Friday, June 29, 2012

Ummm... How About A Title Of Sorts...

I’m back (from outer space). Okay maybe not outer space. But it’s definitely been a journey. Want to hear about it? Good cause this week is the epic tale of what the hell happened to Dupree. (okay it's not that epic or can even be titled a tale but whatever). 

Let’s start at the beginning, a very good place to start (Sound Of Music... Anyone?). I was born on… Okay too far back.
Since time isn’t always measured numerically for me let’s go back to PRIDE. Seems like a legit place to start.
So PRIDE happens. I got to meet most of the amazing bloggers and we had a blast. It was nice hanging with Lee and being able to see him so happy. It was just a blast. I was genuinely happy. Crazy I know. It seemed like I was climbing out of my depression that I so lovingly termed “funk”. I was happy.

So then one night me and my boys go out to talk. We just BSed for the longest time while still being serious and opening up to one another. I was so flipping happy.

And then I get the text, and then the call. And then I started bawling.
And even then I went back to my boys. I told them what had happened (Jacob’s post here in case you have no idea what I am referring too) and that I didn’t want to talk about it. They took my mind off things. It was okay...

Fast forward. Life seems to continue even though I don’t know what the fuck is going on. I just wanted out. Bills were piling up. People were talking to me and I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I wanted out.

So I started contemplating suicide again. I thought of when I could do it (because I didn’t want to leave my boss empty handed for too long so Thursday evening would probably be optimal). Where I could do it (up on a trail up the road. Leave my car parked obnoxiously with a note as to my whereabouts and who should find me). How I should do it (let's not go into details...).

Yes I know. Screwed up. But that’s what was going on in my brain. I tried to crawl into seclusion. I tried to quit the blog. I tried to push all my friends away.  

So that was the low low. I decided to take a kind of break from the blog and a break from people. But I stayed with people I wanted to talk to. Like S. And Lee. And occasionally E or C because even though they don’t get to see a lot of me, I still like having them around. And I checked here daily because you’re all people I want to talk to too.

But I allowed things I didn’t want to do to just go away. Leave.
I didn’t feel guilty for not wanting to dance.
I didn’t feel terrible about being sad.
I just did. I just was. It was okay.
Things are okay. I'm okay. I laugh. I have fun.
I hug people and like it.
I write a lot of my emotions on Tumblr and don’t care who reads them.
I DELETED MY FB! (And yes sometimes I want to go check in with people and see what is happening in the world but then I remember I don’t give a shit. If I want to talk to anyone I have their number or their email.)
I’m good.

Anyways… because that was rambling. Life is better, killing myself is dumb, I love you all. I think that is the end.


Actually it’s not. I made myself a promise that I would decide what I was going to do next fall by the Fourth of July. Apparently that is next Wednesday so drum roll please… I’m staying. (Who didn’t see that coming?) This lovely institution (sarcasm) that I have been attending is the most logical and easy choice. Hopefully things will be different next year. If not I have Tiff and Jo for an escape up North, Lee for an escape down here and plenty of other people who don’t feel the need to judge or change me (and MJ and Bailey in the cyber world :) ). I plan on throwing myself into working and going to school and hanging out with people that I love. That’s my plan :) And if it fails I will hop in Rici and run home to my mommy like a baby. But hey as for now I’m going to try and be an adult. 

Disenchanted- My Chemical Romance

"And when the lights all went out
We watched our lives on the screen
I hate the ending myself
But it started with an all right scene

It was the roar of the crowd
That gave me heartache to sing
It was a lie when they smiled
And said, "You won't feel a thing"
And as we ran from the cops
We laughed so hard it would sting
Yeah yeah, oh

If I'm so wrong
(So wrong, so wrong)

How can you listen all night long?
(Night long, night long)
How will it matter after I'm gone?
Because you never learned a goddamned thing

You're just a sad song with nothing to say

About a lifelong wait for a hospital stay
And if you think that I'm wrong
This never meant nothing to you"

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The McWilley Factor

I have to give a BIG shout out to MJ this week (and no, I'm not just sucking up to you for writing something nice about me on the blog.  I promise.  You already love me, so I don't need to suck up to you). :)

Many of you have probably read MJ's blog posts and know his story.  (Check out his list of posts on the tab with his name at the top of this page if you want to read more).  I have loved watching him discover himself and come to terms with god/family/sexuality/self.  Coming out to his mother wasn't (and still isn't) easy, but he continues to move forward, following his heart.

The reason I want to highlight MJ this week is because he is hosting a brilliant series on relationships of all kinds on his personal blog.   So far this week I have read beautiful stories by people from all sorts of different backgrounds.  A mother defending her gay son's right to love.  A lesbian couple's journey to starting a family.  A gay man's coming to terms with god and self.   You can read those stories here.

MJ continues to impress me.  In the midst of lots of personal turmoil surrounding coming out, he is still a huge force for good, a loud and strong voice of truth, and an advocate of love.  Take some time, read his beautiful blog, and support a great cause.

Thank you, MJ, for being you (the real you), for creating a place where people can share thoughts and opinions, and for allowing us to get glimpses of your amazing soul through the stories you share here.  You are one of the most beautiful people I know.

I love you, MJ!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Let's Never Call It Honesty Again

So, I have committed the unforgivable sin. And no, using picture of cats on the Internet to enhance my blog posts is not unforgivable. Sex is also not unforgivable. Otherwise, many people would be, well, screwed. However, forgetting to post on the day I am assigned? Yeah, I know, that is unforgivable. So, here I am, begging for forgiveness which I know I probably won’t receive.

Now, this week has been hectic. I would like to call it a sort of tri-fold week where three major(ish) things happened. First, I told you guys that I was going to try to be COMPLETELY honest with my mother. I tried, and the blog post is named after that event. Second, I (impulsively) told one of my brothers that I am gay! Thirdly, I went and got me a boyfriend!

So, I’m going to cover these events in order of importance. So, obviously, the most important is my honesty talk with my mother.

I went into this talk telling myself I will be completely honest. I told my mother as such. We had an hour. First question was “Do you want a sex change?” Okay. Mother. I told you two years ago that I am gay. Not once did I mention a sex change. Not to degrade people who do, but I would have thought it was obvious that that was not for me. Okay. So, I cleared that up. Now, I’m ready for a bishop-like confession ceremony. So, the second question was “Did you sneak out in high school?”

Okay. So, given I was trying to get out of this talk, but I DID let it happen with the expectation that my mother would be accepting. Now, who is avoiding topics?

I answer yes (it’s true) and tell her why (just because it was the cool thing to do) and she proceeds to give me a half-hour long lecture about THAT. I mean, maybe in the grand scheme of things, my being gay doesn’t matter as much as sneaking out, but it was an interesting way for her to avoid the uncomfortable topic. So, Tiff, Jo, you guys are correct (as I was secretly hoping you were) that honesty doesn’t mean completeness, it means letting your mother know about major changes in your life. And letting her know you are the same person she raised you to be.

Now I know my mother avoids the topic of my sexuality just as my father does, just in a slightly less direct manner. So, what do I not an hour later? Follow my mother’s advice to tell my siblings. So I did. And the conversation went a bit like this.

Lee: “I’m gay”

Happily married brother who is ten years older: “You do realize that we’ve known for more than three years, right?”

So, basically, my parents might not be terribly accepting, but my family is! My mother’s honesty session may have failed. But my siblings (at least three of the seven) are completely okay with it!!!

Anyways, last topic to cover. I got a boyfriend. And I like him.

Signing off till next WEDNESDAY (not Thursday like I did this week).

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Belly Flop

Ack! Bloggers’ block! Or what’s the technical term for that? Maybe I should patent it and become extremely wealthy off however that works. So patent pending.

Things I’ve done in the past week:
Gone for several walks.
Read lots of books.
Made zucchini bread.
Plotted my rise to power and domination of the world.
Ate a real life orange from a real live tree.
Watched Modern Family.
Broke a promise and made disappointment.

And things I haven’t done in the past week:
Write letters to the people I owe them to.
Make monkey bread for my family, which they’ve been requesting for weeks.
Create something awesome.
Write something worth reading.
Come up with fancy new material for this blog post.
Talk to my mom about this queer stuff.

Which is so freaking frustrating! I have my mind set on telling her, and I’ve really been intending to do it since several weeks back when I was making other lists instead of telling her. I keep falling through though. There have been several absolutely ideal opportunities and I haven’t been able to make use of any of them. It’s driving me nuts. I think she’ll be cool about it, and I know I so want to just get it out there already, but I can’t make myself do it. Plus it doesn’t help that my brain balks at assigning myself a label to make any kind of pronouncement. So that’s the status on that. Tune in next week to hear how I’ve continued to wuss out.

On an unrelated but also related note, my mom just checked the mail and walked in and put the Entertainment magazine on the counter next to where I was making something tasty. Go figure this is the cover.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ode to a Gay Blogger

My coming out story has been tumultuous to say the least and, unfortunately, it is far from over.  I can say, however, that the greatest strides I’ve made with loving who I am and coming to terms with myself has happened since I started writing for this blog.  Truth be told, my co-authors have helped me cultivate a greater understanding of what it means to be gay and, more importantly, what it means to be me and I will be forever in their debt.

So, I dedicate this post to my lovely co-contributors here at Breaking the Silence, I love all of you!

Lee – 

I know you’re new and I don’t know you that well but I am grateful for your example.  The courage I have already seen you display on this blog and in person truly astound me.  I am much older than you (in fact, you make me feel old but that is entirely beside the point) but you are strides ahead of me in this life and I look up to you in so many ways.

Your strength and example of coming out and being proud of who you are at such a young age is not only impressive, but it is also a testament to your courage and character.  Thank you for sharing your voice with this blog and being a positive example to countless others.  You have truly become one of my heroes.

Bailey – 

You are such a lovely person and I am so grateful you let me into your life a little bit more each week.  We’ve never met and I don’t know that we will ever have the opportunity to meet – this makes me sad.  I hope that one day our paths will cross because you are such a unique and fascinating individual and I know my life would be greatly enriched.  You have so much personality and a strength about you that I think is incredibly rare; love who you are and let your beautiful light shine! You are amazing!

Thank you for taking us on your weekly adventures and sharing your story. I know life can be very challenging and, from what you’ve shared, you may have additional challenges that we haven’t had to address.  I just hope you know that you are loved by many and that all of us on the blog are grateful for who you are and we are all rooting for you!  I also hope you know that you have changed my life for the better.  Thank you for being you!

Dupree – 

I love the visual journeys you often take me on.  I love hearing your dreams, your goals, your frustrations, and your loves.  Your strength and willingness to be who you are so openly and willingly is truly beautiful.  I am so glad you have stuck with the blog and I know that you will continue to bless all of your readers with your sweet personality and outstanding charisma.

I am also grateful for your courage to be so open with your mother, your coworkers, and everyone on Facebook.  I don’t know when I will get to that point (and I will, eventually) but I am so impressed with your strength and I hope you know how wonderful and refreshing it is to watch you be you – all of you – in such a public forum.  Thank you for your sterling example.

Tiff –

First of all, thank you for starting and maintaining this blog.  I know you have been to hell and back and I am so grateful for the example you have been to me and to the countless others who read and share this blog.  The wonderful impact you have made on me and continue to make on others is outstanding. I cannot adequately express my gratitude and love for you!

On a personal level, I am so glad I have had the opportunity to meet you and be counted as one of your friends.  You are a beautiful ball of energy and love and I cannot remember meeting anyone who loves life and enjoys the beauty of the world around us as easily and readily as you.  Thank you for your courage and conviction and your love.  You mean the world to me and I am so glad you are in my life!

Jo –

My dear, once-long-lost friend, I am so grateful you are back in my life.  You are wonderful in every sense of the word.  I don’t think I have ever met anyone so genuine and caring in my whole life!  The authentic manner you live your life is not only encouraging, it is impressive.  I just love you so much!

Thank you for posting your LGBT Voices entries on Facebook so I could anonymously read them until finally, one day, I had the courage to “like” your status and ask you to submit a guest post.  Within a week or two I was the new Monday blogger and I haven’t looked back since.  You are, in large part, responsible for helping me find my voice and myself.  I will be forever grateful for your beautiful example and for your sweet patience with me.  Thank you for everything and I truly hope you know that you are one of my favorite people (you always have been – at least when I wasn’t jealous of your unnatural musical ability!!!).  Much love to you – always and forever!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I'm Okay If You're NOT Gay

We all know how important it is to create safe spaces. To include everyone, and especially those who are generally cast out or unaccepted. Here on the blog we've made special efforts to reach out to our gay friends. To those who are any kind of sexual other than the "mainstream" widely accepted hetero.

I myself have held discussion panels to raise understanding for the gay community at BYU. I've shared my stories in various places in an attempt to promote unity and empathy. I made t-shirts specifically saying "i'm okay if you're gay" so people who think they're alone will know that someone accepts them.

My process of coming to terms with my sexuality, with my love preference, has been very hard and painful. I fought for so long to hide myself, to fit in, to be something I could never be. I hated myself. I caused injury to myself. And once I began to love who I am--really am--maybe I became too confident. Too okay with the gays. Alright there's no such thing as too okay... but maybe just too sure that everyone must be gay somehow.

A lot of the time I say things about how that person MUST be gay. Or how everyone has a little gay in them somewhere. Or, how can you NOT like girls. Or, gay boys are so much better than straight boys.

Most of the time I jest. But, I don't want to be guilty of the same kinds of slander others give the gays. I don't want to categorize people. I don't want to generalize everyone into being gay. I don't want to put anyone down for not being gay. Luckily, I have a gorgeous lovergirl to remind me that really, "I'm okay if you're NOT gay."

Here's what she gave me for my birthday:

For all you straight folks out there (or not gays...maybe some of you are not gay, but still not straight...), I just want you to know that there is a place for you too. That you're welcome as my friend regardless of your orientation or love preference. Let's all be friends. Love all around--for everyone (even the straight kids).

This is for my awesome straight friends who have always loved me (you know who you are). And for that one girl at the Utah Pride Festival who asked me if I was okay with her even though she's not gay (I was wearing my "I'm okay if you're gay shirt")--YES! Yes I am. :)

~live your own truth~

Friday, June 22, 2012


Imagine a little beach in Italy. Not a populated one, just a cozy town. There is a little shack on the sand. Tiny and once again cozy. Bright blue walls with orange d├ęcor. Big fluffy couches and plenty of blankets to cuddle with. A room strictly devoted to books and art. Lots of windows and natural light. And a fireplace. This will be my home someday.
Imagine a little family restaurant. Where there is cheese in every dish and the wine glasses are deep. Where it’s warm with scents and family love. You see a waitress laughing with the regulars, explaining her favorite dish to a tourist with plenty of hand motions, all while learning the secrets of Italian cuisine from an elderly lady who is in the back making the cheese mixture for lasagna. This will be my job someday.
Imagine us. Lying in a hammock swinging from the ocean breeze. Midnight swims in the ocean. You writing, me painting. Cuddling, movies, walks, cooking. Living simplistically. No drama, no fuss. Just us. Can you imagine it?
Because I do… Because every simple and sweet dream I have is of you.

Oh thoughts…
Next week I’ll get back to actually writing instead of spilling word vomit on you guys.
Here is the song for the week. I’ve been listening on repeat and it just makes me want to fight. Not like beat people up (sure there is always that) but to stand up for what I believe in and just be me. Such a simple thing but oh so complicated. Anyways this is my inspiration for now.

Love you guys!

The Fighter- Gym Class Heroes

“Text book version of the kid going nowhere fast 
And now I'm yelling kiss my ass, 
It's gonna take a couple right hooks a few left jabs 
For you to recognize that you really aint got it bad 

Until the referee rings the bell 
Until both your eyes start to swell 
Until the crowd goes home 
What we gonna do ya'll? 

Give em hell, turn their heads 
Gonna live life til we're dead. 
Give me scars, give me pain 
Then they'll say to me, say to me, say to me 
There goes a fighter, there goes a fighter 
Here comes a fighter 
That's what they'll say to me, say to me 
Say to me, this one's a fighter 

If you fall pick yourself up off the floor (get up) 
And when your bones can't take no more 
Just remember what you're here for 
Cuz I know imma damn sure 
Give em hell,"

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ditch the Car

Someday I want to live in a town that doesn't require me to have a car.  I want to be able to walk or ride my  bike everywhere I need to go.  The West wasn't built for walking, it was built for people with vehicles.  But I'm going to walk or ride my bike anyway. (When it is feasible, that is.  I'm still not hard core enough to ride my bike to, say, my mom's house, which is a 2 hour drive from here.)

Now that it is warm out I have been trying to walk or ride my bike as often as possible.  I ride to work.  I walk to the store.  I walk to return my redbox rental.  I walk to the park.  I ride my bike to the trailhead.

Walking or riding a bike makes things so much more personal.  I notice people more and get a chance to talk to them because I'm not zooming by in my car.  I am more aware of what is in my neighborhood.  Going slow down the streets gives me a chance to read signs, to notice little shops and side roads, to smell flowers and touch trees.  And on top of all of this, I'm getting more exercise, more fresh air, more sunshine.  When I have more of those things in my life I usually feel pretty damn good.  Not to mention the lack of carbon emissions because I'm not using my car.

I am glad I live in a place where this is a relatively feasible option.  I did the no-car thing last summer, too, but it was a lot harder.  I was living in a town that was a 90 minute bike ride from my work and not close to many stores.  I did it, but it was tough.  This summer I'm only a 30 minute ride (all uphill, but not in the snow) from work and there are a few different stores that are within walking or riding distance.

I think it would be a dream, though, to live in a place where it isn't so hard to walk or ride a bike, where carrying my groceries home in a little basket attached to my bike handles wouldn't be weird.  And of course I'll have a cute little cruiser bike with a bell and a basket and flowers on the seat and I'll ride around in my cute little sun hat waving to the neighbors and getting chased by dogs.

Wouldn't it be lovely?

(PS if you can name where that last line comes from you get extra credit)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Let's Call It Honesty

I’m going to go back to a topic that I brought up three weeks ago. How much about myself do I tell my roommates about myself? However, this time, I’m not only going to fully answer the question but I’m going to expand it to “How much should I tell people I know about myself?”

One of the first things I tell new roommates is that I’m gay. I don’t want to keep it a secret. It is their right to know, even if, in the end, it doesn’t affect them. I don’t just tell them when they walk in the door. THAT would be silly (and probably wouldn’t make a good first impression) (not that I make good first impressions). I usually wait a few weeks. Yet, last semester, I had a roommate who let it slip how much he hates gay people ON THE FIRST NIGHT! So, I never told him I was gay.

Originally, when I brought up this story, I was going to be living with him next semester. This is no longer the case. I will be living with three completely new guys. However, after my previous roommate, I don’t know if I want to tell three strangers, even if it is after three weeks. Or months. The pictured welcome mat may not end up giving very welcoming roommates.

So, how honest should I be? I think it depends on the people thus I no longer think there is a universal answers for telling my roommates. Let alone my mother.

So, for those wondering, my parents do know I’m gay and have for two years. My dad chooses to largely ignore it and my mother has been very accepting, even if I didn’t think so at first. But, now that I know that my mother is accepting and I now know she will always love me, how much should I tell her?

She knows I’m gay but I’ve kept pretty much everything else hidden. If I were to follow Dupree’s example, I would tell her everything. If I were to follow my mother's own advice, I would be completely honest. But… something still holds me back. Should I tell that I’m kind of searching for a relationship right now? Should I tell her of my semi-regular visits to nudist colonies in high school? Should I tell her I’ve had sex with Brian? With my fourth cousin whom she adored? Should I tell her about my sexual exploits of last night?

Damn it. She’s my mother. This should be easy to determine. I’ve told other people, why not her? She is visiting soon, so we shall see.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


A story I intend to tell my little people when it’s bedtime and they’re entirely too in love with me to go to sleep just yet: I read books. It’s what I do. The end.

Intriguing, right? I particularly love the unexpected plot twist there in the middle; it’s one of my finer pieces, I think. And there’s the personal element in there as well, so that makes it special. Plus I’m pretty sure it’ll do the trick of launching the munchkins into unconsciousness. Short and sweet, to the point, happy ending; everything the cutest children on the planet could ever want in a bedtime story. I’m thinking of getting published.

Anyway. Recent kick: eating disorders. As previously mentioned, Portia de Rossi is freaking the bomb. Also Brave Girl Eating, courtesy of Harriet Brown, is my new favorite book on the subject ever. Like seriously. If this were a food blog I’d be so all over educating the populace about the stuff she wrote about (which I am even as we speak becoming more informed about because I got some more diet-weight-history books based on her references; and by even now I mean I write a sentence, then read a sentence out of the book I’m on. This gets a little confusing, so forgive me if my writing is somewhat choppy and incoherent). I’ve had Biting the Hand That Starves You recommended to me but my library is boycotting me and refuses to have it no matter how many times I check it every day (the library works like the rat button based on frequency of pushes, not time elapsed, right?). But I’m counting my blessings because my public library here is 42,376,891 times better than the so-called library on that campus of mine. Not that I’m bitter or anything; look how I’m restraining myself and not taking off on some elaborate tirade. I think I’m making real progress in this area. My shrink would be so proud.

So anyway. Not that this is new information, but it’s what’s been in my head, so that’s the metaphor we’re going with this week. The DSM-IV lists, under eating disorders, anorexia; bulimia; binge eating disorder; and eating disorder, not otherwise specified, or EDNOS, and that encompasses any other form of disordered eating that doesn’t fit the criteria for the three defined ones. And thus an apt analogy is born in my silly little skull.

I’ve said before and I’ll say again, I don’t like the whole labels-and-boxes thing. Unless we’re talking FedEx. Then I’m in favor. I mean, how else am I supposed to ship nifty packages of anthrax brownies to the missionary whom I’ve Dear Johned no less than three times on behalf of myself and others, none of whom were ever actually dating the kid? He’d be heartbroken, and last time I just wrote “To my best good friend missionary” on the envelope I didn’t get a response, which I’m not sure to take as a snub for having forgotten his name or as a sign that he wants more brownies. But the empty mailbox stands, and I just can’t argue with that. Believe me, I’ve tried. That thing has a will of steel.

The point is, sometimes I want so badly—more than anything—to just freaking be a dude. Or something. But other times I’m okay with just being me, if I don’t think about it. Or sometimes even if I do. But whatever. So I don’t know if that makes me sometimes-transgender, or transgender but with inconsistent conviction, or just regular ol’ run-of-the-mill gay (depending on what aspect of character we’re looking at). Maybe I’m just too something to figure things out right now. Whatever.

So, full circle, there you have it folks, a happy blending of gender identity and eating problems: LGBT-NOS. And I am all about the blending.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Impossible Expectations Make Life Incredibly Difficult

My dad and I have never been particularly close.  It’s not his fault, really. Growing up he always worked at least two jobs and, when he wasn’t working, the church pulled him in 15 other directions.  Whether he was in the bishopric, the elder’s quorum presidency, or the high priest group leadership, he was always giving service to somebody else.  It was what he was told he needed to do to be a good father and husband, and he performed his roles in the eyes of the church marvelously.

I resented it, I resented the church, and I resented him.

In fact, for decades I told myself that I was going to be a better father to my children than he was to me. 

As I grew older, however, I started to become keenly aware of the fact that I probably wouldn’t have children and this weekend, as we celebrated Father’s Day, I was reminded of the impossible expectations surrounding fatherhood my family has placed on me.

It’s funny, earlier this week I received a fortune cookie that read, “Impossible expectations make life incredibly difficult.”

I think it’s a rather stupid fortune but I find it to be quite apropos.

In my parents’ world I have only impossible expectations and that is truly making my life incredibly difficult.

My mother is still the only one who knows I’m gay in my family and her expectation is that I will stay alone, celibate, and in the closet for the rest of my days.

As a result of my continued sojourn in the closet, my dad and sisters have started to share their expectations for a traditional mormon marriage and numerous children with evermore frequency; after all, I am 27 and Brigham Young explicitly stated that single men of my age are "dangers to society."

At this point in my life I see both of these options as unattainable.

It’s not that I don’t want a family and children. In fact, it’s something that I want more than anything and, truthfully, my greatest fear in this life is that I will be alone and that I will die alone.

Father’s Day is about celebrating the roles fathers of all kinds play in our lives.  For me, as I look back, I am grateful for all the things my dad did for me regardless of his work schedule and zealous participation in the church.  He provided for me and my family, he did the best he could to be a moral figure for me to follow and look up to, and he taught me in large part to be the person I am today.

So, as I look forward to my life, I would like to provide a few other options that I find tenable. One is that I find someone I love and I spend the rest of my life being the best husband/partner I can be and, with him, raise our children together.

Or, the second idea is that I find a way to be a parent on my own and I raise a child or two as a single father – independent of any relationship status.

Either way, I commit today to myself and to you that I will not die alone and that I will not let others limit my ability to be a parent or define whatever future relationship I may or may not have as inferior, and that I will one day celebrate Father’s Day as a father.

Here’s to you, to  me, and to fathers everywhere.

PS - JC Penny is quickly becoming one of my favorite companies.  The above ad featured a normal, everyday gay couple celebrating their family as part of the chain's Father's day promotions in the midst of an ongoing crusade of hateful bigots who demanded the company fire their openly-gay spokeswoman, Ellen Degeneres, and apologize after showcasing a lesbian couple as part of their Mother's day ads. So far Ellen is still going strong and the company refuses to back down from their LGBTQ friendly stance. I applaud JC Penney and their willingness to support, strengthen, and stand behind families of all kinds.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

23 is the best year

Okay, Jo already told you that she took me out for a fancy dinner at the Melting Pot.
What she didn't tell you is that she worked the day shift so she could spend the evening with me and how she left for work even before I did and how I woke to a birthday present on the kitchen table.
A CD full of love songs complimented by a lovely poem about the 341 days we've been together (as of now it has been 345 days).

She had told me she'd pick me up from work and that I need to wear one of my cute dresses (I have several). So, all day long I had to try to concentrate on my work when all I could think about was Jo coming to pick me up and us going somewhere that warrants for a cute dress.

During a mini staff meeting I mentioned to my team that it was my birthday. One of my co-workers insisted that he treat me to lunch. So, I let him. Upon returning from a delicious, free, birthday calzone another co-worker presented me with an adorable little cupcake--with raspberries!!!!

And a hour or two later I get a call over the speaker phone from the front desk saying: Tiffany Demings please come to the front desk. Tiffany Demings.

Happy Birthday to me! A gorgeous little bouquet of red and yellow roses with some purple flowers I can't name and some green stuff to make it look good. Topped with a card that says: Tiffany Dewings. That's one I've never gotten before. I've had Demmings, or Jennings, or Pennings, or Deming. This one was Dewings. Either way, it was for me! And it was from my favoritest person of all time (hint: she's my lover girl).

Just a little before my shift ended there was a fire call. Instead of changing into my ugly yellow shirt, brown pants, leather boots and hardhat, I changed into a cute dress and watched my co-workers run off to the fire. And a few minutes later my pretty lady picked me up in her fancy car and took me to dinner. You can check out her post about the restaurant. Our server even put a candle on our cheesecake dessert and I got to make a wish.

While we were there she gave me a t-shirt (stay tuned for next week when I reveal what the t-shirt says and why it's important).

We went for a walk/rollercoaster ride in the Peace Gardens and listened to the sounds of an amateur symphonic band with a mexican style.

Then she took me to a hotel where we jumped on the bed, changed into our jammies and I got another present!!

Then we had a bedtime story and a snuggle. 

Basically, this was the BEST birthday I've had. EVER. And I've had 22 before this one. 
I've decided that 23 is the best year.
Maybe it was because it started out with a BANG.
But mostly, I think it's because of this one text that I received in the morning (from my lover girl, of course) that went something like this: Happy Birthday, babe. Today I'm celebrating you. (it was a little more romantic/poetic than that, but I can't remember all of it right now. It was just a reminder that I could celebrate myself. I celebrated me for that entire day. It was fantastic. And I felt good ALL DAY.
Even though it's not my birthday anymore, I'm celebrating me. Because I'm 23 this year.

23 is the best year.

~live your own truth~

Friday, June 15, 2012

Love Was...

Love Was…

The way you smiled when someone was acting like an idiot.
The feel of your sheets.
Your favorite songs on repeat.
Your favorite TV shows becoming my favorite TV shows.
Your laugh.
Waking up to you smiling as you would watch me sleep.
Acting like goons.
Singing our favorite songs at the top of our lungs.
Skipping Sunday School.
A brush of the hand when things got tough.
A lap to rest my head on.

Love was so much more than we ever gave it credit for.  

But maybe we didn’t know what love was because we both ran away from it as fast as we could. 
But maybe that’s what made it actual love.

Love was terrifying. And now it’s gone. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Melting Pot

I really, really like going on dates.  I love taking someone out (or being taken out) and doing something a little different once in a while.  Mostly the dates I go on aren't very extravagant.  Things don't need to be expensive or fancy to be meaningful.  I think there can be a lot of meaning in simplicity.  To me it's thought, not money, that makes a good date.  But sometimes I like to go all out.

Last night was one of those times.

It was Tiffany's Birthday.  The perfect day for a big celebration.  I wanted something awesome.  Something fantastic and romantic and fun and memorable.  I scoured internet review sites trying to find ideas.  I asked friends.  I asked strangers.  I read newspaper columns.

And then I found it...

And it was definitely different.  The Melting Pot was probably, hands down, one of the best overall eating experiences I have ever had.  The atmosphere was cozy, each booth surrounded by slightly higher walls so that we couldn't see the others dining around us.  With a fondue pot in the middle of the table and several dipping options available, even the eating of the food was more intimate.  I loved that each bite had to be skewered, dipped and then eaten, eliminating the hurried gobbling of food that often happens at restaurants.  I didn't feel rushed.  I wasn't overstimulated by TVs or radios blaring.  It was the perfect eating environment.  We talked and ate and laughed as we fished through our fondue pot for a lost ravioli or carrot.  And the food was wonderful.  So many different flavors.  So many different options.  Each bite was a science experiment, combining new items and cook times and dipping sauces to discover an ever-expanding variety of tastes.  To top it all off our waitress was phenomenal. She got a really, really good tip (if you ever go, ask for Jes.  You won't be disappointed).

The Melting Pot is a little more pricey, but if you are looking for something above average for a nice date I'd definitely recommend this one.  

The end.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

That's All It Isn't

Basically, you get caught doing something you’re not suppose to be doing. You might get in major trouble so you freak. You scramble around, freaking out and all you can say is “It’s not what you think! It’s not (insert what you were doing). That’s all it isn’t.”

Yeah, so, you just made the situation ten times worse by saying maybe one of the stupidest things imaginable. Now, not only do you have a heart racing like it’s in the Indy 500, but you just possibly said the stupidest thing ever (next to some of Sarah Palin’s comments three years ago. Those are difficult to beat). Now, there you are, caught and suddenly… the perfect catholic girl who caught you walks out of the room.

What? What just happened? She didn’t freak? There wasn’t any blood from the poor girl’s brain exploding after her innocence has been shattered? Now you wonder. Are the rumors true? I mean, I heard a nasty comment once remarked by an untrustworthy individual, but could it be true? Could she be “imperfect”?

At this point, you have to keep your cool. After all, the other person that you were (insert what was happening) with doesn’t know you were caught. He didn’t see. So, you go outside with the other person, pretending nothing happens. Maybe she really didn’t see anything. Maybe she’s cool with it. Whatever the case may be, there was no confrontation, thus the best case scenario for being caught had happened.

Then, she comes outside. Alone. Not hanging out with your sister who she had come over to see. She walks up to you. And asks you directly, “Are you a couple?”

Now I don’t think it was the best case scenario.

Now someone has seen me with Brian (pseudonym, and only chosen because of the person who just walked by). Brain and I have had this thing for a couple months, but no one but my best friend knew about anything. So, I tell this catholic girl yes, we are a thing. I took Brain back to his place where we talked till the sun went down (which, by the way, was at least six hours). We talked about us. In Utah culture, it might be called a DTR (defining the relationship), but, at the end, instead of saying we were in a relationship we defined ourselves as just brothers.

Yeah. Hell if THAT was true.

I went along with it for a while (by “a while” I mean two years). But, in the end, my first “brother” and I ended our relationship. Not because of distance (which, admittedly, probably had something to do with it), but because of Brian’s inability to accept that he was gay. So, I’m moving on. Haven’t completely lost my feelings for Brian, but at least I’m trying to move past it all. It hurts. I still get very emotional thinking about him and memories such as the first “DTR.” Give me a few months though and those emotions will be blissfully drained out my system in much the same way people use to bleed sick people.

For the record, what the catholic girl caught me and Brian doing was cuddling on a couch. xD And yes, I know what I implied.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

If Reeses Cups Were Fortune Cookies This is What They’d Say

Set to some overly touching tragic-story music like they do in movies:

Ever since I was little, I’ve been different. I didn’t realize that I was for a long time because I was just me and my own thinking was all I knew so I had nothing to compare to. My parents didn’t push the issue, which I think is pretty cool of them, and were happy enough that I was healthy and not missing any limbs or anything. But then school came along, and with it peers, and all of a sudden there was a whole group of kids that were not like me that I couldn’t help but compare myself to.

At first I didn’t care that I wasn’t the same as them; I was me and I saw no reason to change that just because they thought I was weird. But it didn’t take very long to start trying to squash down the otherness, even if I didn’t truly change who I was, and never bring it up or try to hedge around it or change the subject when confronted. It was just easier that way. Sometimes the creeping thought even presented itself that maybe they were better than me, that maybe I was less than them somehow.

Then I got a little older, and the other kids still thought I was a freak, but I didn’t care so much about what the world thought anymore, at least not for myself, and I started to not be so embarrassed by my weirdy preferences. After all, who were they to dictate what I’m allowed to like or not like? But still I never brought it up and tried to just ignore it for the sake of not being given a hard time, as I had been and knew I would continue to be.

More years later, and I’m still the same different as I was when I was a kid. Guess it’s not just some phase or something after all. But now I’m starting to see that this freak characteristic of mine is maybe not such a bad thing. Maybe, even, it’s something I can not just tolerate about myself, but something I can be proud of.

I don’t care who knows it, even if they judge me for it. And so I declare: I am Bailey, and I don’t like peanut butter. Or chocolate. Or any combination thereof. Think what you want, but I’m happy with my so-called “deprived” self.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Chewed Up and Spit Out

Trigger Warning: Sexual Abuse, Assault, and Rape

Last week I mentioned that Pride was both wonderful and horrible at the same time.  It was wonderful because I was able to see a world of diversity that I hadn’t seen before.  It was beautiful because I saw a spectrum of color and variety that I hadn’t allowed myself to acknowledge.  And, finally, it was a chance to validate myself and find more courage to become my own authentic person.

It was horrible, however, because I was raped by someone who I thought was one of my best friends and his boy friend.

Friday night, before the festival opened, I was invited to go clubbing with a friend from college and his partner.  I was excited to experience Pride weekend and what better way to do it than by hitting up a gay bar with a group of gay friends.

It’s important to know that these people weren’t strangers. I had known my friend for more than five years and I also knew his boy friend (they’ve been dating for about six months). 
They still live in Utah County so they decided to rent a hotel room in Salt Lake City. They invited me to their room to start drinking before we made it to the club.  Drinking in bars is so expensive so why not save as much as you can by “pre-gaming” before you get there, right?

Well, I like to drink and I know it takes A LOT for me to feel anything so I helped myself to a couple of mixed drinks at the hotel as well as an 8-10 oz. Dixie-cup shot of pure pineapple vodka (no ice, just straight liquor).  I hadn’t been drunk in close to two years and I really wanted to let my hair down.

Well, we quickly made it to the bar and continued drinking. At least six bar drinks later, I was three-sheets to the wind and the club was closing.   

We took a cab to Denny’s and after we ordered, it became even more evident that the alcohol was taking its toll on me.  I couldn’t sit up in the booth and I definitely couldn’t eat or walk, and I could barely even talk.

Almost immediately after receiving our food, the three of us left the restaurant and walked across the street to the hotel.  While on our way back, I distinctly remember saying that I didn’t care what they did in their bed, as long as it stayed in their bed and they left me alone.

When we got to the hotel room, I immediately got into bed and, just before passing out, one of the guys gave me a glass of water and some ibuprofen. “You need to take this, it will help with your hangover tomorrow morning,” he said.

I felt safe. 

I passed out.

I don’t know how much time elapsed and, I’ll be honest, my next memories are all very broken and disjointed.

I am not going to go into detail but I was sexually assaulted in every way a man can be assaulted by another man.  Every time I said “no” and garnered enough strength to push off or pull away, they found another part of me to violate. 

These two men had been asking me to make an ‘MJ sandwich’ since December and I have been telling them “no” since then. 

Likewise, I told them “no” when we were all sober when the night began.

I told them “no” at the bar.

I told them “no” at Denny’s. 
I told them “no” on the walk back to the hotel.

And, in my drunken, passed-out state during the exchange, I remember saying “no, I’m not ready.”

I remember many things about that night; most of which I wish I did not.  Even when everything was happening, in between blacking out and then being forcibly brought back to consciousness, I remember thinking, “this is my fault,” and “why am I so stupid, how did I let this happen?” And then I would try and force myself to black out again – and I would.

I felt so guilty and dirty and responsible for letting myself get that drunk that I told myself that I deserved what was happening and that maybe if I just let them, they’d finish faster and it would all be over.

In that moment, I had convinced myself I deserved to be raped while the other guy took pictures. I deserved to have both of them violate me without any form of protection and, in that vein of thought, I believed that losing my virginity in such vile, disgusting way was my just reward.


Because I am gay.

In the last conversation I had with my mother she told me, “if you decide to live the gay lifestyle, it will chew you up and spit you out.”

And, in that moment, I believed her.

Four or five hours later I came to, alone in the bed and half naked.  I put the rest of my clothes on that had been pulled off me and left the hotel room.

For the next two hours I walked downtown Salt Lake City in an effort to burn off the rest of the alcohol in my system before I took a taxi back to my car and I drove home.

Over the next few days I battled myself and my emotions.  I tried to justify their behavior. Similarly I continued to blame myself. 

Eventually, however, I sought out  friends who truly love me and support me and they referred me to several invaluable resources.

As I’ve reached out to support groups and hotlines and medical professionals, I have come to understand that this wasn’t my fault.  I wasn’t raped because I was drunk or because I'm gay, I was raped because my supposed friends are rapists.

No means no.

While speaking with the Utah Pride Hotline, I was told that this happens a lot.  That predators feed off of newly “out” members of the LGBTQ community because they are easy targets.  Similarly, while on the phone with the Rape Recovery Hotline, I was told that one in six men is a survivor of sexual assault and rape.

I am horrified that this happened to me.  I never thought it would, I never thought it could – I am enormous and I played sports. I didn’t think anyone would even consider doing something to someone as large as me.  I never thought it was even a possibility.  But, beyond my own pain, I am even more disgusted by how frequently this happens and by how many boys and young men are affected. 
It makes me sick(er).

So, if you are a survivor or you know someone who has been assaulted, please know that you are not alone.  Please use the resources that are available to you and, most importantly, know that you are not alone, that you are loved and that this wasn’t your fault.

There are many side effects associated with an experience like this.  I don’t know exactly how my personal journey will play out, or how this experience will affect me long term, but I do know that I am strong enough to weather the challenges that have already popped up and that may arise in the future.  I also know that with the right resources and support anyone else in this or a similar situation can also survive and thrive.

If you or anyone you know needs someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.  It’s tough but we can all heal together.


Below are a few of the resources that I've found to help me through this experience. - They have a 24-hour crisis hotline at 801-467-7273. This is a predominantly female-centric resource but they have been trained and are very generous with male (especially gay/bisexual) survivors, too. - There is a wealth of resources and information here too.

Me – Please reach out to me if you need any support; I will do all I can to help you.

Google – Truly, if you Google “Male Survivors of Sexual Assault” you will see a wealth of resources that can and will help you.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Justin Bieber or Dani Shay?

So, I stumbled across a very talented person on the interwebs today. Unfortunately Justin Bieber seemed to have become famous before she was discovered so everyone thinks she looks like Bieber 
(the boy who looks like a lesbian).

Here's where she was discovered: 

I'm still unsure about her orientation...and really it doesn't matter (although she said some interesting things about identifying with male and female genders--an easy thing for most of us to do these days on so many levels so she's at least an open-minded, cool person). 

I've never been a Bieber fan. But, I'm quickly becoming a Dani Shay fan. And look she's even got a rock star name. Or at least a pop star name. Mostly, I just really like this song: 

I've just got to agree with a fellow YouTuber: If I see Justin Bieber in the street, I'll tell him "Hey you're Dani Shay right?"

Also, I like this vid. I think the sound quality could be better, but um. seriously. she's cool. I like her style.

And she's a much cuter (possible) lesbian than Bieber is anyway.
So, she's like trying out or tried out or something for Glee. I don't know timelines for anything. But I really hope to see her on that show sometime. Because she's like...awesome.

~live your own truth~

Friday, June 8, 2012

Finding Happiness In Death

Life happens. Actually death happened. Actually suicide happened. To my little brother from my adoption days. And who found him? His older sister. The one and only girl that I never committed suicide for because as my roommate she would have been the first to notice me gone. And the image that I can’t get out of my head is her finding her little brother swinging from a tree in their backyard. Try as I might I wasn’t able to protect her from seeing that. And now I am here in Provo, not able to do anything to help the family. Now I just walk around like a zombie, half asleep, thinking Jacob’s actually dead.

I really wanted to write a happy blog post this week. I wanted to show you all that I was getting out of my funk. And the thing is I still am.

I miss Jacob. I’m shocked by his death. But I’m happy also. I know his struggle is finally over. He is with our loving Heavenly Father, finally Home. No longer frustrated because no one could understand him.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I can find the happiness in death. My love and prayers are with his family. I know how strong they are and they will pull through this. And I know that he is finally at peace. I know that his suicide pulls me farther from committing my own. He has helped me to find the precious moments in my life.

Like cuddling with my best friend at the movies.
Like my boss giving me the day off to get my thoughts together.
Like my other boss telling me that he loved me and cared for me and would always be there if I needed to talk.
Like my boys talking about random stuff and making me laugh right after I found out.
Like my coworkers picking up my slack at work. 
Like my mother listening to me cry for what I think might have been the first time.
Like hugs from Lee.

Life is full of happiness. Jacob’s death is helping me to find the good moments in my life, instead of simply focusing on the bad.

I love you guys so much. And if you ever get to that place I want you to know that I am here no matter what!


P.S. I told you guys I would update you on my summer bucket list. So here we go:

Get a tan- Continually working on this one
Go on 5 dates (be asked for at least 3)- Been on three, technically asked to two. It’s wonky.
Allow myself to receive help-From my bosses and coworkers recently
Decide what I want to do next fall- Pretty sure BYU is happening
Become dining hall coordinator- YEA!!!
Go to Nickel Arcade- So much fun! Lee is helping me go through my list J
Sing more- I have been yes.
Tell HER how I feel- I did this Monday J She hasn’t said anything back but I am being patient.
Refill my Prozac and cut down on the anxiety/ learn how to relax- It happened. I’m slowly getting to the relaxed part.
Be kissed- … Yea. That happened.
Love the new “Bob” – Yea Bob I love you
Tell my secrets to Mom – Yep I did.
Treasure the happy moments – Look up.
Be comfortable as a misfit but don’t disrespect your bosses- They still love me
Walk in the PRIDE parade- So good!
Watch Modern Family – It was interesting
Lay in the hammock with someone – Thank you E J

So this is my song for the week.
Oh Jacob…

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Things I've Left Behind

I've been thinking about my dad lately, though I'm not sure why.
He was never around much when I was a kid
always working
or playing bishop.
I have very few memories that involve him
which breaks my heart.
He was quiet.
I was quiet.
We shared a passion for the mountains
and for music
But very seldom did we ever do those things together.

I feel like he tried to be a good dad.
I'm sure he did.
Parenting has got to be hard,
especially when you have 8 children who all want your attention.

What little we had of a "relationship" unraveled last year when I came out to my family.
He wrote me a 9 page letter,
telling me that I was possessed by demons,
that continuing down this path was sinful,
that repentance and accepting God were the only ways to find happiness.

I haven't talked to him much since.
I'm not angry.
But that was a relationship I needed to walk away from for a while.
Right now I need to be surrounded by people who support me,
who love me for me,
who are not trying to change me into something I'm not.
I spent way too many years doing that and trying to "repent" and "accept God"
and all I found was depression and empty relationships.

I wish I could tell him, though, how truly happy I am.
How much I love being me, now that I am authentic.
How I have learned to love people so much more
by loving myself.
I wish he would believe me.
Sometimes I wish I could share my life with him.
I wish I could call him up and tell him about Tiffany
and how much I love her,
how much fun we have together,
how this is real.

But I can't.

Not now.
Because he still feels like poison to my soul.
Something has got to change before I will allow him back into my heart.
Something needs to shift.
Maybe I'm just missing the idea of him since we never had much of a relationship to begin with.
Who knows?

But for now, my dad will remain
one of the things I've left behind.

Maybe we can find each other again someday.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Striped Horses or Walking Barcodes?

So, I go to BYU, I follow many parts of the honor code, but one thing I can’t handle is BYU’s strict rules on dating members of the same gender. I’m gay. I want to date men. So, as such, I break the honor code and go on dates with men.

Now, that’s not to say that I don’t date women. I do. I’ve gone out with girls for many reasons.

First, my job puts me in a very social environment. Apparently, I’m quite charming and, even more surprising, I'm very popular with ladies. This could be because women are always attracted to the men they can’t get or (more likely) because I’m a tall blond and women just assume that that means I’m attractive. Regardless, my popularity leads to many girls asking me out. Some get creative. They make me little designer cards with their names and numbers on them. One girl even made me a cake that, once eaten, revealed her number. I should say no. I should not be leading them on. But I say yes. Why? I don’t want these women (who, by the way, are almost strictly freshmen) to lose confidence in themselves. They built up the courage, and turning them down is the same as telling them they did something wrong. Also, I do enjoy these dates (with the exception of a certain OCD girl who… well, let me just say that OCD can go WAY to far).

A second reason I go on dates with girls is because sometimes I think it would be awesome to hang out with a certain girl. Get some one on one time and have fun.

Now, what’s the biggest problem with a gay guy going on dates with ladies? I can lead these young ladies on. I DO NOT want to do that. I’ve had way too many of these girls tell me that they like me and I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea. So, my rule is no second dates. I generally find this to be a good rule and I strictly adhere to it.

However, I have no such rule for dating men. So, why have I never gone on multiple dates with a single man? One big reason is that I find myself not liking the men I date. They only want sex, they have dry personalities, you name it. I just don’t like them that much. Yet, there have been a few I wanted to date more, particularly one guy.

Let’s call him Isaac. Isaac and I went on I date that I thoroughly enjoyed. Whereas most people (including me) would describe a zebra has a striped horse, he would describe them as walking bar codes. Yeah, he was that unique person that you don’t find very often. As we were driving around after the date, we began to talk about fun, after date stuff (some would consider what we were doing flirting). Then the topic of religion got brought up. I should let you know, I’m kind of sick of religion (Why? Story for another day). This guy talks about the Mormon Church and how much he loves it. He wants to settle and marry a woman within a few years and make babies with her. Right now, he claims, he’s trying to get this “thing” out of his head. I could not justify a second date no matter how much I wanted to. Thus, I’m here, in Provo, having never gone on a real second date.

And, just because it deserves mention, I LOVED pride. Everything about it. Signing off till next time!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

La La La, and Then a List

ATC says: I don’t know what to do […] I don’t know what to say; oh not another word, just “la la la”

Things I should be doing right now that I am not:

1) Answering a very sweet email I received the other day from a friend. I don’t have the right words yet though.

2) Telling my mom that I’m gay (step one in the right direction if nothing else). I had several hours of one-on-one time with her earlier, which I had orchestrated with the intent of talking about it. I was so set on telling her and just having it out of the way and knowing what she thinks. I think if I was waiting for the opportune moment, that was it.

3) Writing a real post for this week. Instead I’m copping out with this stupid list because I’m too lame to actually address any of the important things.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Surviving the Storm to See the Rainbow

Initially I was planning on posting my experience marching with the Mormons Building Bridges group in Salt Lake City's Pride Parade yesterday but I'm not going to - if you would like to read it, check out my personal blog

As I strive to live my life more authentically and slowly drag myself further out of the closet one step at a time, I am beginning to see more about what my life entails (and will involve) as an openly gay man.

Frankly it terrifies me.  I like to believe that I am strong enough and I know I have a phenomenal support system of friends who will always be there to support, sustain, and lift me as I need them, but it is still scary.

This weekend I experienced Gay Pride for the first time.  There were many wonderful emotions but there was also the most terrible experience of my life.  I saw the beauty of a world filled with diversity but I also lived my own personal nightmare and hell.

I am still reeling from an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the group of Mormons who walked in the parade and for many dear friends, but I'm also sick over the betrayal of someone whom I thought was one of my dearest friends.

I don't know what my life will entail.  Hell, I don't even know what tomorrow will bring.  All I do know is that I can relate to a beautiful sign that was carried yesterday during the parade, "If you want to see the beauty of the rainbow, you have to endure the storm."

I hope you enjoy this arrangement of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." It is one of my favorites. Much love to all of you and thank you for being you.  You all inspire me in so many ways. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

All my love,