Monday, January 30, 2012

Inclusion or exclusion...what's a gay guy to do?

Last Saturday night, I was enjoying myself at Jam with a group of friends. (Jam for you out-of-towners is perhaps Salt Lake City’s finest gay dance club. It’s definitely a cool venue.) By midnight the building was packed and a long line of fairies and fags was waiting to enter. (Fire regulations limit the number of people the club can admit at any given time.)

As I was leaving, I passed an acquaintance who was standing near the end of the line. He wanted to talk and so I stopped to chat and was somewhat taken aback by the content and tone of his comments.

“It’s ridiculous,” he complained, “that I have to stand in the cold to get into a gay club. And why do I have to stand in line? Because of all the straight people who think it’s cool to dance with gay guys. I ask you, Clive, can’t we have someplace that’s just for us?”

I know my friend was tired and a little uncomfortable. He was probably blowing off steam. But, he made me think.

Because we have been victims of exclusion for most of our lives, we fairy folk generally find inclusion a driving force. We have a difficult time fencing people out, setting boundaries.

On the other hand, is it unfair to ask, “Can’t we have someplace that’s just for us?”

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Counsel from an Anglican bishop...

This evening I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with a hero of mine, Bishop Gene Robinson, the first out gay man ordained a bishop in the Anglican (Episcopal) Community. Bishop Robinson was in town attending Sundance where a movie about his life has been screened. He was visiting a mutual friend in the Avenues and I was lucky enough to be invited to meet him.

Bishop Robinson is a wonderful man, down to earth, gregarious, and fascinating, yet gentle, kind, and Christ-like in demeanor. He spoke assuredly about the progress LGBT people have made and optimistically about our future—particularly our future as men of faith.

As we discussed the current attitude and perspective of the leaders of the LDS Church, Bishop Robinson was pleased to hear of my continued connection with the LDS Church and my assurance that in time the Church would come to accept gay and lesbian members in full fellowship. He then told me something that touched me and gave me pause.

He said, “I’m glad you are remaining with the Church, because it is from within that you can most ably be an influence for real progress. When people sever ties, either forcibly or voluntarily, their power to move our work forward diminishes. If you want change to occur, stay. Stay as long as you can, as difficult as it might be, but stay.”

To be honest, Bishop Robinson’s counsel gives me much to think about, much to pray about…

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

On the death of my friend's partner...

I have a friend who lost her partner last week.

She and her partner lived together, laughed together, worked together, ate together, drank together, celebrated together, sorrowed together, planned together, volunteered together, traveled together, served together, played together, and made love together.

Together they found joy.

But now my friend is alone. Grieving.

God said, "It is not good for man[kind] to be alone."

My bishop told me that if I want to remain a Saint in good standing, I must live alone, laugh alone, work alone, eat alone, drink alone, celebrate alone, sorrow alone, plan alone, volunteer alone, travel alone, serve alone, play alone. And at night I must remain alone....

God said, “Men are that they might have joy.”

Is it possible for men to find joy, alone? Perhaps...

But even God has a companion.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

To blog or not to blog...that is the question

It’s been a long time since my last post…primarily because I thought that I’d really said all that I needed to say about being a gay Mormon man, that I felt I’d moved to a point in my life where I wanted to keep my private life private, that I in fact wanted to talk about things in my blog that I really didn’t want to talk about with just anybody….

For whatever reason... I lost interest….

Like so many of my closest friends who because of their intellect and talent enjoyed fifteen minutes of fame through their prolific and insightful posts, I woke up one day and decided that my blogging (which was much less intellectually based or insightful than that of my friends) wasn’t filling the personal need it once did.

I decided to move on…and so I thought I had moved on…for good.

But then today I woke at my mother’s house with a thousand things to say. I wanted to talk about faith, work, life, death, friendship,  loneliness, intimacy, peace, endorphins, children, former spouses, mothers, fathers, Mormons, Catholics and Episcopalians, roommates, politics, drugs and alcohol, gay marriage, gay culture and gay prejudice, MOMs, the closet, swimming, reading, the Internet, dating, my dog, sex, anger, peace, partying, aging, music, kindness, meanness, selfishness, selflessness, and most of all…love.

But, my friends, as you will all appreciate; desire does not always translate into results…

Perhaps I will re-engage. Maybe I’ll begin to again share. Maybe I’ll reach out and successfully find a way to grapple with my life’s truth and its new found form in a way that readers might find somewhat interesting, occasionally entertaining, and possibly helpful…

Or maybe I won’t…

Only time will tell.