Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Well, I should have known this would happen.  Last night, my friend Amber texted me, asking me to have dinner with her.  She's the same Amber from the blog I linked to a few weeks ago.  In that post, I tried to be as ambiguous as possible with personal details, knowing that she would maybe notice the referring URL and look at my post to see who was linking to her.  What I didn't realize was that she would also probably read the rest of my blog, which apparently is peppered with details about me that someone who knows me well might be able to infer.

In any case, she invited me to dinner with her.  I figured it would be me and her husband, as the three of us are good friends (not casual acquaintances as I said a few weeks ago), but when she told me that Lucas wouldn't be joining us, I got a little bit nervous.  I texted him, joking about how I was taking his wife on a date and he laughed it off, warning me that I best have her home by midnight since it was a school night.  Still, my mind was racing about what she could possibly want to say to me during dinner.  I thought that maybe she just wanted to catch up, two old friends.  I wondered if she was going to try to set me up with one of her single friends.  And I also thought that maybe she was going to ask if I was gay.

We got to the restaurant and got ourselves seated.  She wasn't wearing her ring, a peculiarity I pointed out with a mock suspicious eye.  She laughed and our hostess must have thought we were crazy!  A handsome single man with a pretty married woman who just "happened" to forget to wear her wedding ring!  Well, after we exchanged a little small talk and conversed about school, Lucas, church, her family, etc., she asked me, point blank, "Are you GMP?"

I knew she knew, but still, I said, "Am I what?" as if that would throw her off the scent a little.  She repeated her question with a casual eye that said, "C'mon, dude.  Give it up."  I smiled through the shock and said, "Yep.  I am."

She told me that she had no intention of ever finding out who GMP was.  She just said that as she read, she was hit with smatterings of the familiar.  Stories I shared that had details that she thought she recognized.  Little personal details (and one huge oversight on my part) that all added up to my identity.  She apologized profusely, but said that she wasn't sorry she found out who I am, because she felt like it would open an avenue of conversation that I'm missing where I currently live.  I began to question her about how she found out and what she meant by not being sorry and she started to tell me, but decided she should just let a letter she wrote do the talking.

She pulled three sheets of paper from her purse and handed them to me, saying that if she tried to tell me out loud she might start crying.  I began reading.

She started out by apologizing again for finding out.  She said she knew that the point of this blog wasn't to out me and that she felt bad that she knew, but also wanted to be a support to me now that she understood a little more about me.  She said she was grateful for her knowledge because it increased her faith that a person like me could still be so strong (not sure if I believe that).  She likened my struggle with homosexuality with Lucas' and her trial with losing their daughter Molly.  "It sounded like, in many of your posts, like you are awaiting the Second Coming with as much hope as I am," she said.  "For you it's probably for understanding, possibly relief, answers, and an ability to know how all this will bring you the joy the Lord has promised.  For me, it is the ability to be with my daughter again."  She then finished her letter by expressing that she and Lucas don't care that I happen to be gay; they still are my friends and this part of me doesn't affect that.  She invited me about a hundred times to come over for dinner sometime and said that their house is a great place to just hang out and be myself whenever I want, and then she closed her letter.

After I finished reading, we started talking about Molly and what a trial of faith it was for Amber and Lucas.  I asked her how she and Lucas kept from asking why it had to be that way, like I often do with regard to my homosexuality.  She told me simply that the Spirit when she held Molly was too strong for her to see Molly's short life as anything but a blessing.  She expressed that she was too grateful for the few hours that she had with Molly to be bitter about the hours that she may have lost in this life.  And she also said that having Molly for those few hours changed her perspective such that she knew that after Christ comes again she'd be able to raise Molly and be with her for eternity.  She said that she never makes a choice without first thinking of Molly and how that choice will affect her as an eternal mother.

Can you tell how floored I am by this girl's faith? I feel like I'm so far from being there with my own.  But that's what progress is, I guess.  Taking something you suck at and getting better.

After that, she posed a few questions to me.  I'll answer them here as well.

She asked me about Toby, not to learn his real identity, but just the nature of our relationship, etc.  I told her how we met through mutual friends and then became friends ourselves.  Then I told her about how we both told each other that we were gay; he was really upset one night and confided in me about his struggles.  I told him about me because I figured we could help each other up, before I realized that he had no intention of changing his actions, at least for the time being.  I told Amber about how I got attached to him through our conversations, and then our conversations turned into cuddle sessions, which culminated in one amazing makeout, which I'm slightly proud of because I initiated it.  I, the milquetoast and timid GMP, initiated a makeout.

To this day I have a hard time feeling sorry I kissed him. Even though it made me more attached to him and made him more aggressive and forward towards me, I did something I never thought I'd have the courage to do.  It felt really good to have a mutual and reciprocated attraction, even if it was mostly physical on his end.  But finally, I realized that he was never going to satisfy that emotional need I had and I started limiting my exposure to him.  She asked about our future; I told her that until he is ready to respect me and my feelings, I will never pursue anything "gay" with him, and conversely, until we're ready to repent and be better, I will never pursue a supportive friendship with him.  Our relationship was a one-way street and I don't care to relive that, even though sometimes I still feel pretty hung up on him.

She then asked a little bit about my future and what I saw for myself.  I told her that I hoped for one of a few things.  One, I hoped that eventually I'd have enough faith in Jesus Christ to live a purposeful and fulfilling life, even if I didn't have a wife or whatever.  Two, I hoped that something would hit me in the head and tell me that in spite of my testimony of the LDS church and Jesus' Gospel, the Church was wrong and I could feel comfortable living a gay lifestyle.  Three, I hoped that somehow homosexuality and the Church could find a reconciliation and I could live as an active, openly gay LDS man.  Obviously, those are wild and fantastic conjectures, and the latter two I'm positive will never happen.

She then told me something that kind of surprised me.  She said that someday, she hopes that I'll be able to be more open to people in the Church.  I know she wasn't talking about acting on my gay tendencies, but instead she was talking about how she hopes that latent homosexuality and same-gender attraction will someday cease to label people like me as sinners, as it sometimes happens now.  In her letter she wrote, "Today, as I walked around campus I imagined that people could be loving enough to know what you struggle with and not judge.  I wish you could be open and honest about it and people would understand that it is who you are but that doesn't make you any less righteous or Christ-like."  What a kind and probably-too-generous sentiment to make.  But it echoed my feelings well.

It's why I started this blog.  I didn't start writing for other gay people; I started writing because I felt like I should try and make people more aware that those of us who are Mormon and gay are just as capable of trying to live Christlike lives as anyone else.  My actions right now are far from Christlike, but I'm "try[ing] a little harder to be a little better," just like all of us.

Amber offered many, many words of encouragement to me, including these:  "I know that it is not a punishment.  It is the Lord's way of saying, 'I trust you.  You are strong.  Show me what you're made of.'"  I fully admit that I have a hard time believing that right now, but I also know that I want to believe. My faith in His plan is smaller than it should be, but I want it to grow and every day, in spite of my mistakes and setbacks, I try to make the choices that will help me become more Christlike.  One last thought:  Amber told me that the days I make mistakes do not negate the days I choose Christ over my physical desires.  Obviously, I can't enter into the kingdom of God being unclean, but even so, she said that Jesus counts the days I make good choices, too.  Again, I want to believe that, and I'm trying to live in such a way that someday, maybe I will believe that.

While I will now be going through my posts and editing out personal information, I'm glad she outed me a little bit.  It felt so good to be real with another person, a person I know won't judge me and a person who, unlike Toby, will try and bring me up.

Especially since, through the letter and the tears and the deep conversation and the missing wedding ring, people around us probably thought she was breaking off an affair, haha.

1 comment:

  1. I'm grateful this was a positive experience. I've found that friends can take it personally finding out something via a somewhat anonymous blog. (A friend of mine felt upset that I couldn't trust her. The rest of her reaction proved why my instincts in not telling her were correct). Also, regarding Toby, I'm glad you mentioned the lessons you learned. I had a similar experience with my Mark before he went on his mission. Though my experiences with him got me down sometimes, I came out a much stronger person in the end-- secure in what I wanted and how I would let others treat me.


Be nice, mmmmkay? I allow anonymous comments, but not anonymous (or even attributed) douchebaggery. The Gay Mormon Pioneer's tolerance for hate and venom are incredibly low, but his love of communication and debate are high, so have an opinion, but be kind and gentle when you share it.

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