"I was not being dishonest with you when we married. I loved you. You were wonderful and I really did love you. I thought that the problem would be taken care of. They told me it would be. I did everything they said to do. And I thought for a few months that everything was changed."
"But, Gerald," I interrupted, "we were--I was--happy."
"And I was too, in many, many ways. Blossom, this is not your fault. Maybe you think it is, but it has nothing to do with you, only with me. Yes, we were happy. I liked being with you. I even liked being with you physically. But to me it was like...like we were such good friends that we shared everything with each other, even sex. It was never quite like... like lovers. There is this other thing in me, Blossom, and it has never gone away and I know now that it never will. There is this thing in me that needs, that insists that my strongest feelings be for a man. It is a need that seems to be as deep in me as my need for food and breath. I tried to beat it to death, to strangle it, to smother it. And it has not died. Blossom, I know the anguish you've been through this last week. Can you understand that I have been in anguish too? And for more than a week."
"Gerald," I said, "it's wrong!"
"Wrong!" Gerald put his face into his hands and then looked up. "I have taken that word and used it like a whip on myself. I have flagellated myself with that word until I'm bloody. But it does not change things. I have fasted, I have prayed. How many thousands of prayers I have prayed! And it does not change things. If my homosexuality is wrong, then I am wrong, the fact of my being is wrong. Because that's what I am!"Carol Lynn Pearson,
in Good-bye, I love you
I read Pearson's book about her gay husband dying of AIDS a few weeks ago. It was before I read the article about her daughter, Emily, having also married a gay man and thinking she could make it work. The book was strange to me. I kept reading it trying to assess Pearson's view of homosexuality. I tried to read it for the underlying message. It wasn't until I abandoned that approach and just appreciated that she was telling a story--a story with all the ups, downs, questions, and ambivalence left intact--that I really started enjoying it.
There were places she made me angry. There were many places she made me cry. I was in a public place and kept feeling self conscious. I recommend it to anyone interested in homosexuality and Mormonism.
As for the quote above, I have a few comments. I can agree that my wife and I are not lovers in a burning infatuation and lust sort of sense--something I miss greatly. But we are lovers in the most literal sense of the word. We "make" love of the true kind. We produce it from thin air by being what we are and what we want and what we can be for each other. Love is something I've been meaning to blog on but haven't gotten around to it (yes, I say this all the time!).
This passage brings out so many other issues--the hope for change, the futility of forcing the issue, the very real and unjustified self-hatred we experience, the confusion, the logical quandaries inherent in identity. Happiness without happiness. It makes me feel strangely close to Pearson.
Index of Pearson posts