Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sonriso, Part 5

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.

—Phyllis Diller

As far as milestones on the path of gay life, one that sticks out in this twenty-something’s life is the day that people were able to deduce that I was gay based on my Facebook profile. When you think about it on a deep level, facebook profiles are very interesting cultural documents that speak quite a bit to who that person is and who he or she would like to be.

Although my profile clearly stated “Christian—Latter Day Saint,” and I belonged to groups for my ward, my Family Home Evening group, and my mission, the “gay” part of my Gay Mormon Boy mantle was beginning to peer through. And people reading through the lines—my politically liberal views, my photo albums devoted to outfits coordinating my socks to my shirts and/or ties, and finally my GLBT Facebook friends from across Utah. The plan was to remain enigmatic on Facebook and let people find me on Connexion (a GLBT social network), but with a somewhat random friend request, I knew that I was slowly unmasking myself, a fact that deep down was somehow comforting.

The request was all at once surprising, nostalgic, and alluring. It was Evan, Elder Davis’ brother, and his unforgettable smile remained as brilliantly white as ever. I was taken back to that moment back on the grass on the quad over two years ago. It was like reliving the entire experience with another set of eyes, or rather the same eyes unfiltered—the immaculate smile, the perfectly sculpted musculature, the cool ease to bear it all and remain stylish in just a pair of shorts and sunglasses. I knew why I had noticed particular features and I knew that the reason he’d stuck in my mind could not be completely attributed to my politically liberal mentality or my desire to study and understand the human condition. There was an element of physical attraction there which had been left for me to unearth much later.


I responded excitedly—coyly. The interaction unfolded casually over a course of a week or two:

“You're Erik’s brother, right?”

“Ya I am. Did you go on your mission with him or something?”

“Yeah. It's a small world full of twists and turns. We lived together for four months. He came up to visit a couple of years ago and introduced us on the quad if I remember correctly. That's why I asked. (My apologies... my memory is kind of freakish like that). A lot has changed since then.”

“Whoa yeah that was a long time ago... good memory. The good old days up there, I miss it. So what has changed?”

“Well, it hasn’t changed a ton, honestly. As for me, I’m probably as successful and happy as I’ve ever been. I’m doing research, I’ve figured out my future. I’m giving presentations to the state legislature and at a conference in Minneapolis plus I graduate in May…. Oh yeah, and I’ve been dating boys for about nine months now.”

“Its nice to have graduation in sight. I was so happy to have my degree and be done (even though I kind of miss it, more so the social aspect). I saw you were friends with a lot of the people I know up there so I was wondering...

facebook gaydar

“I'm glad you are happy and doing good things with your life. Trust me I know exactly how you feel. I could finally figure out my life and move on when I came out and just started living my life the way I wanted to….So meet any keepers?”

And from there, the conversation turned to our histories—to Mark on his mission and to Evan’s recent breakup with his own Mark. There was something definitely intriguing about the way we’d gotten to that point, demonstrating just how unpredictable life could be. I hesitate using the word “serendipity” even now, but that was the underlying explanation for our interactions in my mind. It was more than repressed sexual attraction. Somehow, his story validated my own and brought it close to home. It wasn’t the first time, but the fact that another important piece of my life was tied to this experience indirectly brought the situation into perspective.

Towards the end of those weeks, a simple “Let me know the next time you’re in Salt Lake so we can make some time to hang out” brightened up a dreary, busy week at work. Fighting the impulse to immediately text back, I suggested an hour later that Friday would work after a presentation down there. As the week progressed, the stars aligned for what turned out to be an incredibly significant day for me.

End, Part 5.


Greggy P said...

I just have to tell you, I adore your blog. I just started about a month ago and found yours, and I've been moved. Very moved. As a very strictly Catholic-raised Gay Boy I can relate, if not specifically, then thematically. Beautifully done. So thank you.


A Gay Mormon Boy said...

Thanks, Greggy P. I think that the journey of gay Catholics is pretty similar to that of gay Mormons. I'm finally getting around to checking out your blog. I had to skim the longer posts, but I'm liking what I've read. A lot.

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