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.

Gossip, Gossip, Gossip ... (repost)

This is a repost from a few years ago.  It was deleted.

Well, I got two earfuls of gossip a few weeks ago.  It seems that my sexuality has been the topic of some people's conversations.  Hmmm ....

I guess I was surprised.  Not really because I am not gay.  Not really because I don't act gay.  Because I never really thought that people would sit around and talk about me.  But, I guess some people do.

Evidently, one of my best friends from High School not only thinks that I am gay, he has been telling his whole family that I am. Now, we kept in touch for a few years after HS.  In fact, he was probably the only one that I stayed in touch with after HS.  I went straight to college, then on my mission, then my family moved to Utah.  I really didn't see anyone from High School until the past few years.  But, his family is still in my hometown and in my home ward.  And, know a lot of my family.  So, the fact that he is sharing his thoughts as if they were truth kind of bothered me.  At first.

I spent the weekend with 2 of my cousins a few weeks back.  Our families spent a lot of time together growing up.  They were my closest cousins in age and in location.  We spent a lot of time at their house.  Now, I have close to 50 cousins on this side of the family and I know all of them.  I kept in touch with these guys through college.  In fact I twice roomed with 1 and roomed with 3 of them when we owned a condo together.  And, 1 of them was one of the first people that I told that I was gay.  It was when I first was coming to terms with myself.  It was when I was in one of my darkest places.  I asked that they not tell anyone.  I expected they would share it with their spouse when they got married.  But, I found out that they shared it with some of their family, too.  I guess the lack of trust most surprised me.

Now, truth is ... I am gay.  Truth is ... that I can't change that.  Believe me, I have tried.  So, it isn't the fact that people know that bothers me so much.  I think it is the lack of respect and trust.  The fact that it has to be a "rumor" that is shared with people.  The fact that I thought I trusted someone for all this time.

Maybe it is a good thing that more people know.  And, tomorrow I will feel much better.  But, today, I am feeling a bit sad and betrayed.

Bucknell Soccer player Jesse Klug shares a letter with those who criticize him for being gay ...

Bucknell University Soccer Player (gay) Shares his Thoughts ...

Jesse Klug, a college soccer player for Bucknell University, wrote a letter sharing his thoughts on comments people make about him being gay.  He does a good job at understanding his feelings and articulating them for us.

While I don't agree with a few points, I can especially relate to Jesse's comment about not choosing to be gay.  It seems to be a constant point I hear from people.  None of them would choose to be gay, but they think that others would.  The interesting thing is that they have all kinds of comments about being gay: People choose it, they are deviants, they are bad people, they only care about sex, etc.  But when I ask if they think these things about me, they say, "well that is different.  You're not like them."   It is something that always bothers me and, at times, really annoys me.

Another thing that I can agree on is the use of "retard."  I've always hated it.  I think it is the same reason that Jesse uses.  It is a derogative slur meant to insult and tear someone down.  it is unbecoming of a human being and it is especially un-Christian.

Finally, I agree that someone being gay shouldn't be the defining point of a person.  While we may identify someone as colored, hispanic, athletic, tall, smart, etc., we all know that that is only a small part of the whole.  It is a part of what makes up a person.  A person may be colored, hispanic, athletic, tall, smart, AND gay.  But, really, they are also a person, a son, a daughter, a brother, a sister, a friend.

Choices, choices, choices ...

There is still a belief among many LDS people (and other Christians), even if it isn't supported by all, that gay people have chosen to be gay.  Well, there are multiple beliefs.  Some say it is a very specific choice; others believe that it is a product of their environment (mommy or daddy issues), and others believe that it isn't a choice at all.

Why someone would chose to be gay, when it brings upon them (even in today's society), seems like a somewhat silly question.  Growing up a member of the LDS Church (Mormon), I realized that I was gay.  I really didn't understand it for a few years, but by age 9 or 10, I knew that I got excited by guys and not by girls.  Maybe because I lived in a rural community and/or maybe because I was born about 40 years ago, it took a few years before I'd even consider it something like being gay (other than just a "phase" or just something weird about me).  I considered it in High School, but didn't really give it much thought.  I was too involved in school activities and sports and scouts and church. Being gay, if that was what it was, didn't really matter.  It is not like I pushed a button and was gay.

It wasn't until my Junior year of High School that I admitted that I was attracted to guys.  It was partially then (although it was admitted quietly to myself) and a few years later at college, that I admitted that being gay was not a bad thing.  Remember that I was a member of the LDS Church at this time.  I was also living in rural Washington State.  Admitting to myself was big enough, but realizing what it meant among my friends and for my family and religion was quite another thing.  It meant that either I was evil, bad, a mistake, or ... what.  I chose "what".

I knew I wasn't bad.  I'd been good most of my life.  So, during my Junior year and my first year at the University, I decided that I was who I was.  I knew it wasn't a choice for me.  I knew that accepting this would mean I was admitting that I didn't know everything and, just possibly, my religion of choice didn't know everything either.  That was a pretty good admission, especially because I'd leave that year to go on a 2 year mission for my Church.

All in all, I know that I did not choose to be gay.  I also know that it wasn't because I was too close with my Mom or too distant from my Father.  I can't explain it.  I feel I don't need to.  Can you explain why you are straight or gay?  Do you need to explain it?  Think about that the next time you ask someone why they are gay.