The principle that Elder Wickman has talked about, in a nutshell, is that if you are trying to live with and maintain ascendancy over same-gender attractions, the best way to do that is to have groups that define their members in terms other than same-gender attractions.Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Enter: the queerosphere. The catch 22 about same gender attraction is that if you believe some of the experts, fostering platonic friendships with other guys is a great exercise in healing. It's a way to belong to the community of men, to feel accepted as you, to have the intimacy you crave without sexualizing it.
Blogging has the added benefit of being remote (and therefore less likely to culminate in french kissing). It's the first chance I've ever had to really discuss this issue with anyone who had given it some thought. I enjoy discussing it with faithful saints in a similar situation, as well as nice folks who disagree with the church. The angry screamers I can do without, but they seem to avoid me for the most part. Knock on wood.
But I can't avoid the nagging feeling that Oaks is telling me to be in a group that doesn't define it's members in terms of this issue.
It makes sense, when I consider the small amount of info I have on how cyber-friendships have turned out for others. I know that gay LDS men who have joined online support groups have sometimes been propositioned repeatedly by other members... including nude photos. I know that people have hooked up in person after meeting online--sometimes for supportive fellowship, sometimes for sex, and sometimes for supportive fellowship that is at risk of becoming sex.
For example, what do you make of a virtual stranger who offers to fly to your hotel room when you are lonely and thinking of looking at porn? The ostensible reason is friendship and support. But the circumstances aren't appropriate. I declined the offer not because I didn't trust the person (who very well may read this), but because it didn't seem right. It's scary stuff, these waters we swim in online.
The in-person support groups seem to have just as much baggage, if not more. Would I want to attend even if I had the opportunity? I kind of don't think so. I know they're helpful for some, but at what risk? And when the activities involve camping and sports, what happens when it's time to take showers or bunk down in a tent together remote from civilization?
You know, I'm glad I'm anonymous. It gives me a good excuse not to socialize with other gay LDS guys in person.
But should I blog? Maybe as an island. An independent nation not affiliated with the Queerosphere at large. ;-) I don't see that flying. But, conceptually, it avoids identifying with a group. We'll see...