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,