Wednesday, July 6, 2011


This post isn't about me being outed, it's just some musings I've been having about coming out more publicly to more people.

My buddy Kurt messaged me a few hours ago talking about how he had been attending church again semi-regularly for the last few weeks and had the missionaries over for a few lessons as well.  He talked about the things he missed about going to church and about possibly becoming an active member again.  I didn't really know how to respond via Facebook message, but I've been thinking a lot of the same things he has, so with his permission, here are parts of what he said:

One of the big reasons I felt so depressed towards the end of my active membership in the church is that I was trying to be somebody else.  Not me.  Despite the church members around me knowing that I liked guys and had relationships with guys in the past, I was trying to live the life of a straight Mormon guy.  I was trying to be the stereotype of what was expected of me.  

I understand how he feels.  I kind of hate living a "straight" life sometimes, even though most of my readership already knows how incredibly gay I can be.  It just gets kinda annoying when I'm at family reunions and my relatives are good-naturedly asking if there are any cute girls in my life.  This last reunion, a guy I think I like was texting me one night and his texts were making me smile that kind of smile.  All my aunts and female cousins kept asking things like, "Who's the cute girl you're texting, GMP?  She sure is making you smile big!"  Yeah, awkward.

So what then is the solution?  I don't want to deny my testimony and to live my testimony means living a straight life.  Or does it?  

Says Kurt:

I've started to think, what if I was an active gay member of the Church?  No longer pretending or trying to be something else, but embracing the fact that I'm gay and still worthy of the priesthood... I've never tried to be in the Church and just be gay.  It would mean celibacy, it would mean not falling in love, it would mean a life not as a father or a husband.  But it could mean a life with the full Gospel in it.

Being from a pretty liberal and progressive area, I think my denomination would be open and accepting of me as long as I chose not to live the lifestyle, and even then I know some would still welcome me to church every Sunday, literally with open arms.  It also would be nice not to hear some of those encouragements to date from people who have no business doing so.  It might even open up an open dialogue for others who face not only homosexuality but other taboo temptations, like cravings for drugs and alcohol, for example.  In an ideal world, Mormons might no longer feel so much pressure to be perfect and to think good things all the time.  

But such a life is not without its negative implications.  For me, I'm pretty completely gay, but there have been girls that make me feel "straight."  It's rare, but it happens, and if I were out among my church friends, if I ever met that girl, she might write me off completely as "the gay guy" and then the door would be shut forever.

And in my group of friends back home, we can act pretty gay.  We do the whole butt-smacking thing and sit close during movies and stuff, and I wouldn't want to upset that dynamic by throwing a sexual orientation in their faces.  I know they'd be mature enough to accept me and love me, but I don't think they would be as comfortable with acting that way as they used to.  Who knows, maybe I'm underestimating mankind?  Heaven knows it's happened before that a friend of mine remained cool and friendly even after he found out.

Additionally, even though it's never happened to me, I've heard stories of bishops cautioning gay Mormons to keep their struggles to themselves, perhaps in the hopes of not flaunting trials or making homosexuality more acceptable.  Fred and Marilyn Matis, parents of Stuart Matis, wrote in In Quiet Desperation that their friends said that they should be more discrete with their son's sexual orientation both before and after his suicide.  

I'm not positive why people would make that recommendation, but it might have something to do with the amount of access it might give the temptation.  For example, in the last few months, my will to resist has waned pretty significantly to the point that I've acted out sensually with a few guys.  I've never crossed the line, but I'm closer to it now than ever before, and it's all due to outing myself to other gay people.  Since coming out to Toby (and starting this blog), I've encountered more attractive men than ever, and some of those men have been attracted to me as well.  The level of access to romantic entanglement has increased and so has the temptation and desire to submit to it.  If I were completely public, I might become an object of desire to the closeted gays in my circle, which would be good for neither of us.

Given all of those negative (and admittedly hypothetical) ramifications, coming out just doesn't seem worth it.

I'll freely admit that one of my goals in starting this blog was to bring more awareness to the plight of gay Mormons.  I wanted to pioneer a movement where we would feel comfortable being out among our congregations, living faithful lives and doing our best to resist temptation.  I feel incredibly duplicitous, but my confidence is waning and I don't think I have the courage to do that anymore, at least for now.  


  1. I can relate everything you said in this post GMP. And I like the way you write. btw, I think you more than 'like' this guy you mentioned. In fact, I'm pretty sure you're head over heals for him...from what you've told me about him anyway. If you haven't already, I think you should ask him out on a date.

  2. I do not envy your plight, and I understand completely why you would be envious of those who are either just plain Mormon heterosexuals or inactive homosexuals. I have often thought to myself (because I have a close friend who is out of both the closet and the Church) that same-gendered attraction must be one of the most difficult temptations that a Mormon could ever, ever deal with. I recently moved from a ward in the midwest where there were three incredibly active members who were "out." Two were women, and they never said a word to me about it, but people just knew throughout the ward. One was a man (30s-ish) and he really couldn't hide it. I always assumed, but never asked, but then he gave a fireside to the stake about struggling with it and how to interact appropriately with those who are dealing with it. I think he is an amazing man, and so courageous. I think that you are too!

  3. @Sarah McK

    First off, love the jewelry. Not really my style ;) but I know a bunch of my gal pals and sisters would like it, so I sent a few links! Good luck!

    Secondly, thanks for your comment. There are so many courageous and inspiring people who endure many different struggles, stemming both from vices and from unfortunate circumstances. It's impossible to quantify the difficulty of one challenge compared to another, and as Ty Mansfield suggested in "In Quiet Desperation," gay Mormons don't have the monopoly on painful experiences. Still, I appreciate the empathy you expressed.

    Best of luck with the business!


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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