Thursday, August 24, 2006

Hard to start up again...

I got back yesterday from a life-changing experience. (I know that sounds like a pretty sappy phrase, but in many ways it was. I don't know how else to describe it. I'm still the same person - but I'm seeing my world with "different" eyes now). I'm really having a hard time trying to articulate inside my mind and soul, let alone on this blog-page what I'm feeling and what I've experienced over the past three weeks.

I've scanned the blog-vicinity and discovered many new additions to the neighborhood! It's hard to read all that is happening in everyone's lives and I lack the ability to feel like I can contribute, though I find strength in this cyber-community. It's hard to get back into the swing of things.

Some things seem less important to me right now. I'm quite calm about my "issues" and feel less angst. (Maybe I should rename my blog). Distancing myself from certain situations has helped, at least for the immediate future. Temptations have moved on to university life far away from my daily routine. This is a good thing. Yes, it is a good thing for all involved... Relationships with family and more importantly with my wife have improved.

These are all generalities. I feel "general" right now. The specifics will come in time as I internalize the last few weeks.

Additionally, I'm facing some potential job-change / career-change. And we're facing some possible changes to our family... Again, "generalities" right now. It's a time of change and I'm purposefully vague because I don't know yet how to articulate what is happening inside.

For what it's worth, I will try in the coming weeks to express feelings - for my benefit - using this blog to sort it out. If others benefit along the way, I'm grateful.

Still, it's hard to start up again... but Beck is back!

Sunday, August 06, 2006


I'm leaving the country for a while. We need to get away.

Going to the other side of the world... hopefully for a spiritual renewal for not only me but my entire family.


Saturday, August 05, 2006


I read an article posted by Chris/Hurricane entitled "When the Beard Is Too Painful to Remove" in the New York Times. It has given me much pause. There is such inherent sadness to the storyline. I don't find solace or consolation in my situation of leaving what I have for that "great unknown".

There seems to be a consensus that when one discovers his "sexuality" too late in the race, there is no way to catch up and join the pack. (Okay, right now you should start putting on your Vangellis CD of "Chariots of Fire") A mid-40s guy like myself, coming to terms with homosexuality, starting to see the affects of age, is nothing but fodder for rejection and undoubted failure... (as DW stated a few blogs ago - an unenviable position to be in, particularly with my religion thrown on top of it all) and why would the young bucks even consider being hog-tied to an old geezer - where is the "growing old together" scenario of happiness in that? I know it sounds defeatist, but where is there any hope in finding "joy" in this "other" world?

As much as I bemoan, grumble about, or angst over the current situation I find myself in (particularly when young guys like HIM are around), I've got a pretty damn good life! Despite my "coming out" to my wife, she still miraculously loves me and supports me and wants to be with me. Though some may say she will never truly understand me and how "sad" that is for us, she at least is trying and desires nothing more than to keep us together so that we can "grow old together" - that companionship that isn't created from one-night flings (that sounds judgmental - I really don't know about it and don't mean to be cruel - but from my point of view, there seems to be such coldness, such chill, such loneliness, such sadness).

We have been able to hold this thing together this long, with a great measure of success - bucking the odds of failure rates of mixed-oriented marriages. I guess for most - we are freaks of nature. And for some, I'm a double freak... I'm a freak because I'm gay in the first place, and I'm a freak because I choose to be married to a woman that I love. (Though I'm IN LOVE with the IDEA of being with a man, I am married to a woman I LOVE). I'm a freak to my religion and culture. I'm a freak to the gay-culture. I'm a freak to the psychological world of science. I'm a freak to my Church and its teachings. No matter which side...

In a certain sense, I'm okay with that. Over the course of the last year, I've come to terms of liking who I am. I hated myself for years, but I'm okay with being gay. No, I'm beyond okay - dare I say it - I'm PROUD to be gay! (Well, all right - I'm proud to say it under the cloak of this anonymous blog).

But, internally, I'm proud. There is no self-loathing anymore. There is no desire to hate myself. I am past that.

I'm also PROUD to be married to a wonderful soulmate, eternal companion, and mother of my children. I couldn't be prouder of her and the family we've created together in this very unique balance.

Now I don't want to portray here that I'm "settling" for the convenience and companionship and safety of my marital relationship because I don't see on the horizon "anything better" in the other camp. I don't want to portray that I'm giving up the race because I started too late, tripped and fell, and can't catch up anyway so "why try?" attitude. And I don't want to portray that I somehow am in denial of my natural attractions - for they show me daily their manifestations and remind me just how REAL they are!

What I am saying is: I have chosen. Good or bad, depending on your view, I have chosen. I chose based on sound principles, beliefs and convictions - convictions that have been a conscious part of me for three decades. I have chosen the better part. To a measured extent, it has been by default - but for the most part, it has been my choice to live this life I'm living. And I wouldn't change it. I am devoted to being the father of my children and the husband of my eternal mate. I have chosen family commitments and covenants.

I can dream of "what ifs" and "what abouts" all I want - about what life would have been like had I had my realizations 25 years ago as a teen. Maybe my choices would have been different. I could have gone back and enjoyed that 'relationship' with my Italian gay buddy after my mission - but I didn't. We could have had a wonderful life together instead of him dying in misery with AIDS a few years later - maybe I could have stopped him from destroying himself and we could have lived happily ever after - but we didn't. I could have run away with one of my young men and started up life again as a multi-generational family-unit of sorts - me living out my passions with a gorgeous rippped buck, and he with a sage, wannabe mentor, but I haven't. I could dream of holding HIM, walking hand-in-hand into the sunset (after all Chris/Hurricane thinks he's gay - what do I have to lose, right?) - but I won't. For HIS sake I won't. He needs to find someone his age, in his circumstance - HE doesn't need another father/mentor/sage-friend in his life - though I love playing that role and will probably continue to play it as long as he is open to it) - but I'm really not going to go off with him now, am I?

Nevertheless, I have gone down this particular road long enough to know those are not reality. Those are dreams. Just because I have the "desire" or the "dream" to have that relationship of manly love doesn't mean I should!

I can also dream of the "what ifs" of breaking all odds and remaining faithful and devoted in this mixed-oriented marriage, of defying the nay-sayers and psychobabblists, and actually discovering "joy" in such a relationship after all. What if?

My attractions, my being gay, will not change. I'm thrilled with that! I don't want them to change! I love discovering and enjoying this realization and magic of these attractions. They are what they are and I am what I am and I am loving being who I am.

My affection and love for my wife and family will not change. I'm thrilled with that! I don't want these affections to change!

I guess that pretty much sums it up... I'm a freakin' freak of nature! And I'm PROUD of it!

Thursday, August 03, 2006


One of my most favorite things to do is to get in a car in Europe and go get lost in the back roads, particularly the back roads of Southern France and Italy. I could spend hours searching for that perfect ancient and forgotten hill town - those hill towns perched on mountain and outcroppings that defy the imagination of how they were ever built, with breathtaking views and inspirational architecture. The colors and textures of life clinging to those hills and the lives that live century after century in such precarious places of difficulty are thrilling to my spirit! I feel a connection to their beauty, their simplicity, their hard choice to live in such astounding places.

Even as crazy and winding as the rural backroads of Europe become, you never can get lost! At each fork in the road, there are inevitably road signs that point you to the next destination, the next hill town on the horizon. It's easy! It's fun! It's exciting to not have a plan for the next step - but you have faith in that arrow pointing you onward to that next town down the road, that next adventure, that next inspiration.

And a choice is made at each fork. And I excitedly take it.

In a recent comment to my post Sam stated the following:

Sometimes, when I read what you write, I can't help but contribute my two cents...but in the end, regardless of all the advice and hooplah, you're the only one who can decide what you want to do. And quite honestly, I believe THAT is the responsiblity you're actually running from. You don't want to have to be accountable for deciding to stay in the church/in your marriage, and maybe miss something you've been longing for all your earthly life--and you DEFINITELY don't want to take responsibility for leaving your wife and family and partaking in the life that attracts you. 'bout're human...

WHOA! Pretty tough words!

I feel like in one paragraph she's summed up my whole life. She's right: I don't want to make that choice! If I did, I'd be fearful of hurting someone I love (my wife, my kids, extended family and friends, MYSELF), giving up something that I want most desperately (manly love, eternal life, family bonds, etc.), and so I am ACTUALLY RUNNING FROM these choices before me.

In one sense, the purpose for this life, as simple as it sounds, is the CTR thing - choose the right. I guess if I don't choose, that IS a choice in and of itself. And then for sure, I'm the lukewarm stuff of which is spued out for naught. I can live as I am with angst, but do the best to stay middle of the road. I'll never be accepted by either side, embraced and loved fully by either side. I'll never be whole. I'll never be dead or alive. I'll just be.

THE CRUX of MY SITUATION: As much as I profess to desire to embrace one life or the other, I really don't want to have to choose!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


I've been wondering what it would be like to have an open dialog with my wife about my attraction with men. Could we ever get to the point of being comfortable with each other talking about a beautiful man walking in front of us, both commenting on his beauty? In some ways this seems so strange and foreign to our relationship. In other ways, this seems fun and exciting to be able to be natural and open between us.

I guess anytime we have 'discussed' such topics, there was stress, uneasiness and jealousy. So, the natural reaction has been to avoid such topics and not draw attention to my distractions, attractions or infatuations with beautiful young guys.

I have been blessed (or cursed) with a very devoted wife who does not have the 'wandering eye' at all. She has shown no desire for other men and has been hopelessly devoted to me for our entire marriage. As strange as that may sound to some, it is true. That is why my 'wandering eye' is so hurtful to her. I don't mean to 'wander' to hurt her - I'm just very much attracted to these beautiful creatures that young men are! She knows this. She has known this from the beginning of our relationship. She knew it and observed it throughout our courtship when I was a teacher in the MTC and was infatuated with the elders. She knew it as I was YM president and worked with the youth. She has trusted me (for the most part) but my confession that I have this attraction has made her so much more aware of my 'wandering eye'.

That having been said, she still trusts me and wants to trust me.

The other day at Church we witnessed a very unique image that has been burned in my brain. It was after Sacrament Meeting and we had exited the chapel and were congregating with other Saints engaging each other in conversation as usual in the foyer / lobby. We share the building with three other wards (congregations) and so there are always many people from the other wards coming and going through the hallways. On the couch were a group of priests (boys age 16-18) sitting together. There were five of them. Four of them sat tightly shoulder-to-shoulder across the couch, a couple of them with their arms across the shoulders of their buddy next to them. The fifth boy was sitting on the laps of two of the guys with his legs straddling a third.

The funny thing was, they weren't 'acting weird' or 'being silly' or pretending to be 'gay' or any of those typical boy attitudes. They were just sitting together tightly, but naturally affectionate and close with each other, acting very natural and casual about the whole thing, talking in normal conversation.

Now, I've witnessed this in church groups with youths in Europe. I've witnessed this even with my MTC missionaries as they've grown to 'love' each other. I've experienced this with my companions as affection of the brotherhood of the gospel has taken hold and the borders and boundaries of culture have disappeared and the love of brothers has risen to the top and expressed itself in all its glory. There is such a thing as affectionate brotherhood among friends.

But to see it on the couch in suburbia America in 2006 homophobic Utah was quite the sight! It was wonderful! I don't know these boys. They aren't from my ward. I don't know anything about them. But, there was something inside me that jumped for joy and excitement seeing them being so natural and open and comfortable with each other in a very non-sexual but very affectionate manner. This is much in the spirit of what I have shared with HIM and others.

My point in bringing this up was that my WIFE noticed as well. She saw my eyes staring at them, taking in the scene. She didn't say anything at the time, but afterward, away from the children, she brought it up.

"Did you see those young men on the couch?" she asked.

I wasn't quite sure where she was going or how to respond. She had obviously seen me staring at them, so I had to answer.

"Yeah," I said, "quite something." I tried to not draw too much in my comments, waiting to see where she was going with it.

"Well, what did you think about it?"

"About what?" I questioned, playing stupid.

"You know, how they were sitting together and being so 'friendly'."

"Yeah, it was pretty strange."

"They seemed natural," she noted.

"Yeah, they were natural. It was a beautiful thing." I said. I wasn't sure how she would take that last comment.

"It was different, but natural," she commented again.

"I'm glad they were comfortable enough to be that way in the open like that," I pressed a bit.

"I guess so. It was different enough that I noticed."

"So, are you okay with me noticing?" I asked.

"Yeah, I'm okay with it."

Now, this isn't earthshattering or anything here and nothing amazing happened, but we had a conversation about my noticing affectionate guys and it didn't end with stress or jealousy or uneasiness. Is this the beginning of a breakthrough?

* * * *

Yesterday, as we were in bed together, in the quiet of the evening as we watched a dark storm rolling in over the Great Salt Lake, we cuddled. She suddenly said... "Do you wish that I wasn't so round and soft?"

I was stunned. I didn't know what to say again. Caressing her, I said: "I love you the way you are". (What else was I supposed to say in this situation).

"No!" she protested. "I mean... don't you prefer more solid and angular bodies? Don't you wish I were more muscular and ripped and angular instead of round?"

Now I really knew where she was heading and I didn't know what to say.

"Uh... I can't deny that I'm attracted to angular, muscular bodies, but that doesn't mean I don't love you the way you are."

"So, do you wish that I wasn't so feminine? So soft? Don't you want me to be hard?"

"I want to be hard!" I countered. "But you're just fine."

We ended it at that. I wish I had used the opportunity to open up more, to tell her how much I loved and appreciated and worshipped the male form in all its beauty... but I didn't.

The amazing thing was: We had two incidents where (even as small as they were) we were able to discuss my attraction issues without ramifications of hurt or pain.

Small steps...

* * * *

P.S. My rib is still bothering me and making it very difficult to sleep at night. It's an uncomfortable reminder to my wife that HE hugged me and wrestled with me. I can't hide it. It's there reminding me every time I breathe of HIM... every time she tries to hug me... What irony.