Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Families are Forever ... If Only You Weren't Gay

It hasn’t escaped the notice of more than a few persons that Mormonism can be a wonderful thing … if you happen to be straight, are politically conservative, have a penchant for following and are willing to surrender free thinking (as opposed to free agency (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)) in exchange for a sense of certainty about life.

Okay, okay, so that was a bit cynical.  But let’s face it:  by any standard, Mormons are a rather homogeneous lot.  But in no respect are they more homogeneous than when it comes to sexual orientation.  I mean, there are straight Mormons everywhere.  Oh wait … I guess that’s because one needs to be straight in order to enter the highest degree of glory in the celestial kingdom, or – according to some people – any degree of glory in the celestial kingdom, or perhaps even in the terrestrial kingdom.  Who knows?  All we really know is that they’re an abomination.  Right?

Sigh.  There I go again being cynical.  But, you know what?  I’ve become just a tad bit more cynical the further along this road that I’ve traveled … the road of coming out as a gay man.  If only I’d been able to believe President Packer and just accept the fact that I am impure and unnatural.  If only I’d been able to continue to hate myself and convince myself that I am incurably flawed, an abomination, trusting that, somehow, somewhere over the rainbow, the Atonement would cure me if I only remained faithful.

But, alas, I wasn’t able to do those things.  And now I’m paying the price. 

You know that patriarchal thing?  Well, it seems to stop working once you come out as gay.  Somehow, someone waves a magic wand over you and you cease being a father, even though, like, you are.  You certainly cease to be a patriarch.  You have to have a temple recommend in order to be a patriarch.  Families aren’t real unless you’re straight, do your home teaching, pay your tithing, etc.

Ouch.”  I can hear it being said.  “Whoa.  Dude.  You have serious bitterness issues.”  I can see others, smiling and nodding knowingly, saying, “It was only a matter of time.” 

It is not pleasant, being erased.  


  1. LOL! I'm one of those who said to myself, "It was only a matter of time." :)

  2. God Loveth His Children. Ever read it? Currently it works for my gay son. Not sure if it will forever but it helped him lose the cynicism.

  3. I think that when "people" start dismissing you as the father you are, it is then time to reassert yourself. Force the issue and reclaim who you are.

    I share some of that bitterness you're expressing. I don't know that there's any answer to resolve that (except large amounts of time), but I don't think we're necessarily looking for that "cure" at this moment.

  4. "If only I’d been able to continue to hate myself and convince myself that I am incurably flawed, an abomination, trusting that, somehow, somewhere over the rainbow, the Atonement would cure me if I only remained faithful."

    When you break it down to the bare bones, the crux of the matter for me is this:

    Which is better

    A) To have everyone you know see you as flawed, struggling, untrustworthy, an abomination and a sinner.


    B) To distrust yourself, hate yourself, and hinder your ability to see your own goodness and perfection?

    One day, that dichotomy will come across as melodramatic and unnecessary, but I think those of us now in this situation can see that it really is that simple.

    The best choice I ever made was to love myself. I don't think that's being cynical. It's being optimistic and loving.

  5. Thank you, DPS. I'm now engaged in an effort to learn to discover myself and love myself - although I have the sneaking suspicion that self-love has to precede self-discovery because the wounded self has to feel safe to come out ...

  6. I've been advised that I should write a blog to get all of this out of my system. Then you go and write it for me. I've been thinking these words and feelings for the past month. You put it into words for me perfectly. I don't see it as cynical or bitter. For me it is honest and very validating. Thank you. It is so nice to know that I'm not alone. I'm still locked away in my closet but not so alone tonight. Thanks.

  7. "...I have the sneaking suspicion that self-love has to precede self-discovery..." reminds me of Roethke: "In a dark time, the eye begins to see."

  8. Dear Anonymous - You don't know how much that means to me to hear that my words, written in darkness and exasperation, were of help to you. Thank you for expressing your thoughts.

    Favoritenic - Thank you so much for sharing that quote.

  9. I wonder how your family feels about these same issues. They no longer have a father at home. You had many years together. Their interpretation of the past and expectations for the present and future have been changed just as much as yours. I have to think they are in pain too.

  10. IP, this is the best and perhaps most honest of all your posts. I'm glad to see that you are making progress and coming to terms with the issues that really are YOUR issues--not your wife's issues or your children's issues or your friend's issues. Fortunately, I'm told, as we deal directly with the issues that really are our own, the bitterness and disappointment eventually dissipate and are replaced with consolation and contentment. I have to believe all will balance out. I love you, bro...

  11. IP, last night, after posting my comment (anonymously), I signed up as a follower. Tonight, I reread your "Families are Forever" post and still feel and hear my thoughts and feeling in your words. The support and validation has been the light needed in this dark and lonely closet to get through another day. Maybe I'll hear and feel more of my feelings here in the future. Thanks.

  12. Welcome, Dan. Thanks for your comments. It can be such a tortured world that we live in; we need each others' support.

  13. It is great to hear your honesty. It's people's perceptions of families, of others that limit. You can choose, you are together with your "family", as far and wide as this family may be.... forever in your soul. No one .... NO ONE can take that away from you.

    It must be painful, very painful to be erased. I am so sorry that this is happening: being faced with betrayal, disrespect, judgement ... Know that Love is extended with acceptance, respect and open arms.

  14. IP, I wanted to once again thank you for the time, energy, love and compassion you continue to share with so many while on your journey to become truly whole. My hope for you as welll with all of us is that you can love youself and find that special person to love you the way you came wired to be loved. Reading about your process has given me strength and support while on my journey. I haven't posted in a while because I've had my hands full dealing with my own issues, hurts and pain. I wish I had some wisdom or advice to share on what to do with your kids and divorce process. But I will say they simply don't realize that their hurt and anger prevents them from simply knowing the very best parts of yourself. 

    A few months ago I moved back to the area so I could be closer to my kids. I don't have much of a relationship with my 3 boys either. They do have a wonderful step dad whom they love and think of as dad. But he is not me. My ex wife and I do communicate and a lot of the heat and anger has dissipated from our relationship, but I still feel judgment and hurt there.

    So I continue to just work on being the best me possible and I put a lot of engergy into creating my own happiness, peace and wellbeing. Because this is an area that I have control over and can do something about. The power of intention I have discovered can not be understated. I share this because I have had success in the relationship, love and finding a partner domain. Yes I am now head over heels in love! I found (or we found eachother) a wonderful man whom I share my life with and I get to share his life with him. Our relationship is healthy, strong and fulfilling on so many levels. All my fears and superstitions have been put to rest that being if I embrace my homosexuality in a healthy loving way thus finding a partner that immediately life will stop and I will have a one way ticket strait to outer darkness. Of course this is silly I know but there must be a reason why it has taken me so long embrace who I am. Having been divorced and ex'd over 9 years ago it remains curious to me why I gave so much power to others and their opinons of me.

    Finding love has been so hugely powerful for me. I finally feel safe enough to go through the process to comfront my many demons finally laying them to rest one by one. I'm excited to see where I end up as I no longer allow myself to live in the past. I now live for me, for today for us.

    Hang in there brother, great things await you.

  15. Big virtual hug. I've thought the same thing, that the gospel works well for you if you fit a certain mold or demographic. Still, there are an awful lot of gay Mormons and people who don't fit the mold. One has to wonder at a doctrine that is so hell bent on procreation..could it be that it was to populate the west? But I seriously digress.
    I feel like I could have been reading a page in my journal. I relate to that feeling, of erasure, that bitterness. It's the hardest part, to realize that in some way, you no longer exist in their minds because you aren't gay, active, etc. But you do. You just need to find a group of people who validate you for who you are. I know that sounds cliche, but I think you have to surround yourself with people who support you and are in your corner.
    I feel like I'm talking to a mirror. I need to follow my own advice I think. It would help a lot. Thanks for the thoughtful post. I totally relate.

  16. I meant "Because you are gay, aren't active, etc." oops.