Sunday, February 28, 2010

Laugh of the Day #10

So, I woke up a little late today, somehow managing to sleep twelve hours straight. No real post this time and two hours late at that.

I chose this one because it’s been forwarded to me at least three times. I guess the boundary between the gay and the literary must be my niche.

This falls right in line with Cole’s belief that every girl needs her queers. We give compliments when needed, we listen, and we spot the other gay boys so she doesn’t fall for them and get hurt.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Le Gars de Chocolat Chaud, Part 3

The Waiting Game

So whatever was going on with Toni wasn’t what I’d prepared to deal with at that point. Another crush hadn’t panned out. Dating wasn’t really a possibility (although he probably initially had that same desire), and I had somehow consigned myself to moral support as he got over Ash.

It was a torturous position, really, because I had essentially volunteered to listen to him pine over another man. Over the course of several weeks, he opened up more and more about the breakup and life in general. He invited me to lunch with friends and introduced me to two new and distinct sets of friends: the Multicultural Student Union and the local gay crowd.


Picking him up from his place for the first time (to go on a Jamba Juice run), I realized something I should have pieced together earlier. Toni lived with not one but two of the guys I’d been out with in town. He belonged to that elite fraternity of gay boys living in The Wood House. He didn’t talk much about his roommates, but it sounded like they were gay.

As I pulled up and walked to the door I wondered what would happen if I ran into Kevin or Jack, guys I’d dated and lived there. Toni and I weren’t dating, but that’s what I wanted. How would all of that affect the situation? Toni opened the door and invited me in for a moment. Sure enough Kevin and one of the other roommates were there in the kitchen having a discussion about school.

“…I’ll be glad when it’s all over. I can’t wait to just get out there and do something even if it’s not web design,” Kevin said. He then passed a flirty look.

“You are graduating, Kevin. You should feel like that,” the other roommate said. Turning to me he introduced himself. “I’m Alberto. What is your name?”

“GMB. Nice to meet you.”

“Kevin, have you found someone to take your room yet?” Toni chimed in.

He shook his head. “Not yet.”

“He should move in,” Alberto suggested, indicating me.

“I don’t know about that.”

The conversation pretty much stifled there. “Are you ready to go to Jamba?” I asked.

“Definitely. You guys wanna come?”

“I’ve got work to do,” Kevin said perhaps a bit upset that I didn’t ask him myself.

“I’ll come,” said Alberto, running off to grab his wallet.

Deep down, I still hoped that somehow things would work, but I was nothing more than one of the guys. The trip to Jamba only proved that was the case as the conversation in the car quickly turned to his dating problems. The hopes that he might get over Ash continued, however.

The following Saturday, he invited me to a party at The Wood House. These parties took place with regularity and involved much of the gay crowd. In a way, it was like arriving. The atmosphere wasn’t so much exciting as interesting. I suppose I approached it much as Jane Goodall would her noble gorillas. I observed social behaviors: hugging upon entry and exit, somewhat scandalous dancing in the breakfast nook, compliments on clothing and hair, tennis games of innuendo-laden exchanges.

I stuck with the people I knew. Certainly, my caution came off to some as arrogance, but I remained polite and cool-headed as I figured things out. Toni, as host, made the rounds and remained distant throughout the night, so I stuck with his friend Lila. We remained the lone sober guests at the party.

couch liza gmb

Although our conversation began as we made fun of the immature behavior going on around us including our own Gilmore Girls-esque jabs, we ended up talking about something more serious by the end of the night.

“I have a confession to make,” I said.

She smiled, nodded, and turned her ear towards me. “Go on… Anna Freud’s here and listening.”

“I’m kind of hung up on Toni. He’s just so nice. He brought me hot chocolate. Who does that?! And now, all I can think about is going over there and dancing with him, but I know it won’t mean anything to him.”

“You’re right. It won’t. I’m Toni’s best friend and I know for a fact it won’t mean a thing. He’s not over Ash and he doesn’t really want to be.”

“How so?”

“He doesn’t accept the fact that it’s over because he thinks that it’ll start up again. He’s been texting Ash all night, if you didn’t notice and just now I bet he’s going into his room to call him.”

“How do you know this?”

“You forget,” she said smugly and honestly as Toni passed us on the way to his room with his phone up to his ear. “I’m in psychology. I don’t know everything, but I know my best friend better than most people know their own family.”

I marveled at what she said. If I came close to knowing that much about a person it would certainly be Cole, but even then I wondered. Moments later, angry shouts pounded against the door.

Lila then turned to me with a sternly comforting look: Let go. I knew that it had come to a point where the only sane thing to do was let go. I would be there for him, but not as some sort of knight in shining armor.

End, Part 3.

Note that in the previous post “My First Fruit Fly” falls within this post, and should this blog ever be transformed into a book-length memoir will be incorporated into this series.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Le Gars de Chocolat Chaud, Part 2

Coffee Break

We found ourselves at Starbucks. It was my first time ever there and one of a handful of times at a café. Toni, on the other hand, had grown up with coffee since before he could remember.

There was always something about cafes that I found alluring. Coffee houses in Utah (even corporate coffee places) have a stigma attached to them of alternative culture mostly because drinking coffee is a form of rebellion within Mormonism. However, my attraction to this atmosphere ran deeper. It encompassed the smells of boiling water, cream, coffee and chocolate; the jazz music humming just under reasoned, polite conversation; the range of possibilities as one noted every flavor of Italian soda, tea, and high-brow desserts; and finally the intellectual air in which one was free to discuss politics in civility or write poetry alone at the table in the corner.


We sat next to each other in two comfy armchairs. They were comfortable enough to know that they weren’t any good for our posture as we enjoyed the drinks I paid for.

“Are you sure you don’t want a taste?” he asked. “It’s the first coffee you’ve ever paid for.”

“Honestly, Toni, I do but I don’t. You know… I love the smell, but I just don’t… I’m fine.”

He giggled at my admission that I was curious about coffee.

“You’ve seriously never had a drop? You’ve been to South America and seen the world’s finest coffee, but still no?”

I lightly shook my head and rolled my eyes, blushing slightly. To diffuse my blushing, I took a sip of my cocoa and returned my attention to Toni as he looked out the window at the falling snow.

“Alright. Someday, though,” he said. He then segued back to a previous discussion on philosophy, his favorite subject, “So you’re still Mormon. How does that work?”

“Sometimes I prefer not to think about it. I’d like to live my life and have everybody else mind their own business.”

I was a little surprised I’d put it quite like that, but it was the truth or the beginnings of it. Yet I was enjoying the evening completely.

Toni cafe“I mean the last guy I dated was Mormon,” he said. “You all deal somehow. It just seems like so much. No coffee, no beer, etc. Even tea and tea is definitely good for you.”

“It’s a little more complicated than that.”

“Is it really, GMB? You’re in a position where you can’t have everything you want and be happy.”

He was right. Everything I’d read or felt told me that one day I’d have to choose the gay part or the Mormon part and that it was only a matter of when.

“I’m not really sure what I’ll do.”

“But what happens when you do make a decision and your family tells you its the wrong one? What do you do the-then?” he stuttered slightly. “Will you stick with the decision or go back?”

Under other circumstances, I would have been defensive or felt violated somehow. It was clear that something was wrong. His ex had battled the Gay/Mormon dichotomy and Toni’s heart was the casualty.

“Ash just couldn’t handle it. His family came down on him for everything. For drinking, for having a boyfriend, for not going to church. He still drinks and doesn’t do the church thing, but I got left out of the p-picture,” he said, taking a deep breath. “I stutter sometimes, by the way.”

That moment wasn’t any revelation about the future for me. I’d been through the possibilities hundreds of times in my mind. I hadn’t thought about how that might effect the guy in my life at that point.

“That’s why I don’t date,” he said. “Things aren’t resolved. I’m not ready.”

“Oh,” I said in reflex. “I’m here for you.”

It wasn’t the date I thought it was. (It wasn't a date at all). I guess he wasn’t really interested after all and just needed friends. He wasn’t the prince showing up to sweep me off my feet. I was left to wonder, though if he was the one that needed saving.

End, Part 2.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

In Memoriam

Instead of continuing the current series as planned, I’ve elected for a day of silence in memory of Stuart Matis, a gay Mormon who shot himself on the steps of his meetinghouse in Palo Alto, CA ten years ago today (Feb. 25, 2000).

In honor of his parents wishes not to politicize his death on this day, I leave you with links to other posts remembering him and his own words (taken from these sites):

"I implore the students at BYU [Brigham Young University] to re-assess their homophobic feelings. Seek to understand first before you make comments. We have the same needs as you. We desire to love and be loved. We desire to live our lives with happiness. We are not a threat to you or your families. We are your sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, neighbors, co-workers and friends, and most importantly, we are all children of God."

"Perhaps my death … might become the catalyst for much good. I’m sure that you will now be strengthened in your resolve to teach the members and the leaders [of the Church] regarding the true nature of homosexuality." (letter to family, Los Altos Town Crier)

"The church has no idea that as I type this letter, there are surely boys and girls on their calloused knees imploring God to free them from this pain. They hate themselves. They retire to bed with their finger pointed to their head in the form of a gun. The church's involvement in the Knight initiative [prop 22] will only add to the great pain suffered by these young gay Mormons." (letter to cousin weeks before his death)

"Straight members have absolutely no idea what it is like to grow up gay in this church. It is a life of constant torment, self-hatred and internalized homophobia." (same letter to cousin).

Requiem for a Gay Mormon: In memory of Henry Stuart Matis
Henry Stuart Matis (1967-2000)
To Be Gay — And Mormon (Newsweek)

Others’ Reactions:
I Will Remember You
Dear Stuart
Remembering Stuart
When Heavy Wings Grow Lighter
The Matis Statement
No Such Thing as a Coincidence?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Le Gars de Chocolat Chaud

There I was. It was a busy morning at work. Paperwork had piled up, emails awaited response, and appointments waited to be arranged. I couldn’t get any of this work done. A tingly sensation was in the air. Partly out of worry and partly out of sheer giddiness, I completely lacked focus.

A half hour into work, a visitor arrived. It was my first time seeing him in person. His skin a gorgeous olive tone, his hair jet black and receding ever so slightly, I was taken immediately by the gesture.

“Hi, GMB. I hope your day’s going well. I just thought I’d bring you some hot chocolate and say hi.”

He flashed me a smile and chuckled briefly as he watched my reaction, then turned around and left.

“Catch you later.”

He quickly made his way out of the door, a little faster with the joy of a good deed done. It was a sort of expected surprise.

Toni He started up a conversation on connexion. A simple hello leading to a discussion on the proper ways to pronounce the words “either,” “tomato,” and “banana.” His name was Toni and he definitely wasn’t from Utah.

“Do you mind if I ask where you’re from?” I asked via instant messaging.

“Of course not. I’m from the Middle East.”

“Really? That’s awesome. I guess that’s a bit like my situation. Being gay and Mormon.”

“Yeah. I guess. It’s different. Harsher, I think. My mom’s been really supportive. Sure, she put me in counselling and thought I was a terrible person for a while, but she always loved me.

“I worry about that happening. We’re not meant to be fixed, Toni.”

Perhaps for the reason that we were from two distinct cultures tied together by conservatism and ‘traditional’ ideas of love we formed a bond.

“Let me take you out for a drink sometime,” he said.

“Sure. Anytime,” I quickly replied.

“Let’s grab a beer sometime.”

“Nah. I don’t drink.”

“How about a coffee sometime on campus?”

hot-chocolate“On campus would be fine. I work near the café, but I don’t drink coffee. I’m down with hot chocolate, though.”

“Okay,” he said, “expect a surprise tomorrow. Have a good night.”

In a matter of minutes, I’d contacted Cole and told him exactly what had happened.

“So this Hot Chocolate Boy is pretty cute then?

“Definitely. We’ll see where it all goes. I’m excited, but I don’t want that to rule my emotions.”

“That’s a very GMB thing to say, you know—you don’t want it to, but it will.”

And, of course, he was right. The next morning, I was very distracted, and even after he arrived with said ‘surprise.’

I was taught that taught in church that random acts of kindness can melt our hearts and that’s really what happened in this case. The hopeless romantic—the one I’d always dreamed of becoming but never thought would exist before I realized my sexuality—was being touched once again. The act was nothing extravagant, but somehow reminded me of the dream I held looking at the timeless romances of my straight friends like Nate and Chenese. I was reassured that the sweetness of their ‘everyday fairytale’ romance could exist for me.


That said, Toni later shared with me much more difficult lessons for a hopeless romantic.

End, Part 1.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Life in Charts: Figure #6

Another day of slacking thanks to applications and a certain three-hour conversation.

The Gay Agenda

In reaction to yesterday’s report by the Please Won’t You Think of the Children!? Foundation (PWYTCF) on the threat Gay Marriage poses, the Queer and Loving It Group (QLIG) conducted their own poll on the motives driving GLBT political action (see Fig. #6).


“Their findings were as sinister as one might expect,” Jason Ashbury of PWYTCF stated in reaction to the findings. “Sources in the Pentagon have recently uncovered gay plots to give the Statue of Liberty a makeover, have Lady Gaga rewrite the national anthem, and make What Not to Wear part of the standard middle school curriculum. This country is in unbearable danger of becoming exceptionally queerful if these menaces aren’t stopped.”

(Sometimes I think I should write for Weekend Update on SNL).

Back to a new series tomorrow I swear. This one is entitled, Le Gars de Chocolat Chaud. How’s everybody’s French?

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Life in Charts: Figure #5

So, it’s time for another cop out post. I’m preparing a pretty important application in the next week and it’s taking up more of my time than I’d considered.

Gay Marriage II

According to a recent threat assessment report by the Please Won’t You Think of the Children!? Foundation (PWYTCF), the looming threats of gay marriage are numerous (See Fig. #5).

Gay Marriage Consequences

The Feb. 22 report advises, “Save yourselves while you still can and move to one of the redder states in which textbooks clearly state that the earth is thousands of years old and your children will listen to Rush Limbaugh on the bus home from school.”

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Embarrassing Things That Make Me Cry #2

Last year, I made a deal with a friend of mine, Dennis. We both enjoy television to a perhaps unhealthy degree and we were both agreed to catch up on current shows that the other was passionate about.

My choice for him was easy. He could quote every line of Mean Girls, but he’d never seen an episode of 30 Rock.

His choice for me honestly puzzled me a bit. Grey’s Anatomy? Based on the TV spots on Entertainment Tonight before my mission, I genuinely thought that the show was sensationalistic trash. Sure there’s sex, medical mysteries, more sex, drama, drama-induced sex, and cute boys….wait… this isn’t sounding so bad….

Layout 1

(Spoilers ahead for those who haven’t seen the show).

This series has managed to make me cry a few times, despite the fact that I can’t stand the title character (Meredith Grey). The first big cry came when Christina gets left at the alter.

For those of you, like me, who didn’t figure you were gay until your twenties or later in or outside of marriage, you’ll understand why the first half of this clip just took my breath away (although I think it comes off slightly over the top in certain parts). It’s from season 5 and provides its own context:

The metaphor of life coming into focus really touched me in a way I wasn’t expecting this show to touch me. I live for these epiphanies and hope that someday, after my own revelation regarding my sexuality, a guy will come along that makes my vision who much sharper.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Adventures in Internet Dating, Part 9


For months, I pieced together the other half of Drake Hatch’s identity. As I felt out the gay world, some names became synonymous with philanthropy and others with political activism. Wherever I went, Drake Hatch was known for being a player—a dating machine that everyone tended to fall for even though he was so guarded.

Preposterous as it might sound, the fact that I had tied myself to him emotionally and psychologically at that point seriously put my identity—the one I thought I’d figured out—in question.


It was a question of fate and destiny. I’d tied my identity so much to his past I worried my future would soon evolve into his life. Do I have the potential to become a ‘player?’ Some sort of heart breaker? Is there any way to keep that from happening?

I knew very well that I was in charge of who I became and what I did, but he showed me a potential that I was not prepared to see in myself. Not a month later, a guy completely unaware of what had been going on in my head following these two dates joked, drawing on our parallel pasts and a busy dating life, “At this rate, GMB’s going to be the new Drake Hatch.”

If others saw that potential as well, I had to be doubly-conscious of the decisions I was making and the way I treated the guys I dated. I wasn’t going to disappear. I was going to share too much instead of too little about my past. I was going to be more open with my feelings. I was going to live to a standard of complete honesty.

In the coming months, I continued meeting people online because of the good I’d seen in people. Not all guys were trying to find somebody to use or some cheap one-night thrill. Many of us were genuinely looking for something more. There were guys (like Kevin and the first Drake) that showed enough concern so as to watch out for me even though they hardly knew me. And each of them had some continuing impact on my life whether that be as a result of the world we live in or a web of fate woven before us.


In the gay world, it’s very hard to disappear—to not be somehow tied to another person for a very long time. We would continue to run into each other, often under unexpected circumstances, and come up in conversation among gay circles. The lesson to learn was one of accountability. The experiences we have with one another travel quickly and reputations are hatched even faster (in part because of the internet).

The time had come to forge my own reputation to make my own destiny. Would it be constructed from my fear of becoming the next Drake Hatch or out of confidence in who I really was and who I wanted to become?

End of Series.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Adventures in Internet Dating, Part 8

The Future in Front of Me

MirrorDrake Hatch had a bashful smile and a kick in his step as we approached each other for the first time. I’m sure my own reaction practically mimicked his expression as we drew closer. Our lives, too, mirrored each other in ways more uncanny than I could have imagined.

After a friendly hug and some typical How-was-your-day? conversation, he told a story I’d heard before (for it was my own):

“Suddenly, one day it all clicked. I met a guy—the right guy in the right time and place—and suddenly I didn’t feel broken. It made sense why girls held absolutely no appeal. Before I knew it, I found myself in a relationship and happier than ever because that question had been answered and that void had been filled.”

As in the case of me and Mark, things didn’t work out between him and that first guy after a year-long relationship.

“I’m sorry to hear things didn’t work out,” I said almost in reflex.

“It’s okay,” he said. “It would have worked out if it was supposed to.”

I was impressed that he had that kind of faith that it had a purpose.

As we walked, we seemed to click on so many levels. He had gone through the same experiences and situations at the exact same age that I had. He’d gone on a mission. He’d had the proverbial rug pulled out from under him. Yet he handled himself so well. I hoped that some day I might become like him—satisfied with life and okay with disappointments. He'd figured it out.

walk with Drake

As that first date came to an end, we found ourselves frustrated that we didn’t get to talk about everything we wanted to ask each other. I wondered when I’d see him again.

“Why don’t we do this again tomorrow?” he suggested. “Would you be free?”

“I’d love to.”

I could not have been more or spoken more affirmatively

The next day, the conversation started right where it had left off as we told each other stories about our time on campus as we passed particularly important landmarks to our past.

librarystudyguy He told me about how his boyfriend would come and find him in the library. He’d somehow pull Drake Hatch into an empty room or under a desk and make out with him, charged with the suspenseful thought that someone might catch them or they might get too loud.

The locale of the fantasy particularly impacted me—a center of knowledge and learning just amplified the sexuality and excitement—a sensation he picked up on instantly, pursing his lips slightly as he chuckled and flashed a flirty grin.

I showed him the amphitheater where I took Mark on our first date. I was aware that it was a make-out point on campus and wanted him to be the first as we sat there watching 30 Rock on my laptop.

Eventually, the discussion turned to a more serious aspect of our lives as we found ourselves sitting on a bench outside the library.

“What’s your family situation like?” I asked curious about what my own future might look like continuing on the path he’d left in his wake.

“You mean am I out to them?”

“Yeah. Are they okay with it?”

“They don’t know.”

“After five years, wouldn’t they know?”

“"I haven’t told them. They’d want me to see someone and go back to church and I don’t want that.”

“What about your brothers? Do they know?”

“Not really. You’re in the same boat, I’m pretty sure.”

“You’re right. I am,” I admitted. I thought for a serious moment if that’s where I wanted to be three years down the road. Trying to lighten the mood, I asked “So what is your relationship like with your brothers? Are you close?”

“We’re close. We’ve done shows together and we all went to school together.” Rather than alluding to why he wasn’t out to them, he simply elaborated more on their relationship before asking me about my family. “So, how’s your brother Darin? I wondered if he was gay, too.”

“Definitely not. Funny you ask about him, though,” I said, “You came up in conversation last night. I asked if he remembered you from camp and he said ‘He’s the gay one, right?’”

Drake Hatch was a little shocked. His face and posture tightened. What I thought was funny genuinely worried him. Returning to lighter topics—the shows he was auditioning for, missions, the supervisor we’d shared, our hometown hangouts—we finally got back the momentum that we’d lost in our difficult talk.

As the time came for us to say goodbye, for him to return to his fast-paced life in Salt Lake and me to my homework, we hugged. “Thanks for hanging out,” I said.

“I’m so glad we did,” he said with that bashful smile he’d started with. Pausing for a moment, he asked, “Would you mind if I kissed you?”

“Not at all.”

And there—alone—in front of the library his lips touched mine softly only to pull away a second later. couple kissing “Goodbye,” he said as he turned to leave.

“Goodbye,” I echoed in an unabashedly enamored voice, turning the other direction. We went our separate ways in perfect symmetry.

All I could think about for the rest of the day was how wonderful those two days had been for me, and that I wasn’t the only one to figure things out so late in the game.

Unfortunately, that was the end.

From the next day on, all of my texts and messages went unanswered. Drake Hatch had simply disappeared and the future in front of me was crumbling.

End, Part 8.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Utah Culture 102

Due to a problem with my personal computer that should be resolved quickly, I will be postponing the next (and perhaps final) installment of Adventures in Internet Dating.

The State Legislature

One thing that really gets under my skin about living here in Utah is our beloved state legislature. There are really two key issues that I tend to shake my head over on a regular basis whenever I hear a news story involving the state legislature.

The first is education. I've had an opportunity to be on Capitol Hill speaking to senators and house members about the value of higher ed, but it doesn't seem to make any difference. Cutting education budgets, teachers’ retirement benefits, and student services seems to be one of the first things on the proverbial chopping block every time there is a budget shortfall.

The other is civil rights. Same-sex marriage is not up for debate when it’s barely kosher to even bring up the idea of non-discrimination in housing and hiring.

Recently, both of these issues and everybody’s favorite non-bigoted, non-partisan senator—Chris Buttars—all managed to make it into same segment on Rachel Maddow’s show.

Yes, this man just suggested making 12th grade optional and called gay people "Mean" (which, for him, is holding back). I guess he’s nostalgic for the one-room school house he was educated in a century ago. He might not be a shining example of Utah culture but he definitely represents its nadir (one of my favorite academic words; see definition here). This is probably epitomized by this little slip of the tongue as well as the fact that he’s repeatedly reelected:

Again, I hope that this sheds some light on the political culture of Utah and my hostility towards it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Adventures in Internet Dating, Part 7

Unexpected Delight

It’s not often you meet someone who’s shared a great deal of your life with but have never met.

In the case of Drake Hatch (so-named because his name had that dynamic ring to it and because the previously-mentioned Drake happened to message me on the same day), that was definitely the case.

It started out with a simple message on Connexion:

Welcome to Connexion! I thought I’d say hi. It looks like you’re in my hometown? Are you going to school there? I don’t suppose we went to high school together? I graduated in 2000.

This was a delightful surprise. As I was entering this world in search of connections and common experiences, I was optimistic that I might have someone to relate to on multiple levels in Drake Hatch.

Drake HatchTo be honest, I didn’t find him all that attractive based on his pictures. His eyes were droopy and his hair seemed a little thin. However, I responded immediately. He made conversation easy. There was a chance we might know each other. He even seemed to be in search of similar connections based on the way he’d written his message.

What resulted was more than I could have ever anticipated. The conversation that played out over the course of two weeks—via text, instant messaging, and one or two phone calls—was invigorating in every possible way.

As it turns out, we didn’t just share a hometown. We shared numerous acquaintances. He and my cousin were leads in their high school musical. We’d taken classes from the same professors. He had mentored my little brother, Darin, in EFY (Especially for Youth—a type of summer camp for LDS teens).

Pictured: The cast of RAGTIME on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre.

Every little connection seemed to justify the experiences I’d been having over the past months. He somehow made everything make sense. I wasn’t the only one who had come out of this place a gay Mormon boy.

Somewhat out of the blue, he texted me one day:

“Guess what!? I’ll be in town this week for Thanksgiving. Would you like to meet up and maybe go on a walk?”

It was the type of surprise that makes someone’s day. A visit from a friend/romantic interest in a couple of days put a bright smile on my face. Suddenly, I was excited and ready for the droll family get-togethers. Dinner with my ornery, Limbaugh-loving trucker of an uncle and an assortment of other relatives with whom I find myself disconnected suddenly seamed half the task it did before. texting Drake

In the days leading up to the meeting, my texting load easily doubled or tripled as we continued our conversation. We made a plan to meet up. It would be a chance to say “hi” and swap stories in person. It would also be a chance to test whatever emotional or physical attraction we might have to each other.

On the eve of our fated encounter, I was working on a paper in my living room as I received a text from the guy who had occupied my attention more than any other guy in those two weeks:

“I’m excited to meet face to face tomorrow. I’m a little impatient, though. Would you mind sending a picture?”

This was a first for me. I was a self-declared luddite. I managed to put off getting a phone for the first year after my mission and didn’t use text messaging for another full year. A picture was kind of thrilling, but I’d just gotten out of the shower and my hair was a mess.

“I’d rather not. I don’t even have my contacts in,” I responded.
“I’ve seen you done up on your profile. I want something more candid. Haha.”

It was definitely sweet in a way. He wasn’t looking for anything steamy or dirty. This was a way to flirt with me and pass a little time at his parents place. I sent the picture and we texted our good nights eagerly awaiting our meeting the next day.

The next day, I got up just in time to walk to my closet, carefully pick out a suitable, warm outfit and polish myself in the mirror before leaving.

It was late morning and we decided to meet on campus and take a walk down memory lane. I sat there for a while leaning against the hood of my car, hoping it would get a little warmer, that he would be the same in person as he was on the phone, that we would enjoy ourselves.

car hood

As he arrived and stepped out of his car, I realized at that moment that things weren’t quite as I’d perceived them to be.

“Hi. You must be GMB,” he said.

Drake Hatch was as friendly and warm as I’d expected, but his pictures, it seems, had mislead me. In person, he was much more attractive—his eyes were full of optimism and his smile immediately led my mind to thoughts of kissing.

I was quickly falling for him.

End, Part 7.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A GMB Glossary, Vol. 2

Since the last post had a bit to do with gay lingo, I thought this topic deserved a revisiting before the last two installments of Adventures in Internet Dating. Also, some of you recently posed questions regarding some of these terms.

Today’s post is directed more toward those unfamiliar with terms frequently used by gay and lesbian Mormons. Some of these terms are also used by men and women of other faiths.


SSA stands for Same Sex Attraction (also referred to as SGA-- Same Gender Attraction).

Within this culture it is often used to distinguish between those who act on homosexual feelings and those who do not. Those pursuing relationships with people of the same sex are more often referred to as gay or lesbian (in my experience) and more frequently refer to themselves this way.

GMB stands for Gay Mormon Boy

I started referring to myself under this term because I felt it embodied three very important, conflictive elements of my identity. 1) Homosexuality, 2) My upbringing in the LDS faith, and 3) My own coming of age—the turn from boy to man.

MoHo stands for Mormon Homosexual. Taken from a central directory for “MoHo” blogs,, the following are presented as acceptable definitions:

  1. A Mormon Homosexual
  2. A Gay Mormon
  3. A person of homosexual orientation who has some affiliation (either as a current member or a former member) with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints


Bloggernacle is a Mormonized version of the word blogosphere. Used in the same contexts.


Evergreen International is an organization dedicated to the treating homosexual tendencies of members of the LDS Church. From their website:

“Evergreen is a nonprofit organization that helps people who want to diminish same-sex attractions and overcome homosexual behavior. It is also a resource to their loved ones, professional counselors, religious leaders, and friends.”

Northstar North Star is an organization providing support resources to members of the LDS Church who experience same-sex attraction. From their website:

“North Star is a place of community for Latter-day Saints dealing with issues surrounding homosexual attraction who desire to live in harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ and the doctrines and values of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

(Interestingly, Northstar is also the name of Marvel’s first openly gay super hero. I’m not sure if there was a connection here).

Affirmation is a LGBT support group for current and former members of the LDS Church. From their website:

“Affirmation: Gay & Lesbian Mormons serves the needs of gay Mormon women and men, as well as bisexual and transgender LDS and their supportive family and friends, through social and educational activities.”


I’ll close with some definitions from a now-defunct blog called Soy Made Me Gay (with the exception of Word of Wisdom). These definitions are a gay Mormon’s take on certain aspects of church doctrines.


Church rule that prohibits all “below the belt”-type activities between people that aren’t married to each other (same-sex marriages don’t count). You can’t marry yourself, so guess what else is out. Yep. That, too. And don’t even think about porn. Really.

I can't I'm Mormon


Ten percent of your income goes (in little gray envelopes) to the Church.


A doctrine of the Church which prohibits the consumption of coffee, alcohol, tobacco, certain types of tea, and illegal drugs.


A card that shows that the carrier has been interviewed by the Stake President and has been found to meet the minimum requirements of worthiness (Law of Chastity, Law of Tithing, Word of Wisdom, etc.) to enter the temple.

I hope this clears up some things about the issues gay and lesbian Mormons face and some of the vocabulary we use.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Adventures in Internet Dating, Part 6

Coming of age

Warning: this post contains an adult discussion some may consider profane.

Kevin was fascinated by my innocence. He wasn’t the only one. Many guys’ fascination with innocence has to do with taking it away. In fact, many of them made that offer in the coming months. Kevin was different, however. He respected that I had not done anything more than make out with a guy.

There we were in his room. At first, I was worried about an awkward confrontation with Jack, his roommate who I’d dated a couple of months before; however, he was no where in sight. I had no intention of causing drama in the house. Miss Congeniality

Kevin sat at his computer desk checking his email as I perused his DVD collection for a movie to watch. Eventually, I came across Miss Congeniality.

“I haven’t seen this in a while,” I noted as he maneuvered his computer and speakers into position for a movie and cuddling session.

I was surprisingly at ease. I’d been very open about the fact that I didn’t want to be touched below the belt.

There was no doubt in my mind that he respected that as he repeatedly reassured me, “I wish I’d been as careful as you. There are a lot of things I shouldn’t have jumped right into. You don’t want to become a slut like I did.”

His history unfolded a little more:

“After I was here at college and on my own, I had total freedom to give into everything. I could give in to everything I’d wanted to for so long. And I did.

“I’ve been hurt plenty of times and regret a few things, but it really makes me wonder how you tick and how you’re able to keep from doing what almost all of the gay Mormon guys end up doing.”

I thought it over in my head as we laid there side-by-side under the covers of his twin-size bed. It was nice to be held. As the back of my head came to a rest just in front of his head, it was as if he was whispering something inaudibly as we silently watched the movie. He had shared with me things he didn’t feel comfortable discussing with other gay boys.

I felt special for thinking about more than just sex, for wanting to know guys, talk to them, and figure myself out before I did anything I’d regret for the rest of my life.

At that point, Kevin was the friend who had the most to offer me in that sense. I didn’t look down on him for what he’d been through or done in his wild years. We both accepted the underlying lesson that we could both learn from his mistakes.

Men in bed

Throughout the movie, he asked if he made me uncomfortable or if I needed anything. Consistently, I responded, “I’m fine, really” and we continued to enjoy ourselves. He also teased a few times that his hand would graze me somewhere inappropriate, but remained true to his promise. I suspect he was holding back a lot and I appreciated it. Still, by the end of the movie we were making out.

It was a little wetter and a little harsher than usual due to the scruff, but it was a fantastic release. It felt right (minus, perhaps, the slight taste of pastrami from dinner). We’d connected (to a degree), we’d enjoyed ourselves, and we were as honest with each other as we’d been to anyone else.

As the night came to a close, we sat there on his bed around 2 am. We’d returned to our conversation following the make-out session.

“So just how innocent are you?”

“I don’t know…. I’ve told you everything about my past.”

“No. I mean do you even know I’m talking about sometimes. A second ago, I said ‘cum,’ and you looked like you didn’t know what that means. Do you?”

“Um… no.”

“You really ARE that innocent! It’s slang for semen and you know what that is.”

scruffy man laughing I blushed and he kissed me as his hand traveled down my sides. Suddenly, he pulled away before his hand could go anywhere forbidden.

Kevin was having trouble talking. He was blushing and his laughter had silenced him. “What about top and bottom?” he asked with tears in his eyes.

“The guy on top and the guy on bottom, right?”

“Oh, GMB, it’s a little more complicated than that.”

I suppose that was one way to relieve me of a bit of my innocence without doing anything I might regret. Also, these were things I knew I’d need to know not to look like a fool in the gay world. Kevin, thus, became a sort of mentor. Somebody who cared about my integrity and kept me safe from foreseeable dangers—even when he felt he posed a threat.

End, Part 6

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Adventures in Internet Dating, Part 5

The Wood House

While a date with Drake never came to fruition as a result of complications with the distance between us combined with difficult schedules, another guy entered the picture who didn’t really have those problems.  

So, I noticed your profile today.  You must be new in town.  I’m Kevin and I’m finishing up my last semester here.  I’d love to work in web design.  Okay.  Your turn.  Tell me a little about yourself.  Hehe.  ;)

Kevin was forward.  He was flirty and goofy.  The same in person as he was in his first messages as he was in person.  As we were both in the same city and had some common acquaintances it wasn’t long before we first met. 


He was just a little taller than me.  Dark-featured and scruffy, his eyes squinted a bit every time he showed his one-of-a-kind grin.   His voice and laugh represented the more nasal part of that spectrum.  All of this put me at ease early on in the date. 

At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of actually meeting someone I’d spoken to online.  Although it had been about a week since we began chatting and he seemed perfectly normal, there was an initial hesitation as a result that accompanies any first time meeting. 

We went to a sports bar for some burgers.  He got the pastrami and I got the ‘Hawaiian’ (so-named only because of the pineapple and Canadian bacon).

It was standard first date protocol.  Family, missions, and dating histories all came up.  He’d passed through everything I had gone through or planned on going through a year and a half earlier. 

“Did you have any cute mission companions?” he asked as we sat at a table for two next to the bar. 

Sports Bar

“A couple, I guess—Elder Flores and Elder Stratford.”

“I served mostly with Latinos, and I’m not so into them.”

“Yeah?  Did your parents insist on you going on a mission?”

“Kinda,” Kevin said, wincing. “I’m the only boy.”

“So I guess it was hard when you were out there?” I asked.

“Yeah.  It definitely wasn’t easy.  Being gay was always on my mind.”

“For me, it was never an issue,” I stated. “I was lucky to not figure it out until afterward.”

“And how long ago was that?”

“It’s been about six months.”

“Wait,” he gasped.  “You’re telling me you’ve only known you’re gay for six months now?”

“Um… yeah.  And what have you done in that time?  Are you still a good boy?”

“The farthest I’ve ever gone is making out.”

“You can’t be serious.”

I assured him that I was being completely honest and that I had no plans of going any farther than that anytime soon.  He was fascinated by my innocence. Soon thereafter, we made our way to his place. 

On the way, he said, “You’re welcome to come in and talk some more.  I know the good boy’ll keep me from doing anything ‘bad’ tonight.”

As we pulled up to the house, I realized I’d been there before.  It was the wood house (so-named because of it’s stained, wooden exterior and the fact that so many gay boys had lived there).  A month earlier, I’d helped Jack move into the same house.  Little did I know that house would play a big role in my own future.

Wood House

End, Part 5

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Up for Something Deep Today? #3

Okay, so maybe not as deep as usual….

Putting my final touches on the next installments in the current series, I found myself unable to complete them with the time I had. Instead some thoughts on making life more fun:

Enjoy life today.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Up for Something Deep Today? #2

Sorry for not returning to the current series as planned. This video seemed to me something more important to share than what I had to offer today.

This video is a public service announcement from Britain. There’s more to it than the title suggests:

There is room here for a lengthy discussion of the precious nature of life, the power of love, the strength of family, the significance of music, and the shock of reality. We have a tendency to complicate or lose sight of all of these things at one time or another until we have an opportunity to have these things put in perspective.

However, the message beyond this or ‘buckle up’ is simple:
Love yourself because others love you.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Life in Charts: Figure #4


Forgive today's post. It's as ranty as I've come in a long time and was written after 3 am. It still has some important things to consider.

I recently had the experience of working with someone who considers himself SSA (a term I contend with, but I respect self-definition). He’s a very nice guy, showing concern for others, taking on responsibilities where he could, helping those who needed some guidance.

Unaware that I and one other member of the group consider ourselves gay, he exaggerated gestures and made some offensive remarks along the lines of “that’s so gay,” encouraging similar behavior in some of the younger members of the group. I don’t bring this up as some sort of rant or point fingers, but to admit that homophobia was an issue for me as well. Although I never said anything quite so offensive, I probably ended up hurting people indirectly (a post on that is coming up).

What I’d like to say with all of this is pretty simple. The biggest of hypocrites might be the Christians who worship a loving God that apparently hates his gay creations, but are we any better off for hating them? Especially when they might be hating themselves (see Fig. #4).

Homophobic Gays

My reaction to my SSA friend was a firm “That’s not very funny.” The real concern lay in the hurt he might be experiencing which manifested itself in this humor he perceived as seemingly benign. This form of humor doesn't really hurt me so much as make me concerned for the future.

Showing love and compassion to those who tear us down isn’t a new concept (a certain Savior figure comes to mind…), but lets face it. We, as a gay community, are a pretty reactionary bunch and the temptation is to make people uncomfortable to show just how comfortable we are with our situations.

I suppose I could have specifically stated what he’d done wrong or voice that I was offended to the entire group. It seemed more appropriate, however, to voice my disapproval and remain the liberal, positive guy that everybody likes to be around.

It didn’t happen again, so I think the subtle message was well-received.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Adventures in Internet Dating, Part 4


The other messages were far more promising. Drake, Kevin, and the other Drake were closer to my age and all of their profiles clearly stated “Mormon” under religion. They weren’t afraid of alluding to their background or to their missions.

The first Drake proved himself really down to earth:

Hey there. Your picture popped up on new members and then I realized you were in Utah. I thought I’d say hi. Watch out for the creepers on here, though.

DrakeConsidering the experience just moments earlier, it was really comforting to read something so pointed, confirming my suspicions not only that there were sketchy characters on the site but also upstanding hero types. I immediately got the impression that he was a guy who’d watch out for me. He was handsome and had an amazing smile with the slightest, most endearing of gaps in his teeth.

I sent back a brief introduction and soon our correspondence developed into significant conversations about our families, about growing up in the church, and about dating. He’d been at this for a while, but knew where I was coming from as he indicated following a lengthy instant message conversation:

You really are brand new. You haven’t had sex. You’ve never even touched a guy. That’s something to respect. You haven’t had time to figure everything out. I’ve met guys in all sorts of situations and you’re really cautious. It’s okay. You’ve got to feel your way through.

His sensibility was frankly a turn on. He wasn’t about to pressure me into anything. I even felt comfortable later with giving him my number a few days later. I thought it might go somewhere.

“You do realize this is the first time I’ve ever given a stranger on Connexion my number, right?”
“I wouldn’t call myself a stranger. You know everything you can for knowing me this long and online.”

That was true. I’d made my first real-world connection with a guy online. It was something simple and early on in our conversations. It was something simple. His brother went to the same university and although I never met him, the fact that I knew his brother’s boss (as we discovered a few lines later) was enough to authenticate the experience in a way.

I was speaking to a real person already connected to me somehow. The cosmic thread that people speak of had somehow connected us in the web of life. One was left to wonder if these ties would draw us closer in the coming weeks.


Through our texting conversations, we told each other about our families. Drake told me all about his brother being the liberal one in the family—the go getter who set his big brother on dates with other guys and recently left for a mission. There was also his sister who lived ten hours away yet remained the bane of his family’s existence.

I opened up a lot about my family. After my mission, I was instantly closer to my little brother, Darin, because we could share clothes and hang out with each others friends. Yet when I’d figured out why he was able to have a charming girlfriend and I found myself consistently uncomfortable in even the most casual of situations with girls, I couldn’t share that with him because of the way he’d treated a friend who came out to him the year before.

Darin, me, and the girlfriend

“I can see why you’re worried, but things have only gotten better since I came out to my family,” Drake assured me.
“I’m sure, but I’m not ready.”

The conversation stalled there.

We attempted to meet up several times in the month or so that we really kept in touch, but somehow there was always something in our way. I thought it was because we were busy and cities apart. Drake—as we later discussed in a meeting of very unexpected circumstances (to be revealed in a later series)—thought it was because I wasn’t interested. And perhaps there were other reasons. As a result, my priorities shifted, so I wouldn’t miss out again later.

At this moment in my life, however, I was more concerned with being comfortable with a new situation and set of experiences. Sorting through Connexion and the interconnected gay world around me would soon provide a number of lessons in that vein.

End, Part 4.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

One Hundred Posts

In first grade, I remember the 100th day of school in Mrs. Brazier’s class. Everybody was supposed to bring in 100 of something. The Egan twins brought squeaky cheese. My friend Eric brought a collection of Hot Wheels.

My item was a quilt with a hundred patches. It was made out of tricot. I have a similar one on my bed right now and I’m cuddled up in it right now (wishing I were sharing it with someone).


For this, my hundredth post, I first considered the trusty 100 random facts post, I thought that was way too much effort, so instead, I offer several small lists (which should not be considered rankings).

10 Hobbies:

Watching TV
Trying New Recipes
Procrastinating Chores
Hanging Out with Friends
Coming Up with New Projects
Shopping (I am a D.I. Maniac)

10 MoHo blogs I Read Religiously:

Third-Wave Mormon
Journey of a Gay Mormon Boy
Finding Myself
Evolution of a Lesbian
Hidden in the Light
The Slightly Disturbing Adventures of Grant Haws
Into the West
Sneakers in Sacrament
Captain Midnight
The Gaily Universe

15 Turn-ons (Thanks, Kurt):

tina-fey Funny
Stunning Smile
Good Laugh
Academic Nerdy Vibe (Where are you, male version of Tina Fey?)
Asian Guys
Curly Hair
Love of NPR
Latin American Accents

boxer briefsRough and/or Loud Make-Out Sessions
Slim Figure
Boxer Briefs
An Opinion

10 Non-Moho Blogs:

a million miles from normal | A blog and fansite for Fox's TV Show 'Glee'.
My bizarre world
The Maudlin story of a Bisexual Boy
Doctor Who News Page
The Narrow Gate (Mo but not Ho)
Joe. My. God.
Disney Film Project
One Fine Gay

10 Romantic Comedies:mannequin

Love Actually
Ever After
(500) Days of Summer
Notting Hill
Pretty Woman
13 Going on 30
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Miss Congeniality
So I Married an Axe Murderer

10 Grad schools I’m Considering:

Washington U. in St. Louis
UNC-Chapel Hill
University of Toronto
Columbia University
University of British Columbia
(I’m taking suggestions)

10 Musicals:

Song from an Unmade Bed Sunday in the Park with George
Children of Eden
Mamma Mia! (mostly because of a wonderful story involving Cole)
Into the Woods
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
The Light in the Piazza
Songs from an Unmade Bed

10 Dream Jobs:

Professor of Literature at a University
Writer for Television
Entertainment/Travel/Social Journalist
Writing TV/Movie Reviews
Pizza Delivery (I’ve always wanted to for one night)
Oprah’s Librarian
Wedding/Event Planner
Tour Guide
Matthew Morrison, Tina Fey, Anderson Cooper, Lee Pace, David Tennant, or Meryl Streep’s Personal Assistant

15 Posts I Enjoyed Writing:

The Wanderings and Delusions of a Gay Mormon Boy
Sharpening That Utah Gaydar
The “Not Gay” Man
“The Wall-E Principle”
“We Need to Talk”, Part 3
“We Need to Talk”, Part 5
I Now Pronounce Thee…, Part 4
I Now Pronounce Thee…, Part 5
I Now Pronounce Thee…, Final Part
The ‘Man Harem’ Post
Why Do We Like…?
The Experiment, Part 5
AfterMARK. Part 6
AfterMARK, Part 8
A (Very) Brief Heterosexual Dating History, Bachelorette #4

Thanks for reading.

Please let me know (via email or comment) if you have any questions or requests for future posts.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Adventures in Internet Dating, Part 3


“You have 6 new messages,” flashed the white letters at the top of the screen.

6 messages? Apparently, 6 strangers want to have sex with me?

My experience, however, proved that my ideas weren’t entirely true. Then again, they weren’t entirely false.

Two of those messages read something along the lines of “Hey” or “Hit me up sometime.” I suppose on any dating website they come across as shallow and questionable. Both were from guys who weren’t even in the same time zone, so a response didn’t seem all that important or necessary.

The remaining messages, however, were written with a modest amount of effort and sincerity. Don, Drake, another Drake, and Kevin. Each of them introduced themselves a bit, expressed their interest in some form, and left room for a conversation to start. And from day one conversation has never been a source of intimidation.

I read the first message with the analytical eye that I’ve been blessed/cursed with. What are they getting at? Why me? Etc.


I notice you’re new here and thought I’d introduce myself. I’m Don and I live in Salt Lake with my two dogs. I noticed you’re new here and thought I’d say hi.

Okay. He seems like a nice guy. He wants to find out what I’m interested in and why I’m on the site. What does his profile look like?


15 years older than me, balding, not all that attractive… It wasn’t all that descriptive. He wanted to meet cute guys with personalities. That’s still kind of vague.

My discretion told me: Proceed with caution: you might not want to date him, but who knows… he might be a friend?

A conversation couldn’t hurt. That’s the only way to tell for sure if anything was taken out of context or my analysis was inaccurate.

I responded:

Nice to meet you, Don. I’m GMB. I’m currently a student. I’m more of a cat person myself. Haha.

Something benign without getting too personal. It was perfect.

Minutes later I got a response to my message:

You’re really cute. What do you like to do for fun?
I’m really into writing. I like literature, poetry, and TV. What about you?

What followed was a set of messages that turned into a conversation, but not of the instant messenger sort:

What are your favorite movies?
My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a good one. And I love Love Actually.
Do you like the outdoors?
Camping’s not my favorite, but I really enjoy hiking. Do you work?
I like the outdoors. I can’t wait for summer. Are you from Utah?
Yeah. Born and raised. You?
Yep. Were you ever a missionary?
I was.
Where? So, do you come to Salt Lake a lot?
I’d rather not say. I’m not there often.
You’re welcome to stay here any time you’re around. And you can tell me where you served.
Um… honestly, I don’t think I’d be comfortable with that.

redflag What started out as an innocent conversation just left me very uncomfortable—a big red flag. He asked questions but wouldn’t talk about himself. The questions themselves probed into parts of my life that I wasn’t comfortable discussing. And finally, I was left with the impression that all these guys were really after—as I had agonized when I opened up the account—was sex.

He messaged me a couple more times, apologizing that he’d given the wrong impression, but I just decided to block any future messages. It was what felt right.

In that moment, I was ready to turn back, to say I’ve had enough, and to give up, but he was just one guy. I decided to move on to the other messages.

Things can only get better from here, right?

And time would tell.

End, Part 3

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Utah Culture 101

The Honor Code

My apologies, readers. I had every intention of writing the next installment of the Internet Dating series, but found myself without time. The weekend was eventful in the best of unexpected ways.

Instead I leave you with something that I ran across this week that I hadn’t examined for myself. It definitely helps understand the Mormon/homosexual dichotomy at least for those attending Brigham Young University and other schools.

BYU’s Honor Code (a contractual code of conduct between school and student) states the following in the section entitled “Homosexual Behavior or Advocacy”:

Brigham Young University will respond to homosexual behavior rather than to feelings or attraction and welcomes as full members of the university community all whose behavior meets university standards. Members of the university community can remain in good Honor Code standing if they conduct their lives in a manner consistent with gospel principles and the Honor Code.

One's stated same-gender attraction is not an Honor Code issue. However, the Honor Code requires all members of the university community to manifest a strict commitment to the law of chastity [A commandment to abstain from sex until marriage]. Homosexual behavior and/or advocacy of homosexual behavior are inappropriate and violate the Honor Code. Homosexual behavior includes not only sexual relations between members of the same sex, but all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings. Advocacy includes seeking to influence others to engage in homosexual behavior or promoting homosexual relations as being morally acceptable.

For those of you unfamiliar with the LDS faith or culture, I hope that this sheds some light. Those breaking the Honor Code face expulsion from the school as a consequence of their actions. Students of BYU and other church-run schools are aware of these conditions as they enter them.

BYU opinion

(Sorry, BYU friends and alumni, I couldn’t help myself with the pic).

To my chagrin, I must admit that I pinched this informational report from a post I came across in Salt Lake’s Gay Gossip Blog, Salty Gossip. (It’s a sort of guilty pleasure…).

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My Life in Charts: Figure #3

Gay Marriage

This debate has been flaring up for about a year now. I’ll eventually get to a set of posts on Prop 8 (as well as my family’s and friends’ reactions), but I found this diagram (Fig. #3) by comedian Patrick Farley pretty funny.

gay-marriage-debate-flow-chart (Click to enlarge).

It really encompasses a debate that I internalized for a while (see these previous posts). I remember thinking things in some of the red hexes and some of the blue hexes, but overall, I came to the conclusion that discrimination is discrimination. Perhaps this stance is controversial, but I’d argue that discrimination is what has held this country back in the past and will continue to hold back its progress.

Think slavery and civil rights. Think Japanese internment. Think expulsion from Nauvoo.

Everyone should be allowed to be who they are and personally practice his or her religion.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Adventures in Internet Dating, Part 2

The Plunge

plunge_by__fenrir The construct of dating sites is one that took me a while to come to terms with. I really was lonely and perhaps even desperate as I went into it. Living in a small community and being relatively new to the gay world was intimidating, so the online experience seemed rather logical despite the stigma associated with not meeting guys in-person.

Hunter suggested a particular site to allay many of my anxieties associated with the predatory nature of the online dating world.

“Connexion isn’t like ManHunt or Craigslist,” he said. “They have rules on the kind of pictures you can post, so you don’t need to worry about running into porn where it doesn’t belong.”

“I just don’t feel like I’d be comfortable sharing everything that would be expected of me.”

“No, no, no. You don’t need to worry about that. If you’re not comfortable using your name, don’t worry. You don’t need to post pictures. You don’t even have to say much about you. The point is to start up a conversation and see where it goes from there. You feel your way through these things like you would anything else—minus the face-to-face.”

There was little arguing with that (and that’s coming from someone pretty skilled at constructing written arguments…), so the next day after work, I got online and pulled up the site.connexion

Sure, I was a bit intimidated by the shirtless, speedo pics, but all-in-all it still felt right at the moment. I trusted Hunter and his tastes. I trusted my own discretion.

I had nothing to lose.

Cautiously entering the information the site asked for, I entered what information I deemed practical. Enough, but not too much.

G.M.B. My initials are safe, no?




A little superficial, Mr. Connexion, no?...

Relationship Status?


For the first time in my life, I doubted what box I was supposed to check. Who I was supposed to be. Would someone look down on me for being a gay Mormon? Or would some zealot track down everybody who labeled himself as a gay Mormon and turn us in to church headquarters for prompt excommunication?
I simply left it out. I wasn’t sure what to put, so I left it blank. By no means was it a glaring omission, but it was a struggle in my heart of sorts.

This is the first time I can’t be confident, I can’t represent myself in writing, I can’t be sure of what I actually believe.

Um…Research, Poetry…

Favorite TV shows?
That took a while…

I’ll try not to sound too gay.

Try not to show off too much.

Show off that you’re both cultured and hip.

Then finally…
About me: & Looking for:
I explained where I was coming from: …ambitious and caring. …figuring things out…more satisfied with life than ever. Seeking…someone who I can share everything with…love and be loved back. A mess that’s been shaped of the last year.

I’m not sure why I felt comfortable including a picture, but I did. Like ripping the proverbial band-aid off, I quickly clicked on “Submit Changes” and went to bed


The next morning, I awoke to about a half dozen messages and began sifting through them.

End, Part 2

Popular Posts