Saturday, November 29, 2008

Not "it takes a village", but "it takes a queerosphere"...

Whether you want me to be or not, I'm back. My self-imposed blogging holiday has come to an end. Who knows if I go on another blogghiday anytime soon. I really appreciate the kind words and concern expressed here in the previous post, or in private emails and correspondences. I know that I am loved, cared for, and looked after more than I deserve from this little corner of the queerosphere.

At this time of Thanksgiving, I thank each of you for your prayers, your kindnesses and your genuine concern in my behalf and in the behalf of my wife and family.

I'm doing okay. It's been a rough couple of weeks - but what else did you expect from the drama queen of them all, huh? I am getting closer to figuring out "what I want" and "where I'm going" with this road I'm on. I'll be blogging about that and other new developments here shortly. I'm still debating how deeply I want to dive into these personal revelations and thoughts here, but if I don't use my blog, where else can I turn to? (and don't say "your wife" :))

But for now, for today, I just offer you my thanks and pray that I can be of help, support, friendship, encouragement and love and give ten-fold in return.

Huge "Beck hugs" to each of you...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What's next?

I had a pretty good defensive argument with my wife yesterday that caught me off guard a bit and a bit red-faced. We still aren't speaking much to each other today. Needless to say, it is tense around the Beck home lately.

Some things have manifested themselves to the point where "concerns" have arisen as to "what's next?" regarding my gaydom. Things such as:

1. My hanging my head in complete disgust at Fast and Testimony Meeting last Sunday with a sister gloating over the Prop. 8 victory and her interpretation of witnessing the fulfillment of one of the "signs of the times". I guess my disgust was a bit too animated and was duly noted by my wife.

2. My calling my son's seminary teacher an "absolute bigoted moron" for teaching in the class that if Prop. 8 or anything like unto it were allowed to pass, there would be homosexuals demanding their right to have gay marriages performed in temples, and the Church would have to comply. I guess I did that too forcefully as well, and in front of the kids, my wife AND my elderly dear mother. Fortunately, my mother backed me up and thought it a stupid thing for her grandson's seminary teacher to say.

3. My changing my dress standards a bit - with my favorite jeans ( :) ) and tighter sweaters, and wearing sweaters without dress shirts underneath them. I guess this is a signal to her that I'm sending my wife that I'm trying to be more "gay". Heck, I've even been known lately to be caught wearing the MOHO approved attire at Church lately and not the prescribed white shirt (see Abelard's latest post) - and anyone who knows me knows what a huge step off the cliff this one is - I mean, what a poor example I'm setting for my impressionable teenage son (*gasp*)

4. My change of attitude with following the local church leaders, disliking my calling in the High Priest leadership, and my pushing toward more radical thoughts and ideas.

5. My change of attitude regarding my work. This economic downturn has really hurt my projects that are not receiving financing or funding, with many being put on indefinite hold or cancelled all together. I guess I've been cranky lately and stressed over where my career will go into the future and how well I am doing as a provider for my family.

6. Finding an interest all of a sudden in dumb bells and weights and working out and building up my arms - things that are strange for someone my age to suddenly take interest in - a new development that isn't encouraged by her, so she asks "so, who are you trying to impress anyway if not me?" in that oh so knowing sign of hurt and resignation that her husband is hopelessly not attracted to her and is seeking attractions elsewhere.

7. See her eyeliner out on the counter, knowing that she remembers leaving it in the drawer and why would it be out unless I was... (um... no comment).

She directly asks me: "So what's next? Are you really for gay marriage? You identify with them, don't you (emphasising the "yuck factor" that is still firmly within her mindset) - this same "yuck factor" that most all other straight individuals just can't get past and I can't see how they don't see the same thing I see - and I see nothing yucky about it). What are you going to come up with next? Where are you leading your family?"

Even if I try to explain that I don't support the Church stepping into politics and that things should be left on a religious basis - doesn't seem to satisfy her or calm her worries. She's worried about changes within me. And I get defensive and clam up and we revert back to old ways of not talking.

Of course, I don't tell her about my secret rendezvous with multiple MOHOs or that I even have this blog, or that a fellow blogger wants me to attend an upcoming party of MOHOs. I don't even tell her what a MOHO is. I really was going to tell her about this amazing support group, and had my speech all outlined in my head to break it gently but kindly to her about this queerosphere, but when she cornered me with "what's next?" as if to say "So, who's your boyfriend on the side and when do I meet him?" I just couldn't do it...

So, I ask: "what's next?"

I think I've been blogging way too much... It may be time for another break in the action and take a time out. I think I need to stop and think what direction I'm really heading in, and where I'm leading, or not leading, my family.

Monday, November 10, 2008

An Ironic Parallel...

Anyone along the Wasatch Front who lives north of SLC must, by default, despise Rocky Anderson (the previous mayor of SLC), if only for his stance against the Legacy Parkway (a newly completed divided highway through Davis County). At least for me and my house, we are as anti-Rocky as can be, feeling as if he were trampling on our rights, our way of life, and despising us simply because of the choices we have made to live where we live and the audacity of us still desiring to conduct business, attend cultural events, and to shop in the capital city center of the state while residing north of his beloved city. The ills and horrific consequences of building such a highway were legally protested and he and his organized group were successful in delaying construction for nearly a decade, at the tax payers expense of gazillions of dollars, all for the sake of fighting against moral and noble issues such as urban sprawl, destruction of "wetlands", and mandating a public to be coerced into using mass transit for the overall benefit of society as a whole.

In the end, we got our highway, wetlands were mitigated, traffic issues have been greatly diminished, and the quality of life for all citizens has improved. In the end, coercion does not work, no matter how "noble" or "moral" the cause.

In a certain way, though I'm not clever enough to articulate it properly, isn't there a lesson to be learned on legislating coercion on same-sex marriage, even if it is such a "noble" or "moral" cause? Will we find that after a tremendous amount of tax-payer expense, legal costs, and delays, that the common will and good of the people will prevail for ALL in the end?

That said, I found it ironic that in reading the paper regarding the recent protest at Temple Square last week:

"Let us all call for greater love, better understanding, dignity and respect toward all — regardless of race, regardless of faith or lack of faith, and regardless of sexual orientation." -- Rocky Anderson

... that I found myself agreeing with Rocky on this issue. Heaven forbid!

Too bad he wasn't for greater love, better understanding, dignity and respect toward all when we were battling the social ills, marital stress and child anxiety caused by Davis County congestion.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


This is really hard for me...

I have been silent on Prop. 8 on this blog. Though I've passionately read other comments and the debate at large, I've chosen to not make it a part of this forum.

I have not used this blog for diving into political matters, but as I saw reports of protests last night around Temple Square, my heart is aching and I feel torn apart inside and I can't remain SILENT any longer!

I identify with both sides of this issue as an active member of the Church and as a gay man.

"Latter-day Saint Church leaders say their members were part of a coalition and called it disturbing that they were singled out for speaking up as part of a free election and are disturbed at being singled out for speaking up in the democratic process." --

"Members of the Church in California and millions of others from every faith, ethnicity and political affiliation who voted for Proposition 8 exercised the most sacrosanct and individual rights in the United States -- that of free expression and voting.

"While those who disagree with our position on Proposition 8 have the right to make their feelings known, it is wrong to target the church and its sacred places of worship for being part of the democratic process." -- LDS Church statement.

It is sad to see that it has come to this in my home town on my turf with my church and my culture. I do find it disturbing! I find it disturbing that the Church finds it disturbing that they are being singled out. What do they expect when they were the most organized and powerful influence in the "Yes on 8" drive? Did they expect no ill affects or no backlash? I find this very naive, two-faced and shameful.

I found it pleasing to see that civility did prevail and voices were heard and free speech was exercised peacefully. I'm glad there weren't any significant altercations. This debate can occur with civility and respect. I appreciate that it was done in that spirit and in so doing, I think the SLC gay community and its supporters did themselves a great load of good! More of this is needed and I applaud it.

I am not a protester. I am not really political. Yet, I find myself aching for what the Church I love is doing here and how they, the Brethren, don't see the hurt they are causing, nor the storm they are stirring up - obviously I don't see the bigger picture that they see and my vision is blurred and fogged over by my personal bias here. The troops are being assembled and riled up - and rightfully so. Some may say - bring on the fight! Others may say - this is part of the Signs of the Times and the Last Days! I say - where is the compassion?

I find it hurtful, painful, disingenuous, mean-spirited, all in the name of "moral right" and "religious freedom". I do not dispute the "right" of the Church to do what they did, but I question the wisdom and motivation to do so. Where is the love, the Christ-like attitudes of compassion, the attempt to understand each other and reach out in common good? Where is the Church that I love? I am embarrassed today. I am ashamed. I am disturbed. I am saddened.

But the real disturbance I'm feeling is that I feel powerless to do anything about it. What am I to do? How do I show love and compassion and understanding? Am I just a spineless sympathiser?

I want to be counted among the protesters. I feel for them. I see ME in their eyes and in their pain and hurt and mistrust. I want to be counted among the believers, the followers of the Church. Yet, how do I do both? Can I do both? Is it right to be on both sides? Why am I torn? I never would have been torn in the past. I probably wouldn't have given it much thought (as I'm sure most members of the Church last night didn't even pay attention to it or if they did - they shrugged it off as no big deal - a little skirmish by a few hooligans and rebel-rousing perverts). But, now I ache. I am in physical pain inside.

I confirm my belief that I see nothing wrong with gay marriage. I am intrigued and enamored by committed gay relationships, and I find Cog's and John GW's and MohoHawaii's and Chris and Jed's (among others) commitments to each other and to their families as holy, defensible, and worthy of praise and adulation. I see no "sin" in it. If I were in a situation for a different relationship, I would desire no more than to have the commitment of love that these friends have demonstrated. So, where does that put me? On the dark side?

I am not losing my faith. I have faith that this, too, shall shake out for good. I have faith in WHO is in charge ultimately. But, my faith in the leadership is shaken. My core is split. My foundation isn't as firm.

And my voice, short of this spineless blog, regrettably remains silent. But, for how long? If this continues to grow and pull at my core, I feel the time will come when I will need to "rise up and be counted" and I will not be able to remain silent anymore... And that makes me shake the most.

* NOTE: Photos of protest from

Friday, November 07, 2008


If you've checked my "profile" you see that I don't publish much information about myself, not even an email contact. I used to, but found I was more transparent that I desired. When some had put together who I really am in the real world, it began to freak me out - not so much for myself but for my family. I wasn't ready for that. So, I pulled back. At some point, maybe I will be, but for now, I prefer privacy for them.

I've been reticent to be more open. In reading Bravone's blog comments this morning about a dear mother (Alanna) of a gay teenage son, I was deeply touched by this thoughtful plea to all of us:

"...The only way we are going to begin to change the church members' perceptions is to give a face to the name. When the word homosexual brings to their minds the picture of their best friend, brother, father, son, cousin, etc instead of the flaming, drugging, drinking maladjusted guys who are so often associated with the name, nothing will change. It's changing. I know it is....little by little. In twenty years, we'll be surprised by this dialog we're having and the need for it. At least, that's MY prayer!"

Alanna asks Bravone (and all of us still hidden in the closet) why we don't give voice or give face of the "faithful gay Mormon". As Alan so eloquently responded:

"...for all these reasons many of us are probably going to stay right where we are—hidden--because it's the safest thing for us and for our families spiritually, socially, and emotionally. "

I wonder if my voice matters, and am I doing a disservice (such as to Alanna's son) by being so quiet, so private, so hidden? I feel deeply Alanna's plea for her son to have positive examples to look up to. I see Scott's incredible steps to come out to his family and ward in positive but very bold ways. I see the tension of the gay community at large focusing their frustration against the Church - and all things Mormon - and I realize the pull within me that aches for this battle and me caught between the fighting sides - and remaining silent.

Who am I to speak up? What voice do I have? Who am I to think of myself as any kind of example for others? for younglings coming up? A face of a married MOHO?

This blogging world, in a certain way, has helped me to come out of my thick shell. I've been slow to open myself personally to others even in this community where it is safe and there is a spirit of camaraderie and support. I've "chatted" occasionally with some, but even that has been brief. And I've enjoyed the brief but meaningful face-to-face encounters of several. I'm slowly becoming more comfortable as time goes on.
Today, I sat down and wrote down those of you I now know in person. Over the course of the last year or so, I've met in person ten of you! And as of this week, that number increases to eleven with Abelard joining the ranks of those who have seen Beck in person.

All the other encounters have been at their request. Not thinking less of them, but this time, it was me doing the requesting to seek out Abelard to give him a hug. That's a step, to be the seeker instead of the seekee, right? It was a wonderful visit and a bonding time of friendship and brotherhood between us. Thank you, Abe, for being there for me!

NOTE: If anyone wants to receive the warmest, biggest bear hug (and I should know as I'm a hug affezionato) then they need not go any further than Abelard to have their bear hugging needs met!

Someday, I may have more willingness to open up, to give voice and provide face for who I am, and what I stand for, beyond this little circle of friends in the queerosphere corner of the universe. We all need support. We all need friendship. We all need love. If there is something you suggest I can do more for you, please let me know...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


I know thy works, that thou are neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. -- Revelation 3:15-16

Okay. Let me make a point - this blog is NOT the total me. It is an account of my thoughts, sometimes the most intimate thoughts I have, thoughts not unlike your thoughts that you have, thoughts that you or anyone else typically would not know about at all. You have come here, for whatever reason, to pick my brain and look inside me. I allow you to do so. I want you to do so as we hopefully can grow together and edify each other in this journey - my journey as a married gay Mormon man.

That said, I have been struggling of late with my belief system, my core self, and what is real - in essence my faith. I have been struggling with who I am within this context and have been seeing myself removed from my beliefs, my family, my covenants. I have been seeing things in shades of gray and blurring the boundaries between what is black and what is white. I have desired to cross the line, to step off that proverbial cliff, to leave the past behind and move into another culture, another belief system, another world.


As much as I speak of desiring a "boyfriend", experiencing and "knowing" the other side of my sexuality, and leaving my garments - and all things they symbolize - in the closet I leave behind, and even as I toy with and take small baby steps in this gray existence where things aren't so right or wrong - and these desires and thoughts and steps are real and powerful and well articulated here (moreso than maybe is appropriate and should be left to the private corners of my mind and dreams) - as much as I long for these to become more "lukewarm" in my approach on this journey.

May I say emphatically here and now - I can't feel good about this approach! I can't do it. I won't do it. I'm not going to do it...


1. I know that God is real. He is my Father and I am His son and I have felt his love and know that He desires the best for me and this path isn't the best for me.

2. I know that Christ is my Savior, my friend, my brother and I believe Him and have put into practice what He has taught me personally - my belief isn't just in "knowing" about Him or about what He has said, but in believing Him and seeing the fruits in my life, the joy that comes as I follow Him.

3. I know what it is to have the Spirit speak to me personally, to feel the Holy Ghost guiding me within my core self. At times recently, those feelings and guidance have been weak and distant and faint - lots of static fill my soul and confuse the signal - but I cannot deny what I know - that the voice is real and has spoken to me and I cannot and will not deny it. This voice is faint because of my recent choices, thought-processes and actions, not because He no longer wants to speak very clearly to me. I am the one who has become "lukewarm" in my approach to His counsel.

4. I know of the Plan for me. I have a conviction that goes to my core of this Plan and realize I'm human and don't have all the answers, particularly the tough questions I ask of myself as a gay man on this journey, but the Plan is still the same for me as it is for you. We walk by faith, and that faith, practiced with earnest efforts, doing the best with what we've been given, and doing all that we CAN do, will become an assurance of those things we don't currently "know".

5. I have made covenants with my God to be obedient, to sacrifice, to be morally chaste and clean, to live the Gospel and to consecrate all that I have to this faith. Though you may think otherwise, these covenants are central to who I am and to my core self. Though I've shown signs of leaving them behind, I cannot and will not. These covenants bind me to my faith and keeping them brings me strength. I have been promised that I will be a "strong man among men". I've always thought this may have meant that I needed to lift more weights :), but indeed, I am made strong, not weak, when I KEEP these covenants sacred.

6. These covenants bind me to my wife. I have chosen years ago to be hers and she mine and together we will journey in this life side by side. I've recently thought of walking away from my marital covenants - and when we are separated, I become weak and allow my thoughts and actions to move in that direction - with my desires and attractions becoming more powerful than my own will and commitments. But I cannot, I will not, leave her behind! I love her and have chosen her and will not abandon her, be unfaithful to her, or betray her because of these powerful desires and attractions that I have for men.

7. My children are central to my happiness in this life. They are my focus, and I don't blog much about them here - for they are not to be brought into this sphere of discussion, as my effort to protect them - but do not doubt that they are central to who I am, what I stand for, and why I ultimately make the choices I make.

8. I am gay. I am not bisexual in the least. I am at least of 5+ or 6 on that notorious scale. I always have been and am convinced that I always will. This has been long in coming to accept and receive this personal conviction. With this has come much self-hate, self-doubt, confusion and angst. I still struggle, but the struggle is not with WHO I am, but with HOW I am to lead my life because of WHAT I am. You may ask how a gay man who is a "6" can stay married for 27 years, and remain faithful in his beliefs and covenants... well, I ask that too, and have more thoughts on that later...

9. I sustain my priesthood leaders and prophet. The Prophet is the only man on this earth that holds all priesthood keys. I used to have more conviction of the infallibility of the Prophet - I still feel he holds the authority to lead God's church. But, I have had some doubts enter into my convictions as I am conflicted by feelings that they (my priesthood leaders) do not understand or "get" what it means to be gay and why I am gay and what that means to someone like me who has felt isolated, misunderstood, and different from the Brethren. So, for now, I must exercise my faith to follow them, believing they will yet receive applicable and appropriate direction of love for me and my kind. I can be a better help within the Church than from without as I work to give face and voice of one among their midst who is gay but who believes and remains devout because of his faith.

10. I don't have all the answers. So I walk by faith.

This post may disappoint some who are cheering me on in stepping across the line. This post may excite those who are pulling for me to toe the line. I am not here to disappoint or excite either side. I am just me.

When it comes down to it, the above feels right and good and true. I do not apologize for my behavior or my choices. They are mine. I am not seeking excuses to find ways to "have it both ways", to have my marriage, but also a boyfriend on the side, to be an exception and have gay relationships and eternal covenants together. It is all or nothing. I can't be lukewarm. I may go crazy staying true to my choices (hell, I'm probably already certifiably insane), but at least I will be doing what I feel is right for me.

This is what is right for me... I don't seek praise or condemnation for my stand. I don't feel vindicated and don't seek to be any kind of example or standard-bearer. I am simply me...

I'm tired of being lukewarm...

I am Beck.

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be thy son. -- Revelation 21:7

Monday, November 03, 2008

Is there room for any gray?

Yesterday, I sat in a stake priesthood leadership meeting in a chapel full of men in their white shirts, suits and ties. I had never felt more "different" from everyone in that room. I wondered if any of these brethren had any idea what was going on inside me, or if any of them felt the same way. There had to be 150 men in the room - you'd think I wouldn't be the only one, (and even at 2% there statistically should be at least another) but I sure felt like it.

The meeting concentrated on socializing the youth and building them up with positive experiences and encouraging interaction. But, it also concentrated heavily on how to teach morality to the youth and to demand more of them, and to keep ourselves morally clean, including avoiding the evils of heterosexual infidelity and heterosexual pornography. Jokes were made about youths not even being permitted to watch DVDs at home - as that leads to cuddling and closeness that can lead to immorality. But, we were encouraged to watch DVDs at home with our wives to encourage us to cuddle and have closeness with them, and to focus our attention on them.

I know I'm a slow learner, but at that point I realized just how out of the picture I was from this meeting. I felt like I really wasn't there - like this was some surreal existence or world that I was visiting and it didn't apply to me and my situation at all. I mean, here were a room full of men, 99% of them married, and we were talking about the difficulty it is to live in this sex-charged world, for us as leaders, and particularly for our youth, and how things will be better when our youth are married or when we focus on our marriage. And yet, they don't have a clue on how that translates to a homosexual equivalent. Since homosexuals can't get married (in the eyes of God) we are still living in this sex-charged world, and can't even date or socialize at all with others of our kind, as heterosexual youths are encouraged to do, to appropriately handle the sexually-charged energy of this life, and there is no alternative but complete isolation and celibacy. I began to feel very saddened and reflected on my single gay members of the family in this church...

After setting the ground rules, the Stake President felt inspired to call us to repentance saying that with the prevalence of heterosexual infidelity and heterosexual pornography in the Church, he is convinced "some of us" have this issue right now, and as such, we shouldn't even be in this chapel, and that we should excuse ourselves and go take care of things with our Bishop right now!

There was silence in the room... At first, I wanted to stand up and leave - feeling unworthy because of my thoughts, and some of my recent actions, tame as they may be, always toying with crossing the line, but, you know what? I didn't feel guilty! I wanted to feel guilty but I couldn't. Instead, I wanted to stand up (in the spirit of Scott) and say: "Yeah, but what about us gay guys? How do we fit in this scenario?" I mean, am I allowed in any way, shape or form, any interaction of any kind as a gay married man toward those I'm attracted to? Is it okay to see gray in the spectrum of cuddling?, friendships?, tame images that might titillate? Or, is anything to do with this subject that does not center on my wife mean that it is wrong and inappropriate - on the verge of infidelity and unworthiness - in other words: black and white? And what about my gay single brothers who have no source for comfort at all? At least we MOM guys have our wives to turn to - but what about them?

Are there really just two choices for me?: 1) complete fidelity in thoughts and deeds, or 2) complete infidelity by having thoughts and deeds - innocuous as they may be? In one am I the hero and shining knight, and in the other a scoundrel and demon? Is there any other choice?

As I stated in a previous comment in the last post: "It isn't so cut and dry. I'm trying to find some happy medium where I can cling to that which I know and love without going crazy in the meanwhile. How do I find that middle ground, that gray area?"

I know this isn't breaking new ground with anyone reading this, but I wonder if my state of mind was finally opened to see the irony of the situation and to realize that I wasn't seeing anything that applied to me in this meeting. It was like I was so different from them, that I was no longer a part of them, and that there was no "them" left in me. There was no "us". I finally felt a complete outsider. And not feeling guilty in one of those to-the-point meetings is a step for me. Whether in the right direction or not I guess depends on your point of view of my situation. But, all of a sudden, I'm feeling very gray, very neutral, very non-guilt charged. I'm seeing gray in a lot that is being said and taught and mandated as "black and white" - and I guess I should excuse myself from future leadership meetings - as I'm finding myself now not seeing "black and white" in any other topic being discussed - and as such I must be walking into apostasy and should turn in my "membership worthiness" card, and be considered a dangerous brother to watch out for.

Or, I guess my other choice is to keep looking "straight"ahead and keep my mouth shut and keep saying nothing...