Saturday, March 31, 2012

Daughter of a Lesbian

Guest Post by MomIsLesbian

I’m a 30+ year old woman and my Mom is lesbian. It’s no big deal. What IS a big deal is the bravery my Mom showed in leaving my Father once she realized she loved a woman more than him. That takes some guts! Especially during a time when no one talked about homosexuality and very few even understood what it was. She knew she wasn’t “normal” and she couldn’t pretend to be someone she wasn’t. Hats off to Mom!

Unfortunately, we lived in the mid-west. When I was very young, no one spoke of homosexuality. As I got older the whole AIDS epidemic started opening up all sorts of unwanted discussion around homosexuality. In the mid-west it wasn’t safe to be “out”. So, I was asked to keep my Moms relationship with her partner (whom we lived with) a secret. Most of their families didn’t even know the truth. So, even at family gatherings, lips were sealed.
As I grew up, I watched, listened, and learned. I learned that even though society doesn’t view “difference” as something to accept and welcome, I certainly wanted to. I learned that when you’re different people aren’t very nice…therefore I certainly would be. I learned that when someone is condemned by society all they need is someone to accept them for who they are. I was certainly going to do that. In other words, what I learned was that society isn’t always right and I wanted to be the person my heart told me to be…which (oddly enough) went against what “society” wanted.

This is not to say that I rebelled and got involved in politics. No, I kept to myself for the most part. However, I had some awesome friends who were “different”. I put myself in cliques and positions that had a variety of different types of people. As I went into my professional life, I chose to do work that would make people think and look at who they are/how they treat others.
As an adult I live my life. I don’t keep my Mom’s secret anymore, but I don’t wear it like a badge of honor either. I support equality and I donate money to the HRC. I vote for people who are “different” if their platforms make sense to me.

On the topic of Gay Marriage
Today, my biggest concern is the legalities of my Mom’s relationship. As my 2 Moms age, I need to be able to make decisions for them. I have no legal rights to do anything for my “Step-Mom”. My Moms have no automatic legal rights to make decisions for each other. They have to carry around Power of Attorney papers and make sure they are accessible if needed. My Moms Love each other and will spend the rest of their lives together as though they were married. However, the law doesn’t recognize that and will not allow them to take care of each other the way my Husband and I will. This is a problem that needs to be fixed. I want my Moms to have the same legal and social rights that my Husband and I have.

On the topic of Sex
I watch the gay community from inside and out. I have always been able to see both perspectives. One thing that has always bothered me is that the gay community makes homosexuality about sex. The more “in your face” sex you throw at the people, the more they will rebel against that. It’s not about sex anyway. Yes, it’s about choosing who your sexual partner is, but more than that…it’s about love. It’s about loving someone deeply, having that connection and being able to show that by holding hands, kissing in the park and being there for each other as you want to be. To me, it just seems like many homosexuals are trying to push the envelope more than it needs to be pushed. Show love, not sex and I’ll bet society would be more accepting as a whole.

Friday, March 30, 2012

I Wish…

… For Them

I wish I was good enough for you. I wish I would have kissed you before you left. I wish that you didn’t feel the need to write me a generic letter three months later. I wish you would have just been honest and harsh and shooed me off.

I wish you could have loved me like you love her. I wish you knew my eye color.

I wish I wasn’t as honest with you. I don’t wish for things to stay the same, I like the way they’ve changed, but I wish I didn’t want more.

I wish you would have remembered my birthday. I wish I was more to you than just an outlet. I wish you needed me when I was around, not only when I was out of reach.

I wish you could have seen how much I loved you. I wish you weren’t so blinded.

I wish I could be honest with you. I wish rules and fear didn’t dominate my emotions.

… For Me

I wish I was good enough.

I wish I was proud of myself.

I wish I wasn’t so restless.

I wish I knew when to hold my tongue.

I wish I knew how to flirt and be cute.

I wish I had the courage to wear my “gay” tee-shirt.

I wish I had the courage to follow my heart, my dreams.

I just wish I knew how to be comfortable with me.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

If the Shoe Fits

Since Monday, when I read the post on MJ's personal blog (which you can read here), I've been thinking about the shoes in my life and it seems only fitting to explore the ideas that have been wandering through my head.  MJ talked about the concept of walking in someone else's shoes to gain understanding and how that's not really possible.  My brain went a different direction.

I got thinking about how shoes come and go.  When old shoes wear out, I get new ones.  New shoes generally need some breaking in, taking a bit of time before they feel really great and don't rub me wrong.  And once they get to that point, I LOVE them.  I love shoes that fit just right.  Generally my shoes last a long time (even though I'm really hard on them, with all the hiking and running and climbing trees that I do), but eventually they wear out, becoming either uncomfortable or non functional, and the cycle begins again.  I have some shoes (like my chacos) that have been around forever.  Other shoes, like work shoes, don't last so long.  Sometimes I get a pair of shoes that I try really hard to like because they are cool or something...but no matter how hard I try, they never reach that "comfortable" place.

Now maybe there are some holes in this metaphor (give me a's midnight), and I'd love to hear your thoughts on it, but it seems to me that the shoes in my closet are a lot like the different things I've tried out in my life.  Hear me out...

I once tried to be a teacher.  I taught English, history, art and music to a bunch of 9th graders.  I truly loved it in a lot of ways and could have continued doing it, but something about it didn't fit for me.  Those "shoes" didn't quite fit, even though they looked damn good.

Another time I tried on the "engaged" shoes.  There was nothing nice about those shoes.  It was like I was wearing these awful heels (and any of you that know me well know I would never do this) that would look really great on a lot of people, but not me.  I kept twisting my ankle and getting the heel stuck in every porous surface around.  In the end, I got rid of those shoes seconds before I almost tripped over them and fell into an oncoming bus, narrowly escaping a nasty, nasty end.

I used to have a pair of shoes that lasted for a really, really long time, carrying me many places.  These were my "religion" shoes.  They were really comfortable for a really long time.  But then I started to outgrow them and they felt more cramped and suffocating than anything else.  It was time for a new pair.

For a long while I wore the "musician" shoes.  Those shoes were awesome, and they, too, fit really well for a while.  I could run faster and jump higher in those shoes, and everyone loved them.  But again, they soon became uncomfortable.  I still have them and can put them on if I get a hankering, but I don't wear them very often.  Mostly they live in the closet with my instruments.

Sometimes things just fit.  Sometimes something feels so right that you can't help but be excited about it.  Sometimes I get new shoes that I love and I want to wear them all the time.  Other times, I hate them.  But just like shoes change, so do my life circumstances.  If I tried to wear the same pair of shoes my entire life just because they were comfortable, refusing to change when I outgrew them, I would be left with nothing more than smelly feet and ingrown toenails.

So this is my reminder to myself this week:  Things change, and that's okay.  It's more than okay.  It's awesome!  If a shoe doesn't fit, I don't have to wear it.  On the flip side, just because something feels right and fits really well at one point in my life doesn't mean it's always going to stay that way.  And refusing to change your shoes...stinks (bahahaha!).

Love and growth and change (and new shoes) to all of you,


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fernweh... wait what?

So today I am going to be talking all about Fernweh. Yes that is spelled right; fernweh. Fernweh is defined as, "A crave for travel; being homesick for a place you've never been." I have fernweh all the time and it is getting more and more relentless. So you may ask yourself where do I crave to go? Where is it that I feel homesick for even though I have never stepped foot there? Well the answer is Japan.
I love japanese culture and always have ever since my parents got me the movie spirited away back in 2001. Here was 11 year old me being transported into a world of pure imagination all surrounded by a culture that I had never known or seen before. The beautiful characters, the amazing food, the unique clothing, the rich history. I loved it all and yep, still do.

It is something that I literally day dream about all the time and it drives me up the wall. I want to go and see the incredible sights, explore the nightlife and immerse myself in the language and people. As Belle said so eloquently in Beauty and the Beast, "I want adventure in the great wide somewhere, I want it more than I can tell, and for once it might be grand to have someone understand..."

Does anyone out there understand? Are you so drawn to a culture that you think about it relentlessly? I need to travel. I need to feel lost and out of place but enjoy the idea of being surrounded by something entirely new and magnificent.
I am of course a major disney fan and Disneyland is one of the best places on the planet. It should come as no surprise than that with my love of cultures and the foreign, that one of my all time favorite rides is It's a Small World. I love the colors the music the culture even though they might be a simplified and stylized version of what is real; it still captivates me.

Last summer I got to visit little tokyo in LA for the first time and I was lost in bliss. The smells, tastes, and things there were just a fraction of what could be one day... I long for that day.
I have taken Japanese classes and am currently in a japanese calligraphy class but alas it is never enough. I need to go. I need to travel. I even eat my cereal with chopsticks people.

Surprisingly enough though, while I crave and love Japan, I have a love for most orient cultures and greatly desire to also see Vietnam, Thailand, and China. Who knows if it will happen but it is certainly a major goal of mine. I have fernweh. The longing, crave for travel; being homesick for a place you've never been. Fernweh

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

To a T

That’s a thing, right? Like people use it in talking? Anyway, this is my first post, very exciting. Which means I should introduce myself.

First of all, Bailey is not my given name, but it is the one I am choosing to go by. Always makes me think of that kids’ book Bailey Goes Camping—not as good as Amelia Bedelia or Dr. Seuss, but still—although recently it’s been connected in my mind to The Night Circus. Can you tell that books are important to me? That’s a box.

Other boxes: I’m nineteen, right-handed, Mormon; I don’t like cheese, once ate a chocolate-covered cricket and thought it was pretty good aside from the chocolate, don’t do meat but not on principle; my eyesight is poor, my coordination lacking, my hearing selective; I’ve never kissed a chipmunk, been skydiving, walked on hot coals (or water for that matter). There—do you know me now? Probably not. The point is, I can sit here all day and write out a list of the things that I am and am not, the things I like and dislike, the things I do and don’t do, but boxes are just going to create preconceptions, not really show you who I am.

I can’t make you know me, but I am going to try my best to honestly share some of my thoughts and experiences each week, and maybe that will amount to something in the end. I don’t really know what else to say in this awkward first post by way of introduction, so I’m going to leave it at that.

P.S. This is a passage I came across the other day, courtesy of a transgender kid, and I liked it so here it is: “It’s like when I was a girl they wanted me to be a certain kind of girl and I was like, ‘Uh, no.’ And then I became a guy. And then the same people were like, ‘Okay, if you’re going to be a guy you have to be like this and this.’ And I was like, ‘No, actually I don’t.’”

Monday, March 26, 2012

Where I've Been and Where I'm Going

In Lewis Carroll’s timeless classic, Alice in Wonderland, the Cheshire Cat provides some of the most impressive advice (I believe) in literary history.  The passage reads:

"`Cheshire Puss,' [Alice] began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a little wider. `Come, it's pleased so far,' thought Alice, and she went on.
`Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'
`That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.
`I don't much care where--' said Alice.
`Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.
`--so long as I get SOMEWHERE,' Alice added as an explanation.
`Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, `if you only walk long enough.'
`But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
`Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.'
`How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
`You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'”

As I have read, and re-read (and re-read) this passage, I have come to the conclusion that I am much more like Alice than I thought and much more like her than I ever wanted to be.

When I was younger I had my entire life planned out for me – mostly by my mother.  That being said, I was convinced that what my parents wanted for me was equally what I wanted for me, too.  It really wasn’t too much of a push on their part, I’m sure. I’m a people pleaser and at the top of my list is my family.

But, anyway, as I have fallen away from the nitty-gritty, day-to-day expectations that have been a part of my life for so many years, AND as I have grown to embrace my individuality in all of its many forms, I realized that I have been wandering for the last several years.  Wandering in one random direction or another, just hoping to be able to find ____________ (someone to love me, someone for me to love, someone to accept me, a job I WANT to work, peace, happiness, joy, etc.).  Wandering in any given direction to merely find myself among the “mad,” never really happy with where I’m at.

I’ve known for some time that I wasn’t going to be able to follow in the direction and expectations my family has pushed on me but, even with that realization, it is still hard to accept my individual responsibility to choose my own path and live my own life. So, today, I am going to lay down my own desires as the framework for my new life direction.

-          I want to be loved and to love.  I have so much love to share and I want to love someone with all of my heart.  I want to be able to share my life with someone who also wants to share his with me.  I’ve had this once and it was wonderful when it was good and terrible when it was bad.  I want to find that one special someone who wants me too.  Sometimes the loneliness is crippling and I don’t know what I’m going to do.  All I can do now, though, is be patient and make myself the best, most desirable me I can be.

-          I want a family.  A real one. Not a second-class one that has to be called something else. I want to be with one person through the good, the bad, and the ugly. Through sickness and health. I want to be with someone forever. I want to be a dad with kids who love me and know that I love them.
-          I want a house, a garden, and someday I want a small ranch with cattle and horses, too.

-          I want to live authentically without fear of retribution at work and at home.

-          Ultimately, I want to be me. The man I’ve buried yet fantasized about becoming since I was 12 years old.  I’m sick and tired of running. I’m tired of hiding. I’m tired of being half a person. 
My time is coming, and my path is set. Some days I walk quickly, others more slowly, but I have followed the Cat’s direction and I know where I want to go. I know how I need to get there, and I’m one my way.

I hope you have a wonderful week and I love all of you!



PS – This isn’t the original post I wanted to share with you.  I decided to post that on my personal blog ( ) because I felt like I needed to share the above post here, for whatever reason.  If you feel like reading up on my passion for shoes and my dissection of an old expression, check out it out. Love ya!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Curly Fries

I work at Arby's. I do not eat at Arby's. But the other day I had the craziest craving for curly fries and red ranch. What's one time going to hurt?

I'm sure most people would be surprised just how much fast food--even a small curly fry--damages their bodies.

When I stopped eating fast food (mostly because of that Supersize Me documentary) I started paying more attention to my body. I learned what it liked (spinach, apples, nuts, zuchini, etc.,etc.) and what it didn't like (meat, curly fries, processed "food"). Certain things really make me feel like shit--hamburger for example. I had to stop being polite to people feeding me dinners of taco soup, shepards pie, or spaghetti because politeness just isn't worth the heavy, grumbly pains in my gut. I much prefer to be the stobby vegan bitch who either doesn't show up to dinner or who makes it terribly difficult for others to prepare food for me.

My body is my priority.

But what about those times when I get a mad craving for something? For curly fries?? Well, I give in. Then like the other day I realize that I'm an idiot. I wanted the crunch on the outside and the soft, hot inside combined with that seasoned outer layer and an added smooth tang. It tasted good. I will admit that much. My mouth enjoyed the curly crunch and the tangy red ranch. But, my tummy wasn't happy. Maybe next time I'll remember it isn't worth it.

RyBread Wisdom: When you decide you're not going to do something (like eat meat--or curly fries), trust that decision over your cravings. Don't eat at Arby's.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Enough IS Enough

Enough IS Enough

by Guest Blogger Tiffany

My heart is sad today. A few days ago, a man named Chris Beers took his own life. He was gay. He was my age, and grew up in a Utah town similar to the one I grew up in. He was a friend and mission companion to someone I went to high school with, who is also gay. His story has been circulating Facebook and blogs. You can read one version of the story here: Gay Mormon Man From Utah Commits Suicide.

In April’s issue of the New Era, an LDS publication written for the “youth” of the church, there is an article discussing homosexuality. It’s not particularly nice, or loving, or kind. As I read it, cringing at the harsh tone, I wondered how many young people in the church will read this article and hate themselves just a little bit more, and be pushed just a little closer to their own suicidal edge.

In all fairness it’s not just Mormons “fighting the good fight” against those sinful homosexuals. No, Christian denominations put aside their doctrinal differences and unite in this unworthy cause. Recently a Mormon blogger who calls herself “A Well-Behaved Mormon Woman” (Ha! I guess I’m a badly behaved Mormon woman), featured a post defending Kirk Cameron’s public stand against gay marriage. If you’re interested in what he says, you can find the blog and interview here: Kirk Cameron Out of Step on Gay Marriage - Says Who? .

I see arguments like this one all the time on Facebook and blog comments against gay marriage. And I’m noticing a trend. There are some nasty words being thrown around by good Christian folk. Words like enemy, threat, unnatural, abomination, blah blah blah.

One particularly popular argument is that gay marriage is somehow a threat to the the family and to traditional marriage. Really? How exactly? I’ve been married for almost 12 years. I cannot think of a single moment when homosexuality has threatened my marriage. Wait, there was that one time...nope, nothing. Not once. Other things could threaten my marriage and my little family, things like selfishness, financial stress, infidelity, or my own bad choices. If my friend were to marry his monogamous partner of almost a decade, would that somehow invalidate my marriage? Nope, I don’t see how it would. So I guess I can stop being scared of losing my marriage to the gays. Phew, that’s a relief.

There is something that scares me to my very core, and that is the frightening trend I see among many otherwise kind people that justifies meanness and exclusiveness. It’s the thoughtless words and actions against the LGBT community, in the name of morality. It’s the off-handed, uneducated comments someone might make at church without realizing that the person sitting next to them is gay. It’s words from someone in an authoritative position that can make a gay youth, or gay adult feel like they’re not good enough, that they’re somehow unnatural or an abomination. That scares the crap out of me, because no one should be made to feel that way. No one. Ever. That is wrong.

There have been several posts on this blog about suicide, and not feeling like “enough.” I am growing very attached to all of you amazing people and I do not want to see any of you hurt by hateful words or attitudes expressed by ANYONE. I don’t care who they are or what position they hold in a church. No one has the right to make you feel like you’re unworthy of your own life. You have every right to live your truth, to pursue your dreams, and to like yourself, damn it. Please, please, please...don’t listen to the haters. Be okay with who you are and know that you are absolutely fine, just as you are. In the words of Stuart Smalley (an old SNL skit that most of you are far too young to remember, “You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you.” Most of all, YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Stuart Smalley - Daily Affirmations

And at the risk of including far too many links on this post, I love this song. It reaffirms my faith that being ourselves, being different, is very much okay.

Linda Eder - What's Never Been Done Before

Friday, March 23, 2012

Dear Home,

Dear Home.

I miss you.

I miss the way we would watch the news, you in your blue chair and me in the leather one. I miss your red shag and kitchen words carpet. I miss naps on the couch. I miss the kid’s tables and the grown up table. I miss sitting at the bar, playing rummy, listening to Dixie chicks. I miss sharing a coke. I miss wood smoke. I miss how hot it would get with the heater and the stove going. I miss having my window open, listening to the people walk by outside, unaware. I miss the bridge I would cross to see them. I miss the field we played games in and slept under the stars during the summer.

I miss you.

I miss trips to Mario’s. I miss going to get a shake then going to the lake. I miss sitting on the porch swing with you. I miss going to Winco and buying more than you wanted. I miss bike rides to the park. I miss walking over to your son’s house. I miss drives to Clatskanie and Seaside, the radio blaring and Sugarland when we lost reception.

I miss it even when I shouldn’t.

I miss the fights. I miss you losing everything and blaming it on someone else. I miss the drinking and the drugs. I miss the yelling. I miss the adventure. I miss the pain, the tears, the emotion. I miss being hit and hitting you back.

I miss being real.

I miss being home. I miss my family telling it like it was. I miss feeling like I belonged somewhere, knowing my place.

I miss “home”. I miss the time when things didn’t pretend to be perfect. You faced your shit and got over it. You told it like it was. You fought, you screamed, you threw a punch. You drank, you smoked. You blasted the music to drown out the pain. YOU DIDN’T PRETEND TO BE PERFECT! And I miss you so much.

Everlast- What It's Like

Thursday, March 22, 2012


I love spring

Colors crack through the brown and gray
chasing away the monotony of winter

After months of waiting beneath the soil
the bulbs break through
reaching skyward,
Now, they are ready.
All of the beauty they have been gathering
All of the treasures found in their quiet solitude
are ready to burst forth
exploding into blossoms of color
Colors everywhere.

I love spring.

The air is filled with the sounds of growth,
birds building new nests
trees rustling in the breeze
Bugs buzzing
Sparrows singing.

I love spring!

The smell of growth is in the air.
The world awakens
it's excitement felt in the way the children play
in the way the workers shed their coats
the way I walk with a bounce

Perhaps I am the bulb,
the sparrow,
the tree.
Maybe it is my turn to blossom,
to burst forth with color,
Maybe, after months of gathering beauty,
of finding treasures in my quiet solitude,
it's my turn.

Maybe this will be my spring.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Hi everyone! SO I had the most amazing experience yesterday! I was walking along when I was suddenly grabbed on the shoulder. I turn around and there is the most adorable girl simply smiling at me. She then proceeded to ask if my name was Nathan and if I wrote on this blog. I said yes and she was SO happy to meet a writer on this blog and kept talking about how much it meant to her and to keep up the good work. So Mary (hope I spelled that right) you are incredible and I dedicate this post to you!

So I have a personal blog and I was recently asked the following question on my blog.

"“I’m a Mormon also, and although I’m straight, I’ve put a lot of thought into the church’s policy on homosexuality. What I’ve decided is that asking someone to give up the chance to love is even more than asking them to give up their life. It’s not quick, and it’s infinitely harder. The way I see it is that the celibacy policy asks homosexuals to put the love of God before the love of man in a more extreme form than straight members are. I do not judge those who choose to act upon their homosexual feelings because I know that if I felt for a girl the way I do about my boyfriend, I would have a very hard time not being with her. I’ve come to believe that those who are homosexual are some of the strongest people on earth, because they’re seated with one of the hardest trials (and even without the moral dilemma, being gay in this world comes with its hardships). I commend you for keeping God in your life in any way possible. I always admire that. You are strong.”

SO In response to this question I am just going to lay it out. I am a faithful member of the LDS Church and I love it. What is more important to me, however, is my relationship with my Heavenly Father and Savior. I have an incredibly strong testimony and no matter what happens with the church and my membership, my testimony can never be taken away from me. I have made up my mind that I will live the gospel principles and doctrines my entire life.

This being said, I want to get married. I want the family, the house, the pet dogs (I want to have 3 golden retrievers or labs, and yes I have names picked out) and I don’t see anything wrong with wanting these things. Everyone wants basic things in their life and I am no different.

I will remain a member of the church and follow it’s principles as long as I can. But when I eventually get proposed to, I will get married. I hope that at that point I can still remain a part of this incredible church but if I can’t be than I will accept it. I have heard of LGBT couples who have followed all the rules and done things by the book and who are allowed to still attend church and hold callings. They might not be able to do everything that they wish but if I could still raise a family in the church and have a calling and be worthy I would be incredibly happy.

That is a far ways away so I don’t worry about it too much. Right now I am focused on my family, my education, my career, and my friends.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ten Things Tuesday: To All Our Readers

Hi everyone!

This is Tif just popping in to say

1. We've got a vacancy on the blog (for Tuesday).

2. I'm looking for someone with the transgender perspective if possible.

3. If you'd like to write for the blog (as our Tuesday regular OR as a Saturday guest) then send me an email at showing your interest, a short bio (and if you're really ambitious, a blog post written just for LGBT Voices Breaking the Silence)

4. We're trying to exand our audience as well as our voices to touch a wide variety of perspectives (including reaching outside of the Mormon views, which we've had a lot of on this blog). If you have any suggestions for the blog, then feel free to send me an email ( or, even better--leave a comment!

5. To those of you who comment, please KEEP COMMENTING!

6. Every one of our bloggers here LOVES to have comments on their post

7. Don't worry if you're long-winded (some of us are, too)--give us feedback. Positive or negative--we'll take whatever we can get (although we really LOVE the positive :)

8. To those of you who read, but don't comment I'd like to encourage you to comment. Even if you feel like you have nothing to say just drop the bloggers a one liner telling them you're here and you're reading--because you make all the difference here.

9. Thank you all for reading, and for showing your support. If you have any stories you'd like to share, then please do so :)

10. Love to you all!

Monday, March 19, 2012

An Open Letter to All Readers and Contributors – Past, Present, and Future

Dear Friends, Foes, and Everyone In Between –

My name is Michael.  You can call me Mike or MJ.  I am a closeted, semi-active Mormon, gay man with some bisexual tendencies.  I figure I’m probably a four or a five on the Kinsey Scale but I convinced myself I was no more than a two or a three for years.  I love to cook, play and listen to music, shoot photography, and collect shoes of all kinds.

I was born and raised in the Mormon bubble of Salt Lake City.  I served a two-year LDS mission and graduated from BYU.  I have a strict LDS family whom I love dearly and I know love me, too. I’ve been engaged to two different women, dated a lot of other girls (each of whom I have loved in one way or another), and I’ve fallen in love with one man who truly broke my heart.

I’m imperfect, irrational, and occasionally dramatic.  I’m terrible with money and I’m usually too generous with what I have.  I love to cook but my style of cooking lends me to look more like Paula Deen than Bobby Flay.  I was once an athlete but now I’m just well insulated.  I love to garden and grow my own vegetables and flowers but I’ve become relegated to houseplants. 

I’m artistic and creative and I have a penchant for seeing hidden potential in almost anything. I collect books, antiques, and art and I am currently building a business around re-purposing old furniture and other remanded items.

Ultimately, I am me.  Michael.  I speak for myself; nobody else.  I believe I can relate to many others which is why I lend my voice to this blog.  I am one voice among many who write for this site and each of us share our varied voices in a chorus that is unified in purpose.  Each of us writes to share our experiences and raise awareness for the LGBT community. Each of us does this regardless of religious affiliation, gender, gender identity, orientation or any other defining characteristic.  Although most of us come from an LDS background and that may influence our writing, we are not singular in our faith or in our target audience. 

As a member of the LGBT community, and as a writer for this blog, I welcome everyone to read our messages and I invite everyone to comment and participate in our dialogue. But, above all else, I do not apologize for breaching difficult subjects.  

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve discussed everything from sex and education to religion and suicide on this site. All of these subjects can, and possibly did, offend some of our readers. Again, I echo my previous comment: we do not apologize for these posts - in fact, we celebrate the courage and tenacity it takes to open up and share such personal aspects of our lives. While we recognize that some of our posts may not appeal to everyone who may read our blog, I know that each of us as writers appreciates the maturity that is usually displayed by the majority of our readers and by those who comment on our posts.  Thank you.

That being said, however, over the last week I have been called, along with the majority of my fellow bloggers, an imbecile, simple-minded, crass, intolerant, judgmental, inconsiderate, a jackoff, unprofessional, shameful, and ignorant. 


Rather than address these accusations, I will just say this:  I love you. I don’t know you, my accusers, beyond your names and your words.  But I do. I do love you.  I love your courage to share your voices and your opinions even though we do not agree.  I wish you the best in all of your endeavors and hope you find happiness in each of your actions.

We are told as children that “Sticks and stones may break our bones; but words will never hurt us.” We all know that’s incorrect.  I played very physical sports growing up and I was never shy about getting into fist fights as a kid but some of the words and accusations that were thrown around this week cut me deeply. Each of these statements hurt me much more than any punch, take down, or tackle did as an adolescent or young adult.

To conclude, the video below is part of a beautiful campaign that I hope each of us can latch onto and share.  We all need more love in our lives.  More kindness. More tolerance and respect. More peace.  We all need to hear something, it’s true. But, let’s start by sharing something kind and loving for someone else.  My voice is joined with yours. I love all of you. Friend or foe, I wish all of you the best whoever you are, wherever you are.  Thank you for reading.  Thank you for being you. And to some of you, thank you for loving me.

All my love,


Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Gay Stereotype

It seems like a lot of people get hung up on stereotypes.
For instance, gays are known for being crazy sex fiends who get std's out the wazoo. Gay people even seem to think this is how things are or how they are perceived. And then as if to prove something some gays feel like they have to act like the most pious Christians out there. Gay Mormons feel like they have to show they're being celibate and following all the rules in order to prove that gays aren't bad. Others feel they have to prove that gays can have families and build lasting relationships just to show that gays aren't bad. In some ways this sickens me, but at the same time I'm going to give you my proof.

I've been in a committed relationship for about four years now with the most beautiful girl on the planet. We are best friends. We communicate, we have fun, we work together on things like planting and caring for our little garden or washing the dishes or cooking dinner. We have our arguments and misunderstandings just like everyone else. We cry sometimes. We get frustrated and angry sometimes. Like everyone else.

If you read my post last week, you'll know that we have sex--like everyone else. But, probably unlike most people in the world neither Addie nor I had much experience before meeting each other. I experimented lightly as a teenager with another girl, but never really felt comfortable with it. Addie had never been with anyone before me. Also, quite unlike most people, Addie and I knew each other and dated (although she didn't know we were dating for some of the time) for over a year before ever having sex. According to Addie, this is even rare among the pious Mormons who get married after two months of knowing each other--and apparently, largely in anticipation for the wedding night. Of course in this world, timing and getting to know the person you're going to make love with as well as spend your life with doesn't seem to be as important as some little piece of paper saying you're legally bound in marriage. So, really for all intents and purposes, I'm still a sinner and a bad person for not marrying Addie first. Ooops! guess this isn't proving I'm still a good person even if I'm gay.

The truth is, I don't care what people think of me. I find it very sad that anyone has to "prove" their human identity, their goodness, their worthiness for enjoying legal rights and love.

Even those who wind up with STDs and who have multiple partners and who fit into whatever other stereotype that people see as "bad"--even they are human. Even they have emotions. Even they deserve to love and to be loved. Even they have a right to freedom and to legal niceties.

RyBread Wisdom: We cannot change the way others think. All we can do is live for ourselves, enjoy our loves, and be who we are without letting the ideas and opinions of others weigh on our shoulders. No need to prove we are good. Simply be good according to your own personal standards and belief.

Friday, March 16, 2012

First One In Last One Out

So today I think I will talk about my work. First off I LOVE MY JOB. It’s amazing. But today I just liked it less. So I was being pissy and whiny and decided I needed to be a little more grateful. The best way for me to do that is to write a list of all the things I love about my job so here it goes:

The job: I have a job. How many people CANT say that now and days?

The scenery: it’s so beautiful where I work up the Provo canyon. The mountains, the trees, the fresh air. And don't tell anyone I said this but I might even like looking at the snow.

The bosses: My bosses are AMAZING. Just today I’ve been goofing around with them. One boss gave me a macaroon which look weird but are delicious. Another just BSed with me about school and work and jazz. Another slipped me a delicious piece of steak he was cutting up to serve to the guests while I was working on prep. Then another boss is constantly showing his appreciation for me, even when he can't guarantee me the job I want. They are just so laid back and awesome.

My co-workers: I try not to play favorites but I have two them that I just love. They’re freaking hilarious. I look at my schedule for each week, searching to see if I get to work with their awesome-ness. They really just make my day brighter. Then another one taught me a lot about having a better perspective and trying to see the good in people. Sadly this lesson came about by me being a prick until I realized he wasn't as big of a jerk as I made him out to be and was actually an okay kid who did his job really well (which meant he was better than me at something I thought I was the best at. Seriously pride is like the worst thing for me).

And there are a lot of little tiny things that just make it wonderful. I can't fully explain it but working there has been the biggest blessing in my life.

My job isn’t all that glamorous. From foul smelling dish rooms to that one week where everything seemed to be covered in excrement, my job is pretty dirty. But I love it. I love being able to learn new things and work on new projects. I love losing myself in something that needs to be done.

This place is the closest I come to “home” since I left Oregon. And yes I miss Oregon dearly and if I could find a job and a place to live I’d be there in a heartbeat. But alas I’m stuck in Utah, trying to make the best of it. And this job is the best of Utah.

Bee Gees- Tagedy

Up where I work we have an entire dance for this song. I love it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

On Love, Religion and Heartache

Meet my father.

Okay not really.  He doesn't look anything like that, but he probably has that sign posted in his living room.

I'm getting ahead of myself.  Let me start over.


Although I am not Christian or religious, I was raised in a very strict LDS household and my family still maintains those beliefs.  Rigidly.  We were the kind of Mormon family that you read about in church magazines, the kind who had scripture study and family prayer every morning, who went to church every Sunday, even on vacation.  My dad was bishop.  My mom was gospel doctrine teacher.  We were all perfect little children sitting neatly in a row (ok...this part is an exaggeration.  We were never neatly in any rows.  Eight children sitting still all at the same time?  Probably not.)  Religion is and always has been a huge deal, both in my immediate and extended families.  Every family gathering revolved around religion.  We prayed at ever meal.  We shared testimonies and had devotionals together.  We sang hymns at home and had family night every week.  Religion was my life.  It was how I related to my world and my family.  It is what tied us together and gave us something to talk about.

And then the bombs started to fall.

Leaving the church wasn't enough.  I had to go off and be gay, too!  I was terrified to come out to them.  Previous to coming out I had separated myself from the church, cutting that "bond" and dissolving that "common ground."  I knew that, according to their beliefs, my being gay was considered evil, sinful, and something that could be cured with therapy, but my desire to share my life with them and to be honest about myself outweighed my desire to stay on "safe" ground and to maintain those relationships on false pretenses.  I needed to be me.  I didn't want to hide anymore.  So out I came!

I told my favorite brother and my mom first.  My mom passed the "news" on to one of my sisters and my dad.  My dad (bless his stupid heart), felt the need to write me an epistle (not joking.  It was 9 pages, single-spaced) detailing the effects of sin and how homosexuality was one of the worst of such sins.  He included, at length, descriptions of how homosexuals were possessed by evil spirits of the opposite gender, explaining that that was the reason for their same-sex attraction (my evil spirit is named Brad, if you must know.  I'm rather fond of him), and that repentance and turning away from evil are the only cures.

Well, dad, thanks for that.

My mom was a little different.  When I said, "Mom, I'm gay," she responded with, "are you?"  The kind of "are you?" that you would say after someone just told you they were sick, or that they didn't make the soccer team.  It was that tone of voice.  I can hardly blame her though.  That's a hard topic to dump on someone and expect them to give a good reaction.  Although I can tell that my mom is trying, it's not particularly easy with her either.  She has asked that I not talk to my siblings about my being gay so that she might educate them "as they mature and have questions."  "I will share with the others as I feel they are ready to consider such adult topics," she says.  Adult topics?  Is loving and adoring someone such an adult topic that kids can't hear about it?  My other siblings get to bring their significant others around and can even touch them around the family (which is something I have specifically been asked not to do).

I try not to get angry.  I know that this will be a process for my family just as it was a process for me, but where do I draw the line between respecting my mother and respecting myself?  I'm not going to sit my siblings down and tell them about gay sex.  I'm not going to try to "convert" them to the gay side.  It doesn't work that way, I'm afraid.  I don't want to fill their heads with "evil" ideas and thoughts.  All I want, my only desire, is to be able to share my life with them.  I want to tell them how excited I am, how I finally feel at home in my own skin.  I want to tell them about how I found love, about how wonderful she is, how much fun we have together.  I want to involve them in my life.  I want them to be a part of it all.  That's it.  And the fact that I can't do that has caused a lot of heartache.

Without meaning to, my mom has isolated me, in a way.  She is saying that my life, my love is too "adult" for the kids, too evil for them to know about.  She has to protect them from me. I can talk about school and the weather and Nintendo games, but not my life.  I feel like by restricting what I can share with the kids she is teaching them, without them even knowing it, that my love for another woman is wrong, that I am bad, evil (which, for all I know, is what she believes, so maybe that is her intention.)  Wouldn't it be so much easier (for everyone) if she just told them that I love my girl just as my brother loves his girlfriend?  Why can't they just grow up with the idea that love is love is love?

I find it a little strange that family is where it seems to be the hardest.  Isn't that where the love is "unconditional?"  Why, then, do all of my friends support me 100% and love me wholeheartedly while my family struggles?  My mom is trying though.  I think.  She will invite me and my girl to lunch, to family parties (as long as we don't touch each other).  She is starting to acknowledge that my girl is not going anywhere, that she is a part of my life.  We've even laughed about it a few times.  I have appreciated her efforts.  They have not gone unnoticed.  But I do dream of the day when it will be "normal" to them, when I will be able to show up to a family event with the girl I love and not feel like I have to walk on eggshells.  I don't feel comfortable around my family.  I don't feel at ease.  I watch how the kids play and I LOVE how they love me.  To them, I am still just Jo.  I am still just their sister, the one they love to play with.  They don't care.  What does it matter if I'm gay?  Will it really change anything for them?  All they do is love.  And it feels good.  But will that change when my mom finally allows me to be myself around them??

I know they are trying (well...some of them), and I know they will have their own process with it all, just like I did, but sometimes I just wish I could tell them to get out of their little "religion" boxes long enough to see that I'm still me.  I'm still the daughter/sister/cousin that they adored and loved growing up.

Strange how the thing that used to tie us together, that used to be our common ground, has become the thing that separates us and makes us different.

I can see both sides of this one.  Maybe it's because I was raised in the religion that is now causing me to be an "other" to my family?  I don't know.  I'm sure it will get easier with time (I hope.)  I so much want my relationship with my mom back.  We used to be best friends.  We used to tell each other everything, to confide in each other, to share our lives with each other.  Now it feels like I am just another weight on her shoulders, a "problem" that she vents about to her friends.

Of all the relationships that I've lost over the years, I miss that one the most.

This has turned into an unorganized ramble, but I've needed to start writing about it.  Forgive the length.  Many of the people that read and post on this blog come from similar backgrounds.  How is it for you?  Share if you want.  I'd love to hear your stories and thoughts.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fit? Fat? Fantastic.

Here's something I highly dislike about myself. I'm around 245 lbs, and it's the most I've ever weighed.

It's a pretty shallow thing to place a lot of worth on body image, but there is a lot of truth to the idea that people will subconsciously judge you for your appearance. I've wanted to lose weight all of my life, but it takes a lot of effort due to my body type and I'm not sure of a good test that would show how much muscle weight I have. It takes almost no effort for me to build muscle, whereas my boyfriend can eat six plates of food and not gain a pound of fat or muscle due to his shrew-like metabolism.

With PCOS and a tendency toward diabetes, the only real cure for those moments when my sight goes inexplicably blurry or when I have appendicitis-like pain accompany every period is:
1. Birth control
2. Losing weight.

There's been a lot of hullabaloo about birth control thanks to this brave girl making a case and then every Republican with a talk show projected his need for sex onto her. Thankfully, things can't be unsaid with a quick HTML edit anymore. Sandra isn't backing down despite this attack on her character, and I'm proud of those in my gender that will stand up for gender-specific rights.

As for losing weight, I've been through several schools of martial arts thanks to my parents' support as a child, but it was rare for us to stick with any school for long due to the cost of the school and the fact that my family moved so much. I would love to get into that again, but money is money is money, and I can't afford it right now. Thankfully I'll be able to afford bc for the PCOS in a few weeks.

What I do for losing weight is simply walking for at least two hours a day and eating a lot of salad. My hike this afternoon was wrought with dead grass, steep cliffs, beautiful sights, and a stomach that wanted to vomit up everything. However, I made sure that I walked an hour and that I wasn't truly hurting myself, just exerting myself.
I've always been heavily into cooking, and if fish wasn't so expensive, I'd be making many more dishes involving salmon, shrimp, and tuna. Salad, lentils, and spices are my new best friends because sauces and dressings are all based in lovely fats that provide a decent taste for a lot of calories. I'll go back to them when the apocalypse hits or when I can get a grip on my current health issues.

All of this can have a damper on your self-esteem when your skin breaks out into red splotches because blood is strongly circulating close to the surface of the skin--just because you walked two miles more than usual. Another example is getting on weight scales and finding that time and time again, no weight change has been made for some reason despite upping your exercise and refusing those damnably delicious Oreos. 
An old roommate of mine gave me a 'hippie blessing' a few nights ago by spraying the top of my head with frankincense and myrrh body spray, and the scent was divine. I noticed that her bedroom was arranged with cloth wall hangings that framed her bed almost like an altar, and I don't know if she consciously or unconsciously did that. It shows that she does take her body seriously and that it's her greatest gift, one way or another. I wouldn't go so far as to call her narcissistic, but that love of the self is something we need in a culture where self-deprecation is the most readily used form of humility.

Good luck in loving yourself. Whether you are fit or fat, you're fantastic and fabulous. Your frantic flights in finding fictitious flaws and failures in the mirror are all in fiendish fear of yourself. The world around you is a canvas to explore and paint yourself onto, not a prison to be navigated. If you must play the latter game, make it a game. Life is not a battlefield; it is what you make of it whether you make it or not.


Monday, March 12, 2012

"Beware the Ides of March" - Shakespear

The Ides of March approach and I, like Julius Caesar of old, am facing this Thursday with more than a little trepidation.  No, I don’t think a Roman mob is going to stab me in the senate (although I have become quite the thorn in my state senator’s side following the approval of Utah’s new abstinence education bill, but anyway…).  The problem, you see, is that the Ides of March is my birthday.
Now, up until this year, I have loved celebrating my birthday.  I love surrounding myself with good friends and food and, hey, who doesn’t like a good birthday present?  But this year is different; I am turning 27.
Now, I realize 27 is a rather arbitrary age to be afraid of; it’s not one of the big, benchmark ages like 30, 40, 50, etc., but, as I just mentioned, it terrifies me.  Allow me to explain.
When I began to realize I was gay I did everything in my power to deny my feelings.
Who cares if I thought my teenage best friend was gorgeous – so did everyone else, right?  It’s normal! Who cares if the first time I showered in the high school locker room I was surrounded by teenage muscle jocks? As long as I closed my eyes and kept the water freezing cold I couldn’t get too excited, right? That’s normal, right? Or what about at BYU when I would work out and have to check out a jock strap from the men’s locker room (because heaven forbid you work out in your garments), and I would think about all of the other guys who had worn the exact same jock (speaking of cold showers…), that’s normal, right?  It’s nothing! Right?
Well, denial is a powerful tool and it worked its wiles on me for a long time – more than a dozen years in fact.  That is until I realized something important.  The feelings I was having were normal for me.  I didn’t force myself to be attracted to whomever I was attracted to – it just happened.  When I came to that realization I changed inside.  Not in the way I thought I had always wanted, but in a more authentic, true-to-myself way. I began to accept who I was. Who I am.
I came to this startling conclusion when I was about 24 years old.  Now, what on Earth does any of this have to do with me turning 27?  Well, 27 was the deadline I gave myself to come out to the world around me and, more importantly, come into my whole self.
Why 27?  As I have previously mentioned in other posts I have a European mother.  In Europe you don’t get married too young.  You travel the world, get an education, and make your mistakes while you’re single.  My mom was able to do all of that in her early twenties and she married my father a month after her 27th birthday.  Twenty-seven has always been my family’s unspoken deadline for me to get married and, if you couple that benchmark with the fact that I have indeed traveled the world, earned a couple of degrees, and made some major mistakes, I don’t have a leg to stand on to further delay “settling down and popping out a few Mormon kids.”
So, happy birthday to me this week and happy year of finding myself and destroying my parents’ hopes and dreams for me.  But hey, I never made it to medical school – what’s one more disappointment, right? Wish me luck.
All my love,
PS - This week’s videos include one for pure kicks and giggles (I hope not to offend anyone) and another for inspiration.  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

30 Minute Orgasm

Okay, I hope you're ready for some silence slaying. Because this topic, while largely overdone in some areas, is actually not talked about in serious, educational ways. I doubt I will be able to give you that....because I'm not serious...but maybe it'll at least be a little educational?

Addie and I have been all over each other the past couple days. Maybe that's TMI, but we all know it happens, so let's just get it out there. Addie is very sexy.

I have two stories for you. And I hope you learn something from both.

First, shower sex is really really fun. However, if you stand too long in a hot shower making hott love after already being a little dehydrated, there is a very high possibility of blacking out. I may have locked my knees or something as well, but that part I don't remember. I didn't actually black out completely--like falling over and being unconscious and waking up. I felt a little light-headed at first. Then it just kept getting worse. I told Addie I wanted some water. Then my vision kind of know the way drunks slur their speech...then it just went black. I'm assuming this is the point where my face turned pale and my eyes dilated so big there was hardly any brown left (I feel really bad for Addie because this must have been crazy scary to see). The blackness only lasted a few seconds or so...I don't really know how long it was. I blinked like crazy trying to see, and it came back little bits at a time, but I saw all these weird patterns and it looked like those weird "negative" style pictures you can make in the photo booth computer program. Addie held on to me, until I felt okay enough to step out of the shower then she had me lie down. That has never happened to me before. Ever. But, after researching things about blacking out or passing out or fainting (there are a lot of terms for it), I found that dilating pupils and pale skin are signs (for others to see) of it coming on, and symptoms (for you to notice in yourself) are blurred vision, light-headedness, feeling heavy, etc. The best thing to do is put your head between your knees or to lie down with your feet up because  what's happening is your brain isn't getting enough blood flow. I also read that people pass out from defecating...really people?? If you're passing out from taking a shit that's a sure sign you need more fiber in your diet.

Second, I found out this weekend that all the hype about how women are capable of multiple orgasms in a row is very true. Addie and I laughed the whole time, but to be honest it was almost alarming to see how wet our bed got from all our fun.

So, for you virgins out there (which technically includes me because I've never had sex with a man...) here's a little sex 101. Keep in mind I can only tell you about lesbian sex, but for the straight men and women this might also be somewhat helpful because it's a woman thing.

Lesson 1: When men reach orgasm/climax/whatever it is, they ejaculate semen. This is what makes the babies when a lady-vagina is on the receiving end of the ejaculation. Most of you probably already know this.

Note: straight ladies, you cannot get pregnant from a guy ejaculating into your mouth or anywhere else on you...pretty sure it only happens when it's in the vag.

Another Note: gay guys, you don't have to worry about getting pregnant...because you don't have vaginas. :)

Last Note: lesbian ladies, you cannot get pregnant from your girlfriends (but you still can get pregnant if you have sex with dudes...just saying, you're still a girl with a vagina).

Lesson 2: When women reach orgasm/climax/whatever it is, they ejaculate what Addie and I like to call  "organic fuck juice" also known as cum (this is also what manly ejaculation is called...I think). This substance comes through the urethra (that's where the pee comes out, in case you don't know biology/anatomy), which has made lot of people in the past believe that it's urine, so they think it's gross. However, it is, in fact, more like semen (just without the sperm) and generally is clear or milky with almost no smell, and sometimes a sweet taste. mmm :)

Note: for the ladies, when you're cumming, it can feel almost like you're peeing...but you'll know the difference. My advice is not to be scared of it. let it come. cum. :)

Another Note: for those playing around with the ladies (be you man or woman), it's important for you to understand that cum/ejaculation is a really fun part of the lady orgasm, and if you can get your lady to cum, then you're damn good at fucking so take pride in that organic fucking juice you helped produce.

Last Note: sex is still fun without the organic fucking juice...really it is. And don't feel like a failure if your partner doesn't cum. However, if you're curious and want to see if you can do it, then experiment a little with things you've never tried. I don't want to make this a sex forum or anything, but there are lots of different things you can do. If you want some ideas then just ask me. If you'd like to keep it personal (and fairly anonymous since I don't think I know any of you) you can email me (

RyBread Wisdom:
If you or your sex buddy is anything like me then you might want to lay down some towels before things get wet. This is about taking precautions when venturing into sexual fun times. You'll all have remembered to use condoms or the pill or dental dams or whatever it is you need in that regard. But, if you're gonna want to sleep in the bed that you have sex in, you'll want to take necessary measures to keep it dry (unless you like wet and cold). There are a few options for this, but first it might be important to just get to know your body (and your partner's). If you find that you ejaculate like crazy and get everything wet then you'll want to find what works for you and your partner. Some ladies take care of business in the bathroom before going to play with their men (personally, I think this is because some men suck and don't understand the beauty of female ejaculation). Some ladies also will control their cum and let it out later when play time is over (again...not my favorite option).

In the past I've made a decent sized puddle and then just put a towel over it to sleep on. After this weekends adventures we had to tear all the sheets off the bed, put a towel down, re-sheet the bed, put another towel down. This my friend is from what I call the 30 minute orgasm. It just wouldn't stop. And, I don't know how my body can produce so much fucking juice, but it did, and it felt amazing.

So, put a few towels down if you need to. Maybe several, if you think things might get to the 30 minute stage. :)