Sunday, November 16, 2008

Way overdue.

This blog has been important in my life, but I think most of that has been in the past. I'm pretty well reconciled with all the topics I've blogged about, and for those areas where I still feel confusion and ambivalence... well, at least it's well defined confusion and ambivalence. :-)

My son and daughter continue to grow up before my very eyes. Yesterday they both disappeared for a while and I had my suspicions they were into some mischief. A few minutes later they both came barreling in to the room where my wife and I were sitting and shoved little containers of applesauce into our hands to be opened. They tried to sneak it but realized they couldn't open it without our help and reconsidered their tactics.

The fact that I'm as gay as ever (gayer?) and still living the all-American dream gives me conflicting feelings. On the one hand, I want to speak out against the nay-sayers who yell and scream that it's an illusion, that such a situation never happens, that it's impossible. I want to speak out and tell people that I've been in shoes very similar to every gay person I hear--doubting the church, questioning my self worth, feeling suicidal, being overcome with an overwhelming sense of unfairness and unending conflict. I want to speak out and say that the church is true and that there are miracles to be had, if we will only listen and obey.

On the other hand, I want to shut up and let it all play out on its own. I'm sort of sick of writing about tolerance, explaining misunderstandings, and promoting more thoughtful and considerate dialog. My efforts have been met with some really ornery people who don't care in the least about what I have to say, only that it appears on the surface to disagree with their own views, so the gloves come off and the punches start flying. These people are plentiful and insistent, and it's just not worth it to try to convince them of the reality I live in. There's a lot of joy to be had in the church, and no amount of insults and rancor can convince me that my wife and my two children are not worth every sacrifice I've made (and for that matter, many that I haven't). And no amount of gnashing teeth will convince me that someone who hasn't made those same sacrifices needs or deserves concessions from me in the form of some fatalistic assessment of what they need to be happy or fulfilled or what their "rights" have to be.

So I've just been a fence sitter. I try to avoid those who want to engage only to foist their bigoted selves onto a soap box. I walk away from that and build a castle with my son instead. But I do see many who are learning about this and looking for truth. So I keep blogging (although mostly at Northern Lights now).

For better or worse, that's my update. It's long overdue, I know.

But you can rest assured that as I learn new things I'll be writing about it.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Legal Question

Just read this article and I have a question for the legal minds out there.

Why does stabbing someone to death, decapitating them and flashing the head around to other people, then eating the corpse's flesh qualify as SECOND degree murder?

Saturday, August 02, 2008


What's to tell? There are a million things that I could blog about in my life right now. How amazing my children are (the stories could be endless), the patience and incredible capacity of my wife, my job, my progress. But, unfortunately, time is always so short.

I get a few e-mails a month asking about myself, and I appreciate that gesture of friendship. I suppose it would be a better use of time to just blog more to keep people updated. For those who have written recently to ask me specifically about how I keep things together with my family, reparative therapy, or general gay topics, I'm sorry I haven't had a lot of time to respond. One trick is that I've written quite a bit about these things before and so there's quite a bit to read from the archive if you are interested.

Sorry for the boring post. But, you know. Gotta get to the ward party today and then... well there's plenty of other stuff I've been putting off until today too. :-) Best wishes to all.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Not just a margin

For better or for worse, I'm coming here to feel sorry for myself. I'm that guy. The one that has everything when you look in from the outside. We've got the little family of four, the cute little house and dog, the great career and graduate program between the two of us, and all our health.

But I feel tormented far more than I have any right to feel, I suppose. But does one have to earn their torment? Or does its existence serve as automatic legitimization?

Today I feel on the margin of a margin of a margin. I'm in a minority field of medicine, often unappreciated. I'm in minority situation in my department. I'm a minority within the church in my understanding of gay related issues. I'm definitely in a minority among gays in my empathy for the church. Couldn't I, for once in my life, be surrounded by crowds of people that get me? Get it? Get anything?

Basically, today I feel like there's nobody that understands. Perhaps my wife, and that's it. And that makes me feel all the better that I have her and that I'm not in a different circumstance right now. And that makes me sad that so many other people don't or won't believe such a thing can happen. But then, can it? Or am I just an anomaly--an outlier there too?

It's as if I've spent a lot of effort trying to bridge gaps and shed light where people have closed themselves off, but in the process I've put myself too far into the minds of others and made myself inaccessible to my self. I haven't pulled off the insight I need to peacefully be at one with the majorities in every part of my life. I guess I don't know how to do it. Or, I need to humble myself to try something new.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mere Meme

JGW tagged me (finally someone did ;-)).

Here are the instructions.

1. Pick up the nearest book (at least 123 pages).
2. Turn to page 123.
3. Find the 5th sentence
4. Post the 5th sentence on your blog.
5. Tag 5 people.

"But what does puzzle people---at least it used to puzzle me---is the fact that Christians regard faith in this sense as a virtue."

C.S.Lewis, Mere Christianity. It's actually a really interesting paragraph (and somewhat appropriate to the things I've read of late). He follows by saying:

I used to ask how on earth it can be a virtue--what is there moral or immoral about believing or not believing a set of statements? Obviously, I used to say, a sane man accepts or rejects any statement, not because he wants or does not want to, but because the evidence seems to him good or bad. If he were mistaken about the goodness or badness of the evidence that would not mean he was a bad man, but only that he was not very clever. And if he thought the evidence bad but tried to force himself to believe in spite of it, that would be merely stupid.

Ah, Lewis. Love his guts. I tag FRM, playa, Craig, ATP, and John Galt.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Changing... changing... changing... same.

For old times sake I did a little "rounding" on the moho blogs this evening. It turns out everything's changed, and yet everything's just the same. There were a bunch of commenters I'd never heard of and never talked to. Bloggers too. But, the topics were the same, more or less. The occasional ironies: vitriol from some sides, the over-reactions, the banding together in defensive victimhood while disparaging those "other guys" in a manner that is completely intolerant.

Sometimes I just feel like people choose a role and move through the motions without even realizing they're doing it. The young gay who feels liberated as he questions authority. The married gay who considers walking away from the life he's built to search for an upgrade. The depressed blogger who manages to create something beautiful and artful and poetic in articulating the struggle of life.

It makes me wonder what role I'm in right now? The sanctimonious, overly self-assured churchy guy? [Yes, I know that's how I'm frequently seen, but it's part of the piety to be in denial, I suppose.] Am I in the calm before the storm--the guy whose life is perfect right before falling apart? Am I to the point where everything is boring because I've pretty much solidified my biases and don't have enough time for online friends?

I dunno. I'm still on a journey. Not sure I can fully appreciate the birds' eye view. But, I'm still truckin'. And trying to refrain from tapping on the restroom floor of the truck stop. :-)

Monday, March 17, 2008

My Lucky Day

I like St. Paddy's day. Green is my favorite color, after all. And little leprechaun dudes make me happy. Gold too. Candy too. And those were all involved in the day in one way or another.

I need days like today to remind me how lucky I am. Birds chirping, hinting that winter is coming to a close. A good job that I love and that provides for my family. Calzones...

I hope nobody pinches me so I wake up in a different life. ;-)

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Odd things

I remember in college chatting online (or through e-mail? I think chatting wasn't as popular back then) with a gay guy that FRM (my wife) was great friends with in high school. It was a novelty experience for me. Here was an actual out-in-the-public gay guy who would be open with me about it. At the time I was anything but out, so I had to have cover for why I wanted to be best friends with her old buddy, but I came up with something convincing. Okay, maybe this was one of many reasons she suspected I was gay, I dunno.

The interesting thing is to reflect about how few openly gay people I've known and/or talked to face-to-face about being gay. There were several guys I suspected of being gay in high school, but none of them were out. It just wasn't done in rural Utah at that time.

Fast forward a decade and I found an old high school friend of mine posting up a storm on a faithful gay Mormon message board. We were great friends back then and we never knew we had this in common. We still don't, actually, because he freaked out when I e-mailed him privately and he never responded. I think he might have thought I was hitting on him or something. Anyhoo...

At BYU the pressure to be in the closet was pretty similar. All you mohos who hang around together now... that's just incomprehensible to me. There were probably homos having private meetings at BYU while I was there, but not mohos, if you catch my meaning. So, another serendipitous find after blogging a bit is that a friend of mine who I worked closely with in Youth and Family Programs is gay. Like my old high school friend, he's still living the gospel and doing well, from all reports.

And that brings me up to date. Well, almost anyway. A few weeks back I found out one of my mission companions is gay. It was through the blogs I found this out, of course. We've mailed a couple times since then to catch up, but I'm a bad one to stay in touch with people. For whatever reason, I don't do reunions, Christmas cards, or keep in touch with people I love very well. Parents? Haven't seen 'em in forever. Siblings? Could be dead. Who knows?

Anyway, just thought I'd share the evidence from my life that society (and Mormon society in particular) is becoming more open and accepting of people like me. And, my old mission companion, coworker from BYU, and friend from high school, are all success stories of living the gospel and quietly moving on with life after coming to grips with the reality of their sexuality. I'm glad for the examples and the reassurance these odd findings bring me.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Update from Hel-L-

Residency is hard. Last year was a cake walk compared to this year. So, there hasn't been much time for blogging. I hope everyone is happy and good.


My family is doing well, thanks for asking. The kids are happy and cute and amazingly smart. The Mrs. is even MORE happy, cute, and amazingly smart, somehow.

As far as gay issues go, I'm in a pretty happy place. Still ardently gay and ardently Mormon. And by ardently gay, I mean I see guys all the time that catch my eye. But, I couldn't be happier than I am (and I mean that quite literally).

In a few weeks it will be my blog anniversary, and it's sort of amazing for me to reflect on where I've been and where I am, where other people I've met have been and where they're at. It's all quite a testament to the gospel, really. I went from hundreds of posts in year to less than one a month lately, and I suppose that's just a part of life... moving on to new experiences. But, if there's anything I can do or say to help anyone out, let me know.

All the best!!