Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Man Harem Inductee #3

I admit it, I came across one of my man-crushes in the headlines today at work, which led to a Google search, which led to some ogling of this eye candy:

James Franco

I guess a gay role in Milk got him some attention. I can only imagine why....

The man can also make me laugh. The Jammie Shuffle SNL sketch really caught my attention. Let's just add adorable and funny to the list now.

Speaking of funny...

He was featured in one of THE best 30 Rock episodes of the season. Here he is with his alleged lover. No, not Liz Lemon/Tina Fey (which would be too much sexy for this planet to handle), but rather his Japanese body pillow named Kimiko. I guess they were poking fun at some rumored "rumors" in this episode.

In my ogling, I learned about dear James' acceptance to the English PhD program at Yale for the Fall 2010 class. That's enough reason to go, right?

I've already drafted a Statement of Purpose:

Dear Yale Graduate Studies Committee:

In my search for an appropriate English Ph.D Program, I feel that Yale has the most to offer me and provides a unique and unignorably perfect fit.

No, it's not because of my test scores or areas of interest (so to speak), but rather because my soul mate, the one and only James Franco, is currently enrolled at your university. Although Rutgers and Columbia have similarly suitable programs for me, I know that Yale is the place for me.


A Gay Mormon Boy

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

(Un)Righteous Dominion

Our chastisement was nothing new. The process of taking nineteen year-old boys and women in their early twenties and turning them into missionaries often entailed this type of confrontation. Arguably the single most important rite of passage in the life of Mormon men and women into adulthood, the religious mission has become a science of sorts. Teachers and leaders had speeches prepared to humble us in order to take on the huge responsibilities awaiting us. No one in the world has much reason to trust the average nineteen year-old with finances let alone the proverbial keys to salvation.

It wasn't long before we learned the rigors of the CTM (Center for Training Missionaries)—in a crude manner of speaking it was spiritual boot camp. Ideally, the experience was meant to break young men of their immature habits to prepare them to enter the "Army of God." In many ways, the experience was a success in that sense.

Army of Helaman

That said, more trivial matters than coming of age dominated our way of life in the secluded six-story building. Settling into the routine of the CTM there were a few lessons that came quickly to the intuitive observer. In my first year of college, I'd been trained to examine the world in a set of power relationships and this religious center was no exception.

One person in the entire center wielded an immense amount of power and it didn't take long to figure out. Elders and Sisters would go out of their way to be nice, often begging and pleading, reaching a new level of brown-nosing in the course of their time there. Contrary to what you might be inclined to believe, it was not the President of the CTM, but rather the mail lady.


Imagine hundreds of teenage boys thousands of miles from home (many for the first time). On a whim, Sister de Paula could devastate a young man or woman by electing not to pass on a letter from mom or a package from grandpa. Although, I seriously doubt she would have done anything like that (contemplated, yes; actually done, no), many of the missionaries acted as though a syrupy sweet compliment or a piece of candy would somehow get them more mail. As internet access was forbidden in the confines of the CTM and limited to a single hour outside of the CTM grounds, a distinct form of cabin fever infiltrated the minds of missionaries slowly but surely.

In our district, no missionary was more consumed by the seductive power of the mail than Elder Carter who forced his companion to spend far too many of their breaks buttering up Sister de Paula. The usual barrage of compliments and questions she’d heard from any number of homesick or love sick missionaries spurted from Carter’s mouth as he sidled up to her in her office:

“Are these your grandkids? They’re so cute.”
“You have such a lovely voice. Can I join your choir?”
“You and Brother de Paula look so in love. How did you two meet?”
“Could you use some help sorting the mail?”
“What time does it generally arrive?”

Sister de Paula and Sister Ballenger

Without a doubt, she realized that he was one of many young missionaries missing his mother and hoping to find a surrogate somewhere. de Paula didn’t get annoyed at this stream of boys latching onto her as some women might. She welcomed the sentiment, but put him in place.

“Really. I don’t need the help. This is my responsibility and yours is to study and prepare to be a good missionary.”

Elder Laramie smirked and recounted the story to the rest of us when he was out of earshot. Everyone experienced the siren’s call whether that be in the form of homesickness or relationship detachment from that girl (or boy) friend back home. Later that week, during a group study session, we all admitted out catalogue of homesicknesses.

Monday, June 28, 2010

MoHo Map

I and Horizon are pleased to announce the launch of a new MoHo resource to those of you who blog as well as those of you who read anonymously.

The second of my two big announcements today": is a new website designed to address the needs of MoHos. The main feature of the site is an interactive map created to get us past the hugest fallacy all of us have faced at one point or another: “You are alone.”


The truth of the matter is there are thousands of MoHos out there and the mission of this website is to make sure that every LGBT Mormon who encounters this website will know that he/she has brothers and sisters across the country and around the world.

At launch, twenty-five MoHos from Portland to Pittsburgh have volunteered their locations and other information and we encourage anyone who’d like to enhance this sense of community to follow the directions under the “How to Join” tab. Participants can share as much or as little information as they’d like.

Though the initial scope of this site is small, we see many possibilities for this site. One might use it to form a network of friends within your region, seek out men and women with similar stances on the issues we face, organize events, and share help not otherwise offered through the sites listed on our “Resources” page.

Everyone is invited to contribute: active or excommunicated, doubtful or decided, Elders Quorum President or agnostic.

Feel free to contact us at and with any questions and/or suggestions.

“No One Is Alone. Truly, No One Is Alone.”

Starting the blog a year ago, I can honestly say that I felt alone in many ways. Though I’d dated and become a part of a community, I had a hard time finding a group of people who had thought much about the issues of identity that I faced.


Part of the reason I started this blog was so that I could openly get at those issues. My very moniker, “Gay Mormon Boy,” gets at the complexities of the paths we face as MoHos.

We are gay.

While others prefer terms like Same-Gender Attracted, we are in the same boat. We face contradictions in our God-given, biological emotions and the second part of our identities.

We are Mormon.

Some of us don’t believe in the doctrine while others practice it fully. If I’ve learned anything, we are as diverse as any group of people out there in our beliefs and actions. None of us can escape the impact of the LDS Church upon the way we conceive our lives. Until we resolve these issues for ourselves (in whatever way we deem fit for ourselves), we are left in constant contradiction.

We are boys.

There is perhaps no more conflicted state for a human being than adolescence. We are asked to abandon childish things and take up the mantle of manhood upon reaching puberty. Taking on the biological, social, and emotional challenges, we must resolve conflicts and changes in identity as we grow into the men (or women, a nod to the lady MoHos out there) we must become with no guarantee that we will ever fully arrive. In many ways, the challenge we face in resolving the MoHo identity for ourselves is a second round of adolescence.

Journey Together

There is no way I could handle this journey alone (in fact, I may owe my life to the MoHo community as you’ll find out in this second year of posts). For that reason, I and Horizon (a fellow blogger) have an announcement to share later today. We will unveil a resource to make sure that none of us feel alone in our respective “Wanderings and Delusions.”


One year ago, this all began in a tiny village in Chile. It’s true and I’ll get around to explaining how it all happened, but for now the important part is that I’m still here and feel like I’ve grown a lot as a writer. Not losing those skills was a major goal of mine following graduation from college.

The first of my major announcements today is a couple of new concepts I’ve developed in writing this blog.

The first concept is “Live Revise.”

Live Revise

Imagine being able to see an author revise his/her book in front of your eyes. In a matter of weeks, I plan to have that option open to you as I take my series posts and revise them into the chapters of a book (a long and complicated process that I’m just beginning, mind you). Using Adobe’s Buzzword, I plan to grant you all access to a book version of the blog. (BTW—don’t take this as a sign I’ve found a publisher or anything, although if you’d like to find me one, by all means…).

At present, basic formatting isn’t up to par and my current blog template isn’t all that agreeable with inserting a reader, so look forward to that ‘innovation.’

The second concept is “Spiral Staircase Narrative.”


The structure of this blog is unique in that it is all set roughly a year in the past. As I approach year two of the blog, I will build upon year one in some very vital aspects. For instance, one of my greatest romantic disappointments came as I was writing about my breakup with my first boyfriend. My allusions to the blog will shed light on the process as the writing builds upon itself in a very unconventional sense. When year three rolls around, it will built upon year two building upon year one and so forth.

At the very least, I hope this will provide some literary theorist a good smirk.

Keep posted for announcement number two which has the potential to affect the entire MoHo community.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Things I Confess That I Have in Common with Liz Lemon #1

I have an admiration of Star Wars stemming from the ewok toys of my infancy and the Millennium Falcon my parents sent to the DI without my consent.

I now present an awesome Star Wars related video:

From the man behind the Iron Baby video:

Friday, June 25, 2010

Laugh of the Day #18

Apparently they didn’t pick my Lady Macbeth script I sent for the next installment of Sassy Gay Friend:

As featured on JoeMyGod.

Why Does Maggie Gallagher Head NOM?

NOM LogoAs many of you are aware, one of my mortal enemies is the head of a somewhat significant anti-gay organization. Maggie heads the National Organization for Marriage (also referred to as NOM). She may not have brains or looks, but she does have a zombie army of followers bent on the prevention of equality for LGBT citizens.

Maggie's Army

Well, in thinking about the organization’s acronym, NOM, I discovered something recently. We now turn to Sesame Street for this lesson:

The Maggie Monster

This all boils down to a childish form of gluttony. Cookie monster may like to chomp down on his cookies, but he had to learn to share. He even enjoyed sharing in the end. In a simplistic way, all these people need to do is learn to share the joys of marriage. It’s not like there’s a pressing need to gobble it all up for themselves, despite any impression Maggie might give otherwise.

Maggie HUNGRY!!

Thanks to my bf Chedner for that last photo. Photoshop is amazing.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Life and Times of Boyfriend #2, Part 2

A Curious Pull

Pitching ropes
Across the crevasse
One another,
They create,
Bridging the divide,
Plank by plank.

I sat there looking out at the dark sky through my windshield. It was almost cinematic in its simplicity. It was the kind of winter day one is tempted to leave without a coat, the thermometer hovering between melting and freezing, but leaning toward the former. The winter warmth refreshed my sensibilities. Reclined and warm in the front seat of my car, I took in every soothing detail: the comforting, cool light of the street lamp, the sounds of cars meandering by, the feathery snow flake by flake beginning to blanket the sky above me. There was new hope on the horizon. Something different and new. An adventure. Possibilities abound. The smell of beginnings filled my lungs.

Fluffy snow falling

A set of headlights peered around the corner and Andre emerged a few minutes late and slightly breathless. I would soon learn that this was in his nature. His sense of anxiety manifested itself not only in our conversations, but in his entire demeanor. His unsure eyes, his cautious stride, the way his brow strained as he listened intently to every inflection in my voice.

“This is the place,” I said, my next thought turning to Brigham Young’s announcement as the Mormon pioneers were led into what became Salt Lake City. What a very Utah thing to say to Mr. Nebraska.

Not completely aware of the dialogue in my head, he remarked, “This is the place and you are the man. I’m glad we could do this.”

“I’m glad you made it up safe and sound.”

“Me, too. I’ve been looking forward to this since last night. Well, even before that. I’d say since I first saw you.”

I blushed, offered a smile for the compliment and chuckled a bit at his sweetness. “Are you ready to eat? You must be hungry after that drive. I was wondering if you thought I was racist when my first suggestion was Mexican.”

The conversation that ensued at dinner was somewhat quiet on both ends. Neither of us took a particularly dynamic role in the conversation. Both shy and curious as to what the other was thinking, the conversation focused mostly on family.


“Well,” I started us off as I dipped the first tortilla chip into the salsa. “There’s my mom and dad, my little brother who I’m pretty close to. My older brother is married and finally had a baby after a decade of marriage.”

“Seriously? Why did it take so long.”

“That’s not something that I’d ask,” I said laughing a little.

Andre turned red. He didn’t know what to say. After passing him a reassuring look, he started to shed some light on his life: “For me, there’s really just my mom and my sister. My father and step-father aren’t really part of the picture anymore.”

“That must’ve been hard. I’ll tell you all about it sometime. I’d rather not go into this having you think I’m crazy.”

I looked and him and smiled. “Don’t worry. We all are in some way.”

The conversation was filled with pauses as we tried to figure each other out. We’d come from very different environments yet we were both gay and shared a timidness I’d begun to outgrow in spurts. Neither of us knew how to navigate this conversation, but found a connection in our mutual caution. I focused intently on his eyes which indicated a sense of nervousness. At moments, he would turn them away out of bashfulness, although the desire to connect was ever-present.


The meal of tortillas and black beans was as refreshing as the winter warmth with which the night started. After two hours of punctuated conversation, we said our goodbyes.

“I really liked this. Do you think we could try again next week?” he asked intently.

“How about Monday?” I suggested.

“That works for me.”

The intrigue of difference and lethargic conversation left us wanting more. We were intently trying to figure each other out.

My heart pounding following a hug and an unexpected kiss goodbye, I immediately called my best friend. “Cole, I don’t know what to think at all about this date. It was slow and awkward, but somehow amazing. I kissed him after a very slow first date and I started it! What is wrong with me?!”

“I think you’re confused because you’re falling for him. Love is an amazing process of figuring out another person for the rest of your life. I’m not saying you’re in love, but you’re open to it after a long time. You’ve made a connection you’re not sure what to do with.”

And with that reassurance, I let myself enjoy my curiosity rather than forsake it.

End, Part 2.

What Should Maggie Gallagher Do Now?

Maggie won’t be heading NOM anymore, so what’s a hate-monger to do?

Maggie MOVE ON!

Debbie Downer Lookalike?
Crash Test Dummy?
WalMart Greeter?
Unknown Substance Taste Tester?
Pooper Scooper?  (Parade season is coming up and those horses won’t clean up after themselves).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Why is Maggie Gallagher So Mad at the Gays?

This explains so much. How many people really do have one bad experience and let that be what guides their actions towards LGBT individuals for the rest of their lives?

The Life and Times of Boyfriend #2

"This is a story of boy meets boy.
But you should know up front this is not a love story."

At least not anymore.

Call of a Distant Admirer

Romantic and
In braided Reality.


I’ve seen you around and just can’t get you out of my head. I’m kind of shy and I’ve been debating saying anything. I mean, I’d just come off as some weird stalker, right? After a few days, I finally decided to say something. You’re really cute and when I found your profile online, I fell even harder. If you don’t want to get to know me, I totally understand. I just had to say something because it was eating at me.

Sincerely yours,



Typically my Mondays don’t generally start off on such a positive note. Going into midterms, the drudgy fog of returning to school and work from a busy weekend lifted for a moment with those words. The message shortly followed my admission to myself that a relationship with my dream guy was not really possible at the moment. Evan needed space and friendship and I begrudgingly offered both.


The appearance of Andre was mysterious and relieving. I wondered what the larger part of the story was. How he’d heard about me or seen me and what sparked his interest in a college student working out his issues with homosexuality, romance, and religion. Subconsciously, I formed a connection with Andre in our shared, neurotic angst. His message was at once courageous and self-deprecating.

My interest piqued, I responded inquisitively after looking a bit of online sleuthing on my social networking sites. He was cute with dark hair and thick eyebrows. His eyes were bashful, somehow unsure half-open in most of his shots reacting to the emotional pressure of his photo being taken and that image of him surviving for eternity. His demeanor put a smile on my face because I saw a lot of myself in him—the self that lacked confidence before I’d come out to myself.

Socially speaking, there weren’t many connections. Apparently, he’d recently moved to Utah without knowing why he’d made the decision: “I’ve been in Utah a few weeks. It wasn’t what I’d expected and I’m not sure if I like it yet. Time will tell.” I posed him a set of questions aimed at understanding the gaps in his story. Even before I realized my homosexuality, Honestly, what would possess someone to move to Utah?, became a rather regular thought. That sentiment was only amplified by the fact that Andre was a decidedly out gay man. Of course, that was the first question I tossed at him.

“Two reasons,” he responded. “I got a promotion and I have a few friends here from when I was in CA.”RadioShack

His story unfolded over a series of emails, instant messages, and eventually via text messaging. He’d recently become the area manager for Radio Shack. “They asked me to move to Salt Lake, so I could oversee this hub of stores. When you look at it, though, it’s about the same as Nebraska, only different.”

Gay NebraskaThat said, Nebraska was home for him. It’s where his mother lived. It’s where he graduated high school. It’s where he met his first boyfriend. Nebraska didn’t provide a lot of opportunities, though. He found the dating scene small and racist towards Latinos. There was no room for advancement at work there, so he took a risk and applied for a position elsewhere.

Despite some distance issues (a common issue for me even at that time), we decided it would be a good idea to meet up in my hometown. Despite being a few years older, he took a characteristically youthful and enthusiastic role in the relationship. Following a barrage of questions about what I liked to do, I assured him I’d be happiest with something simple.

“A conversation and not some sort of present will be more memorable and valuable. Just be yourself and we’ll have a great time,” I assured him.

End, Part 1.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Spiritual Match

Making it through the first week of classes at the Center for Training Missionaries, we found ourselves preparing for our first Sunday in Brazil.  Informed by the experiences of missionaries who were our seniors at the CTM, we knew what this day meant for our newly-formed missionary family: one of us would be selected as District Leader. 

Needless to say, a great deal of speculation preceded the decision.  In the few days that we’d known each other, we’d developed a good understanding not only of each other’s personalities, but also the group dynamic. 

Elder Clark and Elder Laramie

“I know Carter is really gunning for DL, but I don’t think I could handle that,” Sister Willis said privately on the way to class. 

Lancey, Ballenger, and I all agreed without a word.  In the few days we’d been together, we noticed a few quirks—his ultra-conservative sense of humor, his devotion to the stringent study schedule, an almost-competitive sense of spirituality.  Perhaps that was the road we were all going down, but he was unbearable to everyone but the most good natured in the district—his patient companion, Elder Laramie, and  Elder Rockefeller who you simply could not be offended even if you were to make fun of his mother.

“We all know Sister Ballenger would make the best District Leader,” I joked.

“Yeah,” Lancey said, “Too bad sisters can’t be District Leaders.” 

We all chuckled and made our way to the sacrament meeting that morning just in time to take the last four seats at the back.  The Branch President and his counselors made their way over to greet us briefly before the meeting began. 

“Elders, Sisters, I’m President Williams.  These are Brothers de Paula and Cruz, the counselors for the branch.  I hope you’re ready for interviews after church today.  We’re all looking forward to meeting you.”

With that, we sat in our seats prepared for the three hours ahead of us.  A sacrament meeting of testimonies and introductions was quickly followed by a Sunday school lesson and another hour separating the priesthood holders from the sisters.  It was one of the more familiar aspects of the whole experience in Brazil—one of the few things that would go unchanged from our time as missionaries and as regular members of the church—the same set of lessons happened to be given around the world any given Sunday. 

President Williams

“Welcome, District 37-A,” President Williams said, “We’re glad to have you here and would like to spend the next hour or so getting to know you as a presidency.  If you’ll all remain here, we’ll meet with you one-on-one.  We’ll have similar interviews at the middle and end of your stay.  Also, I’ll be making our decision on who will be District Leader in your time here at the CTM.  Can I have some volunteers to start off the interview process?”

Elder Carter’s hand shot up like a drowning man reaching for air  Sister Willis and Sister Bangerter also volunteered, sharing a look with each other and with me over Carter’s predictability in this situation.  The three of them left made their way out of the room as the rest of us sat around discussing our meetings and the decision to be made.  There was an interesting dynamic—a rolling wave of flattery as we suggested why each of the guys in the room would make a great leader.  When my turn came—“Elder GMB is just so level-headed and likeable”—I blushed a little before Elder Frazier moved on to Elder Laramie, “You know, you’re probably the most patient.  Who else could handle being Carter’s comp?”

We all laughed for a moment and our conversation devolved into jokes at each other’s expense—my glasses, Sis. Ballenger’s height, Lancey’s acne.  No one was offended because no one was safe, but we soon quieted down out of guilt.

“Next,” President Williams called from the doorway, returning with Sister Ballenger.  “You, Elder GMB.”

President Williams and me

I made my way to the next room lit only by the frosted glass.  Two folding chairs stood in front of a whiteboard angled towards each other in a 135 degree angle.  It was the same setup I’d experienced since I was eight years old.  Now I realize that each detail of this ritual of interviews, though not necessarily holding a specific meaning, spoke to the rigidity of the culture in which I lived.  Predictably, he asked me to pray, I selected my words purposefully so as to prove myself spiritual and sincere, he gave me a speech on how important my calling as a missionary:

“Heavenly Father has been preparing you for this moment long before you were born.  There are souls out there waiting to receive his Gospel through you and it’s in your time here that you must steel yourself for the long journey ahead.”  What followed was a short explanation of how I’d gotten to where I was at that point in my life.

“Well, I’ve always planned on doing this.  Doing what I was supposed to do.  I always expected myself to end up on a mission and then when it got close, it just felt right.  I just felt prepared.  When I opened up that envelope and got through the initial surprise, I knew it was what I was supposed to do.”

“That’s a beautiful story.  It’s through the small and simple things like those feelings that great things come to pass and great boys grow into great men.”

We concluded with a little discussion of life back in the states.  He was a lawyer for the Church and asked to use his Portuguese skills (acquired on a mission some fifteen years ago).  His wife and daughters accompanied him, seeing as an opportunity to enrich their lives culturally while serving the Lord.

I shared my story and was surprised by how much was school related.  “I’m the middle of three boys.  I want to be a college professor and teach literature, but l think journalism seems more practical.”

“You look into journalism.  The world needs more independent journalists.”

And with that, we closed with a prayer so he could interview the next missionary.  I wasn’t sure what to make of that last comment.  I’d spent a good deal of my life navigating the hostile roads set out for a liberal Mormon and it was clear he wasn’t particularly friendly to those views.

As we returned to the other room where the missionaries waited, I noted the volume had increased considerably.

Too Loud “Quiet down! This is a sacred space,” President Williams interjected as a few of the Elders scuttled back into their chairs.  “You are missionaries not middle schoolers.”  He left the room for a moment to tell his counselors he would be supervising us. 

In an awkward silence, we contemplated the bootcamp-like conditions.  We couldn’t handle being 100% spiritual, 100% reverent all of the time.  If this is what being a missionary meant, I don’t think any of us were prepared for the next two years.

Finally, once all the interviews were finished, President Williams convened his counselors to discuss their leadership decision.  In the meantime, Elder Frazier apologized for telling stories about the police catching him making out with his prom date on the roof of a church and Elder Laramie for the Chapelle Show impressions. 

“I must say we’re more than disappointed in your behavior.  I know that this is a time for growth as many of you have left your families for the first time less than a week ago.  You have some powerful lessons awaiting you and I hope this is the first:  you are now adults.  You will be expected to act as such.  As Paul instructed the Corintians, ‘When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.’

“One Elder here has shown a great deal of maturity and devotion in choosing to serve a mission.  He’s proved himself diligent according to your teachers and in his interview with the branch leaders.  We ask that each of you support and sustain Elder Laramie in his new calling as District Leader.”

Why Does Maggie Gallagher Not Wear a Wedding Ring?

Maggie DER!

I asked an honorary MoHo if I could post his creation. For those of you who don’t know dear Maggie (also referred to as Slaggie Gila Monster), she’s the current acting president of the National Organization for Marriage.

Although she is THE proponent for “Traditional Marriage,” married Maggie wears no wedding band. Ever wonder why? Here are the results of our survey of her friends and family. When asked why she does not wear a ring, they responded:

Maggie Chart

(For extra fun, check out alternative text on this and other Maggie posts).

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fireside Flak

Quickly, I thought I’d weigh in on the Fireside issue before I finish my Missionary Monday post.

Let’s take this from a different perspective for a moment: needs. First, Who is the audience of the fireside and how will its content serve them? It’s clearly an outreach effort to gay members, their friends, and family members. Ultimately, as Beck points out, this boils down to a damned if you do/don’t scenario as one attempts to address the needs of this group.

1st, let this group of people know they are not alone. This is where the fireside will succeed. The higher the attendance, the more productive the emotional outcome in this sense.

2nd, provide a dialogue regarding these issues. In order to address concerns of this group, it is necessary for these men and women to feel they are able to vocalize their concerns to one another. Being heard is one of the most important aspects to emotional suffering. I believe this can succeed to a very limited degree. As Rob put it, “homosexuality should not exist” the way it is currently treated, and it’s very difficult to approach a problem that should not exist within the gospel. Fireside goers will be able to discuss their feelings, but this discussion will be constructed around a framework of shame in the sense that homosexual feelings cannot be discussed positively.

3rd, offer solutions/coping strategies so that one can lead a happy life. This is the presumably the primary reason Ty Mansfield has been invited as keynote speaker. I take issue with this for the same reason as Rob and MoHoHawaii, but would like to extend it one step. There is an unspoken endorsement of Mixed-Orientation Marriages, which—perhaps—can work for some, but I have seen multiple cases in which that goal has only led to heartbreak for the men and women involved (including my own best friend Cole). That said, I feel many other solutions emphasized above that outcome including celibacy.

Put simply, hands are tied and mouths stifled because of the larger discussion (or lack thereof). Celibacy and Marriage seem to be the only endorsable outcomes for gay members of the church. While I tend to think that the fireside will be successful in providing a sense of community, I tend to think that the only way for the meeting to have any further success (and avert unintended damage) is for the program to include success stories of celibate saints AND accounts of unsuccessful mixed-orientation marriages, so as to not elevate Ty’s circumstances as the only or best possible outcome for gay saints. It’s very possible that the program does take this into account and if it does, it would be the best possible program given the current atmosphere of fear and silence.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

It’s Official


A very brief insight into my present:

For the fist time in a year, I’m dating someone exclusively.  It is exciting and feels right given the events of the past few months.  Since I won’t be discussing our relationship much on this blog, I’ll leave that to my boyfriend, a fellow blogger who goes by the name chedner. 

You’ll find his blog at Greenly Chalked

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wishing Myself a Happy 200th


In celebration of hitting 200 posts today, I’ll give you twenty more teasers for future posts:

  • Genesis of Wanderings
  • Picking Sides and the MoHo Tightrope
  • A Gay Mormon Boy and the “Slut Phase” Prophesy—How J.K. Rowling of me.
  • “The Four Great Disappointments”
  • Questions of Drinks and Drugs
  • Gender Blending
  • Crossing Borders
  • Nostalgic Firefight: Coping with Resurfacing Feelings in the Writing Process
  • The Elder and the Rave
  • Pulled Back from the Edge
  • Unemployed
  • Discovering MoHoLandia
  • Saying No
  • Meditations on Distance and Age
  • Dating in Four States and Four Countries (including one in NYC with Horizons….  Hear his side of the story here).
  • Gay Life in South America
  • The True Meaning of Pride: A Late Holiday Special
  • The Winter of Our Discontent
  • Finding Community
  • “Amerika!”

My apologies if the enigmatic nature of this post is unsatisfying.  Hopefully it finds a balance of curiosity (nay titillation), concern, and understanding.  The next two hundred posts will likely encompass some of the darkest and some of the happiest moments of my life.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sonriso, Part 9

The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief. 
~William Shakespeare, Othello

It was over—over in the most ambivalent of ways.  I still smiled at the thought of him but knew he’d be nothing more than an ideal in my life—just the right combination of intellectual, emotional, and sexual rise was (and perhaps still is) inspired by the mere flashes of his picture on Facebook or the occasional flashback to a memory together. 

In conversation, he’d often come up as an ideal guy.  He’d managed to resolve his issues with Mormonism and being gay as I was attempting to do the same in my life.  However, that remained a secondary or tertiary variable in my attraction.  Not long after my decision to give up pursuing a relationship with him, a chat window popped up on Connexion.  The picture had a Cheshire quality—a large smile and a rounded face:


“It seems we went to the same school.  You write pretty well.  Do I detect an influence of Nellie in your words?”

“Nellie Carter?” I responded.


“How did you guess?  I took a column writing class from her.”

“I just have an eye for words.  Anyways, I’m Rick.”

“A pleasure.”


“I see we’re both friends with Evan Davis.”

“He’s perhaps the cutest of my friends on here.”

“He’s definitely a sight to behold.”

“That’s a good way to put it.  His type doesn’t come around often.  I’m having a hard time getting over my crush on him.”

“Interesting.  It looks like I’ll be meeting him at the club tonight.”

“Yeah? I’m meeting up with him for some coffee beforehand with a few friends.”

“So I guess that means we’ll be meeting up, too….”

After a tennis game of flirty retorts, we said our goodbyes and I noted the fortunate coincidence that I’d be meeting another cute and intelligent boy that night.

I made my way to Salt Lake with my clubbing buddies Ezra (who’d just moved into the Wood House) and Alberto.  We met Evan on his doorstep—the one I’d hesitated on that night of the first date.  The place and that moment took me back even though it was not the two of us.  I didn’t want to leave and the unhealthy desire to somehow claim him clouded my head.  He was distant because he was healing and I had no reason to impose my feelings as I had been in a similar enough position to understand, albeit in glimpses.

On the way to the coffeehouse, he conveniently mentioned that Rick would be joining us.  A smile came to my face as a result  of the coincidental conversation which had occurred earlier that day. 

Waitress bringing the regular

Waiting for Ezra and Alberto to do each others’ hair, Evan and I sat across the table from one another.  Almost defensively, I turned the conversation to the connection we shared which would not send me into some sort of emotional hailstorm:

“How’s your brother doing? Erik and I talk once in a while after the mission but him finding out about my dating life and… preferences… would make that somewhat more difficult.”

“That’s the truth. Try being his brother for eighteen years and having that discussion.”

“He seems to be doing well.  I mean, he's the definition of Peter Priesthood.  Isn’t he in like eight different church choirs?

“Ha!  Yeah.  he practically lives in the church building,” he said rolling his eyes.”

“I think that’s actually part of the reason we became good friends so quickly.”

He smirked knowingly. “Yeah.  That’s part of it.”

We paused, expecting an explanation or question to fill the air.

“That’s all I can say,” he said with the same smirk as he sipped at his chai. 

“Hey guys,” Alberto said, interrupting.  “How does my hair look.” He’d just come from the bathroom with a Macy’s bag filled to the brim with hair products.

“With Alberto, hair is never perfect. He just abandons it when we all get tired of him asking about it,” Ezra said.  “I’ve been listening to him bitch about a single cowlick for the last twenty minutes.”

With that, the direct conversation with Evan ended as the discussion turned to common friends and how long it had been since we’d all been dancing.  My mind vacillated between topics—my inescapable attraction to Evan, his cryptic mention of my missionary friend and his brother, and the distraction that Rick would hopefully provide that night.

Rick’s arrival came with some knowing smiles on my part and his.  “This is Rick,” Evan announced to the guys sitting around the table.

“Hey everyone,” he said—a bastion of confidence.  All aglow, he plunged into conversation with a half-dozen people as the waitress—a friend of his—brought over his regular quad-shot mocha.  After some meandering around the table for a few minutes, he finally took a seat across the table next to Evan.

The conversation continued as I found an unexpected anxiety creep up on me and press against my chest.  Rick took his arm and placed it around Evan, caressing his back on occasion.  It was hard to swallow, but the reality was that the cute intellectual wasn’t after me after all.  Painfully, my sense of alienation doubled over itself with every signal of affection that I could not bestow upon Evan—an arm around him, a chivalrous opening of the door, hours spent together on the dance floor.

Rick and Evan

The sinking feeling of jealousy left me powerless.  Rick taking Evan’s hand at the end of the night to hold it left me with a deep sent of resentment for my over-sensitivity.  It has always been me weakness, I thought to myself.

Rick knew my feelings for Evan and I wonder at times whether, as he smiled and glanced in my direction, his pleasure was somehow augmented by my overpowering anxiety.  My frustration of not being able to read a simple assemblage of teeth and muscles also left me questioning for weeks whether my romantic quest would ever amount to anything more than a series of heartbreaks.  If I could not rely on my sensitivity or instincts, what could I rely on?

In the end, I was reassured by a simple, genuine smile.

“That guy does not know how to take a hint,” Evan recounted at a party.  “I’d pull my hand away, but he didn’t pay any attention.  I took FOUR trips to the bathroom that night for some alone time.  He was kind of upset after I turned him down for a date a couple days later.”

The reassurance that my respect was more than hyper-sensitivity put the confident smile on my face that I needed as the desire to enter a relationship would finally be satisfied.

End of series.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

MoHo Cameos

As a literary geek, I'm fascinated by words in all their forms. Street signs, television scripts, formal poems, etc.

I've been blessed in my education with a wealth of research experience and a vocabulary to discuss phenomena in media. The difference between assonance, consonance, and alliteration might not mean a lot to you, but it sure does to me. (I won't bore you with an explanation at the moment).

That said, there are plenty of other helpful concepts that I don't think you'd mind me sharing and one of those is intertextuality, which according to the OED is:

"The need for one text to be read in the light of its allusions to and differences from the context or structure of other texts; the (allusive) relationship between esp. literary texts."

As many of you involved in the MoHoSphere have noted, it's a small world. Everybody seems to know everyone or be one or two bloggers removed. As a result, it's interesting to examine the connections and influences of blogs on and between one another. For instance, one might run into two different accounts of the same dates by two different bloggers.

I'll spare you any more technical analysis for the moment and note two instances of what I'll term "MoHo Cameos." Instead I leave you some impressions and observations and an uncharacteristically disjointed post:

One of the first instances was my second encounter with boskers, who I've come to appreciate as a methodical thinker who's gone through many of the same processes that I have. In a post referencing our meeting at a MoHo party (a monthly get together for gay Mormons/ex-Mormons). I brought my best friend "Cole" and was fascinated by the extension of his pseudonym onto another blog.

More recently (as in yesterday), Moving Horizons shared the impressions of our face-to-face meeting (his first with a fellow MoHo). The implications of his post on the concreteness (and its subsequent parts) brought to homosexuality by interacting in the flesh is probably more interesting than my wondering about how the two blogs will interact textually as a result. It's a good post I recommend (not out of my own vanity).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sonriso, Part 8

“The shortest distance between two people is a smile.”
~Author unknown

The Wood House had turned from an exotic oddity into a Friday ritual. In a way, it was an escape from the conflicts that had little-by-little crept into my life without running off to Salt Lake or chatting extensively online. There, despite differences in religious views and practices, interests, and even nationalities I felt somehow more human, able to be more open about my strengths and my faults and discuss pieces of my life even my closest friends didn’t want to hear about. I was with Lila sitting on our couch in the corner watching everyone else get drunk as we privately shared our observations with each other. It was our part of that Friday night ritual.

It was a week after that memorable night with Evan, and I’d replayed it in my head several times with looming hopes for the future accompanied by equal and opposite feelings that I would soon learn the definition of “too good to be true.” Lila, one of my closest confidants in discussing my boy stories, leaned towards the latter.

Wood House Couch

“… All I’m saying is don’t get ahead of yourself. It was one date. You know as well as anyone how one date can be amazing the next just plain ‘Blah.’”

“Well, the fact of the matter is you never know when Mr. Right will come along,” I said. All clichés we’d experienced in some way or another from the time we’d learned what romance was.

“I do hope it works out, and I’m happy to see you happy, but putting stock in your boys no matter how much you or I adore them hasn’t turned out so well.”

“It just seems too good to be true minus the long distance thing.”

“And the whole relationship thing. Alberto mentioned it.”

“Yeah. My instincts say he needs some time.”

“What are you saying about me?” Alberto interrupted.

“Oh nothing. We were talking about Evan,” Lila explained.

“Oh yeah?” His lip curled at the opportunity to pass along international student gossip. “Well, you know that Nikita is really good friends with him and his ex. She said that they had a really big fight not very much before he went out with you.”

International Gossip


“That is definitely over, but he’s gone through two major disappointments in the past few months.”

It made sense to me, but I still wanted to feel my way through the murk of the situation.

Later that night, Evan stopped by the party with a couple of friends.

“Becca and Jane, this is GMB. He and Erik served in your mission, Jane.”

“Seriously!?” Her beautiful complexion went from glowing to radiant. You have to tell me all about it.”

Surprised at being posed a question about my mission in such an openly gay atmosphere brought an ironic smile to my face.

“I’ll tell you all about it. Be prepared to walk a lot because that place is hilly. You’re lucky enough to not have to worry about the food…”

I went on aware that the gay and Mormon parts of my identity happily and readily converged on that moment. She was happy that I’d served a mission and equally happy about the feelings she perceived in me for Evan. They went off for her a harmless birthday adventure at the local bar. There alcohol was involved, but Becca explained later that she wanted to at least say that she’d been before heading out to be a missionary.

Evan and I met up later that week following a meeting I had in Salt Lake. There was some unsurity to the moment as Alberto’s caution over the situation had left me more neurotic than usual.

“Let’s meet at Nostalgia,” he said.

Nostalgia Coffee

As the night unfolded, the location’s name became somewhat ironic.

“Two chocolate chais,” he called, ordering as a regular at the counter.

We sat down content for a chat leaving work and school responsibilities for a few free moments.

A half hour later, we found ourselves discussing the times we were happiest in life—when we were in love and sharing life with someone else on a moment-to-moment basis. I found myself discussing Mark and he found himself discussing his exes, but that emotional bridge between us, connecting over our past loves, came up short. Though I was finally able to move on, and bridge my heart to someone else’s in a relationship, I knew that Evan and I could not connect as anything more than friends.

We continued our chat at a little Greek place, and as I awkwardly looked at him as I paid for dinner, I knew that he needed the time and space I’d been so lucky to have the past eight months.

The night ended with another awkward kiss on that awkward doorstep as we both wished to connect the way that we were once able to with other people.

End, Part 8.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Back in the Swing

In the past month, I’ve received more than a few emails about my M.I.A. status in the MoHoSphere. Let’s just say this has proven to be the busiest and most rewarding month in a long time. Normally, I’m not all that open about the present as it’s a sort of spoiler on my blog.

I will mention three things, though:

  1. An exhibit I worked on for the Utah Pride Festival turned out to be a success.
  2. I spent some time in Manhattan. It’s everything I imagined from the hotdog vendors to the Tonys. (Yes, the Tonys with Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth-- that's my picture below taken from the very back row of Radio City! You’ll hear more about that on another blogger sometime soon).
  3. There is a very special guy in my life. He’s been very patient with me and we’re gearing up for an important discussion. Unfortunately, I have a hard time starting such conversations and he knows it. You'll likely hear more about that soon from another blogger.

And three more things coming soon to the blog:

  1. Resolution to the Sonriso series.
  2. A very special “Why Do We Like…?”
  3. The Life and Times of Boyfriend #2

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

GMB-1, America Forever-0

I've blogged about America Forever before and I'm proud to announce it seems we've won. Chatting with Romulus about West Valley City and Logan's anti-discrimination ordinances, we discovered that as of Friday or earlier the little group is no longer in business:

Now, what I'm wondering is what they mean by "unspeakable circumstances." Tax fraud? FCC complaints? Principles presented by Darwin? Libelous hate speech?

Whatever the case, I'm considering this a victory and celebrating with a little purchase. Big Love Season 3, anyone?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

On Utah LGBT Families

I’m back from a brief hiatus. Being busy with a few projects for Utah Pride and other commitments has left me with a severe time deficiency. That said, it seems there is some good news on the horizon and I’ll let you know when it’s all “official,” though I’ll leave out many details if and when that comes to pass.

Today, I’m back for a very special reason and that is a blogging holiday. Today is Blogging for LGBT Families Day and I’d just like to share my thoughts on the subject. In my mind, LGBT Families evolved from an impossibility years ago to an invisible reality.

A professor, unaware of my sexuality, expressed her concern for some friends she met over a decade ago: “Our oldest, Harry, was in the hospital again. The cancer had come back for the second time and he was losing. In the next room was a little girl 5 years younger fighting the same disease. I found an instant friend in Melody. We were going through this together, and although this was the 3rd time for me, we were instantly bound together emotionally. Our third day there, my husband stopped by with lunch for both of us. Innocently inquiring about her family, she revealed that she was a lesbian and that her partner, Telly, wasn’t allowed to visit.”


“The pain that I felt in that moment shot into every part of my heart—not only those chambers reserved for personal pain, but also for social injustice and pure empathy. My love for my husband and son was no different to hers for her partner and daughter and I had no idea how to express that other than wailing an angry, impassioned plea to the director of the hospital. Through the veil of tears over my eyes, I only recall the stonewall demeanor of the director looking across from me at his desk, elbows on the sides of his chair, hands held together as his wrists rubbed against one another and he said in positively unemotional tone, ‘There’s nothing I can do for Miss Grant and Miss Siporin.’

“The next week was spent in the agony of my life. I sat attentively—as composed as possible—in the hospital as I cared for my son’s every need only to return home every night in total agony of the world I lived in. Their Rose and our Harry both passed away that week. I was powerless in every sense of the word.

“Our friendship with Melody and Telly continued and we see each other about once a year around the anniversary of Harry’s death. The only way for me to continue was to love my other children and accept Melody and Telly as the sisters and mothers they are.”

9. May 20, 2004. Couples who applied for marriage licenses on May 17 and did not have the standard three-day waiting period waived, picked up their licenses on May 20. In honor of the historic occasion, marriages were held all day long at the Arlington Street Church, a Unitarian Universalist landmark in downtown Boston. Every 20 minutes, a new couple, sometimes alone, other times with children and even pets, walked down the aisle to say their vows. Among the families celebrating were M. J. Knoll, Christine Finn, and their four-year-old son, Henry. After the wedding, Henry concluded on his own, “Now we’re all Knoll-Finns.

I wasn’t expecting that at all. I’d grown up Mormon and attended LDS Seminary with her daughter. Her husband was running for state office and I realized that what she wanted for her friends and sisters was what I wanted for myself. A few months later, I met someone who’d show me first hand that it was possible.

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