Monday, March 29, 2010

We hardly Knew Ye. Okay, We Knew Ye

Ricky Martin is gay.

Old news.

On his blog (Go Bloggers!) he writes today that "many people in the world are not ready to accept your truth, your reality, your nature.' Because all this advice came from people who I love dearly, I decided to move on with my life not sharing with the world my entire truth. Allowing myself to be seduced by fear and insecurity became a self-fulfilling prophecy of sabotage. Today I take full responsibility for my decisions and my actions."

Good for him.

I cant help but think that this should be a world where this is not news. Where the NAACP awards are redundant. Where the "8Th Black Miss America" moniker takes a back seat to...well, every other moniker. Where race, gender, preferences biases and stereo types are celebrated only because they are part of us.

Where what we are and how we are are not as interchangeable.

Mr. RM's blog continues, "These years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn't even know existed."

The father of twins ended his blog post writing, "I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am."

Yes indeed.

Take My Wife...

Many a true word hath been spoken in jest..
"William Shakespeare 'Roxburghe Ballad'

I have always thought that humor was the best way to be serious. Or maybe I adopted that theory when I found that I could not get through a serious conversation without a joke or a sarcastic remark - even when I was very much into the topic du jour.

Sometimes a truism that is much too painfully or provokingly served outright can be hinted-at or stated with lightheartedness and be made easier to swallow - "a spoon full of sugar" has been said. Many a conversation I find myself digesting, as it were, in the car on the drive home. That is when I get the point. Or hope the others get my point - there in their car after they have laughed and where they can't hit me.

My life is so serious! I'm a gay guy who wants to hold the priesthood. How to be a dad and a husband? How to obey the commandments? How to bring home a paycheck? How to excel and denounce mediocrity? How to get my truck to start through fasting and prayer? How on earth could one make it through the day without smiling or laughing or making fun of othe... yourself. Folks, a day without humor is just not funny.

My sense of humor is a bit bizarre, but I like it. It works for me.

I use my wife as a comidic barometer sometimes. I ask my wife if I am funny. She sayes "I don't know. Say something funny."

She is a card like that... Wait a minute!

Friday, March 26, 2010

I am writing a book concerning a subject dear to my heart: The experimentation with Fresnel diffraction and specular reflection of neutral atoms in the confirmation of the de Broglie hypothesis.

Okay. It's about Gay Mormons. Surprise.

I am writing with a friend of mine who has her own unique perspective. We may like to incorporate experiences of others in our book. We have need of short write ups of personal experiences between those dealing with SSA and their with bishops or other leaders of the church.

Our aim is to improve communication, open channels, and to promote world peace.

We would like to ask a specific question. Well, we have many questions to ask. We have way more questions that we have answers. I suppose the good thing is to get people talking. So, lets strike the "world peace' thing and add the "getting people to talk about something" thing.

What have your personal leaders of the church done that have empowered you to live a quality life?

What may have been done to have had a negative influence?

or, How have you felt empowered, or not in the church?

If you wish, you can leave a note here. Or, we would like you to email us your experience to

Power to the people. And to us.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday School Answer

Timmy Before All The Therapy

I used to dread the Sunday School Answer as a Gospel Doctrine Teacher in my ward. They were inevitable. They could be used upon which to set ones watch, however un-original.

Question: How could Timmy have avoided this dangerous situation in the first place?

SS Answer: He could have read his scriptures, gone to church regularly and kept a prayer in his heart. And payed his tithing.

Me the teacher: Yes thank you. All Good answers. Also, he probably should have not gone into the freakin' bar in the first place.

The longer I teach, the longer I try to be a good parent, the longer my goal is to live the gospel, the more I am learning to appreciate the Sunday School Answer.

As a people, we want a good Sunday School answer to fix our problem. We want to know what the blanket answer to our dilemma is. We ache to pull all situations into one tight little space that can be covered by “Live the Gospel, or “Love the Lord” or even “Read the Scriptures”. There is certainty in knowing the Sunday School Answer.

The trouble is that we don't believe them. We hear the story of Timmy and the Really Bad Decision and we think, if only his girlfriend had not worn that tube top it would have all ended up right. Or if Timmy's parents had just given him the truck in the first place then he would never been in a place to refuse to pay child support and he would not be in jail now. Somehow, "Read Your Scriptures" doesn't seem to cover poor Timmy and his dilemma and by the same token, we don't really believe it will cover us.

So we go on spouting the SSA - not that one – so we can get a good grade in Sunday School class (?), or so we can look good, or sound good, or just because it comes natural to us. And then we go home and want to know what to do. We continue to look for a real answer to our everyday questions.

There is a reason Sunday School Answers come easy in a classroom situation. Reason one is the ease of looking at life through the one way mirror into the observation room. Easy to fix someone elses problems from a safe distance. Just ask me. I know what your problem is from here.

Two is that the answers are repeated over and over until we can recite them in our sleep – which has happened in my class.

Three is that life is simpler than we make it. I go to the bishop in pain and guilt and he says to pray. Are you kidding me? Prayer is not going to solve my hugely personal and complex challenge. Prayer may fix Timmy's problem, but mine is more complicated and intricate.

Yes, it is complicated and intricate.
Now it is. It may not have been so if I had tried a Sunday School Answer before the lab blew-up and the police showed up. Even now, a suggestion to focus on others instead of lamenting my life may do the trick. Maybe listening to the promptings of the spirit will assist me now to weave my way out of trouble. Maybe instruction to stop eating excessively, seeing a doctor and exercising more would be just the ticket to losing weight. Not popular, true. Many a dollar has been made on the marshmallow and Honduran avocado diets of the moment. Fad diets feed our need to be unique.

Of course there are times - plenty of them - where more help is needed. And don't I know it. And just as there is more to a weight problem or a truly troubling trial, many times we are able to deal with given troubles by following the old and sage - right down to watching what we eat. Or exercising. Or prayerfully considering. Or asking the lord, reading your scriptures and/or focusing on others instead of ourselves.

And, for heavens sake Timmy, stay out of the bar.

Friday, March 19, 2010

What Every Boy Scout Dreams Of

On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a one of the largest contingents of Boy Scouts of any other organization. In 1913, the Church adopted Scouting as part of the activity program for Aaronic Priesthood quorums. Under priesthood leadership, Scouting, they say, can complement the purposes of Aaronic Priesthood quorums - helping boys and young men love and serve the Savior. It's current young men's program for physical, social and, to a degree, spiritual development is embrace scouting as a template.

There has been a call of late for LSD Leadership to separate the church young men's program from the BSA. The right wing feels that the BSA may eventually require Mormons to allow homosexuals to serve in leadership positions. The left wants this separation because it supports homosexuals in what would be these same leadership positions.

The Scout oath requires participants to remain "Morally Straight" begging a question- There have been questions raised regarding the oath's implications that scouts are to be literally straight -heterosexual- or are inference that morally straight means keeping sex to marriage.

Agreeing to either interpretation sets off alarms. Are boys who many have had pre-marital sex (assuming that these teens are not married) able to take the oaths, complete merit badges and go on bad camp outs? Is everybody gay or straight required to report moral cleanliness to scout leaders? Or just gay? Is the oath literal? How much so? Just a nice goal for the wall-kind-of-thing? A stricture? A guideline?

Maybe I am missing the point. As a scout, I was not dieing to go camping - gotta tell 'ya. Today, as an adult, I still would rather snake the toilet that camp. But I think the decision to scout or not scout should be mine. Honestly, I don't know how many gay teens would feel deprived to not-camp. But it should be their choice.

To my understanding, Mormons have adopted a type of Don't Ask Don't Tell Concerning Homosexuals and the youth. Two possible reasons may be...

1. Men without temple recommends are not commonly found in leadership positions. Leadership in Mormon scouting is a church calling. Any sex outside of marriage keeps one from a Temple recommend - therefore, no calling.
2. An out-gay-man-recommend-worthy would be frowned on because of the perception that gays are more likely to be pedophiles.

Odds are that there are not a lot of Gay Mormon Men that are Temple recommend holding. This means that there just is not a huge contingent of guys I should be worried about.

It's just that I can see where this could go. Anti-gay activists have routinely asserted that gay people are child molesters. The Vatican's early response to the 2002 revelations of widespread Church cover-ups of sexual abuse by priests was to declare that gay men should not be ordained. What will be the response of the LDS Church to increasing allegations of child sexual abuse?

Though researchers have failed to find a connection between homosexuality and child molestation*, as a people it seems we have strung child molesters/abusers and gays on the same rope.

A recent civil case in Multnomah County, Oregon Circuit Court involves a former assistant BSA Scoutmaster who has admitted to committing Male/Male sexual abuse with a minor for abuse that occurred in the 1980s. BSA attorney Charles T. Smith said he would call experts who would testify that sexual abuse of children wasn't a problem specific to the Scouts but one that occurs throughout society.

Being a Gay Mormon man does not make me a candidate for molester/abuser of children.

Being morally straight, gay or not, still means to live your life with honesty, to be clean in your speech and actions, and to be a person of strong character.

Can I be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly...and be a Gay Mormon Man? Of course. Can I be a Gay Mormon Man and a leader of young men? Of course. Having said that, as a father and a man of strong character (strong meaning obnoxious in this case), I find myself on both the side to protect children and to promote the use of temple worthy SSA men.

Though there are those who slip through the cracks, I believe the current policy concerning current pre-requisition for authority for LDS BSA to be up to the task of protecting young men from abusive. While worse case scenario thought and prevention standards from current and future leaders of our young men continues, we can add the sensitivity and strength of SSA males as capable leaders and mentors.

*Dr. Carole Jenny and her colleagues reviewed 352 medical charts, representing all of the sexually abused children seen in the emergency room or child abuse clinic of a Denver children's hospital during a one-year period (from July 1, 1991 to June 30, 1992). The molester was a gay or lesbian adult in fewer than 1% in which an adult molester could be identified.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Staying With Nancy

It was red and yellow and green and brown
And scarlet and black and ochre and peach

I learned several things this Sunday.

1: The easiest way to keep me from making any comments in Sunday School is to keep holding church at 9:00 in the morning.

2: Hot glue can hold anything for extended periods of time if enough is used.

3: Doing the right thing may not bring instant rewards.

I think of Joseph (of Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat fame) and his experience with Potiphar' wife, Nancy. Joesph tries to remove himself from temptation and makes a run for it. He does what he thinks is the right thing, does his Heavenly Father proud and gets jail time in one mighty whoosh of his Egyptian man-skirt. There were so many reasons for him to justify what would have been a moral transgression. (I myself may have latched onto justification-number-one that said that I could either end up dead or with Nancy.)

Joseph did the right thing by leaving Nancy in the dust. And what was his reward for being virtuous?

Of course, it all ends up happy with Joesph as ruler, brothers put in their place, Nancy out of the picture, Potiphar apologizing, and a real big all-cast production number & review of some of the best songs Andrew Loyd Weber has churned out.

There are some of us that try every day to make what our heart tells us is the right decision and never get either the production number or to try-on the multi-colored coat. Some feel like they don't ever make it out of prison.

And sometimes we think that being gay is a prison.
I know the feeling - or at least know what it feels like to try to do what I feel is the right thing. There was a time when I prayed and prayed and tried so hard to be straight. And then I prayed more and screwed up more and prayed again.

So, what is the reward of not having sex outside of marriage? Current wisdom will mock and call it a waste of time, or say that one is not being true to self or authentic, or faithful to what you really are. Surly the "Lord" would not put such pressure on one of his children. He would want us to follow whatever path we took. Feeling stifled? Can't do what comes naturally? Step out any follow everyone else!

These are terrific reasons. It would be easier to just stay with Nancy.

Looking back at Joseph, we know that the Lord was with him in prison - which means that he continued in faith to do what he believed to be true. He didn't blame God or start believing in a new god with easier rules. Though there were incredibly tough times for him, he did not veer from his beliefs.

And the Lord was with him.

Even in prison, Joseph was not defeated. He remained faithful to the Lord and to the teachings of his youth. He lived the commandments and made something good of his difficult & trying circumstances.

The world says to give in, or to give up, or to get it on. I want you to know that there are blessings in following the Lord - blessings you may not see right off.

...And purple and white and pink and orange and blue!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Booth Is Closed

Short essay. Its late Tuesday - or early, rather, Wednesday morning. Just as I was ready to hit the proverbial hay I remembered that it is garbage day today. So I pulled my jeans and boots on and pulled the cans out to the road. We have two cans because we have a lot of trash. We have a lot of trash because I collect junk, store it for a year or so, and then throw it away to make room for more junk. I am very good at this.

My wife has been sick and not sleeping well with sore everything, and fevers on top of it. When she doesn't sleep well, I don't sleep well. But I finely got her drugged-up to the point where she is beathing heavily, and that is good. She doesn't like visiting the doctor, but she reluntly succumbed, and I was ruthless and relentless and I think she's on the very loud and snore-y road to recovery.

All this reminds me that I love her.

Thats what the essay is about this morning.

It's not that she is so beautiful that I fell at her feet years ago. She's not rich. She isn't as skinny as she was back when she beat people up for a living. Most underestimate her if they even think of her at all. The Relief Society crowd tends to roll their inner eyes at her.

By the way ditto back at me; not rich, not as skinny, not beautiful - though I still have my hair. And I get my fair share of the inner eye roll when I teach Sunday school as I am considered the blue-collar "salt of the earth kind of guy".

Why she was willing to take a chance on me I don't know. Even with her rough life and big tissue-issues she still said "yes". Why I was willing to take a chance on her I don't know either. It wasn't like me at all to get anywhere near close enough to marry - man or woman. I thought maybe for awhile it was some kind of convenience factor. Nope. Insta-family ain't all it's cracked up to be. Nor was it an overwhelming father-ly instinct either - I would spend my kids last dime on a refill diet coke if it came down to it.

I think that something in her spirit spoke to something in mine. Not very romantic, I agree. But truth. Soul to soul.

There are hundreds of reasons why we shouldn't work as a couple. Only a few why we should.

Thank heaven it wasn't up for a vote.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I , as a BlowMOHO (Which is a blogging Mormon Homosexual) would like to clarify my position. In order to do this, I suppose am going to have to pick a position.

I tend to postpone the creation of my personal position until the last. The moment I pick a side it seems that Confirmation Bias kicks in, and I stop learning & understanding and replace said progression with a subconscious preference to simply collect information that confirms my preconceptions or hypotheses - independently of whether or not it is true - and then I support that stance come hell or high water. I simply continue to support a stance in which I may or may not still believe.

Let me start this simply. I am a Mormon. I was raised as a Mormon. I can't claim to be a member of some great Mormon Clan. There are not as many clans in Arizona as you might expect. My parents were Mormon, and their parents also. At any rate, I am as established in Mormonism as any one on “Big Love”. So, I will say that I am Mormon by culture.

By this, I mean to say I am as Mormon as my friend Ronny is Jewish. He is not a practicing Jew, but he is of Jewish people, of Jewish decent. This makes some sense to me even though I am the one to raise my hand in Sunday school and say "Now..., what?" when linage or Abraham's covenant is discussed. Though Mormons as a culture have not been around from the time of Herod back to Mosses back to Adam, they have been kicking since just before the invention of root beer. This is good enough for me.

I am also of the Mormon faith. This means, at least in CalUniverse, that I believe the Mormon church to be The Church of Jesus Christ on earth – established with his power and his authority in the manner and time frame of his choosing. Strike one.

I also choose to be a member of this church. Though I am not the greatest tithe payer in Utah...or Utah county, or on my block even – this sometimes holds me back, fool that I am, I am a go-to-church-on-Sunday type of guy. Even more so when we don't have the 9 am shift. I have recently taught GD, have been on a few committees, and though I make my bishop nervous at times, I am a member in good standing and hope to always be. Strike two.

I am as gay as the day is long and have always been so. When I "came out" to my sister years ago, she said, and I quote, “The hell you say”.

In short, she was not surprised. I hate to peg myself (read the next essay) but she could have been clued in by one of 800 stereo-typical behaviors in my youth - up to and including my expert ability to decorate, a musical theater album collection which included more shows than have actually opened on the great white way, or being a better dancer than god – if he were to actually dance and I were to actually compare my dancing ability to him & not get struck by lighting.

I am not gay because I was abused. I am not gay because I so chose one afternoon while suntanning on the trampoline in a speedo. Or because my Mom was a B on-wheels and my dad was parked. Though yes, no, yes and yes. I was born this way. I know it as I know the church is true. I cant and won't speak for anyone else. Just me. And I know what I know. Strike three.

Strike four: (Never was good at keeping score) I am married to a woman and have three kids. This is because I found a woman who was as screwed up as I was. HA! Well, a little true. I can say that, as well as make up the number of kids I have because I use a pseudonym. I use a pseudonym because I want to live. I guess, better said, she was willing to take a chance on me because I was a decent option for her at that time. Now, it's too late for her to back out because I think she likes me.

HA, again!

I like her, too. In fact, we love each other. The rest of our relationship is between she and me, and I would like to leave it that way out of respect for her and our several children who right now are watching American Idol much too loudly and to my chagrin.

Let me run over it so far: Mormon by birth, Mormon by belief, Gay, Married, don't like American Idol. Okay then.

I would like to use this blog to discuss issues important to all of us. You'll want to tune in for the next.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Peg Me! Peg Me!*

I threw a tantrum today, a manly man hissy-fit of a thing. It was after some Joe Shmo started to tell me all about the kind of person he thought I was.

Someone who barely knew me! I was mad enough that coming home I swerved to hit a cat in the road. Unfortunately, I didn't connect. That would have made my day. Cats are too quick, darn it all. I can't really blame trying to hit the cat on being in a bad mood. But I am going to anyway. I kept saying to myself that this Joe Shmo must "be the kind of person that..." and then proceed to peg* the heck out of him myself.

I hate being pegged, and yet I am the worlds best/worst peg-er. I have a love/hate relationship with being judged. On one hand I want to be an individual, independent and unique. On the other hand, I want that which I see others as having. Yet I want to stand apart.

I want the shoes everyone thinks is cool, but then I want them in blue instead of red. I want to go with my own style until I think that, somehow, it's not cool anymore. And then I want to be like everyone else...only different. I am a freakin' loon.

Problem is, I cant make up my mind. It's not just a Prozac thing either. I have been off and on again with medication enough that I can safely and confidently ruled that out.

I sometimes think I have been enamored of being gay – that I celebrated my gayness because it made me automatically different from the rest. Then, at the drop of a fusha feather, I would jump ship and want to suppress all my homo-a-tude so I could be one of the guys in priesthood meeting during general conference with khakis and black socks taking notes in their day planner.

Just when I thought I had me pegged*, I want out.

So, what is it that I want?

Somehow I have made a correlation in my head: Same as other guys = Good. Or could it be something as simple as "the grass is greener" syndrome that has kept me luke-warm?

I want to be unique. And I want to be the same. I want to be loved for who I am. I want to be celebrated for the special qualities that make up me. I want to have the blessings that I see others have. I want to feel loved as I see them being loved.

And I am not confident that I am worth that love.

But, of course I am worth it. How do I get to the point where I quit sabotaging myself and step up? The Lord wants me to have all the blessings available – and there are many, many available.

So, what am I going to do differently? 'Cause if I just keep doing the same 'ol same 'ol, then I'm not getting anything different that what I have gotten for years. Like the bumper sticker says, if I want to be somewhere different than I am, I've got to change where I am going.

So I've created a list.

1.Love others, show others the same respect I demand for myself. And I do demand it.
2.Do something today that I don't really want to do.
3.Do something by inspiration. Ask the lord what he needs from me.
4.Take care of my family.
5.Worry less about what I don't believe, and concern myself with what I do believe.

This is how I am going to keep my individuality, stay a good married man/dad/son of God, & celebrate all the talents, abilities and qualities that have come along with my being a MoHo Priesthood Man.

I am hoping to find that the shoes I wear with my khakis ain't so important.

*It has been brought to my attention that "peggin" someone may have several meanings. For usage here, Think of the one that maked you laugh. I'm using the other.