The journey of a married Mormon man who is attracted to other men.
Monday, April 23, 2012
I don't think I'm in Kansas anymore...
A big thank those who responded to the last post. In a world where one feels trapped between all things straight and gay, it is reassuring and sustaining to reconfirm some are out there finding something worthwhile in this foolishness I write. I'm not sure I can live up to the "inspiration" that comes from this drivel, as it is what it is...
That said, a thought from this week...
On Friday, I finally got down to visit and take in the new urban environment recreating downtown SLC called City Creek Center. I found myself coming up out of the parking structure below and felt lost and disoriented,
having been transported to a different world. For one who deals with space planning and a fair share of urban design and architecture, this was a visually stimulating and exciting experience. I enjoyed immensely the richness of the urban social gathering and sharing I was witnessing. It seemed to me that most everyone there was just enjoying being in this amazing space and hardly anyone was really there to shop.
I must say, however, that it took a while to get myself oriented to the city of my birth. This wasn't the Salt Lake City that I had come to know. I could have been anywhere in any city... there wasn't a great sense of space that said "this is Salt Lake". It took me a while to stumble across a
view to the church office building or the temple at Temple Square to finally tie this new fabric with the familiar grid and monuments of a more rigid city grid. I don't know what I was expecting, (and I don't mean to be negative at all as the architecture and outdoor community spaces were incredible indeed!) but I felt out of place, out of sorts, confused and disconnected while being so visually stimulated and excited with a sense of community all around me. I was oddly transformed like Dorothy in Oz!
This was definitely not my father's or grandfather's city anymore...
As I walked it with my camera, I stood back and observed. I love to people watch! I loved zooming into the faces and imagining their lives.
The couple giggling at their very wet but exuberant son dancing in the fountain, drenched and dripping with delight.
The prom dresses on parade with their tuxedo counterparts proudly and predictably prancing through the piazza!
And the gay couples everywhere - in the food court,in the bathroom, at Tiffany's, and even strolling along the "creek", gladly glowing, and fearlessly and courageously holding hands... It was as if I were transformed into one of those reverse themed movies, where everyone was gay but me and I couldn't help but wonder what's wrong with me as a heterosexual! Why wasn't I holding hands with my best buddy?
It was another layer of transformation. I was transformed to the thought of the "what if" game I play in my mind: What if I had taken a different path after my mission with my Italian boyfriend? What if I had never married my wife? What if I chose to follow my heart beating to a different rhythm of male bonding? What if? What if? What if?
I stood back and watched for some time a cute gay couple: he was very lanky and tall and strikingly blonde, at least 6 inches taller than his more compact but stylish partner. They sweetly held each other's hands and occasionally smiled as they fondly looked at each other. They shared in the joy of new discoveries in each display window, their earrings sparkling in the sunlight. I marveled at how much I envied them, an envy that once would have consumed me in bitterness and emptiness... now an envy that simply brought a sense of satisfaction and hope.
Indeed, this is not my father's or grandfather's city anymore... I'm surprised it's even mine!