I am deeply honored that you posted a comment on this blog. I am sure that I am not alone in saying that you are one of my heroes. I started blogging a few months before you came on the scene and I followed your story with great interest and intrigue – more obvious now because of my feelings for my Italian brother. Your descriptions of your love for Isaac and for finding a way that the two of you could be together and have this special bond forever, including the physical aspect of the relationship, was so endearing to me as I felt the same thing. I felt as if I were living through your experience as you opened up your feelings for your family and the Gospel and the tug that they were on your life to pull back, the retrench and to start over. Those words expressed were with great passion and emotion and they touched me deeply. I admired your example and strength to come back to
I am thrilled that you continue to feel that the choices you made 18 months ago were the correct one that you’ve experienced countless miracles and have felt the Spirit back in your life again as a dad and husband. What joy this brings to my heart. I’ve always wanted to know “the rest of the story” and thanks for sharing what you have.
I am grateful to know that Isaac is doing well, as well, and that his testimony is strong and growing and is preparing to enter the House of the Lord. What an amazing blessing for you! What a miracle for the both of you! I needed to hear that the Spirit you feel back in your life outweighs anything you gave up (“sex with your man”). I am thrilled that you’ve found a way to still be brothers together and to love your man in a more spiritual way. Thank you again for being my hero!
I am saddened that you are saddened by my blog. I didn’t expect that reaction from you. You are disturbed by the photos I’ve been posting. I guess that is to be expected. I don’t excuse that behavior, but I guess it is a continuation of the “adolescent phase” with which I find myself. I ask myself why I use them – I guess I am visually oriented, I use and create images in my profession and beautiful images or thought-provoking images interest me and communicate to me and others in ways that words cannot. I do not use them to be offensive or cruel or evil. Maybe I push the edge a bit, but I use my blog for that purpose, in a way of coping with reality, and I find that in allowing my blog to be an alter-ego of myself and push the limits a bit, I am able to better respond to that reality as I go about living my life away from this blog. I hope that makes sense and I am sorry that you’ve taken offense.
You say that you “don’t see any sign of a fight” in me and that I “seem to have already given up”. I don’t expect you, or anyone, to read my entire story, and you know very well that a blog is just a miniscule slice of who the author is behind the words, and understanding this, you must realize that you cannot judge me like this. Yes, I am toying with ideas and feelings that may seem to place me on the edge of apostasy or inevitability, but I assure you that I am not you. I have not gone to him! I have not left me family to run to his open arms. I have not violated my covenants. I do not intend to violate those covenants!
I have been fighting all my life as I’m sure you have and you must continue to do so, whether you admit it or not. I have been chaste my whole life. I do not know what gay love feels like as you do. I do not have that knowledge of intimacy with another man, yet I long for it. It is something I crave. Yet, through all my youth, and mission, and marriage of 27 years, I have not given up the fight to resist that craving! I am not blaming you for misunderstanding me, for my words sometimes betray the real me. Be it clear: just because I long for that relationship of physical, emotional electricity with another man that I love completely, does not mean that I have given up the fight! And if this blog, as imperfect and worldly at times as it may be, helps me to keep up the fight, then I will see it as achieving one of its prime purposes for existing.
You tell me: “You’ve lost sight of reality: who you were before you were born, all that you have been given and promised and the royal Priesthood that you hold.” I want you to know that I have a firm and solid and unshakeable testimony of the PLAN. It is one of very few things that I am sure of. I know who I am! I know that I am a Child of God and that God loves me. I know that I am eternal and have always existed and that the essence of who I am today is who I always have been and who I am today will be the essence of who I will be someday! My vision is clear! I know the power of the Priesthood that I hold. I have seen it work miracles in others lives as well as my own. I know that I have stepped off the path and may be “testing the waters” at times, but that does not mean that I have lost sight of who I am or the promises in store for me as I hold on.
My struggle is with wanting to hold on, not in not knowing. I do know. And sure, it is exhilarating to have someone, a dear brother come to realize that after all these years he loves me as much as I love him. Sure it’s addicting and I love that feeling. But I disagree that this feeling is ultimately “empty”. I have nothing but good feelings and desires for my “Isaac” and our relationship has been built on the Spirit and the desires to do good that the Spirit prompts us to do. Nothing but good has come from these feelings. I do not consider them “empty”. Maybe in the particular path that you chose, you found them to end in emptiness. With your example, I want to not have that same conclusion.
I count these feelings as a gift, as a blessing from God and I am alive and exhilarated and thrilled to be able to feel this love. It is not evil! This is not something that Satan is using to chain me to hell. I do not believe that. I cannot believe that. Though I may long for the relationship that you and Isaac so beautifully shared, and you may regret to have shared such things with this community for fear of setting the course in doing that very thing for others of us to follow, this longing does not mean that is the course I am on.
Thomas is a real man. He is not fictional. My feelings for him may be romanticized and naïve, but they are not make-believe. And to say that he is my “gay lover” is overstating it. Again, I love him, I even admit that I am “in love” with him in a real way, but he is not my “gay lover” and never will be. He is my brother. We are more than friends. Our friendship has lasted and intensified over these 29 years. We still feel the spirit beating in our hearts and the connection between us after all these years. Is this a lie? Is what we feel not real?
Yes, I’m holding onto a dream, just as you did. I was hoping to have received more understanding words and a measure of comfort from you as you, of all people, know from where I speak as you have gone before me on this path. Where is your heart? Where is your compassion? Why are you so angry and bitter about this? What have you seen that I don’t understand? Is it that you see anguish and regret in my path? Do you feel that it was a mistake to know Isaac, to share your life with him, to love him? Why, if it all ended up so well for you, is it still such a nightmare of torture to see me following your path? Don’t you see that I want to learn from you and to be understood by you, and to make the right choices, instead of being treated as a delusional mess?
You disappeared from the blogging world and I hang on. You’ve moved on and I’m still languishing in the muck of my photos and blogging cronies. You’re on higher ground fighting and you see me low and debased and quitting the fight. I apologize for that misconception. I reiterate: I am not ready to give up!
I again thank you for coming back, even if just for this brief moment for me to internalize the fight which is still within me! I hope you will come back soon and often and be willing to teach and encourage and help others who are struggling with what you once struggled, and hope that you and others like you, who have moved on, can show us the way.
I’ve said this before: There is no guide book on how to be a married Mormon man with these feelings raging inside him. The Church doesn’t want to even admit that we, our kind, even exist. It never was meant to be easy, nor fair, and I’m not asking for it to be anything but what it is. But, I do know one thing – I am grateful for these feelings raging inside me, because they are who I am, and they help me to be a better person, a kinder person, a more compassionate and loving person for feeling them. I am not ashamed of who I am nor why I feel the way I do. I do not blame God. I praise Him for giving me this gift.
Thank you again for responding to my request, and may God bless you and your family, and Isaac and his, as you journey on this common quest for eternal joy,