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.

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