one pretending to be gay for political camaraderie, or acceptance by those sympathetic to gays.
    Q#2 A: Not at all. I said that I was not arrogant enough to believe that I was right - as in correct. You seem to be looking for insults where there are none intended.
    Last Statement -Response: I am not justifying any bigotry. I am admitting that I bring to the table the sum of my experiences and that I may not be perfect do not know everything, and am hoping to understand other points of view. I believe everybody could open their mind a bit to understand what your neighbor is going through.
    Again, thanks for the feedback.

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  3. I have never had an "out" gay man, who I didn't know was out and who I was meeting for the first time, tell me his sexual orientation as an "ice breaker." And I'm sorry, but I just don't believe you have either. It might come up later as you are getting to know someone, but that's not any more unusual than someone telling you what they do for a living or if they have pets or children.

    I have also never met anyone who pretended to be gay for "political camaraderie" or any other such nonsense. Why would you even think that would be of concern to people?

    In a previous post you wrote: "I would never put you down because...," and above you write: "You seem to be looking for insults where none is intended." Do you not understand that comparing gay people to, in your words, "alcoholics" and "kleptos" that you are putting gay people down? Can you not see that this is extremely insulting to gay people?

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  4. Thanks for the feedback. Clearly Sean, your experiences have been different that mine. Whether you believe what I say to be true or false is not something I have control over. We could argue all day over what some gay men do in social situations. I choose not to . Are you stating that because my experiences are different than yours they have less value or validity? I hope not.

    My analogy comparing homosexuality to other challenges to overcome, though clumsy and unsavory, stands. I have never claimed to be politicaly correct. My goal is not to grant affirmation to or receive it from the gay community. I am offering a different point of view. I do feel that homosexuality, and other obstacles are given to us by our Father in Heaven for man to overcome. I don't understand it all, or even a small part. I am one man among millions.

    I do, however, feel strongly that doing what Father wants for me to do supersedes my sexual preference.

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  5. I'm saying that your falsehoods demean and slander gay people. (e.g. "Those filthy queers can't talk about anything other than their filthy sex lives.")

    I respond because I fear some young closeted gay mormon is going to get the wrong ideas about what it means to be gay from reading your blog.

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  6. Sir, to what falsehoods are you referring? The adjectives you use are of your own choosing, Sean. They are repulsive, they are not mine and they never will be. As someone who represents themselves as comfortably out (I am assuming), I am quite surprised you chose them.

    This is the message I want to send to gay people, young, old, closeted, out, and in any other category; that there is an option that does not include death. There is an option to live life and stay in keeping with the Prophet of God. There are people who have made decisions other than suicide or leaving behind the teachings you feel are true.

    I also want them to know that they have a forum to discuss their opinions and ask questions. The side you appear to represent - out and proud - has many forums. I didn't see much on my point of view. My point of view, to be clear, is that my heavenly father is more important that my sexual preference.

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  7. Ahhh, you use the old "gay=death" canard. It's usually the province of hate filled people like Pat Robertson, or Rush Limbaugh. It's odd to find it at a place that claims to welcome gay people.

    The falsehoods you preach are that god doesn't want you to be gay, or that there something wrong with being gay, or that being gay is something to be overcome. These are are all completely untrue. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being gay.

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  8. Haven't a clue where you are going with this, Sean. You wouldn't be so calloused as to imply that I haven't been privy to gays contemplating suicide, or that I was never in that position myself. I think you mean well, but you have gone too far.

    What I preach is that there is another way than living a gay lifestyle for a homosexual Mormon. For those who wish this path, there is a way to do it. I do agree with you on one point. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being gay. Some people, however, would like to add something else to being gay, something that is uniquely them. I, for example, am making the choice to remain true to my core beliefs that there is more to living than my personal sexuality. I am choosing to live a lifestyle that gets me what I want. I want to do as Heavenly Father wants me to do. I feel that this is what he wants me to do. It sounds like you're relationship with him is different than mine.

    There is one thing for sure. You are passionate about your beliefs, and you seem to be defending what you feel is right. I am doing the same. I am, however, drawing the line at inappropriate aggression.

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  9. Sean dude, breath. We've all heard your side for years. This is another side. The analogy wasn't great, but there arn't a lot that fit well anyway. We all want the same thing. Love and acceptance.

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