Sunday, June 10

To Readers: A Personal Request

Many of you have been reading here at (G)MG for a while now. You know my writing style. You've felt my frustrations. You've listened to my soap-box rants and gotten a front-row seat to my (sometimes woeful) dating life. And I'm honestly grateful for that.

This blog has slowly evolved from a desire to simply share a message of hope and faith... into a place where I can work out my thoughts and get feedback on what is happening in my mind. When nothing else in my life seems to be working, I know that I can find something compelling to write, share it here, and it will be worthwhile to someone. I often write things here that I never tell anyone else... and, beyond helping others, the simple act of writing my thoughts helps me understand and face them in my own life.

I have a personal request. Based on what you know about me, and from your own perspective, I want your critical thoughts on who I am:

If you were me, what would you change?

It can be about anything - deep or trite. Maybe my obsession with ellipses drives you personally crazy... or maybe you feel I'm arrogant or distant or needy. Maybe I'm too optimistic and don't realistically acknowledge the pain I encounter in life... or maybe I need to brighten up and find more joy in the journey.

Whatever your thoughts, please let me know.

I'm not looking for praise or adulation or thanks in this post... my head is big enough already. I just need help understanding I can improve... and I trust you enough to ask.


Mormon Guy


  1. I've read your blog for a while now, and while our journeys are very different, I appreciate that yours is yours and mine is mine.

    For a long time I thought your blog was boring; not because you're boring, but because I never felt like you were really letting people inside and because the comments people left that you allowed to be published only supported your point-of-view.

    You asked in this post who we think you are. That has always been my problem with your blog: you often don't give your readers a chance to know who you are because you often only share the positive and censor anything that challenges your own mindset. It's your blog, and you can do anything you want with it; I respect that.

    When I very first started reading your blog, I thought it so syrupy sweet and optimistic, I thought, "There's no way he can be like that all the time," but since that was the only side I ever saw of you, that's all I had to go on, and it just kind of felt false. I also felt you came off as a little too perfect (although I imagine that was not your intent).

    During the last few months, I have seen posts from you where you allow frustrations and depressions and hardship show, and that's when your blog became more interesting and real to me.

    Who do I think you are? I think you're an active Mormon who struggles with same-sex feelings, but wants to adhere to the teachings of the LDS Church. But people can get so much more out of your story if you share more of yourself - not just the good, but the bad. And I don't think it would hurt to allow a healthy dialogue that includes other points-of-view. I know you want your blog to be a positive place, but if you believe what you believe as strongly as you seem to believe it, why be threatened by allowing other opinions? You can easily shoot them down if they go against what you believe.

    It's true my path is different than yours, and it IS true that sometimes I just want to shake you and say, "Come out of the closet and find a same-sex mate; you might just be happier," but I also respect that what makes me happy may very well not make you happy. Whatever you want (and you obviously seem to want to obey the commandments that Mormonism teaches), own it, both the negative and the positive. I think you've gotten better at it, but you can share so much more of yourself.

    Anyway, you asked for it, so that's my opinion.

  2. I think you care too much about your own feelings and other people's opinion of you. That's true of everyone who blogs, practically, so that's not a huge criticism. But there's something to be said in all areas of life of just accepting one's cross and and stepping on.

  3. I am not in your specific situation, but I do feel like I constantly battle the same few feelings and struggles over and over. It feels like a constant cycle with ups and downs, so I really identify with you there. I would suggest that when the dark times come, don't obsess and assume it will stay this way. Trust that things will cycle back. Trust yourself and the strength you are gaining. Trust the Lord and don't freak out :-) Trust that there is a reason you are exactly where you are right now. The Lord knows your heart. I'm writing a song right now called "The Storm Before the Calm" about these storms that keep coming back into our lives. We can have confidence because we have faced the storm before. It will probably come back again but will always be followed by calm if we hold to the iron rod. Keep up the fight and find comfort in those small tender mercies.

  4. I think it would be beneficial to make yourself more vulnerable to your readers. While you share your concerns each post ends with you being at peace and without anger, hurt, anxiety etc. Those normal feelings never come through in your writing. Maybe it's because you've already processed them as you type your post or maybe it's because your faith is so strong that those feelings are no longer an issue for you. But if you do feel that from time to time and it would certainly make you more real to your readers. Most of us can't have a hard day or let alone an experience that rips away our identity and simply tell ourselves that everything is fine because we have the gospel- and feel at peace. Knowing that you experience times like that, where you are vulnerable and just don't know would make it easier to relate to and respect you. The ups and downs, hurt, excitement, anger, elation... They are feelings that all of us experience. And those experiences and feelings shape your personality. That's it. Your personality. It's non existent here. We don't really know "you". We know you like to serve and exercise and...? You seem so distant. It would be nice to know more about you. It would give your readers a chance to become emotionally invested and to trust what you are telling us. Anyway, I certainly appreciate all that you do give here on your blog. Keep up the awesome work.

  5. H_Nu writes:
    I've only read a couple of posts ...
    The only you should change is you should care less what the rest of us think about you...

  6. There are just a few thoughts that I've had over the past year or so of reading your blog. First off, I want to say that I really admire you, and I admire how you have stayed true to your beliefs despite some crippling challenges. That's an inspiration to me, even though our paths and struggles are totally different. You have given me insight into and compassion for those who share your struggle. I'm very grateful for that.

    I agree with Christina that it seems that you might benefit from allowing yourself to be more vulnerable to others. To your readers, sure -- in the big scheme of things I doubt that really matters -- but specifically to those you are trying to develop relationships with...even girls you date. I often get the impression that you are so focused on serving others and being the perfect friend that you don't allow yourself to show your needs or let your guard down. Of course, I don't know you personally (I don't think), so this is just my conjecture based on your writing here. But vulnerability is key to intimacy, and true, honest intimacy is more important in a relationship than physical attraction. (I loved Josh Weed's insight into this.)

    I don't know anything about what it's like to be attracted to someone of the same gender, but I do know that I have been in relationships that started without any physical attraction on my part, but started with friendship and developed into love from there. So I wonder if maybe you place too much weight on physical attraction? For whatever that's worth.

    I hope you get some insights from the responses here that help you, and that don't get you down. I often want to reach through the screen and tell you not to be so hard on yourself, to love yourself the way you try to love everyone around you. I know that is easier said than done.

    I wish you the best and look forward to reading more.

  7. I have enjoyed gaining the understanding you provide. As someone who has never had to deal with this issue, and who has encountered few who have, you have been a source of information and understanding. I think you do a great job of putting your struggles out there and showing that you can make choices and life is hard. I confess I'm not sure I agree with the other comments, I think you show plenty of vulnerability and I see you as putting your feelings, struggles and fears on your blog. I guess we all see what we want to see based on our own experiences. The only thing I might suggest is that your expectations may be a little high. And honestly, I 'm really coming up with that based on a post you did a while ago, about the kind of soul mate you hoped for. I should have commented then. I wanted to say that very few people have that kind of mind melding connection. As for me, I have a wonderful and amazing husband who (should that be whom?) I love very much. As much as I love and adore him, I will never, ever, in a million years understand him. I may not understand how he thinks in the Eternities either. We are 2 different people with different backgrounds and that's okay. He is still a marvelous husband, provider and father. Would I give that up to look for a better "connection"? No way.

    I guess I'm saying that I am not entirely sure what you are hoping for long term. What kind of relationship are you hoping or expecting to have with a woman? I know you don't see yourself faking it; you hope for a true love. I worry that you have an unrealistic expectation and think you are failing because you are gay. No, I don't think you should settle at all. I just hope you are not setting yourself up for failure.

    Thank you for your blog. thank you for sharing your struggles and for showing people like me that you can be gay and choose to live righteously. I'm okay that you don't "allow a healthy dialogue that includes other points-of-view" because it is YOUR blog and people can go lots of other places to find other points of view. Please don't change to please others. Please be you. I like you.

  8. At times, I feel like this blog is contradicting. Not fully, but just a part of me feeling like that. I think at times, you mention 'coming out' and being who you really are, but at the same time, you aren't entirely vulnerable or open either. On the other hand, I do think you accomplish the things you are trying to through the blog...which is what is most important. If you are writing for the right reasons and for YOU, good for you. You have hundreds of admirers. Keep it up.

    ♥ xoxo.
    We & Serendipity

  9. This post is already feeling more genuine and open than any other post I've read on your blog. It arouses a lot of reflection and thought and takes maturity to open yourself up to a bunch of strangers like this.

    Honestly, you remind me a lot of myself, at least back in the day when I was in your position. Quite often it feels like you're so afraid of people who are similar to you (e.g., me, the guy who made the first comment) that you react with a little bit of venom (disguised as boldness), which causes me to react with venom too. Sometimes, from my perspective, it seems like you have to tear me down (or people in my position) in order to build yourself up. E.g., "gay" people bad, "same-sex attracted" people good. The fact that you rarely (if ever) publish well-intended comments that are contrary to your paradigm seem to confirm this.

    Much of the dialogue with your readers is hyper-formal, too. It doesn't feel like a conversation; "discussion" here feels more like a book review or something. That might be a good or bad thing, I'm not sure. I guess I think you could relax a little and just shoot the breeze with your readers.

    I agree with a lot of the people who commented on vulnerability. Few gay Mormons have it all together. Correction, no one has it entirely together. You let us see your strong side, but you rarely if ever let us see the side of yourself that is more like each of us: the side that has questions and doubts. The side that cruises Craigslist, watches porn, or can't focus on the girl they're on a date with because they're secretly checking out all the guys in the room -- all of which are huge huge obstacles for gay Mormons. I think a lot of gay Mormons write you off because you don't, as far as they can tell from your blog, deal with the same things they deal with. They're probably prone to conclude that you are not made of the same material and they don't stand a chance of being like you (active, "worthy", etc) and making it work. I suspect there is a part of yourself you're holding back (which I guess is understandable because this is a public blog and you probably wouldn't want an employer stumbling across your blog, figuring out who you are, and reading about the really deep, juicy secrets). I suspect there is a part of you that has to exercise a lot of self-control to be in the position you're in with the Church, but you don't let us see that side of you.

  10. Thank you for asking for feedback, becuase I need some feedback. Two years ago my brother came out to the family. Just a few weeks ago he came out to everyone. I have to say the second coming out was harder than the first because he opened himself up to a whole lot of everything with it. As his sister, I am just struggeling with having a gay brother. I worry about him, I worry about the choices he is making. I worry about how I will have him in my life if he makes choices that I cannot agree with. So I guess my question or suggestion is, how do families of gay/SSA LDS members cope, deal with this situation? How do you support your SSA family member when they are making choices that you do not agree with? Perhaps if you have family or friends that would be willing to go comment on that, or if you could share more about how your family has helped you. I would love that. Thanks.

  11. I agree with Ryan. I am a teenager who is working through my life as a gay mormon. Honestly, as much as I'd like to, I have trouble relating to your blog. I have zero desire to be with a girl in this life, and watching you deal with dating doesn't exactly make your blog understandable to me. Open your self up a bit. I am constantly dealing with conflictions in my mind, either to live my gospel standards or do what feel incredibly innate in me. I don't see these same conflicts in you. What I read only seems to be the one side of you that is always striving to be the ideal gay mormon. And that isn't necessarily a bad thing! But it makes me feel like you don't ever deal with the dual nature that I have to deal with.

  12. First to Anonymous at 2:23
    As far as I've read, the church's stance is that if you can fall in love with a woman, great--do it. If not, don't. But don't pursue a gay relationship. Please don't. You will be so much happier if you will stay true to Gospel standards. A straight person who never gets married is expected to stay celibate their whole lives--just as a gay person would. And because marriage is between a man and a woman, if they don't fall in love with a woman (or man for a lesbian), they probably shouldn't marry. It is SO worth it to live the gospel. Msh 2:41

    To gaymormonguy--the thing that sticks out the most to me to maybe change would be in the dating area. Let me start with an example. When I moved into a new complex at college, I was 19 and these two older guys took my friend and I somewhere. I remember thinking I was in big trouble if everyone in this complex was old and balding like these two. And yet, by the end of the semester, I had a crush on both of them because I had gotten to know them and they were so incredible. They became physically attractive to me because of their personalities. It seems you often talk about the importance of physical attraction, which you don't feel towards these women--and it is important--but realize that it doesn't have to be there from the start. I hope that made sense.

    I just want to say again how much I am awed by you. I have had so many friends come out, start a gay relationship, and leave the church and it breaks my heart. I'm so grateful for the example you are that you CAN be an active, worthy, LDS member with SSA. That you don't have to act on it. Thank you.

  13. I have really enjoyed reading your blog during the past year or so. I wouldn't have you change anything, stay how you are.

  14. The really hard thing you are doing with this blog is trying to reach so many audiences. There are gay Mormons that are struggling and you want to give them hope. You want to help other Mormons gain better understanding of members who have these homosexual feelings. You also seem to want to explain to the world that there is a place in the Church for those who are same gender attracted, and you are trying to be an example of that.

    I'm sure there are some who are offended because you disrupt their world view (and possibly represent a perceived invalidation of previous choices, which is not your intent); and these upset people come from both extremes of viewpoints. I think you are justified in filtering the comments to prevent certain "discussions" from distracting from your message.

    My advice would be to remember the audiences you wish to reach and think of which of your experiences would be beneficial to them. It may be that, as requested above, a little more vulnerability could be useful. But it's also possible that it could muddle what you are trying to communicate. Keep your audience and message in mind.

    Most of all, even though it is solicited, remember that the comments here are just advice. Don't feel obligated to take any of it, including mine.

    I have such great respect for you and what you are doing with this blog. I wish you continued growth and happiness.

  15. When you talk about what you need change, you talk about change yourself or your blog? If you say yourself, I think you should kiss your dates to get more atraction. If you say your blog, I think you could put more of your challenges, not only your thoughts.

  16. Dear Mormon Guy,
    I understand that you are trying to remain anonymous on a very public blog about a very complex, sensitive, personal struggle. I personally would benefit more from reading your personal process. What books/articles have you read to help when you're down and miserable? What things do you actively avoid or pursue? My brother has come out to our family, but no one else, and I see that as very painful for him. I am trying to encourage him to come out to everyone, and be himself, authentically. I can't make that same assertion to you, because I don't know you. But reading your thoughts and struggles and inspirations helps me a great deal as I love and support my brother, and try my best to help him see he is a valuable, lovable, worthwhile human being.

  17. I agree with Matheus. I have gone to a variety of therapists and one taught me something very valuable. She talked about how our brains work, that when you think or see something it creates a sort of pathway. The more you think or feel or see that thing, the deeper the pathway is. This is all happening in a split second. That is often why its so hard to overcome self-defeating thoughts. Sometimes they are so entrenched that our brain automatically thinks that way.

    The way to change it is to aknowledge that the thought is false, and affirm the opposite. Ex: "you are so stupid" is the automatic though. I would say to myself "no, thats not true, i am intelligent" The more and more you do that, the easier it is to think positively about yourself.

    Well, I have found the same to be true for my same-sex-attraction. Well, I'm "bi-sexual" so I don't know how it applies to those with 100% same-sex-attraction. But for me, I was far more attracted to women than men. But the more I worked at creating the pathways I wanted to create in my brain...the more my attraction for men grew. I'm still attracted to women, but I honestly don't think about it too much.

    I agree with your earlier comments about how you "don't give your kisses away like Pretzels" and I know that comes from Pres. Hinckley...but at the same time, how can you build new pathways if you never try. I'm not saying to kiss anyone and everything. But maybe try to connect with people in a new way. It may not be fireworks, but fireworks burn bright and quickly fizzle out. The lasting flame starts from a small spark.

  18. I'm a Mormon, I'm gay, I'm married in temple to an exceptional woman, I have three kids, and I enjoy it. I'm also a convert who joined the church long before the marriage, but long after I realized that sexual relationship with another man wouldn't work for me.

    I've had and am still having zero attraction to women, and I've had and am still having total attraction to men.

    I am not a Utah Mormon, I'm not even a US Mormon, I am a Mormon from Europe, and that from a place where you would have a hard time finding any Mormon, let alone a gay Mormon married in temple.

    This intro is so that you understand that I know for sure what I'm talking about.

    I would argue that if you really want to get where you claim you want to be, you wold need to get out of your comfort zone BIG TIME. You seem to be heading in a right direction, but you still have waaaays to go, I reckon.

    You will probably need to fortify your boundaries by testing them heavily. <== This my advice may sound contradictory to advice given by the brethren in which they admonish the youth never to come even close to the boundaries. Well, that's nice and dandy, but if one lives a life on a margin by default (gay, Mormon, and in my case - European mission field) there is no place to hide.

    So, you would probably need to get to know more gay people and feel comfortable. You might even need to find a gay man on whom you would have a crush (and perhaps he would have on you) but would still remain faithful to your religious convictions. You might also need to realize, as Josh Weed did, that you should not play tricks with your female dates. I would argue that probably the best strategy for a gay man to steal heart of a straight woman is to play on a self-confident humble stupid embarrassing straightforwardness. I think one can learn a ton from Joshua Weed about it, and I think you haven't yet discovered that approach in you, as you think that girls should first fall in love in you as an apparently straight guy, and then they would be able to withstand the blow of the reality.

    I hope this isn't too long or too complicated.

    I might be having few more advices to give, but let's see if you would be able to withstand those given so far. :)

    And by the way, I love you, man! (In most appropriate ways, of course.)

    1. When a gay man dates a woman, does he share that he has this attraction to men? I have to wonder if women would be comfortable in knowing that their potential husband is gay but just not acting on it?

  19. OK, the first part went well, so let me add to it.

    In some ways your blog posts I sometimes find pathetic. And I do not necessarily mean it in a negative way, although to a degree I do.

    I don't mean it negatively by fully understanding that the substance of your struggle is indeed deeply emotional, so your written expression cannot be different. Yes, I do know how you feel. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

    Where I do find it negative is when I realize that, for whatever reason, you may be deeply stuck in the sentiment.

    And that may be because you don't know where or whom to turn to for help & support besides God as He does not & cannot hold you by the hand every single second of your life, literally, as yes, you need other people, as God works through other people.

    Or because deep down inside, you still hope that you will one day wake up and your same-sex attraction will suddenly go away, miraculously "ex-nihilo" or through the experience with a girl.

    Or because you simply find yourself overwhelmed with what you perceive as doctrines, policies & procedures of the church, so much so that you put infinitely more trust in them than in your own capability to find your way through, with a direct and abundant help from God.

    Or because of any other myriad of reasons that even I myself, no matter how smart [and surely I am. whatever.] cannot come up with.

    In any case, I believe that you still yet to fully "awake and arouse your faculties" (Alma 32:27) into dealing with your issue head-on. And that's, I'm afraid, the only way how to deal with it.

    When I say "head-on", I don't mean aggressively nor do I mean impatiently or rapidly or carelessly. But I do mean determinedly.

    The only determination that I see in you is determination to follow the teachings of the church. And that is perfectly okay. No, it is not just perfectly okay, it is absolutely commendable.

    However, I do not see a determination in you to deal with the issue, come what may. Instead, you think that by the determination to follow the teachings everything else will sooner or later fit into place pretty much effortlessly. And that may very well be the case, except for the fact that you are just as imperfect as anybody alse, so who guarantees you that you ACTUALLY follow the ACTUAL teachings of the church as GOD would want YOU to understand them?

    I've learned the hard way that "ALL blessings are predicated, and when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated".

    In other words, when one does not receive a blessing that he or she so desperately yearns for, one simply hasn't encountered the predication, by chance or by sufficient effort or by reason.

    So I would argue that you may even perhaps need to stop writing your blog and start actually experiencing your life.

    In closing, I wonder if you could perhaps read some of my comments (FG Mormon) under Josh Weed's blog post

    particularly the one that begins with "Dear Gemma" (a response to Gemma's comment). In it, I explain how I feel about what one can and should do with his or her same sex attraction.

    I still love you, man, exactly the way I loved you in my previous comment, or perhaps even more.

  20. I think you should come out of the closet. I keep thinking you are this single LDS guy I know. You're most likely not, but it runs through my head everytime I see him and wonder if he goes home and writes anonymous blog posts. So if you could just reveal a little more personal information.... like, I don't know... your name, photo, social security number.... that would help me not think this guy I know is secretly gay. Thanks! Keep holding the rod, bro!

    1. Um, that would only be useful if you had his SS#, too, right? Talk about an awkward conversation. "Hey. This guy just posted his SS# on his blog, and he's a gay Mormon, and I just want to know your SS# to be sure that he isn't you, or you him, or whatever."

      I'll save you the awkward conversation. I don't think we've ever met... and for all those who think they might know me, you probably don't. The things I go through in life (and write about) are specific enough that you can see into my life, but common enough that they happen to everyone.

  21. I have only started reading your blog today, and I have no stopped since. I actually wrote you an email earlier this morning with a few thoughts I had. I just read this post and followed by reading some of the comments. The first comment from Gay LDS Actor really stuck out to me. Especially when he said "Come out of the closet and find a same-sex mate; you might just be happier,". I feel like there is always going to be a constant sturggle, a cycle that goes on forever. It takes such a toll on someone to go through the same war over and over. How will you ever find your true happy ever after if you are constantly struggling with the same battle? How do you overcome this? Do you want to overcome this? Some might even say, Can't God still love you even if you do choose to live your life as a homosexual individual? You deserve to be happy in every single aspect of your life... I wish nothing more than for you to find that.

  22. Maybe even just coming out, having that sercret out in the open will change your life completely, even if you don't act on your same sex attraction. The relief of having your loved ones and those around you know might be the key to finding the happiness you are looking for. To have the security in knowing that they love you no matter what... everyone needs to know that.

  23. I think you are just absolutely incredible! I feel as if I already know you and that we have been friends my whole life. I think it is amazing that you are so strong in the gospel while dealing with the struggles you face. I have an autistic brother, a bipolar mother, and a gay uncle, so I sort of understand what you are going through. I find you to be so inspirational. Keep going strong, and always trust in the Lord. You are amazing.


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