Friday, December 31, 2010

My first New Year's Eve...I'm out to find a man...

It's my first New Year's Eve out to the world and I'm not going to spend it sitting at home. I'm not just going to be out, I'm actually going out!

Thanks to my new favorite book, The Secret, I know this is the night I'll find my man. I've been sending vibes to the universe all day. The universe won't, thank goodness, let me down.

As in everything worth doing, preparation is the key. First there's the obligatory trip to the gym. The arms and pecs are pumped and throbbing. The abs and ass are tight and firm. Not bad, not bad.

After the gym comes the obligatory spray on tan and a quick laser tooth whitener. Getting better, getting better.

Then it's home where the real fun begins--trying to decide which pair of holey jeans and which skin-tight shirt to choose to cloth my bulging body. I want something that will stretch enough to emphasize my pecs, sheer enough to show off my veins and just the right color to complement my Mystic.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Righteous indignation (or did I just make an ass of myself...)

Those who know me generally see me as an easy going congenial kind of guy. Those who know me well know that I have a dark side, that when my buttons are pushed (which isn't very often), I can get more than a little riled.

Tonight my buttons were pushed.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The second adolescence…

It’s odd experiencing adolescence in middle age. Since coming out, the constraints and mores that have circumscribed acceptable behavior for my entire adult life seem to have dissipated like “a breeze through the oak.”

In their place pulse a sense of wonder and amazement, courage and audacity, vigor and power, sensation and sensuality, urges and compulsions that are new and, candidly, on occasion, overwhelming. It’s as though I’ve entered a brave new world and am again confronting the mysterious first signs of manhood, the deepening voice, the thickening body, the pangs of desire, and the apprehension and trepidation that make the unknown not just a bit frightening, but even more importantly, enticing.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The ultimate obscenity...

This past summer, my wife and I made the most difficult decision of our lives. After decades of a mixed orientation marriage, she the straight wife and I the gay husband, we decided that divorce was our only option. We love each other and had built our relationship on a foundation of integrity and fidelity, but the emotional and spiritual cost of sustaining that relationship had become too great.

The task of meeting with friends and loved ones individually to explain our new situation seemed overwhelming. After much thought and prayer, we decided to invite family and friends to our home and tell them together, answer questions, and provide some degree of understanding as to what led to our decision.

Several days before our planned meeting, our bishop invited us to meet with him. After cordial introductions, he informed us that if we continued with our gathering, he would consider us in apostasy and would initiate disciplinary action against both my wife and me immediately.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

So it wasn't my last post....

Okay, a guy (especially a gay guy) has a right to change his mind every once in a while. And so I've changed mine.

After careful consideration, I've decided that I'll continue to post on this blog and will recommit to sharing my heart and my experience.

Who knows? It might actually help me navigate the rough seas that I have yet to face. If I haven't learned anything over the last few years, I've learned that while my voyage is new to me, it's all water under the stern for many of you. Your comments and guidance have had a profound impact on me and my life and will continue to do so. Keep your opinions coming. I appreciate your advice and insights tremendously.

Friday, December 17, 2010

My last post...

Almost 4 months have passed since my last post. Those four months have been among the best of my life. I am divorced and have established myself as an independent, fully open gay man. I have begun creating a variety of friendships and finding a place in the gay community. I feel at peace with my decisions and have confidence in the direction those decisions are taking me.

There are only two regrets with which I struggle. I regret that my new life, which is a source of joy and honest contentment for me, is causing my former wife and our children heartache. I'm sure these feelings of sadness will eventually subside, but seeing the people I love struggle with the implications of my decision is difficult.

The second regret involves my feelings about the Church. While my testimony of the Restoration is as strong as ever, my experience with local ecclesiastical leaders and the experience of nearly all of my friends make it difficult for me to remain active. While I continue to attend meetings each Sunday, I do so with sadness. It seems that while Church leaders talk of acceptance of all of God's children at the table of Christ, only those who fit the pattern of the potential god may actually partake. Since I have no interest in godhood as I currently understand it, the most I can enjoy of the meal of Christ is its aroma--insufficient motivation for me to remain at the table.

And so I come to my last paragraph. I am now unmarried and my ties to the Church, tenuous. As a result, any future posts on this blog fall outside its original intent.

Let me close, as any good Latter-day Saint might do, with my testimony. I know that I have been guided by my Heavenly Father over these last years to find joy. I now feel that joy. That is the sum and total of our purpose: "Men are that they might have joy." For that joy I am truly grateful.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Letter to a friend: buying furniture, pornography addiction, testimony and obedience

Dear friend:

Getting the email from you yesterday made my day. Thanks for keeping this volley in the air. Now I guess it’s my turn to get the ball back into your court.

Yes, I did spend most of yesterday shopping for furniture. Thankfully I was able to find a bedroom set and a sofa and two chairs for the front room. I’ve still got to locate stuff for the dining room and second bedroom. Because I’m pretty picky about furniture, making a final decision can be agonizing. (Sounds pretty gay, right?) My wife told me last week that one of the things she’s looking forward to as a result of the divorce is selecting furniture without my input. She’ll tell anyone that that is one of the worst things about being married to a gay guy—no final say on what goes where.

I was interested to hear about your pornography addiction.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A letter to our bishop...

Dear Bishop:

Please accept my apology for writing this letter. I have to this point in my life avoided criticism of my Church leaders and feel extremely uncomfortable offering criticism now. I do so only after considerable time spent in meditation and prayer with more than a little fear of reprisal. But at the same time, I feel it imperative to document last week’s interview with you and humbly offer suggestions that might have made the experience positive.

Our meeting on Wednesday evening was emotionally and spiritually draining. Admittedly, I have never participated nor anticipated that I would participate in an ecclesiastical interview that was so devoid of a spiritual basis or for that matter, the Spirit. That its tenor and content were so antithetical to your character and basic Gospel principles was shocking and disappointing.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Another letter to the family...

Dear Family:

It’s been a while since I’ve spoken with many of you so I thought I’d write a quick note to bring you all up to date.

My recent decisions have, I’m sure, caused no end of anxiety and turmoil. I am truly sorry for that. If there was any way I could find peace in my life without hurting you, I would have done it. But some things are inevitable and this was one of those things. It was just a matter of time and it’s usually healthier to lance the boil earlier than later.

And so, my family, the boil has been lanced. The healing can now finally begin.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Another step on the road...

My world has turned itself upside down since my last post. Three weeks ago I was vulnerable, confused, insecure and overwhelmed. Today, a mere three weeks later, I am calm and confident. What a difference confronting an impossible decision and seizing it makes in attitude and outlook.

As I related in my previous posts, coming out to my family was not the easiest of life experiences. Following an uncharacteristic argument with my wife and sons, I left our family conclave devastated to spend four days with my mother contemplating my future.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My letter to the family...

Why I'm sharing this with the world, I don't know. Maybe it might speak to someone in a way that is helpful.

Dear Family,

I owe you all an explanation and apology for leaving so abruptly last Tuesday evening so here goes.

Mom may have mentioned that I’ve been battling depression the last 6-8 months. The lingering death of my dad, the death of my sister, the loss of two businesses, the crash of my consulting business, and the resultant financial challenges have been just a little too much. Mix with all of that the irreconcilable conflict between issues related to being a gay man and my love for my wife and children and, well, life has been hard to say the least. Some days the best I could muster was a blank stare at a computer screen. Thanks to a good therapist and medication, my mental state has improved somewhat over the last month. I still have bad days, but the number of good days is increasing.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Coming out to the kids...not so good

What I had hoped to be a great family conclave turned into an unmitigated disaster and admittedly, I’m mostly to blame. To make a long story short, I came out to my children (who are all married) and their spouses on Sunday evening. While the discussion was positive and all were seemingly accepting, there was an undercurrent of tension with my oldest and youngest sons that was unmistakable. I doubt the tension was obvious to others, but I could tell it was there.

After two days, the strain finally erupted in a yelling match on a totally unrelated matter between these sons and me in which most of the family including my wife piled on me. In an impulsive reflex, I told my wife I was leaving her, gathered my things, jumped in my car and began the four hour drive to our home.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The need for a helpmeet...

For a married gay man who craves male intimacy, the question of fidelity is always a nagging issue. Specifically, when does intimacy move from perfectly permissible to pressing the boundaries to actually crossing that sometimes not so indelible line? This is particularly difficult if the married gay man is an active Latter-day Saint with the traditional moral scruples ingrained by Church teaching.

The easy answer is the one to which most heterosexual church members adhere--any interaction between two men beyond a good conversation, a handshake or an occasional hug is entirely impermissible. For heterosexuals, that is an easy answer, but for those of us who are gay, the reality is much more complex.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Failing to find intimacy

Since childhood, I’ve had an empty spot in my middle, this unbearable longing for male intimacy—a feeling that at times becomes an overwhelming yearning for oneness.

Understand that I’m not necessarily talking about sex. Realistically, intimacy might involve sex, but to me it is more typically the sharing of an emotional, intellectual, and yes, even spiritual connection that transcends a mere physical act that comes easily and then evaporates quickly.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

On sharing secrets...

It's difficult for me to write about private things in a public forum--to bring what others might judge to be secrets and skeletons into the light of day. I rationalize not writing by saying I have nothing to say or that I need to provide the proper context or that I should start at the beginning or whatever excuse feels good at the moment.

But today is different. Today I realize that I am going through an experience that for me is unique--that will reset the course of my life and potentially the lives of those I hold most dear. Documenting that experience is critical. It will serve as a witness, for good or ill, that I chose to be an active partisan in the battle of life and not just a casual bystander. In the end, when my mind wanders and my memory is weak, this blog will be evidence that I through my choices, made a difference.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kissing the boy next door...

I've known I was "different" since kindergarten. Instead of having a first crush on the little girl across the street, I wanted to kiss the boy next door. One mid-summer afternoon when he and I were alone behind the garage, I grabbed him, pulled him close and planted a quick one squarely on his lips. In return, he slugged me in the stomach and ran home crying.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"Sweetie, I'm Gay"

We had been married for nearly five years when I first confessed the secret of my life. In a fit of frustration and loneliness, I whispered as I lay beside her at the end of a long and difficult day, "Sweetie, I'm gay." In those early years our hormones ran hot, but we kept our intimate fantasies to ourselves. As a result, my wife was surprised by the revelation and failed to grasp its implications. "This shouldn't be a problem," she responded with a yawn. "You love me, right?" "Yes," I said, "I love you." "Then it will all work out," she concluded and fell gently into my arms and an easy sleep.