Saturday, November 29, 2014

I R chipper

I received this e-mail and I thought I would answer it on the blog:

I really enjoy reading your blog.  Among the moho blog authors I've read, you stand out as on of the more "chipper".  I see a lot negative self-examination among mohos (myself included) yet you seem maintain a very positive attitude despite what some might see as trying circumstances,. Do you agree?

If so, to what do you ascribe this? The gospel?  Your faith?  Prozac? (You mentioned it in some blog entries.) Other?  All of the above?

I hope it's not an offensive question.  I ask as a peer who has much to be thankful for and knows better, yet feels life is pretty much a waiting game at this point.

-A reader

I have been told this before, that I am a "happy guy". I think it is due to that fact that I am... get this, a happy man.  I have dealt with a lot of stuff and I have come out on top so far.  
This is not to say that I don't look at things I have done in the past and cringe, and want to pass out from embarrassment or shame.  

If they show a video of my life, someone is going to have to severely edit this motha' before general audiences sit down for a viewing. I could end up being the Harvey Keitel of the afterlife.

There were easier ways...
I have really screwed up.  And maybe that is why I smile.  I have seen the other side.  I see a bit of it everyday still, and I try to walk past it to something different, something of my choosing.

I have chosen to give up stuff in exchange for other stuff that I wanted more.  The choices I made set well with me.  I feel good about them.  And while I am feeling pretty good about choices I have made, I also feel good about letting others make different choices without trying to convince people that my way is the only way.

Frankly, if you have read a little of my writing, my way is a little bizarre so you might want to try it another way to arrive at your own, unique and joyful result.

There were days I spent around bathrooms and locker rooms at BYU, or waiting for someone to pick my up from the police station -- or on a good day being in priesthood meeting with all the real guys knowing that I would never really fit in.

Well, I fit in just fine, thank you, and I am pretty happy about that.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Casting the first stone...and the second and the third...

So much of what I am able to write has been positive and affirming, stories of changing perceptions, education and understanding.  This post is not part of that.

I read today that the Islamic State stoned to death two men, claiming that these men were gay. The Islamic State seems to be functioning under the impression that it is God. Or Allah... as if either would stone anyone.

The killings were reported by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. According to this report, the first victim was approximately 20 years old and was killed in Mayadeen, an eastern province of Deir Ezzor, which is close to the Iraq border.

The Observatory, a group based in England reported that the IS claimed it had found proof of "practicing indecent acts with males" on the victims cell phone.
In a separate but similar incident, another man was killed for the same reason.  An 18-year-old man was stoned to death in Deir Ezzor city after the IS proclaimed him gay, the Observatory said.

"Activists on social media said that the dead men were opponents of IS and that the group had used the allegation as a pretext to kill them" said the Observatory.

Activists who have taken to social media say the IS carries out public executions regularly. Many of these are beheadings.  Women have been infamously targeted for centuries.

This is what modern Gadianton robbers look like.  Take a good look and understand it for what it is. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Are there lines to be drawn between Homosexuality and Polygamy?

In 1986 I was on my mission in a very poor area of Central America.  I didn't entertain a lot of sophisticated questions. 

I did answer preguntas like "are you part of the CIA". "How many TVs does your family have?" "What shampoo do you use?" (because my hair became increasingly blond throughout my mission) and "How many girlfriends do you have?" which, in retrospect, may have been a prequel to "how many wives do you have?"

This was the closest I came to having to answer the polygamy question.

After my mission I did have chances to explain our position on polygamy -- mostly to fellow Mormons.  I was always amazed at how many of my contemporaries didn't know about polygamy, had chosen to ignore it completely, or used it as the reason to not commit to the Church. 

As a youth, a very gay youth, I had been fascinated with church history from a young age and read what I could find in the pre-Internet world -- which included some anti-Mormon literature I'm afraid.
There was always a part of polygamy that I didn't not understand -- kind of like a chapter that was missing from the information available.

However, and this is a big deal to me, I never doubted the LDS church or its teachings, or the Gospel, because there was a chapter missing.  I knew that someday I would find it and I could read all about it and have my questions answered.

From what I had read, polygamy happened.  It had been a Mormon thing. Some in the early church were called, or asked, to participate, and others were not.  Some found out about polygamy and tried to exploit it. Everyone knew what was happening, but they didn't know the why.

My understanding, again as a youth at the time, was that polygamy existed to care for many of the woman. With my current understanding, the caring for women may have been a result but was not the impetus of the decision.

 I do not know details of the impetus. I do believe that Joseph Smith moved in holy circles which were part of his very human existence, and I believe that he received revelation.  I believe that Joseph god fearing man would not have taken such a thing lightly. Therefore:

  "It's a good day to be a Mormon moment"

Don't you just love a timely press release?

The good news is that there is acknowledgement and information on the subject.  More good news is that conversations may now happen on the subject without people feeling that they are somehow subversive. We are now, if we actually weren't before, free to ask questions in a way that has never before been done.  About.  Anything.

Do you see where this is going?

Like I said... good day to be a Mormon.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Push those buttons!

Mormons are pushing the right buttons, and I say Yah!  or Yeah!  I can't spell it but I am saying it.

I have always been proud to be a Mormon.  Always.  Sometimes I looked like a farm boy from Idaho in the polite protestations of my faith.  I have been called ignorant, and blind.  I have been called gringo and fag.  I have been called a Ute fan.  

That last one really hurt.

On my mission, when I would bear my testimony, I was sometimes questioned about polygamy, or my underwear, or a slew of things I felt I had to keep somewhat mum about. 

Even in the days when I was actively being gay (having sex with men) I defended the church. That should have clued me in -- that I was feeling strongly about both the LDS church and about my homosexuality.  They were both completely totally real for me. I feel the same today.  I know that the Church is true, and I know that I am gay.

I was never really good at keeping mum. If I was ever asked about something church-ish I would do my best to explain while trying to be respectful to all involved. Even once, in a very compromising situation (not going to get into my past much on this blog) I defended the church and the church leaders while acting very much like someone who would have a problem with the churches stance on homosexuality.

(It wasn't a secret that I was gay, nor was it a secret that I believed wholeheartedly in the priesthood and the authority of the LDS church.)

Now the church is doing the same thing.  No, they aren't doing that same thing at all, but they -- the leaders -- are doing their best to explain churchy stuff while being respectful to those involved. 

Therefore, today's 


is brought to you by this Deseret News article on Mormons making clarifications.

Today's clarification concerns LDS stances on suicide and suicide prevention. The gist is that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released a new "Mormon Message" video regarding suicide prevention.

The video, entitled "Sitting on the Bench: Thoughts on Suicide Prevention," encourages people of the LDS faith and others to be aware of those around them and to offer help by reaching out..

Thrilled.  I am thrilled by this video and by the sentiment that is firmly attached.  My own mother took her life in 1974.  Had those around her been aware of symptoms and behaviors, her death could have been avoided and she could have gotten real help.  Of course the bulk of the help in 1974 was a butt load of Thorazine, so maybe this is the perfect time for the LDS church to put such a video out.

With the video is a  painting by Greg Olsen in which a boy sits on a bench next to Jesus Christ. Nate Olsen, Gregs son,shares the personal story that inspired the painting involving a friend of his who took his own life.

Tomorrow I will write about the churches stance on Polygamy.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Does this have to do with being gay and being Mormon?

I have been helping a friend deal with an ongoing problem in his life.  (I would never give out any personal information, including name and specific circumstances, so forgive me if I appear vague.)

My friends name is Bob. (Sorry, I don't want to spend too much time coming up with a name for him.)

Bob was abused when he was a child -- something I am finding out to be unbelievably common.

As an adult, Bob has the kind of problems that you would assume.  Some post traumatic stress, trust issues, relationships issues, sexual issues -- you know the drill.  And these issues are difficult to deal with, and make being his friend unpredictable.

Then there are ongoing issues with the family he grew up in.  Obviously, by my writing this, it is obvious that he wants out. His background affects everything he does, including his relationship with the LDS church -- which he is actively pursuing.  He would like to go through the temple, etc.

Now, I know all about the atonement and how what the Lord did for us makes everything possible, but it is hard to convince Bob (did I really pick the name Bob?) that this applies to him; That the atonement includes him and his situation regardless of how evil (his word) he may feel.

I know that this is sooo not politically correct for me to ask, but how many of you, dear readers, have come from a similar circumstance?

If you comment, please feel free to keep it anonymous.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

LDS Gay and the F word.

In my work I am on the phone a lot.  I walk around with a headset and just plug in when necessary.  While on the phone with a person in California I was attacked because my voice sounded gay.

Attacked, I tell you!

OK, it wasn't really an attack. She called me a faggot (sorry to use that word) and offered to set me up with her ex-husband. I suppose that her thinking that I would be a match for her ex-husband should have clued me in that might have been little problem with projection going on.

And I would like to think that if she was face to face with me she would see that I am a person and not feel comfortable calling me names.

What does that mean, by the way, that I sound gay?  Was I coming across as way too smart?
Why, yes I was.  I know my stuff at work and I try to present it quickly and efficiently. However, not all gays have an IQ like I do (Oh, please) and they don't all access information as quickly (Oh, please-er).

Was it my charming sense of humor?  How about the three colones I had tried on during lunch?Was it that she couldn't get what she wanted from me professionally and decided to put me down in frustration?

YES!  And that is what really gets my goat. People act all politically correct on the outside, and in their hearts they still consider being gay as sub par, as less-than.

Which leads me to think -- something I am not used to.   Are there some people I consider myself to be more than?  Do I consider myself better than others that I come into contact with in the course of the day?
This is a faggot, and you are a pig.  Wish I could have said that.

Frankly, yes.

And I am convinced that is wrong.  I should not feel that I deserve any special treatment or special privileges than anyone else.

I am a bit arrogant.  However, my sense of self isn't super developed.  I can't look myself in the mirror and give myself a thumbs up.  So, do I try to pull others down a bit in order to feel , for lack of a better term, that I don't suck as badly?


That still does not give anyone an excuse to call me a faggot.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Frozen opinions -- a Gay Mormon rant

I am as weary of straight people attributing political agendas to the left as I am of the gay world feeling continually persecuted from the right.  Lately, presenting the Walt Disney, Co as the homosexual flagship makes me roll my eyes and break out into song. Almost.

No, dear friends of the homosexual and/or Mormon persuasion, The Little Mermaid does not promote the harvesting and raping of the seas, nor does Beauty and the Beast suggest all mental health specialists are inherently evil, or encourage animal husbandry.

The animated feature Snow White does not present satanism to our children, nor does it advocate taking the law into our own dwarfish hands.

Rapunzel is not a spokesperson for extreme hairstyles and her "friend" Eugene would not rather hang out with boys and steal valuable heirlooms that represent the family unit.

Aladdin does not uniquely puts his faith in something other than the Lord, and the Princess Jasmin does not want the priesthood, nor is she running from personal responsibility and the mantle of womanhood.

Recently read an 80 page blog on how Frozen is promoting the gay agenda.  However the only kissing I see in between a girl and a snowman, and a girl and an ice man. and a girl and a reindeer.

Read up all you gay people.  Take head straighties. Frozen is not a show that pushes the gay agenda.  Frozen is a show that pushes the make some money agenda and the musical theater agenda.

It is a film that suggests that, rather than face your problems head on, one should take time out to put your troubles to music.  Also, the more dance positions you know, the better your life will be.

That's the musical theater agenda. Musical theater folk would rather perform than..., well, perform.

It crossed my mind when I saw Frozen that there would be some that would use the show to their political benefit.  And by "some", I mean both screaming gays and blatant hetros.  I do not believe Frozen was written to promote any agenda but this one: that there is a time and a place place to be in control, a time and a place to let loose, and that, when in doubt, sing.  

And be nice to snowmen. 

And that princes wearing white socks should not be trusted.

Be aware, folks, that it is not just the loopy left that can be misguided.  The wacked right is also to blame.Read this which is directly from a Mormon Mommy Blog:

If you are seriously clueless as to what I'm talking about then it is imperative, particularly for morally minded parents, that you read this post and open your eyes to the homosexual agenda, and the principles advanced to promote it, that undergird (sic) Frozen, which is why it was written for Broadway* and will indubitably** be a hit - mark my words!***

* It was not Written for the broadway stage
** Impressive use of "indubitably" - last known use in the movie "Mary Poppins"
*** Love the drama, but this would be much better put to music.

Personally, I would love for Elsa to create a place for me to ice skate with my family and friends and I would like her to strengthen my ankles while she is at it.  I don't care that she has sheer sleeves and doesn't have any food storage.  

And I an not weeping that Idna is getting all the popularity while a talented Kristin Chenoweth is relegated to "normal" musicals with people in them who ride trains and singing operetta.