Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I can be your friend (la la la)

Hey Odd ball!  Hey weirdo!

It is still weird for me to hear that people are still picked on, bullied, teased, beat-up ...

Actually, it frustrates me.  A lot.

Very little makes me mad, but if you bully someone ... 
you'll see me mad.  

It is unacceptable.

From anyone.  
Especially from Christians.  
No, from anyone.

It may have been understandable during my growing up years.
Being gay wasn't talked about, much.  
If it was, it was rarely understood.  

I grew up in a rural part of the U.S.  
It was more conservative.  
People were warm and friendly with their own.  
They were less friendly with foreigners.
People who were different.

Religion was a big part of most peoples' lives.
But, Religion didn't understand being gay.
They thought they did.  
But, they didn't.  

Many of them have changed their stances on gay people.  
Some had changed them only slightly.  
Others have changed them a lot.  

Gay ministers are found in quite a few religions. 
Mormons opened up a website about their beliefs on gays.
The current Pope is "less antagonistic about gays."
Being part of the Westboro Baptist Church has become a very negative thing.
And it should.  

Many Christians are acting ... Christlike.  

Those of the younger generations are not worried about gays.
There is a divide somewhere around 45-ish.
People above this line tend to be against gay marriage.  
People below this line tend to be for gay marriage.  

While there are exceptions, the lines are drawn mostly on age.  
Religion has less of an impact.  
Politics has less of an impact.  

I saw my nephews watching Veggie Tales.
Sunday morning values, Saturday morning fun. 

I wondered what they were being taught.  
As I watched a few with them, I realized it was different.
They weren't teaching hate.  

These singing vegetables were teaching love.  
I especially loved the one where they taught people to not bully others.
Who would've thought that a Christian video would teach people how to be more ... 
well, Christian?

It wasn't written about gays.  
But, it could've been.
I should've been. 

And, it applies.  

So, enjoy.  
Be better people. 
Be better friends.  

I can be your friend - Lyrics

Have you ever seen a boy with funny clothes?
A girl with braces on her teeth
Or freckles on her nose?
Some kids call them "odd balls"
Some kids call them "weird"
Is it my imagination, or does Aunt Ruth have a beard?
God makes lots of people in all colors, shapes and sizes
He loves them very much and what we need to realize is
That calling people names because their different is wrong
Instead we need to look on them in love
And sing this song:
Chorus 1:
I can be you'r friend
I can be you'r friend
Anyday, in any weather
We can be friends and play together
Yeah, we're all preaty different
Some are skinny, some are stout
But the inside is the part we're
Suppost to care about
Ay, that's where we got feelings
That are very much the same
And so instead of "weirdo"
I think "friends" a better name!
Chorus 2:
I can be you'r friend (la, la, la)
I can be you'r friend (la, la, la)
If you'r hair is red or yellow,
We can have lunch
I'll share my jello!
I can be you'r friend (la, la, la)
I can be you'r friend (la, la, la)
It's ok if we are different
We can still play

Friday, March 14, 2014

The REAL gay (Family) question: Nature or Nurture

The REAL gay (family) question:  Nature versus Nurture ...

So do you think that we have decided the question on Nature versus Nurture?  Well, we haven't.  No, I don't mean the question on if a gay person "chooses" to become gay.  We've all heard that question for years.  Granted, there are still quite a few heterosexual people (especially religious ones) who believe it is due to a choice or due to issues with dear 'old mummy or daddy.  

Nurture.  Mommy babied him too much.  If she would've let him play with cars, instead of dolls ... or had him play sports, instead of listen to music.  Well, unless those weren't the case.  Then, well, things are okay.  She only had older and younger brothers around her, so she became a tomboy.  That seems to always equate to being a lesbian, unless of course, it doesn't.  Then, she is just purely athletic and such.  My family is living proof of some of those just not working.  I have a sister, who was (is) very athletic.  She played in multiple sports and was on scholarship at the Collegiate level.  She isn't a lesbian.  In fact, she is a happily married mom of 5 kids.  Oh.  

I played a lot of sports growing up, as well.  And, yes, they were both individual and team sports.  I never played with dolls. No, I forced my sisters to play with cars and ride bikes.  I didn't dance about in a dress.  But, that wouldn't have made me gay.  I just was.  It wasn't because my Mom was too close to me.  I was always fiercely independent.  It wasn't because my Dad wasn't close enough to me.  He worked, but was involved in our lives.  Oh.  

So much for that theory.  The good news is that, even though there are still a lot of people out there who believe being gay is a choice or a result of nurturing, the number is going down.  More of those people are questioning these theories and coming up with the answer, "I don't know what makes a person gay."  We'll take that movement.  Even more people are coming up with a different answer of "I don't think it is a choice."  We are glad that people are hearing us, finally.  

So, what is the question?  Nature versus Nurture?  Yes, I mean for gay families.  If a gay person wants a family, is it nature or nurture?  Now, I know that there are a lot of gay people that don't want a family.  There are a lot of straight people who don't want a family, too.  But, the fact that out of a group of supposedly anti-family gay people, the numbers of gays who want to be married is rising; so are the numbers of gays who want to have kids.  

WAIT a minute!  I thought gay people were against kids.  Aren't they the reason families are breaking up and falling apart?  Every time a straight person gets a divorced, isn't it the fault of a gay person?  Well, in some cases, it is (okay ... that was a sarcastic joke).  No, it isn't their fault.  When a kid rebels against their parents, it isn't the fault of gay people, either.  More and more gay couples are adopting and having kids (I'll ignore the snickers, here ... you know what I mean!).  

I've always wanted to have a family.  While I know that being gay is not from my upbringing.  Nothing about my growing up would say it is okay to be gay.  I come from a rural, religious, conservative family.  All of those would point to being anti-gay.  Yet, here I am.  But, where and how I grew up was all about the family.  Most people I knew growing up (including my family) had dinner together as a family.  They went to school plays and concerts as a family.  They attended church together, as a family.  It is what I knew.  I am Mormon.  The Mormon church believes that the family is one of the most fundamental parts of the religion.  It is a big reason they are anti-gay marriage.  They are afraid it will ruin the family (and many Mormons are just afraid of gays).  

Does my wanting to have a family come from my upbringing (nurture) or is it inherent to some people's being (nature)?  This is more difficult to answer for me.  I look to my very large Mormon family and think of the countless family reunions (with almost 60 cousins on one side), family vacations to the mountains and to the rivers and to visit relatives, family activities at my church and wonder how much of a part did they play in my desires.  It had to play some part in it, but did it just build on my natural desire to be with someone and want to have kids?  

Either way (nature or nurture), it doesn't matter.  The modern family is changing and it is starting to look more like what I envision.  

As much as my religion, family background, small town upbringing, etc. played in my life, I am thankful.  It has helped make me who I am today.  It may have also helped me want to be with someone I love and help raise some kids.  I am still unsure about the mini-van, but I think I would adjust.  

Saturday, January 11, 2014

That's gay ... (repost)

This is a repost from the beginning of my blog.

I was talking with a friend again, today.  They asked how I was and I said, "Good. Good."  That, of course, means "really" good.  We all know "Good" just means okay.

It started back in college at Brigham Young University.  A group of us started using a word one, two, or even three times to show how serious the word was.  If we were good, it meant we were okay.  Good, Good meant we were good.  Good, good, good meant we were doing great.

It sounds really funny ... and a little weird, now.  But, at the time, it was actually very natural and worked for many things.  My friend had to a test coming up meant they could play a bit (because it was just an in-class quiz).  A Test Test meant he would have to prepare for a testing center visit.  A Test Test Test meant breaking out the all-nighter for final exams!  Pizza and Dr. Pepper!

Of course, it was a little debasing when we talked about things such as Gay.  Because something that was Gay was basically silly.  Gay Gay meant someone was acting like a homosexual.  Gay Gay Gay meant that something or someone was really gay.

I'm not proud of the phraseology.  It has reminded me of the phrase, "That's Gay" that has been used a lot lately and ... has become more controversial.

I've stopped using this particular word or phrase and get on people when they say it.  But, it still takes me back to college.

The opening (repost)

This is the first entry I wrote on my blog.  I am reposting it, as it was deleted.

So, here is the start of my new blog.  It isn't as "out" there as you might think.  In fact, it is still pretty much in the closet for many of my family and friends. But, that is a reason for starting this.  It is to let people know that it is okay to be you ... no matter what stage in life you are in.  For me, it means I am a guy who happens to be gay and who happens to be Latter-Day Saint (Mormon).
 I don't think any of them solely define who I am.  All of them, with many other personal characteristics and attributes and personal experiences make up the whole me. Unlike Kevin Keller, the new Archie character, I am in a stage where some of my friends and co-workers and most of my family are unaware that I am gay. You may have stumbled on this page by accident.  You may never come back.  But, like all aspects of life, I hope you have a better outlook on life because of your visit.  I'll introduce myself and more of my life, later.  For now ... Adieu ..

God gifted me my ...(repost)

This is a repost of an entry written several years ago.

There is an article by Keith N. Hamilton in the latest LDS Living magazine.  It is titled God Gifted Me My Race and discusses how he believes that his race and many things that come with his race are gifts from God.  Many would assume that this active LDS member is white and would shake their head (either in the affirmative as white LDS members or in the negative as anti-LDS members).  Well, they would be incorrect.  Brother Keith is an African American Latter-Day Saint and in the first paragraph he says "I believe the color of my skin is ultimately a gift from God."

Brother Keith addresses some of the great talents and characteristics of his race that he feels are strong gifts from God.  But, interestingly enough, he also talks about all of the struggles of race relations and equality over the past fifty-some years.  These experiences outside and inside the church wouldn't readily be considered gifts by many, no matter your faith.

I have wondered and thought about this topic and my own circumstance.  Is my sexual orientation (being gay) a gift from God?  I have often considered it a strong gift from God.  But, do others believe this, too?  Many, if not most, LDS members would probably consider it a curse or at the very least a trial.  Many people in the gay community wouldn't even consider God in the equation.

Of course, I can only speak about my own experiences.  I am sure there are plenty of gays that are self centered, jerks, and even down evil.  However, in my life, I feel blessed to have some particular characteristics that I feel are in accompany my being gay.  For example, more than almost any other aspect in my life, I have been forced by my circumstances to consider others and their points of view.  Since I, myself, have been forced to break out of the ordinary view of life, I have been able to step back in many instances to ask how others are going through a certain aspect of life, trial or not.  I can't tell you how many times I hear people saying something very stereotypical about gays or race or gender.

Being gay has helped me consider that not everything is neatly placed on the shelves of life.  There are so many differences that make each of us beautiful and unique.  And, I believe, they are all gifts of God to help us understand how to survive and adapt in life.  More importantly, they are all characteristics that allow us to learn acceptance and true Christ-like love (Charity).

I believe that I am more sensitive to others and have an uncanny ability to listen to their situations and be non-judgemental.  Ask any of my friends, who continually turn to me for advice or just to rant / rave about a situation.  It has been part of my life.  At times it is a burden, at times it is a blessing.

There are other numerous gifts that I have received by being gay.  I do believe God gave me the gift of being gay.  What about you?

Mike Manning ... (repost)

This is a repost from a blog written several years ago.  It was deleted.

I was getting my political fix this week (like the Iowa debate didn't do it ... right?) and I read up a bit more on Fred Karger (Fred Who? you may ask ... I'll post one on that, later).  One of the people that spoke out for him was Mike Manning.  Now, it has been a long time since I've watched, let alone followed, MTV's Real World.  I guess this guy was on it a year ago.

Mike ManningSo, who is Mike Manning and why am I talking about him?  I read a few articles on him.  He seems like a pretty well grounded kid, for 21 years old, and he has come out as bi-sexual.  He said he can be called gay or bi.

And, he is getting some flack from the straight and gay populations.  Funny, isn't it?  People are judging?  Well, we know the straight activists are not going to like him.  But, we see something that I never did understand ... the gay activists are attacking him.  Why?  I am fully sure, but I am guessing it stems from a few different areas: 1) they think he is phobic and not being his true self, 2) it somehow delegitimizes their gayness, or 3) they are just angry at everyone.

I found this interesting and recommend that you read this article.  It also has an interesting few pieces on how he is dealing with his family and his religion.  Mormons may find this interesting and, more importantly, helpful.  I did.

Mike Manning of MTV's Real World DC

Blog Happy (repost)

This is a repost of a blog written a few years ago.  it was deleted ...

Although I have had my blogs for a while, I have recently started reading some blogs.  Well, let me rephrase that:  I have been reading blogs from family and friends for quite a while.  But, I have just started reading *gasp* gay blogs.  Particularly, I have been reading different MoHo blogs.  Now, I had to look up MoHo.

MoHo is defined as:
1) A Mormon Homosexual / Gay Mormon
2) A person of homosexual orientation who has some affiliation (either as a current member or former member) with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Ahhh ... I guess that makes sense.  I guess I would be ... am ... a MoHo.

Anyway, I have found that I like some of them and others I find ... boring.  Maybe if I knew the people better, I would enjoy them more.  Or, maybe I would realize why I don't enjoy them.  :-)

I may, over the life of this blog, pull information from one or more of these blogs.  I'll try to share the origination of the blog.

And ... here we go.