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.