A Part of Us

I did it.  I made it to USGA tonight.  And guess what?  I belong.  For so long I’ve felt that there just isn’t really a place for a gay Mormon anywhere.  But there is.  Someone there was using heavy words like “we” and “us” and in that moment it hit me that I was a part of that.  Somehow or another, there is a place for gay Mormons.  I don’t know how it happened, but it did and that is all that matters.

It feels incredible.  And I didn’t even say anything (baby steps).  So that will be my goal for next time.  To say something.  To make myself a part of the community, because it is a beautifully rich (like chocolate) community.

Hope is real guys.

-Daniel

Dear friend,

So a friend of mine wrote in her blog not too long ago that she re-reads some of her favorite books every year.  I use the word friend kind of loosely.  We went to high school together, but I doubt she would know me if she saw me.  Regardless, I still consider her a friend.  I thought it was a great idea and went to the library website to get some books.

The summer before my freshman year at BYU I read many books.  I think there were 20+ that I read in that time.  Gorgeous books that shaped my thinking quite a bit.  My senior year of high school I learned how to read.  Not read like “See Jane run.  Run Jane run!”  Rather I learned how to absorb what I was reading and that changed everything.  One of the books that I read at this time was The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky.  I don’t even know how to describe how I loved and fed upon this book.  While reading it, I was always hesitant to continue reading, because that would make the book end sooner and that would be a very heart-wrenching day.

Charlie is incredible.  He is so easy for me to relate to.  Not because of the abuse he experienced, but in his need to find a family.  His observations are so poingant. In so many ways, he is me.

His letter writing is analogous to my blog writing to some friend out there.  “…you listen and understand and didn’t try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have…. I don’t want you to find me….I mean nothing bad by this. Honest.  I just need to know that someone out there listens and understands and doesn’t try to sleep with people even if they could have.  I need to know these people exist.  I think you of all people would understand that because I think you of all people are alive and appreciate what that means” (Perks pg. 1).

With that, today was the beginning of round two through the book.  Once more I went to August 25th, 1991 to go to my first year of high school with Charlie.

Books are therapeutic.  I haven’t been able to read lately due to the nasty nasty meds in my head.  And my head in general.  But today I did.  And I felt infinite.

-Love always,

Daniel

A Timely Post from a Stranger

Wow, what a rollar coaster was today!!!

So generally speaking, my cycles are a couple days long (when I am cycling).  I would like to call it “bicycling,” a combination of bipolar and cycling, but that word has been taken already by something that I never want to do again in my life (a mission does things to you).  Recently, I’ve hit a period of intense cycling that I haven’t felt probably since the end of September.

On Monday, I woke up feeling like a new person.  Rejuvinated and energetic and ready to do everything (which was a nice change from my curl up in a corner and stop Sunday).  I love mornings where I wake up feeling good.  For the most part, that is how I have felt since then.  Today was a fantastic morning!  I was ready to do anything.  I was feeling so good that I skipped my last class to drive around and do things, and I never intentionally skip classes.  Or at least rarely.

I stopped at my apartment and took a moment to pull up the USGA at BYU page and see if there was an event posted for tonight (there wasn’t).  Saw a comment on the page and clicked on the user, pulled up his blog, and slept my computer before departing to do all the things that depression had prevented me from doing earlier.

Then I got to work.  Everything was great until about the last half hour.  My legs were full of lead and I was trudging through 8 feet of snow.  I had such big plans for the night.  I was going to stop by the library again and hopefully this time get the courage to walk into the USGA meeting.  Counting on the high that I had been on to motivate me.  Things I wanted to do.  But none of it could happen now.  If I could make it back to my apartment alive, I would be lucky.

When I have a lot of time in silence, thoughts tend to spiral out of control.  This time I became fixated on the fact that my future sucks.  Hopefully I can graduate.Or at least finish this semester.  Maybe not if this swinging thing keeps up like this.  Then there is the whole being single thing, which just hurts in my chest whenever I think about it too much.  We’re talking a real, physical pain here.  Some spiraling happened and I got home resolving that I was going to hurt myself.  I just wanted to stop existing.

My mom called me back and we talked for a couple minutes.  Sometimes I just feel completely cut off from everything Church or Gospel related.  A lot of that might be due to head things.  Probably some of my decisions as well.  But all I was asking for was some feeling of the Spirit.  I should be entitled to that as a member of the Church who has received the Gift of the Holy Ghost, right?  I should be able to pray in faith and receive an answer.    Waking up my computer, I saw that there was a blog waiting for me.  I love blogs and bloggers.  Just hearing from different people is so interesting.  The blog that I found is authored by another gay Mormon.

After a lot of meditation and prayer, I have decided to write this blog in the hope that someone may read it and find hope in it, that a family member of someone who is LGBT may read this and understand the importance of love and dialogue in their relationship with their family member.  I am not writing this blog to stake a position.  I am writing this blog in the hope that it might save someone’s life, whether they are a child or an adult, who feels alone and unloved not only by their parents but by God as well, that they may not be turned away from their families to live homeless on the streets.  I am here to tell these children, teenagers, adults; whomever they may be, that God truly loves them and that the only feeling that should be in anyone’s hearts when it comes to this is love, acceptance, and the knowledge that God has a plan for each and everyone of us, that God created people with same-gender attraction for a reason, and that he has a greater wisdom than we could possibly have on this earth.  So let’s discuss it.  Let’s listen to each others stories and hopefully develop the charity that Christ showed each and everyone of us as he suffered and died for us in Gethsemane and was lifted on the cross in Calvary.  For He truly did die for each and everyone one of us not just straight people, not just gay people, for God is no respecter of persons and his love and grace are over all.  He died for everyone on this earth and he loved each and everyone of us equally.  How much more then should we do the same and follow his example to everyone not just people who are like us.  –Thoughts on a Lifelong Journey http://lanceirons.blogspot.com/

I am thankful that people have the guts to do this.  Lance saved me a bit right there.  Snapped me out of my spiral.  As I read his post, I felt the closest thing to the Spirit that I have felt in a long, long time.  And I finally got an answer; I know what my next step is.  Which is huge for me.  Monumental.  And I no longer feel suicidal, so that’s something I guess.

Answers have been a long time coming.  But I finally got one.  For now, that is enough to hang on.

Image

-Daniel

Being Alive

What do you get?

Everyone always talks about being in love or being with someone special.  It’s supposed to be fantastic.

My therapist is super Mormon.  Which isn’t inherently bad.  A couple of weeks ago I told him that I had issues imagining a good future for myself because I’m gay.  That was the first time I told him about that little detail.  Probably important.  We decided that there are a few options for gay Mormons.  We can marry a woman (?!?), be celibate and alone for life, be celibate but with a man, or be with a man and not celibate.  If there are any other options please let me know.  To my knowledge, the first three options will not break any covenants or cause any Church punishment.  As far as I know.  Which might not be that much.

Since then my therapist has been on a crusade to straighten me out, or something like that.  Though I didn’t ask him to do that.  Kind of perturbing.

To be clear though, I will not be alone.  Of the other options, I’ve ruled nothing out.  But the thought of being alone for the rest of my life causes me intense pain.  And I mean that quite physically.  I’ve been single for some time now, and it is awful.  It cuts me to the core.  I want someone to hold me too close, to cut me too deep, to love me too much.  Though I don’t know how it can happen.

The thing is that I am not Out in the open yet (hopefully before this year ends).  So that severely limits the whole going out with guys thing.  And girls?  Not really interested in taking the time (and money) to go out with a girl.  Just not worth it to me.  Also, I have issues/anxieties related with asking someone out.  So I know that it is largely my fault that I am currently alone.  Seeing as how waiting for a Mormon girl to ask me out is like waiting for crocodiles to become vegetarians.  And waiting for a guy to ask me out when I haven’t really made it into the gay scene here in Provo, is like waiting for me to come up with another metaphor.  It might happen sure, but not anytime soon.  So until one of those things happen, I just chill by myself (and in winter here, chilling is a really cold, bad idea).

I just want someone to teach me to be alive.

-Daniel

Jesus Said Love Everyone

Love is hard.  Especially when it is this type of Jesus love that is supposed to go towards everybody.  I mean, it is super easy to love friends, family, even strangers aren’t that hard to love.  What is hardest is when people say or do dumb things.  For whatever reason, I have an excellent memory for offenses.  Holding grudges is bad and toxic.  A good friend of mine used to say that holding a grudge is like swallowing the poison and waiting for your enemy to die.  But when things happen that are upsetting, they just burn and fester in my stomach.  Forgetting and loving the person that cast me aside so carelessly is so hard.

At work a while ago, a friend was commenting on her friend that has bipolar; saying that he was an idiot for not taking his meds.  Well bipolar meds kind of suck.  As do many other drugs.  They can numb, stress, hurt, shake, choke, constipate, irritate, blur, tranquillize, enervate, nauseate, deaden.  Just to name a few of the things that can occur as a result of taking medications.  As such, it is completely reasonable for someone to stop taking them.  I’ve done that a few times myself, and I’ve only been on meds for a year.  How am I supposed to love someone who is so willing to critique and disconnect from a friend who clearly needs love?

Another time someone commented that he didn’t mind gays, just as long as they stayed far away from him.  Really?  What are you afraid of?  Are we going to infect you with our gayness?  Are you afraid that we will suddenly throw ourselves on you?  Sexualize you beyond what anyone would ever do (especially given…..nevermind).  Fortunately, a good friend stepped in and redirected the conversation so that I could just sit and fume and not hurt anyone.  And I haven’t even come out to that friend yet.  How am I supposed to love someone who can’t stand to be around me?

The careless comments.  The subtle stabs.  They hurt.  Those evil “gays” or dangerous “crazies” aren’t just some anonymous group to be villianized and victimized.  Nor do we want pity.  Just accept us as us.  Don’t love me even though I’m gay.  Don’t love me even though I’m bipolar.  Just love me.  As me.  No add-ons.  No qualifications.  Just as is.

And I will try to calm my troubled heart.  Maybe learn to turn a deaf ear towards these hurtful and ignorant comments.  Because I need to do better on that too.  Recognize that the goal is never to hurt.  Those who say such things just don’t know, and I haven’t really started waving the rainbow flag yet to help them know.  In that, I should probably seek forgiveness.  Forgiveness for holding contempt against someone who I have kept at such a distance that they couldn’t possibly get to know me or be aware of my overtly moody sensitivity to pretty much everything ever.  Also something I should work on.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall arevile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven.” -Matt. 5:3-12

Perhaps I need to work on forgiving them, that I may be forgiven.  On helping them, that I may be helped.  On serving them, that I may experience true love from God.  Maybe we can all use a little polishing.  Until that point, maybe I can just move forward in patience and love.  With extra patience.

-Daniel

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