18 November 2008


KUER's most recent radio show with Dan Fabrizio is out.

I listened to the whole thing. Why?

Because I was approached Elaine Clark, the Senior Producer of the show, to be interviewed for this segment. Apparently, one of my old professors name-dropped me to her, but gave her the wrong email. Then Elaine went to CLP, who had my right address, and we got in touch.

Most of the people on this bit were pretty high up, pretty important, pretty posh. So that's probably why I didn't make the cut. Elaine mentioned that she might not need me, if some of the other people came through. I'm glad to have been thought of though, and deemed important enough to have email correspondence with the Producer.

It, however, reopened the can of worms and pain I'm trying to close. My grandparents live in Logan, and I have countless friends and family in both SLC and Provo who do not know about me. And quite frankly, I know some of them would not understand if they did, which is why I have not told them.

This "opportunity" resurfaced my struggles from when we assisted in amending BYU's Honor Code back in 2007. I was in the thick of that one, and repeatedly got calls for interviews for everything from the Tribune to Sunstone. They even ran a blurb in TIME. Back then, I was still a student at BYU, and so there was still much more "closet" surrounding me, which resulted in most of the interview opportunities being refused to protect my anonymity. However, I am mentioned in "general" in many of the news articles (one of three who participated in discussions and the walk, yeah, me) surrounding the time, and talked with tons of reporters.

I think, overall, it's better that Elaine never called me like she said she would to pursue using me for this interview. I don't think I could have been anywhere near as emotionally composed as the people in this radio show were. Prop 8 hits home, and it hits deep. And I hate everything about it. Although, I think I would have done a much fairer job in fielding some of the questions presented in what seemed to me to be more of a one-sided conversation than anything else... but what can you do? It's conservative Utah :P

Oh, that and the fact that in her email to me she was told that I apparently supported Prop 8 and that's the angle she was really interested in. Well, I was. For like, a day? Yeah. But then there was more to the story, and I ended up nowhere. And wanting a gun.

I'm sick of all of this, and wish Prop 8, and hate, and bigots, and close-minded people, and riots, and violence, and fighting would all just go away. And that I could patch up the holes and wounds and lost friends and estranged family and broken pieces of my heart and just... stop... hurting.

Damn this almost-interview for just digging all of that back up again...


Saw this quote today on my friend's aol icon:
"It's funny how someone can break your heart and you still love them with all the little pieces."
I couldn't find who said it, but rumor has it that it's from Twilight, in which case I'm going to be absolutely sick. Because I hate that book. And that crappy woman who can't write who authored them. Don't even get me started.

Anyway, that quote is how I feel about the church.

Why? Why can't I just fucking walk away?

Because of people. People like Young Stranger. And -L-.

I love them with every ounce of hate I feel.

I cannot give up.

13 November 2008

Breaking Point...

I just don't know how to do it anymore... how to stay IN.

How can I continue in this church? I'm beginning to understand more and more why others cut their losses and redefine their concept of happiness. It's coming to that more and more every day for me...

My former friends are being cut one by one. Over and over. They send me emails without thinking, that are like pouring vinegar and salt on my open wounds and I choke with pain, tell them to f*ck off, and thus ends our friendship. Or as mentioned before, they try and defend something they haven't even bothered to study or learn about...

And then this. An email my aunt sent this morning. She doesn't know about me, so I can't be super angry about it, but really...it just makes me dig deeper into myself to try and find the broken pieces and the parts that are dead. Am I past feeling?
"From: Ben Hansen Subject: L.A. Temple

"As additional information for those who missed the news, Mormons have been targeted by the gay community in California as having been the main impetus behind the passing of Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage in the state. Although the population of the state voted on the passing of the constitutional amendment, I will proudly agree that most of footwork was carried out by us. It's funny that our opposition knows where the credit is due, but that's another topic for another day. In light of the gay community's frustration in the passing of the proposition, our temple came under attack. I was at the Los Angeles Temple assisting in the security efforts and it was quite an experience. Our temple is safe and no damage was done on the grounds. It was a sight I never expected to see. At one point we had let in about 20 police vehicles through the gates because they were afraid their vehicles would be damaged as civilian cars were being vandalized. I removed the Utah plates from my truck just so I could drive through the mess and park blocks away. My roommate and I traveled on foot after we had changed out of our dress shirts and ties so as not to be targeted.

"Two full squads of LAPD in riot gear set up their base inside the temple grounds while SWAT vehicles and hundreds of officers followed the crowds run up Santa Monica and Wilshire Boulevards. I've heard that the crowd was estimated to be over 2,500. When I arrived, all of the gates were shut and a small group of members had to remain outside the grounds as the direction was to turn away others who had come to assist. After about a half an hour two sister missionaries ran up the drive to the East gate. I would have made more jokes with them, asking them trivia questions to prove they were LDS before opening the gate, but they were obviously nervous and had left on their name tags as they wandered the streets. When the crowd turned back towards the temple from West Hollywood, we opened the gate to those members still outside so they would not be trapped in the crowd. The officers inside the temple grounds made a line on the front lawn by the fence. At one point, with 7 news and police helicopters overhead, the crowd began to climb the fence and it looked like there was going to be a lot of trouble. We had it seemed a good forth of a Polynesian ward there so it could have gotten very interesting very fast.

"With lines of motorcycle cops with sirens wailing up and down the street with the latest outbreak, helicopters continually circling with spotlights cutting through the sky, and the crowd roaring being led my megaphones shouting every synonym they could think of that went along with "evil"...it almost seemed like the very end was at hand. My dad called me every few minutes to give me updates from live news through the Internet because we did not have TVs and the police did not even seem to be informed on the movement of the crowd up and down the streets. I relayed these updates directly to the head of temple security so we could anticipate when to be ready. My friend and I joked about what would happen if we were caught in the middle of the crowd rushing up the lawn. We decided that because we were still single without much luck in finding wives, it might be to our advantage to go without a fight and die as a martyrs. If I remember correctly, that's a free ticket to the Celestial kingdom and I'm sure there's plenty of girls there to chose from without the dramas of dating.

"While I was there, I was not aware of anyone actually breaching the fence, but we were asked to move far across the parking lot as they were anticipating the need to shoot tear gas canisters. I never thought I would see the day when police officers would sit perched on the spire of our temple as lookouts. All of this happened at about 7:30 pm. It should be remembered that most likely many of the law enforcement were not in favor of our stance on Proposition 8, but nevertheless, the men and women were there doing their duty and protecting our property. For that we are grateful. And yes, there was an incident with some of our members who had gone to remove the protest signs from the front fence. One of the protesters did initiate physical contact with one of our sisters so the details are uncertain as to whether the response was fully justified. The lesson to be learned is that it's important to anticipate and avoid such confrontational situations. Remember the world is watching our reaction and the media is everywhere. In the end, when we keep our cool, the video footage speaks the truth regarding which side is really intolerant and appears hateful when we simply do not respond or do so in a loving and controlled manner.

"In all the commotion, I had the chance to sit alone by the side of one of the fountains and take in all that was happening. It may seem strange to say, but despite the adrenaline rushing in my blood ready for the next incident or next bit of news from my dad; I felt a tremendous peace. It came over me in a wave as I looked up at the spire topped with Angel Moroni. I can testify that I felt the presence of others protecting the temple tonight..those we could not physically see. I would even go as far to say that I felt the presence of someone personally related to me who was there for my safety. We were not alone. We were protected and our Father in Heaven is mindful of our efforts and willingness to withstand persecution. As I later read a quote from Brigham Young, it made more sense why this did not have to be a fearful experience- exciting yes, in a urgency sense, but very clarifying as we were able to glimpse into things as the really are, truth as is really exists, the adversary's war as it really is raging. I wish everyone of you reading this could have been there just to be reminded as I was how real this war is. The great sadness is that so many of our brothers and sisters are unknowing participants, manipulated and deceived by the grand scheme of it all. The issues may be presented as complex, but the adversary's agenda was as clear as day. Be prepared friends and family, it's bound to get much worse before it gets better, but take council from a prophet:

"'You that have not passed thro’ the trials and persecutions, and drivings with this people from the beginning, but have only read them, or heard some of them related, may think how awful they were to endure, and wonder that the saints survived them at all.—The thought of it makes your heart sink within you, your brain reel, and your body tremble, and you are ready to exclaim, "I could not have endured it." I have been in the heat of it, and never felt better in all my life; I never felt the peace and power of the Almighty more copiously poured upon me than in the keenest part of our trials. They appeared nothing to me.' ( Deseret News Weekly, 24 Aug. 1854, 83). (L. Aldin Porter, ‘"But We Heeded Them Not",’ Ensign, Aug 1998, 6) -Brigham Young

They are doing it.

They are using this as the fuel for their self-righteous fires of indignation. We are being persecuted by the evil ones. We are standing strong against Satan and his forces.

Well, I'm vomiting all over my floor right now, and it's mixed with my tears. And maybe soon, my blood.

This ripping, this tearing, no one can endure it...I must choose a side, but when I did that, I came back to the middle.
"I wish everyone of you reading this could have been there just to be reminded as I was how real this war is."
This is war, remember? Us vs. them. There's no love, no reconciliation, no way to continue without lying and being false. I DON'T SEE HOW.

When I read this, I didn't have any spiritual experience. I didn't feel warm and fuzzy about the souls from the other side protecting the temple from the evil vermin that I know I am.

I felt sick to my stomach. As usual.

I haven't cried this hard for this long in more than a year. Why? Why does the pain and hatred continue? I want to to just be...


09 November 2008

"A Little's Enough"

Two days ago I recieved an email from the "No on 8" people that I did not want to hear, and still don't know how I feel about it. They will continue to fight, as we have seen with the recent protests and marches.

However, the end of this particular mail said: 
"We achieve nothing if we isolate the people who did not stand with us in this fight. We only further divide our state if we attempt to blame people of faith, African American voters, rural communities and others for this loss. We know people of all faiths, races and backgrounds stand with us in our fight to end discrimination, and will continue to do so. Now more than ever it is critical that we work together and respect our differences that make us a diverse and unique society. Only with that understanding will we achieve justice and equality for all."
Why? Why do we have to have hope like this? Why do we need to be nice and understanding? Why can't we get out our guns, continue to abandon the principles we hold dear of true christianity and just hate, hate, hate? Why are we being nice about this? Why are we better than our hate? Why do I have to keep being strong? Why can't I just give up already?

Sometimes I hate having an unbreakable spirit. 

But under my surface rage, kicking out at friends, and my bubbling hatred, I'm just...like Beck. I can't.

So here's to another whisper of hope:

"When all is said and done
Will we still feel pain inside?
Will the scars go away with night?
Try to smile for the morning light

"It's like the best dream to have
Where everything is not so bad
Every tear is so alone
Like God himself is coming home to say:

"I, I can do anything
If you want me here
I can fix anything
If you'll let me near

"Where are those secrets now
That you're too scared to tell
I whisper them all aloud
So you can hear yourself.

"Green trees were the first sign.
The deepest blue, the clearest sky
The silence came with brightest eyes
Like turning water into wine
The children ran to see
Their parents stood in disbelief
And those who knew braced for the ride
The Earth itself then came alive

"I, I can do anything
If you want me here
I can fix anything
If you'll let me near

"Where are those secrets now
That you're too scared to tell
I whisper them all aloud
So you can hear yourself.

"I'm sorry I have to say it but you look like you're sad
Your smile is gone, I noticed it bad.
The cure is if you let in just a little more love
I promise you this, a little's enough.

"I'm sorry I have to say it but you look like you're sad
Your smile is gone, I noticed it bad.
The cure is if you let in just a little more love
I promise you this, a little's enough."


"I'm sorry I have to say it but you look like you're sad
Your smile is gone, I noticed it bad.
The cure is if you let in just a little more love
I promise you this, a little's enough.

"I'm sorry I have to say it but you look like you're sad
Your smile is gone, I noticed it bad.
The cure is if you let in just a little more love
I promise you this, a little's enough.

"I'm sorry I have to say it (just a little) but you look like you're sad
Your smile is gone (just a little), I noticed it bad.
The cure is if you let in (just a little)  just a little more love
I promise you this, a little's enough.

"I'm sorry I have to say it (just a little) but you look like you're sad
Your smile is gone (just a little), I noticed it bad.
The cure is if you let in (just a little) just a little more love
I promise you this, a little's enough."

~"A Little's Enough" - Angels & Airwaves

07 November 2008

Suicide Note

Another blogger first. I give you, VIDEO.

If I were going to commit suicide (which for those of you freaking out and worried right now, is not at this time any more plausible than it has been in recent months), this would be the note I would leave my broken, battered, bloodied self:

Maintenance: Feeder Reader Note

Well this is the first post of this kind. Un-emotional, un-angsty, rather technical in nature. It appears that you cannot add my blog to your google readers, because of it's private nature. There is a remedy to this in that I can in fact create a list of emails that are sent messages everytime I blog. Theoretically, you should be able to label/forward those to your google reader so they miss your inbox... 

So I have already added Scott since he's the one who brought this up. I can email 9 more people. Just say you wish to be updated about my broken existence and it shall be so.

"Happiness is a warm gun."

I don't know where to begin. What to say. How to feel better. 

Hate and discrimination are alive and well. And I am so alone. I live in a place where no one can know me, I am forced to be just as hidden as I am on this blog. They are all too republican, and too Mormon to understand, or accept. My uncle just the other night in passing, mentioned a man he knew whose daugther was gay "but she got her life straightened out [how ironic, what verbosity!] and got back to the temple." I can say nothing here without it destroying me. The one cousin I did manage to trust enough to tell, refused (even with lengthy discussion) to believe that this was not a choice... dear Lord.

Prop 8 passed. And it feels like there is a knife in my heart that I cannot for the life of me remove. Anger burns within me, and I don't know how to make it go away. Or if I even want to...

The day before hate reared its head for inequality, a friend of mine with whom I'd had a number of thoughtful, heartfelt discussions with, emailed me. Again it was sincere, open, and honest. Why she was voting yes. 

People are just so torn. The lines of battle are so marked. How can you look at this as anything but war? And me... caught in the middle again... or am I? When I received that email, my thoughts frightened me. They still do. My first reaction was that even respectfully siding against me, I would shoot her because this is war. If it came down to it, I would take a gun and I would shoot her. 

WHO AM I? I stare at my own hands, and no longer recognize them. Thank God I am here, and not in California, for I surely would have been driven over the edge... and no longer here.

I have not felt this way since I came out. I thought hell was done. I rebuilt my world, I re-found happiness. And now it is dead all over again. Stomped to pieces by those who call themselves my friends, by those I worship with every week in the hopes of finding non-existant peace.

The day after, when I was feeling so hurt, it was compounded by otherwise "well-intentioned" people I once called "friend." Now? I just don't know.

One told me to go picket, to go snipe mormons and their brainwashed children. After I cut off that conversation, they emailed me to tell me not to give up. And included an article about people who became straight. Well F**K that. And that's exactly what I told them. Another tried to say that the church's positon was misconstrued and that the church's leaders stance was respectable members extrapolated the untrue conclusions. And another left me the message: "if you're going to say that everyone who supports Prop 8 is a bigot, then I'm a bigot. As you know there are lots of arguments for both side sof Prop 8, and both of us are probably very firm in our opinions...it's not something I'll ever avoid talking about with you, if you want to talk to me about it, but I just wanted to say thanks for the new name."

How the hell am I supposed to just continue being friends with these people? How am I supposed to act like nothing has happened? Like they did not fight to hurt me? Like something has not broken in this world that I don't know how to fix? Am I being selfish here? Am I just an asshole? Why does this world have to be like this? I just want to be done with all of it. With everyone. 

My friend who sent me the heartfelt email ironically captures my exact feelings and understanding: "Society cannot accept homosexual marriage as normal.  It will be our downfall.  Mosiah 29:26-27.  The prophets are put in place to warn us of things we cannot foresee."

Yes, this is our downfall. But not in any sort of 6 ridiculous consequences kind of way. No, this is going to be a different downfall. And far worse than anything like a little kid knowing what that in some places "men marry men."

For two days I have just watched movie after movie after movie. And after that I switched to cartoons. And when I was done blocking "friend" after friend," I went to my brother who stands by me without hesitation (and is also no longer a Mormon, which seems to be ther direction I am increasingly heading), knowing that he would listen to me. He listened to me recount how I felt, about my "friends" and he, yes, he put words to my pain: 
"It hurts because the people who are supposed to be supporting you and helping you on your journey through life have let you down."
He told me it was probably coming to the point where these "friends" get cut out of my life; I did not disagree. Then he got all senseical and told me that violence was not the answer and that I'd do no one any good behind bars, and I yelled at him for being senseical.

His final comment to me: "Time heals all things." 

This brought to my mind my favorite movie, The Power of One:
PK: "Sir, if we let them get away with this, on our own ground, it will never change."
Professor: "History disputes you."
PK: "History takes too long."
Professor: "Yes, I know it does. But it is never kind to those who try to rush it."
Peace is elusive, hate abounds, I feel evil, and my friends hate me. Or are pushed away by me, because I don't how to deal with them right now. 

Time will change this, and heal my wounds. 

But time takes too long... and if I try and rush it, I just end up hurting more. And more. And more. I'm so f**king done with hurting. 

03 November 2008

"Just because you were hurt, doesn't mean you shouldn't bleed" - Secondhand Serenade

The eve of... 

I want it all to just be done. Over. Finished. I am sick of war, sick of debate, and sick of the empty pit in my stomach that never goes away long enough for me to feel better.

What's next? Where to?

Serendipity shows me this.

Scott shows me courage unprecedented.

The other Scot documents whispers of hope.

And yet... how long must I cradle my whispers of hope against the shadows of screaming hate which threatens to blot out everything else?

Is this the edge of the cliff? Where I fall? Say goodbye to my family? The church? Everything I've ever loved and held dear?

Where and how do I find the succor of solace?

I have been sort of on hiatus. I visited my Bro in Seattle. I've read 4 novels. Watched 5 movies. Anything somewhat mindless... just to forget for a moment. Any acceptable "drink" to satiate my burning soul.

But the war is not going to drag on - at least not this piece of it. It will be resolved by tomorrow's end. On the eve of such an unprecedented election, I do the only thing I know how.

Keep running.

I hate being gay and Mormon. More than anything else on this planet, I hate it...

Yesterday in church it was testimony meeting. Nothing on Prop 8. WRONG. A lady got up and driveled on about her son in California. Standing at the pulpit she had the audacity to say: "My son was telling me this story about his son who is 12, and heard one of the 'yes on 8' ads, and said to him: 'Dad, what's that?' My son explained it was a law to keep 'men from marrying men' and 'women from marrying women.' His son looked at him and said, 'Dad! Why would a man want to marry a man?'" She said it in the most condescending tone, as if was the funniest joke she'd ever heard. Like the very notion was absurd. Like that kid was the smartest kid ever.

I just sat in my chair, fists clenched, trying to keep my vomit in my mouth, even as I thought the answer: for love. For real, true, valid, actual love. WHY CAN'T YOU PEOPLE SEE THAT? DAMN YOU PEOPLE! DAMN YOUR SELF-RIGHTEOUS JUDGING! DAMN YOUR IGNORANCE! DAMN YOUR HATE! I wanted nothing more than to get up right then and bear MY testimony like Scott did...but I just got called to teach Primary... I get to teach the little ones! I love my calling! And what would these backwards, 1000% red, prejudiced, close-minded people say if they found out that the teacher of their precious kiddies was a G A Y? *gasps*

"I know that the 'Yes on 8' campaign has made it extremely difficult for gay and lesbian Mormons, their families, and their friends to feel the love of God at Church. The divisive spirit of the 'Yes on 8' campaign has in fact created deep divisions within our congregations and families."
This is tearing us apart. Literally. I just...I just don't know how to be strong anymore. I'm glad this is over, because I can't do it anymore. I'm done walking on the knife edge. I'm falling, I'm bleeding, and I'm dying. Amid the overwhelming pain of the future I unhappily face, I did find one precious moment of respite when I was relaxing after church:

"I've gone so far from my home 
I've seen the world and I have known 
So many secrets 
I wish now I did not know 

"'Cause they have crept into my heart 
They have left it cold and dark 
And bleeding 
Bleeding and falling apart 

"And everybody used to tell me big boys don't cry 
But I've been around enough to know that that was the lie 
That held back the tears in the eyes of a thousand prodigal sons 

"We are children no more we have sinned and grown old 
And our Father still waits and he watches down the road 
To see his crying boys come running back to his arms 
And be growing young...growing young 

"I've seen silver turn to dross 
Seen the very best there ever was 
And I'll tell you it ain't worth what it costs 
I remember my father's house 
What I wouldn't give right now 
Just to see him and hear him tell me that he loves me so much 

"And everybody used to tell me big boys don't cry 
But I've been around enough to know that that was the lie 
That held back the tears in the eyes of a thousand prodigal sons 
Well we are children no more we have sinned and grown old 
And our Father still waits and he watches down the road 
To see his crying boys come running back to his arms 

"And when I thought that I was all alone 
It was your voice I heard calling me back home 
And I wonder now 
What it was that made me wait so long 

"And what kept you waiting for me all that time 
Was your love stronger than my foolish pride 
Will you take me back now take me back and let me be your child 

"'Cause I've been broken down, I've been saved 
Learned to cry and I've learned how to pray 
And I'm learning
I'm learning even I can be changed 

"Everybody used to tell me big boys don't cry 
I've been around enough to know that that was the lie 
That held back the tears in the eyes of a thousand prodigal sons 
Well we are children no more we have sinned and grown old 
And our Father still waits and he watches down the road 
To see his crying boys come running back to his arms 
And be growing young 
Growing young 
Growing young"

--Rich Mullins, "Growing Young"

I'm ready to be done. I'm tried of crying. I'm tried of hurting. I'm ready to go home. To be held, to be loved, and to have my tears wiped away. 

And to finally feel what I have only ONCE in my life...