Monday, January 31, 2011

Gay scripture study...

I love tradition, so I thought if Pilgrim can do Gay Gospel Doctrine, I can do Gay Scripture Study. Today, this last day of the month, I will begin a new tradition by sharing scriptures I find particularly interesting. To help keep your interest during your scripture study, I have included a few illustrations that I found especially fitting.

(Okay, cut the eye rolls. REALLY! This is a blog by a gay guy written primarily for gay guys, right? What is more gay than guys looking at guys?

I mean even closeted gays are into beefcake...(unfortunately for them, all they typically can manage is a quick glance and a guilty conscience. (Please, Marky, don't confess to your bishop next Sunday that you read this post three times...I honestly believe the Man Upstairs won't hold it against you....))).

I hope, therefore, to provide you at the end of this difficult Monday a heartfelt spiritual lift that probably won't help much with Family Home Evening tonight, but will in the end be one heck of a fun read.

Alma 53:20 And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all—-they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Do not yield your agency!

Since my teen years I have always had a testimony of the Gospel. I love the Lord and am at my best when I feel the companionship of the Spirit. I believe that Heavenly Father loves all of his children, especially his gay sons and daughters.

I have faith in the ultimate power of the atonement, believe without doubt that the purpose of life is to make final preparation for our eternal mission, accept the restoration through The Prophet, love the Book of Mormon as God’s word to his children, and have confidence that we are guided today by a prophet of God.

Having spent much of my adult life in leadership positions in the Church, I also believe that there is a definite difference between the Gospel and the Church.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sex and Intimacy: The need for a helpmeet (redux)

Early in my blog, I posted an essay about being a gay married Latter-day Saint and the need for intimacy. Much has happened in my life since I prepared that original post and with those experiences come a deeper understanding and appreciation of the issue. I am no longer married, my ties with Church doctrine are less dogmatic, and as a result, my view of sexual fidelity and Christian faith has changed somewhat. Regardless, the core concerns I raised in my original post still exist.

For any 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 gay man is an active Latter-day Saint with the traditional moral scruples ingrained by Church teaching.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How can I keep from singing....

In the early 1990's, an Irish singer, Enya, made a single of an old Christian hymn, "I Can't Keep from Singing." She used words composed by Doris Plenn, a radical activist in the 1950's and 1960's, that removed much the hymn's religious content and focused instead on a message giving hope to the socialist struggle of the time.

In contrast to Enya's version, the hymn's original lyrics, composed by a nineteenth century believer whose name has been lost to history, spoke to my soul. Over the last two years particularly, as I have stepped from the shadows into the light, this beautiful song of praise has become to me an anthem of optimism and gratitude, one that I've sung many times as a prayer of thanks.

Here's to the fruit of the loom!

Damn, I love underwear. Now I'm not talking about Munsingwear, Hanes or the Wal-Mart house brand and I'm definitely not thinking about the religious variety. I'm talking about the real stuff, the soft,
silky, butt-hugging, pigment laden, sometimes even equipment enhancing underwear that feels better on than actually wearing nothing at all.

Not too long ago, I found myself grazing Ebay without much forethought or direction. Before you could say Aussie Bum,I discovered myself browsing with more than a little interest through page after page of men's undies. For a guy who has spent most of his life choosing between white cotton and white cotton mesh, I suddenly felt like a boy on his first trip to Cooperstown.

Of course, there were the old fashioned whitey tighties and the baggy boxers. Common, definitely not cool, and in fact, kind of embarrassing. (I can remember as a small boy watching my grandfather stumble around the house in dingy, well-worn jockeys riding low on his hips. Folks--that memory is not pretty.)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

SGA: A sin against nature...

One of the things that impresses me most about the Moho blogging community is our mutual respect and unstinted civility. When we disagree, we usually politely agree that disagreement is good, that we all have to find our own way, and that it is better to be polite than to ensure everyone knows we are right.

It must have something to do with our genes. It comes with the CK's, the limp wrists, and our devotion to Madonna. We just love to be nice.

Overall, this approach has done us well. Many of us continue to be associates, friends and even lovers despite that fact that we despise the positions of those whose hearts we value.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I'm not the typical Moho....


It's clear to me that I'm not the typical Moho. Those who know me well understand that I'm a mass of contradictions. I don't fit anyone's mold or stereotype, nor do I want to. As a long-time friend told me not too long ago, "I just think I've got you figured out and then you head in a whole new direction that just blows me away."

The fact is, I'm an open book with few secrets and as a result have little to fear. That was what made coming out so liberating. My last real secret (well, almost--Mark, you've promised not to tell, remember!) is now a matter of public record! Because of that, I am really a happy man!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Five things every Moho should know about coming out...

Recently I was asked by a friend to give some advice. He asked what I would say to a gay Mormon man contemplating the prospect of leaving the closet. He was particularly interested in my perspective, having passed through the transition as a married man with a strong commitment to the Gospel.

To be honest, I can't remember the advice that slipped easily from my mouth to his ear, and I'm sure my comments were superficial without much substance. Regardless, his question has remained with me since and led me to ponder what I would actually tell someone thinking about making the most profound and life changing decision a man can face.

In the end, I decided that there are five things that every gay Moho should know.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I believe in the Gospel of Joy....

Invictus Pilgrim posted an essay today that has left me troubled. While I appreciate much of what he wrote and find that many of his thoughts ring true, what to me is a core issue was assaulted and left me empty. Hence, this post of my own.

First, let me say that Invictus Pilgrim has become a dear friend, someone who I have only recently come to know, and yet already love and admire. His quiet company and thoughtful perceptivity are comforting. His wisdom and intellect, stimulating. His openness and honesty offer candid insight into the heart of a good man trying to find his way from the dark to the light. Much of what he says and writes rings true at the deepest level.

Despite the similarities of our journey and the beginnings of a friendship that in the end, I'm sure, will be lasting, he and I have one fundamental difference.

The difference boils down to a matter of faith.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Conundrum: A paradoxical or insoluble problem

Last Sunday I had an interesting meeting with my bishop. It’s the first time since I moved into the ward last August that he has visited with me. All in all, he was kind and supportive. If tears are any sign, he shed more than a few as I shared the story of my life. He also admitted candidly that he had no conception of the hell I must have navigated to remain married to a good woman, raise five children who each served missions, graduated from BYU and were married in the temple, while myself serving faithfully for so long.

He even expressed empathy for the difficult position in which I now find myself—a man who desires to maintain some connection with the Church while at the same time remaining committed to finding a partner of my gender with whom I can ultimately marry and spend my life.

This bishop was sensitive about my position but direct in its implications. If I choose to continue coming to church, he said, I will be excommunicated. If I just fade into the neighborhood with no overt affiliation with the ward, my church membership will remain intact.

Because of you...I've been changed for good...

Okay, so I'm going to blog about friends again. I don't mean to be redundant, but the fact is: MY FRIENDS MEAN THE WORLD TO ME. I LOVE THESE GUYS LIKE LIFE ITSELF. AND I'M NOT EXAGGERATING ONE IOTA.

This evening I was rehearsing with the Salt Lake Men's Choir, a predominantly gay group of about 80 singers who in my mind rival the Tabernacle Men's Chorus in quality and technical excellence. I love my evenings with these men and would rather miss my own funeral than miss a rehearsal.

As we began sight-reading for the first time the song "For Good" from the Broadway hit musical Wicked, I found tears rolling down my cheeks. I was surprised at first and couldn't quite figure out what triggered this seemingly unwarranted display of emotion.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Why I read Invictus Pilgrim...

This evening, as is my custom, I began reviewing blog posts to catch up on the day. Admittedly, the difficulty with my family has left me feeling a bit lonely and isolated, so reading posts and sharing comments is a way to feel connected with people. One of my favorite blogs is Invictus Pilgrim. Most evenings, its the first blog I read.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit why I open Invictus Pilgrim first. It's not because of the clever writing. It's not because of the issues oriented commentary. Neither is it because the posts provide a wonderful and honest glimpse of a good man easing from one world to another.

I read Invictus Pilgrim first because...THE BOY PICTURES ARE ALWAYS WAY HOT! (And guys, you might as well step up with the truth. Most of you enjoy the pics as much or more than I do--I know what I'm saying here because many of you have admitted it to me "in confidence". :-) .)
Today's photo (see left), has a guy with bushy hair, vulnerable eyes, sumptuous lips, and a cleft chin. My dreams couldn't create a more huggable creature. Yesterday's poster boy had pecs to die for (and they were strategically exposed at just the right angle).

I'm still trying to catch my breath.

For a man past his prime who knows he will never have a boyfriend like one of Invictus' lads, I must admit that I'm just a touch jealous of the guys half my age.

But then a friend of mine is convinced that his real life is the one of his dreams and his waking world is nothing more than a dream. If that's the case, I'm actually not typing this blog post right now, but lying on a velvet divan surrounded by beautiful young men, scantily clad, each anxious to drop a pealed grape in my open mouth.

I hope I never fall asleep...or wake up...or whatever.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Confession time...

It's confession time. Knowing some of you as I do, I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but (deep breath), here goes...


I don't care if they're tall or short, muscular or skinny, black or white. They can be handsome or plain, tan or pale, smooth or hairy. They can be rolly or polly, scraggy or scrawny, manly or muliebrous. They can be standing or sitting or walking or running (I especially like to watch men run). They can be climbing up or climbing down, jumping up or falling down. They can be swimming or diving, yawning or yodeling, or simply breathing. It doesn't matter.

Bottom line—looking at men makes me happy

And, I must add, they don't even need to be naked. (In all honesty, I'd just as soon see the pretty face, broad shoulders and tight ass draped with a little CK or Zegna.)

But I’m always left with a question. If I love gazing at men so much and get so much pleasure from simple observation, why do I feel “slight pangs of guilt” when I engage in this seemingly innocuous pastime? After all, I'm just looking--sort of like window shopping at Fernwoods or Sweets or Sees.

Hmmm…that’s a question I’ll worry about tomorrow. Today, I’m just going to ignore the guilt and keep on staring.

After all, looking at men makes me feel so happy…

Monday, January 10, 2011

Family trouble...again

This coming out thing is amazing, exciting, thrilling, enervating, motivating, enlightening, astonishing, liberating and so many other
wonderful things. I spend most of my day with my head in the proverbial clouds thanking God that I finally found the right time to break free and soar!

…But when it comes to family, coming out can be--well, a bitch (said reticently in a very soft whisper)...Yes, a BITCH! (screamed at the top of my lungs and I now feel so much better, thank you very much, with sincerest apologies to you SSA and SGA guys who've probably never read such language before and are, therefore, offended.)

The situation with my family has become so complicated I don't know where to actually begin (or end for that matter) so I'll just avoid the details. Suffice it to say that my relationship with my former wife and children (who are supposedly

Saturday, January 8, 2011

My freshman roommate...a story of love (Part 1)

Last week I had dinner with my freshman roommate. Let me clarify something up front. He wasn't actually my roommate. He lived down the hall and across the way. How we met, I don't recall and how we became such close friends is now a mystery.

I do remember clearly, however, the first time I saw him and the physical impact he had on me; the quickened breath, the weak knees, the touch of vertigo, the impossible feeling that I was standing in the presence of someone holy or perhaps divine.

Albert was his name and he was tall, lean, and well-muscled for an eighteen year old boy. His hair was dark, short, and his eyes were dark, deep. His face was calm, sincere, and his smile was simply radiant.

Upon seeing me, he eagerly reached out, took my hand and shook it firmly. That handshake broke my trance, but it cemented an infatuation that remained with me for years.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The need for friends...

Last night I had dinner with my freshman roommate. It was the first time we have had opportunity to talk since I began coming out nearly two years ago.

This roommate was my savior that first year of college. I was lonely, away from home for the first time, lost in the maze that was BYU. He was tall, handsome, brave, intelligent and kind beyond words. We became inseparable. His friendship gave me the courage and strength to remain in school and remold what would have been a dark and difficult time into what became one of the happiest periods of my life.