Monday, October 22


I'm concerned about how my mission companions will take this.

The first part of the issue is that we're not close. With a few of them, I'll make a phone call and I'm pretty sure they'll understand. In some cases, I don't have any current contact info and haven't spoken with them since the mission. Calling them up to tell them anything - let alone discussing same-sex attraction - would be a major effort. Which means that whatever information they get is going to be largely nonspecific and probably without the ability to give lots of context.

The second is that I really, really, don't want them to look back at our relationship and see me in a different light. But I'm realizing that's somewhat out of my control. If we don't have a strong relationship right now, then maybe that's even a blessing - I don't have a lot to lose.

And at least one of my mission buddies is somewhat opposed to the world of being faithful with SSA. He came out a few years after the mission and, around the time of Proposition 8, didn't seem very happy with people who opposed the sanctification of gay marriage. That was before (Gay) Mormon Guy, but I found myself wondering what his response would be if I shared my honest views... and the experiences that brought them to life.

Interesting. Again, I begin writing with a seeming dilemma at hand, and it sorts itself out in a few minutes of text on a screen. That's pretty amazing. And I'm not as concerned anymore.


  1. Don't worry about the companions. Yes, some will look back at their time serving with you. But they will either be accepting or not. Neither of which you can control. When a dear friend and doctor that I worked for finally shared his reality, he was careful to explain to me that it didn't mean he was attracted to every single male he encountered. He educated me about that and it made acceptance another step easier. (and this was about 20 years ago)

  2. Why do you feel you must contact your mission companions? I loved my companions dearly but like you, have not had contact with most of them. I certainly don't feel like I need to share important life event announcements with them. Seems like the only people it would be important to tell are those people that are very close. Let others find out by other means or not at all... It may not be quite the same but I know there are many people with various struggles in my ward, most of which are not public knowledge. Not because the people are trying to hide it, just that they don't feel inclined to talk about their struggles with everyone they know. I don't understand why the trial of SSA should be handled any differently.

  3. I agree with the comments already shared. It's not your problem if they choose not to accept you as you are and I also don't know that you NEED to tell them in person or over the phone.

    However, allow me to maybe assuage your fears somewhat. I'm a very physical guy, lots of hugs, lots of friendly and appropriate touching, lots of telling my friends they're good-lookin' guys and girls, that sort of thing. I was so scared when I told one of my best friends, who is somewhat homophobic, because I thought he'd go back and scrutinize every time I complimented him and every time I touched him and so on, and come to the conclusion that I was something dirty. I told him and he was supportive and I was like, Okay, well, once he has a few days to think about it, then he'll be weird. A few days later at church, he beelined it as soon as he saw me and wrapped me in the biggest hug I'd ever gotten from him.

    I generally underestimate people, but I keep learning that I shouldn't. For whatever that's worth (probably about two cents).

    1. I don't know if I have a friend like that. I guess this will be a good test to see...

  4. I agree with the comment above. I don't think you need to call each mission buddy and tell them personally of your sexual orientation. You only need to tell people you're close to who you associate with today. If you're not close anymore and don't keep in touch with those people, there's no reason to call them out of the blue to discuss such a personal topic with them. Let them find out if they find out, and they can ask questions if they want. As long as your family and close friends, people you really care about, know, that's what matters.

  5. I agree with the other two posts. Why feel the need to contact them? If one of my old roommates in college struggled with SSA I wouldn't expect a call. (which I think is the case.) To be completely honest, I doubt some of them would even find out even when you do merge your worlds. I think calling them would be weird for them. If they have concerns or questions they can talk to you if they want.

  6. some of them won't be surprised. I found out a few months ago that one of my FHE brothers also has same sex attract and I wasn't surprised. He's an RM too.

  7. Mission compassions (and other people from missionary times), surprisingly, were the most open and supportive to me compared to normal life friends :) I think you'll be surprised at how much people won't be phased and how life will continue on. One thing I've learned is that sometimes I underestimate how people will respond -- I don't expect them to be cool about it -- and then my behavior influences their behavior in a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy kind of way.

  8. I was surprised at your question on my comment on the previous post about talking to or coming out to 500 or so people. That seemed like a lot of people. I thought you must be a lot more sociable than me, which is not hard :)

    Reading this post makes me realize why your number might be 500. Unless you are close to that many people, I'm not sure that it is necessary to talk with that large of number. I am now out to around 300 people, but over 200 of those contacts are through Facebook. Fewer than ten of those 200+ have contacted me for more discussion.

    Anyway, I still send my best wishes. Coming out is liberating, but it creates its own new set of challenges.

  9. I have read your blog on and off for over a year. I really love your dedication to the gospel and how you strive to do what is right. But occasionally I have gotten the sense that you truly think you live the gospel better than others.
    In response to your previous post, please don't think that the rest of us are so weak, that so many you associate with are so weak. That they would be so crushed, that their testimonies would be affected, to me, seems so incredibly you truly believe that people are basing their testimonies on your righteousness? If that is true, they are some sad pathetic people.

    Have more confidence in others testimonies. You are not the only one who understands the frailties of man. You may be amazing and strong and good, but you are not Christ. He is the only One that we can rely on and if your associates have that sort of twisted faith in you, they will eventually fall anyway, because you are not perfect. I know you have never claimed to be, but your attitude implies that no one measures up to you and all those you may tell will be so crushed and devastated.

    I think you will be surprised at how well others take it, but stop being so self centered, if you felt prompted to do it. "Do what is right let the consequence follow".
    Good Luck to you. :)

    1. Anonymous: Thanks for being willing to share this.

      I didn't intend to imply that people's testimonies are wholly based on my righteousness. I agree that viewpoint would be condescending. I did mean to say that people are interdependent, and I know that at least my testimony is often influenced, if even only temporarily, by what I see in the world. I also know that I've seen plenty of families who question the Church because of something that happened to someone they knew - real or imagined - and plenty who have left over same-sex attraction.

      I definitely don't think that I live the gospel any better than others... and especially not my family. I'm sorry for whatever I've written that has generated that thought. I do realize though that living with a trial can give you a different perspective when compared to living without. For example, when I told my parents about my attractions, they had absolutely no prior experience, and had to start from the ground up - as far as understanding more subtle doctrinal applications to my situation. There are people in my life who may already understand the issues at stake; others may not and may need time to process - as has already happened in multiple scenarios when I've told people.

      I'm not concerned that people will lose their testimonies over my situation - I just want to ensure that I communicate clearly and with context... and do whatever I can to make that happen.


  10. I think you should reconnect with your prior companions. because if you were a good example in the Mission Field Back then. Now they Can say I know someone With SGA and he was a great companion

    1. Good point, Kenny. (G)MG, You'll be acting as an assertive missionary of sorts yourself, spreading the truth about the fact that people who deal with same-sex attraction and who are trying to live noble lives exist within the Church. That simple fact is more than what a lot of people know or believe about homosexuality and homosexuals (far from the naive "all homosexuals live in San Fransisco and wear women's clothes" viewpoint).

      However, calling people you're not already in regular contact with (be they former mission companions or not) may not be ideal; it may come across as if you're trying to test their original allegiance. If you call, call to see how they're doing, to catch up, then bring up your sexuality if it feels natural, or say something like, "Oh, you should check out my blog." Then proceed to tell them what its focus is.

      If you want to avoid any "weirded out" responses/backlashes in person, why not do it the easy way, and do it on Facebook, or even on Youtube? Plenty of coming-out stories on there. If you want feedback responses to a video, post a link to it on your Facebook wall/timeline, and let the world (or your Facebook friends only) comment there in response to the video. Or just refer everyone to your blog on Facebook :)


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