Wednesday, February 20

Letting Myself Fall in Love

Sometimes people ask me what I do when I find myself deeply attracted to a guy. Usually the question comes from another guy with same-sex attraction who wants to know how I deal with the temptations that often follow attraction. Often I sidestep the question with the answer, "It's not really a huge issue" or "I get to know him." But even though those statements are totally honest, putting them together doesn't really catch the whole gist of the story.

The truth is that I let myself fall in love.


The scriptures tell us to love all men. Charity - the pure love of Christ for all mankind - is the ultimate virtue. And so I leverage my attractions to men to help me love them.

Attraction is an interesting thing. It blinds me to a guy's flaws and accentuates his strengths. It makes me want to get to know him as a person and to understand the things that are happening inside his mind. And those two things - an eye for the good and a powerful desire to understand him - make learning to love him... the way God loves him... much easier.

It's happened more times than I can count. Attraction hits, and I do everything I can to get to know about a guy. And as I get to know him, I see him as a son of God. His dreams become my dreams for him, and I find myself wanting him to be happy - not just happy today, but happy for the rest of his life and into eternity. 

That may seem backwards, especially from a guy who is committed to living the gospel no matter what. I'm never going to date or marry a guy. So what happens if he's attracted back to me? What happens if he falls in love with me? Doesn't that lead to a compromising situation?

It does.

But so do all the other paths.

The reality is that being homosexual, by its very nature, puts me into compromising situations. Regardless of the path I choose, my life will be fraught with temptation.

The question then is this: What safeguards can I put into place? And the answer I've found is deceptively simple: Learn to love all men. The greatest strength against temptations is love.

When I love someone, there is no way that I could ever hurt them. No way that I could ever do something that would injure them or cause them grief in the past. But there are prerequisites for that happening. For starters, I have to understand what happiness looks like. If I thought that this life ended at death, then morality would make no sense. But since I honestly believe that God gave us commandments to help us find happiness, and that following those commandments - spirit and letter of the law - will lead to the greatest results now and in eternity, everything I do for someone I love will be to help him stay on that path. I could never let myself get in the way.

That's the distinction between love and lust... and the key to how my relationships progress. Love is valuing someone's eternal happiness and being willing to do anything I can to help him to be happy. Lust is valuing my current sensuality above anything else.

Love I cultivate. Lust I smash.

And then when temptations come, they turn my stomach instead of turning me on.

So I'm attracted to this guy. I'm in love with him. Temptations come. But I love him more than just from attractions. My thoughts about him include all the things he wants to accomplish in life and the love that God has for him. I love him as a brother and a friend for eternity. That's the barrier that has worked the best for me, and the one that will keep me safe. Because even if my own morals were lacking, I would never do anything to send my brother, or a good friend, to hell.


  1. I am neither gay, nor mormon, nor a guy. But I can totally relate to this post. I am in love as well and feel much the same way about him and about the "wrongness" of it all. You have totally put my feelings into words. Gosh. Ugh. You're in my p&pt.

  2. Thank you. Your comments here and on Northern Lights have been things I've needed to hear of late. If you don't mind, I'll try your technique for loving, though it isn't going to be easy since the object of my affection often sleeps in the same room and has only passing modesty... so very distracting. I cannot say how thankful I am for your posts.

  3. Huh. That's rather clever.

    It's somewhat like the opposite of the "If you tell yourself not to think about it, you won't be able to stop thinking about it."
    You tell yourself to cultivate your love for the guys you find yourself attracted to, and in doing so keep yourself from causing either of you pain.

    I like this idea. I might try it.

  4. This _exact_ same post could have been written about dealing with attractions to the opposite sex by a heterosexual person committed to celibacy.

  5. Or a hetero person committed to finding a spouse and living the law of chastity. Or whatever. Which is crazy.

    I totally did not make that connection until about five minutes after posting, during a conversation with a friend... when I mentioned the post and different options for when I'm attracted to a guy and she said after one, "That's what I do." It was somewhat in jest, but I suddenly remembered that girls are attracted to guys, and guys to girls. That's obvious... but because it's not part of my world, it doesn't often cross the conscious level. I don't know whether to place blame on autism or being gay or my own brain, or a mix, but sometimes I'm... um... sort of clueless about other people's experiences. Hence why I only write about my own.

    1. Hey Mormon guy, I can tell you now that being gay does not have anything to do with Autism. I know because I have Autism, and I am 120% sure that I am not Gay. For me Autism, and the behavior I have in having a romantic relationship has not manifested it's self that way. Not on my part, but I believe other's have either made false judgements as to my ability of having a relationship like that, or it's because the Lord has just chosen a different path for me to live by then what I wanted. either way I think you are spot on on thinking that we all have our challenges, and temptations in life, and that we just have to make the best of our situations in life.

  6. Thank you! This is something Will and I have been talking about and that is exactly the type answer we were looking for! This is a great answer for not only those that are SSA but also in teaching our children.
    Thank you again!

  7. GMG - Mr. IDM and I have been reading some of your blog recently and are enjoying your insights and excited to read more.

    I was especially touched by this post as I believe and understand what you are saying to be so much like what Mr. IDM just wrote in his recent blog post (The Road to Repentance). He was talking about how, after he went through the repentance process (for his sins - not for his sexual attraction), he experienced a great 'Change of Heart' as he quickly began to see men as humans (not objects) and he developed a 'healthy love, compassion, and understanding' for men he saw (and was attracted to), and .....well, I'll just cut an paste a little portion of the post, rather than try to quote what he said...... (here it is - if interested) :)

    "Change of Heart
    Throughout the following days I experienced a most amazing transformation of my soul; a 'Change of Heart' that encompassed every part of my being. Although I was not 'changed' from a homosexual man to a heterosexual man (nor did I expect to be), I was surprised, and consumed with gratitude, as the 'longing' to be 'normal' had fled. And, I was freed from my heartache, anguish, guilt, and pain.

    I was 'still' attracted to men, (and I still am to this day) but the compelling longing/desire to be 'sexual' with men was diminishing, and I was seeing other men as humans, (instead of sexual objects to be used to feed my personal fantasies). I was humbled as I began to see the vulnerability in people, I saw men, (and women), as people who needed people..... in healthy ways. I was, quite quickly, evolving into a 'new' man, as my previous characteristics of self pity, and of being selfish, irritable, guarded, longing, and lacking in spirituality, faith, hope and charity were all, for the most part, just melting away.

    Consistently, my heart was being opened to be more sociable, more compassionate, and having more genuine interest in others. My soul was really experiencing faith, hope and charity as I had never experienced or imagined before.

    Repentance literally opened my eyes and cleared my head. It was an actual psychological and physical awakening. It was such an amazing gift. After almost a lifetime of misery and sin, my burdens were lifted and I was forgiven, my faith in my Savior Jesus Christ and God were immensely increased, and, I had hope that I could (and would) walk the higher road, because, although my sexual orientation had not 'changed', my 'heart' was changed, and I truly was transformed into a 'new man' through the Atonement of my Savior, Jesus Christ."

  8. Wow. I'm speechless. This is the most amazing concept that I've come across in some time. It was exactly what I've needed. This I can do! It completely makes sense and fits. In a way I'd already come to this conclusion and have been experiencing it but my own fears kept me from believing it or seeing it for what it is. Hearing you say this was the confirmation that I needed. Thank you.


    1. All: just a reminder that (G)MG is not designed to tell you what you should do in your lives. If you make connections to your own life, or find truth somewhere in something I write, that is awesome. But I just wanted to reiterate that (G)MG is not a recipe for life. The gospel is. (G)MG is just my personal application (and misapplication) of the gospel in my life.

  9. "Love I cultivate. Lust I smash."

    With how beautifully you write sometimes I forget that you are just a normal guy. This phrase reminded me of my brothers, my husband, and my friends. It's good to be reminded that your story is the journey of a normal man seeking to live a better life.

  10. Sounds like you have a great perspective. And you are right, it applies well to all people.

  11. I bet you get this question a lot but are you at all attracted to girls? I'm Mormon-granted, young in the church I'm only fifteen years old. but if you aren't attracted too girls how do you expect to follow gods commandments and marry one? being a girl i dont know if I could marry a guy withSSA. it would make me feel incompetent and awkward.

    1. I'm not attracted to girls at all right now. But there are lots of guys who are, and as far as Church counsel goes, guys with SSA should only marry a girl once they are "deeply attracted" to them - which I interpret to mean falling in love. If a guy with SSA asks you out, it's because he wants to date you. And if he asks you to marry him, he's probably in love with you. In that respect, your relationship (even the intimate parts) will probably look similar to any other marriage.


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