Friday, September 22, 2006

Where can I hide?

SANTORIO in a recent post stated:

"the more i post and comment the more i reveal about myself. one of these days someone out there is going to add things up and ask me if i am santorio."

This statement really resonates with me. It scares me to death!

I guess I've been cloaked behind the mask of supposed anonymity of cyberspace... and I've been under the impression that I can speak my mind and say whatever I want without risk of discovery. I've been fairly open about my feelings toward certain guys in my life, certain situations, and I've done so because this method of self-revelation has served me well. I've been able to express myself in ways that I normally never would do. I've expressed things about my wife, my relationship with her. I've expressed feelings which have led to self-examining questions that without such expressions, I never would have so boldly asked.

For the past two years I've been "out of the limelight" of the Ward and Church Leadership positions after decades of leadership positions. I've been a backrow observer and have been happy to melt into the woodwork. Coincidentally, during this same exact two year period, I've come out to myself (a frightful but refreshing experience of personal discovery) in this same time period. I've also come out to my wife (which was horrendous at first, but we've settled into a working relationship of mutual love and understanding)and I've come out to a couple of dear friends. I've sought professional counselling and have come out to him(though it didn't go well).

And somehow, with the religious conflicts of my deeply held beliefs and spiritual convictions and all this, I've been able to categorize them away and live my double life peacefully with my levels of angst in somewhat of a state of control.

But now, I've recently been called back into a calling of priesthood leadership! It's killing me inside! I answered honestly to the Stake President that I was worthy. But what is "worthy"? Does looking at hot guys in PG-13 format to get a "thrill" for the search of the "perfect-looking guy" entitle one to priesthood leadership responsibility? Does having fantasies about the young returned missionary down the street "disqualify me" for service in the kingdom? I didn't worry about this so much when I was a piece of woodwork. I was happy to justify it all away conveniently. I wasn't after all standing before anyone preaching gospel perfection... But now that I'm pushed back (grudgingly mind you) into the forefront - it's bothering me. I don't want to be a hypocrite. But I really feel like one...

I don't feel good inside. Not about being gay. I'm fine with being gay. I like being gay (at least my version of dealing with these feelings for men). I've come to appreciate my gayness is part of this makeup of who I am in this life. I'm okay with all that. I'm also okay with my level of repentance and I feel okay with my Savior and He knows me and knows my thoughts and struggles and temptations and weaknesses. I'm doing the best I can and know I need no condemnation for my "feelings".

But still, I don't feel good inside...

And with the thought of now being "found out" by this blog of mine? This is freakin' me out! What if someone out there is putting all of the pieces together of my mission experiences, my church calling experiences, the make-up of my family, etc. etc... and finally connects the dots and figures out who I "really am"? Then what?

Subconsciously, do I want to be found out because I'm blogging openly in the first place?

Subconsciously, do I want to be forced out of the closet by someone else so I don't have to do the dirty work of dragging myself out?

Am I willing to risk this exposure? Is this why I'm here blogging in the first place?

And why does this stupid church calling make it so much more frustrating? Don't get me wrong... I love church callings and have grown tremendously from service to others through these callings. I've had so many amazing and life-altering experiences due to devotion of church callings that have made me move out of my comfort zone and forced me to discover capabilities that I never knew I had; and with the help of the spirit, become a "new creature" in a very real sense.

Do I really have a conscience after all and I'm feeling guilt?

I've said too much... I often say too much...

I need to go hide!


Chris said...

I think the best thing I've ever done in my life is come out to myself, my family, my friends and my co-workers. I hide from no one now.

I still encounter situations where I think to myself, "does this person know I'm gay?" So I often end up saying to people, "you know I'm gay, right?" A couple of evenings ago I was talking with someone about eating out and I mentioned that I was dating someone. The person asked me, "does she like to eat out too?" And I said, "Yes, HE does." And on the conversation went.

Hiding is a lot of work. I'm glad I don't hide anymore. But I also know how hard it is to get to the point where you are ready for people to know. All in good time, whatever that might mean for you.

Beck said...

I really appreciate your comments and I'm glad you don't have to hide anymore, but I'm not there yet. And this calling situation is pushing me back into the closet even more... You know how it goes, you know the drill of meeting with the Stake President, you've been a Bishop... you are taught to always say "yes" when asked to serve. So, as an automatic response, I say "yes" and now I feel terrible about it.

I haven't figured out totally why I feel terrible about it. I mean, I like to serve. I want to help others. But somehow, I don't feel so innocent or pure anymore. I'm not feeling the great need to repent for being gay as I'm beyond that. But for "them" to know what I'm really thinking is going to kill me. I'm not ready for that. Do you understand what I'm trying to say here?

I'm asking for help.

santorio said...

i don't ask the question, 'am i worthy for this positon?' i ask, 'can i be of help here?' the worthy question is just a way of beating ourselves up for past mistakes.
after joseph smith lost the first set of translations, was he worthy to receive more? i do feel hypocritical sometimes, but it's not like i give a talk on the w of w and then go home and open up a can of beer. i am trying, i need to give myself credit for that.

Beck said...

Thanks for what makes sense... "Can I contribute, can I be of help here?" should be the question. None of us are truly worthy. Worthy triggers perfection. Only ONE is perfect. If that's what it takes, then I guess no one is good enough for any call of service... It's just that the Church has a way of making one feel so unworthy at times. You know?

Elbow said...


From what I have been able to tell from your wonderful existance is that you are just that...WONDERFUL.

I'm glad and overjoyed that you have an important calling because what better person than you?!

You're trying. You're earnest and sensitive. Don't worry, you're as worthy as you need to be right now.

Beck said...

Thanks for the encouragement! I'm feeling a bit perplexed and befuddled right now. I know I can do what I've been asked to do... I'm just not sure about myself and my ability to do as I should.

Thanks for the lift. It means more than you will ever know.