Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Not all who wander are lost

Scott posted about the 10 steps to apostasy a few days ago on his blog. Well, apostasy from the LDS religion at least. I remember I used to be terrified that I would someday apostatize. You see, I lived my life in the Mormon paradigm. The true paradigm. The only way to be happy paradigm. The trouble is, I was miserable. Mormonism thrives on the belief that you will be happy if you follow their prescribed set of rules. Well, a quick read of any moho's blog will indicate pretty well the type of misery, loneliness, and anxiety that Mormonism fills gay people with. But when you believe that that is the only way to be happy, you stick with it. Oh, and you believe all the rest of it as well, but I am pretty convinced that fear of the unknown is what keeps not just gay people, but many people in Mormonism.

So when I see things like the 10 steps to apostasy, I just laugh. Oh, and I thank someone (not sure who atheists typically thank, but in this case I will thank Max) that I am no longer bound by such superstitious and self-destructive thoughts. But I can't forget that easily the fear and paranoia that was instilled in me at such a young age. Mormons sure hate gay people, but I am all but certain that they hate apostates more. I mean, these are people who had the "light" and left it all because they wanted the easy route. Or they lost faith. Or they never had any. Or they are wicked people. You see, nobody can leave Mormonism because they realize it is false, because Mormonism is the only true church. It's genius. Convince people not to think on their own and you will pretty much trap them for life as they are unable to fathom that it's all a lie.

Anyway, I am not going to go on and on forever about this, I mostly just wanted to re-create the 10 steps to apostasy from a different view point. I know Mormons will just see this as evidence of my apostasy, but oh well. I know where they are at. I was there for many years of my life. I refused to look at Mormonism objectively, and I was certain that people who left the religion were miserable and unhappy misers. Plus, they always left the church, but couldn't leave it alone (Note to readers: I will leave Mormonism alone as soon as they leave my legal rights alone).

Anyway, if I had created the 10 steps to apostasy, I would have made 12 of them because I would feel better about having completed a 12-step program, but alas, there are only 10. Maybe I will take up drinking and then go to AA meetings so that I can complete the 12-step program.

Here are the 10 steps to overcoming Mormonism(or any set of superstitious beliefs for that matter):
1. Find a cleave point.
2. Elevate that point to your brain, and analyze it objectively and rationally.
3. Seek out other objective thinkers and discuss the cleave point.
4. Search for evidence about the cleave point to validate/invalidate it.
5. Leverage that cleave point as a wedge between you and superstition/mythology.
6. Start serving in valuable opportunities in your community.
7. Publicly denounce superstitions and myths.
8. Publicly denounce false teachers and leaders.
9. Get the hell out of the church.
10. Let truth and happiness fill your life. Build honest relationships with friends and family. Expand your network beyond self-righteous hypocrites.

Oh, and one other interesting point. I am pretty sure that Mormons get people to join their religion by using the 10 steps to apostasy. Well, that and manipulation, propaganda lies, the 3 pillars of the "true Church."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More lies from the LDS Church

The Church does not object to rights (already established in California) regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the family or the constitutional rights of churches and their adherents to administer and practice their religion free from government interference. (Divine Institution of Marriage)

Legislation introduced on January 28, 2009 and passed by the [Washington] Senate on March 10, the [Washington] House on April 15, and sent to Gov. Gregoire on April 23, aims to extend the laws to encompass all state–level benefits of marriage. The new legislation would amend many of Washington's laws and place domestic partnership on an equal footing with civil marriage. Some of the additions to the 2009 SRDP laws include:

  • The right to use sick leave to care for a domestic partner
  • The right to wages and benefits when a domestic partner is injured, and to unpaid wages upon the death of a domestic partner
  • The right to unemployment and disability insurance benefits
  • The right to workers’ compensation coverage
  • Insurance rights, including rights under group policies, policy rights after the death of a domestic partner, conversion rights and continuing coverage rights
  • Rights related to adoption, child custody and child support
  • Business succession rights. (Wikipedia)
And then the LDS Church produces this commercial on behalf of the Protect [Heterosexual] Marriage Washington group.

So the state of Washington wants to grant all of its residents equal rights, (but not marriage), and suddenly the LDS Church is opposed. I wish I was surprised by the LDS Church's lies, but I'm not. In case you didn't recognize the artwork used in the commercial, they are LDS paintings. In fact, the Adam and Eve painting is copyrighted by the LDS Church. Don't tell me they are not involved. Just more of the same from the Mormons, and sadly what we have come to expect.

Oh, and the first person to tell me how rejecting equal rights for gay and lesbian families "protects children" wins a prize.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Alternative Conference Report

So, it goes without saying that this year's Alternative Conference was absolutely fabulous. All who came were welcomed with open arms and all were edified.

This year's group included Max, John, El Genio, and me. We had all sorts of fun, and I admonish all moho's to put it down on their calendar right now for next year. Whenever we go to Disneyland we usually play spot the Mormon (they stand out pretty easily), and sadly and much to my surprise, we didn't really see any this weekend. I knew it was general conference, but I halfway expected to see a few dozen there. I was ready to call them out and ask why they were not at conference. Too bad. Oh wait, John's mom did meet us for lunch on Sunday at Downtown Disney. That was the only "practicing" Mormon I saw the whole weekend, but I guess I have to question one's devoutness when you are eating and shopping with three queers on the super bowl of Sundays.

Music for this conference was provided by the 80z All Starz who rocked it out all night at the Tomorrowland Terrace. The closing number really made me think. They covered "We're Not Gonna Take it Anymore" by Twisted Sister. As I listened to the lyrics, it really made me think that it should be the theme song for the gay rights movement. Too many gay people are passive to the whole thing and only seem willing to sit back and allow the menacing heterosexual agenda to take away our freedom and liberty and to impose their sectarian beliefs on our nation. I think fair-minded people across our country, both gay and straight, need to stand up against oppressive organizations who strive to take away the rights and liberties of others. I will allow you all to ponder this song's powerful message:

We've got the right to choose and there ain't no way we'll lose it
This is our life, this is our song
We'll fight the powers that be just, don't pick our destiny 'cause
You don't know us, you don't belong

Both days were filled with outstanding messages of encouragement, love, and acceptance (note, these concepts may be foreign to many Mormons reading this). We saw and interacted with many others throughout the weekend. A strong sense of fellowship was felt by all.

Oh, and don't even get me started on my pin trading experience. I know, seriously, who actually wears one of those lanyards around their neck with pins? Well, I do. And I had SO much fun trading with others. I got the cutest Mickey Mouse pin you can imagine.

Anyway, I won't go into too much detail so as to make you all upset for missing it, but I will just end with an invitation for all of you to come and see.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oh what the hell

So I really was not sure I should post this, but oh well. Here goes.

Masturbation was always such a taboo topic in Mormon families, and quite honestly, I don't think I have ever heard the work mentioned in my house, and except for a few of the "serious" lessons in Priesthood where it was mentioned but not discussed, I never heard it at Church. I honestly don't think it is bad, and I think any damage caused by it is more or less related to the guilt that many religions associate with a normal action.

Anyway, here are a couple of honest thoughts about it:

I am sure nobody will believe this, but I am dead serious: I masturbated before I even knew what it was, and that is was "bad." I was always a smart guy, and didn't really have many guy friends that would talk about that kind of stuff, but I guess I just figured it out on my own. I grew up very naive. I am not kidding that I was masturbating for about 2 years before I had heard the word, and before I knew it was "bad." I was probably not even 12 the first time I did it. Needless to say, I felt awful about it, but never went very long without masturbating from the time I was about 12 to 24. I always joked to myself, if they didn't want me to do it, they should have told me that before I was already hooked. I guess that is an outcome of Mormon culture.

So yeah, all you mathematicians can figure out that I did not make it very long on my mission without pleasuring myself. In fact, I lasted about 8 days into the MTC, but if you can believe it, I did last about 5 months at one point on my mission, but then I honestly just stop caring about it. The only bishop that ever asked me about it was my freshman bishop at BYU and he asked me during the mission interview. I told him I had it under control, which I guess may have been a lie, but I never did it unless I wanted to. =)

Anyway, I continued beating myself up over it (no pun intended) through my years at BYU, and was "tempted" way more during my lame pursuits of dating girls. I eventually decided that I was not worthy to go to the temple and stopped attending. Before that I had gone weekly since returning from my mission. I later began attending at least monthly again.

Fast forward to today....

Since meeting Max, I don't even think about, let alone do it. The whole thing seems trivial now (you know, Satan has lulled me away and stuff), and I just have to laugh that I ever was so distressed over it. I think for many years I did it because it felt good, but then for many more years I did it because I felt a huge void in my life. I think that masturbation and pornography can both stem from certain unmet human needs (Mormonism calls those needs the "natural man" and that you must overcome them). I know that many believe that those "needs" will go away once a man marries a woman, but hearing about the countless stories of heartache caused by men who still look at porn and/or masturbate during marriage seems to indicate that that is not the case for many. Who knows, this is just me thinking out loud really.

But I guess if masturbation is so bad, it's just a good thing that I don't do it anymore.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

For Immediate Release

Alternative Conference set for Oct. 3-4

The Official Gay Agenda

Tuesday, Sep. 29, 2009

The 12th Annual Alternative Conference of the Latter-gay church, to which all members are invited, will convene at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 3 and 4, 2009, with general sessions held at Disneyland on Saturday at 8 a.m. and California Adventure on Sunday at 10 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.

A special pre-Conference Pride Cocktail hour will be held on Friday, Oct. 2, 2009, at 5 p.m. PST at the Grand Californian Hotel.

In those areas where members of the church can conveniently attend the conference in
Anaheim, or participate via radio, television, satellite or Internet transmission at www.gaydaysanaheim.com, they should be encouraged to do so. Under these circumstances the usual Sunday meetings need not be held on Oct. 4.

In areas where only one Sunday session is broadcast, local leaders have the option to adjust meeting schedules or, where appropriate, to rearrange the agenda of regularly scheduled meetings to permit their members to listen to or watch alternative conference by radio, television, satellite or Internet transmission

Monday, September 28, 2009

This and that

I wrote the letter months ago, but it just sat in my "My Documents" folder. I needed an excuse to finally send my resignation letter in. Check.

Next I needed an excuse to never step foot on their property again. Check.

My to do list is getting shorter and shorter.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Stranger in Moscow

So, as I have learned today, some people love him, some people don't. I love him, always have. Never believed what the tabloids said about him, and felt strongly that he had nothing but good intentions. He changed pop music forever, changed dance forever, influenced pop culture more than we will ever realize (can you imagine MTV without him?) and today the world mourned him.

I know this may sound lame, but I cried. And I was at work sitting next to my co-worker watching and listening on line. Luckily my back was to her most of the time.

It's interesting to hear the comparisons being made to Princess Diana's funeral on TV. I have never really told anyone this, but I started writing in a journal because of her death. In a sense, this blog is just an extension of that journal. I can't quite describe why, but I was always fascinated with the British Royal family, and especially the Princess Diana. Though I was only a teenager, I admired her for her kindness and caring attitude. Though many will only remember Michale for the accusations, or his music, I will remember his kindness. I will always remember Heal the World. I think those that are closest to him expressed pretty well what an amazing person he really was.

Anyway, I hope that eventually people will remember him not just for his music, but for his kind and giving attitude. If you think about his involvement in humanitarian aid in the 1980's and 1990's, I think you see the real MJ. Unfortunately, the 1990's saw his life filled with controversy and scandal. I can't imagine how he felt with people constantly attacking him. I can only imagine how sad he felt by giving his life to the world, only to be treated the way he was. Undoubtedly, he made mistakes, but I have to say that I personally think the man was filled only with love and kindness. To see his daughter stand before the world and declare that he was the best father, was amazing. I hope the best for his family. To think that the world has lost a star, and they have lost their father really puts things in perspective. To realize how much he went out of his way to protect his children, can be a lesson to all.

His music has always had an impact on me. I have always loved his music. I have always said that life is a soundtrack waiting to happen, and for me, there are so many of his songs which will always remind me of different parts of my life where his songs impacted me. So many people only remember Billy Jean and Thriller (which are definitely amazing songs) but there is so much more music that I think is under appreciated. The song Stranger in Moscow has made me sad to realize that how alone he felt at times, and I think in our own way, so many of us can relate to his words.

How does it feel
When you're alone
And you're cold inside

Rest in Peace MJ. I'l miss you.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Meeting the fam

So last weekend my sister was married in Utah. Max and I flew up for the wedding which was a garden wedding in Alpine, just a couple miles from where my parents live now. It was nice, and of course, the first time Max would meet all the family at once. He had previously met my parents, and all of my siblings, except for my older brother and his wife. It's crazy to think that just one year ago, I was not at all excited to go to my brother's wedding. We had not been close in years and we had a rather antagonistic relationship.

What a difference a year makes! Since coming out to this brother (as well as my other siblings), I have gotten much closer to all of them. For whatever reason, it is easier to communicate to most (maybe all) of my siblings now that I have left the LDS Church. My brother in particular was so much nicer and more pleasant to be around. And I suppose I was too. The good news: they all love Max. The bad news: they might love Max more than me. :P Oh, and Dad was a complete... well I can't think of the right word. Let's just say that Dad has a long way to go. I thought my dad was past the point where he only loved me inasmuch as I was an active Mormon, but I guess that is not the case. He pretty much ignored me and Max the whole time we were there. Actually, he did ignore Max despite the fact that we were staying in their home, and he did his best to ignore me.

I have never really had the best relationship with my dad, since he has never been very happy with my decisions. Stupid Mormons would probably say that that is why I am gay; because I have a bad relationship with my dad. Quite to the contrary, I have a bad relationship with my dad because I am gay. He was never happy with my decisions. He hated the fact that I hated playing baseball as a kid. It's too bad I had to play a sissy sport like water polo. It drove him crazy that I did not care to learn about cars, though I did drive a 1966 Mustang in high school. I even remember when I was admitted to the accounting program at BYU and he thought that it was a bad move. Pretty much, he was never happy with anything I did, except for going to church, doing missionary work, etc. Because of this, I have never felt any sort of obligation to keep my dad in the loop, and he is well aware that none of his children trust him or go to him for anything.

Oh, that reminds me, the bishop that married my sister counseled her and her husband to show their children love, or face the fact that some day their children may not want to be around them. I let out an audible laugh at that point, but Dad did not hear it because, alas, all of us kids did not sit by him at my sister's wedding. I kinda of hope that that statement hit close to home for him, because it should.

Anyway, I called my mom the day after I got home and let her know that she can tell my dad I am not the least bit interested in including him in my life if he cannot respect me, Max, my happiness, and my decisions. She said she would have a frank discussion with him before he heads back to South America in a couple of weeks. At this point in my life, I feel like I have given about as much as I can to my dad. I have tried SO many times to connect with him, but he just does not seem to care about anything in my life that is important to me. We'll see. And at this point, since everybody else in my family is so caring and supportive, I think why bother?

Considering how well I turned out despite not having a good dad, my kids are going to be so lucky to have two! =) 

Oh, and did I mention how cool my uncle is? He lives up in the bay area with his family, and flew out the morning of the wedding. He already knew about Max and I, and was excited to meet Max and talk with us. He is active in the LDS Church and it was such a relief to hear someone who was absolutely opposed to the LDS Church's involvement in Prop 8. He is very intelligent and very successful in life, and it was so nice to see that not everyone bought into the BS that the LDS Church put out about Prop 8.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Facing East

So Max and I went and saw Facing East tonight. For those who have not heard of it, it is a play that takes place at the grave of Andy, a gay Mormon who committed suicide. Andy's parents are left to consider what led to their son's suicide, and at the end are met by Andy's boyfriend, Marcus. I enjoyed it, and it definitely got better throughout the show. In my opinion, Carol Lynn Pearson was pretty spot on in terms of LDS culture and beliefs. I could see my mom in the character Ruth (Andy's mom) so much. I think it also helped me understand some of the thoughts that my mother has had.

One thing that I have thought about recently and that was really driven home in the play was how LDS mothers often feel. Because many LDS mothers (including my own) do not have careers outside of the home, they are very much defined by how "successful" their families. Now, my family has their fair share of crazy, but I would say overall, my mom has a lot to be proud of. 

Unfortunately, in LDS circles, my mom probably does not have a whole lot to brag about. Out of her five kids, one is married in the temple, one served a mission (me), and she has only two grandchildren. Number three is on the way, but since my sister is getting married next week, and her daughter will be born in September, that's probably not much to brag about among other Mormons. I often wonder how my mom handles that part of Utah/LDS culture. My parents have lived there for almost 3 years now, and by Mormon standards, things have gotten significantly worse. Ruth (Andy's mother in Facing East) breaks down a couple of times during the play and you see how terrified she is of being considered a "failure."

Besides the obvious tragedy of Andy's suicide, this is the other impression that Facing East left on my mind. Mormonism is not just unduly hard on gays, but I would also say mothers. The success of their families in placed on them, and any failure is usually implied to be their  fault.

Anyway, overall, I really enjoyed Facing East. There definitely were a few moments when the audience was pretty choked up, and I couldn't help but think how lucky I am to not only get out alive, but to have a relatively supportive family. I feel so blessed to be in the situation I am in, and someday when I am a little bit more established, I would really like to be able to provide a safe home for gay Mormons who feel they have no where to go. Being one who has often felt at the end of my line, it kills me to think of the gay Mormons out there that feel so desperate and torn by the paradigm thrust upon us. 

If any of you are in Southern California within the next couple of weeks, I recommend seeing the show. It is playing at the International City Theatre in Long Beach through the first weekend of July.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Moving On

About a month ago, I wrote a letter resigning my membership in the LDS Church. Don't worry, it hasn't made it out of my "My Documents" folder, yet. But the truth is, I don't really believe in Mormonism anymore, or really religion in general. I won't go into details here, but suffice it to say, I mostly see religion as a mix of cultural traditions mixed with superstitious beliefs. Religion fills a need in peoples' lives, and for many years, Mormonism did just that for me: it gave my life meaning. In more recent times, it left my life with a larger void, and I decided to opt out. 

Well on Monday night, some well-meaning members of the Goldenwest Singles Ward showed up inviting me to some activities. It's about freakin' time! I mean, I have lived here since August, and this is the first time someone stops by?! For those of you that know me well, I promise I was nice to them. :P They brought me some goodies and told me about all the great "sisters" in the ward (at which point they probably saw my eyes roll out of my head and me hold back the laughter just a bit). I told them that I had attended BYU, served a mission, and that after Prop 8 I made a decision to leave the LDS Church.  I thanked them for stopping by and they went on their way.

Later that evening I went to the gym and the little devil on my shoulder got me thinking. Maybe it would be more fun to not resign my membership, and instead to hold out and let them keep coming by. I mean, I could have some fun with these kids. But really, I think it is about time for me to move on.

I told my mom about my plans to leave the Church a few weeks ago and she seemed a little upset, but I guess I don't really see the point in waiting to be excommunicated, assuming they eventually did excommunicate me. I guess I see excommunication as something for people who still believe in Mormonism and think that they have done something wrong. Plus if they were to excommunicate me, I would not show up to any of that anyway, so I guess for me this is just the simplest thing to do. 

This post may come as a big surprise to people, but really I have thought about this a lot over the past year. Oh, and to those who say that it is okay to leave the church, now I just need to leave it alone, I promise I will leave the LDS Church alone as soon as they leave me and my legal rights alone.

On an unrelated note, if you have not read Formerly Barred's most recent post, you really need to. It may be my favorite post ever.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Thank goodness order has been restored to the kingdom

So it seems like just about everyone has made some sort of comment about Ms. California. I waited for someone to mention what I was thinking the whole time, but nobody ever did. But now that another honorable member of our society has determined that Ms. Prejean will keep her crown and her reign of terror over Californians will continue, I thought I would add my two cents because, well, I always do.

First, off let me say that I don't think what Perez Hilton said was called for. But who cares, I mean the guy is a celebrity blogger, he makes money by causing controversy. Who had even heard of him before all this mess anyway? But let's look past all the fiery words and anger, to what Ms. Prejean actually said.

When asked if she thought gay marriage should be legalized, she said, "Well I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one way or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage."

Um, what? She thinks it's great that we live in a country where people can choose? Interesting, from all of the hoopla that followed, never did I gather that she supported equal marriage rights or freedom for all.

If that is what she actually believes, then she should have had no problem clarifying that she believes that all should have the freedom to marry, but that her religious beliefs did not include gay marriage. I personally don't care what her religion says about gays. Religions have a pretty strong track record of being wrong. But if she could just follow her own belief that Americans should be able to choose one way or the other, she could have saved herself a lot of crap.

But what do we expect from someone who poses for semi-nude photos and then lies about it, has a boob job in order to improve her chances of winning a beauty competition, and then breaks multiple parts of her contract? But I for one am glad that she got to keep her crown. The last thing we need is another martyr for the anti-marriage crowd(though I am sure she considers herself on equal footing with Paul). I think anyone with an objective eye can recognize that she is pretty hypocritical in her beliefs, but oh well. At least she can now move on and focus on her royal duties, whatever those are. I am sure there is a WalMart somewhere that is having a ribbon cutting ceremony that she is attending.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Zion's Camp

Let me be the first to call it as it is. A few years down the road from now, when Prop 8 is just a distant bad memory that will leave many of us thinking, "Did that really happen? Here? In the Golden State?;" faithful Mormons will begin comparing the campaign against gays to Zion's Camp. 

For those that are not familiar with Zion's Camp, feel free to read up on it on Wikipedia. To give a brief synopsis, the Mormons were driven from Missouri and forced to abandon their property; Joseph Smith received a revelation that they needed to go back and fight for it; a group of 200 members (mostly men) followed Joseph Smith back to fight; after much tribulation, a couple of miracles, and a long trek back to Jackson County, Joseph Smith received a revelation that they were to head back to Ohio without redeeming Zion. Many of the members were upset and lost faith, but many of those that remained faithful became leaders in the LDS Church. Today this story is shared as a faith-promoting story about following the prophet no matter what. 

Many of those who went on Zion's Camp went back to Ohio discouraged, confused, and upset that the Lord's will did not prevail, but at last they were willing to follow the prophet.  The whole thing was just a big test. Back then, the Latter-day Saints failed to regain Zion. Today, Latter-day Saints failed to stop the sea of monogamous gays from obtaining equal protection under the law and raising their families in safety and protection.

Just wait, I promise you that you will hear gay marriage being compared to Zion's Camp in a few years from now. Either Prop 8 will be overturned by the Supreme Court, DOMA will be overturned, or Californians will vote to grant equal marriage rights, but no matter what, I don't think anybody doubts the eventual outcome. And Mormons will be left wondering, why? Well, you heard it here first. It was all God's will. Just a big test for the Mormons.

On a side note, it seems like most believe that the California Supreme Court will uphold Prop 8. If they do, I promise you that Mormons will be done funding the fight against gays and equality will prevail in time. I cannot stop thinking about the middle class LDS family in Sacramento that was interviewed by the Sacramento Bee because they had donated $50K to the Yes on 8 campaign. I am sure they will become another piece of Mormon folklore about how blessed they were, and I am sure that someday Mormons will be talking about the horrible death that gay rights activists died for going against the Saints. Hell, I may even write a book about it.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Families are Forever: Part 2

So, last summer I wrote a pretty nasty blog about my family. While it was pretty honest and what I felt at the time, I decided it's just a bit much, even for me. :P I deleted it.

For those of you that are inclined to believe such things as "God works in mysterious ways," well I have a good one for you. To sum it up, my family is not close. While all of my siblings are relatively close with our parents, and growing up we were are all pretty close, since moving out, we all kind of went our own way. Well, after a good decade of all us us kind of doing our own thing, I think things are going to start changing.

I'm not sure if I had indicated earlier, but despite coming out to my parents a while ago, none of my siblings knew I was gay. And it was okay in my mind because we weren't' all that close anyway. I only ever talked to my oldest sister on the phone (maybe every couple of months), and other than that I never talked to the others. They didn't call me, I didn't call them, no emails were exchanged, nada. At Christmas, we would all see each other for no more than 2 days, and then be back to our own lives.

Well, last year before the election, I came out to my oldest sister. Then in early March I came out to my younger brother, then to my other sister, and finally about a week ago I came out to my older brother. Needless to say, they are all supportive (and not the phony Mormon supportive kind). Luckily, all of my siblings are smart enough to understand that people don't choose to be gay, and me marrying a woman is not the best thing to do. For once in my life, I can say I was so glad to have non-active siblings. While I probably used to view them as unhappy because they were not active in church, I no longer believe that. 

But anyway, the circumstances under which I came out to all of my siblings were different, but it was definitely the right time for each one of them. It goes without saying that we all have challenges in life, and none of my siblings have been able to confide in each other, and especially not me, the golden, returned missionary, BYU grad, loves-the-Church-sibling. All 4 of my siblings said the same thing after I came out to them. "Derrick, I feel closer to you right now that I ever have in my life."

Suddenly, my older brother who has NEVER called me that I can remember, called just to say hello and see what we were up to and to ask a question about his camera (we have the same one). Suddenly, my younger brother who likewise has never really called me (though I do get an email about every 8 months), starts texting me and telling me to call him. My other sister who I have drifted from in the past few years starts talking to me on g chat regularly, and phone calls with my oldest sister increase in frequency.

Hmm, if I had realized that me being gay would have brought us closer together, I would have gone gay a decade ago. =) All of my siblings are now asking when I am going to come visit with Max, and wanted me to send pics and info about a him. So Mom, in case you are still wondering why you have a gay son, you now have the answer, it is to bring your family back together. God works in mysterious ways...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wedding Invites

So my friend, Violet, and I frequently discuss political issues and issues related to gay rights at work over instant messenger. She is a hard-core Republican, evangelical Christian, who was born and raised in Texas. Get the picture?

I came out to her almost a year ago, and she has been surprisingly supportive at times. We have had MAJOR disagreements about gay marriage and just about every other political topic under the rainbow. She knows about Max and she knows that things are relatively serious between us. She got married last summer, and unfortunately, I was not able to make it to the wedding in Dallas. I regularly joke with her about when she is going to have a baby, and she asks me when Max and I are getting married.

Well, I think we have joked plenty about when I would be sending out the wedding invites and she is always making sure that she would be receiving one, and I think typically I have just kind of said yes. But the other day, I was honest with her. I told her that I would likely never invite her, knowing that she was actually opposed to my marriage.

Ooh, was she mad. She asked me why, and I probably did not answer that the right way. I told her because I have self-respect. I told her I would never invite somebody to my wedding that I knew was actually opposed to me marrying the person I love (instead of say, marrying a woman which is the "right" thing to do).

Since then, she has been trying to convince me that she is not opposed to me marrying Max or gay families in general.  Yet when I asked her if a proposition similar to Prop 8 was placed on the ballot in Virginia, where she is now living, she indicated that she would vote for it. I'm not going to lie, that's ridiculous to me. To say that you support me and want me to be happy, but then vote to invalidate gay families is, well, hypocritical. Maybe I am being too sensitive. But honestly, that is the same BS I get from a lot of my Mormon "friends." They want me to be happy but then they donate money and time to Prop 8. It's like they think I can't actually be happy and that they are doing me a favor by preventing me from destroying society anymore.

I just don't know what to say to her. I feel like she is sincere in saying that she wants me to be happy, but how am I supposed to buy that when she is opposed to gay marriage and gay rights in general? Not that it made her feel any better, but I assured her that I have way more "friends" that are not on the invitee list than are. (Oh, this might be a good time to disclose that Max and I are NOT currently planning a wedding, this is really just discussion).

So I just have to ask, how do others feel? I guess I just tire of all these "friends" who want me to be happy but then do everything they can to ensure that I am not allowed the same legal protections that they are. Am I being unreasonable for just being honest with these people in telling them that if I were to get married, I would not want them there? I mean, I would still consider them friends and even go visit them, but I just don't feel like I need that on what should be a special day for me, my family, and friends. 


Sunday, March 1, 2009

I am a lazy blogger...

So a couple of people have asked me recently why I stopped writing on my blog. I guess I never really feel like I started writing. My blogging has usually been pretty sporadic at best, but I guess I will just give a brief update.

As promised back in November, I stopped attending Church. Actually, now that I think about it, I really only went once between August and Novmeber anyway, but needless to say I have only gone once since Election Day, and that was at Christmas. My mom already knew I wasn't going, but if she wanted me to go with her and my dad, I could easily agree to go to a ward where neither they or I knew anybody (my parents have been Church service misssionaries ever since moving to Utah and don't attend their neighborhood ward, alhtough we did go to their "home ward" that week).

So where does thil leave me? Strangely, happier than ever. I was always too terrified to stop going to Church because I was almost certain that I would be miserable outside the Church. I'm not going to lie, I was happy going to Church and enjoyed it for the most part(despite never having any LDS friends). I never really did it because I felt obligated to, but legitamately enjoyed attending Church activities, the temple (I went almost weekly for most of the time after my mision), and particiapting in other Church activities. But that could only last as long as I pretended to be who they wanted me to be. And as long as my loneliness could be ignored when I was too preoccupied with school. But since I am now done with school and working way too many hours in public accounting, I long for what so many other long for, companionship, love, and a purpose for life. The Church would tell me to forget myself and serve others...apparently viewing same-sex relationships as a waste and contributing nothing to society. If I can't fit their mold for a family, they would rather I have two callings and go to the temple more. And while, those are valid activities, and perhaps others can actually fill their life with that, a new phase in my life began in which I was no longer able to go it alone. And more importatntly, I did not want to. I chose love and companioship over loneliness and depression (Mormons read: I chose Satan over Jesus, I know that's what you're all thinking). :P

But anyway, I am not super angry at the Chuch or anything (though I won't think twice about pointing out some of the hypocrisy in their practices), I am just done with it. I appreciate all the positive things it was able to contribute to my life, and for the friends and experiences it has provided me with (though I am learning that many of those "friends" weren't real anyway). Luckily, many of them are real friends and I am even closer with some of them since there is no more lying and BSing with each other. Many are way more willing to open up to me now that I have to them, and I feel like I am in a better position to actually help others. It's amazing how many people open up to you when they no longer see you as "perfect," which is what so many Latter-day Saints want to be perceived as, drivng away others in their quest for perfection (or at least perception of perfection).

So anyway, not that it is anyone else's business, but I am coming up on one year of dating (and 8 months of living with) someone that I legitimately love and want to build a life with. For once in  my life, I understand why people get married. You see, when gay men pretend to like women and they date them, it's more like a chore. Once you date someone you are actually attracted to physically and emotionally, dating becomes fun. It was like, oh, this is why people live with each other. Duh.

Anywho, so that is where I am at right now. My family is coming to terms with all of this. My oldest sister (who I know reads this, hi Jenn!) has been very loving and accepting towards (hmm, I am not sure he wants me to disclose his identity, so he can remain annonous for now....) Mr. X, and I love her for that. Mom and Dad are coming to grips with it (I hope) and I came out to my younger brother and as expected, he is indifferent, so now I just need to tell two more siblings, neither of whom I think will be surprised, and neither of whom will react poorly.

When I look back on my older blog posts, I see an angst ridden, emotionally unstable person, who is no more. For once, I feel like my future looks bright. My job is WAY more tolerable now, and I almost might go as far as to say that I enjoy it. I look forward to having a family some day (Mr. X and I are always arguning over who gets to stay home with the kids, and who has to keep working; I think I am losing that fight so far...)

This week the Supreme Court of California is hearing arguments on Prop 8, and I guess at this point, I don't want to get too optimistic. Either way, the fight for equality is far from over, and I no longer plan on being passive about it all. Anyone who is friends with me on Facebook knows I stopped being passive about this a while ago. I will try to keep this blog slightly more up to date, but no promises. This one was for you Steph.