Thursday, October 19, 2006

Goldilocks and the three queers

Some who misunderstand the nature of same-gender attraction would argue that one cannot experience an attraction that is so"unnatural" and still be in God's full favor. Others may claim that one should focus on "changing" and doing all within his or her power to "overcome" same-gender attraction. Although our faith in God may require us to reconcile things in our life that may influence the attraction, putting an unbalanced and unhealthy emphasis and focus on "change" as a prerequisite to happiness or divine love and favor can be counterproductive, discouraging, and emotionally exhausting.
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People who experience same-gender attraction may often feel overwhelming pressure to "change" the nature of their attractions, or their sexuality-and they'll do anything to make it happen. There is a strong tendency to feel that no matter what our challenges may be, if we pray more, fast more, read scripture more, or attend church and the temple more, then we can and will "change." Yet, despite how often or how deeply and sincerely many have prayed, fasted, read scripture, or attended the temple, they have continued to experience feelings of same-gender attraction with little or no change in intensity.
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We who have the challenge of same-gender attraction have a responsibility to do all we can to understand our feelings or attractions and work to alter anything that may have influenced the attraction, but it is also important to remember that those things in and of themselves cannot alter our natures in any saving way: only Christ can do that.
Ty Mansfield in In Quiet Desperation



My last post may have given the impression that I favor obsessing about changing to heterosexual orientation. I don't. I'm more like Goldilocks in that famous fable, Goldilocks and the Three Queers.

Once upon a time, Goldilocks found himself discussing same-gender attraction with three LDS friends who were same-gender attracted. The first friend, who called himself PapaQueer, took a pretty militant stance about same-gender attraction. He felt his feelings were ungodly and he vowed to do anything to change them, because that's the only way he could imagine being happy and pure. He had already been through reparative therapy, fasted til he was thin as a rail, and prayed til his knees were bloody. His eyes had a fire of determination that was both a little inspiring and scary.

MamaQueer, on the other hand, believed her feelings of same-gender attraction were completely acceptable, and indeed, a vital part of who she was. She felt that even given the chance to change her sexual orientation, she would not do it because to do so would be sacrificing an integral part of herself. Her apathy was both a little comforting and scary.

Goldilocks found himself bothered by both of these queers. PapaQueer really seemed to need some therapy. He had an unhealthy self-image and seemed to be in denial. MamaQueer was much happier, but seemed to be oblivious to the conflict between her image of herself and the eternal role Goldilocks understood she could someday fulfill.

Then the wee BabyQueer spoke up. BabyQueer's view seemed just right. He accepted his same-gender attraction as an incidental part of his identity, nothing to worry about necessarily, but also as something that needed some careful attention as sexuality is an important issue. He wanted his views to deepen and mature with healthy mental attitudes and spiritual insights, and so gave the matter quite a bit of thought. "Change" was never out of the question. In fact, change seemed like the best solution and worth some investigation. However, if change were not possible, that would be okay. He planned to spend time thinking and reading on the subject, but to avoid obsessing about it or making it the primary concern of his life. Deliberate and proactive, but not obsessive.

Goldilocks wanted to kiss BabyQueer, but realized that would be counter-productive. So, he left and went to sleep because it's going to be a long night in the hospital.

The end.

14 comments:

Attempting said...

I think I'll take the role of babyqueer. Since i'm the youngest and most endearing member of the queerosphere

Yet i'm confused on how two gay bears fathered a love child.

Anonymous said...

A great bedtime story...

Stress to the point of shut-down does no one any good. "Change" is another name for "repentance". But natural attraction is not something to "repent of". Learning to love - as Christ loved - now that is what we're supposed to do!

AtP: You make me laugh! You always have the best take!

Beck.

Master Fob said...

Doesn't the story end with the three queers eating Goldilocks?

--Mama Queer

-L- said...

Although I'm still at the hospital and still sleep deprived and probably unable to coherently communicate anything of value, I thought I'd better put in one of those disclaimers that the queers in the previous fable are entirely fictional and any similarity to an actual queer is entirely coincidental. Really.

But you probably already knew that and I'm just too stupid to realize it. The point here was that there's a happy place somewhere between the unhealthy extremes. I'm doing my best to be in that place, and that's pretty much all any of us can do.

I don't want to kiss anybody either. That was just a joke. I need sleep through an IV line. That would be nice. Ah... sleep. Zzzzz....

Scot said...

Frankly, I’m fed up with all your stereotypes, L. You tried to hide the connection, but not all “queers”, as you so rudely put it, are bears. Some of them? Sure, and they have their own bars I’m told, but I’m not and you shouldn’t generalize.

Apathetically yours,
Scot

Just in case you’re too sleepy to notice:
;-)

Loyalist (with defects) said...

I concur. What a great story. One that certainly has some insight and food for thought.

good luck on the sleeping portion though.

LOL

Samantha said...

I appreciate the fact that you included a female bear. And even though I don't necessarily agree with her views, I think I'd like to kiss her...

Samantha said...

Ummmm....I meant Queer, not bear, yeah, that's it.

AtP--weren't you paying attention?? The Papa Queer was trying to change with all his might, hence--a Baby Queer (you)...actually, I was okay with this story Master Fob revealed that he was Mama Queer. Now I'm all confused, as well. And I'm no longer sure I want to kiss Mama Queer...

-L-, I believe further clarification would be in order for all of us who missed the actual point of the allegory and got caught up in the highly imaginative details.

-L- said...

The ambiguity is part of the art... ;-)

I have no idea what the hell half the stuff I write means.

Another other said...

Um, I'm like the last person on earth to read this (or, you know, therabouts) but I'm here to say: that was hilarious. And very illustrative. And good.

Change seems to be on a lot of our minds. Don't want to jinx anything of course, but I have an entry in the works about it... look for that in the next *checks watch* uhh, year.

Unusual Dude said...

You're right, Other. Change is on my mind too. And bears. And honey. Can I get some change to buy cinnamon bears and honey? Oh, wait.

For the record, this is one of my all time favorite posts of yours, -L-. I've found that it helps when you make fun of something you are concerned about because it puts it in the right perspective. I think you know that this whole change issue is important to me just cause I want to figure it out. But everything will be OK if I don't figure it out right now.

I'm off to dip some cinnamon bears in honey. Yuck.

Rebecca said...

Nice story - a funny, illustrative take on an old standard. While I don't necessarily agree with your views, it is, of course, none of my business to make some absolute judgment about them. (wait for it, wait for it) However (yep, there it is), I'm not sure calling Mama Queer's attitude "apathy" is accurate. Just because Mama Queer doesn't want, or believe she needs, to change doesn't really mean she's apathetic. Mama Queer seems to be doing what she believes is right - and that's never apathetic.

-L- said...

I think you're right, Rebecca. Apathy isn't the best word. Being wrongly content is what I was going for. Whether that accurately describes the attitude of accepting homosexuality indefinitely within the context of an LDS worldview is debatable. But you probably know where I side on that.

Rebecca said...

Sure - that seems like a better way to describe it.