My thoughts and musings on living a straight, Christian life while dealing with same sex attraction (SSA). Respectful comments are welcomed.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Prepare to get ticked off if you stand for gay rights

I know that this post will make a lot of people mad, but that is up to them. As I have read a lot of blogs, and can see people being seduced by "being true to who they are" and wanting gay rights, etc. I can see the fallacies and lies that are so seductive. I have often wished for the words to help someone see what I see, and save them worlds of pain and discomfort in coming to that same understanding. I simply don't have the words.

Then, I read this article that I found linked in another blog. He is a Christian gay who has lived the gay lifestyle for 20+ years and rejected it. He is very intellectual and argues his point well. He has some great analogies, and while lengthy, it's worth reading. In his article, he exposes the gay rights movement as a neatly packaged front to be sold to the conservative world (the front section of a bookstore with "respectable" titles, hiding the HUGE porn section behind), lulling those coming out of the closet into a false sense of security, while hiding the real view of gay life as being rampantly promiscuous. Here is an excerpt from his article:

A popular definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing, while expecting a different result. That was me, the whole time I was laboring to become a happy homosexual. I was a lunatic. Several times I turned for advice to gay men who seemed better adjusted to their lot in life than I was. First, I wanted confirmation that my perceptions were accurate, that life as a male homosexual really was as awful as it seemed to be. And then I wanted to know what I was supposed to do about it. When was it going to get better? What could I do to make it better? I got two sorts of reactions to these questions, both of which left me feeling hurt and confused. The first sort of reaction was denial, often bitter denial, of what I was suggesting. I was told that there was something wrong with me, that most gay men were having a wonderful time, that I was generalizing on the basis of my own experience (whose experience was I supposed to generalize from?), and that I should shut up and stop bothering others with my "internalized homophobia."

I began seeing a counselor when I was a graduate student. Matt (not his real name) was a happily married man with college-age children. All he knew about homosexuality he learned from the other members of his profession, who assured him that homosexuality was not a mental illness and that there were no good reasons that homosexuals could not lead happy, productive lives. When I first unloaded my tale of woe, Matt told me I had never really come out of the closet. (I still have no idea what he meant, but suspect it is like the "once saved, always saved" Baptist who responds to the lapsed by telling him that he was never really saved in the first place.) I needed to go back, he told me, try again, and continue to look for the positive experiences he was sure were available for me, on the basis of no other evidence than the rulings of the American Psychiatric Association. He had almost no personal experience of homosexuals, but his peers assured him that the book section at Lobo's offered a true picture of homosexual life. I knew Matt was clueless, but I still wanted to believe he was right.

Matt and I developed a therapeutic relationship. During the year we spent together, he learned far more from me than I did from him. I tried to take his advice. I was sharing a house that year with another grad student who was in the process of coming out and experiencing his own disillusionment. Because I had been his only gay friend, and had encouraged him to come out, his bitterness came to be directed at me, and our relationship suffered for it. Meanwhile, I developed a close friendship with a member of the faculty who was openly gay. When I first informed Matt, he was ecstatic. He thought I was finally come out properly. The faculty member was just the sort of friend I needed. But the faculty member, as it turned out, despite his immaculate professional facade, was a deeply disturbed man who put all of his friends through emotional hell, which I of course shared with a shocked and silenced Matt. (I tried to date but, as usual, experienced the same pattern that characterized all my homosexual relationships. The friendship lasted as long as the sexual heat. Once that cooled, my partner's interest in me as a person dissipated with it.) It was not a good year. At the end of it, I remember Matt staring at me, with glazed eyes and a shell-shocked look on his face, and admitting, "You know, being gay is a lot harder than I realized."

Not everyone I spoke to over the years rejected what I had to say out of hand. I once corresponded with an English ex-Dominican. I was ecstatic to learn that he was gay, and was eventually kicked out of his order for refusing to remain in the closet. He included an e-mail address in one of his books, and I wrote him, wanting to know if his experience of life as a homosexual was significantly different from mine. I presumed it must be, since he had written a couple of books, passionately defending the right of homosexuals to a place in the Church. His response to me was one of the last nails in the coffin of my life as a gay man. To my astonishment, he admitted that his experiences were not unlike mine. All he could suggest was that I keep trying, and eventually everything would work out. In other words, this brilliant man, whose books had meant so much to me, had nothing to suggest except that I keep doing the same thing, while expecting a different result. There was only one reasonable conclusion. I would be nuts if I took his advice. It took me twenty years, but I finally reached the conclusion that I did not want to be insane.

So where am I now? I am attending a militantly orthodox parish in Houston that is one of God's most spectacular gifts to me. My best friend Mark (not his real name) is, like me, a refugee from the homosexual insane asylum. He is also a devout believer, though a Presbyterian (no one is perfect). From Mark I have learned that two men can love each other profoundly while remaining clothed the entire time.

We are told that the Church opposes same-sex love. Not true. The Church opposes homogenital sex, which in my experience is not about love, but about obsession, addiction, and compensation for a compromised masculinity.

I am not proud of the life I have lived. In fact, I am profoundly ashamed of it. But if reading this prevents one naïve, gullible man from making the same mistakes, then perhaps...I can at least hope for a reprieve from some of the many centuries in Purgatory I have coming to me.

Well said!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Busy busy busy

I just looked and found that it's been 2 1/2 weeks since I posted. Life has been pretty crazy, and I have gotten too little sleep, so that didn't help. I have thought a lot about my SSA lately, and still don't have any answers about how to go father in dealing with it. I know I need to eventually go back to therapy to be in a better place (not that I am doing to badly now). I still have thoughts and temptations, and it seems that I have had more lately.

When I struggle more, it seems that it is usually because I am more stressed than usual, more tired than usual, or there is some blessing on the horizon that Satan doesn't want me to have. I'm not sure what the case is now, except that I know the sleep deprivation is feeding into it, but not the main cause. I am not particularly stressed, which leaves some blessing (or a more frightening thought, a calling) on the horizon.

I've been too busy lately to go to my Evergreen meetings, but I don't think that factors in to it. At least not in the way you would think. I found that I couldn't develop the close male friendships there the way that I wanted because of the restricions to keep people from messing up (good rules, but that just means that I can't find what I want there). The sad part, is that even with not having attended a meeting for 2 months, I didn't hear from a single person to see how I was doing. It's possible that they realize that I don't struggle so much based on my weekly check-ins, and didn't think I needed to be "checked up on." Still, it would have been nice. I don't mean this to be the pity party that it sounds like (OK, maybe just a bit). The point is that it made me sad to realize that the relationships I had formed there were much more superficial than I had thought.

Anyhow, that's where I'm at now. Just gotta keep on keepin' on.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Trust and Faith

Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works. (Jacob 4:10)

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all they ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Prov 3:5-6)

Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do. Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark. (2 Ne 32:3-4)

Sometimes I think we are not given all the answers, because we each have to come to an understanding of the Atonement on our own. Since Christ suffered all things, He knows what we go through in this struggle, and can therefore heal and comfort us. We must still do our part. We must be open and willing to hear what He would tell us, and in the way He would tell us.

Sometimes that means taking a leap of faith and trying to live what we don't yet understand fully, trusting in Him. If any man do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. (John 7:17)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


I never intended for this blog to be a pulpit for the church's position on dealing with SSA, which is what it has become. The fact that I believe the church's position every bit as much as some believe it is wrong, is beside the point. Because I have stated it as factually as I believe it, some are upset with me. I have been called self-righteous, arrogant, bigotted, been told I am using reaction formation, and quoted as if I had said things with a big "neener neener" (someone actually used those words). I was harsh in one post (and have left it there for the record), and I have apologized to those who were offended, but I also will not alter my conservative stance just because it is offensive to those who are more liberal. (I still say that if one is lobbying the prophet to change his stance based on social or political pressure, then that contradicts the very idea of upholding him as Prophet who speaks for God on earth.)

The sad thing is that I would never speak so bluntly in person. I would make the same points, but I really am much more diplomatic in person. Not long ago, I told a friend that I thought he was making a mistake to date men, that it was taking him away from where he wants to be (based on things he had told me about his goals what he wants). And I was able to do so without giving offense.

Still, I didn't start this blog to spout off from a soapbox. I started it to work out my thoughts and feelings about this issue. The fact is, I don't know if this is really a safe arena for me to do that anymore. Some have been fairly argumentative with me, and some have been openly hostile. As such, I have some trepidation about revealing sensitive thoughts and issues. I'm not saying this to whine, but to express my concerns.

I realize that this is a sensitive and controversial issue, and that not everyone will agree. I don't mind respectful disagreement, but when people get argumentative and/or hostile with me on my own blog, it's irksome.

Monday, March 13, 2006

What's Important

El Veneno said: It’s a Job-like perspective. All I have to do is get through the now and eventually God will even the score. In the mortal perspective, things could be a lot better.

…and this: I don't want time to keep passing me by. I wish there were a pause button so I could stop and figure stuff out before I go any further. The future freaks me out. I'm scared of looking back in 20 years and feeling like I've wasted my time. I already feel like I've wasted so much time.

I had really felt like I had learned how to cope with stress and trials, to take that Job-like perspective. And most of the time, I think I do well with that. I still have my moments, times where I get overwhelmed with things and “crumple,” and my wife is there for me to lean on (and vice versa…it’s a good thing we don’t both crumple at the same time very often!). I have been having some personal struggles lately that have nothing to do with SSA, which have been weighing on me. As usually happens when I am stressed and/or down, I struggle more with my SSA, which gets me down more (not like it used to, but still…).

Some of this has to do with career plans and finances, and the crossroads facing me. Not knowing what road to take, not knowing how to solve certain dilemmas, it gets me down. When I read the quote above about the future, I really felt that I could relate. The decisions I am now facing are ones that I sometimes feel should have been made 10-15 years ago; that I should have been a ways down the path I am about to choose, and I am just starting it. So, just when I was about to start a really good wallow, I read this in the same post:: There's more I could say; like the fact that Elder Bateman said: "It is the eternal marriage relationship and the power to create life which produces happiness in mortality and a fullness of joy in the life to come." This got me thinking about the wonderful blessings I DO have, and how much joy my kids bring me.

I had gotten to a point that I was fairly happy with who I was before I got married. I knew that a relationship would never give me any happiness that I lacked within myself, that it wouldn’t change how happy I was with who I was. I still had things I wanted to change and improve upon (like my struggles with porn and masturbation), but I knew it was a matter of time before my life got to where I wanted it to be.

Then I got married and was happier than ever.

Then we had a kid.


I have never been able to put into words the multiplication of joy that simple addition brought into our lives. We wondered and marveled over and over at how complete we believed our lives were, and yet how empty they would be if that child were no longer a part of our lives. Each child we have added has increased the sum total of our joy to where there is hardly room to receive it.

Thanks, Veneno, you have helped more than you can know.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Facts and Reasoning

The Mormonism I believe in is based on the factual state of the universe, not a blog poll. God's relationship with us is changeable on only one end, ours.

Thanks, -L-, this sums up what I have been trying to say. Your statements about the factual state of the universe echoed what I was trying to say about Truth being universal. Reasoning out that things are a certain way doesn't change how they really are (no more than the Council of Nicea saying the heavens were closed could prevent God from giving modern day revelation).

Having a testimony of the reality of God's existence has, for me, brought great peace of mind in that it guides me and my decisions. It makes them easier, because I don't have to figure out some of the basics and the direction I am heading. It's like when you use philosophy to reason out a decision: if you start from a false or flawed premise, then your logic will lead you to an erroneous conclusion. But, if your premise is sound, then you have your feet on the right track before you start and sound logic will lead you to a sound conclusion. Knowing what I Know, makes the process easier. It brings me peace of mind.

This isn't to say that I am on easy street. I still struggle. I still slip. I still get down about it. I just know what course to set and how to correct my course when I slip off course.

and -L-...thanks for the encouragement.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Holiness is the strength of the soul. It comes by faith and through obedience to God's laws and ordinances. God then purifies the heart by faith, and the heart becomes purged from that which is profane and unworthy. When holiness is achieved by conforming to God's will, one knows intuitively that which is wrong and that which is right before the Lord. Holiness speaks when there is silence, encouraging that which is good or reproving that which is wrong.
-James E. Faust
Not a whole lot to say today, I just liked this quote.
I have my flaws and I make my mistakes, and I want and try to be better (more holy) than I am.