Sunday, November 7, 2010

Darkest Just Before Dawn

My salt-of-the-earth grandmother used to say that it’s always darkest just before dawn.

Yesterday morning, I was feeling like I was in a very dark place.  I reached out to my on-line friends, and they came through for me.  Thank you!  Your expressions of concern, support and love buoyed me, and served as the “updraft” I needed.

Beyond this, I had a wonderful discussion with my wife yesterday morning.  Things are much better now, and I think we have established a much more solid basis for moving forward. 

Dawn came and heralded a beautiful fall day.

Meanwhile, I had realized the day before that I had kind of botched my coming out to her, in that I didn’t lay the groundwork as I should have.  Instead, my coming out had just happened in the course of a wider discussion involving the church and our children.  I had seen an opportunity, and I had taken it.  Though she already knew bits and pieces of my “hidden history,” she had not been afforded the opportunity to learn my history before the big revelation.

I am now going to rectify that by providing her with a journal version of my “hidden history”, i.e., the history of gay identity and homosexual experiences from the time I was a child until our marriage. 

I think we also laid a good foundation for me to meet with MoHo’s in the future, in an environment of trust and understanding.  We also discussed watching together movies about the gay experience, starting with “Angels in America.” 

The future is again looking bright and promising.  There will without question be future challenges, disappointments and trials, but we are once again in a “good place” to move forward.

My Angel Sister

In addition to my on-line friends, I received fantastic support from my younger sister.  Following my initial coming out to her, I received a wonderfully supportive e-mail.  With her permission, I am going to share parts of it below, in the hope and belief that it may be of benefit to someone else.  Needless to say, I am very grateful to have her alongside me.

Fear is a form of slavery, and I think that what you are experiencing must feel like a liberation. I can't even imagine the pain associated with releasing this: allowing yourself to say no to shame and admit who you are while also admitting it to select others while living in culture and community that you find yourself in. I could imagine that you feel raw at times.

I admire the courage that you have found to come out about this, but most importantly, I find courageous that you are allowing yourself to truly be who you are, with all the pages included - an uncensored edition so to speak. So many people live their lives ignorant of this or simply in rebelling against things: you will not be one of these people! It has taken many years to finally come to terms with this; it will take time to gain a greater understanding of what all of this means to you now. 

I agree that you can allow yourself the time that you need to understand this: there is no rush and no timeline. You are the one making the rules here based on your transformation. As I think of this, I see the chrysalis of a butterfly: while inside the privacy of the silk cocoon, the caterpillar is transforming at a rate that only he can know and determine. Once his metamorphosis is complete, he decides when he will come out. So take this time to nurture yourself, gain your strength, write down your thoughts, explore your mind, body and heart ... there is nothing that is shameful in this life, especially Life itself in all of its intricate and unique forms, i.e., us: you, me, each individual and their differences!

I believe that we are given our bodies, hearts and minds to feel, discover and to LOVE. I believe that all opportunities that allow the unification of heart, mind and body enable us to experience love to its fullest because we are living/loving ourselves and life to the fullest at these moments: from reading a book to swimming, from enjoying food to making love. Pleasure and joy are wonderful gifts that we are so fortunate to enjoy.

Take pleasure and joy in who you are, your thoughts, your sensations, your moments shared in meditation, in expanding your mind, in loving your family and friends and appreciating others. I am certain that the fear will go away: a fist clenched in fear cannot open its hand to receive or hold... once you open your hand to accept love as your guiding force and to embrace and love you for who you are, you LET GO of fear.

I am always here for you.
I love you deeply: as a brother and as a dear friend.
You are a beautiful, intelligent and sensitive man,
and I can only wish for you to have a life
that allows you to see that
and to share this beauty, insight and wisdom with others.

Re-naissance d’un homme
(My re-birth as a man – in process)


  1. I'm so very happy for you! Love conquers all.

  2. The back-steps are all part of any journey, and I am so glad to hear that you realized the back-steps necessary in order to allow your wife to better accompany you along your discovery process. Movies will be a wonderful medium for you both to discuss: it allows both of you the opportunity to witness and feel experiences that will trigger discussion and unveiling.

    While these two following movies do not reflect all of the facets with which you face and also depict extreme and sometimes stereotypical lifestyles, they address important questions and are movies that moved me a lot and have made me rethink my relations with others and to even change the way I work in the professional world: "A Single Man" and "Milk".

    I am so thankful that you are receiving the support you deserve from your online friends and angels. Your experience is a beautiful one to observe and one that re-aligns my own identity affirmation. Thank you for being you. ... delicate hugs from my dragonfly wings!

  3. Thanks, Neal, and thanks for the movie suggestions, Libellule. If anyone else has any suggestions, please comment and let me know. I'm on a steep learning curve (which I don't mind at all!).

  4. Congrats on a beautiful sunrise. Amen on A Single Man and Milk. Good Sabbath!

  5. Glad to hear things are going better for you. Obviously, I know nothing about your wife, but I know I didn't react well to Angels in America when I watched it as a faithful LDS person and found it a depressingly pessimistic or bleak and tinny in its outlook, not to mention having an axe to grind where the Church is concerned. I imagine A Single Man wouldn't have sat well with me, either, despite "getting it" now.

    That said, I don't know what I'd suggest instead, as far as movies go. Save Me? Prayers for Bobby? Nah, I don't know. Maybe you're on the right track. I'm just saying don't be surprised if watching movies like Angels in America freaks her out a bit in ways that might seem surprising to you, who may identify in ways she doesn't, but again, obviously you know your wife well, and I don't at all, so maybe it's presumptuous of me to even raise the cautionary flag. Hm, giving advice to someone who didn't ask for it and whom I don't know at all personally...shoot, I'm "one of those". Yeah, I'm going away now to bother you no more. :-)

  6. I'm in a similar situation. LDS, married with kids, and gay. My wife didn't really know about me until she came across some books that I had gotten from Evergreen. Personally, I think it was better for her to come across those than the porn I had earlier…

    She has been very supportive, but it has still been hard. I recently told my mom that I was gay. She has been more supportive and non-judgmental that I could have ever imagined.

    After that, my wife confessed that a couple years ago while we were going through a rough time, she had told her parents. And that at women’s conference at BYU a couple years ago they had a seminar on “mixed orientation marriages”. She wanted to attend but didn’t know how to do that with her other girl friends who were with her. She simply told her that I also deal with that.

    My initial reaction was, “Crap, crap, crap” (or some derivation of that word). Turns out I was less in the closet than I thought. But none of those people ever treated my any differently or ever said anything to me. People knew, but it didn’t matter.

    After Elder Packer’s talk, the next day my dad called me so that I would know that he disagreed with Packer, and that his talk didn’t change the love and support they felt for me. My mom called a couple days later just so I would hear that from her voice.

    I was so worried about telling her. I was afraid that she was going to into “fix it” mode and start sending me articles about how to change and on and on. I was worried because I know of many “good” Mormon parents who have been incredibly unkind to their children who have come out. The one thought I had was, hey, I’ve got the grandkids… When she responded as she did, the biggest fears I’ve had for the last 25 years of my life evaporated. I found myself thinking, I was so worried she was going to do this or say that. I reached the point where I’d have to catch myself and tell myself, no, those fears did not materialize. I don’t have to spend any more mental energy on them. I was SO happy. Such a massive burden had been lifted.

    My wife was a bit worried that my new-found freedom/happiness would make me more likely to want to leave the marriage and find a boyfriend. I won’t lie and say the thought hasn’t crossed my mind. Nevertheless, I try not to focus on that possibility. But some days are harder than others.

  7. Original Mohomie - Thanks for reading and thanks for your comment. I did ask for suggestions, and since I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to gay culture (in the best sense of those words), I appreciate the input. So please come back regularly and "bother me." :)

  8. Hey Utahhiker,

    I’m glad you stopped by and left a comment. It sounds like we have a lot in common. How long ago was it that you told your wife? Sounds like it’s been several years?

    That’s really too bad about your wife telling others without your knowledge. I’m glad that those who were told didn’t treat you any differently.

    I appreciate you sharing about the support you got from your family after BKP’s talk. It’s empowering to hear about other individuals and families that were chagrined and disturbed by his comments.

    I also appreciate you honestly sharing your feelings about your marriage. Yes, some days are harder than others. Hang in there, and I hope that my experiences that I share on this blog may prove useful in some small way.

  9. I told my wife 8 years ago I was gay. I think, like you, I am becoming much more accepting of myself; my whole self. Reading your thoughts about how you are trying to integrate all aspects of who you are is helpful to me.

    My wife has said she wants me to be open with her about the things I'm going through. Although it's much easier for her to say that than it is for her to actually deal with my answers.

    I once worked up the courage to tell her that if it weren't for her and the kids, I don't think I'd be going to church (and I'm in a bishopric…). Her response was something along the lines, "Yeah, but you keep doing it because you have a testimony." Not quite. I understood that she wanted to be reassured more than she wanted to know my truth.

    Despite that, I sometimes tell her what I'm thinking and going through. On occasion I have told her when I think someone is hot (Jason Bourne when the back of his shirt comes up just a little and you can see his back while he's jumping from one building to the next - breath-taking). A while ago we went out to dinner and there was a guy at the next table who kept checking me out. I told my wife about it afterward. She was a good sport about it because she just said, “I know. He kept checking you out, and I kept thinking, ‘No, he’s my husband.’”

    Comments from church members about what they think they know about "SSA" issues are something that generates a good deal of frustration in me. Sometimes I feel pretty angry about it. She understands that and sympathizes with me.

    In the mean time, we’re still moving forward. I don’t know what the future will hold for me. There are times I want a boy friend and a male connection so badly it hurts. I wish I had all the answers.

  10. Once again, Utahhiker, thanks for sharing. I hear what you're saying when you write about reassurance being more important (to others) than the truth ... I haven't worked up the courage yet to tell her when I think a guy is hot. Right now, I don't think she'd react very well to that. :)

    I'm kind of surprised your wife picked up on you being checked out by another guy. I would think that was good for your ego :), and I guess over time she has probably become more aware of and sensitive to that sort of thing.

    It sounds like you and your wife have made a good deal of progress together since you came out to her, e.g., if she can empathize over frustration with comments from members ... I can sure emphathize with your desire for a male connection ...

    I'm glad you find something useful here on this blog. We're all on a journey. Take care.