Friday, April 29, 2011

Hello again Blogosphere

Well, I'm back. I'm now living on my own, my ex has moved back home to Colorado, and life is to put it mildly, pretty different.
I'm starting to like it. I've been reconnecting with old friends, and making new ones. I'm getting more of my work done for school. It's good.
I am starting to feel at peace with being divorced. It's a hard thing to go through. I don't wish it on anyone. But as they say, it gets better.
I'm more and more at peace with being gay. I've come out to most of my siblings (there are 8) as well as to more and more friends.
The trickiest part for me right now is the church. When I talk with my family about the church,about my doubts, my fears, and concerns I usually end up frustrated. One brother told me that if I read the Book of Mormon everyday, I wouldn't struggle with my same-sex attraction. My cousin told me that I shouldn't believe that lie of Satan that I can't change. My Grandpa told me that God made me to be a husband and Father.
And yeah. It hurt. I should forgive them. They care about me. But I also need to tell them when they are wrong, when they've crossed the line. And I have been. But I haven't resolved things really. Not yet at least.
My Mom keeps pleading with me to go to Church. And maybe I should. I didn't magically change from one person to another when I decided to come out. I'm still pretty Mormon, even as I doubt and question. I believe that is part of maturing, part of having faith. They don't seem to understand.
On the other hand, I have tremendous respect for my brother and his wife, who really do understand. I also respect my ex, and her family. They have always treated me with great respect. You can be in the church, and not treat other people how my family is treating me. I can't blame the Mormon church for the way they've acted, when there are so many many great people in the church.
I probably don't have it that bad. There are plenty of people in worse situations with their family than I am.
But it's still hard.
I'm not bitter at the church. I just don't really know my place anymore. I don't know why I would choose to go to a singles ward, if, following the rules, I wouldn't be dating and getting married. I don't know why I would go to a family ward, to be constantly reminded of the family I can't have, at least if I'm living according to the rules of the church.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Speaking Out

I was taking a break from the blogging scene. There's, to put it mildly, a lot of stuff going on. But first of all I wanted to update everyone on where things are now. And after reading the comments on a friend's blog, I can't hold back.

First about me.

These last few weeks have been very difficult. On our 3 year wedding anniversary, my wife and I made the decision to get divorced. We told our parents and siblings.
Making this decision has been the hardest thing in my life that I have ever done. You can say I am being true to myself. You can say that it will get better. I actually believe all of that. But nothing changes the fact that I am giving up a bond of safety and security and love that has sustained me and guided me for years. Nothing changes the fact that I feel something for her that I have never felt before for any human being.

I filed for divorce yesterday. It was strange no lies. She is gone, moved to another state, and I miss her terribly. But, I feel peace with this decision in spite of the sadness and pain. And she does too.

I got a new apartment. I move on Monday. Also, I started coming out to more and more friends at school. They have been very supportive. And while I'm sure no one can fully understand what this is like, but it helps to have people around me that love and support me.

Enough about the updates. In response to the blog comments about sacrificing your same sex attraction on the altar, I cannot remain silent.

I think of this as my Mt. Moriah. This is my test. To actually give to God the one thing that I am most afraid of in the world of losing, my wife. This is a sacrifice that shows my devotion to him. To show that I am in obedience with his will, to give up the safety and security of my marriage so that she can have the life that she deserves. It's almost too personal to speak about but I'm going to share because of the comments I read and the others out there who can't or won't understand.

Let me say this clearly, it is not God's will that I or any other gay man be forced into a relationship with a woman simply to obey his commandments. If God wanted me to be married, he would make it possible for me to be married. I thought he had, but I was mistaken. Being married in the temple is not enough. Simply "enduring to the end" isn't good enough. We're commanded to have an eternal marriage. It has to be "sealed by the holy spirit of promise." By the very words of the leaders of the lds church, you will read that you have to actually give yourself fully to the other person. This isn't some half baked ideal, you have to really love the person, and love them with all your heart and to "cleave unto your wife and unto none else."

I can't. It's not for lack of trying. I cannot be in a relationship with my wife that is eternal. I tried. I tried that sacrifice you are talking of airman, and it was a sacrifice that God didn't ask me to make. It brought me at times close to the brink of death because I thought that I had somehow failed God, that somehow I had not been faithful enough to "overcome" or "Deal with" my "Same-sex attraction."

And it frustrated me. Why wouldn't God change me or why hadn't he changed me like I thought he had? Wasn't I supposed to believe in miracles?

I do. But the miracle was not to change my sexual orientation. It was to find God through this.

"Same-sex attraction" isn't something you just deal with. I am gay. I am homosexually oriented. I didn't choose it, but I'm choosing to live in accordance with it. And I'll be damned if I waste another moment of my life trying to change something that God never intended me to try to change. Evergreen and others in the church lied to me.

I totally and completely understand anyone that doesn't make this choice. It is the hardest thing I will ever do and it has been soul wrenching and agonizing.

In regards to Abraham there are differences. There will be no angel, no ram waiting to take the place of Isaac at the altar. I place her on the altar of God as an ultimate act of faith and devotion. I trust that God has something in store for me. I love him and trust him.

I'll also admit I'm no Abraham. There are somewhat selfish reasons for this choice. I expect a reward. But even if I don't get it, this is the right decision. Even if I never find the love and happiness that I hope to find with a man, this is still the right decision to make for her. I've seen my wife's tears, and she has cried only a handful of times since I've know her. They were tears because she thought that she was doing something wrong. That my lack of intimacy, my lack of desire for sex was somehow her fault. It isn't fair of me to ask her to put herself through that again. Not for temple covenants, not for the wishes of my family, not because of my selfish desire to keep my best friend by my side. To others my advice is, don't put a woman through this. If you are going to be married to her, be married to her. God bless you if you do and make your experience less painful than my own. But don't willingly and with full knowledge make a wrong decision because someone out there like Evergreen promised you that "it would all work out." Don't live life without questioning deeply the things that matter most.

On another note, I'm not sure if I'm going to continue blogging, or at least on this blog. I'm no longer married. I don't even know how Mormon I am anymore. And I'm certainly not crazy. But I'll keep you posted. I appreciate everyone who has helped me in one way or another through this difficult journey. It isn't over. I'm turning a new leaf. Starting a new life. It's scary at times, disorienting, but I know that God will not abandon me as I move forward with faith.

Feel free to e-mail me though if you have questions or comments. I'd love to talk to any of you, and help you in whatever way I can as you navigate this difficult journey.