31 May 2007

Why You Need to Die

inspired by “Give Me Something to Sing About”

"For if Men are to be precluded from offering their Sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences, that can invite the consideration of Mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of Speech may be taken away, and, dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter." -George Washington

Speaking of the slaughter, I was wondering about three recent posts about suicide.

Over at Northern Lights, Tito posted parts of an interview with J. R. Holland dealing with homosexuality and the church. In it the apostle says he understands that homosexuals have a harder time in the church,

"…for anyone in whatever gay or lesbian inclination may exist, … the marriage I have and the marriage I've seen my children have and I pray for my grandchildren to have, they say, "For me it's an experience I'll never have." And true to the Holland tradition, I burst into tears, and I say, "Hope on, and wait and let me walk with you, and we'll be faithful, be clean, and we'll get to the end of this."

It’s interesting to see how much the church has changed over the years. We aren't selfish reprobates* condemned to hell anymore. We are, in fact, beloved sons and daughters of God and condemned to life. If we somehow desire to be happy we just need only await "the end of this."

I've heard there's a difference between setting out some tinder and sparking at it with a steel and flint and dousing a pile of logs with gasoline and throwing a grenade at it. It's good advice.

Yet, I can't think of another way to express my disdain for the idea that we don't get to be happy here. If we can't be happy then why are we here? What's our purpose?

We have nothing to fight for. We have no Meaning of Life. No cause to endure to the end for. None has been given us and none seems forthcoming.

But I’m not so sure death is the answer. So I’ll stick around and encourage the rest of you to do likewise. We’ll figure it out because we have to. We’re the one’s this matters most for.

*but don't hold you breath waiting to be called to lead the Boy Scouts.


good tune

23 May 2007

When Maquis Met Sacher

they would have made a cute couple but what gifts do you bring to their baby shower?

Every so often someone of the Mormon persuasion wonders why those who question the faith choose to remain in it. The mere act of “questioning faith” is seen as an inherent division between Mormons and everyone else. Those who question are seen to be disobeying the laws and failing to listen to what God’s men are saying.

But what happens when the Men of God say something that isn’t true? What happens if they something untrue over and over again? Let’s also suppose that this untruth is about you.

I’m not the only Moho to have been accused of being selfish, afraid of men, confused about my gender, and a sinner by nature. Blanket statements viewed as gospel by the church at large because the faithful are largely afraid to challenge any notion whatsoever.*

I question, I complain, and I confront. Through it all, I maintain my faith in The One True Church. I proclaim these truths to be self-evident, God loves His children today as much as He did in ancient times when He sent His prophets to lead the saints away from the false and foolish things of the world. He sent us to Earth to prove our valor and build our eternal families; the most precious of all things. He protects us, teaches us, guides us, and to this end, has returned the prophets to us.

What is it that keeps homosexuals like myself in a faith I know to be true but returns my devotion with fear, misunderstanding, and hatred? Some have suggested the answer is masochism, the pleasure (or gratification) of having pain or suffering inflicted upon myself.

It’s a difficult notion to dispel. Certainly, the church is the most real and beautiful thing in my life. It’s also true that the church is the source of my life’s greatest sadness, self-doubt, and pain.

I don’t believe it’s a masochistic desire that binds me to the church. I remain because of my desire to be a part of a marvelous work and a wonder even if there is pain attached. Besides, on a larger scale, pain is just a part of life. We seek to minimize pain but it remains our constant companion. Why should I expect the church to be different than everything else in this world?

I’ll conclude by stating that if it is, in fact, a masochistic desire that binds homosexuals to the church then I would like to point out that every abusive relationship has someone who dishes out the pain. You can fault the victim for always coming back for more but that doesn’t excuse a sadist who selects a group to paint as foolishly short-sighted, society’s enemy, and a danger to the children. An aggressor who then, like any good sadist, congradulates himself for getting the abused to keep coming back. Wielding promises of salvation and brandishing threats of hell, he seeks to prove his compassion by sheer force of love.

But that’s only if you believe in I’m a masochist.

*Untruths, every one. And just because one of those descriptors might apply to somebody, somewhere doesn’t make the idea behind them any less ridiculous.


good tune

16 May 2007

2 Categorize and 2 Conquer

her skin, white as the cleanest snow, eyes closed in tranquillity

For the most part, there are two types of posts in the Bloggernacle. First, there are sad posts by sad people being sad. Comments for these posts are usually members of the community patting each other on the back and sending e-hugs.

These posts can be seen as generally constructive because the emotions expressed would probably remain destructively hidden without a blog to turn to. Everyone needs to let off some emotional steam once in a while.
What to Look for: emoticons, e-hugs, run-on sentences

The other common post features Mormons angry with Mormons because they aren't Mormon enough or aren't making Mormon-ish decisions.* Comments for these posts are usually loud proclamations of the blogger's genius or stupidity. The term "stupidity" is never actually used. The offended party will lash out by loudly playing the victim. This sets pity against the insensitive barbarian who caused such harm.

These posts can be seen as generally seen as constructive because, as homosexual Mormons, we must keep our skill for being wounded by the ignorance of society razor-sharp. You never know when it might come in handy.
What to Look for: z-snapping, abuse of caps lock, run-on sentences

*Other posts you might find are poetry, conversation transcripts, and Max flirting with me.


good tune

09 May 2007

By the Numbers

it's three I hate but it's one I dread the most

At first, we can't see any good time, place, or reason to come out of the closet. We can only see the act as a violent upheaval of what we appreciate to be the status quo. Eventually we all do tell those we love most but why? What makes us hesitate and what makes us finally tell and risk our stability?

I propose that fear is the great motivator for both. Fear hides our secret. Fear leads us to forge false identities. Fear binds us in silence.

Even here in the anonymous-as-you-like blogosphere we hide. We are unwilling to use names. Unwilling to post pictures. Unwilling to expose our secret to the light.

Paradoxically it is fear that ultimately forces us from the terrible closet. Fear of being exposed. Fear of what we become while trapped in there. Fear of what we think about doing to ourselves.

Exposure is what I have always feared the most. I feared being found out every day I kept my secret until I was twenty-four. I was afraid of each thing I listed prior. Coming out defeated nearly every fear I held dear... except for one: Fear of the Dread Three Questions.

Dread Question 1 is the arrogant one: "Should we have recognized the signs?"

Yes, you should have. You should have known when I dropped out of coach pitch I was gay. You should have known that when I didn't like football by Jr. High I was gay. You should have known that when I refused to go to my Senior Prom because I was saving for my mission I was a raving queen.

Dread Question 2 is the ignorant one: "Are you sexually active?/Do you have an STD?"

I just would rather never, ever answer this question. Ever.

Dread Question 3 is the big one: "Are you attracted to me?"

Honestly, after all this time I'm not sure if it would be worse if I was asked this by a male or a female. If a girl asked it would probably be because she believed I was a romantic interest. Saying "no" would hurt her feelings and "yes" would only be a lie.

If a guy asked (and each of my closest friends are male) I would have to answer "no." I think on some level no guy, however straight, wants to hear they are unattractive but by no means do they want their attractiveness confirmed by me!*

If you have a Dread Question I missed or a funny/mortifying story about one of these three let me know and I'll compile them in a future post.

*Fortunately, and I swear this is true, none of my closest friends (the ones I've known and lived with for years and years) are attractive. Honesty is the best policy.


good tune


03 May 2007

Due North

like any organization worth it's salt, it makes slugs uncomfortable

Out of nowhere, -L- has blindsided us with an incredible new endeavor. A special blog "...where we and our readers can openly explore and discuss topics and issues of interest to the LDS community—and particularly as they relate to homosexuality and the Church—in an edifying and uplifting manner and within the framework of commitment to the beliefs and ideals of the Church."

At first it seemed like an exclusive members-only country club surrounded by straight lawn jockeys. This may have been my impression since I wasn't initially invited to participate. All drama aside*, the blog is a stroke of genius and everyone involved with it's development deserves to be commended. Imagine: a resource focused on homosexuality and the Mormon viewpoint anchored to a blog community with a well-written "be nice" policy!

It has some mountains to climb to gain the legitimacy that will give it the attention it needs to fulfill it's mission. To bad that legitimacy can only be granted by the larger, straight, Bloggernacle community. You know the type, worried that Barq's might change it's Utah recipie to re-include caffiene, worries that someone, somewhere might have seen 300, and knows it's not okay to accept gays because doing so promotes the (mythical) "Gay Lifestyle."

I'm ok with Northern Lights. I'm glad to be a part of it. I'm tired, to be brutally honest, of the gays who only talk about the trial of living all the principles of the gospel and who speak endlessly of keeping the covenants they've made. They seek to make it true by vain repitition and can't stop shouting it to everyone loud enough and often enough that they can finally convince themselves they are "true to what matters most."

I didn't choose to be gay either but I am one who has chosen to be faithful to what God made me, to keep the covenants I've made, and to try to be an example to the younger guys out there that you can actually be happy, be active in the Church, have the feelings all mortal men have, and be happy - all at the same time!

*It's worth reading the comments to see how many times I can get offended in a mere two hours!


good tune