I have commiserated with several of you, some personally, and others through this blog or emails, how I feel very alone and confused in this path I have chosen for my life. Though I know I am not alone, that there are many others like me out there - there must be - and though I find a great sense of community of support from this amazing community of bloggers in this corner of the queerosphere, I still find myself very lonely and confused just the same.
There isn't a priesthood lesson on "how to talk to your wife about being gay", or a Sunday School manual that addresses "how to understand that being attracted to young adult men is totally natural".... etc. There isn't even a book on tape from good ol' Deseret Book that shows us "how to make a mixed-oriented marriage work in ten easy steps".
No... and there aren't obvious examples of those before me on this "path I've taken" who can show me the way and demonstrate that it's possible - that this path actually leads to a wonderful place of breathtaking beauty, as the waterfall in the photo I took above that I found almost by accident unexpectedly.
When I was on my tropical island Paradise a couple of weeks ago, I took many hikes through jungles. Some hikes were well traveled and obviously marked with a well-trodden path that led to the appointed destination, and many there were who found themselves on this same journey. There were other trails that I took from a wonderfully accurate and detailed guidebook of "lesser known paths" where jungle growth enthusiastically tried its best to cover the tracks of the few who found out its secrets. These trails, not marked at all, but nevertheless there for the taking - if you knew from where to look and follow the signs - led to even more incredibly amazing vistas and beaches, waterfalls and bathing pools, volcanic cliffs and fishing holes. But to find such trails, you needed the "guidebook".
In my personal trail as a very gay and yet very married and active, believing and participating member of the church, I still haven't found that "guidebook" and yet, here I find myself on the path just the same. This path is at times completely thick and obscured by tropical growth and I can't see which way to go. And so I get lost.
Why does it have to be this way? Why is there not someone before me showing me the "ten steps of how it's supposed to be done". Where are all the other very gay and yet very married and active, believing and participating members of the Church who already know those ten steps? Why do I feel so alone in this process? I know there are traps out there, thickets and thorns, cliffs and slippery slopes. But where's the trail marker? Where's the rod to hold onto?
I gave a lesson today about Lehi's dream. We know the Rod is strong and iron and immovable and that it is WE who let go and move away from the Rod that we become lost and lose our grasp. The rod didn't move! The rod is still there! But even the "word of God", as strong and iron-clad and immovable as it is, is still pretty amazingly silent on my needs for an example and guide through this personal "mist of darkness" I'm going through in this life as a gay man... (Now if there aren't enough mixed metaphors for you in this last paragraph I don't know where you'll find more :))
It's pretty lonely out there... I feel at times that there isn't anyone - at least among my immediate friends, family, associates, clients, neighbors etc. that I know who have gone down this path I find myself on. I don't know whether this path is destined to lead me to a dead end where I cannot go forward, nor go back. I don't know whether it will lead me on a journey to a cliff upon which the only way to go forward is to jump. I do know that I have the spirit, the Holy Ghost, who rarely, but occasionally prompts me in unquestionable nudges forward. I forget his spiritual teachings and promptings most of the time, as I prefer to do this journey "on my own", but when I do find myself listening, and on occasion being pricked in an unmistakable way, I REMEMBER who I am and why I've chosen this path in the first place... I just wish it didn't need to be so quiet and lonely most of the time...
On that note, I feel impressed to introduce to any of you two or three readers that follow along with my blog, an amazing and inspiring individual who is also on a very unique and lonely path of his own as a gay partnered man striving to find spiritual sanctuary within the LDS church as an excommunicated man. His path is not my path, and I guarantee there isn't a guidebook written for him either on his trail, but his story is such a revelation of hope to me. I hope to all of you... Please meet John Gustav-Wrathall at youngstranger.blogspot.com. (If I knew how to make a link within my text I would, but since I'm a technologically challenged ninny, you'll either have to go to my links in my sidebar or type it in yourself in your search engine). I don't think you'll be disappointed and I urge you to welcome him into this "community of saints" (in the fullest and broadest sense that those words mean of us gay men and women being guidebooks of support for each other, helping each other along this path called life).