Saturday, December 11, 2010

Differences Are Normal

Back in September of 2009, I made a smugly moralistic little post called, "My Two Dates"

The point of that post was to talk about a little event where I got asked if I would be interested in joining a couple for a little threesome action. I talked about how I learned a valuable lesson about misjudging people.  And then at the end of it, in an attempt to whitewash the fact that I was still a judgmental prick, I said that I was not interested in hooking up with them.  But I never really said why.  And to be honest, at the time, I wasn't really all that sure myself.   I did give some lame-ass excuse about how it would bring up some emotional baggage; as if I had any clue what I was talking about.  

Well, truth be told, 6 months later, I found myself chained to the wall of their play room having a good time.  This happened twice, on consecutive weekends.

Now, here are the reasons why I'm bringing all this up:  1) my conscience is getting the better of me.  Since I had originally said I wasn't interested in doing something only to turn around and do it, I felt like I had some explaining to do.  Not that anyone would have known either way, or that I needed to justify myself, I just needed to be honest.  2) I've finally come to terms with the core reason I was uninterested in hooking up in the first place and I've finally been able to put it all into words.  That is to say, I sort of knew what it was I had been working out back then, but I hadn't fully understood until now what it was all about.  3) I feel rather smugly moralistic about it all, which, oddly enough, is what's motivating me to write this in the first place.

In the 6 months that followed our initial meeting back in August of 2009, I had managed to get over my fears and initial reservations for avoiding them.  Many of my fears had mostly to do with just plain old self-esteem and insecurity. But my reservations or rather, my stated noninterest was rooted in the mindset of looking for my "One True Love".   A belief that had been culled from the many, downright useless, beliefs regarding the purposes of sex, intimacy and relationships, which were all framed within the context of traditional religious ideals, namely, the Mormon kind.  So, naturally, play time with a couple who have been together for 15 years wasn't going to get me into a relationship of that kind.  Although, it could develop into some other kind of relationship, not that this one was, but whether it happened or not, it was not the goal anyway, I was simply not interested in doing anything unless it fit within the set of "values" that I been accustom to.  So, I was willing to pass up an opportunity for some serious adult oriented fun. 

I had grown up around the idea of the traditional Mormon polygamist family and I knew about Polyandry from studying all the many forms of BDSM relationship dynamics that embraced it.  So, back in 2007 when I was first coming out, I was prepared to admit to my mom at the time, that I could not say that such arrangements would never happen and that I could see myself living in a nontraditional dynamic in the future.   It was an attempt to plant a seed in her mind that the rules have changed; the expectations of normality must be adjusted.  There is no "one right way" of defining a family.  To my surprise, she added to that by telling me her understanding of family, which included even more combinations that I had never imagined.  She was already ahead of the game.

However, I still held back.  I still had my doubts if such things really were for me or not.  I realized in the end that I was still in love with the idea of the perfect, white-picketed, fenced-in, nuclear family, that I had grown up to believe was the only way that was truly acceptable in society or at least in Mormon cultural society.  To make matters worse, the gay marriage debate was raging in the media and I found myself caught up in the whirlwind, trying to prove to the world that gay people were normal, that they were just like everyone else.  But, it was like going back into the closet all over again.  I had a hard time figuring out how I was going to get the queer world that made sense to me, fit in with what everyone else expected the gay world should be.  I wanted the freedom to live an honest life but not make others uncomfortable. I don't know how I was going to do that.  I was trying to have it both ways.  And in the end, the big question that I was not asking was, "why do I still try to garner their acceptance anyway?"

In all of this, the core issue to embrace was, if I'm going to live honestly and with any modicum of dignity and self-respect, I will stop trying so hard to live by their "rules".  I am gay, but more than that, I am queer.  There is no way I'm going to fit within the "rules" of the prevailing religious society's notion of the traditional, patriarchal family, no matter what I do.  So, essentially, I get to decide what constitutes the "purpose" of sex within the context of my relationships and I get to decide what constitutes my own family.  Whether it's comprised of a same-sex couple who fosters or adopts children, or whether it's comprised of several same-sex adults who all share partnership roles, or a partner and those that make up the "extended" family.  There could even be a hierarchy just like in the traditional or historical sense but with different names, titles, and meanings.  It doesn't matter.  I get to define what family, friends and sex are within the context of my own values that work for me.  And today there are millions out there, gay and non-gay, who happily and joyfully do just that.  

So, as it stands, the gay marriage debate will continue, obviously, as many people will be seeking to be part of that normalcy and continue to fight for it.  And that's OK.  But I'm no longer interested in fighting.  Because, truth be told, it's all a bunch of crap!  It's not to say that I don't support it or I won't be part of it someday, I may get married, but in the end, I don't believe, considering the way I view and choose to live my life, that my family, whatever form it takes, will ever be treated with any sort of respect whether I'm married or not.  Because the basic fact is, we, as queer folk, are not normal.  We are different

There is nothing wrong with being different.  But, spending any more time trying to convince a religious society that can't abide difference is a complete waste of my life.  And that is what most of the gay marriage political debating has been about, gay couples having to put up their best possible face to show the world just how normal they really are.  This for me means compromising my self-expression, my integrity, my sanity, to appease those that can't or won't embrace what they don't understand.  I'm not going to waste my time hiding and I'm done trying to change their minds.

We, queers, must make our own rules and live by them.  And it's not by the norms of an authoritarian religious society that we are to be comparing ourselves.  If we allow that, we are falling into the expectations of those who have never questioned why their normal familial traditions make them so bloody miserable.  And we might as well be miserable right along with them.  Sure, they will judge us by their standards, there is no way of getting around it, but they are in the wrong when they do.  They are the ultimate hypocrites if they think their normality is applicable to us.  And we are wrong if we try to get them to think our difference is not different. 

The great automatons that comprise most of the religiously bound human race are lost in a sea of sameness.  A lack of perspective and creativity in thought and reason, they have failed to embrace diversity, thus they have failed to embrace what's important.  And sadly, they are trapped there, consumed by fear of things they are also afraid to understand.

I know I keep reiterating this but I want it made clear!  It's not my place to fit within their reality, to erase my differences so that they can think I'm normal. The responsibility actually lies on them to broaden, allow and embrace the differences into their definition of normal.  They mistakenly believe that to do that, they would have to compromise their core values, which they say they shouldn't have to do.  Just like how I'm saying I shouldn't have to compromise mine for them.  But what they must understand is that I'm not compelling them to live my life the way they are compelling me to live theirs.  My core values are values I impose upon myself whereas their core values are values they want imposed on others. 

I've been foolish in thinking I could measure up to their expectations because they seek and impose an unattainable perfection.  And as they continue to do so, their definition of normal narrows, which makes their definition of perfection narrow.  Thus, any possible embracement of difference becomes impossible.  I've also been foolish in expecting them to look beyond their fears.  I know how hard it is for them.  I also know that they must make the effort on their own if they ever want to look beyond those fears.  No one can do it for them!  But I can't wait forever.

In essence, what I'm saying is, my search for acceptance from the Mormons has been put to rest.  My ship has sailed.  If they want to leave that "Great and Spacious Building" to get across the river now, they'll have to build one themselves.  They have been given the tools, materials and the plans; all they need is the desire.  Once they do, I'll be here ready to receive them.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

WTF?

This just hit my email inbox a few minutes ago.  I will not reproduce it in full but merely offer you the money quote.

"I came out to my bishop today. Told him that I have been toying with suicide. After all was said and done he told me its best to follow through the suicide then to give into men."

WTF?

And the Mormon Church would have you believe that Bishops are inspired and have the gift of discernment.   If that is the fruits of the "gift" of discernment, I have NO use for that Bishop's gift, that Church or that god.

As the email continued I did get the impression that all was going to be OK.

But still, WTF?


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Reset Please

Some days I wish I could just hit the reset button on my life.  Just fucking start over with a clean slate and do things differently.  Not so much by going back in time but more getting up and leaving it all behind, go someplace where no one knows me, and start my life off with how I want it to be.   

No expectations or surprises at how I've "changed".  No one trying to get me to revert to doing things the way I used to, or rather doing things the way they are all used to seeing me do.

I get to dress the way I want, I get to drink what I want, I get the live the way I want, and no one will ever know I have "changed".  No one will ever care.  They will take me at face value and accept that package they get. 

But no, that's not how it works.  I have to, in effect, be a nasty, evil, rebellious, bastard and hurt everyone's feelings. 

God, I fucking hate this.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

To My Younger Self

Formspring Question:   "If you could go back in time, knowing what you know now, what would you tell yourself (being the best and worst) about being gay?"

To answer this question, I will share with you a past journal entry where I essentially did that in a way.  I wrote a few of these over the years but this one was actually coherent.

Hey little [Gay Dot],
It's been a while since we've talked. Sorry it's been so long. I want to talk to you just as you're completing puberty to tell you what to expect from here on out as it relates to this new physical change you have just gone through.

As things are now, you are already feeling the sexual urges. And when you get older things will get more and more confusing, where people in the church will start to talk to you about masturbation, dating, sex, getting married, having children. Some of this will scare you. Don't get discouraged thinking that you must do anything that doesn't make sense to you. Don't get down on yourself for not understanding what is happening.

As it turns out, there is something special about you. It's called homosexuality. Gay. You've already heard fag. Yeah, I know it hurts to hear those words. They are bad words to many people you know and they will continue to be bad words to many people you will soon come to know.

I want you to know, to understand, there is nothing wrong with you. This is normal in human sexuality. It's healthy and natural. Unfortunately, you will be told many lies about it. And you will know they are lies because they will be contradictory. Remember this one? "The natural man is an enemy to god", and "homosexuality goes against nature". Well, which is it? These lies will hurt and confuse you because you will not understand them. But you will come to understand over time and know from where they came.

Also, as you've already become aware a few years ago, you are physically and emotionally drawn to many exotic physical pleasures and role-playing behaviors. You have since come to know these things as Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, Sadism, and Masochism. But, again, in time, you will come to understand fully what they are about, why they are part of your psyche and why they are special. These really have nothing to do with you being homosexual but they will play a large role in helping you come to understand your homosexuality and the role you will play in life. These things are also normal aspects of what it is to be human and are part of what makes you special. Again, you will hear many lies about these things that will hurt and confuse you. But you will learn to trust your spirit and it will help you discern what is real and what is not.

You have a unique way of looking at the world that defies society's traditional notions of sexuality, and gender roles. All these special things you have are gifts that give you profound paths to spiritual enlightenment that will serve you and those you interact with very well. And you will come to understand why that's important. And even though you feel very alone, from time to time, I understand as I still feel that on occasion. In time though, you will find many people, and discover thousands and thousands of others who feel the same way as you. And even though you feel very alone and scared right now, it will be Ok. We will be Ok. The more you come to understand, the more you will realize there is nothing to fear.

But as with all things good, they do come at a cost. I really don't need to tell you this as you have already experienced it. The world and the church are not accepting of these things at all. They don't know anything about them. They don't understand them. In fact they are deathly afraid of them. And they don't know what to do about their own fears. Forgive them. Let it go.

When you turn 16, and that intrusive bishop asks you about this stuff. You will be too ashamed to answer him. It's Ok to feel upset, confused and hurt. Don't feel ashamed for feeling that way. What he will do is wrong. You will come to understand that what you do with your own body is none of his business. But, forgive him for asking. He is merely doing what the thinks is right. He has no understanding of what to do if you told him about those things anyway. You will come to understand that these men have no power over you. And you will be able to let those shameful and manipulative moments pass.

When you turn 19, you will be confronted by some who will ridicule, and threaten to bash you. They will hate you because they are afraid of what you are. And many will continue to hate you. That will never change. Even though the panic you feel will seem all consuming, but remember, they have no power over you. This life belongs to you. It does not belong to them, the church, your peers, or your family. It's yours. Leave them behind. In time, Many people will come and go in your life. Those that truly care for you will stay in your life and accept you for who you are.

If I could truly go back in time and take on this confusion with more courage, I would. But the past is gone now. What we do now, is move forward, forgive them and let them go. In the process, we will take back what has been taken from us, our self-esteem, our self-worth, and our ability to love. Some days you may just want to die, and you may wish something to happen so that it will end. And some days, it may be you who contemplates how to take your own life. But you will survive this. I know this is to be true because I'm sitting here today telling you this.

The world is changing for the better. The church not so much but they will come along eventually. But, don't wait for them! You already know you don't need them. Let it be Ok that you don't believe in it. Just go out and do what works for you. Let go of the expectations. Let go of those that want you to be like them. They will accuse you of being selfish but you will soon understand that it is they who are being selfish. Let them go. And when you do this, you will soon find yourself on the path that truly works for you. And you will find friends who accept you for all that you are.

What has happened to us cannot be changed, but the emotions we have from those experiences can be changed. Don't feel ashamed of that. It's OK. We will figure this out. As I impart my adult knowledge onto you, you can revisit those awful moments in the past with new understanding, and change that belief you created about yourself at the time. That new belief will come forward to the present and empower us on this journey.

I love you little [Gay Dot]. Be well.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Missionaries Are Coming


Formspring Question:   "what do you do when you see missionaries coming?" 

This is a good question, and quite frankly, I'm not sure the best way to answer this.  The reason being is that I live in a region of the country that doesn't have any missionaries, so I don't get to see them coming in the first place.  The last time I had missionaries in my home was in 2006, when I was still trying to be a good Mormon. But they weren't even working in the boundaries of their own mission.

I live on the edge of the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Mission.  Physically, that's only five miles from the border of the Virginia, Richmond Mission.  The missionaries that visited me were from the Virginia mission and had been working this area by special permission from the Philly mission.  Not sure why, it was just one of those things.  But when that stint was over, they never returned to my little town.  Sure, the Philly mission then put some Elders in my ward which was 40 miles away in another city, but they never ventured outside of that other city.

Incidentally, it was interesting to see all of the "letter of the law" church members throw up their arms in disgust that these missionaries were not following mission rules because they left the boundaries of their mission. Whatever, some Mormons seem to think they know better than the missionaries or even the mission president for that matter.  There is sort of mistrust they have with them.  I know I felt it when I was a missionary in New Zealand, especially amongst the American Mormons who were visiting or living in the country.

But, I digress.

So to answer the question, at this point, I can only speculate while looking back this last summer when I "stumbled" across a pair of Elders while visiting the big city.  In that case, the only thing I did was take their picture.  But I consider that to be a situation where I was the one who the missionaries saw coming.  They were already there and I walked into the area.  That's not going to give me any reason to engage them at all.

The thing with all of this is that I really have nothing to say to them.  I honestly don't think there is any sort of conversation I could have that would be meaningful to them or me.  I've let the idea of religion go and the whole concept of god, priesthood, Jesus and church and stuff really has no meaning to me.  In fact, the way I look at the world differs so greatly that I find I end up talking past people regarding the way I view and experience spirituality.

And besides that, missionaries only have a single duty and that is to find people to teach.  People who want to learn about the church.  I don't fall into that category.  I could care less and I'm even less interested spending time on a conversation that would bore the ever living crap out of me.  But I'm not going to say that I would outright avoid them either.  After all, they are just a bunch of cute young men doing what they think is right.  You can't blame them for that, can you? 

Anyway, I've rambled on long enough.  I really should try to answer this person's question in a more meaningful way as in, what I would do, or how would I interact with them...if I absolutely had to.   In that case, I'm going to need to ponder on the possible scenarios if they came knocking at my door.
They are as follows:
  1. What I could do.
  2. What I'll probably end up doing.
  3. What I really wish would happen.
1. What I could do is ask them their names, where there from, how long they've been out, offer them a drink (of water) and then flirt.  Depending on my mood, the flirting might range anywhere from friendly banter to overt sexual passes.  Of course, I will probably end up crossing the line into creepiness and won't realize it, especially when I ask them if I can take their picture.  Either way, my intention would be to distract them as much as possible.   I was very distracted and distractible when I was a missionary, and during those moments of distraction, I sometimes found myself amused when it stressed the hell out of my companion.

2. What I'll probably end up doing is being very polite, not really say anything other than to tell them that I'm a Gay, Ex-Mormon, Atheist, Liberal, and let them continue so I don't waste their or my time.  But if they persist, and some do, I'll resort to flirting.  In either case, I'll be trying to take their picture, which might require flirting anyway, or at least a little flattery, which is almost the same thing.  I guess scenarios 1 and 2 don't seem to be all that much different in the end except for the part about them finding out I'm a Liberal.

3. What I really wish would happen is that they would come knocking while I have half a dozen boyfriends over for a heavy, gay, BDSM fetish, play party.  And without batting an eye, I would nonchalantly invite them in as if they were expected.  How would I know if they weren't the friends of a friend, probably the naked one over in the corner, bound to a St. Andrews Cross and being flogged?  Who knows?  He did say he had two friends coming over, right?   And if they did want to talk about spiritual experiences, perhaps I could demonstrate how a bondage table, sleepsack and carefully placed electrical probes could be used to induce them. 

Yeah, I think I just lost a few followers to my blog right there.

Anyway, the looks on their faces would be...priceless.  

And, there would most definitely be a camera ready to take their picture.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Formspring Questions

Well, I jumped on another bandwagon and added the little Formspring thingy-ma-jiggery-doo to my blog a few weeks ago.  I thought, what the hell?  I'm slowly becoming a bit more settled in my life, and don't feel like I have to jump up and down about everything that goes on, for the most part anyway.  I'm starting to grow up a little bit I think.  Not that I've reached an emotional maturity that matches my physical age, but I'm just saying, you know, that I'm less of an asshole.  Actually, I don't really know what I'm saying.

Anyhoo,  

I'm open to fielding questions from my blog readers (I think I have about 9 of them) in case someone wants to get to know me better.  But the questions don't have to be about things gay or Mormon or whatever.  You can even ask anonymously.   Hell they don't even have to be questions.  Of, course I reserve the right to ignore them if they, well, you know, are not coherent, but I might have fun with them anyway.  BWA HA HA HA!  etc.

I've already received my first question about a week ago and I'm going to post an answer soon.  Proof that I intend to get around to things eventually.  Not that I procrastinate or anything, I'm just not all that ambitious and I like to take my time on things until they are "perfect".  Also, I'm trying to "suffer" through some back pain right now from diving off a horse and it makes me grouchy, tired and prone to putting things off.  But that's to be expected.

In the mean time, check out what Kiley is doing.  Now THAT is what I call ambitious.  Especialy #28!

Kiley is just awesome.  I could totally be a lesbian for Kiley!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Gender Doesn't Make the Man

Craig posted a video. (embedded below) Please watch.





I could only express such things in limited ways to only my closest friends and family.  But the way I would express them could only be described as petulant and detached. I wanted it understood that I didn't like the way things where but I didn't want people to think I was that passionate about it. 

But secretly, I was very passionate, and very much troubled by the ridiculous and meaningless social rules that pitted me against my feelings. Of all the things I hated most about the world, it was the notion that our gender would dictate a right and wrong way to think, behave or just simply be.

I was one of those little queer kids who wanted to dress up in my mom's jewelry and her 6-inch pumps.  When I was 5 years old, my first Halloween costume was that of a witch, with black flowing robes and the pointy hat.  At that age I didn't make any distinctions between what the boys were suppose to be and the girls were suppose to be.  I like what I liked, whether it was long frilly skirts, the Easy-Bake oven, or Lincoln Logs and Matchbox cars.  I liked it all and I wanted it all.  And up until a certain point, I was allowed to have it all, although, it was never to the extent that the lucky little boy, Dyson Kilodavis of Seattle has had.

Over time, as I got older, I started to notice that there were these set roles.  Strict categories labeled "good" and "bad" depending on the gender of the individual to which those roles were being played out.  And when I weighed these new rules to my own desires and actions, I started to feel like I was deeply flawed, terrible and a bad person.  But, for some reason, I've been able to keep myself somewhat resolved in not totally internalizing that negativity towards myself.  Even during that extreme but brief period in Jr, High and High School, I was able to resist taking on that self-loathing completely.   But then, during that time, I think I had forgotten what it was I was trying to hide from anyway. 

Well, I'm not going to let what society or religion dictates to me how I should be.  But to be clear, this doesn't mean I'm going to go out and start cross dressing or wearing makeup.  Just because it's something that is usually associated with women doesn't mean that I want it.  Sometimes I think most of what the women do is shit that some men have dictated to them that they should do.  No, I'm only talking strictly about what I want. 

So, what it really comes down to is this: If I like it, I'm doing it.  If some ignorant fool wants to give me shit about it, like the time I wore my knee-high moccasins to a macho, hetero-centrist tourist destination on the east coast, it's not my problem.   Their opinions have no power over me, that is until I'm physically assaulted which is a topic I'm just not ready to deal with.




Friday, October 22, 2010

Face Slapping

To some, my mere existence is a slap in the face of god.  To that I say, HA HA HA HA HAH AHA HA HA HA HA HA HAH AH A!!!!!

*Slap* *Slap* *Slap*

Now, turn the other cheek!

*Slap* *Slap* *Slap*

Ok, now the other cheek!

*Slap* *Slap* *Slap*

keep turning...

*Slap* *Slap* *Slap*

Ok, now that you're done slapping me, can I slap you?   No?

So much for the golden rule, eh? 


Monday, October 11, 2010

National NOT Coming Out Day

Apparently, I'm not as out as I thought I was.  In fact, I'm probably not out at all if being out means I'm going to happily announce on Facebook on "National Coming Out Day" that I'm out, which I'm not going to do.  Besides, if anyone on Facebook actually looks at my profile, he or she will see that my interest is in men and that I have a large mass of LGBT and other sexuality groups that I have "liked".   That's as "out" as I feel like I can do for now. 

I have "friended" many people from work, high school, my mission as well as from other times of my past who I know have not looked at my Facebook profile, and in a way, I'm glad.   I just don't want it to be a big deal.   But, I'm also screaming inside to talk about it.  It's the pains of living alone and isolated.  I just want to talk about it with people I know I can trust, because the rest of them just want to tell me how I need save myself by following Christ, and it's not just the Mormons that do that either.

I had lunch with a co-worker last week, who I also take dressage lessons with, and I mentioned to her my troubles with the "big elephant in the room" and the problems I had living and working out here.  I wanted to talk to her about the incidences I've had with some co-workers and their incredibly insensitive and homophobic rants during some corporate social functions, which HR effectively ignored, and the bullshit, insulting, gay and trans jokes that get tossed around as if LGBT people are just another group of freaks to made fun of.  

I know that simply mentioning that elephant issue made her uncomfortable so I didn't elaborate.  She's one of the many people I know out here that doesn't have a problem with me being gay but at the same time, does.  Still, I give her credit for trying.   But because I didn't say anything, she said that my elephant problem was mostly in my head.  Granted, I admitted that a large part of it is because of my fears, but I needed to explain to her that I've had it all turn bad enough times that I haven't been able to get past how it puts me on edge all of the time.  And then I gave her an example of a mutual co-worker whose entire family has shut me out of their life because of it.  I've written very briefly in passing about him on other blog posts.

She did admit that this place wasn't the best place for understanding.  That is coming from someone who has lived here for over 20+ years.  You would think that such a place, given its heavily touristy economy, would have a bit more diversity.  But I guess there really isn't any evidence to support that.

So, that feeling where I don't know where I stand with people continues.  Every day I have to find out if some new person that comes along is going to either let me live my life and wish to be part of that or they are going to instead turn around and make it needlessly difficult.  Already I've got a new office mate that is proving to be problematic.  And most of the time my solution is just to stay in the closet and not say anything that would clue anyone in.  And in order to do that I have to keep everyone at a distance, even the people who I have gotten to know and appreciate their friendship such as my dressage instructor and the other people I ride with.  Because, like I mentioned before, when that elephant came up, the friendship ended.  So, I keep it all bottled up in side until I'm ready to explode. 

To end a friendship over something as inane as person's innate sexuality is ridiculous.  But it's understandable that it's going to happen when there are people in the world who teach homophobia like Packer, Oaks, Faust, Kimball, Bednar, Ballard, Hafen, Holland, Cook, Monson, Wickman, Clayton, McMullin, Hinckley and many others.  And that's just a sampling of the Mormon leadership.

I've just got to find a way through this.  I don't know what that is going to be right now but there has got to be a way.   This has got to get better, right?  With all of those videos going around the Internets about it getting better, there is got to be a way it's going to get better for me.  So that I will be able to safely make that announcement on Facebook and not give a shit what the outcome is, even if it affects my job.   I want to be able to feel safe when proudly placing that picture on my desk at work of my future Partner/Husband/Boyfriend/Sir/Master/pup/boy or whatever the hell the title(s) will be if that time ever comes, just like every other God Damned privileged heterosexual does.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Boyd K. Packer

The rhetoric of Boyd K. Packer this year was needlessly caustic.  And while he may have never mentioned the words, "gay", "homosexual" or even the insidious phrase "same-sex-attraction", we all know what he was talking about.  We all know of his utter disdain for those that don't fit into his idealistic notion of gender, patriarchy and willful ignorance of the world at large.

Boyd K. Packer is just one of many I hold responsible for the damage done to the souls of gay individuals, young and old, in and out of the church.  Such damage that I still grapple with from time to time. 

Boyd K. Packer is the one I personally hold responsible for the encouragement of physical violence towards gay individuals, young and old, in and out of the church.  Such threats that I personally experienced and still find difficult to process.  Let us NOT forget that one of Mathew Sheppard's murderers was a Mormon.

Boyd K. Packer is just one of many who, when he speaks, will incite fear, hatred and malice towards the LGBT community.  The many who I hold responsible are the church members who say 'Amen' with enthusiastic unison to Packer's hostile words. 

If, in some small way, I can save one soul from the anathema that is religion, Mormon or otherwise, my life will not have been a complete waste.   I honestly don't know how I'm going to do that, but it's ok.  At least I managed to save myself for I am one of the lucky ones who found the self-awareness to understand my responsibility.  But many people aren't as fortunate, and many may never get to that point in their lives where they can learn how to repair the damage inflicted upon them, because many of them will have died by their own hand before they could get the support they desperately needed. 

Mormons often wonder why those that leave the church can't leave the church alone.  So they feel picked on by us angry, gay, ex/post-Mormons.  But, I don't care.  I am a product of that religion and culture, 40+ years in the making; it has permeated my DNA and it's not something I feel like I'm ever going to get over in my short lifetime.    Besides, they are the ones who can't leave US alone.  So, if the Mormon church is not willing to take responsibility for Boyd K. Packer, the damage he and many others have done and still do to the LGBT community, but instead continue to blame the victim or Satan, I'm going to continue to poke at their abhorrent hypocrisy, which could very well mean I may never leave them alone.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Demagogic Seeds

This post over at USU SHAFT spawned a random memory from my past.

Back in 1985, I attended a Mormon fireside in one of the North Logan, Utah stakes where some music "expert" talked about how the evil music industry used reel-to-reel recorders for evil and other such nonsense, reasoning that because they had the ability to play the tape backwards, it allowed them to create or manipulate this so called "back-masking".  He used several examples including the infamous Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" to prove his point.  (See videos posted at USU SHAFT)


The Akai GX-4000D,
one of my many tools
I used for Evil.
When he ran the tape backward the first time, I personally
couldn't hear anything in it.  However, before he played it again, he made sure to read to us what it was suppose to say. Then, while he was playing it, he would lip-sink to it to make sure the suggestion registered.  I thought it was a stretch but many in the audience gasped in horror during the demonstration.

I lost a friend that night because I just happened to own a reel-to-reel recorder.  Never mind that the model I had was incapable of reverse playback, it didn't matter, he berated me in front of everyone, then got in his car and left.  He was my next door neighbor.  He had driven me there; he was my only ride home.  I was left to ponder his and the speaker's words with frustrations and shame on that long, cold, dark and lonely walk home.  For a few months after that, he continued his efforts to embarrass and shame me in front of other peers at school and church.  The bridge was burned.  No matter how nice he was to me later in life, I never gave him any more of my time.

Looking back, that whole thing reminds me of something...  ah yes,  Alma 32:28-43, where Alma compares the word to a seed.  Go ahead and read it, I'll wait.  I'm not going to get into a detailed word for word analysis, instead I'm going to simply state my own cynical and biased summary of it which is:  Plant that seed whatever it is, and nourish it with your own misguided beliefs, fears and prejudices, and it will grow into whatever irrational zealotry you want it to be.  And no, I don't care if you believe that that is a gross misinterpretation.  It doesn't really matter.  As scripture, it makes as about as much sense to me as JRR Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings".

But, I digress.

That night at the fireside, the words of a religious demagogue with his fears and prejudices were planted in the mind of my former friend.   The words appealed to his ego so he nourished them until they bore fruit to which he based his faith upon.  The result, conflict where there never was before and would never have been at all.  So, is that a good seed or a bad seed?   It's hard to say because for him it was a sweet fruit, for the rest of us, it was rotten. 

I think too many Mormons are oblivious to the fears and prejudices they use to nourish the word because of how easy it is to get caught up in the fears and prejudices of the people they trust.  It's not hard to see such fruits in the Mormon church when it comes to pretty much anything involving homosexuality.  Fear, fear and more fear.

When I got to college, I was able to escape much of that stupidity, but my fear of rejection had been amplified that night.  Sadly, I still don't have it all out of my system.  I still get paranoid that I'm going to be rejected for something stupid like, for instance, being gay.  I really don't need to go on anymore about what those demagogic lunatics, Mormon or otherwise, have to say about homosexuality. And since I never know what new shit they are going to stir up, I'm constantly playing it safe, especially around the ultra-religious people I have to work with everyday.

Nonetheless, I get the urge to want to poke them a bit to get the rejection over with quicker rather than tip toe around all of the time.  I really get tired of holding back my life to make sure someone else's life remains comfortable.  I'm tired of nourishing myself with my own fears and prejudices just to protect someone else from facing theirs.  I want to move on and put all these people behind me for good.  But, I don't do it.  I don't poke them.  I'm too afraid to be alone.

Monday, September 13, 2010

sorry

Sigh.

I need to apologize for my post on Saturday.  I'm still wondering if I should delete it or not. I guess it could stand as an example as to why I shouldn't write things off the cuff.

My "friend" doesn't deserve to be bad mouthed that way.  Just because I had a problem with him that day, doesn't give me the right to slander his character and I wasn't being completely rational either.

The truth is, having a place to go and a person to keep me occupied, no matter how narcissistic, kept me out of my head long enough to let the suicidal feelings pass. I was at least rational enough to realize that.

But, I'm still in a dilemma.

You see, there are two issues I'm dealing with.  My occasional depression with its  suicidal feelings and my increased health problems with my heart, which have made the depression worsen.  Neither one happens at any predictable schedule.  Neither one will put me in any immediate danger.  The real danger is going to be when they both hit at the same time.  If that happens, I will not be willing to seek medical attention when my heart lapses in to fibrillation.  And if it doesn't kick out within 24 hours, I'll be killing myself with the inevitable stroke or strokes.  This scared the shit out of me.  There is a chance that I can kill myself, or rather allow myself to die, if such conditions align.

This realization hit me last evening while I was out walking in the dark, on a deserted beach, many miles away from a road or any sign of life other than the birds and mosquitoes.  At that point, I knew my depression had lifted because I realized that I was now in a position where if my heart went into fibrillation, I wouldn't have the strength to walk the 5 miles back to my car, passing out in the process of trying.  I also wouldn't be discovered for days if at all, at which point the strokes would have killed my brain by then and my body would have been carried out to sea when the tide came in.  That too, scared the shit out me.  I almost started running back to my car completely freaked out because I no longer wanted to die.

I have no idea what to do about it.  Depression makes me irrational and I don't realize it until after it's passed, at which point I'm glad I don't do what I had been thinking of doing while depressed because during the depression, the irrational seems completely rational.

As for being alone?  I don't know what to do about that either.  It's not as if I know anyone who I can share those long, isolated, no moonlight, walks on the beach with.  FUCK!   It's statements like that that trigger me to get depressed!  God DAMMIT!  fuck this shit!  And fuck my life.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Today used to be my Birthday

Without trying to sound dramatic, today is my birthday and I'm just waiting for it to get the hell over with it.  I HATE being alone on days like these.  Sure, there is an expectation of what I think a birthday should or could be, a happy celebration of my birth, but birthdays are also like the holidays to me, empty and void of genuine well wishing from most people.  There are a few exceptions, VERY FEW, and those few are the only ones that keep me here.  It's too bad they are all thousands of miles away.

I can understand everyone wishing me a "Happy Birthday". It's expected and many do mean well.  But they don't stop there.  They have to rub it in with things like this:

"I hope you're having a fabulous day, filled with lots of happiness, friends and/or family with you!"
"Hope your livin' it up today. Have a good one."
"I hope you get to go do something fun to celebrate the day."
"Hope you do something fun"

Etc.

Everyone expects birthdays to be a special day where you get to do something special, and I'm one of them.  But its specialness is really a stupid idea that I need to let go of, because here is the cold hard reality:

It's no different from any other busy, late summer day.  And today was typical of what happens.

I had asked some other "friends" if they would like to do something today for my birthday but, either they were already at some other event (that I was not invited to) and couldn't hang out, or they just didn't want to do anything.   So I was just going to find something to do on my own.  I was feeling the depression start to hit me early this week so that was not helping it.

So, this morning I woke up groggy and frustrated from a restless night caused by an unbearably stressful and mindless job.  Immediately I got a call from a "friend" who wanted to drive out to The OC* and watch the Red Knights motorcycle procession honoring the fire fighters killed on this day in 2001.   That sounded interesting so I agreed to go.

On the way, I told him that it was my birthday today.  He was surprised and actually thought I was joking. I wasn't surprised that he would do that.  You see, this person doesn't really pay much attention to the thoughts, feelings or lives of other people.  If it's not about him, it doesn't matter.  When he called me -- and he calls me often -- he was merely just bored and looking for something or someone to entertain him.  I've known him for 5 years.  I have to tell him every year that it's my birthday.  I don't expect him to care.  But he will at least buy me dinner, because by his own definition, it's expected.  He'll just do it.  I'm not manipulating him, I'm just taking advantage of his predictability.  But it comes at a cost.

We get to The OC* and I have to listen to him complain about... oh, I don't know.  Who gives a shit anyway?  I stopped listening to him after the fifth time he mentioned how he regretted wearing a black t-shirt in the heat... the whole time.  I finally told him to either walk in the nearest shop and buy a white t-shirt, (there being a shop every 100 feet for the next two miles of the boardwalk) or shut the fuck up.  After a little back and forth about how he would never do that etc. he finally stopped complaining.   But it doesn't stop there. His excessive narcissism kicks in and he as to express himself on every little thing he thinks, sees or does.  And I'm expected to listen with deep interest and even laugh at his non jokes.  Also, I must be prepared to be outwardly and aggressively dismissed, sometimes quite rudely if I dare express anything that interests me and doesn't interest him.  No, I'm not exaggerating here.  And No, I'm not pretending to care about his interests either.  I pretty much ignore him but he really thinks I care, even if I tell him I don't!   He really is that narcissistic!

There is nothing as depressing as being surrounded by people and still feel utterly alone.  But, being out in the sun on a crowded boardwalk with an asshole is better than the alternative, which is sitting at home contemplating ways to kill myself.  I resist going home because to do that is to face my loneliness head on and I just don't want to lose myself in the suicidal thinking.  It's best to stay distracted for now, at least until it passes.

Anyway, because of his incessant boredom and his need to be doing something, we end up missing the processional anyway.   The only reason he wanted to go.  Typical.

Now, I'm sitting at home writing this while debating if this should be deleted or posted.  The day will be over in a few hours.  And I'm starting to feel like I might make it.  I don't know.  I was in the hospital again a few weeks ago because of my heart.  Is this the life I'm to have from here on out?  When is my heart going to kill me so I don't have kill myself?

* The OC I'm referring to here is Ocean City, Maryland. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Mormons and their Missionaries

The Heretic, over at Heretic, Rebel, a Thing to Flout, posted a fun story about distracting Mormon missionaries.

Ever since becoming a heretic myself, I have been looking forward to new opportunities to distract missionaries.  So far I haven't had much success living out in the middle of nowhere.

But this summer, over the July 4th holiday, I ran into a couple of Elders setting up a display in Alexandria, VA.  One Elder was so distracted by me that he was watching me rather than paying attention to the fact that the folded-poster he was setting up was upside down.  At which point I started to fumble for my camera.

I was standing about 30 feet away when I finally took a picture but unfortunately, in the mean time, the other Elder noticed and had him correct it.  Bummer, it would have been awesome, a picture of a Mormon missionary watching me as he was setting up a poster upside down.  I was tempted to walk over there and ask him to recreate the scene for me so I could take a picture.

Lesson learned.  Never put away camera!

They were sort of giving each other "high fives" for whatever reason as they noticed me take their picture.  I was with two other somewhat regular looking gay guys who both looked like tourists, but I stood out, I was wearing knee high boots.  I would like to think he was enamored with my boots.  Many people are.  I mean I totally understand if he was as I can totally relate.

When I was a missionary in New Zealand back in the early 91, I found myself distracted, ...erm VERY distracted by guys in those one piece motorcycle leathers with matching boots and helmet as they zipped down the road on their matching sport bikes.  I HAD to watch them!  I could not look away!  Every time they went buy I twisted my body around in the car seat to continue watching!  It's just one of those things.  Leather clad male bodies drive me wild!  My companion, however, was in his own world. Staring down the road.  Lost in his own head somewhere thinking about his girlfriend at home or the fact he was leaving the mission in about a month anyway. He had no idea.

Anyway, here's the picture I finally got:
July 3, 2010: Alexandria, VA


So young, so earnest, so naïve.   Those were the days.  I'm glad they're over.  

And here is a shot of me in my boots:
Yeah I know, I'm not quite ready to show my face on this blog yet.  But that is a picture of me...and my boots!  (It takes me about 7 minutes to lace them up.)

Friday, August 13, 2010

My Old Spiral Jetty


The two things I miss most about the western side of the country are 1) the mountains and 2) vast open space.  I really get homesick for it some days.

I was inspired by Holly, over at Self-Portrait as, to dig out my old pictures from 2003-2004 of the Spiral Jetty and the surrounding area.  The colors in the pictures aren't as rich as they should be but I attribute that to the fact that the film sat undeveloped in a hot humid house for 6 years.  Once I switched to digital, I completely forgot I still had an old film camera.  I tried enhancing the colors in a photo editor but I wasn't happy with any of the results.  I just couldn't get them to look right.  It's as if they were all meant to look old.

On the other hand, as I look at these pictures, there is a heavy sense of a bygone era.  Memories of a past that feels so far distant that even though they are familiar, they are complete foreign to me.  So, it's OK for them to look old.  They are faded and tainted with color, just like my memories.















Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lying for the Lord 2

I just want to draw everyone's attention to a sequence of blog posts that appeared yesterday, all with the theme "Lying for the Lord".  These caught my attention because a few weeks prior I had just posted my own take on "Lying for the Lord" so when I read these I was curious what direction they would take.  Part of me was wondering if they had read my post and were going to talk about what I said.  Yeah, I know, a bit narcissistic but it was really more of a worry than a hopeful aggrandizement of my ego.  Yeah, ok, that's still narcissistic. 

Anyway, sometimes I feel like I should take a more intellectual approach to these subjects but I find reading about them to be much more satisfying.  Besides, I think they all do a much better job intellectually addressing the subjects than I would, considering my flair for dramatics.  And I would rather use my blog as catharsis anyway. 

Here are the posts: 
  1. Craig posted about Robert Millet..
  2. Molly had more to say about Craig's post.
  3. Then C.J. followed Molly's with a clarification and more thoughts of her own. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Part of the Problem

So, I see this little link pop on Facebook: Another Victim Bites the Dust

Well, I just have one thing to say to Mr. Fales about that.  FUCK. YOU. ASSHOLE!

Mr. Fales has probably never in his life felt the deep depression that precedes suicide.  And if he has I think he has quickly forgotten that when someone is in that state there is no rational thought at all.  I have been there many times in my life.  I do not seek help during those times because I'm oblivious to it.  EVEN if the god damn suicide hot-line is staring me in the face!  And I can, as well as the next person, put on a cheery happy face and laugh and have fun while I'm secretly planning my suicide attempt.  It's real, it's irrational and there is no other way of thinking while in that state.   So, people who get on their high horse such as Mr. Fales just adds the problem and drives people who get that way into further despair. 

And one more thing that I think Mr. Fales doesn't understand is that there is, even in this day and age, a massive stigma associated with depression and other mental illnesses.  That is one of the reasons I never sought professional help during my moments of rationality and why I still don't seek it.

I don't know what the hell Mr. Fales thinks he is doing claiming that the vigil has anything to do with politics and creating an enemy, and then that stupid statement he made about it being  "...narcissistic “Look at me, I’m gay!” when he uses the Mormon church and his sexuality as the basis for his bloody career.  Holy shit, that kid really needs a kick in the ass!

UPDATE (26 July 2010):  Words from the organizer of the vigil, Eric Ethington.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lying for the Lord

Main Street Plaza's

A few years ago when I first came out to a 'friend' about being gay, he said to me that as long as I can answer the temple recommend questions I have nothing to worry about.  This 'friend' was a real letter of the law TBM type of Mormon.  In the long story of that coming out moment, it ended the conversation and we sat for a while in profound and awkward silence for the rest of the car trip.

Since I was just starting to push the boundaries of personal honesty with myself and my dealings with the church and church members, his statement about answering the temple recommend questions really bothered me.  Aside from the severe resentment I felt by my friend's ignorant and arrogant statement which implied that my value as a human being was based solely on how I answered a set of questions regarding my loyalty to a particular religious practice, I also realized I had never in my life answered those questions 100% truthfully.  But at that time in my life, I was still very deeply afraid of being ostracized by all my friends and family so I was feeling rather shamed and self-conscious about how I would still need to lie in the temple recommend interview which bothered me quite a lot.

In the end, I stopped going to church well before my temple recommend expired in order to avoid the renewal interviews.  I let them all assume that I had moved away.  That is until nearly a year later when they got my resignation letter.   Good times.

Anyway, the last time I had a temple recommend interview was 2006.   And since then, I've thought long and hard about those temple recommend questions and the agonizing interviews where I would fight with my own conscience, struggling to stare that interviewer in the eye and hope that he couldn't discerned my deceit.   So, in looking back, I'm going to right the wrong and finally tell the truth as my Inner Dialog "Hi!" was trying to get me to do all of these years.  "HA! It's about time."  Yeah, yeah, I know.

Warning: It's long. There are 15 questions to get through here so just deal with it.  Also, I'm not really going to write anything all that intellectual here.  "Dude, no one cares; get on it with it already."  Ok, ok.  It's really a bit of a rant layered with sarcasm and offensive language and it rambles a bit.  And yeah, it's going to offend.  "Dude, offend away! It's not your problem."

Ok, let's get this over with, shall we?  "Finally!"

Question #1:  Do you have faith in and a testimony of God the Eternal Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost? 

Answer:  Yes. "Liar!"

Ok, ok.  So I lied.  Believing, or in my case, pretending to believe in the most fundamental doctrines of the church is also fundamental in fitting in to the prevailing culture.  If you don't believe, you don't belong; you are treated like an outsider.  To be treated as such in a community made up of 95% Mormons, ranges from simply being ignored to back stabbing to being overtly snubbed.  But that's only after they realize you didn't want to be a Mormon.  Besides, the remaining 5% were all beer drinking, adulterous, coffee drinking, intellectual, drug pushers who molested children and turned them into evil fornicating, feminist, homosexuals. And they all smoked to boot!  You don't want to be lumped in with them now, do you?  Yeah, I didn't think so. I think I'm justified in lying on this question. 

Question #2:  Do you have a testimony of the Atonement of Christ and of His role as Savior and Redeemer?

Answer: Yes. "Liar!"

I never did understand the whole concept of Christ's Atonement and all that.  It just didn't make sense to me.  If God was an all loving, all powerful being, why in the hell did he need to have someone take the fall?  Really.  The entire Christian Gospel plan, Mormon or otherwise, still makes my head spin when I try to make sense of it.  But, as I said before, I'm going to pretend that I have a testimony of this ridiculous shit so that I won't be treated like an outsider.

Question #3:  Do you have a testimony of the restoration of the gospel in these the latter days?

Answer: Yes. "Liar!"

Sigh!  Forget about me going to hell for not believing in this stuff, I'm going to hell for being a big fat liar. "You're darn tootin', mister."  Isn't that a Laurel and Hardy movie?  "What?"  Never mind.

You know, there was a time when I believed this one.  But I realized I only believed it because I was in love with the idea of it.  When the facts hit the fan, so did my love of the idea.  

Question #4:  Do you sustain the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator and as the only person on the earth who possesses and is authorized to exercise all priesthood keys? Do you sustain members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators? Do you sustain the other General Authorities and local authorities of the Church?

Answer: Yes. "Lie!  Dude! You're creeping me out!"

Oh my fucking god! What am I doing here?  Why am I doing this?  What the fuck?  I'm actually a bit creeped out by this question.  I've known too many people who have suffered severe spiritual abuse at the hands of these men.  Sadly, I didn't recognize that I was suffering the same abuse even though that creepiness feeling should have been an indicator that something was seriously wrong.  Still, I lie.  And I lie to myself.  It's no wonder I'm a bitter old man and I want to attack the Mormon church!  After all, they started it!  "Dude, you're not old." 

I just made the mistake of being born into it.  Yeah, mistake.  They told me that I got to choose my family in the preexistence because I was more valiant than the other souls.  Really!  So, it's my fault.  But these men also told me that because I was born under the convent (my parents were sealed in the temple before I was born), that I was double special.  But what they didn't know, HAHAHA, was that I was sealed to my parents later when I was around 4 years old.  I was never born under the convent.  So now what?  I guess that downgrades my specialness.  Why would an all loving, all powerful God, pick favorites for something so arbitrarily as that?  Honestly, what a complete asshole God is to his children. 

Question #5:  Do you live the law of chastity?

Answer: Yes. "Hey dude! You told the truth, HA! Well, sort of."

Ok, I didn't lie within the context of the intent of the question. But I wouldn't say it was by choice that I was celibate.  I didn't find having sex with women to be a temptation anyway. Hmmm, I wonder why. Is it because I'm righteous?  "No, it's because you're gay, dude!"  Ok, if I was gay then why didn't I have sex with men?  "Because you're righteous?"  Oh shut up, Internal Dialog!  The real reason was because I honestly didn't know it was possible.  That is really true!  "Ha! So THAT'S why they don't want people associating with The Gays! They might get ideas!  They might get educated or worse, recruited!"  Scary thought, isn't it?  Keep them in isolation; it will save their souls.  It's a testament to the level of repression and denial I was suffering.  And I do mean suffering. 

Still, I found a way to be "unchaste".  I used lots of mirrors!   "Dude, you really don't need to talk about this."  As a result, I have since expanded my definition of masturbation to be "solo sex" or sexual relations with myself, so I guess I did lie, just a little bit.  A tiny "white" lie.  "Dude! TMI."  Fine.

In any case, I'm bothered by the idea of sexuality as a basis for moral righteousness when it's really the lying, the deceit, and the manipulation, where sex is merely a tool, which really destroys lives.  But NO, it's all about sex, isn't it?  Sex IS the sin.  Sex is put up high on a pedestal and treated like something much greater than is really is or ever could be.  It's practically worshiped!  It's so sacred you are never to talk about it or utter the word!

SEX!  Say it!  SEK-SHOO-AL intercourse.  HO-MO-SEK-SHOO-AL.  SSSSSSSSSEEXXXX!

Seriously, stop using chastity as a euphemism for SEX!  It really makes it sound like we're trying to appear better than everyone else.  Oh, wait, we're Mormons, we are!  "I like sex."  I know you do, sweetie.

Question #6:  Is there anything in your conduct relating to members of your family that is not in harmony with the teachings of the Church?

Answer: Yes. "Truth!  Oh, shit, wrong answer."

Wait, what?  Can you repeat the question?  Seriously.  And please explain what you mean by "...not in harmony with the teachings of the Church" because there are some teachings of the Church that are not in harmony with the teachings of Christ.  I'm actually a bit offended by this question and because of that, I answer truthfully to point out the stupidity of it.  "Dude, you're not going to get anywhere with this. Sometimes the truth is not very useful."  You're right.  I'm joking, ha ha!  Everything is fine with regards to the family.  We're cool.  Sigh.  

I knew a fine lady who had her temple recommend revoked because her husband was abusing her.  The logic here was that as long as there was strife in the home, there was no way that she deserved the blessings of the temple.  And that she needed to go back and honor her husband so he had no reason to treat her the way he did.  Yeah, take a way an individual's only grounding spiritual avenue from an abusive situation because, after all, it's really the victims fault.  That's the sort of spiritual abuse I'm talking about from Question #4. 

I think our family did much better when we, for the most part, avoided the church as a source of any guidance in that regard.  I'm happy to report that things are cool now.  My response to this question was in looking back to the early 90's when things were really, really, really, really, really, really, bad.  Yes, that's 6 'really's.  In the 80's I would have used something like 47 'really's.   In 2006 it was still bad but I wouldn't use any 'really's.   "Really?"  Yeah, really. 

Question #7:  Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Answer: No.  "Dude, you might be lying here. Perhaps you should ask for clarification."

No, I will not ask for clarification. Remember what happened in question #6?  "Oh yeah, forget it."   Why is this even a question?  You need to explain to me EXACTLY what this has to do with my worthiness.  This question really fucking bugs me to no end.  I supported, affiliated and agreed with the most Christ like person I know, who just happens to be an atheist.  He was my grandfather.  You people seriously need to teach people HOW NOT to judge rather than make this entire gospel discourse about HOW to judge.  Question #7 to me really runs at the heart of why most Mormons are not capable of being Christians.   

Question #8:  Do you strive to keep the covenants you have made, to attend your sacrament and other meetings, and to keep your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel?

Answer: Yes.  "Dude, you almost had me fooled there but your still lying."

I'm getting good at this lying thing in that I really believed I was telling the truth when I said yes to that.  But honestly, I would rather sit in the foyer talking to friends than in the chapel pretending to care.  And no, I don't have time to do that calling you asked me to do.  In fact, I think next Sunday I'm going to be out of town or something.  Yeah, my job, you know how it is?  At least I showed up to church and got counted and then did all that financial clerk crap that I was called to do.

Looking back, I was always looking for excuses, and quite often, I would make up shit to get out of going to church and avoid church callings and all that other crap.  I'm a bad person. "Awww."  As in Awesome.

Question #9:  Are you honest in your dealings with your fellowmen?

Answer: Yes. "Truth! Except for that one thing..."

It should be blatantly obvious by now that when it comes to dealing with the church and people in the church, I'm a lying sack of shit!  Honesty only exists outside the context of my religious circle.

As a side note to this, there was once a Mormon city official my brother had to deal with who believed that the above question only applied to dealings with people in the church.  Outside of that, it didn't matter.  People who weren't Mormons were dishonest and the only way to deal with dishonest people was to be dishonest right back.  My brother finally got that particular Stake President fired from his job and then released early from his highly esteem church calling.  Those Utah Mormons can really be a handful sometimes.  Oh my goodness! 

Question #10:  Are you a full-tithe payer?

Answer: Yes. "Truth! HA HA! Suck it, sinners!"

Ha ha!  See, I'm a good Mormon!  I didn't lie.  And because I pay my tithing based on my gross income and then round UP, that right there makes me better than the low-life's who don't!  And it makes up for all the lying to boot!  Also, here is a little extra to help the poor.  Wait, what?  You can't help them unless they are active, full-tithe, paying members?  What the fuck!?

Sigh.  I deeply, deeply regret that I was a full tithe payer.  "And a snooty one at that."  Yep.

Question #11:  Do you keep the Word of Wisdom?

Answer: Yes. "Uhmm, this is a half-truth. I think."

Word of Wisdom or WoW.  Wow! Seriously, WoW!  Get it? "Dude, that's stupid, no one cares." 

Anywho, the entire WoW has been reduced down to the big four: Coffee, Tea, Alcohol and Tobacco.  Forget about all the other things stated in there, the big four are all this question is really asking.

Since I can't abide smoking or tobacco anyway, that's a nonissue.  Also, I don't like the taste of tea so I can at least feel smug about that.  However, I love my coffee.  Yeah, I'm going to tell people I like it but I'm not going to tell anyone I actually drink the stuff.  I mean, really, what good would come of it?  Remember that 5% I want to avoid being associated with?  I'm going to drink my coffee in secret! 

As for alcohol, the last time I drank that stuff I was around 10 or 12 years old I think.  It was a cheap but tasty red wine that my dad let me have.  I never got around to drinking much alcohol after that nor did I have much opportunity because I could never risk getting caught buying the stuff.  That made it easy to avoid.  I also didn't have many friends who drank.  The ones who did kept it to themselves because we would shun them when they did. You know about all that "avoid the appearance of evil" crap?  Yeah, we are real assholes, but we were righteous assholes.  So, except for an occasional coffee I was good to go.  Right? 

Apparently, coffee wasn't supposed to bar me entrance to the temple. But I could never know when I would get interviewed by some Mormon Nazi who would decide that coffee drinking was a greater sin than me lying about not having sex with myself.  "Dude! You never had it that bad."  Yeah, I know, but lesser things happened to other people and it really bugged the ever living shit out of me and put me on edge.

Now, I have a beer occasionally. And I'm not afraid to drink it right in front you!  Ha!  Would you like one?  There is still some in the fridge.  Or I could open that new bottle of wine I just bought that's sitting next to the coffee maker.  Hey, where are you going?  Oh yeah, you're avoiding the appearance of evil.  Touché. 

Now, what about the rest of the WoW?  It also says to eat lots of veggies and grains and eat very little meat.  And I do follow that. Well, not because of the WoW but because I feel like eating that way.  Some days I may actually go an entire day without eating meat.  I'm just not in the mood for it.  However, I'm a glutton for peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-oatmeal-cookie-dough-ice-cream so, no, I don't keep the WoW in its full context. Wait, the WoW doesn't say anything about gluttony?  Well it should! 

"We really need to move on here."  No, wait, I'm not done.

You know what else?  I don't think anyone really knows what the fuck the WoW is really all about anyway.  You know? For a short time there in the early 1900's, beer was acceptable under the WoW and refined flour was not!    And then there is this indecisive issue with caffeine and soda drinks.  And back to my previous point about all of the other stuff not being considered anymore.  What the...why the hell has it been twiddled down to the big four anyway?  Come on people!  Make up your mind!  Either get a revelation from God that sticks to something or forget about it!   Is God really that wishy washy?    "Actually, he is." 

Moving on... 

Question #12:  Do you have financial or other obligations to a former spouse or children? If yes, are you current in meeting those obligations?

Answer: ---

I was never asked this.  They all knew I had never been married so they just skipped it.  I wished they would ask, that way there would be more questions where I didn't have to lie. 

Question #13:  If you have previously received your temple endowment: Do you keep the covenants that you made in the temple?  Do you wear the garment both night and day as instructed in the endowment and in accordance with the covenant you made in the temple?

Answer: Yes. "Lie? Well... yeah, you lied."

Ok, this is where it gets all weird.  I don't really remember what covenants I made in the temple; I was very young and naive back then.  I went through twice before leaving on my mission and have never gone back.  The experience was creepy and I never felt comfortable with it.  Besides, I only needed the temple recommend, not the temple experience, to look like a good Mormon.

As for the magic G's, quite often I would go around wearing only the top when I did wear them.  Does that count?  I thought of it more as a t-shirt to keep my sweaty armpits from leaking to my outer shirt but most importantly, it was to fool people into thinking I was a Mormon In Good Standing™.  As for the bottoms, I preferred that sexy animal print, string-bikini underwear for the sexiness and the support.  Besides, those darned magic G's would chafe my thighs like a motherfucker and the seams were always falling apart!  "Dude, I think you're going too far with this one."  No, shut up, Internal Dialog, I've got more to say about this.

I always thought it was ironic that people would tell me to buy those "mesh fabric" Gs because it feels like you have nothing on!  What the fuck?  Seriously, what the fuck?  I honestly can't figure out how to process that information.  Underwear that feels like you are not wearing underwear?   Here's a clue, why don't you simply NOT put any underwear on!  Yeah, I know, protection from harm and evil and all that hocus pocus.  So then, how come when I was on my mission and wrecked my bike and landed on my shoulder, there was a huge hole in my G's and my collar bone dislocated?   "Oh, please don't go there."  Was it because I was an unrighteous, lying, masturbator who didn't have any self control?  Just like all the other missionaries?  "No, Dude, that's not it.  Let it go."  No, it's because it was all a bunch of crap!  It was just another idea that I was in love with only so that I could convince myself that it might possibly be true.  What was I thinking?  Logic and reason, out the window because I was in love with the idea of personal body armor. "You weren't that bad about it." True, because I preferred my armor to look more like those sexy Star Wars Storm Troopers anyway.  "Ok, we need to move on."  That magic G armor was not sexy at all. In fact, it was anti-sexy.  But Storm Troopers, now that is what I call sexy body armor. Yeah, it's useless for blaster fire but who cares, so are magic G's.  I would totally do a guy while we were wearing outfits like that.  The base layer is Spandex for crying out loud!  Those magic G's were anti-sex.  Hey, I suppose that makes sense in the context of protecting a person's chastity.  Err, I mean sexual virginity.  Stick ugly underwear on them and they're fine.  Hmm, doesn't explain those gay guys with magic G fetishes.  What's the deal with that?  I don't get it. 
 
"Moving on?"

Sigh.  Moving on...

Question #14:  Have there been any sins or misdeeds in your life that should have been resolved with priesthood authorities but have not been?

Answer: No. "Yeah, Dude! I think you might be telling the truth with this one. I think."

Yeah I'm telling the truth because I'm starting to see where this is all left to my interpretation.  What is the context of "sins", "misdeeds" and "resolved"?  Other than my habitual Lying for the Lord™, I don't know what else I would mention.  I did tell my mission president that I masturbated.  But have I resolved it?  Does simply talking about it mean it's been resolved?   I still masturbate in ways that would make your skin crawl and your sensitive little heart go running off screaming to ask God for mercy if you were to see the things I like to do to myself.  So, you really want to know?  Seriously?  I have pictures. "Dude! Don't even..."  And for something that gives me a profound spiritual experience, how do I know it's even a problem?   And that begs the next question, what is meant by "problem"?   No, I'm doing just fine. 

Question #15:  Do you consider yourself worthy to enter the Lord's house and participate in temple ordinances?

Answer: Yes. "You speak truth! I'm proud of you dude!"

Yep, I believe I'm worthy to enter the Lord's house.  Besides, if my adulterous uncle is worthy, even while standing in the Celestial room of the temple, telling dirty jokes, than I believe I'm worthy too, even more so than he.  But the better question to ask is if I WANT to participate in temple ordinances?  And if that is asked, I'll probably lie.  Again, I want to fit in, despite the fact it is 2006 and the last time I was creeped out in a temple was 1991.   "Are you sure?" No, wait.  The last time I set foot in a temple was 1995 in Bountiful, Utah. But it was only the temple dedication and not an endowment session so it doesn't count.  "Oh, yeah. That doesn't count. Not as creepy."

Ok, well there you have it.  I've gone through the temple recommend questions, holding myself accountable for the lies I told.  And not only do I feel better about myself, I'm better person for doing it. "Dude, you're so cool, I love you."  I love you to; want to have sex?  "Dude! This is not the place to for that."  TMI?  "TMI."

Apologies to my uncle for bringing up his past transgressions. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't have had that cognitive dissonance welling up in the back of my mind all these years.  Those jokes he told in the temple were very distasteful, even for me.




Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Missing Comments?

Apparently, there are rumors going around about blog comments that don't appear or turn up missing.  Of course, I wouldn't know if a comment post didn't appear, I don't have any ability to track that stuff.  I have not deleted anything and it all appears to be how I left it last time I was here.

But, in any case, if something's missing, let me know via email.  (email is in my profile)  I'm not sure if I can do anything about it, but it will be nice to know. 

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Right to Wear Spandex

The following Facebook status was entered by one of my friends:

[Name withheld] good to be alive and good to feel like I'm walking to a bee gee vibe... I'm staying alive..

Then a few seconds later it was followed up by:

[Name withheld]... that doesn't give me the right to wear spandex and strut however..actually..hmmm..

I don't get this as a joke.  I understand that it's supposed to be funny but for some reason it bugs the ever living crap out of me.  Who the fuck says people have to obtain the right to wear spandex? 

I understand that this is underlying a joke about our poor self-esteem issues regarding our own bodies.  I can understand that, I had just completed posting pictures of me and my fat ass, trotting around on a horse minutes before.  And yes, I even made a comment about how that skinny-ass horse made my fat-ass look fat.  They were both self deprecating jokes, so, to be fair, since I was bothered by someone's joke, I can understand if my joke might bother someone else.  (Other than my use of the words "fat" & "ass") I seriously don't intend to offend.   I think. 

However, I believe my joke is less likely to offend.  I'm not trying to say anything about what someone chooses to wear whereas my friend is.  I'm directly mocking my body despite the clothing, whereas he is directing people away from his unshapely body type by mocking spandex.  Granted, I did make a comment about my riding breeches making my ass look fat.  But I was actually wearing them!  My friend, on the other hand, has probably never worn spandex in his life.

Spandex, made from a supper stretchy material called Lycra!  A type of clothing that accentuates the human (especially male) form in lovely ways, feels great, and it's fun and practical to wear.  I wear it.  Granted, with my current fat ass, I don't wear in public.   Or if I do, it's not visible.

Ok, I think I'm rambling now and I might be starting to talk in circles here.  I just wish we weren't so judgmental to others and ourselves about our fat asses in spandex.

Now, that fat ass thing, isn't really the core issue for me though, because what's hitting me in the back of my head about all of this judgmental spandex wearing is the truth of the matter, that even if I had a skinny, sexy ass, the judgmental spandex wearing would continue and it would even be worse.  Why?  Because I'm a man.  Simple as that!   And only the "faggoty" men wear spandex.  That's what I grew up hearing in my neck of the Utah Mormon cultural landscape.  God I hate that word "faggoty"!  OK, to be honest, I only remember hearing it once, but goddamn, it rang in my head for years!

Now, I'm not talking about the spandex common to biking; I'm talking about the spandex made famous by those big hair metal bands from the 80's.  That spandex caused me to stare uncontrollably at all of the male crotches who wore it.  I would secretly watch Friday Night Videos in hopes to catch a glimpse of a spandex clad, skinny ass, with a big bulge in front.   I didn't care who they were or what the music was.  I was just interested in the spandex and how that spandex was filled.  Bonus points if the spandex had a bright colored print.

Basically, spandex was all about sex.  There I've said it.  Sex!  Fetish!  And since I was just entering into the pubescent stage at the height of the 80's hair bands, my hormones raged.  The more my hormones raged, the more I wanted to see, have, feel spandex, the guiltier I felt, the more distance I would publicly put between me and my fetishes, the less likely I would ever have of wearing it.   Sad, isn't it?  It wasn't until well into my late 20's early 30's did I finally buy some spandex.  And even then, I did it as anonymously as possible over the Internet. Talk about living in complete and utter shame! 

OK, now, I didn't suddenly develop a spandex fetish during that time, I already knew I had one as young as 5 when I wore some tights for a little school play.  Yes, at age 5, I had experienced an indescribable emotional thrill from wearing them.  Emotional!  Not sexual!  So, those so-called experts who like to say we develop fetishes for things because of our misdirected sexual outlet are all idiots.  There may be some truth to that, but in my experience, I haven't been successful at developing fetishes, I can only discover them! 

Ok, if I go on much more with this I won't be able to post it to this blog.  This was supposed to be about how someone's joke triggered a mild frustration in me that is masking a deeper seething rage.   Yes, it's true, as much as I would like to think I've put my past behind me, I still have some baggage.  And I've been discovering over the past few years that my baggage is mostly about sex.  This has caused me some real and embarrassing problems in the physical intimacy department. 

Actually, I still have symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  This may seem like a joke at this point but it's not.  It has really been frustrating getting past a lot of the emotional and spiritual abuse I went through.  I'm doing really well considering, but something this seemingly innocuous will pop up on occasion and really send me into a dive.    I just want to fucking scream!  I believe my cultish upbringing has robbed me of being able to experience fully one of the joys of being human.  Why?  Because somewhere along the way, a few people had some serious hang-ups about sex and wanted to make sure everyone else in the Mormon hive-mind had them as well, so they institutionalized them into church doctrine.

Erm, I wonder who they were?  Anyone?   

Fuck them!

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