Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Gospel according to Beck...

Mormon Enigma's recent question: "Are we eternally gay?" has triggered this post. I wanted to respond there, but the more I thought about it the more I wanted to make a post of my own out of it. So here goes...

I do not profess any great knowledge or understanding and don't profess to speak for the Church and correct Gospel principles, but there is NO dilemma in my mind regarding scriptures and general authorities. Alma 34:33-34 refers to our being the same "spirit" in the eternal world. And yet the Oaks /Wickman interview states: "Same-gender attraction did not exist in the pre-earth life and neither will it exist in the next life."
Okay... this is why in my mind there is no dilemma... It's called that wonderful concept of the "Spirit World" that station of time between death and final judgment where we all go after this life. I find it humorous to realize so many members of the Church do not understand the afterlife! I am convinced that we do NOT have an immediate revelation of all truth and knowledge at the time of death. We ARE the same spirits that we always have been. We take with us our experience, our desires, our passions, our fears, our righteousness, our sins. We are who we are. We are not "changed" as we enter the Spirit World. We do NOT enter the presence of the Lord. We do not have that meeting with Jesus! It does NOT work that way. We are still being tried and tested and that trial and test is a trial of FAITH. Yes, we still live in the Spirit World for a period of time in FAITH.

Read D&C 138 and preaching of the Gospel to all who have lived on the earth. Why would there be so much missionary work and teaching going on if we were all changed and all of a sudden had equal knowledge and assurance of eternity! It's hog-wash!

It must be so, otherwise God is not fair. But he is fair. He knows best for us and there is a time for all of us to continue to grow and learn and repent and exercise our faith. If it were not so, then how can those who never had an opportunity to accept the Gospel, all of our ancestors that we work so hard to bring their names and perform their proxy ordinances to the temple if they didn't have to go through the exact same thing we go through the steps of the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel, by in living by FAITH, REPENTING, DESIRING BAPTISM and THE HOLY GHOST??? To be given a sure knowledge by seeing Christ and the Father immediately upon death and having instant judgment robs us all of that continued opportunity to learn and to show our faith.

Thus, we are the same individuals in the Spirit World that we are now. That same spirit that possesses our body now will be in the Spirit World. That is why it is said that it won't necessarily be easy to repent of habits, desires, passion. But we can be taught, we can repent, we can show the direction we want to go in. As we don't have a body anymore, it does not mean that we cannot feel desires and passions. Thus, Alma's belief that we are still the same is true. And it will be hard as it is now. But - there is a time and our probationary period of living by FAITH dwells beyond this life into the Spirit World.

Now, as we approach resurrection, be it soon after death or at the point of the Second Coming, or during the Millennium, an initial judgment is made and we are quickened to another state. I believe that that quickening will be based on the desires of our hearts, the repentant nature of our being, the faith and belief and acceptance of Christ as our Savior. We become "His". He claims us and makes us whole - whatever that means. This is why I feel Oaks/Wickman can say that we won't have these temptations in the we will become like HIM. Our passions, our desires, our purpose at that point will be HIS purpose as well. So, yes, we won't have these feelings in the end if our desires are to be like HIM.
So, both are correct! It just depends on the context - the Spirit World, or the Eternities...

Fortunately, I don't care if this is "right". I feel it to be right inside of my being! I know that we all have our test, our "package of talents" we've been given. The point isn't the fairness of one receiving 5, another 2, and another 1. The point is to measure what we did with what we were given! The reward of the one receiving 2 and increasing two-fold is the SAME as the one receiving 5 and increasing two-fold. There is no difference. It isn't the quantity. It is what we are doing with what we've been given. That is why we cannot and I hope I do not judge anyone... for I certainly hope no one judges me and the way I'm trying to handle and "increase" the talents given me - including my being a gay man!

I know I've been cynical lately (and I feel for the most part this is a good thing) and have been called on it by some readers about it. I apologize if anyone has doubted my testimony. I am not trying in this blog to convince anyone of leaving the Church. Sometimes my recent cynicism of the brethren, of the Church system and it's bureaucracy, get to me... and I sound at times "apostate". May I make it perfectly clear (since this is my blog and I have the right to say whatever I wish) that I am NOT cynical about my testimony of the Gospel. I have a firm belief and passion for my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I believe, and "know" that the Plan of Salvation, this beautiful plan - which includes that wonderful period of teaching and accepting and learning and growing in the Spirit World - gives each of us the fair opportunity to receive all that we are willing to accept from a loving Father. Do I have issues with other aspects of the Church's teachings? Yes! Absolutely! I do not profess a perfect knowledge and I don't have a firm belief in everything the Church stands for or professes... That having been said, I still believe in what I have said here in this post.
I'm sorry to be preachy. Again I claim no authority and I only speak for myself. I apologize and will now return back to the "cynical Beck" you are used to... Meanwhile, may you be assured where Beck stands!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


To laugh is to risk appearing the fool;
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental;
To reach out for another is to risk involvement
To expose feeling is to risk exposing your true self.

To place your ideas and your dreams
before the crowd is to risk their loss
To love is to risk not being loved in return
To live is to risk dying
To hope is to risk despair
To try is to risk failure.

But risk must be taken,
because the greatest hazard in life
is to risk nothing
The person who risks nothing, does nothing,
has nothing and is nothing;
They may avoid suffering and sorrow,
but they simply cannot learn,
feel change, grow, love, Live
Chained by their certitude, they are a slave,
they have forfeited freedom;
Only the person who risks is free.

~~ Author Unknown ~~

I used this commonly quoted poem when I taught missionaries - using it as a discussion point to prepare themselves for new opportunities, to think in new ways, to open themselves to feel, to share, to love the people they will teach. It triggered discussions of opening to the spirit, opening to human touch in foreign ways, of breaking down barriers of a very closed American culture and to see things in new and different cultural ways - in hopes of becoming a better servant of the Lord by being willing to let go, open, and RISK. Risking!

I look back at this poem and can look at my life in two ways : I've risked everything I'm attracted to in order to be "attracted" to family, wife and kids, eternity. Or, I've risked nothing, to be free, unable to learn to love as I'm scared to truly live...

What am I really willing to risk?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Age-appropriate II...

A great friend recently wrote me the following...

Here are my thoughts on why you don’t relate to any guys your own age:
Of course you’re not attracted to "older" men. Older men aren’t as muscled and smooth…you see where I’m going with this, right? The 20-something crowd represents something to you that is special. It represents freedom. It represents self-discovery and it also takes you back to a time in your life when you yourself were unaware of your issues, and you felt free to express love and to receive love from men.

There may not be anything deeper than that, but of course there can always be something that is underlying this. You of course, like all of us, are scared of getting older. But why do you, Beck, fear death? Growing old is only the next step to the end, and you are using the illusion of youth (20-something year old men) as a symbol of postponing death, and/or avoiding the end of this life. And then of course there is the face value…Tim is hot, who wouldn’t go weak in the knees when they see him? Don’t think too deeply about it. You may find that once this need for a “fix” passes, that your temptation will lessen.

And, of course our relationship is "age appropriate,” because we share a common bond, and we care about each other. I’m here for you, and you’re here for me, so that’s all that’s important, right?

Focus on the energy you are releasing when you take time to focus on Tim or another guy. What really is going on is that you are releasing energy from your soul that is in the form of doubt and fear. You doubt your relationship with your wife, you doubt your testimony, and you doubt your self-worth. Try focusing instead on releasing energy in the form of Love,
and Power. Focus on what you are grateful for, on what you are overjoyed to have in your life. Let the good feelings of commitment and connection for your family fill your heart...

When I say I don't relate with guys my own age, I'm referring not in the sense that I don't have friendships with the 40-something crowd - I do! I have lots of business associates as friends and we get along great. I have many church (yes, even in the HP group) and neighborhood connections that are "age-appropriate" and spiritually binding as we've knitted our souls together appropriately. And I have numerous family relations that are connected friendships in a more age-appropriate way - but they all exist without the SSA, without the "attraction" aspect of the relationship. The attraction aspect of the relationship is definitely focused on the 20-something crowd only. It is something special to me, as my friend points out.

Maybe I'm just a slut and want the "hot" factor as something that I miss. But it's more than that. I feel alive, and young, and excited and engaged and enthusiastic. I want to feel that way all the time. There is definitely something different, something more magical, something more involved with this attraction. I mean, when was the last time my heart skipped a beat when my brother-in-law steps into the room, or my next-door-neighbor? And yet when "He" steps into view, my heart starts pounding!

Is it just envy? Is it just doubt? Is it just a longing for what I'm not? Am I just a slut and my attraction is definitely turned on just by the "hot" factor - how shallow is that? - Or is the "hot" factor just what this attraction is about?

My relationship with Tim and others like him have been much more than the "hot" factor. We have connected in love and power, in spirituality, in brotherhood, in true friendship - there has been so much more than just the "hotness"... And all of these feelings and connections have been real and powerful and love-based in the purest of senses and they have been mutually wonderful in a way that make you glad to exist, happy to be alive, joyful for being human! Yet, if I'm truly honest, the "hot" factor has been there as well...

Or...Am I just afraid of getting old?...

Saturday, February 17, 2007


I've been advised by some that I need to seek more age-appropriate relationships with men. My reaction to this is that I probably intuitively understand the reasoning behind that (same experiences in common, level of maturity, etc.) but, I don't feel a connection with those my age, at least not in the SSA manner that I'm attracted to in the 20-something group. Recognize the attraction, the excitement, the emotional bonding of the "relationship" with this age group is NOT sexual - but it is a strong attraction, nonetheless.

So if others see these age-inappropriate relationships of mine as inappropriate (say as many feel or at least point out the inappropriateness of other multi-generational relationships such as Demi Moore / Ashton Kutcher - which I don't see anything wrong with) then maybe there is something to it, or maybe not. Can there not be friendships, even emotional, spiritual, attraction-based friendships, that are of people not of the same generation? (Be it clear: I'm not proposing NAMBLA here or anything like unto it - heaven forbid). Or is any friendship of this multi-generational type forbidden, inappropriate and downright wrong?

Are we "allowed" in society's definition of appropriateness to have relations (even friendships) with those plus or minus 5 years of our own age before we start stepping into inappropriateness? Obviously so, or otherwise the comment wouldn't be made. I have cherished multiple, dear friendships with older widows who have loved me as close as their own son. Is this inappropriate?

I've mentioned that I hate the High Priest Quorum. I should say that isn't totally true. I love learning from the wisdom of these "older" men, but I feel alienated and distant from them. I don't see myself a part of them and their world. I don't want to bond with them, even really associate with them beyond the quorum Sunday obligatory meeting. I'd much rather be with the 20-something Elders Quorum. Why is that? Am I afraid of my own mortality? Am I fearful of getting old? Did I miss out on something when I was younger, aging too fast and becoming too serious, and now longing to return to my past to fill in the gaps of spontaneity, youth, and free-spiritedness? Am I going through a mid-life crisis?

Or are my age-inappropriate relations a pattern of where my same-sex attraction lies? And is there some reason why I'm NOT attracted in a gay manner with those my own age? Why is this?

I have no answers. I don't know that there are answers to any of these questions... but the fact that some raise them about me makes me wonder if I don't see the foolishness of my own actions. As far as I'm concerned, when my heart pounds with a bonding love for another consenting adult, I don't first check to see if he falls within 5 years of my birth date.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I continue in my "funk"...

I seem to be in a cycle where I 'want' to feel uneasy and uncomfortable with myself. I feel this can be a good thing if I allow myself to learn and grow from it. Some reading this may encourage me to move on and not dwell in my "funkdom". I'm not sure I want to just yet.

In a previous post, an anonymous comment resonated with me:

According to an earlier post your wife wakes up crying because of your "relationships" with these young men. Integrity? Exactly my point - how cruel is that to cause her such grief over my "relationships". Where is the integrity in that? Where is the integrity in my marriage when I seek "relationships" outside the bonds of matrimony? Where is the honesty in the love for my wife when I desire such things...

You place yourself into situations with these young men who trust and look up to you so that you can meet some personal need for male touch. Honesty? Exactly my point - Am I not really using these "relationships" for a physical, emotional, human need I have of touch and connection with another guy, who may or may not desire the same thing in return... and because I don't admit those are the driving force behind said "relationships" (even though there are good, altruistic motives of friendship, kindness, care and compassion for another human being) am I really being honest when I desire so much more...

If we don't spend a little time beating ourselves for the "past" do we ever move on, or do we just keep doing the same thing over expecting different results. I say go ahead and feel the burn man. Exactly my point - we need to get in a funk now and then and stew over the past in order to move on to better things. I agree that there are times when we need to feel "the burn, man!"

And so I find myself six weeks without a hug, a touch, a caress, a smile, a hand-hold from "Tim". I thought with him being physically out of my life that things would get better - that I would find myself less distracted and more able to concentrate on my wife and on things "truly important". I thought I could forget him and be able to "move on". I thought that my Kinsey Scale number would go down and I would be able to focus more on the "normal" things of life without "distractions".

But I've found just the opposite to be true. I find I'm in a cycle where my number is 5.333 and rising quickly! I find I'm hungering more for that male hug, touch, caress, smile and hand holding! I find I'm distracted by other men even more. Am I going through withdrawals? I feel like an addict. He served as my "fix" and as long as I had a couple of "hits" a week, I was doing okay and everything else could be normal and I could strive for honest relations with my wife. However, as my "hits" have vanished, I'm feeling even more anxious and uneasy. Is it possible to be feeling a withdrawal? I have found in these last six weeks my pulling away from my wife, not drawing toward her. I have found my desires for her affection diminishing, not strengthening. What is going on here?

Even yesterday, I planned a great Valentine's surprise date with an intimate candlelight dinner for two, presents, roses, the works... plus an evening out on the town! It was all perfect. Yet, most of the time I was thinking of Tim or even worse, I was thinking of the completely gorgeous guy a few seats over from our seats at the ballet. I couldn't take my eyes off of him at each intermission - long golden blond straight hair, dark brown sideburns, piercing blue eyes... Here I was supposed to be devoted to her and I daydream about him. What is going on here?

Tim has written several heart-felt messages with expressions of love - friendship love. I'm grateful for our unique friendship - but I find my desires for his touch overwhelming. I need a "fix" so that I can be normal with my wife again. This is all so ridiculous. This is all so hideous. That is why I've got to "funk" over this and beat myself up to come to some conclusion of how to move on instead of just keeping keeping-on. I need to recognize my dishonesty and lack of integrity in order to find it again. I need to come to grips with my "needs" (though some may see them not truly as human needs) of affection, of touch to be met on a more even rhythm. I need to let Tim go without going through withdrawals. I need to not be so distracted by every gorgeous long-haired blond with dark sideburns and piercing blue eyes. I have lots of needs...

I need to be in a "funk"...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Following too closely...

Is there such a thing as "following too closely" the Brethren?

I just feel too rebellious, too cutting edge, too non-conformist, too free-spirited - not wanting to fit the mold of the standard member of the Church. Why is this? How come I can't just be "normal"? Why do I have to fight against the conformity of it all? I want to follow, but I want to do it in my own way. Maybe I feel this way because I have never "fit in" to the mold the way I see everyone else "fitting in". Maybe as I try to "fit in" I know that I'm different and it's all an act, so I need to relieve the pressure of this act by acting out and being a bit rough-around-the-edges just to give anyone that comes close to me to know that I'm different... even though deep down I want to conform and be "normal" - I just can't.

I've been growing my hair a bit longer just to put out signals to everyone that I'm a "radical" in hopes of getting a reaction from the "straight and narrow" brethren (who are scandalized by any returned missionary not appearing as a missionary conformist for the rest of his life!) that do not reflect who I am - or do they? I've thought that I might not wear a white shirt to Church anymore (Oh my!)... and I've even contemplated putting hooped silver earrings on just to see if anyone will notice! :)
(Therapist interlude: Can't you see Beck - you're not comfortable with who you are and you're not honest with yourself and the role you're playing so you are seeking attention and wanting someone to notice and feel your pain!)

At the Worldwide Leadership Training on Saturday I wasn't at awe with the Brethren at all. Their spontaneity "act" of chatting together and role playing was so polished and rehearsed that it came across to me as phony and sanitized. I know they were trying, but I just once would wish that they were truly human and not so controlled by the every word they say. Maybe it has to do with the "cameras rolling" mentality - I don't know, but I don't see the Savior teaching by a rehearsed script and the Holy Ghost directing the scene yelling "You're on!" I know the correlation department and their "manuals" have their purpose to keep a vast array of peoples and cultures in some order of conformity - and I recognize needing some sense of central control. But have you ever looked at the manuals for YM and YM lessons? They are an absolute joke - outdated and dry as an ox skull on the dusty pioneer trail.

The training session spoke of "teaching by the spirit", but then they talked about using the manuals. My definition of "teaching by the spirit" is to teach from what you know and to be spontaneous to those feelings and promptings (ideas of your own that come into your head - dare I say "INSPIRATION" - of personal belief instead of correlated dialog from on-high. Give me a break! When I taught my lesson on Sunday - I threw out an idea about a principle and then let the discussion flow - with no absolute plan of the prescribed end result. The Spirit bore witness of what was taught and class members FELT the lesson. Fortunately, the class I teach is allowed to be more free-spirited in context and agenda... and being free-spirited permits the Spirit to be free to participate!

Maybe I am just begging for attention. I know I concern my wife that I am expressing more and more this "radical / tough" attitude. I'm sure my double life has something to do with my complex of never fitting in as much as I try.

But sometimes, you can be following too closely in the steps of conformity and miss the message of the Spirit, of the Prophet, of the Savior - all together.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


I just heard on the radio this morning that an x-Jazz NBA player is quoted as saying that "SLC is the hippest, hottest gay city east of San Francisco!" John Amaechi has come "out" as the 1st gay NBA player.

I was intrigued to say the least... For one who has lived closeted in Utah my whole life, I find it interesting - I didn't think anyone thought SLC was the "hippest, hottest" anything!

I found an article on Google from the Cincinnati Post - partially quoted below:

LeBron James, however, said he didn't think an openly gay person could survive in the league.

"With teammates you have to be trustworthy, and if you're gay and you're not admitting that you are, then you are not trustworthy," James said. "So that's like the No. 1 thing as teammates - we all trust each other. You've heard of the in-room, locker room code. What happens in the locker room stays in there. It's a trust factor, honestly. A big trust factor."

I can understand that... I don't like the comment, but I understand it... It's made me wonder what my missionaries in the MTC dorms or the YM on camping trips would think if I were to admit what Aemichi just admitted - that I was gay the whole time. Was I not a "team player"? Was I not trustworthy?

My personal deception at the time didn't allow me to be open to myself, let alone my "guys". And my coming out to myself happened "after" such associations in an official capacity... all justifications for feeling okay about this timing of things, I know... but I don't feel okay. I feel a bit melancholy today about my lack of trustworthiness. I've deceived a lot of people in my life. I've lived a double life that is full of lack of integrity and honesty. And I continue to live that un-trusting lie...

I'm not very pleased with myself today... I feel empty for what I feel toward many of my unreal "guy relationships" that I've cultivated under false pretenses in the spirit of having "proper male bonding" in my gospel-centered life. Let's be honest - I'm full of crap! If I could have had something more, I would have! I know I would have! How sick is that?

And I guess I'm also down because my untrustworthy attitude has kept me from knowing the "hippest, hottest" city right under my nose!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Slow learners...

On Thrasius's blog there is a very interesting dialog going on in the comment section of his most recent post. It has triggered much thought and internal debate about my own situation, the timing of my coming "out" to myself, and the coming "out" to my wife so long into our marriage.

For those who are in the 19-25 college age crowd, it may be difficult to remember what it was like 20 to 25 years ago when "us old timers" were in college. NOTE: I can't even imagine what it must have been like before my time (but then we're not talking the "black-n-white" days, those were the "dark ages").

Back then (in my world):

1. "Gay" and "Mormon" did not coexist whatsoever. You did not mention those terms together as a "gay Mormon". There was no such thing. Such a person did not exist. If you were "gay" or "homosexual", then you were excommunicated and were NOT a member of the Lord's Church and Kingdom.

2. SSA / SGA did not exist as a term used by anyone, let alone the Church.

3. Being a homosexual was preached from the pulpit at BYU as a flat-out sin. - not the sexual act, mind you, but just the thoughts, attractions and feelings.

4. General authorities showed very low tolerance levels for "homosexuals". The Miracle of Forgiveness was the authority point of view. "In Quiet Desperation" would never have been thought of being sold, let alone published by Deseret Book.

5. Elder Packer's talks dwelt on the negativity and horrificness (is that a word?) of homosexuality, to the point of scaring me to death that I could be such a person. There was no Elder Oaks showing compassion for the struggle of those with this "issue".

6. You did not see compassionate articles in the Ensign of being sensitive to the attractions one feels, let alone even of "loving the sinner but hating the sin". Nor did you ever hear that "one need not repent for the attractions one feels". Even being "tempted" by such feelings was condemned and despised with disgust and disdain.

7. To not be married in the temple soon after your mission (6 months to a year max) was not honoring your priesthood and shirking your duty as a priesthood holder. My mission president's closing interview to me was to commit me to finding a girl to marry within 6 months - I know I'm not unique with this - this was the norm! To not marry because you had homosexual tendencies was counter to the Lord's plans and therefore not right. Every man was to marry!

8. Society as a whole was just beginning to wake up and be more tolerant of the gay community. The Church was decades behind this curve.

9. The media did not discuss this openly as topics of Oscar-nominated movies, etc. Gays were stashed neatly away in San Francisco - far from my world and my reality.

10. There were no two-father families / no gay-straight alliances / gay-clubs / pride parades (at least in Utah). And as common as these things are today, Cog skillfully points out the hatred and intolerance of some organizations still out there in the politics of Utah trying to keep this state back to the days of my adolescence. (NOTE: To have Cog not be recognized as the legal father of his children knowing what I know of his devotion and passion for their upbringing - is a moral sin! - another subject, but I just had to get that out there).

So, I felt at the time (when I returned from my mission with very strong gay feelings inseminated from very personal encounters with other college-age men who were very "open" with their feelings of male-to-male "brotherhood" bonding) that I was not "gay". I couldn't be gay. Gay meant things that I just wasn't. I was a good priesthood holder. I was a good missionary. I was a great MTC teacher. I was a temple-attending faithful member of a Church that I loved. So, there was no way that I was "gay". I wasn't the evil person, the sinner, the disgusting individual that the general authorities and other church leaders, and BYU presidents preached about. So, in my mind, with my very naive and innocent understanding of my isolated world - I was NOT going to be anything like the individuals they described.

And yet, I was so "filled with the spirit" as I loved my guy-friends from my mission, or as I "loved" my missionaries in the MTC passionately. That behavior of mine was awarded, applauded, lauded with praise and adoration! I was "promoted" into a branch presidency position of MTC leadership and had not only educational but ecclesiastical authority and access to hundreds of missionaries. I wasn't a gay man. I was a "spiritual man" who happened to be passionately affectionate, loving, and connected with fellow missionaries - all in the spirit of teaching the "brotherhood of true love" that I learned on my mission with my "friends".

So when it was time to marry, I wasn't hiding these activities from my wife. In fact, she was engaging in them with me, attending the same church meetings, gatherings, teaching opportunities, temple sessions, testimony meetings etc. that I was at the MTC. I invited her to be a part of this very special life I found and had carved out for myself. She admired my passion, sensitivity, compassion, and love for the missionaries and was drawn to me because of these very qualities. We discussed my obsession of being around guys, of my "relationship" with my European friends, and my passion to be around, touch, love and bond with the elders. I did not hide any of this from her. I was very open about it and told her that "this was who I was and I was happiest when I lost my inhibitions around men". But I never said I was "gay". I couldn't. For you see, in those days, one just didn't go there. It was a "hidden" topic - not discussed, not even contemplated.

And we got married. It was what we were supposed to do. We loved each other. She accepted me. I loved that she loved this part of me. And for the majority of our time together, it has been wonderful, full of amazing times and cherished devotion. We've also had tons of stress and my desires have added to those levels of stress - and this has made me very sorry to make such a wonderful woman endure this experience with me. But she does it willingly.

I realize now that she was convinced that in time, as we grew together, my passions for male bonding would diminish and for a time they really did. But it was a time of "delayed denial". As the world opened this dialog up into the media, as the Church opened up its understanding of attraction / temptation not being something to repent of, as I began to open up to myself, as I allowed myself to become attached to other guys again, I realized that this decades-long characteristic of who I was was not changing, was not going away, was not subsiding - in fact was resurging. And thus, I could no longer live in complete denial to myself. I could no longer silence myself!!!!!

It was only then, when I was sure, that I was "honest" with her and two decades later came "out" to her. As I've said before - I was terrified to do so. I was convinced that she was going to kick me out of the house and divorce me and that my life (my perfect Mormon life) would be ruined for eternity! But I did it. And I'm glad I did. I don't need judgment from anyone on why it took so long for me to come to this point! It just did! In my upbringing, in my world, in my circle of understanding, in my very tenacious hold on denying the inevitable, it just took this long!

So I judge no one for choosing to reveal such things or not to one's spouse. In fact, I honor and applaud Loyalist and Mormon Enigma for the decisions they've made this past week. I honor all who find themselves in a "mixed-orientation" marriage who are struggling to be as honest as possible in their own circumstances. And I honor the "new generation" of "why would I want to even put myself through this crap?" for your enlightenment at our expense. As much as I encourage it, I do not judge why or why not one has not done so. For no one was in such self-denial as I was. It took me a year - a full year - to piece together all of my past, to write it down, and organize events, ideas, feelings that came together. At first, the finished puzzle horrified me - again from the negative teachings I was bombarded with. And it took me time to process and understand that I was who I was, I am who I am, and there is nothing wrong with that. I did nothing wrong!

Since then we've had the discussions of "why do you still love me?" or "why are you still wanting to be married?" etc. And our answer is always: "There is no one else for me but you." or "I just do!"

It is still a very sore subject. We don't discuss it very often. We've tried counseling, but to a limited degree of success. We've read things together - but mainly, dwelling on it causes too much hurt and pain and - frankly, she's not ready still to fully comprehend my feelings and frustrations - and I'd rather wait until she is ready. Thus, I blog....

Until we truly have an "open dialog", I will try to show her the respect she deserves of a husband, trying to come out of the dark ages, who is attempting to love her because "he just does".

It's a different world. It's becoming more and more different every day. Every year the acceptance level (inside and out of the Church) increases logarithmically. In most ways, this is good. It gives more options, more opportunities, more choices, more voices than ever before - and certainly more than just the negative ones of my college years.

So dear understanding reader... whoever you are... be patient with us old-timers. We're slow learners but ever as passionate! :-)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Why now after all these years?

I love this picture. It was taken during the World Cup last year. Of course these are Italians! I love Italians. They are so honest with their affection - so open and unashamed by it. This photo speaks volumes to me of my feelings for what I think a perfect world would be like. If all sports were this way, maybe I would have been more interested.

Which leads to the topic of the day: My father and I don't see eye to eye on many things. I wouldn't say that we are distant or that there is "no relationship" there, but we aren't what you would characterize as "close". I haven't really talked about him in my blog. I've tried to keep extended family out of it. But I had a conversation with him this week and it's still driving me crazy...

As my folks are getting up in years, they don't get out much anymore. They aren't as mobile as they used to be and so they live in front of the television. They don't live real close, so I see them maybe once a month at best, but we call and touch base with each other about once a week. Does that count as a close relationship?

It was on this week's call that my father threw a curve ball at me after all these years. We chit-chatted about the kids and the goings-on for the week and then there was a lull in the conversation. My dad then asked: "So, I know you don't like sports, you never have (accusingly), but don't you even like to follow them by watching on TV?"

I didn't know what to say. I haven't liked sports or watched sports (except BYU football) my entire life. I didn't like playing catch with my dad. I threw like a girl and he made sure that I knew it. He made me play little-league baseball, which I hated and was embarrassingly terrible at. He was extremely disappointed that I didn't play YM basketball. He took me to college basketball and football games and tried to get me interested - but it just wasn't there for me. I've always felt like I disappointed him that being the only son, I wasn't the athlete or the jock that he wanted.

But that was decades ago! We've moved on and life has rolled on. Or at least so I thought. And now, SUPER BOWL weekend, he asks me just because I don't like to PLAY sports, why don't I watch sports? And to throw salt into the reopened wound, he adds that "even your sisters talk to me about the NFL, NBA and college game of the week, and you don't!"

I didn't know what to say. I mean, why is this being brought up now? Why is this still bugging him after so many long years? I know - here I go - another gay moaning session about how crappy I was in sports, how misfit I was with my peers, how little relationship I have with my father - oh, boo hoo hoo - poor Beck is whining about his painful childhood again - he's going to stereotypically bemoan his gay-root causes.

Well, first of all - I don't give credence to those "theories", as stereotypical as they may seem. Second of all, haven't we moved past this by now? Yeah, I really don't care about the Super Bowl. And believe it or not, I don't watch TV. And even if I did, I don't have cable, satellite or any other contraption to get the hot game of the week. I'd rather spend my time bitchin' about sports-talk with my gay blog... How pathetic is that?! I mean, why is this still such a "missing link" in my father's life?

I worry about my son. He's not interested in sports. He hates watching sports. He goes to high school football games just to cause mischief in the bleachers with his friends. He's got a good arm and can throw really well (no thanks to any of my training). Have I corrupted him? I don't think so - just as my father could not pass on his love of playing sports to me, I can't pass on to my son the hate of playing sports either. He's good, but he chooses not to. He'd rather do other things that he's interested in... and that is fine with me. If he did choose sports, I would be right there behind him rooting him on as the embarrassing NO. 1 fan!

I can predict it already - There's going to be talk in Church tomorrow about getting out in freakin' time for the big game party! Give me a break! I think I'll go home teaching or schedule a meeting about the beginning of the 4th quarter. Only one problem: Can someone call me to tell me when that is since I won't be watching???

Now, if sports were like these two guys - and if I were half-way coordinated at all - maybe I would be more interested. Do you think so? I've done the water skiing, snowmobiling, cliff jumping, camping, hiking - and loved it all... but put a ball in my hands and I freak out!

Why is this stupid lack of skill so painful (especially with my father) after all these years?

Where's "Tim" around when I need a good wrestling match? Broken ribs anyone? Oh yeah, he's off to college. Shoot! Anyone game?

Happy Super Bowl Sunday, Dad!