Sunday, May 27

Someone Who Understands

Some days I find myself wishing for someone who can understand me and everything I'm going through. Someone who has been where I am, made it through somehow, and can look at my life and give me the knowledge I need to survive.

I'm not talking just about same-sex attraction. Even though it's a part of the things I face, it's the least of my worries right now. Life itself, and all its pieces, just seems to have loomed up and threatened to swallow me whole... and I have no idea which direction to run for cover.

I think that for me, that was one of the hardest things when I initially realized I was attracted to guys. I had no role models, knew no one who had walked in my shoes... could find no one I to ask for advice on how to live the gospel while facing my own personal brand of life... and the result was that I felt utterly and completely alone. It probably didn't help that I didn't feel I could even tell anyone about the issues I faced, so no one knew, and they couldn't help even if they had the resources.

I've never found anyone who truly understands me... or anyone who seems able to understand even most of what's happening. Counselors and therapists listen kindly, then express a mixture of pity, shock, and concern when they realize what's actually happening in my mind (much of which I don't/can't share here). Priesthood leaders tell me that they're sure I can do it. Even family members look at me with blank expressions when I try to explain myself.

But I've realized two things. First, the Lord honestly and truly understands what I'm facing - all of it - and is able to be there for me every step of the way. Second, I don't need one person who understands everything about my life (I'm not sure I'll ever find one)... I just need different people who understand different pieces and can help me get through those areas of life. People who understand my concerns about work, others about dreams, others about long-term professional plans, others about dating and ssa, others about Church service, others about depression and illness... and as I find people who understand me and can help me in each of those facets, life as a whole gets better. It's not even that I ask them for advice. I'm awful at that. Just knowing that someone understands, and has been there, and has seen success, inspires me to make that story apply to me.

I guess that's one reason why I started (Gay) Mormon Guy. If I had known that there were thousands... or even one faithful member who had fought the same battle, and was winning, that would have been enough to give me hope to move forward. As it was, without a support group or anyone who knew, I'm grateful that somehow I made it this far. I was supported by God and His angels. That's proof enough for me that God is involved in my life. It makes me think of Elisha standing on the mountaintop, preparing to go to battle alone with his servant.

And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?

And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.

And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire
(2 Kings 6:15-17).

The Lord really does care about me. I've felt His hand in my life so many times when I wasn't worthy or deserving of it... and it has been enough to help me become a better man.

I'll extend the offer I've made before. I'm not by any means a perfect friend. I don't have most of the answers and can only speak from my own experience. But if you need someone who understands, contact me (my gmail address is afriendtotalk2 ). I'll listen and do what I can.


  1. In my own personal life, it seems like the Lord has placed the right person at the right time in my path. You're right--Those people may not need to understand EVERYTHING. Just a piece and that's enough.

  2. I think there is someone who understands. And you will find that someone...and appreciate it all the more for knowing what it's like to search and search and never find.

  3. That is a very sweet offer. I'm curious how old you were when you admitted to your self that you were attracted to men?

    1. It was sometime shortly after my mission... at least that's when I realized it and began actually trying to guide my life in that respect. I feel like I knew sometime before that, though... just wasn't able to communicate it to myself because I didn't see how it would fit in my life, my dreams, or the Plan of Salvation.

  4. I absolutely think you rock to put this out there. I love that you have remained true to your faith while dealing with something that often provokes people to bitterness or rebellion. You're an inspiration, and I look forward to the Millennial day when all these sorts of trials will be sorted.

  5. I've been feeling somewhat frustrated about my situation recently myself. I just keep wishing I had a person there to understand me.

    But I always realize later that the Lord is there and loves me. It is still hard to deal with the feelings of loneliness, but I know HE understands, and it helps. Thanks for the post!

  6. I think you're talking to the wrong therapists if they are giving you shock and pity. Do you feel as if therapy doesn't help?

    Anyway, I'm 100% sure there are people that understand (not just God.) You just haven't found them, or maybe they are there but you haven't let them in. In fact, as a person who has read your blog for a while I often feel an understanding, as I'm sure that many people do on here. I am not gay, but am a huge LGBT supporter, as I support gay marriage/rights/benefits completely. And I am a Mormon who often feels "different," (On a side-note, I believe you to be a much more conservative and everyday LDS member that I could ever be!) and that has made it hard to be a member. Every day I have to make the decision that I am one, and that I am an okay one, even if I'm not "perfect" or the same as everyone else. I TRY to blog (I'm really a terrible blogger with no readers)about it, and although it's not the exact same experience, it enables me to read yours with understanding. I've also been to therapy and had terribly low points and a crazy mind that I think no one can comprehend. I think that you have to believe that if the Lord really does understand you, He will give you a person on Earth to also understand you (I'm not implying it to be a wife, or even a woman, just a friend, maybe even the right therapist) because He knows that everyone needs at least one of those to survive this world. I realize that I am a faceless internet person, and it's difficult to believe that faceless internet people understand our deepest darkest places. But you might be surprised how many of us FIPs have gone through something similar to what you have. I bet there are more than you even know in your own, real-live life as well. But I don't think you feel comfortable letting people go into your deepest, darkest, scariest mind parts (you kind of allude to that fact a lot), and it's hard to feel like people understand what's going on if you're leaving bits out or not telling all of it. GMG, I completely believe that when you find that person to whom you can tell every single thought you've ever had, even the most frightening, you will feel as though someone understands you. By by telling them everything you make them empathize with your life, because they go through it with you. And that is the most freeing thing that someone can do.

    1. Cherry -

      There are few things that I don't share with others; for the most part I'm an open book. There are a handful of circumstances in my life that I do not share on this blog because they are so unique that doing so would jeopardize my anonymity. And there is one trial (same-gender attraction) that I don't share with people in real life. Other than that, everything comes out.

      The issues with therapists have nothing to do with same-sex attraction. I've never gone to a therapist for help with that... and while I've met numerous people who have overcome or currently live with same-sex attraction, I still have yet to find someone who honestly understands because of the other things I face... or to find someine that at least is able to help me feel understood, which is probably more cogent.

      There's also not really a forum where I can search for people. Going on Craigslist to try to find friends would be like trying to wash my hands in mud.

    2. ... and there are people that I've honestly told everything to - therapists, my parents, and a few others. And instead of feeling understood, I feel completely detached. Which makes me far less likely to do it again.

    3. Then you have to find the person that doesn't make you feel detached. I guess that's your goal. I assume there is someone out there. Every therapist is different. Every person, friend, family member is different. I found this wonderful therapist because I was a student. He helped me immensely, but when I graduated last year, he went somewhere else and my university won't tell me how to get in contact with him. Now I have to try to start that relationship over with someone and I'm terrified. My parent's don't understand me. My grandma thinks I'm faking my problems. My siblings act like it shouldn't be happening so they don't care. So I understand. It is extremely frustrating to go from one person to another to another who just doesn't get you. That's why I keep trying to find the right person to pay to listen and really get me hahah :) I believe there is always one, though, you just have to find the right one. It's scary to completely reveal yourself and have it be shot down, but you won't always feel detached (I hope), so keep trying! I know I do, and I'm in your boat right now. I believe in both of us.

  7. Gay Mormon Guy-
    I'm a frequent reader, but a first time commenter. But when I read this article - - you were the first person I thought of. I have always been touched by your honesty and as I have read your thoughts and your story I have been blessed with a complete change of perspective.

    For a long time I have been trying to wrap my head how it must FEEL to be gay and Mormon. The depth of that struggle to trust God and choose His plan - even when it seems counter to everything else that makes you you. I'm still trying to understand and I am grateful for people like you who are willing to open up their hearts and most personal thoughts so people like me can catch a glimpse...and change our hearts.

    So thank you.


Comment Rules:

(G)MG is how I write to you. Commenting is one way to write to me.

If you want your comment published: No swearing, graphic content, name-calling of any kind, or outbound links to anything but official Church sites.

In addition, comments must be 100% relevant, funny, uplifting, helpful, friendly... well-written, concise, and true. Disparaging comments often don't meet those standards. Comments on (G)MG are personal notes to me, not part of a comment war. You are not entitled to have your ideas hosted on my personal blog. There are a zillion places for that, and only one (G)MG.

And I'd suggest writing your comment in Word and pasting it. That way Blogger won't eat it if it's over the word limit.