29 January 2016


I want to say that I was wrong.

That they aren't related. Some people have been posting about the recent uptick (again) in gay LDS suicides, but also saying in the same breath that we shouldn't be pointing the finger at the Mormon policy because it exacerbates the problem.

That boggles my mind. If we can't attach the results to the cause, then where can we get? I want to make some pithy reference analogy, but am at a loss just now so I won't try and fail.

I think they are related. I think we need to talk about it. I think we need to continue mourning because kids are dying.

And I think most of all, we need to keep fighting. To be heard, to be valued, and to create safer spaces for the kids following those of us who used to be where they are now.

We walked that road, we survived, what are we doing to reach back and light the way to those behind? To offer the helping hand? I'm guilty of not doing enough. I don't shy from that notion.

We can all do more. Numbers are telling a story and it's not the best one to make real change.
"I am here — I have lived — because they chose to love me. They loved me in their silence, in their willingness to suffer with me and alongside me. They loved me in their desire to be as uncomfortable, as destroyed, as I was, if only for a week, an hour, even just a few minutes. Most people have no idea how utterly powerful this is."

05 November 2015


I have been slowly working my way back. Spending time with missionaries. Going to Church.

Really valuing what I had lost. I thought it was working. I thought it was okay. I thought there was only good and hope and happiness coming.

Wow, was I wrong. Wow, wow, wow.

I feel like I've just had the ladder kicked out from under me and I'm falling from a 10-story building.

The Church has come out and basically said same-sex marriage is now "an infection that must be cut from the body at all costs."

They have come out in an entirely mean-spirited way, thrown the gauntlet down, and loaded the guns kids will use to end their lives. HOW MANY WILL KILL THEMSELVES OVER THIS? HOW MANY? Why are we condemning people to death like this? Why are we shutting door after door after door? God is love, Christ accepted all, and yet the LDS Church is one of doors, and not just doors, but doors with guards and restrictions and I just don't see a way forward here.

I am heartbroken. I want to curl up and cry. I don't understand. I absolutely don't. Why? I find myself without tears to cry anymore.

I have tried and they have responded. Gays are not welcome. I am now an apostate. Continuing at church WILL lead to my excommunication. I just don't understand.

I simply weep. I weep because I have no understanding or explanation for what is being preached. The Church is continuing to arm friends and family and people I care about with weapons to attack me, and I have no defense beyond love. This is a destructive act and no good can come of it.


27 August 2015

Inviting Variance

When I came out, my world fell apart. Somewhat literally, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Like a shattered mirror, the shards of what I had crashed to the ground.

And for years I've left them there. I struggled, I fought, I tried to find a place where I could have that mirror again. And then, it was too much. I did not have the energy or strength or resolve to pick up each shard one by one, re-examine them, find where they'd fit again, and put the mirror back together. It'd never be unbroken again anyway. It would always just be shards taped back together. Eventually, I had to abandon it and walk away because it was going to literally kill me. I was so conflicted and unhappy and I think some of the struggle is articulated in my archives.

When I left, the last thing on my mind was that I would return. I was done. Chapter over. Door closed. Seal the box, set fire to the books, don't ever look back.

My loss has been SO GREAT. I don't know that I'll ever be able to depict accurately so that someone who hasn't walked where I've walked, or felt what I've felt, will understand. I lost everything. It hurt then. It hurts now. Ten years later, and that pain is still there. It's like a giant chasm in the middle of my world. An ugly scarred piece of Earth that will never be repaired.

Any time I look at Mormonism, that is there. When I interact with cousins or friends who are still active, it's there. When I see mission buddies I've unfriended on facebook interacting with one another, continuing the brotherhood we had in the mission field so long ago, it's there. When I see pictures of the temple, or people sharing talks, or reviewing conference, it's there. Even more, I am haunted by the shattered hopes of my parents, of their continued desire even after almost a decade of knowing me as a gay person, that I will somehow magically love a woman and marry her. Ow. The things I was scared would happen when I first came out, did. Everything burned to the ground, people turned their backs, and I also turned mine. People tried and failed to understand and so I chucked them out with the used belief water. But I remember. I still mourn. I have not moved on. I still think of all my converts I've cut out. The people from my mission who are so important to me, even if I can't show them that. The friends from college. The mission buddies. How many bridges I burned because the cognitive dissonance within myself was barely containable. And whenever my pain flared and I was reminded of my loss in a way I wasn't prepared for, it was too much. I severed so many connections and friendships and lives out of a wounded sense of self-preservation. At that time I didn't know what else to do. I've been hurt, I've been ravaged, I've been angry. That hasn't stopped.

Many leave and move on. I guess I'm just not one of them. Back in June I cried for the Church's response to the Supreme Court ruling. I wasn't sad when E. Packer died. I wasn't. People get mad, they get angry, they get disillusioned, they fight the church, they do close the doors and set fire to the whole house. I just don't have it in me, I guess. If I knew how, I think I would've already quit the Church. Forever.

Around Christmas last year, when I was alone by myself in this foreign country, unable to afford a ticket home to see my family, I looked at some of my loss. I missed my community. I missed living in an apartment complex at BYU where you knew everyone in every apartment, whether or not your were friends and interacted often. Here I don't even know the people next door, let alone above or below. I missed having people who believed some of the stuff I still do too, though that's its own muddled mess. I reached out to an exchange student I knew was Mormon and I took her in. I went with her to a Mormon Messages night some Senior Missionaries held for YSA, recent converts, and investigators. I struggled. I grappled. Could I re-enter these spaces?

Most of the time it doesn't even seem worth it. Why bother? I tell myself. Every step you take back toward that place that injured you is a step closer to Church Discipline and just being kicked right back out the door. Why continue trying to create a space in a place that just doesn't want you?

I felt comfortable at Mormon Messages, though I was still pained whenever marriage entered the discussion or something was offered that reflected ignorance or misunderstanding. I never intended to take it beyond that. But some of the investigators found value in my experiences, they felt heartened, they felt the spirit. So did I. But how would I navigate further?

In my wrestles, I came across this devotional by JGW of Young Stranger. I followed his blog a bit back in my stronger days of blogging, but not diligently. This devotional struck me. Like a spear straight to my heart. I was stunned by its impact. I have a boyfriend. We're happy. Happier than I've ever been, if I'm honest. And then this comes along like a wrecking ball. And I felt EXACTLY like JGW. Why now? Why does this have to happen NOW? The timing is so completely inconvenient. And what am I meant to do? Break up with him? I...*slow, breath out with puffed cheeks*... This is really hard.

I feel upended. Just when some surety was making its way into my life, upheaval. Again. Is my pendulum really swinging back the other way so quickly? I worry about the caution given in James 1:6-8 "But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." I feel tossed, I feel double-minded. I have this cognitive dissonance and I'm not sure how to resolve it. But I'm driven to as INSIDE documented here and here.

Setting everything else aside, including the myriad questions threatening to push back in and unbalance me, I resolved to do as JGW did. "The Lord gave me an invitation, and that was all. No explanations, no detailed roadmap. Just an invitation. [...] All the Lord had invited me to do was to come back to Church. He was asking no grand gestures of me other than simply to come. He did not say, 'Leave your partner and come.' He said just come." So I started going back to Church.

And with that came the variances, the dissonances, the wondering how to make this all work together again. Except this time I'm coming at it from the other side. I'm already pretty much out. Before I was trying with everything I was worth to stay in. Now I'm not. I'm seeing if there's a way to create a space for me from a post-orthodox faith worldview. I don't hate myself anymore. I don't think I'm twisted and wrong anymore. I know what love is. I know what happy is. I'm not going to abandon those things. I don't know the way forward. Again. I'm in the dark, taking one step at a time. But this time I'm not worried about it. I'm not freaking out about every single bit of that darkness, wondering and wondering and stressing.

It will work, or it won't. I'm going at my pace, on my terms.

I've started having the missionaries over, which has reminded me of my own mission. I've walked again the pages of my journal, and the pain of the loss IS there, but so is the fire. The fire of the gospel and everything it's meant - and means - to me. On their first visit they went into "teaching mode" and started trying to draw out feelings from me. "What was it like setting foot inside a chapel again? How did that make you feel?"

My hand went up. "Stop, Elder. We're not going there. This isn't about dredging up old feelings that have been buried. About reminding me of the way that I felt, and forgot. It's not like that." I don't know that I've ever really abandoned my testimony. I don't know that I ever stopped believing. In some things. Like I said, the shattered shards are still lying there in a pile without being sifted, analyzed, and placed back.

I can feel fire in myself to help others and share Jesus' love, but there are fine lines, and one step on the wrong side of those lines and you're mired in my doubts and hesitations and inconsistencies and all my reservations with sharing the gospel to others, the reasons I broke with the Church in the first place... they come back.

I realize I am choosing to live in precariousness. In fragility. In the midst of something that shouldn't, often doesn't, work. I realize this. I accept the invitation.

Every time I seem to start to waver and backpedal from my invitation, JGW is there and has walked this path. He has gone before me and shown the way. He may not be popular with everyone, but each path is different, and that I remember. That I account for. But for me, JGW and I seem to walking the same path.
--I can't take the sacrament or use priesthood. It's like attending an institution where my returning means they chop off my hands. So why go? Because I can participate without partaking. I have my own offerings.

--"People have been brutalized by the Church. You can say, 'Well that was just some people. They weren't really living the Gospel.' And that may well be true. But there's also a core challenge that relates to Church doctrine and policies and procedures and mores. To experience excommunication because you have chosen to pursue something as core to human happiness as love and intimate human connection is brutal, no matter how kind a face you try to put on it."

--"I can say that embracing my faith as a Latter-day Saint and choosing to be active in a Church where I remain excommunicated is the opposite of masochism or self-denigration. For me it is a profound affirmation of my humanity. It is an insistence that I am a child of God and I belong in his kingdom."

--"For the LGBT person -- despite all the obstacles and adversity they may face -- to be active in the Church is to redeem the Church from homophobia and transphobia. It is to insist that those things are not what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is about."

So I'm here. I'm going again. I'm hanging out with the Elders again. I'm trying to follow the example JGW has set for me, and Christ before him. I am remembering to love. I am remembering the people I have lost. I am continuing to mourn. I am continuing to wrestle the dissonances presenting themselves as obstacles in my life. I am continuing to find ways to be uplifted and inspired. I am continuing to dialogue with my parents (very slowly, that's a topic for another post though). I am trying to find a way to be faithful, without compromising my happiness. I left for almost 5 years to find health and happiness, and now that I have them, I'm trying to find a way back without losing all of that. Some would argue it's not possible; that I'm completely deceived; that the happiness I have isn't real, it's just wickedness... I've heard it all and I don't care. I will not be moved. I am trying, and that's more important than not.

"A Saint is someone who repents one more time than they sin." - Stephen E. Robinson

There is much more to do still. Many do not know I'm gay in my ward. I haven't told anyone about my boyfriend. I have yet to meet the Bishop. I don't know how the ward will accept me as they get to know me better. I don't know if I'll ever find a way to feel love and understanding from my parents. The unknowns beckon me, but the biggest difference is: I'm not afraid of them anymore.

04 August 2015


Sometimes you think life will always be the same.
Sometimes you think you'll always be alone.
Sometimes even talking to people seems like a waste, because it's never going to go anywhere.
Sometimes it does, and you chase someone for a bit, and then you just get crushed. Or you crush them.
Sometimes it seems like you shouldn't even bother.
Sometimes it seems like you should.
Sometimes you're scared to try.
Sometimes someone unexpected happens.
Sometimes you think you're ready for a relationship, and then find out you're not.
Sometimes commitment is too big of a word.
Sometimes you wonder if there isn't something better out there. Are you settling?


Sometimes you decide to take a chance.
Sometimes you abandon reason and you just... jump.
Sometimes you decide it's high time you give all of you to someone else. Stop running. Stop waiting. Just go.
Sometimes that works out brilliantly.

And then sometimes you get to know feelings you haven't before. Contentment. Peace. Happiness. Actual, real, happiness that makes you cry to the point that he asks if something is wrong and you just shake your head, so he asks again, and then you confess that you're just so happy and you've never had that before and you're so, so grateful to him for giving you this, all without even trying to give it you.
Sometimes it's just born. And you hold on it so tight you hope you'll never let go.

I got him a rose for our anniversary and he wrote on his Instagram about it.
“It’s a rare man that understands the value of a perfect rose.” - Mary Alice Young, Desperate Housewives.

I may have found that rare man.

#rose #roses #love #relationships
That's me.
Sometimes happiness IS all you need.
Sometimes it's not just a dream, but happens to YOU.

20 July 2015

They don't.

*mic drop*

30 June 2015


I tried for years to make myself a place in the Mormon church after I came out. And I failed. And so I gave up.

It was either that or take my life.

It's crazy to me how far away I can claim to be from all this now and yet how absolutely debilitating it still is for me. I watched this clip today and just bawled. It still hurts so much. I just collapse and can't breathe and I cry. And there's no one here to hold me. No one.

Even after severing all ties, closing all doors, and walking as far away as I could get, it STILL hurts me. I wish there were a way to abandon it completely. I wish.

The new letter meant to be read from the pulpit, reminiscent of Proposition 8, on either July 5th or July 12th in response to the Supreme Court Ruling for Marriage Equality takes me back to my pain and suffering. Takes me back to sitting in Sacrament in California in 2008. Takes me back to talks given at Conference that made me wish for a gun.

I don't know what else to do to help. To make people listen. To stop the pain and hurt.

So I'll just cry instead and hope that helps somehow.

24 March 2015


Sorry for returning and then immediately disappearing again. I've not yet had the chance to respond to my parents in the way that I desire to continue our conversation. They have inquired and I've told them I will get back to them. I've had a number of conversations that have been helpful, but I feel that I want to take the time to respond in depth, carefully and very measured(ly?) to what they've shared. And right now I just don't have the time. The semester is ending and I have giant research worth 100% of my grade counting for multiple classes (tell me that wouldn't stress you out) as well as tournament season for disc has ramped up.

So I've literally had to just press pause, put my head down, pretend like this isn't boiling and just wait until next month when I can come up for air again. Sorry. I'll be back. Promise.

24 February 2015


I've been looking for this song for a few months. I honestly couldn't remember who it was by, or what it was called, or where I'd even heard it. I just remembered there was something about blood and something about on his head - a crown or thorns. I'd tried google searches to no avail, but for some reason this morning as I was working on a paper I didn't really want to be writing, staying up all night to meet my deadline, I found it.

Because I am.


Sometimes I think about
The way things used to be
Had it all figured out
When I was two or three.

But then I made some mistakes that I' regret
Let some things in my mind I wish I could forget
But I don't think I can erase these memories
That's why I'm down here on my knees.

Oh lord my God
When I in awesome wonder about the man on that cross
And all the pain I put him through
And everything that I still do.
Which drop of blood did I make him shed?
Did I put the thorns onto his head?
I try to do what the Savior said,
But I slip all the time on the path he led

I'm wondering
If you're listening to me
Just wondering
Who I'm supposed to be
I'm just wondering
If there's more to life than what I see
I'm wondering
Just wondering (wonder)

And just when I think these prayers are in vain
I feel a power in my heart that relieves my pain
So please let these words get past your brain
Stop wondering, stop wondering

Cuz I know that our fathers love is real
Open your heart and let it feel
Cuz I've never felt this love before
And I'm not wondering anymore (Just wondering)

Oh, I'm not wondering
I'm not wondering
Wondering anymore
Wondering, wondering anymore
Wondering, wondering anymore
Not wondering anymore

More soon.

23 February 2015

Square One

It looks like I'm not going to be able to sleep until I get this out. So here goes.

Hi, it's me again. Been a while. Having a bit of a problem just now and thought I'd see what help/advice I could get.

Basically, in summary, I've been out for about NINE years. Crazy it's been that long. And I've been out almost the same amount of time to my parents. It started rocky and they struggled, and I struggled, and we had fights, and tears were shed, but then we started making progress. I was able to share my experiences, including some that happened on my mission, that helped them start to understand me a bit better. We took baby steps. I sent them talks. I sent them thoughts, scriptures, things people had blogged that resonated with me. Eventually we got to No More Goodbyes level. Progress was slow, but it was there. We even got to Prayers for Bobby. My dad seemed to have come around more than my mom and I continued being open with him. I even shared some of my difficulties with dating, struggling to find a boyfriend, etc. All received positively. I even went so far as to bring a guy home so that they could see what me being in a relationship looked like. I *thought* we had achieved a relatively solid place of understanding and agreement.

When I asked my dad if there would ever be room for me and my partner at their table, I was told (with a few conditions/strings) yes. I have been so proud of our relationship and honesty over the past few years, I thought I didn't have any complaints. I've been re-evaluating some things in my life and re-addressing my faith paradigm and post-orthdoxy Mormon spaces and have been engaging with them in dialogue about it, all to the positive as well.

But then this weekend I was sharing some of my recent findings with the memoirs I've been exploring, like John Addington Symonds. I brought Oscar Wilde up as well as I just finished his biography. I was making a comment about my previous engagement/relationship with OtR and how glad I was that I had made the choice to NOT marry her, because it saved us so much pain and grief in the long-run. These marriages, and other MOMs I'd mentioned to them in the years when I was a more active blogger; well, the majority of them didn't end well. They asserted that the ones that worked we probably didn't hear about because they worked. I wasn't ready to disagree completely there, but then my dad basically confessed he still harbors a hope that I will "find a lovely girl to love and settle down with and make a life."

Knife to my heart.

Are you kidding? He really just said that? My mom also noted that in her mind that was the only way "I'd ever be able to have the type of family I was looking for." To which I shot back with the countless committed gay couples I know who are currently raising children. I then tried to clarify my point with them about my non-attraction to OtR. I gave examples of seeing how much she cared about me and loved me and not being able to reciprocate that, and how much it pained me. My mom then came at with the assertion that why couldn't marriage be more about the "best friend" part; that was her favorite part: having that someone to be around and make memories with and be there to support you and spend time with you. I wanted to assert a reply about marriages failing if thy don't have a sexual aspect, but didn't really know how to phrase that.

It got worse though.

As I went further into my "inability to perform" when it came and me and OtR and the physical, I told them the story of being actually, actively physically repulsed by her lady parts. Like wanting to throw up repulsed. Hi, Kinsey? Yeah, I'm definitely a 9. We need to amend your scale. Thanks. That's neither here nor there though. My mom's response to that was literally: "I guess that's why you're meant to do it with the lights off." Egads. I really want to believe she was being flippant about that comment. I do wonder though what I'm inadvertently exposing about my own parent's marriage by having these conversations.

That wasn't the worst of it though. My mom added later on in the conversation that, just for my information, when I made them watch Prayers for Bobby that the two boys kissing--" (I showed them the edited version I had from Dichotomy even) "--well that made ME sick to MY stomach. Literally."


I've been left completely reeling. I feel like the entire foundation of our 9-year relationship working toward understanding and common ground has just been pulled out from under me. Do they really misunderstand me and who I am that fundamentally? I feel like I've spent the last nine years with them thinking that I love mathematics and want to become an accountant while the whole time I've been telling them that I'm a writer in actuality. Like that's how far off the mark I feel we are now.

Has anyone else run into this? I feel like I have to start over with them now and re-establish in their heads the entire --everything-- we've already been through. You're repulsed by me kissing someone. You think I'm still going to marry a girl. I feel like I've just been invalidated in my entirety. Nothing I've said to you in the last NINE YEARS has made it into your brains!?

I'd really like to regroup and let them know how I feel but I'm at a loss how to respond (I think I may still be in shock as to what's happened) to the things they said to me. Has anyone had something similar happen? Any advice/angles that you found helpful in getting your parents to better understand you? I'm definitely looking for input on this one.


08 September 2013

He's Not Good Enough For You

I can't stop listening to this. And crying.

And living every word.