Saturday, August 25, 2007

Surrounded

As a resident, I'm supervised by an attending. He's gay. He knows I'm Mormon (although I have no idea how), and I think when he first introduced his partner he was wondering how I would respond. I think the fact that I took it all completely in stride is why he now feels comfortable talking about the church and/or gay topics without caution, and I'm glad.

On the other hand, my closest neighbors are gay too. I don't know them as well and I think they may wonder whether I've "put things together". I wonder whether they've put it together that I'm Mormon as I cart my little family to church every Sunday. The problem is, if these things never come up in the across-the-fence chats we have, how will they ever realize that I'm not what they may think I am?

I had a neighbor not long ago whose front door was inches from our own, and he had calendar boys over to spend the night all the time (frankly, I don't know how he reeled them in!), but we never did get around to making it clear that we're fine with him living his life the way he wants, so I think he just assumed we were bigoted Mormons. We lived near him long enough (and parked near enough) that there's no way he could have missed the LDS trappings over time.

There are several other gay guys in the office besides my attending who I haven't had the chance to get to know personally. I don't want to miss out on good friendships with neighbors or coworkers because of a misunderstanding of what I might believe about gay people, but I also don't know how to say, "So... you're gay, I'm Mormon, and I'm totally fine with that. Any questions?"

12 comments:

playasinmar said...

Reminds me of a Demetri Martin joke:

I'm in kinda a tough situation because I like rainbows but I'm not gay.

But I'm not against being gay, you know what I mean? If other people are gay.

So I end up in situations where I wear a rainbow on something but under it I put "Not Gay."

Then under that I put, "But Supportive."

It Just stinks that one group took refracted light.

Pretty greedy, gays!

santorio said...

and i wonder if these various neighbors and colleagues are thinking:

i'd like to let L know that i'm okay with him being a mormon, but how do i let him know without it seeming condescending?

there have been times recently when i wish people didn't know i was mormon, for example when the conversation turns to romney or september dawn...

Kengo Biddles said...

I'm curious as to how you've managed to surround yourself with a bunch of gay guys? Are you some gay-magnet or something?

J said...

Where I live, Mormons aren't really seen as judgemental bigots, thankfully. Everyone in our neighborhood just thinks we're going to hell because we believe in a "different Jesus."

Gimple said...

You can sure real in the gay neighbors and friends! :) hahaha!

About them thinking that you aren't a freaky Mormon that doesn't care to get to know them, I would say just be yourself and talk with them. Show them that you are not what you think. Show them that you are a great person who is non-judgmental (which you are).

Mr. Fob said...

Maybe you should get a shirt that says I LIKE GAY MEN.

Hm. Well, on second thought, maybe that wouldn't send quite the message you're shooting for.

Forester said...

I don't think I know what city you live in? I'm just curious, SF maybe? Really though, I have bad gaydar.

Clark said...

One of my best friends who is gay and married and has 3 kids always talks about this with me. He is actually a resident as well! Anyway, he sometimes sees gay guys and wants to say something like.. hey, I'm mormon and married but I'm gay too.. I accept you and we have so much in common. But then he realizes that that would probably be a lot to say to a total gay stranger. He says sometimes he feels a little sad too that he isn't able to share that part of being gay with other people because its too complicated to explain to someone who isn't in the situation.

My advice is just kiss everyone.. on the lips.. and apologize later. :)

Anonymous said...

Ah, the complicated life of the gay Mormon who wants people to know he's gay, but doesn't want to have to tell them, but is married with children, and is still ok with his gay neighbors and co-workers who wonder how accepting an up-tight, straight Mormon who is married and has 3.5 children and probably never had a gay thought in his life would think of him? This gets pretty complicated, doesn't it? No wonder we're all highly medicated. (Well, at least the one I know is.) I marvel at all these questions, because I deal with them every day myself, and wish there were someone to talk to about these things, but every time I get close enough to a guy to test whether he would be OK with me disclosing my "true" identity, I fall in love with him, and wouldn't dare raise it then, for fear that he has already suspected my affections for him and has wondered about my sexuality.

Yeah, I've been in counseling. Big deal. And yes, I have gay friends. And yes, I have straight friends who know that I'm gay but celibate who think I'm some sort of superhero, so OBVIOUSLY I can't tell them that I am shaking like a leaf every time I see a guy that I think might be compatible. Am I alone?

SSA said...

I can really empathize with this desire to want everyone to know how you think. I tend to want everyone to just automatically know what I'm thinking and why. And I think that they want to know too. The reality is, though, that they don't care. They probably don't think that much about it all. It's us LDS with SSA people who obsess and agonize over it when they don't care.

Don't worry about needing them to know that you're ok with homosexuality because you know what its like because you have same gender attractions. They probably don't care.

newbie said...

I just stumbled upon your blog after reading up about mormons exposed calendar, and I have to say I'm very fascinated by your blog. As a gay man who has had a relationship with a woman before, but finally decided to be honest with myself, I have to ask: are there many of you (gay mormons who are content with a heterosexual marriage)? It seems to dawn on me that there are quite a few of you out there. How do you find a balance between your sexuality and your religion? I live in Vegas and one of the guys I met is a gay Mormon, though he no longer identifies himself as mormon. Sorry for so many questions, I'm just fascinated.

-L- said...

Well, really, this whole blog answers your question, one post at a time. Have a look around and you'll see how things go for me. There are several links to married guys in the sidebar too. There are few, but definitely some. Several of them seem pretty ambivalent about it, but I'm happy where I'm at.