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.

6 comments:

Sean said...

Wow! That is crazy! I have suspected a few of my high school friends of being gay too, but none of them are out of the closet yet or none of them are actually gay. There were, however, 8 people that came out after graduation (me being one of that) that I know about and I assume there are others. It's weird to think about how many of us there are out there!

Vanson said...

I, too, was quite surprised at the number of people my age struggling with the same issues as a Mormon. Being in Texas, I had not heard anything about it.

After recent studying, I find it nice to know that the Church is actually more accepting of these attractions than many other ones. I think a lot of Mohos... homos...whatever... misinterpret the Church in that aspect.

John Galt said...

can't believe you're still doing this. amazed by your commitment and persistence. hope you're well. checked this today for the first time in months. strange to be so far away from all of this now, when at one point it consumed me. i will admit that i still miss him, but it's so different now - perspective and trust and understanding myself. i met him last month for the first time since we left each other 18 months ago. to see him as a strong new member of the church with a burning testimony was one of the greatest moments and blessings in my life. and to be with my beautiful wife and 3 kids makes it all worth it. anyway, thought you'd want to know. i miss you. be good. JG

Mr. Fob said...

When I was at BYU the only secret moho meetings I knew of were group therapy sessions, and we had to all but sign in blood that we would never ever EVER hang out outside of group.

-L- said...

John Galt, it was very good to hear an update from you. I'm glad to know that your family is well, and that things are working out for him too.

Be well!

-J- said...

Thanks for your blog. I just wanted to pipe up and say that it is a strength to me in a time of difficult and great change in my own life.