Friday, July 9, 2010
A Little More About Michael
Some of the gay LDS men I know have been excluded from family activities and in some cases excluded from the family home. In some cases they believed this was the counsel from Church Leaders, my research shows quite clearly that is not the current counsel. I believe there exists among some local Church leaders a disconnect between their counsel and the counsel from the “Brethren” i.e. the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. It’s the nature of any world wide organisation that the local implementation of certain doctrines may differ slightly from “head office”.
Perhaps if your family feel their faith requires them to exclude you from the family home and other family activities, you could gently make them aware of Elder Oaks’s comments.
While the idea of love can be difficult in the face of such opposition to our choices, perhaps we can take the high road when dealing with people who would persecute or belittle us because of our sexuality. In most cases, those men I spoke to have been able to reconnect with their family. That reconnection is generally built on a mutual respect
Of the men I interview for this book, none have met with a Priesthood Leader to confess their homosexual activity.
How else do I find love in my life?
This question presupposes that a person wants to find love in their life. I’m confident that all men and women want to find love at some level in their lives. However I’m not sure I can answer this question because a person can find love in so many ways. The best conclusion I can come to is that love for others is perhaps best begun with love of self. I suggest it makes life easier for a gay person if they first come to terms with who they are so they can develop a love not only for themselves but for those around them, family, friends and lovers.
If your relationship with Christ was or is one of great depth, I would encourage you to do what you can to maintain that. While the Church teaches this is best done through the scriptures, prayer and service, I found a change of focus helped me. King Benjamin
“And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.”
There are many opportunities to serve in the GLBT and wider community. I found opportunities to serve others which made my challenges diminish as I buried myself in others problems and issues.
Exploring a Relationship With a Partner.
Exploring your sexuality, coming out and then perhaps finding a partner or lover can be an overwhelming process. The upside being that the intimacy, support, friendship and happiness that can come from a relationship makes the bumps along the way a little easier.
My experience dating a girl is minimal with only a few years under my belt. At the time of writing this book, my experience dating a guy was even more limited. I don’t profess to be the Dr. Phil of gay dating, I’m just sharing my own experience.
From the point of starting to explore my sexuality, I didn’t really want or desire a partner. I was happy meeting guys, having some fun and perhaps moving on or maintaining a relationship which brought about ‘friends with benefits’. I found it a really empowering process, I met some great guys who wanted the same thing - its’ called NSA sex, “No Strings Attached”. It’s common in the gay world, the key is to ensure that you and these guys are always safe and clean.
I had probably been having ‘fun’ for about two years when I met a guy one evening at a bar. He was about five years younger than me, handsome and I thought beautiful. I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend, I hadn’t made a conscious decision that I wanted to commit to a relationship, but there he was. Now I had to work out how to date a guy, I’d never done this before - are the rules different? Who takes the lead?
I hinted that I’d like to see more of him, he agreed but only wanted to be friends at this stage. There were worse responses he could have given me. For about four months we had dinner and saw each other from time to time and got to know each other. He’d recently come out of a relationship and didn’t want to get into a serious relationship in a hurry, so I hung around waiting and hoping. I knew that pressing the issue may just push him further away, given I’d waited 38 years for this I figured I could wait a little longer.
My patience paid off and I got an SMS from him one Sunday asking if I was dating anyone, I responded telling him that was a stupid question! He came back and said if I was ready, he’d like to start dating. My heart skipped a few beats and I felt like jumping for joy. It’s been about five months since that point and we’re progressing really well. I’ve found it a whole new experience, with unknown steps around almost every corner.
The comfort and joy that comes from having a partner makes me feel whole, it makes me feel like I believe we’re supposed to feel. The sacrifices we make for each other, being there for each other and caring about the other person helps to build a relationship that will hopefully stand the test of time.