A Group Blog

This blog's purpose is to give voice to the lived experiences of gay Mormons, because, let's face it, we are awesome. But, I'll need your help. My experiences are going to be just as unique as the next guy, so I'll need input from you readers on your thoughts, experiences, and feelings. When you want to post something, just email me your draft to anothergaymormon13@gmail.com and I'll post it for you. And feel free to comment on any post.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Tearing Yourself From the Darkness

Saturday, September 28, 2013 0
One of the greatest messages I hear from the gay Mormon community (which I think corresponds quite well with that of the general gay populace) is hope for the future and for living life well now. The purpose of the movements and for blogs like this is to help people who are struggling to realize that there are possibilities/choices/opportunities for them in life. Hope and optimism, while feelings that everyone needs and wants, finds particular meaning in the gay community. This is partly why I finally came to accept my sexuality and approach other gay people, albeit warily: they were happy and hopeful.

However, underlying many of these people's stories of acceptance and possibility is a history of dark struggle and deep turmoil. I don't have too much knowledge about gay people outside of the LDS religion, but for those within that church I can empathize with the struggle that being gay and Mormon places on a person. It seems at many times that there is an impossible tug-of-war between the two. This situation has caused many to contemplate, attempt, and even commit suicide.

This last week or so I realized that I had found my dark place again. I had started to resent everything about the world, society, and God. I find myself throwing my anger back at God many times. I don't know why it is. Maybe I think an all-powerful God that sees so much struggle should have the power to alleviate it. Maybe I think an all-loving God that sees so much struggle would want to do so. He should know that I can't handle this, or that I wish for an easier life, or that I have a myriad of other worries so it would be really nice if this situation just simmered down. I've gotten past the point of wanting to not be gay anymore, because let's be honest, sometimes it can be pretty great. However, I wish that social pressures were different, that church members were more understanding, and that His doctrine was just a little more clear.

Well, with these thoughts ruminating in my head, I was reading Descartes' Meditations for my philosophy class and I came across a little gem: "Indeed, I have reason to give thanks to [God] who has never owed me anything for the great bounty that he has shown me, rather than thinking myself deprived or robbed of any gifts he did not bestow."

Wow. I think too often I dwell on the negative or difficult parts of my life without realizing that there is a plethora of things I don't have to worry about. I know this seems like just another "be grateful and you'll be happy" post, but seriously. God is not intentionally depriving or robbing us of a happy life or an easier time. One of the things that I believe most about God is that he puts us in situations that will give us the greatest possibility of happiness and success (however you want to define it) in this life and the next (if you want to believe in it).

Following that, my homosexuality is really just a means to a happier and more fulfilling life. Shouldn't I seek to embrace that possibility? I'm not suggesting that someone leave the church and marry a man (not that it is a bad thing either). I just think that this is something that God has given me to have a wonderful time on earth--even a fun time. Why not? Why can't I be happy and gay and Mormon? God wants that! I think I need to remind myself that, instead of identifying ways that being gay can be problematic, I can actually look for ways that it makes me happy. (Not that it makes me "blessed", but just happy and hopeful).

So, a couple questions for the gay Mormon populace: how do you see being gay as a means to be happy? also, what are your ways for pulling yourselves out of hard times?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Just some feelings...

Sunday, September 22, 2013 3
So, about a month ago I ended my sessions with an amazing therapist. He said I "graduated" even though I felt as ridiculously unbalanced as before. But, he said to email him in a month or so and let him know how things were going. After re-reading the email I just sent him, I realized that it was a good description of how I feel a lot of the time. I wonder if others feel the same way, so here is my email:

I know we said I'd email you after a month, but I don't remember when the last time we met was, so I figured tonight was as good as any. Well, that might not be true, because I'm in one of those "reflective moods" which generally turns out a little depressing sounding.

In any case, I'm doing 'fine'. That's generally the answer that I give people when they ask, even though it makes them a little uncomfortable that I don't say something more positive. 

The real issue is that I'm having an internal "freak out", but I'm managing to keep everything under control on the surface (whatever that means). It feels like a large rush of rage, anger, frustration, fear, desperation, and all the negative feelings are just festering inside me. Ever since school started, things started getting weird, as if I just retreated into my impersonal, academic self. I can't let out emotions around people anymore and I'm always putting on a facade of happiness. I have some close friends that I've told about my stresses, but even then I end up laughing about it to them as if it wasn't a big deal.

Then I watched a film, which you might have seen since it was even on national television, of the two guys in SLC who got engaged (with a rather cheesy flash mob). I instantly became angry and upset. I was furious that my stance in the church wasn't allowing me to have that experience of marriage to a man. I was enraged at my homosexuality that I feel too uncomfortable to have that experience with a woman. It left me quite hopeless and frustrated. I had quite the mini-mental breakdown and had to throw myself at my work to be able to avoid it. But it has left a sour taste in my mouth ever since.

That being said, I'm generally doing well. I'm branching out in my ward trying to meet people and become well-established there. I taught priesthood on Sunday and I've been called as the choir director. I've signed up for some musical numbers as well. A good friend of mine and I climbed Nebo the other weekend and I'm in a soccer class with one of my best friend and on a soccer intramural team. I'm feel quite "well-rounded", but at the end of the day, I just see it as putting a happy veil over a sucky situation. And that may be what it is. But I continue to ask myself if 1) I want to just be repairing cracks in the depression wall the rest of my life, trying to keep the flood at bay. and 2) if that is even possible. 

I've come to the point where I just want to give everything up. I'm so tired of the struggle to stay on top. My dream: move to a beautiful European country, work some base job of minimum wage, and just live. No more worries about homosexuality. I'd just go with the flow. No worries of religion. I'd live in a little Catholic town where the only church is a small parish. No worries of "being the best" and "making it big". I'd be giving all that up for the simple life. It seems so much easier right now.

But, I always come back to realizing that there is more to life than just "making it through". I don't think I could live with myself if I just lived and died. I want to do it well. Whatever that means. That's honestly the only thing from keeping me from running. Oh, if I just had the courage to run. Maybe that same courage could be used to actually face things here.

I don't know what else to say. That's pretty much how I'm feeling right now.

Uh...Yep. This is that moment during our sessions when it gets uncomfortably silent because I have no idea where to go with it.

So, I guess I'm going to hear from you soon. Thanks for all your help.

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