And the Winner is…..

Austin from Another County Heard From.  So, we’ll talk and figure out a prize for you!

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The Contest of Contests

I’m coming up on my 100th comment soon.  I’m not going to say how many comments it is going to take to get there, but it is approaching fast.  So, I decided to have a contest.  Whoever the 100th person to make any comment on any post will be the winner.  So…..have at it! Write whatever you want.  If you write something nice about me or tell me that you think I’m hot, you’re prize may be even better.  😉 Whoever it is wins something from me….like a kiss.  Just kidding.  Don’t get your hopes up.  It will probably be something lame like….oh, I don’t know.  A cruise?  A flaming bag of poop on the doorstep?  A house plant?

You’ll just have to wait and see!  I’ll announce the winner in a few days, so keep your eyes open!

A Long Awaited Letter from S.

Last December, I posted about my first time at the Matis fireside.  I posed a question to my friend, S. that was something to the effect of “Why do you hang out with us?”  She told me that she had to think about it, and I finally received a response.  Here is what she had to say:

This response is long overdue…

The Question: Why do you hang out with guys like us?

I must admit, this question did not independently cross my mind. However, upon meeting new people, it crossed their minds. And they, like you, asked. I was never really sure how to answer it…

…My answer?

My instinctive and brief answer is to respond with a different question, “Why wouldn’t I?” Honestly, why wouldn’t I hang around you? To me, this is enough. However, I recognize that for some I needed to be a bit more thoughtful. So…

My thoughts:

I reflected on my personal experiences with people who experience SGA. Several years ago I was introduced to a guy who became a good friend. About two years after we met, he called and left me a seemingly frantic message saying he needed to talk. He visited that night and told me he had “met someone and he is very nice…” This was a bit unexpected. That night we talked about his experience as it related to his new relationship. Then, he talked about how afraid he was to tell me because he feared I would no longer be his friend. (Something I honestly did not consider.) In fact, he and I are still friends and I appreciate his enthusiasm and genuine interest in my well-being.

In the background of this experience, another friend was closely watching how I responded. (Of course, I didn’t know it at the time.) Then, about a year later, in an attempt to “help [me] put a lot of things into perspective concerning [his] back-and-forth feelings for [me],” he shared with me his “struggle with same gender attraction.”

And then I met…and…and…and…and you…and…and… I could tell you how each person has influenced my life, but this is your blog. So…using the term “one” to denote “One Person” or even “Several People”…maybe I’ll give just a few examples…One taught me to share my testimony and one taught me to serve others and one taught me to apply the Atonement to my life and one taught me to love and one taught me to be genuine and one made sure I knew I was important and one taught me not to give up…

And you. I remember the first time we met. It was a casual setting, you were working and I was attending a concert. We said “Hi” and had a brief conversation. A few days later we conversed at a Matis Fireside. It was there that I first appreciated your kindness. It was also there that you posed this question. Thanks for that.

A few days later I invited you to my house to play games with friends, but you already had plans. And then you texted and asked if you could bring something over and, of course, I said yes. You came and brought these amazing peanut clusters and we visited with a few of my other friends. Then you left and my friends and I chatted and they said you were cool and mentioned that it was nice you stopped by. Then they left. And I reflected on how it seemed amazing to me, actually…we met only a few days prior and yet you were real.

And even more amazing is that it didn’t stop there. You spontaneously sent texts saying, “I love you!” or posted on-line saying, “S!…I love you!” And your timing was always perfect. Then I posed the question to myself (and probably to God), “How is it that I am surrounded with people who love God, who strive to be better than they are, and who show that they love and appreciate me?”

Now, having said all that, I would be dishonest if I didn’t acknowledge that my experience with “you guys” is not always so positive. I should also admit I’ve experienced sadness and discouragement, I’ve learned to cry (a lot) and I’ve learned to lose. And I suppose these lessons are evidence that I genuinely care…it’s authentic love. I want you guys to see who you are…in God’s eyes and recognize your potential! I know He knows and loves you…and I know He knows and loves me!! And that He has a plan and His plan is perfect! And even though it doesn’t always make sense to us…it always makes sense to Him. Therefore, we have to trust Him. And serve Him…which means serving each other!

Recently our friend, A. Struggler, posted about our family. What a privilege it is to be part of it! Our friends are generally a reflection of who we are. I am surrounded by the most amazing people… lifting one another, as we each journey through the experiences of life. It’s the only way we’ll make it…depending on and sharing with one another…while we trust the Lord and depend on one another to help us see things, even to see ourselves, as God sees us.

So, to S., I want to say how much I love you!  This was perfect. You are so incredible.  I know I told you how much fun I’ve had with you, but I really, genuinely mean it.  You are really a very inspiring person.  Thanks so much for everything you have done for me and so many others!

Random Thoughts at 1:00 AM

I’ve had a lot of thoughts swimming through my head lately.  There are a lot of things that I want to write about, but nothing really big enough or important enough to fill a whole post.  I’ll try to keep this organized, but I can’t make any promises.

I love you guys.  UTMOHO wrote about how incredibly welcomed he (and others) have felt by other MoHo’s.  I feel the same way.  Thank you so much.  That made such a huge impact on me when I began “coming out”, and still helps me now.

I recently went to a friends mission farewell.  She did a really great job, and I loved seeing her and our friends.  I don’t want to minimze how great she did, but it was a different speaker in the meeting that I wanted to write about.  A recent convert spoke, and it was incredible.  From what I was able to gather, he grew up in a small Utah town but wasn’t a member of the church.  He joined the military and was a police officer as well.  He ended up getting into some trouble and went to jail – maybe 3 times – I don’t remember the details.  While in jail, he got a hold of a copy of the Book of Mormon.  One of the things that he said that stuck out to me was this: (paraphrasing) “I was physically in jail, but I was free because of the Book of Mormon.  There are people in this congregation who are now in more of a jail cell because of the way they are living their lives than I was when I was literally in jail.”  I thought that was cool.  He also kept asking: “Is what you are doing with your life working for you?  If not, change it.”  I had to ask myself that.  My life is so much better in so many ways than it was just six months ago.  There are still things that aren’t “working for me” now, but I am so happy.  I love myself again.

I’ve been having afternoon tea once a week with a good friend, and I love it.

I love “My Religious Blog“.

My parents are doing so well.  I have always had a hard time talking to them, and I realized last year that a big reason was because I thought they knew what was going on with me.  I was almost certain they knew that I was gay, that I used the computer for activities other than writing papers, blah blah blah.  Just the thought of them knowing made it difficult for me to look them in the eyes, let alone talk to them.  Now that they know, I enjoy talking to them.  I’ve been able to open up to them about so many things.  My mom and I went to Salt Lake and had a really good talk about what I have been experiencing the last few months.  She has been so accepting of everything.  She doesn’t see me as her gay son.  She doesn’t view this as an illness.  I’m still the same old son she’s always known.  She told me that she would be dissapointed if I were to ever do something with a guy – not because it’s “unnatural”, but because of my testimony and covenants I’ve made.  She said that if we weren’t members of the church and we didn’t know what we know, she would be ok with me living a gay lifestyle.  I thought that was very cool.  I told her about the boundaries I have set for myself – the things I won’t do as well as the things I allow myself to do – and she was happy to see that I had done that.  I really love my mom so much.

I’m trying to figure out how to change some things about my blog, but I’m not very computer savvy.  I want to have seperate pages for different categories so that this blog isn’t all about being gay.  I want to be able to have a page just for SGA stuff, a page for music, a page for humor, and the list goes on.  Once I figure out how to do that, there may be some construction, so please forgive the dust.

Well, I think that is all there is for my random thoughts.  Hopefully they all make sense!

Vote Now!

Hey!  Use this little thing I have below to let me know what book has been most helpful to you.  After you’ve done that, use the comment box to let everyone know why.

PS – if you choose ‘other’ don’t click on the ‘other’ bubble, just write in the box.  Sorry, I couldn’t change it.