Monday, November 30, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different…

After a rather heavy set of posts, I’ve decided to lighten it up a little. I’m just going to indulge a bit. As I deal with a very busy life (family, friends, work, rehearsals, roommates, dating and related personal crises), I am putting the serious on hold for a few days at the very least.

As I write this, I tease my roommate about his crushes on Michael Phelps and Josh Groban. “I have many famous boyfriends.”

Today, I’ll indulge in a little fantasy of my own. In something I will call my:

Man Harem

—(I’ll avoid any polygamy jokes based in Utah history or the Old Testament…)—

Everybody has those guys they really find irresistible for whatever reason. Suppose you were to choose… say… ten guys to have to yourself. I’ll leave to your imagination the process.

Following a discussion with the author of Finding Your Path and In the spirit of People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive Issue , I present to you my own selection.

10. Matthew Morrison


This one was a little obvious. I proudly must say that I fell for Mr. Schu far before many of you when he was playing Fabrizio in Adam Guettel’s The Light in the Piazza. Even though, he’s often compared to a cartoon charater, he has it all: curly hair, pothole-sized dimples, and vocal and dance moves to boot.

9. Tom Welling


Mr. Welling was probably my first, unrealized man crush. In high school, I never missed an episode of Smallville. I thought I was just jealous of how fit he was.

8. Cheyenne Jackson

cheyenne-jackson This new addition to the best show on television (30 Rock) is also a talented singer and actor. The tall, dark, and handsome type with class.

7. Kayky Brito

Kayky Another actor, but none of you probably know him. He was in a pair of my favorite novells. Alma Gemeas and Cobras e Largatos. Again, even before the inklings of homosexuality manifested themselves, I couldn’t take my eyes off this guy.

5. Cary Grant

Cary Grant

I didn’t say that they had to be alive, now, did I? He’s a leading man that transcends time.

6. Harry “Other Asian” Shum, Jr.

Other Asian

Okay, so I couldn’t help choosing another Gleek for my list. My choice, probably takes a few of you off guard. Let me just say: this kid has moves! By the way, trivia experts, his actual name on the show is Mike Chang.

4. Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Who knew that the kid from 3rd Rock would turn out normal let alone… um… yeah. Watching 500 Days of Summer ,I just wanted to take him and his hipster vests and tell him everything would be okay.

3. Lee Pace

Lee Pace pie

He has that understated charm and comedic timing that’s just irresistible. All I really need to say, though, is he has a smile to die, un-die, and die again for. I’ll go back to writing my Pushing Daisies fan fiction now….



I wish I could wear skinny jeans like him. Who knew that falsetto could be so sexy? What makes him even sexier is the mixing and composition that goes into his work. He is a visionary.

1. David Tennant

david-tennant When I found out that they were reviving my favorite British television show (Doctor Who) 6 years ago, I was a total skeptic. I am now ever so thankful I was proven wrong. He is an actor that stands out as three-dimensional—able to get to show us the darker and lighter side of every character he plays. The dress, face and accent are also a huge draw, too.

I Now Pronounce Thee…, Final Part


Unquestionably, the time that we are most vulnerable in life is when we are in love. It is a composite of all of the most difficult aspects of life: trust, sacrifice, charity, etc. It is a process of exposing the most intimate parts of us

It is so difficult because we depend upon another flawed person to satisfy and reciprocate our desires, our needs, and our doubts. And, as love is a two-way street, so many barriers keep us from what we desire most on a carnal, spiritual, and intellectual level—a meaningful and enduring connection with another person. "Does he love me back?" "Are we going too fast?" "Am I being too open?" …

Truly, love is a confusing, emotional roller coaster ride (to use a convenient cliché of a metaphor):

This confusion makes love entertaining:

Romantic comedies are formulaic really (see this entertaining link). Generally, there is some sort of love triangle. A loves B and B loves C. B and A have a major fight. B questions relationships with A and C (often based upon society's expectations). B and A decide to be together in the end. We all enjoy the journey they take us through and the idea that love endures and conquers so long as one has wit, charm, and tenacity.

This confusion makes love devastating:

For every comedy, there is a tragedy. A, B, or C may die (or become unattainable due to some life-changing revelation), leaving the others to wonder what life might have been like with him/her in their lives. All of those emotional investments linger months or years or decades and leave. Left to wonder "Why?," we must rebound from hurt, forgive when necessary, and move on.

BUT, in the end, this confusion makes love rewarding:

The pleasure and the pain of romance, in the end, even each other out. So long as we learn from our trials, taking care not to make the same mistakes multiple times, we will come out of romance smarter and emotionally satisfied. Despite all of the questions we might have had regarding why we put ourselves on the line for love, in the end things often work out for the best. And—only then—do we realize why it was so hard to find the one that we love and to look out of the window of the little house with the picket fence.

Entertaining, Devastating, Rewarding:

The moment Bronson introduced to Annie, something didn't feel quite right. Pre-dating the personal revelation regarding my sexuality (by a matter of weeks really), I was clueless about relationships in general, but still a certain perceptible 'incongruence' became apparent between the couple.

We had scooted a pair of tables together at a venue chosen by Bronson, who had courageously taken the step of introducing us to his (almost-) girlfriend. Everyone there—me, Cole, Bronson, Emily, and Matilde among others—were delighted to meet Annie. She brought to the group a combination of country charm, quick wit, and radiant smile that seemed to click immediately with the core of our group of friends.

The first words out of Cole's mouth were "You're really pretty." It just so happens that the second and third sets of words out of his mouth were also "You're so pretty." Perhaps this was because he thought her out of Bronson's league or something along those lines, but we were happy to meet her all the same. She laughed at all of the right jokes and caught onto our expressions and gestures immediately. Without hesitation, she was immediately invited to join us for a movie night and basically implied that she was now part of a group that had been together since high school.

After the lovebirds left, Matilde made an off-hand comment "If they break up, we have to keep her."

As it turns out, months later, things did not work out between Bronson and Annie. Despite an abundance of sweetness and good intentions, Cole's initial, subtle suggestion that Bronson wasn't the best match was echoed by other friends and family. As marriage became a topic of discussion in their relationship, a different end-result entered the picture: the break-up.

It was hard, but they both remained part of our group, seeing each other on a weekly basis. And despite the awkwardness, things remained civil between Annie and Bronson even as he returned to his ex, Cheryl. (See, it really does boil down to A, B, and C, sometimes). Bronson and Cheryl were soon engaged.

Despite her unwavering confidence that the break-up was the right decision, Annie had certain reservations because he was able to rebound and move on so fast. Any of us in that situation would feel slightly unloved. The easiest conclusion might be that the relationship somehow meant less to Bronson, but that overlooks the fact that the two are simply different people who look at and handle emotions and relationships differently. And that difference—not anger or selfishness or malice—ultimately resulted in hurt.

Then one day she decided to move on. It was not long before she found Drew. As this "D" entered the equation, we saw a new side of Annie. Her smile was brighter, she laughed more, and when Drew said just the right thing, she turned bright red. It was not long before all of our dreams came true.

In what seemed to be the blink of an eye, they were getting married. Months had passed as they were engaged and planned a day they had been anticipating for their entire lives. That was evident from the moment they emerged from the temple holding hands as the cameras captured their glowing faces and glimmering grins.

The couple never reached a visible emotional climax. The happiness continued throughout the wedding dinner and reception, which thankfully remained relatively drama-free. The low-lit reception's starry atmosphere only made the bride and groom more radiant.

Emily, Jacqueline, Cole, and I spent the night chatting with the bride's other dear friends. They were unexpectedly curious for gay men's perspectives on everything from food and fashion to Bronson to…well… nothing I'll mention here.

Midway through the reception, the four friends disappeared to perform our duty as friends of the bride and groom. We went to pick up a few items at the grocery store and make some mischief. String, window paint, plastic cups, condoms… (Oops! There I go mentioning the 'nothing' I said I wouldn't mention).

With seconds to spare, we completed the deed. I drew hearts and wrote incriminating phrases on the windows. Emily fashioned a chain of plastic cups akin to the ones made of tin cans trailing after couples in romantic comedies from the fifties. Jacqueline, and Coleblew up 'balloons' and filled the cab of Drew's giant Chevy pickup truck. Without the keys, however, we were unable to stow an excess of 'balloons' in the door to the gas tank. (I'd like someone to try this and tell me what someone's reaction is at a gas station). We rushed into the reception just in time to see them cutting the cake and bringing the festivities to a close.

Finally, the most anticipated event of the night had arrived. Many a $10,000 America's Funniest Home Video Prize has gone to women fighting over wedding bouquets. Everyone postured for the brawl. All the single ladies hunched over a bit, pointed their elbows slightly outwards, and set their eyes on the prize. Utah weddings, I imagine, are particularly brutal. The bouquet of red roses left the bride's hand and in the most anti-climactic way possible, one of the taller, previously-married women, Angie, snagged it. Miffed, but in the least serious of ways, Jacqueline grabbed the bouquet. (Perhaps there's some sort of underhanded wedding bouquet-fumble rule I've never heard of?) It was to no avail, though. Angie left with the bouquet as Jacqueline teased, "Why is it that the girl with the baby always catches the bouquet?!"

To our surprise, the festivities were not over. The bride and groom had decided to follow the tradition of throwing the wedding garter. As the next set of contestants lined up, the atmosphere was a bit different—more bashful and far less serious. There were four of us: three gay boys (myself, Cole, and a friend of the bride's sister) and a cousin in his tweens. Needless to say, none of us planned on marriage in our foreseeable futures. As Drew pulled the red, lacy, beaded garter from Annie's leg, Cole shouted, "Be a man! Use your teeth, Drew!" He blushed a bit, passed a dirty look, and continued as he was—pulling with his hands.

He stood up, stretched the garter, and released. It fell short—in the direction of Cole and me. He wasn't about to get it. I'd worked too hard pursuing romance and facing disappointment after disappointment (not without reward). This was going to be my superstitious consolation prize of sorts. I stuck my right foot forward a ways, performing a relatively low splits maneuver catching the garter just as it touched the cultural hall floor. Getting up, I noticed a strange sensation.

I looked down to see a certain bulge protruding from a foot-long tear in my favorite dress pants (which Cole had dubbed my "ass pants"). My underwear was showing. I took the flap of fabric and pulled it closed concealing what needed to be concealed. I turned to Cole behind me who was wondering why everyone was laughing. Opening up the flaps of fabric to show him what he'd missed, one of the biggest laughs I've ever heard from anyone erupted from my friend (loud enough to bruise his vocal cords for a few days). Finally one of Annie's friends came over, pulled off my jacket and tied it around my waste, shielding my embarrassment for a moment.

Upon their exit, the bride and groom provided us with candidly chagrined responses to our mischief. Plenty of blushing, smiling, and giggling, and of course Annie's flustered "I don't want any kids picking up popped condoms in the parking lot on Sunday morning." In no time, the couple was on their way shouting "Nice undies, GMB!"

Love made a little more sense that night. Drew and Annie were happy despite awkwardness or perhaps as a result of overcoming it. Of course, it's more than a formula because people (and life) cannot be boiled down into a single prediction or outcome, otherwise any person in this world could marry any other person to the same outcome and—really—there is no romance in that idea. That's why the only solution is to take risks, get hurt, and take control of any trials or pain that come our way. That might change us. A piece of us might die in the process, but when it comes down to it, whatever might die or get lost in this process is replaced by something more meaningful to everyone involved in the process whether they be a bride, a groom, a lover, or a friend.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Obligatory "New Moon" Response

It happened.

I broke down and saw the second installment of the Twilight series. My friend Stuart invited me.

Prior to the movie, I took a pretty uppity tone with my friend Stuart. He had enjoyed the first movie and I had not (although my experience was tainted by the fact that I saw it with a boy who tried taking advantage of me in a foreign country…). We have different tastes.

Here's our exchange of texts for the evening after we'd decided to go:

GMB: Thanks for the invite tonight. Do I have permission to heckle?
Stuart: Over what?
GMB: The cheesiness of the movie.
Stuart: Get over it. You know it's going to be good.
GMB: I'm taking a notebook to write down the worst lines. And maybe to sketch Jacob's six-pack
Stuart: You know we are going for the eye candy!
GMB: Not for the complex plot and 3-dimensional characters and their nuanced romance?
Stuart: Literary junkie!
GMB: Call me a snob if I enjoy the abstract and the aesthetic
Stuart: Now, now. It's just playful banter.
GMB: That's what makes this fun. I like to pull out the word 'aesthetic' every chance I get.

Needless to say, I didn't go into the movie taking it half as seriously as the eight sixteen year old girls sitting next to me in the theater. As the moon appeared on the screen and morphed into the title card for the movie, a chorus of cat calls erupted.

Seriously, what is wrong with these girls? (And twenty-something gay men?)
Although I would have liked to have gained some insight to love or how we treat each other in watching this film, the moral seemed pretty disconcerting. Are brooding men with violent tendencies supposed to be attractive?
Let's face it…even if Edward (or Jacob) is so dang cute (and they are…more so Jacob), shouldn't the potential for domestic violence be a relationship deal-breaker?

Social morality diatribe aside, the film doesn't have much to offer that I couldn't find elsewhere:
If I wanted to hear a teenage girl whine about a breakup for an hour and a half, I would go speak with one of any number of my cousins.
If I wanted cheesy lines, I'd go buy some Laughy Taffy in bulk.
And finally,
If I wanted to stare at hot, half-naked men, I'd go to one of many resources on the web created expressly for that purpose.

Instead, read these rejected screenplays for Twilight and New Moon. You'll save time and not even need to test your threshold for pain.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Five Tests

"Elders and Sisters," he said, "this is part of your preparation to find your eternal companion. Relish every moment of your mission and you will be blessed in every sense of the word."

We've all sat down and given good thought to what we want out of a partner. I remember hearing a talk from a general authority in my mission about finding the right spouse. He gave us instructions regarding our physical and emotional well-being and ended with three pieces of advice meant for our return:

"Upon your return, you mustn't neglect to seek out the woman that will raise your children and love you beyond the day that you die. She will have a greater impact on you than your mission ever will."

That, of course, did not help the more trunky Elders (slang for the missionaries incapacitated by homesickness).

"I present to you three tests your future wife must complete to make sure she's the one."

The missionaries (Elders and sisters alike) readied their pens to take furious notes in anticipation of the Seventy's formula for happiness.

"First, take her to her ward and visit the nursery. See how she does with the kids. Then tell the nursery leaders they can take a break. Agitate the kids a bit by telling them they get cookies after church is over then lock her in the room alone with a dozen three-year olds. If she survives..."

We hesitated a little wondering if it was appropriate to laugh.

"... and doesn't kill you, at least you know she'll be a good mother."

Then, the inappropriate laughter commenced.

Working off the energy of the crowd he continued, "The second test is much easier. Set up a quiet dinner date for the two of you... and invite your parents. Give her an hour's notice. If the meal turns out well, and doesn't kill you, you'll know she's a good cook."

At this point, a few of the Elders were probably still taking him seriously, unfortunately.

"Finally, the last test is a date on the beach. Make sandcastles, have a romantic walk, and make sure to have a good swim. When you're out in the water (and when she's least suspecting), dunk her a few times then take a good look. If that's something you're okay with looking at every morning, you've probably found the right woman.

"Of course, if she has the patience to go through all of that, you have an added bonus."

Everyone had a good laugh at the implausibility of the suggestions. Considering the fact that he the general authority was a Latino speaking in Latin America, there's a little more leeway as far as machismo and humor go. The advice is abstractly practical. Essentially, he was telling us that we should consider more than just sexual attraction as a matrimonial barometer.

Over the past year, I've worked out my own little informal system consisting of five tests:

Test #1: The First Date Test.

Generally, I don't turn down a first date. I think that one-on-one time is where you really find out about a person, and first impressions are pretty important in my book. Even the type of date is important; dinner and a movie is not ideal for me because I want to know someone through conversation. (In total, the number of guys who have taken this test is approaching 80).

Test #2: The Cole Test

Cole has my back. He wants to see me happy and I value his opinion. When I'm dating someone and enjoying it, Cole is generally the first one to find out and if Cole feels it's about to get serious, he either meets the boy or finds him on Facebook in order to conduct a "worthiness interview." (About 3 have gone through the interview process and another 5 or so have met him).

Test #3: The Girl Friends Test

Practically every GMB has his straight Mormon girl friends. If the boy I like can survive any awkwardness surrounding my friends and their weirdness, loudness, and/or difference in belief, he's probably a keeper. (3 have made it to this point).

Test #4: The Bobbie Jean Test

As one of Bobbie Jean's 3 Gay Sons, I am obligated to take gay boy in question 'to meet the parents.' She's expects a lot because, in her eyes, I deserve the best.I've only gathered the courage to introduce one boy to her. (Mark).

Test #5: The Parents Test

Of course, if my surrogate mother's opinion matters so much, my actual mother's (and father's) will as well. They have met a few of the boys I've dated, however I've never introduced them as anything more than friends. Though it's difficult to think about sometimes, I'm confident that one day I'll meet someone who, in my parents' eyes will be worth losing my eternal salvation.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Considering the volume of my latest posts and to celebrate my 30th post, I thought one of these word cound analysis graphs would reveal a thing or two.

A few conclusions may be drawn:

  1. Mark had an impact on my life I'm still coming to grips with.
  2. I use the word never more than I thought.
  3. Cole is definitely my best friend or has the ego to compensate for that not being the case.
[Created with the help of]

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Now Pronounce Thee…, Part 5


Imagine being outed to the girl who wrote you throughout your mission—pushed out of the closet door in but a blink of an eye. A look of terror coming across your face as she looks to see your reaction, pulling away a little asking why didn't you tell me? The pieces pull themselves together in her head—the conversations about the right girl being impossible to find; the intensely deep discussions of literature, theatre, music, and art; the uncanny and undying devotion to sock-shirt color coordination.

Jeannie was the one person aside from my own mother who regularly wrote me on my mission. We were connected on a level I'd never felt with any other girl. We could finish each other's sentences, hold arguments over any number of common interests, and point out minute, unmentionable flaws in each other. In the mission field, I contemplated more than once the idea of coming home and marrying her—the lives that we'd lead, the continued, growing friendship, the intertwining of each and every branch of our life.

These fantasies were spurred by a number of conditions. I was a continent away, reading glory stories of men coming home, getting married, and raising families. I have no idea if her intention was the same as mine, but the poetry we exchanged and the clippings of my favorite comic strip would likely indicate that that's the case.

Needless to say, once I got home from my mission, things did not work out—romantically—between us. We spent more time than ever together. We continued having our late-night discussions, and critique one another's poetry, but something never took. That seed of mutual interests, compatible senses of humor, and everything else never blossomed into a romance. It never even peeked out of the soil.

Upon returning from my mission, things immediately started where we'd left off, but it was only a matter of months before we hit a wall. I was attracted to her in every way but sexually. There was no 'spark' because I didn't even that special feeling, and as a result, we never went on a single date, though the possibility was always implied. One day, when I felt comfortable with it, we were going to go on that first magical date. That date never came, so someone else came along.

As Matt entered her life, we remained friends, but our friendship became more and more dependent on Facebook as we headed in different directions and they started to absorb every free moment in each other's lives as lovers tend to do. Eight months later, they were married in the temple. The reception was beautiful. The wedding colors were white and a very subtle green and Jeannie's bouquet of lilies brought out the often over-looked color in Jeannie's reddish-brown hair. The reception was held a stone's throw away from the bride's house in a town a stone's throw from nowhere.

I arrived at the wedding with Cole and a guest. Although I can't be certain what Jeannie knew or inferred close as we were, that guest was possibly the last piece of the puzzle she needed. I brought Mark. Deep down, I suppose I wanted to show my boyfriend that I wanted to be married someday and that I thought being with him was worth whatever risk bringing him to the wedding entailed. I simply introduced him as a friend who was going on a mission to the northeast soon. (All true). Everyone took it at face value and didn't question why I would bring a random young man to the reception of one of my best friend.

One year later, we all found ourselves at another wedding (with the exception of Mark who was on his mission).

We (and perhaps, at times, Bronson himself) thought the day would never come when he would find his special someone, but then we met Cheryl (a story which deserves a post—nay—a series of its own). They were perfect for each other. Again, it was a beautiful reception in fabulous June weather. Book-ended by two days of rain, it was the perfect temperature. In the bride's back yard, the reception had a cozy feeling. All of my dearest friends sat at the table reminiscing about past weddings and the high school days.

As the wedding came to a close and the line dissipated, one of the bridesmaids flitted over in her lime green and pink dress to join Cole, myself, Matt, Jeannie, and Emily. Liz had heard Cole's infamous laugh and a conversation about the music of Up from across the yard. (We tend to demand that attention in large groups). Every aspect of Liz's personality and appearance contrasted with that of her sister, the bride. While Cheryl, though lovely, initially came off as somewhat awkward and conservative….

Liz's first question for us immediately following our discussion of the visual and narrative significance of the movie Up was:

"So are you two going to PRIDE tomorrow?"

My and Cole's jaws dropped. We had no idea what to say. Gay was by no means tattooed on our foreheads, but why would it be the first question out of her mouth? Dumbstruck, neither I nor Cole could utter a word. The hair on the nape of my neck stuck up and I remembered Jeannie's presence and the fact that as close as we'd gotten to having a conversation about me being gay, it had never actually happened.

I swallowed my fear and opened my mouth, "Yes. Actually, I've been volunteering there the past two days."

"I've been meaning to go with some friends. You know me. I'm a bit of a 'fruit fly.'"

At that, it was immediately revealed to Cole and I had a new friend. We also had confirmation that any hopes that Jeannie and Matt might have had that we were straight were laid to rest next to that dream that what Jeannie and I had might grow into something more.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Shame on You, America Forever

Today at work, I saw a colleague in tears over a hateful fax that was sent across the state of Utah today in reaction to the LDS church’s newly-proclaimed stance on non-discrimination laws.

The fax in question (visible here) spewed racism, libel, and downright hatred, preying on the weak-minded suggesting that “[e]ndorsing these lifestyles to the young of tender ages confuses them and causes violence to their mind, body and spirit.” (which I found on a list of Utah’s tax-exempt organizations) claims to have sent out 80,000 copies of the ignorantly-worded and shoddily-crafted document.

I am proud of my ex-boss who, upon receiving this fax, phoned these people up and announced to them that “[e]very time I receive a piece of hate with your name on it, I am going to donate $50 to Equality Utah.” I encourage everyone to take a stand and do something. Call these people (801.508.5380) and tell them you won’t stand for hate or email a complaint with the FCC (

Thanks for listening. Hate is definitely one thing that should never be tolerated.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I Now Pronounce Thee…, Part 4


"Keep your Peter in Your Pants!"

Throughout high school, those words were our own inappropriate inside joke. Unlike other parents that would say things like "Remember who you are" as their children heading out of the house, Cole's Father, prior to any date, would employ humor rather than guilt and awkward embarrassment to keep his sons from having any pre-marital sex. Well into our college years, his gruff voice always carried with it a certain sense of intimidation.

Hoping to embarrass him, the night of his wedding Cole decided to text our friend Payton this little phrase to see how embarrassed/mad/anxious he would get. We never saw his reaction. Either foreseeing our prank or out of politeness to his wife and family, the phone remained in his pocket and turned off throughout the reception. Later, of course, he would get the message and likely roll his eyes before hopping into the honeymoon bed.

That night started off as embarrassing for me as any of us could ever hope to embarrass Payton. Jacqueline had just found out (and adjusting to her new mantle of 'fruit fly') and Cole and I were making efforts to be more open about our escapades to that point in our lives. On our way to the wedding—the true highlight of the story—the subject of dating had come up and at this point in the process of coming out, I was dating a lot. Jacqueline had plenty of questions about what had happened prior to her return from her mission.

Following a discussion of Cole's engagement and our journey to "coming out to ourselves," my best friend took the opportunity to share every embarrassing detail and offer perspectives I'd never heard before on my four months of dating. I'd never say that it was a form of revenge or anything malicious, but if Cole had wanted to blackmail me at that time, these stories would be the one's he'd use in my tell-all biography.

Looking back, these were nothing more than tales of inexperience and puppy love, but they were really the most intimate moments of my life at the time. Despite being on his mission, Mark remained on my mind at all times, so any discussion of our time together brought up all sorts of emotions I wasn't prepared to deal with (just as Cole faced a rush of emotions every time he was forced to explain his failed engagement and the hardest of these stories to hear really touched on both of these experiences.

"It was your average outing with Bobbie Jean with one exception," Cole began. "It was the regular dinner and a show/opera/exhibit format, but GMB had brought Mark to meet the parents so to speak. Bobbie Jean is basically our mom. She provides the guidance that she would provide her children were she to have any and we, her gay boys, take the advice we'd never get from our parents.

"We had a very normal dinner—Chinese at the best place in town. We caught up on each others lives and everyone got to know GMB's boyfriend. It was a little awkward I suppose because my 'date' for the night was the last girl I'd attempted to date."

Jacqueline interjected with a barely-audible "Hmm?," squinting slightly in one eye. "Oh…. Long story. We would take each other out pretty often for lunch. I guess it started out as dating and ended up turning into discussions of why we could never be a couple."

"Oh," Jacqueline uttered, sympathizing with the unintentional jilting of another straight Mormon girl.

"At dinner, we spent a lot of time joking about how things didn't work out, but we quickly moved on to teasing the lovebirds." At that moment, I'm sure I blushed a little.

"It got even better at the show. Myra had gotten us free tickets to Footloose on the back row—where no one can see you cuddle...." The jab carried sufficient weight to make me blush even more.

"To be honest, though," he continued, "the real show was not what was on stage. All of us—me and Bobbie Jean, especially—were much more entertained by GMB and Mark's attempting to hold hands seated next to an old Mormon couple. They'd probably been married fifty years on their weekly date when out of the blue the homos show up to make them uncomfortable."

Noticing that I was getting a little red in the face, Cole decided to test the limits a little bit. Jacqueline chuckled despite her sympathy for the couple just going to the show to see a little community theater, and Cole's description of our hand-holding: "They were like two turtles. Both of them were so anxious over being seen or what people would think or what each other might do, they would make all of the signals to hold each others' hands and then pull away. This went on for maybe a half hour as Bobbie Jean and I chuckled to ourselves a few seats down.

"Finally, they did it. The couple showed a little initial discomfort, but they got over it. The satisfaction on Mark and GMB's faces was priceless, though. Who knew that releasing those hormones would lead to such happiness on the faces of two gay boys?"

Just when I thought it was over and I couldn't be more horrified, Cole brought up the backseat—the very one we were sitting in on our way to Payson's wedding. It was perhaps the cutest moment that Mark and I had ever had. It just happened to take place in Cole's backseat and Cole just happened to be there.

"We decided to take my car to save gas and carpool. So, the plan was for GMB to take Mark to the door, kiss him goodnight, and kiss him goodbye. But…"

I chuckled in anticipation.

"…as we got to Mark's house just past midnight we realized that his neighbors were outside working on a car with the kind of floodlights they'd use in an NFL stadium. An angry groan came from the back seat 'Stupid Brother Sorenson. Who works on a car at this hour?!' Needless to say, their little plan was ruined. No good night smooch. No romantic goodbyes. Nothing….

"Until Mark made a request: 'Cole, can your backseat be my doorstep tonight?' I gave in and let them go at it for a while. All sorts of terrible sounds were coming from back there. I didn't even have time to turn on the radio or cover my ears!"

I thought that was the worst of it. The most embarrassed I could possibly be and the most uncomfortable that Jacqueline could feel about her RM boy friend making out a pre-missionary. It got worse, though. I blushed more than I'd ever blushed and as anxious as that time I hit the emergency button in my grandmother's hospital room when I was seven.

"I couldn't believe it! GMB was inaugurating MY backseat. Even when I was engaged, I didn't get to make out back there. I am a good friend! I am a DAMN GOOD friend for donating my back seat! To this day, he's gotten more action in my car than I have! You owe me, GMB. You owe me big."

The conversation ended in awkward laughter. I wasn't sure whether to feel worse over Jacqueline's discomfort (as she squinted and squeaked a little bit as she laughed) or my own (as I laughed off the awkwardness and Cole reassured me he'd worked through those feelings). It was difficult to realize that my escapades had caused angst for my best friend, but we worked things out in a couple of minutes as we made our way into the most awkward wedding reception of our life. The emotions were a bit off. Awkward neediness and anger filled the air. Unfortunately, unlike our situation in the car, this tension didn't disappear with laughter.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Blessings from the Glee Gods

Distracted, again, from my current series I came across a track list for the next Glee CD. Naturally, I thought I wouldn't be the only one who would appreciate this fortunate news. Having jammed out to "Glee: The Music Vol. 1" all week long in the car, my anticipation of Vol. 2 has grown to perhaps an unhealthy degree (much like my crush on Mr. Schu).

If my pumpkin homage isn't enough for you, I guess I'll share with you the tracklisting for "Glee: The Music Vol. 2:

"Proud Mary"
"Endless Love"
"I'll Stand By You"
"Don't Stand So Close To Me"/"Young Girl"
"(You're) Having My Baby"
"Lean On Me"
"Don't Make Me Over"
"True Colors"
"Smile" (Lily Allen cover)
"Smile" (Charlie Chaplin cover)
"And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going"
"Don't Rain On My Parade"
"You Can't Always Get What You Want"
"My Life Would Suck Without You"


Of the 17 new tracks from "Homo Explosion," I'm particularly excited for "I'll Stand By You" and "Lean on Me" although that suggests that there's some drama on the horizon for our favorite rejects. The one track the sticks out, though is "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going." We've heard Jennifer Hudson, but it looks like it looks like we'll soon be blown away by Mercedes and her show-stopping chops.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I Now Pronounce Thee…, Part 3


Summer had lingered a few extra days last year. The dry heat provided a comfortable insulation to the inevitable cold about to beat at falls door. The air smelled of cut grass as the fourteen year-old boys who mowed them saw an end in sight for their summer jobs. Cole and I, were on our way to a pair of wedding receptions. With the standard wedding gift in hand—a popcorn popper, to remind us all of the fond memories of movie-watching and chatting—we made our way to the church meetinghouses to say our final goodbyes to Faith and Glenda.

Perhaps that seems a little strong. Weddings are, of course, joyous occasions, but commitment (rightly) comes with consequences that can be related to death. Once married, your relationship with a person can never be exactly the same—part of your relationship with that person is laid to rest. As two become one, compromises must be made as your social calendars merge, your number of friends and family commitments doubles, and you save whatever time is left after work and school. With each couple, the level of change is different; while some couples virtually disappear others remain a significant part of their social circles through facebook or regular social interaction.

In LDS culture, marriage is perceived as a step up in maturity. You get to have more responsibilities, more fun (*cough*…sex…), and move out of the good ol' singles ward. That day, it was pretty easy to perceive the change that would soon occur in our group of friends. Both returned missionaries, Faith and Glenda returned hoping to marry upstanding RMs (returned missionaries) and marry in the temple. Faith (one of the more beautiful girls who attended our high school) returned quite well-adjusted to BYU with her smile as gleaming as ever eventually encountering the man she would one day marry a couple of years later.

Glenda, on the other hand, had a particularly difficult time returning to the life she left behind. Her mother and best friend providing all the love and support one could ask for still did not compensate for the re-entry awkwardness so many missionaries face. The boys she'd dated had left the church and she returned in poor health. The following months were quite difficult not only for her but for many of her friends. Like many missionaries (mostly male, however), everything we discussed for the next six months was somehow related to a 10-minute mission story.

It was also apparent that she wanted to be married and quick. Within a couple of weeks she'd manipulated me into a date (this is a story for another series... probably later this month) and in six months she'd brought one of her exes back to the church and shortly marry thereafter… leading us back to that sultry summer weekend.

Cole and I passed through wedding lines, chatted with the parents of brides and grooms alike and enjoyed refreshments. Sitting at the receptions to these two friends, we had a subdued conversation about marriage. We were happy for the two of them (at varying degrees) and for their growing awareness of what it means to love someone and to be with them for "time and all eternity," yet at the back of our heads a pair of elephants in the room became apparent the longer we enjoyed the festivities:

  1. Our closest friends are disappearing one by one.
  2. Will we ever be the ones falling in love and pairing off? (…Definitely not with each other, btw…that topic also deserves its own post).

We occupied the air with conversation of memories of our friends (dearly-departed to another world)—the alliterative nicknames Faith had given us, the surprise parties, the senior trip with Glenda, and, or course, popcorn—rather than with these worries that would will someday be resolved.

End, Part 3

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