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?


ControllerOne said...

In my experience, yes it is awkward, and yes it is better. I'm not sure that a faithful member of the Church who totally accepts the Brethren's interpretation of the Gospel can truly ever be comfortable with someone accepting their homosexual orientation. But, for the vast majority of my friends, there has been acceptance, love and understanding. On the other hand, when I travel with several of the families I have been friends with, I often wonder what would happen if I wanted to bring a boyfriend along. Sadly, I can't help but conclude it would just be too uncomfortable. My only advice would be to be patient. The idea of a gay Mormon is still so outside the realm of possibility to so many members that I think we need to have a little compassion for them. Shoot, I can still hardly believe it myself.

Good luck!

Gauss Jordan said...

I've come out to ~80-ish people in the last year or so (I kept track of numbers on my blog for a while). People react differently. Some laugh, some say "thanks," some congratulate me, and some steer the conversation toward my sexuality for ~20 minutes, then move on with life.

One friend (who's quite active in his church) completely ignored the fact that I came out to him. Twice. In five minutes. I'm really not quite sure what to think, especially since he was staying in my house at the time. We had a few hours of time by ourselves, and he never brought it up.

I'm really not quite sure what to think.

Heh. Verification word: "sinstine"