Saturday, October 31, 2009

Couple coming out experiences

Recently at the farmer's market I ran into a friend (from my young adult days) who I normally see at public events like this. I was there with my kids her most natural question was to ask where was their mom? I told her not with us and moved on to other random conversation. The kids got bored--they usually do that when I run into old friends who start talking about how big they've got, etc, etc and moved on to other stands so I took the opportunity to mention the separation to which she was a bit surprised. I've been trying to make a conscious effort to come clean with people so I came out to her. She immediately gave me a hug and told me how much she loved me and respected me for this.

Great experience. Of course it helps that she is inactive, not married (she has lived with one of her lady mission companions for over 15 years--connect the dots, shall we?)

I recently also reconnected with another friend from the same group who now lives a few hours away. We had been messaging back/forth on email and last night I got a text message; again back/forth for about 15 minutes and I finally asked if I could call, thirty seconds later my phone rings and it is my friend on the line. We spent some time catching up and I felt prompted to come out, again good experience, lots of understanding and love. When I mentioned my journey and how I have arrived to where I am my friend said something that impressed me: "You need to stop referring to this as your problem. There's nothing wrong with you, nothing to fix and you need not apologize for who you are"--wow, I was speechless mainly because when I arrived to this conclusion I knew my life was never going to be same but to hear it from someone else somehow was a refreshing revelation.

Good experiences, good realizations!!

So how come I have only come out to women and not men (other than fellow Moho's of course)?!?!

I can't recall coming out to a male--heck I don't recall coming out to a couple of gay males at work, can't for the life of me bring it up. Perhaps the only ones I remember are my son and my brother, but they probably don't count, there's significant emotional involvement with those two and let's face it their love is unconditional. Seems I have a lot more work to do...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

OctoberTheme: Where am I?

I want to have enough time to do this and not try to put something together on the last day of the month (besides, it will be Halloween!). I want to give it a fair amount of thought:
  • How did you get to where you are today?
If anyone had asked me a year ago where I would be today I would have probably said:

"Yeah wishful thinking, but not likely."

I have written about my journey in roughly 32 blog posts here, hardly a journey compared to others. I probably have left way too many details out, but I think anyone who reads it will get the main point. I remember the first time I admitted to being gay a few years ago and immediately after that thinking: "Oh shit, I'm married and have children, what the heck am I going to do about this?" It wasn't easy to come out to myself it certainly wasn't easy to say it out loud to my wife; one of the hardest things I've ever done was telling my children, yet I am still here--I heard somewhere that pain is an indication that you're still alive. Well, I've been very alive for the last couple of years and especially the last few months. I certainly don't walk up to perfect strangers or even people I know and tell them I'm gay, but it is getting more and more comfortable to come out to people I know I can trust; it feels good and the experience has been positive so far.
  • Are you happy with where you are? why or why not?
In spite of all the pain I've gone through and the pain I've afflicted loved ones with, I honestly can say that I am happier than I've been in many years. I have spent time with a therapist but no longer feel as much angst as I did a few months ago. I have been able to find and meet good influences in my life. I believe I have made peace with the LDS Church: I honor my background, I accept that it does/has good things, but honestly there's nothing in it that appeals my activity there, certainly not as a single, gay dad... this issue used to cause me a lot of conflict and pain but that's not the case anymore. Everyday gets better and better.
  • Where do you see yourself in the future?
Well, not very different than now, to be honest. I'm still a dad, I still have responsibility to my children. I'd like to be able to have them understand more about where I come from. I'm sure they love me like I love them and I hope that we can have more dialogue about what it all means to us all. I'm still a son/brother and heck now I'm even an ex-husband--I'd like to see how all those relationships evolve with time. I'm still an employee--I have responsibilities to my employer and need to make a living, I don't see that changing very much. There are many things I'd like to do/see/try. I have my bucket list that still has lots of thins to cross off! I used to be scared-stiff about the thought of ever meeting someone that might catch my attention in a romantic way, but I suppose all in good time...
  • What roadblocks do you have and/or have overcome?
I think the biggest roadblock was the one I created for myself and it was the most difficult/ugly to beat by fighting who I am and not accepting me. All the other issues I have dealt with have been minimal compared to dealing against myself.
  • What advice do you have for others following a similar path that you have?
Things are certainly different now than they were 20 years ago (heck did I just say how old I am?!?--there goes the chance of meeting someone now!!! LOL). When I came home from my mission, the only logical path for me was marriage-- but nowadays that is not the case, things have certainly evolved and got better, because of many people who have made it possible. I think there are certainly lots of brave and amazing pioneers--just look at my blog list on the right and you'll read about them--the only thing I'd ever say to someone is be yourself, don't let yourself be guided by society's supposed rules of behavior, stand out. I've wondered if I would have ever got married if I had accepted who I was back then--not likely, things might be different but then again there are a lot of things/joys that came with marriage, the biggest one of them being my children. I know nowadays there are other ways to have children: Adoption, surrogacy and just even by raising nieces and nephews and heck if you do choose to get married to a woman go for it, but do it in full disclosure, let her make an informed decision, which I never allowed my ex to do. Love and let yourself be loved--
  • What advice do you have for family and friends?
I'm queer, I'm here, deal with it!!!

Ok, just kidding---But I'm still here and I'm the same guy who cares about your life, your issues, the economy, the environment, health, etc. I don't want to re-decorate your home, or break out in show tunes. Whatever you've heard about how 'The Gays" are, I'm here to dispel the stereotypes. I don't have an agenda, I am not here to recruit your children. I still like to watch The Office, 30-Rock and Saturday Night Life! (Ok I'll admit that I took a quick/short peek at Glee, but honestly don't know enough about it to make any opinions--LOL)

Dang this went way long!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Carolyn & Emily Pearson

I have been meaning to write about being able to meet and listen to these two extraordinary ladies at the past Affirmation Conference (almost two weeks ago)--and frankly, I want my masturbation post to fall off links! LOL)

I had attended a fireside by Carolyn many years ago in Houston, where her tone and way to communicate her message was interesting, nothing like I had ever heard from anyone at church, it was refreshing to hear someone talk with so much candor and be so much fun. Later on I read about her life-story and the book Good Bye-I Love You, then I learned about her daughter's story indirectly through her ex-husband's play Confessions of a Mormon Boy. I have never seen it, but would like to someday--but always wondered much about Emily's side of the story.

I attended Emily's class and she spoke mainly about her latest journey, she has left the LDS church, spent time being angry at the everything (I can relate to that), but somewhere her experiences became spiritual in many ways. I was very impressed about how she has come along and recovered from human devastation. Then, I got to hear Carolyn's keynote at Affirmation and I didn't come out disappointed. You can tell this lady has volumes of experiences to tell and things about her own life that most of us probably never begin to understand.

I was able to purchase two of Carolyn's books and got her to sign them. I devoured Good Bye I Love You in three days, but honestly the many of the chapters were hard to read, not because of the style or language, but because I kept wiping tears off my eyes repeatedly. I'm taking it a little easier on the other one No More Goodbyes, I get the things she talks about. Anyway I just wanted to pay tribute to these two extraordinary persons who touched my life many years ago and again, sitting and listening to them in person was just a great a treat!