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.

13 comments:

Samantha said...

Funny--I just posted about my own fence last week.

Great minds???

(Naturally I'm assuming you won't be offended at the comparison.)

Always good to hear from you.

Dave said...

Uh oh, I just read a little bit of Northern Lights and I got the impression that you are for Prop 8??? Is that not crazy and awful??

-L- said...

Yeah, Dave, to people who love each other and want nothing more than to live their lives in peace and happiness it is crazy and awful. But that's only one piece of the puzzle, and I think folks should recognize the complexity of the situation and the good intentions of people on both sides of the argument (as well as the obvious bad intentions of people).

Robert said...

"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)."

Thank you for posting that, I'm working to get right witht hings...someitmes I really question what I'm doing. I know what's right, I just sometimes don't know if that's what I want. The above quote, it stood out for me. I believe you and so it gave me hope and more desire to do what I'm trying. Thanks L. I keep my eye on your blog, and really like it when you drop a line. Thank you.

Bravone said...

Why did I just find your blog? Where have I been? It will take some time to digest, but I really relate already. I just read the post on intimacy. I relate more than I like to admit..glad I am not alone.

Thank you,
Bravone

Katherine said...

Hi,

I just wanted to let you know that I've been a visitor of your blog for awhile now. I've been in turmoil for the past three years over a relationship with a man who is now in the process of coming out.

I admire your courage in sharing your experiences through your writing. I'm sure it has helped a lot of people who may be in similar situations and who come across your blog. Thank you.

Smiling4Now said...

I would love to be in ur situation! Your children sound like great fun, its a dream of mine to be a father!!! :)

Only knew to this so will have to go back threw your blogs :D

Adam said...

The fact that I'm as gay as ever (gayer?)...

Dude, you are not alone. I back you up in your assertion that one can be as powerfully homosexually oriented as the boys up on Brokeback and still remain completely faithful to your (heterosexual) spouse and children. It isn't easy. It is sometimes quite painful. But when you know what you gotta do, you do it -- somehow, through the grace of God, you do it. And some day the struggle will be over and the battle will be won. And the fight is definitely worth it. I honestly don't know how I've made it this far (24 years of marriage), but I have and it has been worth every effort and all of the many struggles and prayers it has taken to get this far. If I could start all over and choose again, I would choose to be right where I am, with my wife and kids. So kudos to you for your honesty and courage.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear you are hanging in there.. actually you are doing GREAT, BETTER than just hanging in there L. I have prayed for you and your beautiful family and put your names in the temple. The naysayers are miserable and misery loves company. Pay no mind to them. You and your family are what is important. Not the internet, not other peoples opinion. Just you, your wife, sweet kids and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I promise if you heed Alma 37:37-44, you will find joy, peace and happiness. Love always, Kittywaymo

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=760883369&ref=profile

Ben said...

Ardent,

Are you familiar with evolutionary biologist and physicist Greg Cochran and his pathogenic theory of causation of homosexuality? (i.e. the "gay germ theory"?)

Paul Ewald and Cochran's idea was written up in "Atlantic Monthly" as far back as 1999. Over the next more than decade and a half, the pathogenic causation of all kinds of conditions has been verified by research.

While many favor his idea that homosexuality is likely the side effect of a common childhood infection (any number of candidate viruses are hypothesized), it seems that research proving such a thing is not high on research facilities' lists in the USA.
Instead, many researchers chase the elusive genetic connections that never materialize.

As I understand it, Cochran was quite willing to work with a microbiologist interested in pursuing this. There were no takers--too politically sensitive a subject. If the pathogen were to be identified, gay groups would feel this was a setback, and university department chairs are very politically correct these days..

Instead, what may happen is that as more and more childhood viral infections get wiped out by new innoculations, little by little there will be fewer and fewer homosexual children born. For instance, an innoculation for one of the "candidate" viruses Cochran has listed, RSV, is due w/in the next decade, maybe sooner.

Anyway, I was wondering: 1) does BYU have a quality microbiology department? 2)is the Mormon Church at all likely to be willing to engage in research into this hypothesis?

Just wondering.

Best regards.



After all, the church is losing gay members. I'd think that the notion that gayness could be "treated" before it ever occurred would be an idea the Church would like to investigate.

Furthermore, if this hypothetical pathogen has indeed wiped out some neurons responsible for a certain neurotransmitter, there is the possibility that even a gay person might not necessarily stay gay.

-L- said...

Sorry for the late response, Ben. I think BYU's microbiology department is nothing to be ashamed of. I know the classes I took there were perfectly suitable (but then, I was a philosophy major!). If any of the staff there wanted to research such a thing, I suspect they would be allowed to do it--but not because the church was sponsoring it or the school was sponsoring it. Considering the inevitable fallout and negative PR, there might be some discouragement, but I dunno. Not my area, really.

Natasha said...

Wow, this is a great post. I feel like you succinctly explained what took me paragraphs to say. Mind you, it was my very first "gayish" post on a totally not "gayish" blog.

I've sent people here to read this.

Ferny Pants said...

"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."

How can anyone (because you're certainly not the first) believe that this is an acceptable standard of living? How is feeling this way a happy existence? Why would God want that for you?

"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)."

No one should, you sound like a great dad. Gay men can be (and are) great fathers. Being a wonderful, engaged parent and being out and happy are not mutually exclusive.

"The naysayers are miserable and misery loves company."

Anonymous-
Actually, people who are incongruent are miserable. It is one of the great and powerful myths of the church to have you believe that everyone who is leading a sinful life (their definition of course, you can't make your own) is miserable. It terrifies members into staying far away from such behavior, ensuring fidelity to the gospel.
The universal truth is that congruence is what makes people happy, and people who are tormented and conflicted are not congruent. I am a naysayer (generally; there are some exceptions) and I am happy, well-adjusted, and more peaceful than I've ever been. If I'm a living aberration, shouldn't I be miserable?