Wednesday, April 6

A (Gay) Mormon Blog

When I started (Gay) Mormon Guy last year, my initial goal was to share my story with other faithful members of the LDS Church whose lives included gay/homosexual/same-sex attraction/same-gender attraction (whatever you prefer calling it) and who wanted help getting out of crisis. My first blog followers came from ads I posted in the gay personals section of Craigslist... located in a few areas with lots of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I volunteered to be a friend to talk to for those who wanted help being faithful. The subsequent flood of responses via chat and email kept me up for days on end - as the online gay community (and the Internet as a whole) seems to come to life at 9:00 and go to sleep around 3:00.

I found that many guys asked the same questions - background about me and how I resisted temptation... how I felt about the trial... my relationship with God. My blog (Gay) Mormon Guy was created to bridge the gap between sharing facts with a large audience (blog postings) and still having a personal connection (personal emails using the comment function or the email listed at "Contact Me").

For a few months I thought that was it. I got frequent emails and comments from readers - mostly men - who were somewhere on the path with me, and I felt like (Gay) Mormon Guy was doing its part. Partially. With every email and comment, though, I realized that there were many, many more men - especially young men questioning their faith - who might need someone's help and support.

I asked the Lord for guidance, and He told me to ask a member of my stake presidency. I was terrified, but I trusted him, and Him, so I did... and he gave me incredibly pertinent, inspired counsel. As for reaching more people, the Lord told me He would take care of it.

General Conference (October 2010) rolled around and President Packer gave a talk that was interpreted in such a way to create a massive firestorm in the gay community, and the gay Mormon community as well. I wasn't aware of the fireworks until a reader of my blog - a girl named Lauren - asked me what I thought about the talk. I spent the next day watching, re-watching, listening, praying, and reading the talk, then posted "President Packer's Talk... From a (Gay) Mormon Perspective."

Someone posted it to Facebook, and within days hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world had visited my blog at (Gay) Mormon Guy, many "following."

Some of the newcomers were men and women who matched my path, and most weren't. One passionate email said that my blog had "degenerated." He said that he went through the new followers and commented that most looked like "Mormon housewives." I have the deepest esteem for women in the Church who make the decision to sacrifice potential careers, worldly acquisitions, and their own personal agenda to instill a love of the gospel into their children. My mother was one of those women... and I plan to marry one someday. I think motherhood is one of the most important, influential works in the world. They are so much more than housewives.

So my blog changed, and it became a go-to for information on my life perspective as a (Gay) Mormon. I started telling more of my life's story and the day-to-day of my life living with same-sex attraction. The nature of my emails and comments changed, too; I still had people asking for help, but now I sorted through hundreds simply saying thank you.

As time has passed, Google, NothingWavering.org, blogrolls on personal blogs, guest posts, and other aggregators have led a new wave of readers - and they have in common a simple desire to understand and love others. Church members in Malaysia. Atheists in China and Brazil. Jewish ministers in the Midwest, Canada, and Great Britain. Gay men and women from the US. And readers from all over the globe. The emails changed again, adding those asking about helping family members - brothers, sons, fathers, sisters, daughters, mothers, and friends.

Thanks for being here. For opening your hearts and learning to understand what it's like to live life as a (gay) Mormon guy... and especially for sharing your own trials and successes with me. There's nothing better than watching people fall in love with principles of the gospel... and (Gay) Mormon Guy has given me that opportunity.

...A lot has happened in the past few months. A lot has changed. And only God knows what tomorrow will bring.

9 comments:

Vanessa said...

Thanks for posting this and everything else. You are so brave and so wise. I only have one "problem" here and that is the term "Mormon Housewives". Please, they're mothers. They sacrifice so much to be that. I can't stand that they're being called such a lowly thing as a "housewife".

Kristen said...

And thank you for posting! As a "Mormon housewife," it makes me sad to think that a person would think that reaching an audience comprised of women would be imply that your blog had "degenerated." I think it's wonderful. What better way to reach up and coming generations than to educate and inspire their mothers? I am primarily responsible for teaching my child compassion and as I read your blog, I find myself more understanding and loving of those who struggle not only with SSA but with all the challenges that we face in this life time. I also find my testimony of the Savior and the power of the Atonement increased, thus making it possible for me to witness of the truthfulness of the Gospel to my children and family. And if the flourishing of the family is the crucial element for maintaining a godly society, then these "Mormon housewives," our precious sisters, have a great task at hand.

I can't speak for anybody else but thank you for helping me to have an increased love and appreciation for God's children and by doing so, helping me become a better mother to my kids. I can promise that you don't just touch the people who read your blog. I truly believe that your work is an inspired work.

Kim and Corey Nasfell said...

Just for the record...I started following your blog the second my seventeen year old brother "came out of the closet." We are faithful LDS and were steamrolled with the news. We want to understand, we want to help him, we want him to know that there IS a way to stay faithful even if you have those same sex attractions. I love your blog! Thank you! ~From just another one of those "Mormon Housewives"

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you know why the internet "comes to life" between 9 pm and 3 am. Internet porn.

BTW, to that list of heroic things women do you can also add they put their lives on the line just to give birth to other people. They shed their own blood (approximately 2 Cups at birth) plus destroy their figure and health just to bring other people into the world. For this reason, this earth life offers women a ready-made opportunity to make that trade, that sacrifice, that is so necessary to gain one's exaltation.

AirMan said...

Your blog fulfills a very specific admonition of the Savior to help bear one another's burdens. The world has become a very difficult place and with that it is hard to find answers and truths. Your blog is a safe haven for many people who wish to understand and know they aren't alone on this arduous journey. I recently decide to start blogging about my experiences to give hope to those who are struggling. I now look forward to the day that I can enter the Temple and get married for time and all eternity. Keep being an inspiration and giving hope to those who have lost hope. Our path is a difficult one, but in the end if we return to God it will have been worth it.

Shermeen said...

Hi, I came to your blog via Hannah Explains it All. The only reason I clicked is because you are gay and I wanted to know how that fit in with being a Mormon. I've visted the website and I was moved by the testimonials of members and the beliefs in general. I have been stuggling with my faith lately and I found that much of what was on the website spoke to me directly. But when I came to reading the beliefs on homosexuality, I was stuck. So much of what was said makes complete sense but I cannot wrap my head around the idea that to act on homosexual desires is sinful and wrong. If you know you are homosexual and it is not something you choose, then surely God created you this way? Is it that having homosexual tendancies and thoughts permissable but acting on them is not? What made you choose to ignore a part of who you are? xx

Mormon Guy said...

Shermeen:

Just because we are born on this earth into different bodies and different circumstances doesn't mean that we are born "perfect." Only Adam and Eve had perfect bodies, created by God. As soon as they left the Garden of Eden, their children were born into imperfection - genetic mutation, DNA changes caused by cosmic radiation, genes turning on and off based on external stimuli and mixtures of imperfect genetic code creating each new life and person.

I do believe that we are each born into the ideal learning environment, to give us the best opportunity to return to God again. But that learning environment always includes things that need to be overcome... As was taught by Christ, we need to put off the natural man and become spiritual Saints.

I have a friend who lives every day with major depression. It's caused by differences in chemicals in her brain, differences she has had since birth. Her depression gives her tons of damaging thoughts, and if it weren't for the perspective given by the gospel, she would have committed suicide long ago. But at the same time, her depression is something that has taught her faith, hope, and the importance of reaching out and loving others. Today she embraces the fact that she was born with/lives with/struggles against/has learned from depression and is a better person for the suffering and subsequent development of faith and prayer.

It's the same thing for me. Yes, the Lord allows me to live with a very imperfect trial - that places me squarely in complicated and stressful situations... because He wants me to develop the strength and love and hope that are possible standing here and no other place. My trials and blessings and circumstances in life were designed especially for me - not so that I could engage in following the promptings of the flesh to experience worldly pleasure... but so that I could learn to follow the promptings of the Spirit and experience the bounds of eternal joy.

Is it rough? Yeah. But it's definitely worth it. The lessons I've learned from following God, and being chaste, even when my body and society tells me otherwise, are worth all the pain and frustration and everything else I've felt.

... and I've come to recognize the love that God has for me when He didn't answer my prayers to take this trial away. There were still things I needed to learn. Things I needed to do. And there obviously still are. But as I turn to Him in faith I can know that all things in my life will be for my good and give me experience - because God Himself promised it.

But the only way for you to know... Is how I know - by asking God, honestly and sincerely, and being willing to place everything on the altar of sacrifice before Him. I encourage you to ask Him... and then to listen for the answer that will come "in your mind and in your heart..." bringing peace unto your soul.

Thanks for your comment. Let me know any other questions you have.

Anonymous said...

I've found a lot of similarities between your journey and the struggle my husband has faced with pornography. The perspective you have towards the trial has put a voice to the devastation we have both experienced. You've also helped me understand his behavior and desires more clearly. He serves as President of an Auxiliary in our ward and is one of the most wonderful souls I know.

Through my experiences, I've learned the divine purpose in trials, have grown to love on a deeper level than I could comprehend before, and know how much joy and purpose there is in overcoming obstacles. I've also realized how judgmental I have been of those who do buckle under extreme pain.

I used to think people who think like me were martyrs, I think you've heard some of the same things. But the more I tried to resolve my pain in the way I thought was best, the more pain I felt. The Lord's way is not painless, but covenant and commandment keeping most definitely does bring "that joy which is unspeakable and full of glory."

Alex Ander Vargas Gonzales said...

good history :)