Who I’ve Become

So, the ‘P’ button and the ‘M’ button don’t really work very well (which is funny because P&M are such commonly used letters in MoHo Writings….. Not that I’m trying to say something about P&M, but just so you know, if there is a missing ‘P’ or ‘M’, that is why).

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I “came out” a little over a year ago.

One year ago, few people would have thought I was gay.  I dressed just like every other guy, spoke the same way every other guy does, and did things that every other guy would do – at least, on the surface.  I still sat at home, secretly watching “What Not To Wear”.

When I was still in the mind frame that told me I was evil because I’m attracted to guys, I thought I would eventually become “one of those gays”.  You know, the ones that march around in colorful women’s clothing and have sex with every man they find.

I also thought that all gays were pedophiles, so I would eventually become one as well.  I think I was taught those two stereotypes for most of my life, so I thought that is what I would become.

Thank goodness I have since realized that just because I am attracted to men does NOT mean I have to be “one of those gays” or a pedophile.

Right after I came out, I had a dream that I was talking with a lisp.  I woke up freaking out, because I don’t talk with a lisp – yet another thing I thought I would eventually do as a gay man.

After a little while, I began to figure out that I don’t have to live up to those stereotypes I had built up in my mind.  I don’t want to.  I just want to be me.

I also realized that there are some parts of myself that I had been keeping in because I thought that if I allowed myself to do those things, people would make some assumptions about me that I didn’t want them to make.  Now that I have accepted the fact that I am attracted to men and I’m being pretty open about it, I’ve allowed myself to let those parts of me come out.  For example, I try to dress better, and a well dressed man obviously means he is gay, right?  haha, just kidding….but really.

I’m not afraid to admit that I watch shows like “What Not To Wear”, or “Project Runway”.  I go shopping more than I used to.  I cook more than I used to.

These are all little things that I wouldn’t necessarily say are stereotypically gay, but these are things that I tried to avoid when I was younger so that people wouldn’t think I was gay.  People have mentioned to me that they have noticed the change, and some have even said that I have become more gay than I was a year ago.  I suppose they might be right, and in some ways it is true.  Really though, I think it has always been there – the desire to dress well, to cook, to sew, to watch the gay TV shows – but I never felt comfortable with letting myself do those things.  Now that I have nothing to hide, I do those things.  Some friends think it is weird.  My family usually just laughs at me (in a nice way, of course) when I come home with new clothes or when I want to watch “Project Runway”, but I think I am finally letting myself do things that I have always wanted to do but felt like I shouldn’t.  I’m being more real with who I am, and I like it.

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Where Have All The Lesbians Gone?

The title of this post may not be accurate, but I don’t care.

When I first got involved with the MoHo Community, I was afraid of lesbians.  I think this is because they are on the opposite end of the spectrum from where I am.  I was afraid of meeting them or talking to them.  Now I have quite a few lesbian friends, and they really are some of my favorite people.  In talking with them and others, I’ve come to realize the following:  it seems there are very few lesbian mormons as opposed to gay mormons.

It seems that way, but I don’t think it is true.  When I have gone to the Matis Firesides, a vast majority of the women there are there to support their friends.  I have maybe seen 4 or 5 female “strugglers” there.  I know there has to be many more out there than what I have seen or heard from.  Where are you?  Why don’t we hear more from you?

I know it is possible that I’m just not looking or that I am missing something, but I don’t think I am.  Please feel free to answer:  Why don’t we hear much about lesbian mormons (active or not)?  Why do the MoHo’s seemingly outweigh the MoHoChicas so much?

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On a slightly unrelated note, I found some videos that I really liked, and I wanted to post a few of them here:

Atonement

A few years ago, I heard a quote from Chieko Okazaki about the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  I know that when I think about the atonement, it seems very complex and I don’t understand how it can really relate to me.  This quote is quite popular, and was even used in the November Loganside, but I still love it.  I love how Sister Okazaki helps me to understand what the Savior’s atonement does for me individually.

We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family. But we don’t experience pain in generalities. We experience it individually.
That means he knows what it felt like when your mother died of cancer- how it was for your mother, how it still is for you. He knows what it felt like to lose the student body election. He knows that moment when the brakes locked and the car started to skid. He experienced the slave ship sailing from Ghana toward Virginia. He experienced the gas chambers at Dachau. He experienced napalm in Vietnam. He knows about drug addiction and alcoholism.
Let me go further. There is nothing you have experienced as a woman that he does not know and recognize.
On a profound level, he understands the hunger to hold your baby that sustains you through pregnancy.

He understands both the physical pain of giving birth and the immense joy. He knows about PMS and cramps and menopause. He understands about rape and infertility and abortion.
He understands your mother-pain when your five-year-old leaves for kindergarten, when a bully picks on your fifth-grader, when your daughter calls to say that the new baby has Down’s Syndrome. He knows your mother-rage when a trusted babysitter sexually abuses your two-year-old, when someone gives your thirteen-year-old drugs, when someone seduces your seventeen-year-old. He knows the pain you live with when you come home to a quiet apartment where the only visitors are children, when you hear that your former husband and his new wife were sealed in the temple last week, when your fiftieth wedding anniversary rolls around and your husband has been dead for two years.
He knows all that.
He’s been there.

He’s been lower than all that.

He’s not waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people don’t need a Savior. He came to save his people in their imperfections. He is the Lord of the living, and the living make mistakes. He’s not embarrassed by us, angry at us , or shocked. He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief.

You know that people who live above a certain latitude experience very long winter nights and can become depressed and even suicidal, because something in our bodies requires whole spectrum light for a certain number of hours a day.

Our spiritual requirement for light is just as desperate and as deep as our physical need for light. Jesus is the light of the world. We know that this world is a dark place sometimes, but we need not walk in darkness. The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, and the people who walk in darkness can have a bright companion. We need him, and He is ready to come to us, if we’ll open the door and let him.