Saturday, April 24, 2010

Too goofy...

"out of the mouth of babes..."

My college son came home for the weekend and he was in a good mood so we started having a casual chat. The subject of our ward getting a new Bishopric this weekend came up. He mentioned that he and his buddy down the street were speculating about possible candidates for Bishop and that his friend suggested my name...

"And so what did you say?" I asked curiously.

"You don't want to know," he replied with a bit of embarrassment in his voice.

"Why not?" I insisted.


"Yes, seriously?"

"Well... I told him that it couldn't be you because you're too... well... too goofy".

"Too goofy!" I smirked, not sure whether to laugh or cry at my son's choice of words. "What does that mean?"

"You know... it means a couple of things." He hesitated a bit, but could tell that I wasn't going to let this accusation of "goofiness" slip by without an explanation.

"Go on. I'm waiting." I said impatiently.

"Well - first of all, now don't take offense, you always take offense..."

"I promise I won't get offended, even though I'm now offended that you think I always get offended."

"Okay, I'll just say it - you're too touchy."

"Too touchy?"

"Yeah, I mean you're either constantly hitting every man in the head or wrestling with the young men.
You know, normal bishop-types don't do that."

"Oh, they don't?" I questioned.

"And if it's not hitting or wrestling the men, then you're hugging or kissing all the old widows. What's up with that?"

"I don't know. Maybe I'm a bit more affectionate than most. Is that a bad characteristic?"

"No, Dad. I didn't say it was bad. It's just a bit goofy." There he goes again with that word.

"Is there more?" I asked, dreading what was next to come.

"Well, yeah. You're also not straight-arrow enough. You don't toe the line. You're too rebellious, you know... too independent."

"Not straight-arrow enough? I don't toe the line? Too rebellious? Too independent?" I repeated incredulously. I thought I was a straight-arrow (as straight as a gay father can be)!

"Yeah, you know... you're not normal enough to be a bishop. You like to do your own thing, like the way you grow your hair out longer and you fight against certain things and you like to teach independent of the manuals and not always follow the rules."

"So, in your opinion, those are bad qualities for a good priesthood holder?" I probed a bit deeper for his real meaning.

"I didn't say that! I mean, I know you have a testimony and you believe in the church and all, but Dad, you're not normal, you know? I like that you're independent and willing to challenge people on things, and I like that you bend the rules and do it your own way... you're just too goofy to be a bishop."

"uh... so you're cool with me being too touchy, and too independent?"

"Yeah, Dad. Don't get me wrong. I think you're great! You're just not normal enough or boring enough to be Bishop."

"Thanks (I guess). I'll take all of this as a compliment," I added cautiously.

"You should!" he insisted.

"Glad we had this little chat, son."

"No problem. Any time, Dad."


So, in my normal gay way of over-analyzing things, I took from this that my son (who may suspect that I have attraction issues, but we've never discussed it), has observed in me 1) a sense of showing affection beyond the norm, and 2) a sense of rebellion or independence beyond the norm - to the point that I would be disqualified in his eyes to be "peter priesthood" enough to be called as a Bishop... both traits that may be magnified by other homosexual core characteristics.

Lessons learned:

1) You never realize how much your children watch you and what lasting impression you are leaving on them!

2) Your teenage son may be wiser than he seems.

3) Truth comes out in odd ways.

4) Be careful who you are. Your almost adult children may learn to like you after all.

5) I'm not normal and I'm too goofy... hmmm, maybe that's a good thing. The last thing I'd want to be is Bishop! :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

4 years and still here...

As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, keep it” -- credited to Gandhi

Another year has rolled by… it’s been four years since I started this blog. Four years! And yet, here I am… still wondering what the heck I’m doing with my life. A lot of the original gang are long gone, or have moved on to greener pastures. A few are still around, but most blogs in the current community have come on the scene in the last year or so.

Like with all anniversaries, this has become a time of reflection and annual self-interrogation:

Why are you still here? Why haven’t you moved on as well? What keeps you coming back?
Why are you still trying to cross the same street? What is the hold that this blogging gig has on you? Haven’t you already said everything you need to say? Haven’t you already proven time and time again that 1) you aren’t going to fully come out of the closet, 2) you aren’t going to leave your wife and kids, 3) you aren’t going to leave the Church? I mean what’s the point – we’ve all heard it before – so stop playing with fire, stop longing for relationships that never will happen, stop seeking connections with fellow MOHOs and get on with your life! You’ve made your choice, and you’re committed to it – so get on with it why don’t you!?!

Yet, I’m still here… hanging on. I love reading and learning from and gaining insights and being connected with this community of bloggers. It makes me pause, provides needed therapy, and satisfies some kind of unrealized connection to those like me that I don’t find in my real-world existence.

I am still here because I do feel I occasionally have something to offer, a possible different perspective, and maybe a story to tell that is of worth to those following behind me on this trail of life. And maybe there is a slight chance that I have learned or am in the process of learning lessons that may be of value to those in similar circumstances and commitments (or may be of value for those who are not, and who want to stay clear of the path I’ve taken and choose another trail all together).

Anyway, time will tell how long this gig will play out, or whether this will be the last anniversary noted. I guess if I really knew where it’s all leading too, I could predict not “needing” to blog anymore… but until that day, I guess the few readers here are stuck with me… and some of you have become “family” and… well… as true family members, we are stuck together whether we’d like to or not, right?

I have been tempted to write a series of posts regarding the “lessons learned” over the last four years of blogging, and particularly over the last year as I’ve come to a direction of what I have chosen to do and how to help my relationship with my wife. Yet, it is hard to write about “lessons learned” when one doesn’t feel like one has yet learned… so maybe it should be called “lessons trying to be learned” or “lessons yet to be learned”?

Which brings me to a question: After four years of postings, is there anything you still wonder or wish to ask me?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The rules of arousal...

Over at NED’s blog I commented:

…what are the "rules" about touching in non-sexual appropriate ways? What if those non-sexual "touchings" become arousing between two married MOHOs? Then what are the rules?

And what kind of "rules" should govern "male/male friendships" between married MOHOs? When do such friendships become inappropriate?

SCOTT responded:

What if those non-sexual "touchings" become arousing between two married MOHOs?

... So what if they do?

Arousal isn't a sin. Nor does arousal (necessarily) indicate that whatever you're doing is a sin. Arousal is just a physiological reaction to any of a number of things, many of them completely harmless.

I've gotten aroused when comforting a friend who was having a hard time. I was certainly not doing anything wrong, or even thinking anything wrong--and I appropriately chose to ignore whatever it was my body was trying to say and focus on giving him the comfort and support he needed.

We are taught (by society, to an extent, but especially by the church) that arousal is an indication that we're doing something wrong (unless it's with a spouse). That's one of the "rules" that should be discarded, IMO.

A better rule might be "arousal is a physiological response that is not wrong in and of itself and that doesn't need to be acted on".

I responded:

I never said or even suggested that "arousal was a sin"! I perfectly understand from many experiences that "arousal is just a physiological reaction to any of a number of things, many of them completely harmless..." What I was suggesting was that maybe arousal between two MOHO guys that are married in MOMs may consider the mutual arousal as a possible crossing-the-line rule, not a crossing-the-line sin!

Two older MOHOs in MOMs feeling such arousal between them may also signal that both are still "alive and well", which is a good thing for some of us! :)

So, I've been thinking... I think sexual arousal is a wonderful thing! I do not think it sinful. I think it is amazing… and anyone my age who still has it going on should also realize how amazing it really is!

I have been sexually aroused multiple times cuddling with my “special friends” from my mission! I was confused...

I have been sexually aroused several times simply hugging and holding my “special friends” in my ward! I was embarrassed...

I have been sexually aroused numerous times by myself! I was um... :)

I have been sexually aroused even more times with the help of my wife. It wasn’t always so easy and still is at times a lot of “work”, but we’ve finally got it figured out... I was grateful...(thank you!)

And yes, I have been sexually aroused a couple of times by a non-sexual, but bromantic encounter with a certain fellow MOHO in the community! And I was no longer confused or embarrassed or felt any guilt. I was just so happy for that magical and totally and completely natural and beautiful reaction...

And I think they are all beautifully wonderful! They are not a sin!

You know, a few years ago, when I started this blog, I would have been comsumed with angst and guilt over such a post (particularly following my previous post on conference... hey, I'm not a flat persona), but now I don't. Is that considered growth and self-acceptance, or am I way off the holding to the iron rod (no pun intended)?

And, in the spirit of the discussion on “rules”, what should be the rule for non-sexual but definite non-sinning arousal between fellow MOHOs? Particularly if you are in a MOM, or other committed relationship, what should be the rule on arousal? Should it be viewed as that proverbial line not to be crossed? Should there be any bromantic arousals permitted for MOM MOHOs outside those with their spouse? What if there are no arousals with their spouse - then what?

Monday, April 05, 2010


I did enjoy conference - I always do!

I enjoy insights and feelings that come to me as I listen to the brethren. I jotted down a few...

* As I exercise faith, it is the will of the Lord that must be obeyed. I have faith in Jesus Christ, not in the outcome that I desire.

* Sometimes I need to put the immediacy of my desires on hold for now. Without patience, I cannot know God!

* Sometimes it is in waiting, not receiving, that I grow the most.

* I need to be more spontaneous, particularly with spiritual matters in teaching my children.

* Love is a great thing. Lust, though maybe more understood as to why in my particular case, is keenly hurtful to my wife. I need to keep a better balance.

* There is no doubt: the resurrection is not just a nice hoped-for dream. Instead it is really real!

* Prayer works when it is in harmony with the spirit and the spirit prompts what I should ask.

* I need to apply every aspect of knowledge I have to the solution of my problems and then ask God to bless that application of my knowledge.

I was very much touched again by the Priesthood men choir. I was especially moved to tears by the rendition of "Hold to the Rod" done in a slower, more deliberate tempo. I was humbled as I was filled with the impression that though things aren't perfect, that I am often consumed with doubts and overcome by fears, that the Iron Rod is still within grasp.

I was blessed to attend Priesthood with my son. This may be the last in a long time for me to attend with him. I enjoyed watching him become enlivened with attentiveness and personal insights - much more so than in the past. It is so rewarding to see him grow, mature, and become an independent man.

I enjoyed observing and reveled in the male bonding "touch" between the First Presidency.

I was taught by the spirit that I need to be more humble, more patient, more loving, more spontaneous, more faithful.

Nothing earth-shattering. Nothing amazingly new or profound. Not surprising, but, I still find myself longing for something more from the Prophet, and yet, as I say that, I ask myself why I seek more when I don't do more with what I've already received.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Is it just me?

Is it just me? I mean, where has the prophet gone? Over the last several months, even year, it seems to me like the prophet has been incognito. Yes, there is General Conference and the temple dedications in Draper and S. Jordan, and the comforting of Marie at the Osmond funeral, but otherwise, where has he been? Am I missing something?

Even the Church News and the Ensign give messages from the prophet that date back years, even decades, reaching back for quotes from the past - nothing current. What about recently?

Maybe we're better off with "keep the status quo" and that no news is good news. But don't we live in troubling times? Aren't there stress and strain out there that may need some prophetic direction? Yes, we've heard from other members of the twelve who have made recent statements and given direction on current topics, politics and events - but not from the prophet as I can recall.

Again, am I missing something? Or should I not worry about such mundane things. Maybe I'm just longing for Pres. Hinckley's day of media charm. Obviously, I don't pretend to know what needs to be done nor would I be presumptuous to advise the Lord on how to run His Church, but I'm hungering for some kind of assurance that the prophet isn't just satisfied to let the others do the dirty work while he quietly sits in the background.

I remember fondly my high school years when then Elder Monson, the youngest apostle, came to speak at our seminary each year at the early morning firesides before school. His children went to school there and so there was a natural tie. I remember that we anticipated the day when he would become the prophet and looked forward to his leadership.

Well, that day is here. And I'm seeking to find that same anticipation inside me today. I hope I can find what I'm looking for in this upcoming conference.