What to Expect from a Matis Fireside

The search engine term that brings the most people to my blog is “Matis Fireside”.  When doing a google search, my blog comes up as the number 4 choice.  I decided that since this is what a lot of people are looking for, I would do a run-through of what to expect from a Matis fireside.

Going to a Matis Fireside for the first time can definitely be scary, especially if you don’t know anyone.  What will everyone be like?  Will they be wearing sequins, rainbows, and tight pants?  Am I going to get hit on by other guys?  Is this going to lead me to develop a crush on someone?  Those are some of the questions I had my first time.

The Matis Fireside is pretty similar to any other fireside.  It isn’t held in a church, so you don’t have to dress up.  In fact, everyone will know that you are probably new if you do dress up.  While we’re on the subject of how people dress, let me tell you what most people wear.  Normal clothes.  I remember thinking that I had never been in a room with so many well dressed men.  Nothing was anything that I would classify as stereotypically gay – no sequins, leather, or feather boas.  I personally try to keep my high heels at home when I go to the firesides……and that was a joke.

The meeting is very comfortable and friendly. Just like any other fireside, it begins with a announcements, usually by Fred Matis.  A hymn is sung (and I think the church should ask the SGA choir to sing at a priesthood session of conference, haha….right….) and someone gives a prayer.  The speaker/performer is introduced, and then they speak/perform.  Then there is a closing prayer.  I have loved all of the firesides I have attended so far, and I’m excited to continue to attend.  Here is a list of the upcoming speakers.

After the fireside, there is a gathering at the Matis’ home for refreshments and socializing.  This is one of my favorite parts.  Meeting people and finding out that I was a lot more normal than I thought was one of the best things I could have done for myself.  I have made some amazing friendships with a lot of these guys.  I know I can confide in them.  It feels so great to be able to talk to people who understand what I feel like.

People are definitely there for different reasons.  Some go for the fireside, some go for the social aspect, and some go to “see and be seen”.  However, it is a very safe and comfortable environment.

I have never felt so welcomed into a group of people as I have at the firesides.  Everyone is so caring and loving.  They know why you are there, and they are there for the same reason – that is, we struggle with same gender attraction (and some people who don’t struggle do attend to show their support and love to those who do struggle – these are some of my favorite people).  It can definitely be nerve racking to think that you’ll be meeting probably well over 100 guys that are gay/struggle with SGA.  What will my reaction be to them, and vice versa?  Like I said, I have NEVER felt so welcomed into a group of people as I have at the firesides.  These are some of the most genuine and loving people I have ever met.

If you are planning to attend for the first time and are a little nervous about going, feel free to comment or even email me at hiddenlight@ymail.com.  I’d be more than happy to meet you there and introduce you to a lot of amazing people!

Fred and Marilyn Matis

Fred and Marilyn Matis

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3 Responses

  1. I know it’s not something you would notice 🙂 , but there are quite a few SGA women there, as well. Also, many parents and friends who are not SGA.

    The Matises are beautiful people and wonderful friends. I think they’d be very pleased that you’re posting about the firesides they’ve hosted for the purpose of providing a caring, safe environment for those with SGA.

  2. @ Samantha – Thanks for reminding me of that! I haven’t met many women who struggle with SGA, but I would like to. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Right on, Samantha! I agree. I’ve been to the fireside twice and I felt really welcomed and accepted both times. Being a girl with SGA surrounded by so many guys with SGA is kind of weird, just in the sense that I don’t like to stand out and I do, but at least we’re all “family.”

    The Matises are amazing people and I’m so glad that they have opened their hearts and home to people like us. I think you’ve done a great job describing the atmosphere and what someone who is new, or still fairly new, can expect.

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