Sunday, February 27, 2011

Gay scripture study...

It's that time of the month, gay brethren of the fold, to again immerse ourselves in Holy Scripture. Over the last month I have again identified verses from ancient and modern sources that have proven to be particularly meaningful to share with you. I have also identified and included illustrations that I believe make the scriptures more meaningful and relevant to us as gay men...

I hope to provide you once again with a spiritual boost to enhance and stimulate your pursuit of the sacred during the upcoming month. Read, my friends, and enjoy.

Moses 3:21 And I, the Lord God, caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and he slept, and I took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh in the stead thereof;

Believe it or not , MOMs typically fail...

Rant warning: This blog post is a rant. If I read one more well-meaning (read naive) Mormon gay boy claim that because he has faith, he’s going to marry the right woman and make it work, I’M GOING TO SCREAM!

This morning I awoke to read a blog post by (Gay) Mormon Guy as I often do. His irrepressible faith, optimism and naivety, though sometimes misguided, are a refreshing way to start the day. He is definitely a sweet boy.

His post today, however, was not sweet. It was DANGEROUS. And because he has so many people that read his blog and actually believe what he says, I felt duty bound to respond.

(I tried to respond on (Gay) Mormon Guy’s blog in a courteous, objective manner citing data and research to show the inherent flaws of his position. Because he refused to publish my response, I felt obligated to respond with this post.)

(Gay) Mormon Boy emphasized that, because the Brethren have said in an official statement that “Persons who have (1) cleansed themselves of any transgression and (2) who have shown their ability to deal with these feelings or inclinations and put them in the background, and (3) feel a great attraction for a daughter of God and therefore desire to enter marriage and have children and enjoy the blessings of eternity — that’s a situation when marriage would be appropriate.

Let me respond to this assumption with a question that I don’t mean to sound disrespectful, despite the fact that it in fact sounds that way.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Old friends...

Today I'd like to riff about friends. For a guy who has lived his life pretty much without any real male amigos, I've got a batch of them now.

Have I ever written about how much I love these guys? (And when I say love, I'm not using the term as a metaphor; I really do love them.) They have become an integral part of my life that would be impossible to leave behind.

I've been a consultant for the last twelve years and am getting tired of the grind. I was thinking about applying for a job in a far-away city, a city that I enjoy and in the past would have found enticing. As I began to consider the prospect, I came to the conclusion that at this point in my life there is absolutely no way I could leave Utah. Why? I couldn't leave my friends.

Last night I had sixteen of my closest friends over for a talk and eat party. We all brought food and spent the evening talking and eating. The first person arrived a little after 7:00 and the last person left a little after 1:00.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thank God Almighty I'm free at last!

My daughter and I were having lunch the other day when she made an observation. She said, "Dad, you've changed. To me you've become too gay." Her statement set me back a bit. "What is too gay?" I asked. "Well, you know, all you talk about is gay stuff. All you do is gay stuff. It's like your old life doesn't exist anymore."

Honestly, her comment caused me to think and think deeply. After pondering her words for several days, I came to the conclusion that my daughter, in fact, was right--at least to a point.

My old life no longer exists. The straight closeted father she has always known and loved shattered and died when he hit the wall. Those broken pieces that made him and his life can never be reassembled. Ever.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


ButterFly Man (see February 19 post) asked me to dinner tonight. Great time, but no butterflies. It was sort of like going out with my brother. Enjoyable time, but didn't feel the chemistry. I guess I'm a little confused.

BFM is coming to my party Friday night. We'll see how that works out...and then there are my homeys who will probably have a lot to say about him once he's gone. Who knows, maybe he just feels sorry for a slightly better than average looking middle aged gay guy who doesn't have a partner....

But then there was the thirty-something hunk at the gym who stared at me and then stared at me some more and finally made me so nervous staring at me I had to hoof it to the locker room. For some reason I kept thinking, "Why is he staring? Did I cut him off in the parking lot or accidentally trip him in the locker room?" Why didn't I just have the courage to smile back and say, "My name is Clive. What's your name, handsome?"

Okay, I know I've said this dating stuff is fun, but boy can it be exhausting...

Almost Lover by A Fine Frenzy

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Gays, sex, and medicine

Warning: Although this post contains graphic content that some might find offensive, please read it anyway. It just might save your life!

While I have many friends, most of these people are actually casual acquaintances. I take friendship seriously, so I limit real friendship to those people who mean the world to me. The reason I'm saying this is to underscore that my circle of friends is actually not very large.

Over the last two months, several of these real friends have come to me admitting that they had contracted an STD. My friends are not the type of guys who generally sleep around or engage in slutty behavior. These are guys who are usually careful about whom they date and even more careful about what they do on dates--if you get my drift.

As a result of their admissions, I asked a doctor friend of mine about sex and the gay world. He said, and I quote: "BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!"

Monday, February 21, 2011

So my blog has racy pictures... and that's a problem?

Several of my friends have commented recently about my choice of photos to "enhance" the message of my blog. To my surprise, their criticism has not been altogether positive. These friends have expressed concern about the sensual nature of some of the pictures and asked that I tone things down just a bit. One friend went so far as to say that "[my] writing was much too good to be attached to such lewd, sexually degrading material." (Lewd, sexually degrading material????? Please, Bert...Really?).

Well, I understand clearly where these people are coming from. We all live in a world in which the female form is lauded for its beauty and placed in prominence at every turn. A guy (gay of course) can't drive down the frickin' freeway without having a woman's T&A's forced in his lap by one billboard after another. The television is even worse. Thank goodness I've got TIVO. No Bud Lite or Victoria's Secret commercials in my house.

To society at large, all this sex and skin seems to be perfectly acceptable so long as the sex and skin is of the female variety...But put a little man flesh on a gay blog post every now and then and the world falls apart. Sodom and Gomorrah here we come.

Let me interject and reassure that I have no interest in pornography. Pictures of male sex acts may in fact be as revolting to me as they are to my Lesbian sisters. On the other hand, I believe the apex of God's creation is the male body. When viewed in its primitive state, it offers a true glimpse of eternity and confirms the divine nature of God's magnum opus.

And so my beloved friends and readers, I will continue to search for and post photographs and drawings that represent best the lessons I am trying to teach. I promise to avoid photos that I deem are gratuitously sexual in nature, but for the benefit of most of my gay readers, I will continue to post artistic renderings that show man and his loving nature in all its beauty and grace.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Stepping into the void...

Recently, I've caught myself thinking again and again about how different my life is today. Exactly twelve months ago, I was making slow but steady progress in my effort to throw open the closet door. I was testing new friendships, new activities and new feelings. I was barely managing my marriage and struggling terribly with the thought of divorce. I was still nursing the very painful wounds that resulted from the end of my first love affair, mostly platonic, but real nonetheless.

The path I walked a year ago was rocky, clouded over, and difficult, but my optimism and faith drove me onward. The perpetual glow of the distant horizon beckoned me, taunted me, and called me to move, to adapt, to change. And so, despite my fear, I did.

Impossible choices were made. Irrevocable commitments cemented. And then it was all behind me.

With some confidence and a little faith, I stepped off of the ledge of the mountain I'd been climbing my entire life into the void that surrounded me, half expecting to tumble viciously to the razor sharp rocks below.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Maybe I will fall in love...

Rather than beat around the bush, I'll get right to the point. I had a date this afternoon, my third this week. This date was different.

After about an hour of talking and laughing and enjoying his company, surprisingly, I actually felt those little butterflies in my chest for the first time in months . You know what I'm talking about--those flighty little creatures that rear their dangerous heads when things are going just a bit too well; when you begin to get an inkling that there might be real potential for something more than just good conversation and a quick make-out.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I’m struggling with my faith…

Throughout my life I have tried to be a man of faith. I have always believed in the personal nature of God, that he is there to hear and answer my prayers, to guide my footsteps and in the end fill my life with purpose. I know he loves me, that he hears me and that his greatest desire and ambition is that I might have joy.

This faith has always been tied inextricably to the Gospel of the Restoration. The Gospel’s principles ring true in my core; its precepts provide me direction and ultimately, comfort. They help me understand God’s nature, his purpose, and my divine inheritance. Through this understanding, my faith has been a tremendous source of strength and insight.

But now I am separated from the Church. My bishop doesn’t know what to do with me. My LDS neighbors feel uncomfortable around me. Unfortunately, when I’m involved in Church activities, I feel utterly alone.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Please don't be a whiner....

Tonight I went on a date. As I've said in previous posts, I'm an avid dater and enjoy the whole dating scene. To me, meeting people is interesting and fun, especially when the date might just possibly turn into something special.

This evening was a first date with a guy I'd met online (yes, another one of those popular hook-up sites (please don't roll your eyes, Joey)). The guy's picture was cute, modest, and his profile, grounded. I was actually looking forward to the experience.

Anyway, the date turned out like so many I've been on recently.

As I usually suggest, we meet for a drink at Diva's on 3300 South (SHAMELESS PLUG--Diva's is the best tea house in the SL valley. If you haven't been, go, and order a sticky bun or the bread pudding. Both are to die for!)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day: If music be the food of love... on.

"The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" Roberta Flack

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Gospel Doctrine Lesson 6: Coming Out

When I mentioned to a straight LDS friend that I was preparing a Gospel Doctrine lesson from a gay perspective, he expressed shock. This friend, open minded and gay-friendly as he is, asked, “Don’t you think that’s sacrilegious - that you’re pushing things a little too close to the edge?”

As recently as 2007, Elder David Bednar said in General Conference, “The basic principles outlined…in scripture are essential for us to understand and apply in our lives.”

This is good counsel. I, in fact, would assert that one of the most important things we gay Latter-day Saints can do is to study the scriptures. By learning and knowing the scriptures, we secure wisdom and perspective that helps us remember mortality’s fragile nature and avoid the decadence and superficiality that ultimately robs life of its meaning.

If, as Elder Bednar advises, we are also to apply the scriptures in our lives, it is essential for us as gay men and women to apply them from a gay perspective. I would suggest that this is what makes holy writ especially meaningful for us. Without studying the scriptures with the intention of learning gay truths that can enrich and uplift our gay lives, we are not utilizing this divine resource to its fullest.

With this in mind, I found today’s lesson particularly replete with analogy and metaphor that provides significant guidance to us gay Latter-day Saints as we struggle to find balance. Although the title of today’s lesson in the Gospel Doctrine Manual is “They Straightway Left Their Nets”, I would like to focus on one aspect of the lesson which I would more appropriately entitle “Coming Out.”

Saturday, February 12, 2011

An anniversary dinner with my former wife...

Last Saturday my former wife and I had dinner together, the first time in several months. It was our wedding anniversary and so we thought that sharing an evening out would be appropriate--a time to celebrate the wonderful years we enjoyed together and the fruit of those years, our children.

The meal was cordial and the discussion candid, but as the evening wore on it was clear that rather than enjoy each other's company, we were merely enduring. After only an hour or two, my wife suggested that she still needed to do some shopping and so it would be best to call it an early evening. Honestly, I was relieved.

Since our separation and divorce, now six months behind us, much has happened in our lives.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A troubling problem...

For the last several days I've been troubled. Because I've been troubled, I've thought of a hundred different ways to write a blog post about the problem. Each time I've begun, I've moved a good hour's work to the recycle bin (hence no posts on my blog for over a week).

Finally, tonight I came to the conclusion that instead of taking a thorough and analytical approach to the problem as is my custom, I would, instead, throw the issue out to the world in simple straightforward terms.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Stand up! Come out! Speak out!

After reading a blog post and subsequent comments this morning, I couldn't help but feel a little riled. Sometimes it just gets wearying to hear people disgorge over and over that the LDS Church is responsible for nearly all the gay-hate the world has to offer--particularly as it relates to young people.

As a totally out and very happy former bishop of an LDS student ward, I think I've got a pretty good handle (at least for me) on the subject of young gay men and the LDS church. I had a number of queer men and women in my ward--at one time as many as 19 (that I knew about), and every one of them struggled with their sexuality. That struggle, surprisingly, was only tangentially related to sex.

What straight people fail to understand is that being queer impacts nearly every aspect of my life, from what I think about when I first wake up in the morning to how I relate to people to what I do for a living and how I approach life in general. It's not just about who I love or who I choose to sleep with.

Having spent most of my life outside of Utah and having had students in my ward from all over the world, the issue isn't just the Church (which a few individuals in the MoHo community who thrive on spewing hate and bigotry would like everyone to believe.)

Get your dating game on, gay boys....

This afternoon I met a guy, good personality, decent looking, easy to talk to, who was really down in the dumps about his social life. It's been a year, he said, since he's been out on a date and although he is only in his early 40's, he is sure life has passed him by. He has a great career, a good job, plenty of money, but no one to share all this with. And as a result, to him his life is empty and for the most part meaningless.

My heart went out to the guy and I felt absolutely terrible, especially because I had one great date yesterday afternoon and two wonderful dates today (and it's not even the weekend yet.) I couldn't help but wonder why so many normal guys, like my friends and I, date regularly and why so many great guys sit dejectedly at home.