Thursday, December 31, 2009
In that four years, we've been to Church together maybe 3-4 times. Truthfully, I think we miss it. I missed singing the Christmas hymns this season. I don't miss Priesthood lessons however. (Even in a student ward, they were boring.) I also don't miss fasting as I get really cranky when I'm hungry. We both were upset during the Prop 8 fiasco. It felt like a slap in the face. But we didn't get bitter. We still love the Church.
So yesterday evening the doorbell rang. I answered it and there was an attractive, about my age guy standing there, smiling. He asked, "Scott?" I figured it was either a friend of our neighbors (who are also gay) or maybe some wayward Escape member. As it turned out, it was our newly assigned hometeacher!
I was surprised. As I said, we've been here for over three years and never had a hometeacher come visit. I know my records are here because I get a Christmas card from the bishopric every year. Either my parents had them sent here, my old student ward, or the fact I have a Liahona subscription did it. Either way, there he was. He said that he was kind of new to the ward and he hadn't seen me there. I told him part of the truth. That being that I work many Sundays and haven't been there. He invited me to come. It was a little awkward to say the least. I wanted to invite him in, but I had the vibe that he didn't have the time. His wife had also made a treat which he gave to me. He also looked up my records and they didn't have my phone number, so I gave it to him. His partner wasn't available, but they wanted to give me a call and set up an appointment next month. Which I welcome. We said our goodbyes.
Now, being the analytical person I am, I started thinking about it. I'm going to guess that he's a member of the Elder's Quorum Presidency. First of all, they normally give less-actives (especially the ones that have never been seen) to a member of the presidency. Second, he had that ambitious feeling. The kind where when a person moves into your ward and they have it, you give them an ambitious calling because you know they'll magnify it.
He seemed very nice and very genuine as well.
But I digress. I'd like your advice. Let me tell you what I'm not going to do. I'm not going to be passive-aggressive and not answer his calls or not answer the door when he comes. I had enough of those on my mission to know how frustrating they are. My first instinct is once we've built a relationship of trust, that I will come out to him and be upfront about who I am. I am gay. I am inactive. I do love the Church. I do have a testimony. I do like having hometeachers (if that is the case). But I am unsure of my place in our religion.
I think the honesty will pay off. The Holy Ghost loves honesty and will reward us for it, I think. I guess if they're uncomfortable or disapprove then they just won't come. But I intend on being a gracious host either way. I they might actually like coming to our home. Aaron and I are used to having people over. We're funny, fun, and have a good time. I'd even invite the hometeachers for game nights if they'd come.
What do you think? What have your experiences been?
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Aaron had to work on Christmas Day. So we planned around it. He wouldn't be able to visit my brother's family in Logan that day, so we planned around it. We visited Paul & co. on Christmas eve. We went out to dinner with them and then went to their home to open gifts and play games. Aaron, Paul, Jade and the boys get along really well. I can see Aaron being himself with them and it makes me happy.
We were there till 11:30ish. When we arrived home, I needed to wrap all of my presents. With work, it was the only time I had to do it. I think we were up till 2:30 AM wrapping. I'd been exhausted all week from work. Retail is hell during Christmas. We both collapsed in bed after that.
We needed to arrive at my parents' home at 8 AM, so we didn't get much sleep that night. But we got up in time to exchange gifts with each other. Even thinking back on it now, it makes me beam. Aaron and I have been together for four years now, going on five. This was our first Christmas together. Having Christmas morning together is what couples do. I really felt closer to him for it.
So we arrived a little past eight and we exchanged gifts with my parents. A few days earlier, my mom had asked what she should get Aaron for Christmas. It really warmed my heart when she said that. Aaron and I put both our names on all of the gifts we gave. But later, after Aaron had left, I let my mom know which ones he had picked out. She was touched too.
My sister and her family normally come around 9 and we have a big breakfast together. Then we exchange gifts with them. Aaron and I planned on him leaving before she got there. That way there wouldn't be any uncomfortableness. (I'm not out to my sister and her family yet.) I told my mom this and she said, that no, they planned on Aaron spending as much time as possible until he had to leave for work.
I really did receive a lot of blessings this Christmas. We were both dead tired, it's true. But we got to spend the holiday together and with my family. That to me is a miracle. It wasn't uncomfortable or forced. Parents are wonderful things really. When they see the love you have for someone, some of their love transfers to him. I could see that very clearly this holiday.
I couldn't ask for more. (Well, maybe a little more sleep.)
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I say "may" because due to some scheduling conflicts, Aaron and I may be hosting our family's Christmas dinner! If so, then my family would be coming to our home to visit! To me, this is a miracle. A true miracle. After years of keeping them at a distance and being closeted, I have opened up to my family and they have reciprocated ten-fold. I am proud to be a Guymon.
I'm proud of Aaron too. I know that he's wary of this. He is very concerned that he will make my family uncomfortable. More than anything, he doesn't want that. I remind him that whenever they give the invitation, we need to have the courage to take it. Aaron has been there for me. Nearly four years of having to deal with me skirting around my family, "straightening up" (pun intended) the house when my parents visited and basically having a limit on how we could progress as a family has ended.
I am blessed.
I am so glad I listened to the Holy Ghost when I was prompted to prepare to come out to my family. I've said it before, but I'll repeat it. The Holy Ghost is a spirit of truth and honesty. He is present when we speak and share the truth. When you get the feeling you should come out to someone, that is the Holy Ghost prompting you to do so. He wants you to eliminate the dishonesty in your life. I have a testimony that coming out the closet to your family will bless you. I don't believe that just because it's been good to me. Heavenly Father doesn't want you to go through life alone. Our families, our spouses and our friends are supposed to be our support. Give them that opportunity. God will bless you.
This is shaping up to be my best Christmas.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
I don't know the Church's motivation in supporting those statues. I hope it's for altruistic reasons and I'll continue believing that until proven otherwise. But it's had one good effect besides actually protecting GLBT people. It has mixed up the status quo! Legislators and other conservative influences often try to out-church the Church. The Eagle Forum and the Sutherland Institute are both aghast at the Church's "new" stance. Those two organizations have been leeching their power from the Church. They claimed their stance was the LDS stance and gained many followers that way. Now their paths have diverged and it's made those organizations angry.
This has also been good for the membership of the Church. Many of them used the Church as an excuse for why gay men and women should have no rights. Their religion allowed them a air-tight reason to hate or discriminate against gays. This latest action will hopefully allow those people to rethink their bias. Senator Buttars changed and that by itself is a miracle.
So, no matter the reason for this change, I say we look at it as a step in the right direction. It can help Utahns and members of the Church to love and accept their gay brothers and sisters.
Friday, November 27, 2009
I consider myself very blessed that I have a family that loves me unconditionally and loves those I hold close the same. It's a process of course. But I never would have guessed it would progress so quickly. My heart is warm. I am proud of Aaron. Leading up to this was a little stressful for him. He is so concerned with making sure my family isn't uncomfortable around him. Bless him.
I am also thankful that I have a job and I did not have to work Black Friday morning. I work 2-11:30PM today. It's a long shift, but it's not the craziness of this morning.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
So a little background. Circuit City went out of business in March and I've been without a job since then. I have applied to so many jobs, I can't even keep track. Being on unemployment allowed me time and I'm very thankful for it. But it has run out and I must have a job.
So last week ShopKo responded to application. I had an interview with a manager and it was all right. The interview was very impersonal. He asked maybe eight "If you were in this situation" questions. I answered them easily. Then yesterday I had my second interview with the manager of the store. He was nice and friendly. We talked about available positions. CSS (customer service?) and supervisor were suggested by the first interviewer. The store manager basically picked CSS for me. The position is part time and seasonal and only $8.25/hr. I accepted the job and they said I'll probably come in on Friday.
I also got a phone call from an unknown number and remarked to Aaron and Dan that "I bet you this is another job offer. They always come in at least twos." I answered and it was PC Laptops. For those who don't know, PC Laptops is a computer and repair store with about seven locations in Utah and Nevada.
So after my final interview at ShopKo I went to an interview at PC Laptops which turned into two interviews. Both went rather well. So today I have the third part of the hiring process, "The Test". I'll be at their Murray store for two hours today. They'll get a feel for me and I for them. My first interviewer should be there. I think he's the district manager or higher. The second interviewer told me a little about it. He said, "We'll see if you greet the customers or if you hang out at the back of the store. Or if you answer the phones." I'm not worried about greeting customers at all. I did that all the time at Sharper Image. I'm more worried about what I do when there's nothing for me to do. It's been recommended that I have someone show me the computers and teach me about them. *deep breath*.
So I'm nervous. But that's just part of it. PC Laptops is partially commission. I've never worked in an commission atmosphere. If I make the goal (which I have no idea how achievable it is) I'll make pretty good money. Base pay is only a quarter less than ShopKo is. PC Laptops is also full-time. I don't know which job to take!
I figured it out this morning. PC Laptops intimidates me. ShopKo only needs mediocrity. I'll shine easily there. PCL demands a lot more and it demands things I have only some experience in. If I take the safe job, I'll barely have enough money to pay the bills.
Grr. I wish the choices were easier to make. The positive side is that either way I have a job!
So more news. PC Laptops called today. They chose someone else for the job. *sigh* So I guess that makes my choice easy. I'll settle with mediocrity at ShopKo. I have orientation tomorrow morning. This means cutting back big time. It's only temporary and part-time and the pay is the lowest I've ever been paid since returning home from my mission. I had hoped by getting the PCL job, I'd get rid of our money woes. No such luck. I am very disappointed and down.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Well, baby they're tumbling down
And they didn't even put up a fight
They didn't even make up a sound
A friend of a blogger friend suggested this theme for October. I have a lot to be thankful for lately and I think this would be a great way to share that.
How did you get to where you are today?
Often in our lives the important things aren't events but processes. I can't remember when I gained a testimony of our Savior or of the Church. I can't say when I started considering myself an adult and no longer a young adult. Likewise there wasn't a point when I knew I was gay. Growing up I could feel attraction to other males here and there. It wasn't anything big or distracting. I remember being at the barbershop on the military base getting my hair cut. I was about eight years old. A guy came in and sat waiting for his haircut. I couldn't look away, I found him fascinating and attractive.
In high school I only went on two dates. For one I was asked to a prom because the girl's boyfriend was grounded. I asked one girl to another prom because my friends wanted to go on a group date. I picked her mostly because both of our parents thought we'd be a good match. I only had close male friends and a few female classroom friends.
Even while on my mission (19-21 years old) I was proud of myself because I didn't have to worry about women distracting me from the Lord's work. I didn't understand why other elders couldn't just leave their girlfriends at home. Looking back, it was apparent why. But when all you have is your perspective it's hard to compare yourself to others. I didn't know that I was different from any other guy.
At BYU I dated two women seriously. One wanted to get married. I prayed about it many times and the Holy Ghost would only respond, "Wait." I am so glad I listened! Sometime after that relationship I started to make my first gay friends. The Escape was a great group for me. The men didn't drink and had LDS backgrounds. I went through the turmoil of living two lives. My BYU friends will remember my "other friends" that I would go hang out with. I had to lie to friends and family all the time. The pain and difficulty of that situation dulled after time. I became a good liar.
I dated one guy for awhile. Then I found Aaron. We hit it off right from the bat. We had chemistry and so much in common. I thought he was the cutest person I ever knew. (I still do!) I was hesitant to date him exclusively. I thought being in an exclusive relationship was a bad idea. It would make leaving homosexuality behind so much harder. But my heart was already linked to him. I cared about him and he about me. As Aaron tells the story, we were at a party. I saw him flirting with another guy and I came over. I proclaimed that Aaron was my boyfriend to everyone. Jealousy! Aaron and I have been together for four years now. We've gone through our difficulties but we love each other even more. We really are a perfect match.
Are you happy with where you are? why or why not?
Yes! Someone told me that you know you're in love when he makes you want to be a better person. Loving Aaron allows me to put his needs above mine. Living a double life--as a side effect--makes you a much more selfish person. You don't let people get close because they'll discover the lies. I became a very selfish man. The love and honesty we share helps me put that behind us.
Thanks to following a prompting, I came out to my brother almost a year ago. Following the same prompting I came out to my parents two weeks later. I have become closer to my brother and his wife than I ever was before. Their oldest stayed with us for two months this summer. About two weeks ago, my mother invited Aaron into my parents' home for the first time. It wasn't for long but it was a big step! I can see that my family is changing their ideas. It makes me emotional to see Aaron and them forging friendships and more. There are exciting things on the horizon.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
Aaron and I will still be together and strong. We'll continue to gather friends around us, both straight and gay. I hope we can be an example of healthy and happy gay relationships. We'll be example of the fun you can have without alcohol or drugs. I see Aaron forging familial relationships with my family. My family will become our family. I see myself rebuilding the trust and closeness with my family I had before with Aaron at my side. This next part is maybe fanciful, but it came to mind. My patriarchal blessing says that I will serve another mission as older couple. If that ever becomes possible, Aaron and I are definitely in line!
What roadblocks do you have and/or have overcome?
I am always afraid of rejection. That fear kept me from telling those closest to me about the turmoil I had inside. I thought my straight friends wouldn't want to be near me. I thought my family would be angry. I thought I wouldn't get to see my nephews again. They may have hesitation, but I think they can see that I'm happy.
I have overcome the need to rely on lies and deceit. Honesty takes a heavy load off of your shoulders. It allows you to become an integrated and whole person. Honesty tears down the invisible walls between you and your loved ones. Coming out to your family seems huge and daunting. It will probably be the hardest thing you'll ever do. But it won't be as hard as you think. The Holy Ghost loves honesty and truth. It will accompany you as you increase your honesty.
I have a theory called the Four Sins of Gaydom. Bitterness and Stagnation are two of them I keep at bay. I do not want to hate people or organizations. I was in a rut for many years. It is easy to sit still and let the world pass you by. These are roadblocks I see slowing me down in the future.
What advice do you have for others following a similar path that you have?
Friends. Find good friends. Find friends that meet your values. If you're gay it doesn't mean you need to let all your morals go. You don't need to drink to have fun. Find those people who feel the same way you do. The internet is a great source. This is a plug, but check out The Escape.
Family. There may be times where it seems you have no one. You will have times where you are lonely. If you have been honest and open with your family they can be your best friends. There are those who hesitate to come out to parents, siblings, spouses and others. They fear rejection. At first there may be confusion on their part, but I think their love will still shine through. If you're LDS you know about "attack on the family". Keeping yourself closeted and fearful is helping to tear apart your family. They can be your greatest support and help. Take the leap!
Yourself. With time you can accept you as you are. Heavenly Father may or may not have made you gay. But he allows you to stay gay. There are reasons for that. I used to think it was a curse I needed to endure or suffer with. Now I look at it as one the biggest blessings in my life. It stands next to other greats as my family, Aaron, friends, the Church, and my testimony. I have learned things that I couldn't have learned any other way.
As Aaron sometimes says, "We're good Mormon boys... except for the gay!" Strip away the guilt and shame and pain that you're giving yourself. Stop worrying yourself sick. Set aside the battle you feel you have to fight. You're fighting your best ally, yourself.
What advice do you have for family and friends?
I am the same person I always was. I think my family already can see this. Now I've entrusted you with another part of my soul. I am happier than I ever have been before. Let's continue to show each other trust and make our family that will last through time.
Give Aaron a chance. He's an incredible guy and I consider myself very lucky to have him. I had great taste in who I loved before and it hasn't changed. He is endearing and easy to love. If given the chance he'll show you.
Other people may judge you for befriending your brother/son's boyfriend. After all, love the sinner, not the sin. Aaron is not a sin. Aaron is a person and someone I love. Even in the Church the family comes first. Don't let people pollute your mind with ideas that would tear our family apart. This isn't something I think will be a problem with my family. But many do struggle with it.
My friends, keep being you. Aaron and I are lucky to have so many friends, both straight and gay. You make us happy people. You've accepted us and helped us out. If we can ever help, don't hesitate to ask. We are a family in our own right. Stand up for each other. If people say things about your friends you know isn't true, say so. Compliment your friends when they aren't around. They'll eventually hear. It's much better than gossip. Love one another.
I am blessed. I see a bright future. I'll be holding Aaron's hand. We'll be smiling.
Monday, October 19, 2009
In other news, I have been made the Captain (commanding officer) of my Star Trek sim. For those of you who don't know, I'm a big fan of Trek. I write collaborative fiction with other fans. It is in story format where each author writes for a character or two. As captain of the sim, I choose the story arcs and try to provide each author with opportunities to write. It's a big deal because now they're dependent on my creativity to keep the sim going. Right now we're in 'shoreleave' where everyone can write about what they like. In about two weeks I'll start my 'internship' with my first mission. If it goes well, I'll graduate from Command School and become a full fledged captain and probably receive the rank of the same name. I've been doing this for about 5 years now. It is a great past-time and my writing skills have improved dramatically.
You can check out some of the information about our sim here: Dorvan V.
My birthday is coming up too. I turn thirty-one in the beginning of November. That month will also be the year mark of when I came out to my brother and sister-in-law and my parents. That reminds me of something. The week before last, my mom invited Aaron inside for the first time ever. Aaron was hesitant. He does not want to make my family feel pressured or uncomfortable. It went very well. We checked out my parents' cruise pictures. This may open up more opportunities. The end goal is having Aaron a full and loved member of my family. I want him to come to Christmas and Thanksgiving and any other important events. He gets along great with my brother and sister-in-law and my (our) nephews. It makes me swell with pride that I have such a phenomenal boyfriend and partner. I know this will lead to other great things!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Guymon said he would like to see reform, he's just not sure how much.
"I'm unemployed and there's no way I can afford health insurance," he said. "But I don't know if I want government to take it over. There has to be a happy medium where everyone has access to affordable care."
Fine. I think most people would agree with President Obama's opinion.
What bothers me is that people take the opinion seriously. People (maybe just the Media) are aghast that the President would say something like that. Come on!
Being LDS, we learn early on (though it is not always understood) that the Prophet and President of the Church is able to speak as a man, or as a Prophet. Not everything that comes from his mouth is doctrine. If he roots for the Utah Jazz it doesn't mean that it's a sin to hope they lose. If the Prophet enjoys florentine lasagna we shouldn't throw away all of our italian sausage lasagna.
Equally so, the President of the United States may like soccer, hate chocolate ice cream, and think Kanye West is a "jackass". It doesn't matter. He isn't signing a presidential decree. Do people (or the Media) believe he isn't able to share personal opinions? Or maybe it's just grasping at anything "news worthy".
Saturday, September 05, 2009
I'm sharing some of the pics here. You can see the rest on my facebook page.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Right now I'm on the campus of BYU. I'm here for the annual BYU Campus Education Week, put on by CES. Most of you have never heard of the program. Of the few that have, probably none of you have attended. Basically it is 1,000s of classes that cover a variety of subjects. It starts mid-August and is one week long. Most of the topics are religious in nature. This is my fourteenth year to attend. Every year I get a spiritual boost. It is a highlight of my year.
Last year, I was inspired to make some important goals. One of those was coming out to my parents. I've spoken about it before, but having the feeling to come out to someone --I believe-- is a spiritual prompting. One that if you follow, you will receive blessings. I am happy that last November, I followed that prompting I received at Education Week and came out to my brother and his family and then my parents. The blessings I've received from that prompting have continued to enrich my life. My brother and sister-in-law have invited Aaron and I to their home a second time. That is a huge blessing! I know in time Aaron and I will forge the same relationships with my parents.
Last year and this, I felt a hesitation to attend Education Week. Only now do I realize why. The changes I've effected have been positive and life-changing events. There's certainly someone who doesn't want me to make those choices. Feeling the Spirit here helps clarify the journey ahead of me. I wish that Aaron could attend with me. I miss him. I know he would learn a lot here too.
So many gay people are afraid to feel the Spirit. I can't blame them, so often it's often in an atmosphere of judgment. Education Week is like General Conference, only *I* get to choose the speakers and their topics.
PS - Earlier today I ran into a sister I served with on my mission. It was great to catch up in the short time we had. It makes me want to send out an e-mail to all my mission friends catching them up on my life and coming out to them. That way I don't have to ignore the big pink elephant in the room. I won't have to avoid them.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Perhaps things are best this way. He'll get to spend his senior year with his friends. It's difficult though. I walk past his empty room, or want to play Halo, or paint figures and he isn't here. We'll miss him terribly. But he isn't that far away. My brother has already invited us up to visit and play games.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I had an interesting chat conversation with a best friend of mine. I'm pretty sure he doesn't read or remember I have a blog. If he does, everything I say here is what I would like him to hear.
Chris and I go way back. We first met back at BYU in my freshman year. Both of us have strong personalities and sometimes we don't see eye to eye. But excluding those times, we are eerily similar in our point of view. We spent summers together visiting national parks and camping. We really were inseparable. We had dreams of building homes next to each other and our children calling the other Uncle. Later he married my last girlfriend and now they have two children.
Later, Chris joined the Army to pay for dental school and he moved away. He still has family in Utah so I saw him from time to time. However, I created a distance between us. I had already discovered that I was gay and was meeting new people and making changes in my life. I wasn't ready to come to Chris, but I was tired of lying. So I distanced myself.
Years later, I began to integrate myself and leave the deceit behind me. Chris was one of the first people I came out to. He was in Afghanistan at the time, so it had to be through e-mail. I think it was very hard for him. In a way he felt betrayed. Both by my not being honest with him for so long but by keeping him at a distance.
Last night we chatted for the first time in a year. He asked the same questions he asks every time. How's my job? I don't have one right now. I've been laid off twice. Have I considered going back to BYU and getting my degree? I can't. I'm in a relationship and am not BYU Honor Code compliant. He replied, "Oh, there is that." I mean really!? I get the feeling that Chris only asks the safe questions. That for some reason he is afraid to find out about my life. In a way that hurts. He lives several states away, so I couldn't see him often. But I would like to include him in my life. I guess I should make more effort.
So how has coming out to your religious friends gone? Or if you have had friends come out to you, how did effect your relationship? Is it awkward? Or better because there is more honesty?
Friday, June 26, 2009
I know it isn't logical to be angry at the weather. If you like it or love it, it isn't going to change. That doesn't matter to me right now. I am MAD. Twenty days ago I went to Pride. It rained on our parade. More like poured. I was soaked. I caught swine flu. I didn't go to the Festival because I was too busy simultaneously burning up and shivering with an intense headache.
Then today, we go to the Arts Festival. We didn't get to go last year. We met up with some friends of Aaron's. We ate and watched one art event. Then the rain came. Everything closed up and we left. Parking is atrocious so we had parked blocks away. We got soaked! It was my first outdoor event since Pride. Croquet was rained out too.
Then a little earlier today I invited everyone to watch fireworks with us at Sugarhouse Park for Independence Day. I check the weather and guess what? 40% of rain! Scattered T-showers! I think I'm done planning outdoor activities for the summer. Well, if you can call this summer. I feel like Oregon left its weather here. We'll just go from spring rains to fall rains to snow.
At least I got a few nice photos.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I haven't put up a blog post in quite awhile. And here it is nearly 2:30 in the morning and I feel like blogging. I've learned you don't look a blog horse in the mouth.
So one of the biggest changes in my life is taking place right now. My 17-year old nephew is living with Aaron and I for the summer. The circumstances are interesting and if you ask I may tell you. But he'll be living in our spare room till school starts in the fall.
It's taking some adjusting. I don't have a job right now. I'm used to having the house to myself while Aaron is at work. We're working on getting my nephew a job. I'm sure he gets bored here. I know I'm looking through adult (childless) glasses, but how do parents stand having their children home all day all summer? A job takes up to eight hours of the day. What do parents do with their children the rest of the time? There aren't that many "chores" here. We have a two-bedroom apartment. But I don't like the idea of him just watching TV all day or playing on facebook. We're learning.
But I think this is good. It shows immense trust in Aaron and I. How many parents do you know who would send their "impressionable young adult" to go live with their gay sibling and his partner? My brother and his wife are strong LDS people too. I was surprised and complimented. I think this will be a big step towards Aaron becoming a part of my family. He is becoming a true uncle.
This is a big change and I know there will be more adjustments. But I'm glad we made this decision together and I'm excited to see where it leads.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
The title of this post sounds like a children's book. Ooh, we'll make it a pop-up book! This was the first ever protest we've participated in. I'm very glad we went. Marriage equality is something I feel strongly about. I love Aaron. I haven't felt like this with any other person. I think I'm a selfish person by nature. But I do my best to put him first and show him my love. I don't know when we'll get "married", but I know it isn't an "if". I really do want to spend my life with him.
Now I don't need the government's approval to love Aaron or spend my life with him. I don't need same-sex marriage legalized to show him that love. Even if laws and legislature are not necessary, why the intense opposition? Why do people hate the idea of us solemnizing our commitment and having legal right bestowed on our relationship? Why do the religious feel this is an attack on their rights?
This country promises a future for its citizens. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I am a citizen of the United States. I am an honest, caring, intelligent, and fun individual. Why do people care if I want to spend my life with a man?
As an LDS person, I know my religion says homosexuality is a sin. Perhaps by creating laws that solemnize that "sin" LDS people believe they are condoning it. Don't condone it. Don't even love it. But allow me that choice. If it really is a sin, it is only one that harms me. There is no "second-hand gay" to inhale. There are no "driving under the influence of gay" citations. It doesn't harm you in the least. I know it doesn't harm me.
For the other gay people who read this: Remember who you are. You are loved. You are citizens of this great country. You deserve equality.
For my LDS friends and other religious people: Remember the Golden Rule. I would never want to vote to divorce your (or my) parents, grandparents or friends. I respect the lives they live. I know you respect me as a person. Respect me as a couple too.
PS - Reading this may have made some of my friends uncomfortable. Don't be. I'm the same guy. I just think how much Aaron means to me... and I want to protect it.
Friday, May 08, 2009
My example today from a chat I had:
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I'm currently (and have been for almost five years) one of the moderators of a group called The Escape. When I lived in Provo and was attending BYU I became friends with a guy named Jeromy. He is gay like I am and my age. We hit it off very well. He had just started a group he called The Escape. Basically Jeromy opened his home to host activities where other gay people and their friends could come to socialize, watch movies, play games, and other activities. He created a Yahoo group so he could announce the various activities. One of the tenets of the group was that alcohol is not needed in order to have a good time.
I remember the first time I went to an Escape party. It was the second one ever held. I was very nervous. It was my first time being at a gay event. I had to convince myself that I could do it. I remember showing up and feeling very out of place. Everyone seemed at ease. For those of you that don't know me well, when I am in a group of people I don't know I get really quiet. I'm sure I said very little at the activity. I remember Jeromy saying hello to me. But he was hosting the party and couldn't spend much time with me. It reminds me of the feeling when I was first off my mission and went to a Christmas party thrown by some relatives of mine. It was a feeling of subdued panic. I was tense. Afterward, I was glad I went. It was far outside my comfort circle. I didn't talk about anything at the party, but it was good to hear other people talk about being gay like it was an everyday thing.
I became very good friends with Jeromy and became part of the planning process for The Escape. Most of those early parties were pretty simple. We'd watch movies and socialize. I met the first guy I ever dated at one of those parties. I remember holding his hand as we watched a movie. We got creative though. We had a Vegas party once where we built and created our own Vegas-style props for the party. That party was huge! The place was packed.
Jeromy and his boyfriend moved away and I volunteered to lead the group. Sadly, nothing happened while I was in charge. I didn't own my own place and we didn't have a place to host activities. The group just stayed on hiatus until Jeromy returned.
The next largest change occurred when Aaron (my boyfriend) and I moved to Salt Lake City. Jeromy now lived in BYU-approved housing and couldn't host The Escape any longer. Aaron and I started having it our home. The Escape changed. No longer in the shade of secrecy needed to operate in Utah County the organization made a big change. Just as Jeromy, Aaron and I had evolved into openly gay, integrated, and happy men, the scope of the group was doing the same. We began having larger activities and in the public. We host Gay Day at Hogle Zoo. We are a large part of Gay Day at Lagoon Park. We play croquet and barbecue in the park. You may have seen pictures of these activities on my facebook page. Aaron and I have welcomed many people into our home under the umbrella of The Escape. Now, rather than giving closeted gays a place to be their selves (and we still do that), we help gay men choose happy and healthy lives.
I think another era is opening up for the group right now. The Escape has been largely insular until now. We didn't allow other groups to advertise on our Yahoo group. We wouldn't let other people host activities. We never did anything with other groups. We're changing that. Salt Lake is a much larger place with many more resources. We have begun to network with the other gay and lesbian groups here. Last week I had a phone interview with QSaltLake, Utah's gay news magazine. They had seen our facebook group and our planned Gay Day at Hogle Zoo. I'm hoping they'll do an article beforehand and we'll get more people to show up. We recently changed our age policy too. Before this month, we encouraged people over 40 to find a group better suited to their situations. We've removed that. We're open to any age. I think all of these changes are going to be incredible! It has meant losing some control that we kept tight, but it is going to make very positive changes.
Thinking about this just gave me another great idea!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Right now I am listening to the Romanian Rhapsody by George Enescu on youtube. I remember listening to this on my mission. It stirs my memories. Reading in my apartment, listening to the CD I bought in the market. Actually, most classical music was sold in little stores. The pirated pop music was what you found in the markets. (I bought plenty of that too. Though I didn't listen to it until after my mission.)
My MTC companion just finished a trip back to Romania. I hope he posts a lot of pictures up on facebook. I know I will go back to visit again. I did it the summer after my mission and it's really what helped me move on.
I just looked up the weather for one of my favorite cities. Arad will have a high of 72 tomorrow with 20% chance of precipitation. Sounds perfect. I wish I had someone that I could talk Romania with! *smile*
Friday, April 10, 2009
Some of them may be hard to see. On the real app, you can bring any of the buttons to the foreground and enlarge them.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
When someone asks me, "are gay rights civil rights?" my answer is always, "Of course, they are." Civil rights are positive legal prerogatives: the right to equal treatment before the law. These are the rights shared by everyone. There is no one in the United States who does not, or should not, enjoy or share in enjoying these rights. Gay and lesbian rights are not special rights in any way. It isn't "special" to be free from discrimination. It is an ordinary, universal entitlement of citizenship.
...People of color ought to be flattered that our movement has provided so much inspiration for others. That, it has been, that our movement has been so widely imitated. That our tactics, our methods, our heroes, our heroines, and even our songs, have been appropriated or served as models for others.
...Now, no parallel between movements is exact. African-Americans are the only Americans who were enslaved for more than two centuries and people of color carried the badge of who we are on our faces. But we are far from the only people suffering discrimination; sadly, so do many others. And those others deserve the law's protection and civil rights too.
I am an openly gay man. But I haven't been that way for very long. I have had a boyfriend for three and a half years. I came out to my parents only five months ago. I was out to two out of my three last jobs. I haven't had much experience with discrimination. (Other than mistaken discrimination.) I'm sure that will change with time. I know that there are countless other gay men and women who deal with discrimination and hatred often. They may find it at the workplace, their places of worship, among their families or maybe from the populace at large. It can be easy to ignore it because it isn't at your doorstep.
It can be difficult to understand it. But imagine being denied a marriage license because you are blond. Perhaps you weren't hired because you are left-handed. Maybe you were denied an apartment contract because you were too short. Some opponents of human rights (I say human rights because gay men and women are human too.) will tell you that you have the same rights you do. After all, you could die your hair blond, learn to be right-handed and maybe wear heels. Most people don't even realize what rights they do have. Rights are so rarely taken away that we don't have experience with it.
The question remains, what to do about it? I am not a political activist. I do vote. I think the best that we gay people can do is to come out to people. When others know you personally they will find it harder to take away or deny your rights. It takes a lot of guts to be out to your family, your co-workers and friends. But it will do you good. For those of you that are friends and family to gay men and women, get to know us better. Invite us to activities with your straight friends and family. Understand that we are as human as yourself with the same strengths and weaknesses. We want to be respected, build families, and secure our futures. Every bit of your love, friendship and compassion is appreciated.
I'll get off my soapbox now.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Aaron had never been to a gym. Our two friends Dan and Jer both took turns working out with us. We went easy and it was fun. I did cardio for the first time ever. When I worked out at BYU I never did cardio. I was trying to gain weight not lose it.
After working out and one more run of cardio we went to the steam room for awhile and then used the hot tub. I'll tell you the truth, having access to a hot tub 24/7 is a major motivation for Aaron and I. I have the added motivation of knowing how much fun working out is and the great changes it enduces. One more bit of motivation: Our gym (in Sugarhouse) is full of hot guys! Some of you may gasp that I would admit that. Aaron and I are a great couple. We love each other an awful lot. That being said, we both *love* checking out guys. As I sometimes say, "We have a closed relationship, but we have open eyes." We will scope out hot men point them out to the other. We even have some code words and hand signals to that effect. I think, by joining the gym, Aaron and I will add ourselves to those hot men's ranks.
So four days later my arms are still a little sore. LOL I remember it being that way when I started working out the first time. I'm a skinny guy (with a little padding now) and it has always been hard for me to gain weight (muscle or otherwise). I know this will bump my metabolism and body in the right direction and I'm excited to see the results! I'll keep you updated.
PS - I know some of my blog readers and are wondering about the ketchup. It's a pun (gasp!) on catching up.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
I hope that there were more flowers earlier. Perhaps mall management had already removed the other memorials. I know that reminding customers that people died in that spot is not good for business. But for one day, it should be acceptable.
Truthfully, I wish they had a plaque, a statue, or some kind of memorial there. I think it's very important to remember these sort of things. But the mall is there to make money not to memorialize those who passed into the next life. I didn't lose anyone in the shooting but I'm fortunate that I'm still alive. I'm lucky that none of my co-workers or customers were harmed, especially when it was so close.
It hardly seems possible that it was two years ago. Simultaneously it feels like it was a few months ago and 5-6 years ago. I can remember it very well, but it feels very distant.
Aaron said something yesterday that I'm trying to remember, "I think it's good to commemorate these events so that we can remember what we do have and how blessed we are."
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
So I've been reading a lot of articles and blogs about Circuit City's liquidation deals. As I have managed a store going through liquidation, I have more experience then those writers and bloggers. So here's the lowdown: Sales start at 10% off and will get larger incrementally. So yeah, 10% is not a great deal! It barely pays for sales tax. But patience! If we could all wait 2-3 weeks before purchasing stuff we could probably get 50% off. I guess most customers have no experience with liquidation either. I have customers asking me all the time, "so when do the good deals start?"
It doesn't help that the liquidators haven't even shown up at our store yet. They should have giant signs listing the percentage off. The registers should show the current discount as well. Right now the Customer Service Associates, Supervisors, and Managers are the only people who can do the price change. The rest of us associates just stand around and answer questions or point people towards products. I hear that come tomorrow the prices will be in the registers. So I'll finally be able to ring people up and lessen the work load of my associates.
So finding good prices at Circuit City or any other liquidating store will always be a gamble. You can wait till the discounts are worth it and risk the product you want not being there, or you can buy at the micro-discount of 10-20% and be sure to get what you want. As for the claims that liquidators raise the prices before they "discount", that may be true, but not at Circuit City or Sharper Image. If they wanted to do that, they'd have to remove and replace tens of thousands of price tags. Neither they nor we have time for that.
So, I have at least 60 days of pay. I using that time to find myself a job. If you know of any jobs available, I have retail and retail management experience. I can certainly give you my resume.
Monday, January 12, 2009
I have a very active facebook account. I check it daily and enjoy keeping up with old friends, family, and current friends. I am also "out" on facebook. My status shows me as being in a relationship and points to my boyfriend. In my notes about myself in mentions that I am a gay Mormon. It was very liberating to come out to everyone all together like that. I received a lot of messages of support and love.
I came out to my parents less than a month after I came out online. During the discussion with my parents, my mother mentioned that she wanted to just keep it in our immediate family. I respect that decision though I know it won't last for long.
So here is my problem: Today a cousin of mine sent me a friend request on facebook. She is sixteen years old. I am pretty close to her family and consider this cousin and her sisters to be my friends. To my knowledge, she and her family do not know that I am gay. I don't mind if they know, I'm open and willing to speak about it. I don't think that a sixteen year old will have a hard time understanding what homosexuality is. She and her family are smart and sensitive.
I worry about my choice taking away the decision from her parents as to when/if to have the "gay talk" with their children. I think it would be odd for her parents to learn about me from their sixteen year old daughter. She is a minor too.
So what do I do? I could ignore the request, which I think would be rude and suspicious. I could "straighten" up my profile and remove most references to my homosexuality. I don't think I would be true to myself then. I could add her as a friend and let the consequences fall as they may. Is that selfish? Or I could add her mother (I think she is on facebook) and then inform her.
Is there another option I'm missing? Which is the moral decision? Which is the right decision? Your opinions are very much appreciated!