Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Don't ask, don't tell...

I was reading CNN and I found the following:

Pentagon: Letting openly gay troops serve won't hurt military

I've never served in the military (or wanted to for that matter). My biological father was in the military for a while and so was my step-dad back in the motherland--hey, maybe my mom had a thing for men in uniform, I'll have to sass her about that someday!!--I also have a relative who is in the service and just came back from Afghanistan, as far as I know he is not gay; he's married, him and his wife are pretty conservative--still who is to say right? :-)

A few years ago I was taking an Ethics class we had some debates assigned and this was one of the topics assigned to our group. It just so happened that there was a very openly gay guy in my class as well as someone who was a National Guard and was about to be sent into active duty and they were in opposite sides of the debate. Once we got down to presenting facts and ideas, these two exchanged ideas back and forth, rebuttals and so forth. Finally the professor asked everyone in the room (maybe around 20 people) if they thought that a gay person--openly or closeted for that matter--could serve effectively in the military.  The answers were about evenly split--kind of surprising even for Utah.

The last person that was asked was the soldier who had kind of argued his point, but had not really made a solid case. He took a deep sigh and said something like this: "As much as I tried to look for reasons, I could not find a convincing one why ****** could not serve in the military whether in the closet or openly". HOWEVER, he said that he personally believed that this was more the case in war times (we were deep in the Iraq war) when the Armed Forces needed every possible volunteer to help out. He said that he seriously doubted that he'd feel the same if we were not at war as a country.

Of course none of the above mentioned items qualifies me as an expert, this is just my opinion, but I honestly don't see why a gay soldier could not do his job as effectively as the next person. I don't even understand why it is even being debated in the US Senate right now. Is is that the military is the last sacred cow for people? Are gay servicemen less patriotic than their counterparts? Someone explain it please...

Just my  $.02

Thursday, November 25, 2010

November Theme: What are you thankful for?

1. My children-- they bring me joy, they make me proud papa and make it all better with a big hug, no matter what may be going on in our lives.
2. The babe--I only talk about him in general terms here but he's an amazing, loving, funny, handsome and caring guy that came to rescue me from myself in times when I wasn't sure I'd make it through the next hour, let alone the next day.
3. Family and extended relatives who show their love and care. I wish that distance was easier on all of us to share in more good times in person.
4. Friends that I learn from, who show me love and care, who check up on me and take even just a minute to say hey, text their pictures and the occasional hello for no reason---you all rock!!
5. Good health and the occasional aches and pain that make me appreciate the times when all is well with this aging body.
6. A job that allows me to make a decent living and challenges me to be a better employee each day.
7. The Internets that allow me to stay in touch and connected with people especially on those odd nights when insomnia kicks my butt and allows me to learn and appreciate people from all walks of life around the world.
8. The dog who seems to know just when I need a lick in the face or he'll just come and sit on my lap as if to say "I got your back, no one can mess with us"
9. Hope. Hope that things can always get better even if they don't seem to at a given moment.
10. For making it through such a roller-coaster year of emotions, angst, and sometimes sad times, but also was lucky enough to have plenty of good, sweet and happy times as well.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Growing up in my family we used to pick on the least likely person to pray when there was a gathering (yeah that one person who would hide, look down & was the least suspecting sucker) and basically put them on the spot. Not sure what the intention of that was, but as I’ve slowly become that one person who is no comfortable praying, I realize the predicament that this move put anyone in and it may have just been plain annoying—and I’m sorry that I ever happened to have been part of that conspiracy!

I asked the babe if his family prays to bless the food and I told him that I was a bit nervous that I might get picked tomorrow while having dinner with his family; I’m not sure of what would I do or say and don’t want to be rude but at the same time would not quite know how to react, while wanting to impress them and all too. I suppose if I get picked it will be Karma’s way of payback-ugh! The babe said that his family does pray but he has not been picked in years so I was probably OK and had nothing to worry about—then again, if I get to be the lucky one, I might just break out and do a chant, or a Catholic prayer, or I might even pray in Spanish, that way I can say whatever I want and they may never know---oh wait, his sisters went on Spanish missions so if I say a nice prayer I might just get on their good graces… I really don’t know why I’m freaking out about this at all…really!?!?

Prayer is one of those funny things, it is supposed to be a personal thing, the connection between the individual and God, yet, when praying in public some people love to show off a bit too much in my not-so-humble opinion. I like prayers basic and to the point, like when on the mission I taught people to pray “the LDS way”:

  1. Our Father in Heaven
  2. We thank you for…
  3. We pray that…
  4. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen
Growing up in Mexico, I learned to speak to my parents, uncles and older relatives in the informal “TU” tense which in my mind brings people closer. However, depending on where you grow up a person might be taught to use the “USTED” to anyone older than oneself, relatives or not. When we converted to Mormonism we learned to pray in the less formal “TU” tense, at least in Mexico, I don’t know if other Spanish-speaking countries follow that, but I think it made God seem more like I was talking to a relative and I was less scared of Him. Having said that, I never liked the formality of Thee or Thou in English prayers--possibly stemming from the King James version of the Bible--either way it just seems presumptuous to me—Yeah I know we’re talking about God here and I get it, the Big Man Upstairs, Supreme Being, the big Kahuna but hey, it is one of those things that might make the idea of God way more than it should be... just sayin'

Anyway, a few years ago members of my family (after what might seem the fact that we relaxed enough to pick on people) came up with what seems to be an appropriate solution. If I have people over to my house there’s no prayer needed and I’ll announce it so everyone knows they can jump right in and eat. If I’m at one of my sibling’s houses and if we pray they’ll simply announce it and either that sibling or their spouse will pray, never-ever put anyone on the spot and I’ll respectfully bow my head and say amen--especially if I really want that green Jello with carrots to nourish and strengthen me! :-)

I'm praying now so that tomorrow I don’t get picked to pray--how ironic is that?!?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


This is one of the blog posts that I’ve been mulling in my head for a while. Probably nothing earth shattering, or newsworthy; just personal observations.

First off, the standard pity line: “I never had many close friends growing up” :-)

I chalk this to a few factors: Moving a lot and not growing deep roots anywhere, being insecure & being the object of kid’s humiliation probably prevented me from hanging out with A type kids who ruled with horror on the school playgrounds (or kids in general). High school was a whirlwind of stress, classes, hormones and of course the LDS spin on my life that taught me I was: Not of the world--there also weren’t that many LDS kids in my school, not that it would have helped getting close to anyone, I wouldn’t even deal with the possibility of falling in love with a friend, that was nowhere near my radar!! Does anyone really have a best friend growing up?

Many of my mission companions and I always made plans to stay in touch in the future, little did we know that life (school, marriages, children, jobs) would basically get in the way—but the intentions were good. I had a small group of good friends while I was still single and we got pretty close –not in a sexual way at all—but again, after we all got married our wives (who are now just about all of our exes—oh irony…. ha, ha, ha!!) never really got along so friendships were sadly lost that way. Church, well church is church but just for the record: Home and Visiting teaching do not count as friendship, I may be generalizing and I’m sure there are exceptions, but again, just the way I see it. I do have to admit that a lot of times (as others may have mentioned) the fear of getting close to a guy for fear of falling in love with him or the danger of doing something that might seem inappropriate was a factor in not getting too comfortable being friends with someone as well.

So where does all of this leave divorced, gay men like me? When I first came out & started seeking out friendships with other gay men, the majority of them lost interest after there was no indication that we might be, um…getting it on? I was told by one of those friends that most of his friends were past boyfriends and after they moved on that’s just how their relationships evolved. Some of the men admitted that many of their friends were “FWB” for whenever the need arose. I’m not a prude but frankly I scratch my head about that one—maybe it is a gay cultural thing!

I think I’m not the only one who feels safe (and glad) to have many Mohos as friends—sure many of them are handsome and sexy and yeah I wont lie that the thought did not occassionaly cross my mind—and I know there have been couples formed that started out as friends in the Mohosphere but it really isn’t THE only thing that happens—well at least no one admits to anything happening, right? Guys? Really? Anyone wants to fess up about what happens after Scott’s parties? The main reason I like Moho friends is that at least in my experience there isn't that automatic layer of "let's see what I can say or do to get in your pants". Sure there might be some harmless hugs, flirting and all but again--maybe I'm off my rocker here, but that has been my experience.

I’ve been very fortunate to have formed good friendships with a couple of Mohos local and out of state (they know who they are) & some of the men from the Gay Father’s group most of who are, you guessed it, Mohos!! They get what I’m talking about, what I talk or may rant about and simply: They’ve been there, done that. We can be out and about, doing our thing, be missing for days, weeks or months, but once we connect the synergy and friendship picks up right where we left off and I like  that as our own friendships grow and evolve we get more and more comfortable talking and dealing with issues (some serious, some silly) that we might not talk about in an open forum, but here's still plenty of banter and fun exchanges.

I was of the idea that a person can’t have enough friends and that’s great but lately I’ve thought that having a few close friends and many acquaintances might be best...

Anyone has additional insights on the subject?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Skribit thinghy there on the right

I try to come up with interesting things to write about, ideas, commentaries, but sometimes I draw a blank and don't quite know what to say or post something completely inane --Like this!!

In order to maybe get better organized with my thoughts, I added the Scribit gadget if you have any ideas shoot them my way, it allows you to do annonymous questions, so feel free to ask.

(This is the disclosure part where I reserve the right to answer the things I think are appropriate and/or not answer something if I don't feel comfortable talking about it, but I'm pretty much an open book, I think I can handle it! We'll see!)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Musicals Part # Dos

Since I last posted about musicals I've been making it part of my morning routine to listen to the Broadway hits on Pandora Radio  and enhancing my education (or is it assimilation?)

I think the babe cried a small tear when I told him about it this morning. I was amazed that he knew the lyrics to all the songs that came on the station while drank coffee and he helped me bake stuff for my sister's dinner to which he replied: "sweetie I've been gay for much longer than you, besides my mother loves musicals & I've watched them all my life"

To which I said: "that's a lie! I'm older than you & I've been gay all my life, never mind that most of it was spent in the closet, ha!!"

To which he said: "if you know the next song that comes on I'll shut up" next song came & I didn't know it (damn!) and he made fun while not only singing but also doing the full routine to some piece from The Music Man...

I hope I'm lucky enough to marry him someday! :-)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Does it get better (as a married gay man?)

I've spent part of my day catching up with blogs and it was interesting to see Abelard, Beck and Philip talk about life getting better for married gay men and their different points of view. Those of you who have read this blog know that this story didn't end up in Happily Ever After...


I think in addressing the "Does it get better" question, one has to ask: What is better?

For me, better used to be managing (more dealing) with the life I had chosen, marriage, children, work, etc, etc. I wanted my cake and eat it too! I probably spent the first 10 years of marriage doing my darnedest, but as time went on, I realized that I was really doing a lousy job balancing all the plates and since I was not going to get out of anything alive, I might as well do something about accepting myself. In business when something is not going well you redesign; look at your course and make the necessary changes to make sure you get where you want to go, but I didn't see my marriage and life necessarily as a business but still; coming out and start living life in what would seem a better way and making the necessary changes was not going to be an easy project...

"Getting better" suddenly became a completely different goal; here I was a middle aged man who suddenly wanted to live a genuine life, really? Was it realistic? Was it going to be easy? Was it going to be worth it? These were the hard questions I asked myself while I lay awake at 3:00 am wondering how I was going to do this and how I could avoid the less possible impact and pain to all involved.... ugh! I also have to admit that just before I separated from my X I asked if it might be worth it staying together and live our lives the way we had and she was the first one to admit that "better" was not going to happen, but that more than likely we'd find ourselves in the same situation sooner or later so it was mutually decided to move on. 

BUT THAT WAS MY LIFE! Others may be fortunate to have better spouses who in spite of the obvious may still want to pursue a life together, who may be more forgiving and more willing to work on the relationship handling whatever issues may come, for better or worse, after all it takes 2-to-tango and I also wondered how irresponsible it was for me to potentially hold her hostage to my allusion of being a seemingly responsible husband and father when my heart was nowhere in my marriage (physically but more important, emotionally) no matter what I told myself and appeared to be. 

*Has life got better? Well yes! I think so but it has also become a slow process which some days seems like things are moving along nicely and some days I just sit and wonder what's going on?!?!?

*Has it been easy? Well, no, but it would certainly be much, much worse if I didn't have a lot of support from relatives and close friends--that seems to make the biggest difference in the world.

*Was it worth it? Somedays I used to second-guess myself but as time moves on I've concluded that it was very well worth it but I've also concluded that there's no one way to do anything in a relationship that can/be copied for the next one, in the end everyone is their own little world and there are no real guarantees in life.

I'm not entirely sure the point I'm making with this posting, would my life had got better as a married gay man? At this point I believe I have enough knowledge and scars to know that it wouldn't have, no matter how hard I tried, or how much I wanted it.

Sad, but true...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What is it about Kurt from Glee?

Did you hear that Glee got nominated for Best Comedy for some award show?

I told the kids I didn't think it was a comedy, but the reason I fail to see is as comedy is because I'm mesmerized by Kurt and how his character is developing. The writers have managed to move him beyond being the fashionable gay token singer with a huge set of pipes of the Glee club into a fully breathing, fearing, hurting, loving, hating, smiling and feeling human being. 

Last night's show was hard to watch, I usually cry a lot when they show things about Kurt. Dealing with his dad and having acceptance, what gay guy wouldn't want Kurt's dad? When Kurt develops a crush on Finn (who of us has not had a young crush?), or manages to play Football and score a goal while being taunted and picked on by the jocks and finally last night's shock of what happened when he stands up to the bully (I won't give it away in case you haven't seen it, but by now you may have already heard anyway!).

I was talking to the babe about the Kurt factor on Glee and he said: We all relate to Kurt in the sense that his life is everyone of us--as in wish I had been confident enough to be out and be myself at that age but also in the sense that "damn, I'm glad I never got picked on as much and as badly as Kurt does". I suppose there's a lot of truth in that. Not that I was artistic or a flamboyant dresser in high school but I remember giving 'the vibe' to a couple of guys who threatened to kick my ass and that put the fear of God in me almost like nothing else. Now I wonder if those guys who threatened me had their own gay fears of acceptance! 

I hope that Kurt becomes boyfriends with the new kid (Blaine?) and they show it in a healthy, fun way so that people (especially all the young ones) can see that gay relationships can also be healthy and not just about the hook-ups and sex and disfunction but who knows, what'll happen, it is FOX after all! I have to confess that although I have learned to love this show because of Kurt, the music, the other kids' experiences, but let's face it, a lot of what attracts me to watch is because I also want to see what is Sue Sylvester up to!! :-)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The things you would have said...

I heard this website being mentioned on the radio the other day and have been reading it off an on.

The letters are mainly written to people who've passed away from those who didn't take the chance to do it at a given time--to me saying "the right time" seems pointless--, there's lots of things in life that the right time never gets here.

So I've sat here thinking of some things that I would have said and to whom?

1. I would have told my X I was gay before we got married. I realize that she wouldn't have married me but the pain of seeing what I've put her through with that one fatal mistake is pretty unbearable sometimes.
2. I would have told myself long ago that it was OK to be me and be happy being a homo and come out much, much earlier than I did; screw what my mother, the church an the supposed society expected of me. I spent many years pleasing everyone in spite of my own happiness. I would also have told myself it was OK to be vulnerable, that I didn't have to be Superman 24/7 and put on a show for everyone; it is exhausting!!! :-)
3. I would have told my daughter many years ago that gay people are alright, worth of respect and love like I did with my son. I realize that she has had to forge her own ideas and mind but I think I dropped the ball working on her (was I protecting her, or me?) and now it is 10 times harder to have her come around.

I'm sure there are a lot other things I would/should have said, but I've also learned that it isn't healthy to dwell in there. The lesson here is to say what you need to say when you need to say it. I've called myself a slow learner before, but I work hard every day having a few regrets as I possibly can...

If this is too personal I understand, but Is there anything that you would have said?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

To all the gay men I've loved before...

Ha, ha, ha, just had to use that catchy phrase, but no worries, I am not going to reveal anything or out anyone I shouldn't.... this is not that kind of posting (not on election night for heaven's sakes!!) :-) I believe it was Invictus Pilgrim who posted an awesome history of gay men on his blog that made me think about who were some of the early gay people in my life, so here's a quick summary:

I think the first gay man I was ever aware of has to be the Mexican singer/composer Juan Gabriel.

Here was this very effeminate cutie pie that women would scream for and even went as far as to marry and have children but he eventually came out of the closet (gee sound familiar?). The man is a superstar DIVA --kind of a Mexican Elton John-- and his popularity only grows and sadly does his belly, he doesn't look anything like the pic above anymore, but people seem to have grown to just adore him; I think most everyone figured; the guy is talented, so what if he likes men! 

The second gay man I recall is a guy that was someone my family met when we converted to the LDS church. His name is... well let's just call him Ray. I have an old picture of his from when he was my teacher in Primary I think, but I doubt he'd be happy of me posting it. This guy was the poster child for Mormon men. He did everything in the church, talented, funny, easy going and he danced Mexican Folk Dancing like a pro (he had some very OGT's). Eventually he also got married and last I heard (over 15 years ago or so) he was still married, but my parents always referred him as "the kid with all the mannerisms", he, he, he..

Perhaps the next gay man I knew was my Senior year English and Technical Theatre teacher (why on earth did I end up in two different classes with him and not ever figure out he was a fairy or figure more about myself is beyond me!). His name was Mr Sanders. Of course I was so naive and clueless that I even asked him about his wife and he just muttered something as he walked away. But he was the nicest guy, very kind and he had us build the most FABULOUS sets for plays in school--but none of them musicals--now that I think about it.... weird, no? I've always wondered what happened to him and I imagine that if I ever won an Oscar (I don't even act!) I'd honor him on stage, but that's only because of the movie "In and Out".

As I came home from my mission I had a couple of roommates and friends that eventually figured were gay, but damn I was so closeted that no way on earth would I ever dared come out to them, let alone do anything with them. One of those roommates was semi-effeminate and also very nice and he was probably one of the roommates I ever came close to facing my gayness, but my parents demanded I kicked him out because as I was told by them "He reminds us of Ray, the guy with the mannerisms", sigh.... Someday I'll have to write about him... that may be a posting in itself. Before I got married my mission president actually told me about a couple of elders who had come out and were living "the homosexual lifestyle", I don't know what prompted him to tell me that, maybe he was giving me signals that it was OK for me to consider that possibility....

The signs were all there!!

Moving up in the ranks of the church I always had crushes on good-looking men --yeah all ye Elder Quorum and Ward Mission Leaders beware, I crushed on many of ye big time, but being so closeted again, I never dared say or do anything, because as Christ-like as many of them wanted to be, I knew I'd potentially get my sorry ass kicked if I ever dared. Some bishops actually mentioned members by name in meetings who had been seen coming out of gay bars (did they even have those in SLC I thought?) and they way they referred to them was so hostile and so badly I could only sink lower in the closet and only think: "If you only knew there's one in your midst".  

Oddly enough the next gay man I knew about was my X's uncle. We visited family in the Bay area and almost stayed in his house, but his sister warned us against that, but she wouldn't say why. We ended up visiting him and he introduced us to his "roommate". During that visit our 1-year old toddler fell asleep and he asked us to lay him in his bed, so I went into his bedroom and to my surprise there was only a queen-size bed...  I thought "mmmh, roommates with only 1 bed?" LOL..Also, the reason we went on that trip was for the wedding of my X's cousin and guess what, years down the road.... yep, he's gay too! :-P

This is getting long, but I left the LDS church just before coming out of the closet and used to hang out at some of the online Exmo-communities and of course they all have their token gay members. I wrote back and forth with one of the members who lived in Seattle and was openly gay, partner and all, but have lost track of him, but eventually met two others in person after they knew me/about me on the community and eventually coming out to them. I have to say meeting them was one of the most positive experiences of my life. I also participated--I am still subscribed to a gay/mormon list of men who are or were married (The Cha Cha Brotherhood) but I never met anyone in person until years later. All these experiences actually gave me the confidence to meet other gay people in person and the Mohosphere has provided me a good outlet to build good friendships with other gay men. 

This posting probably doesn't have a point other than my own mind's trigger for memory, but I'm sure there are tons of other men who I probably don't even have a clue about (some of them relatives, I'm sure!) but at least from my experience, that gives you a rough idea.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I love musicals...


A gay guy that likes musicals?

Unheard of!

Growing up I didn't get much exposure to musicals, unless you count Grease maybe! I blame my mission president and his musically inclined family who made us watch movies while I was the financial clerk in the mission home. Maybe I had heard a song here and there, but I don't recall ever seeing the likes of The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof and Singing in the Rain until that point;


There's just something exhilarating about breaking out in song about something that happens in life whether it is good or bad and yeah I've been moved by many of the songs to tears here and there! Maybe this is one of the reasons why I love Disney movies, they come chuck full of songs, I mean what's better than singing "Chim, Chimney and Supercalifragilisticexpialidotious"!!! When I came home I wanted to buy the videos--yeah I'm that old--, but that never really happened, but when I had kids I had the best excuse to get them, so I did and I made an effort to play them at least a time or two a year--yeah I have to replace my collection because sadly I lost my movies in the divorce, but every now and then I hear the kids say that they were watching one of them and makes me happy they like them enough to keep up the tradition.

I was mentioning some of this to the babe and he happens to have one of the biggest collections of musicals (he has been out most of his adult life)--so he gets to make fun of my amateur addiction--or is it aversion?--to musicals. Still thanks to him I've learned to appreciate other musicals like Gigi and Thoroughly Modern Millie. I've only recently seen Showgirls (after he almost took my gay card away!) and the quest continues.

My only issue with musicals is that I'd love to be able to sing, but I can't carry a tune to save my life, still I hear that there are a few sing along events centered around some of those movies and I think they'd be a riot to attend. I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but do you like musicals? if you do, what are some of your recommendations? :-)