Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Before I write anything, I want to say goodbye to MJ. MJ, you have always inspired me. Always. Your family has (almost) disowned you, you've struggled with yourself and who you are. Yet you persevered. MJ, you embody what this blog is about. And I'm sad to see you go.

So, I want to talk about two very important people in my life. The one that is easier to understand and is  the one I knew when I was younger. He is very arrogant. Flat out. His arrogance is coupled with his religious devotion. But underneath this, he tries to be understanding. In fact, he complains about people being racist. Or sexist. Or discriminatory. Yet, his only friends are Mormon. Of course, I'm friends with him. I mean, I can stand arrogance and (more importantly) I'm Mormon. And he thinks (subconsciously at least, though I doubt it) that only Mormons can be right in the spiritual world. He has some anger issues, but he is working VERY hard to get rid of those. Anger is a strong emotion and he was only fourteen/fifteen when I knew him. But the most notable quality was his logical exterior. Almost as if the emotions have been leeched out. I knew him very well so I knew about the anger issues and the other emotions that existed. I'm just not sure how many people did. He was a good person at heart. You just needed to know him to get it.

The second one is someone I met three years ago and I still know him today. He also tries to be understanding, but its easier to see it. Not because he is more understanding, but I think it is because he doesn't come off as detached. He has a tinge of arrogance that he likes to inflate when talking, but even then, he's doing it for fun. He feels confident, however, and he sometimes lets that mistake for arrogance. One ironic thing is people don't like him when they first meet him. But then, something clicks and by the third or fourth visit, people get him! It took me a while to get him, and I still don't understand him fully, but it's always adventurous. He also flaunts his emotions. He acknowledges them.

Now, let me put these two people next to each other. They don't seem the same, but they have a through line about them. They both have the hardest time submitting themselves to anything. I'm talking about submitting to authority, to God, to general religion, to emotions, to financial aid. They both hate it. Other than that, I think these two people, when put side by side, would be almost completely unrecognizable as the same person. I mean, they both can't be me, right?

Wrong. The first is 14/15(ish) the other is a more modern version of me. And I think what drove me to this change is my problem with submission. I'm autonomous (a word used by my bishop to describe a couple years ago). And he didn't mean that as a compliment. He meant I have this inability to accept aid from others. I borderline hate it. When I do accept aid, I feel shame. My half-asian drove me back from salt lake today, and he insisted I didn't give him gas money, but I (with a few choice words) made him accept it.

Anyways, I've redefined in an almost 180 degree fashion. Except this flaw about submission. I don't get along with organized religion, leaving your after life in another's hands. I don't like submitting myself to illogical emotions. Six years ago, I drained my emotions in much the same way emos cut themselves. However, now, when my heart wants one thing, my brain naturally wants to find flaws with the heart's direction. Oh, what a struggle. More on that next week.

Anyways, change is a good thing. I've embraced it. I've redefined myself. And I can't wait to get out of the Mormon world and begin exploring who I will become.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Adieu to you and you and you!

On December 9, 2011, I sent Jo Miner a Facebook message.  It was the first time I had had any personalized contact with her since our freshman year of college at BYU in 2003/04.  I told her that I wanted to catch up with her and hear about her life (I had been following this blog for sometime and I was anxious to reach out to someone else who knew what it was like to grow up Mormon, in the South Jordan bubble, and also be gay) and I expressed interest in writing a guest post for the blog.

She responded the next day with love and compassion and excitement.  It scared me.

So, I chickened out and didn't respond until several weeks later.

Eventually I gathered enough courage to move forward and write my post.  It was published on the site on February 6, 2012 and on February 9 I agreed to become the new Monday contributor on LGBT Voices.

When I committed to write for this blog on a weekly basis, I was unsure of where I wanted my life to go.  I was in a dead-end job, I was still confused and in denial about my sexuality, and I was suicidal. Writing, though, is cathartic.  It's something that has always helped me process my thoughts and it gives me a way to purge the emotions that I bury so deeply in my mind and heart.

Well, as I wrote, my path became more clear.

On April 30, 2012, I gave my mother a letter that was addressed to both her and my father that explained my issues with the Mormon Church and that I was gay.

My life hasn't been the same since.

Coming out has destroyed many of my relationships and driven sharp wedges between me and essentially everyone else in my family. The tensions at home, though, fueled my efforts to be more authentic with myself.

I started dating again and met another man I truly cared about.  I was promoted at work and moved across the country.

I've lived through hell and learned from mistakes.  I have made new friends and lost some more.

Over the last nine months I have grown and changed in many ways.  Most good and a few other negative ones.

But I am me.  And I'm finally becoming okay with who I am; mostly because of this blog.

When I joined the site, I didn't know how long I was going to contribute.  This past week, however, it has become clear that it's time for me to move on.  At least for now, anyway.

I will be forever grateful for the blessings I have gained from writing for this site and I truly hope, in some small way, my words and experiences have helped some of you. Thank you all for coming on this phenomenal journey with me.  I have cherished your love and support.

I have grown to love many of you and I hope that we all keep each other close to our hearts.

So today, October 29, 2012, I must say good bye.  As the Sound of Music sings, "adieu to you and you and you."  You're all in my thoughts and prayers and I hope our paths cross again soon.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tired Day

Today is a tired day. It's been a tired weekend, and a tired week. On Friday I got up at 8:30, had breakfast with my roommates, then came home and slept for three hours. I slept in til eleven yesterday and today. I was supposed to grade some papers and read a book and write a response to a different book, but I didn't do any of that. In fact, I haven't done any homework or any lesson preparing since Thursday.

I did, however, watch The Fellowship of the Ring, visit with several friends, see a surprise engagement on my favorite tv show, Parks and Rec (ee!), and read a short story by one of my favorite fantasy authors, Kelly Link. It was very pleasant.

Now I have to go back to school tomorrow. I'm supposed to revise an essay, plan a lesson, grade a bunch of papers, teach students how to write an annotated bibliography. Make myself a lunch. Organize my backpack. Get 8 hours of sleep. Get ready for therapy on Tuesday. Schedule in every little thing.

I'd rather spend my time planning a kick-ass Halloween party, watching any of the tv shows I'm way behind on, and curl up in my warm bed reading poetry. I'd rather sleep. I'd rather watch a movie with my boyfriend or go to a meditation class or sit in the park and catalogue the leaves falling. I'd rather go on bike rides and watch Timp change colors and figure out how to make my damn foot un-broken so I can go on hikes and walks and rides and jogs. I'd rather do anything than go back up to BYU campus tomorrow morning and teach class.

This problem has only been compounded by a series of strange things that have happened since I got back to my apartment tonight. First of all, one of my roommates posted a quote on our wall that says, "'You can't do wrong by doing right, and you can't do right by doing wrong.' -President Monson, which we talked about in our ward today : ) " This, of course, makes me worry that this is a passive agressive reaction to the signs we have up on our fridge that say things like "PFLAG--we support our gay children!" and "STOP BULLYING THE LGBT COMMUNITY" and "PRIDE!" But I'm probably just worrying too much. I can justify the existence of that quote in my head by remembering that what I think is right might have a different definition than what she thinks is right.

Also, I came home to a facebook message from a kid I've been fighting with on facebook asking me what my thoughts about reverse sexism are: "First I think your view of sexism is difficult for others, perhaps males, to understand. You get offended and call it sexism when a male compliments a woman, yet find it equally sexist if there is not reference to a women in the first place."

How do I even respond to that...? 


I don't really have a point to this post. I just wanted to make a list of all the things I have to do versus all the things I want to do. I guess I'll go make a lunch now. And keep waiting for December for this first semester of grad school to be over and to go on vacation with my similarly tired boyfriend.

At least there's always the Sailor Moon reboot to look forward to. And the Hobbit. So at least there's those too. Cheers, everyone, and good luck with your own tired weeks.

The Butterflies
Shivani Mehta

You unzip my dress, a curve from the side of my left breast to the top of my hip. My body is a column of butterflies. One by one, roused by the light and cool air, they wake from sleep. One by one they open their wings, responding to some deep internal pressure, the instinct to be free. They scatter in all directions; I learn what it means to be in many places at once.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Log Off Of Life

I’m walking home. It’s cold and my headphones aren’t nearly as loud as they need to be. I try to keep a straight face but I know I look empty. Like my smile is too fake and my glare is too real.
My car broke down again. Something so trivial and it’s really getting to me. It’s been getting to me. Everything has. School and work, family and friends [or lack thereof]. My life has become an endless parade of Glee episodes, lying in bed, and cake. If it weren’t so pathetic it would be comical.
With every step I saw razor blades and blood. I knew what I wanted when I finally got home. I wanted it to be over. I wanted to be done.
But also I wanted to be selfish. I wanted other people to hurt. I wanted other people to finally see what was going on. Earlier that evening I had a conversation with my mother.

Mom: Are you okay?
Me: No I’m not okay. I’m doing terrible.
Mom: But you sound great?
Me: Well I’m not. It’s all a part of the façade. I’ve been fooling you guys for years.

The amount of emotion in my voice scared me. I didn’t have emotion did I? I mean where did that come from? I’ve been telling my mother I’m suicidal for a while now and I don’t remember ever sounding like that. I’ve always been so calm. And maybe that scared her, to hear me talk of not existing anymore with such complete lack of emotion. Or maybe that was why she never really understood the depth of it.
But I didn’t do anything, obviously. I have a rule. When I feel this way I just go to sleep. It doesn’t matter what else is going on I just take the appropriate dose of sleeping medicine and crawl into bed with my music. And obviously every time I’ve felt okay enough in the morning to wait.

Now I started this post on Tuesday night but something happened Thursday that changes this.

A friend of mine tried to kill themselves. As one friend put it “he tried to log off of life”. I wasn’t terribly close with this person but every time I hung out with him he seemed so happy. It was such a shock to me. The entire day I was just, I don’t know, blurry. Laughing and having fun seemed wrong even if that was the emotion that was playing out.
When I told my mother about my friend she told me to remember how this felt. To be on the outside and feel this way. How it would feel to my family and friends if I did commit. And even though I barely knew this kid it affected me. It made me wonder if I had done the same thing would it affect anyone?

And so when I was playing with this post in my head I realized that I couldn’t just end like that. I knew I had to put in some resolution so people wouldn’t worry about me. Something that said I wasn’t going to off myself anytime soon. At the time I couldn’t think of anything that I hadn’t said before but then something funny happened Thursday.
I looked over at a girl that I was kinda crushing on (way out of my league, nothing will ever happen) and she had her arm around another girl for just a second. The immense stab of jealousy made me laugh. It was so shocking. Like what is this emotion? I’ve been so hung up on people that have written me off long ago that a new emotion like this was out of the blue.
But liking someone, jealousy, butterflies, giggling. They are things that I’ve missed because I’ve been so dead inside. My general apathy for life was killing me. But maybe recognizing the little new emotions will be a stepping stone to a less a-pathetic life. Who knows… All I know is that I’m still here. And today feels like it will be a good day. And I have something to look forward to tonight and tomorrow. And I’ll just keep taking it one day at a time.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Quotes From a Friend

"Saw yours from last week. Also commented on it if you didn't see. Just read this week's. I guess I'm confused, love. Lots of things are impossible, including understanding yourself. It can be hard making concrete decisions about why you feel some way, whether that be your sexuality or who you like, ect. Feelings are very complex and can change. It's nice to know why you do/think.feel certain ways, but it can also be completely unnecessary to know those things and  cause frustration. It can be important to know if fireworks are coming from true connection or from lust, ect. before things get super serious, but understanding just why the fireworks are there can depend on bio/chem preferences, state of mind, everything. You understand you have strong emotions. I don't think there's anythinh wrong with that. Sometimes people get lucky and they do find someone who works great with them without much trouble/searching. I remember Ms. G's parents kenw they would marry after 3 days of knowing each other and still are. It happens. You maybe got lucky if anything. :)"

"You don't always have to understand yourself, and you don't always have to like yourself (like if you want to change something, ect.) but it is important that you are allied with yourself and want to help yourself not only be better but enjoy what it is you do deserve to enjoy. You're a good person and deserve to enjoy a lot. I guess "seek understanding and leran wisdom," but also realize there are limitations to understanding which can either be confining and frustrating or wonderfully freeing depending on how you want to look at it."

Via text.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Tiff's family is religious, and republican. 
My family is not religious, and republican.
Tiff is not registered to vote.  She doesn't want to vote.  Ever.
Me, I'm a rabid crazy voter who is the first in line to cast my ballot.  I also register diligently every time I move, and make sure I know where my voting location is.  I keep up on the issues, I read all the pamphlets, handouts and eduactional media.  I keep abreast of what my local chapter of politically energized gay and lesbian advocates are spouting off. 

Last election I had the fever.  I had hope.  I believed that change was necessary.  I believed we'd see more equality for gay and lesbian issues.  I figured we'd finally get the sodomy law off the books here in Utah.  Or the very least, the ability of Utah employers to fire someone just for sexual orientation to be changed.  Wanna know what? None of that has happened.  Nothing has changed.  I figured we wouldn't probably have gay marriage, but I thought by now civil unions would be rampant. 

Wow how the mighty have fallen.  There's very little hope left in me.  I work in a job that I can't talk about my life for fear of being fired.  I lie about my family life so that no one knows.  I'm engaged and want to plan to plan a wedding.  Instead I can't even talk about it (outside of Tiff and I really).  It seems even gay and lesbian couples are sort of undecided how they feel about marriage.  Some friends are supportive and others are down right anti marriage.  The anti-marriage group are split.  There are the anti-marriage ones who say it's not legal so why even pretend.  Then there's the "no lesbain relationship lasts" group. 

There's thousands of sayings about gay and lesbian relationships out there. 

"What does a lesbian bring on the second date? A U-Haul"

"What does a gay man bring on the second date? What second date?"

So on and so forth.  I'm sure you get the idea.  I'm running out of steam I do believe.  There's only so much fight in me for each and every day.  Today I think my kids and my job stole it all away.  It's been syphoned off into space and I can't get it back. I'm sad that so little has changed.

How much longer will I wait to say I do legally to the person I love?
How much longer will I worry about losing my job because of who I love?
How many more times will I have to explain my family to medical providers?
How many more times will I have to remind people to have simple manners?
How much more money will I have to spend protecting myself and my family legally in the event of death?
How many more times will I be denied benefits because I'm not "married"?

We share a mortgage
We raise kids
We argue and make-up :)
We set goals and reanalyze goals
We save money
We spend even more
We aren't considered a family

Try explaining that at your dining room table.  Try talking to children about people believing in something they call god.  Explaining that god tells these same people that families can only consist of a dad a mom and children.  My kids think it's pretty funny.  "obviously that's not the only kind of family mom cause we are a family."  Why yes, yes we are.

The wind is out of my sails.  I need to be re inflated with hope in our future.  I don't know who I will vote for.  I don't think either person has a great plan.  How can I expect someone else to fight for me, or my family, when I'm too damn tired to do it?  I can only imagine how tiring campaigning is.  I'm exhausted watching it. 

I want to believe that one day all humans will be just that- humans.  I want to believe we will all learn to accept all that is and all that is not.  I hope and pray and dream and wish and stress and cry that one day we will all be equal.

I want to get married.  I want it to be called a marriage.  I want Tiff to be my wife.  I want to say "I DO" while looking in her eyes.  I want to grow old and wrinkly and pruny and saggy with Tiff.  I want you all to know that that's how I feel about her and her only.

Most of all I just want to believe again.

Monday, October 22, 2012

This Week's Rubber Ball

When I was in high school, one of my AP teachers gave me some of the soundest advice I've ever received.  He said:

"Life is a juggling act.  Some of the balls are glass, others are rubber.  When it comes time to drop a ball, which will it be: rubber or glass?"

This week, unfortunately, LGBT Voices is my rubber ball.

I've opened up a lot on this blog.  I have shared much about myself, my struggles, and my journeys.  This week, however, I hurt too much and don't have anything constructive to say or to add to the conversation so, until next week, adieu.

PS - The missionaries made a surprise visit to my home this evening to ask "what challenges and concerns I have with the church."

Rather than explain my historical research, my concerns with who/what god is (or isn't), or that the organization is being run as a multi-billion dollar enterprise rather than a church, I decided to go with the simplest response: I. Am. Gay.

I explained that the church has made it extremely clear it doesn't want gay members in it's congregations so why should I attend a church that doesn't want me? 

They didn't have a response for me.

Shocking, I know.


It's my sister's 21st birthday today.  They celebrated yesterday (Sunday) but nobody felt like including me in the festivities.  I don't know why I'm surprised, they haven't spoken to me in months.  My sister did text me a picture of her blowing out her candles with her gifts and the family around her, though. Maybe it was an olive branch, I don't know.  It hurt though. A lot.

Some of you may wonder why I just don't call home.  I tried that, I've been trying for months.  It doesn't work. 

Maybe if the missionaries come back they can try and explain why the LDS Church's"Gospel of Love" excludes me not only from their church, but also from my childhood home and my parents' hearts.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I saw this movie for the second time this week.

I've only read the book once, and that was earlier this year. I really identified with it. People interpret parts of it as pretentious, maybe because it tries to take every terrible thing that could happen to a person in high school and pack it into one book, and maybe because it's become such a cult classic among alternative sad high schoolers. But, again, since I identified with it so much, I can see that critique, and choose to reject it. Basically, I love it.

The book has been banned for several reasons, principally for referencing drug use, sexual abuse, teenage sex, depression, suicide, and for having an openly gay character. Of course, all of these are reasons why the book shouldn't be banned--because people experiencing any of these things need something to connect to, and for kids like me, that was always literature. Having characters I could identify with proved the world was not an entirely lonely, dead place.

Not everything about viewing this movie was positive. I'm not referring to the movie itself, but rather to the audience. For instance, Ezra Miller, on the left of the poster over there, plays a gay character named Patrick, a quirky, sassy kid with a closeted football-playing boyfriend. Near the end of the film, the boyfriend's dad catches them together and starts beating his son, who subsequently breaks up with Patrick and, mainly out of a legitimate fear for his life and out of an imposed desire to maintain social/cultural/familial norms, stays in the closet. Patrick is devastated and starts going on long drives with Charlie, the solidly straight protagonist, who he ends up kissing during a moment of bleak, utter loneliness. It turns into a really sweet, friendship-affirming moment, and simultaneously tragic moment, since all of us, including Charlie, just want Patrick to be happy.

Up until this point, the audience had been laughing at Patrick's hijinks, lulled into accepting his "alternative lifestyle" by his humor and personality. But now, they had solid evidence of his overt homosexuality--and I'm sure you can guess that the typical high school girl reaction in our Provo theater was a resounding, "Eeeeeeeeewww!!!"

Needless to say, it was disheartening, and reminder that our society is willing to accept homosexuals in their entertainment as long as they're couched in comedy--Modern Family is, of course, the prime example of this. It was also a reminder that people will allow themselves to experience movies that try to challenge their social norms--things that assert that gay people should (go figure) be allowed to have relationships/experience emotions/be anything besides funny side characters without depth or feeing--but will contain it themselves by refusing to accept the character's depth and regulating him to the gross gay guy. Decidedly not cool.

Still, if you can catch it at a time when the theater isn't crammed with teenage girls wanting to watch a quirky indie film to prove their hipster-ness, giggling at the gayness of a really great character, the film is worth seeing. And the book is worth reading, with the added bonus of no idiotic audience enforcing social norms! They're both lovely, and a great reminder that there are people out there having your same problems, feeling alone and sad and worthless, and being reminded that there are people out there who care about them, just like there are people who care about you (and me).

As a side note, Emma Watson is ridiculously gorgeous in this movie. She'll knock your socks off. Good grief. And also, Ezra Miller is generally a fabulous human being. Here's something he said in an interview that will hopefully cheer you up after the super depressing story I just told:

“I think at this point in our world, we’ve got a really confused idea of the way gender and sexuality works. I think we’ve created this really superfluous sort of like binary in the way we think about gender. And I guess I identify as queer because I don’t identify with that. I think that makes us less whole as people. I don’t need to be assigned to what it is I can do or who I can love. And it seems like we keep drawing these battle lines which are completely unnecessary. So that’s what I basically mean. When I say I’m queer, I’m saying that I think human beings are amazing. And love is an honor and an opportunity. And a fragile thing. A fragile process in which there’s no room for doubt, or shame, or hatred.”

Did I mention that I thought he was a fabulous human being?

I will conclude, as usual, with the poem of the week. This isn't the most elegant poem I've ever read, but it is one of my favorites, and applies so wonderfully to so much of the shit going on here where I live. Have a good week, everyone, and don't let the haters get you down! 

What Lot's Wife Would Have Said (If She Wasn't a Pillar Of Salt)
Kathy Finneyfrock

Do you remember when we met
in Gomorrah? When you were still beardless,
and I would oil my hair in the lamp light before seeing
you, when we were young, and blushed with youth
like bruised fruit. Did we care then
what our neighbors did
in the dark?

When our first daughter was born
on the River Jordan, when our second
cracked her pink head from my body
like a promise, did we worry
what our friends might be
doing with their tongues?

What new crevices they found
to lick love into or strange flesh
to push pleasure from, when we
called them Sodomites then,
all we meant by it
was neighbor.

When the angels told us to run
from the city, I went with you,
but even the angels knew
that women always look back.
Let me describe for you, Lot,
what your city looked like burning
since you never turned around to see it.

Sulfur ran its sticky fingers over the skin
of our countrymen. It smelled like burning hair
and rancid eggs. I watched as our friends pulled
chunks of brimstone from their faces. Is any form
of loving this indecent?

Cover your eyes tight,
husband, until you see stars, convince
yourself you are looking at Heaven.

Because any man weak enough to hide his eyes while his neighbors
are punished for the way they love deserves a vengeful god.

I would say these things to you now, Lot,
but an ocean has dried itself on my tongue.
So instead I will stand here, while my body blows itself
grain by grain back over the Land of Canaan.
I will stand here
and I will watch you
Love always,

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Do you want to blog for LGBT Voices?

LGBT Voices: Breaking the Silence blog is now looking for contributors.

Are you gay? Straight? Bisexual? or Transgender?
Do you have a story you'd like to share, but not really a comfortable place to share it?
Do you enjoy writing? Or making videos? Or doing some other kind of internet cool thing that you can put in blogs?
Do you have opinions? Ideas? Observations about the world?

If you answered Yes to any of the previous quesitons then you might be just what we're looking for!
Please email if interested in contributing this blog.

If you're not interested in contributing as a blogger, then please feel free to comment below or on other posts found on this blog.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 19, 2012

I Don't Know

You can’t move on with your life until you let go of the past.

Shitty cliché be damned I totally agree with this.
Sunday night I was writhing in memories. I couldn’t sleep. I spent the entire night thinking of the one girl I’ve loved. Missing her so much yet wishing I could just move on.
Every time a person likes me I find reasons to not like them. I find a way to duck out and not make it work.
Maybe I just want to be miserable?
Maybe I don’t believe I deserve true happiness?
Maybe the person really just isn’t good enough?
Or maybe I’m just still clinging to my past.
I sit up at night dreaming of a future I know damn well will never come true. The romantics would tell me to never give up but the realists remind me that she is a homophobe.
I told my story at USGA tonight. I didn’t do it to receive sympathy, we were just sharing coming out stories that we regretted, but people came up and told me how sorry they were.
I guess I’m sorry too. But I honestly don’t know. I just got off the phone crying to my mother and really that was all I could say, is that I didn’t know.
I don’t know how to move on with my life. But I also don’t know how to not dream about the life I’ve wanted so much.
I don’t know how to have a meaningful relationship without running away.
I don’t know if I like this girl or not. Or if I’m trying to convince myself to like her because I think I’m convincing myself to not like her.
I don’t know how gender plays such a role for people.
I don’t know what I want. Do I want to be left alone or do I need my friends?
I don’t know if I can continue on at BYU but I don’t know if I could ever actually quit.
I’m just so confused and no one has answers. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Relationships are Hard

I've been doing this life thing for a fair number of  years now, and I think I'm just now realizing that relationships are hard.

It's hard learning to live next to someone while still maintaining myself.
It's also really hard learning how to physically live with someone--we see every side of each other, including the little habits of leaving piles of things all around the house (my habit, not hers).
Communication is hard. How do I say, "Hey, I need some space from you right now" to the lady you absolutely adore and would love to be with every minute of the day--almost? How do you make sure that what you're saying is being understood in the way that you meant it? How do you make sure you understand what you're being told in the way the other person meant it?

Communication, I've always believed, is the solution to every problem. The ironic thing is that it often also creates problems, and not just in the lack thereof.

It's hard maintaining a friendship with someone who is hundreds or even thousands of miles away.
It's even harder trying to do so via email or facebook.
And what complicates old frienships even more, for me, is losing common ground.
As my old religion has slipped out of my life, it's been harder and harder to keep up with friends.

Relationships take work. A lot of work.
I'll admit there are times when I don't feel up to it.
But, relationships, as hard as they are, are the most fulfilling of all the things of life.
There's nothing better than laughing at a joke after reconciling a few differences.
There's nothing better than an "I love you" hug after a cry session.
And really, there's nothing better than going to bed each night and waking up each morning next to the most beautiful woman and knowing, as tough as things can be sometimes, she absolutely loves you.

~live your own truth~

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Game #11982

Do you like card games? Do you like to challenge yourself? If so, you should go to your local Microsoft computer and play freecell!!! Fun, relaxing and generally you can figure it out.

The computer has 32000 set games in it. When you start a game, it will tell you the number at the top left hand corner of the screen. So, don't like the game you are on? Click game, new game and type in what number you want!

Try something creative. 12345 is a good place to start, but now try your birthday. 012182 (Brother's birthday). Now try a even numbers! 02468. Prime numbers. 12357. (Yes, I know 1 isn't a prime number, but i felt like putting it.) Your order of favorite numbers. 17439. Or just start at 1. The possibilities are endless.

However, there is a catch. Type in 11982 and try to solve it. It doesn't work. In this entire 32000 games they present, this is the only one that is unsolvable. What a party pooping number.

How do we know this? In 1998, a man decided that he loved freecell. He loved it so much that he wrote a computer program that would solve freecell for him just to prove how much he loved freecell. (Don't think this is too ridiculous. Everyone has something they love in life. Some people its women, some people its men. Others its freecell.)

So why is there one impossible task throughout this entire thing? Because, in life, there are many things you can do. I can articulate myself to someone that I know how ridiculous I am, yet I also know that I've fallen hard for someone. I can objectively say that I've known this person for just less than a month yet I still know that if they stopped seeing me I would be heartbroken. I can tell someone I've never been this attached to someone since Brian, and even that faded away. I can make promises to someone that I would to no one else and follow my promises with ease. I can do a lot of things.

What I can't do is  bring myself to justify these strong emotions. I can objectively talk about them, but I'm ashamed. I'm one of the people I use to look down on. The people who know someone for barely a month and already say that they see themselves with that person for the discernible future. I feel ashamed of this. And, like when my normally obedient dog stole a hamburger off the kitchen table, I can't stand being ashamed.

I want to enjoy this in the here and now. Not strain from social pressures that usually don't affect me.

And that's why game #11982 exists. It's realistic to real life. No matter how much you enjoy something, there is always going to be something that is impossible to do.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Coming out

I didn’t really come out of a closet.  I was dragged out.  By my mother.  By the little underhairs on my neck.  At the tender age of 21.

I started bringing girls home to family dinners.  During one such event my mother flat out asked “so are you dating girls now”.  Even if she knew the answer I don’t think she was ready for the answer.  I know that my parent’s would prefer I wasn’t a lesbian.  I know that my very republican family has very strong beliefs on raising children, marriage and family.  So do I in fact.  I just have very different ones than my family.

Even though my family doesn’t support gay marriage, I know they love me.  Even though my family thinks families should exist of men and women getting married and having babies, they support my family.  Maybe they aren’t there at PRIDE yelling out for equal rights, and maybe they don’t vote for someone who believes in my right to get married to the person I love, but they love me.  My parents love me enough to give me the space to be who I am, and how I am.  I know my mother has very strong opinions on me, on my sexuality, on my children, on how I’m raising my children and on and on and on.  But, my mother and I rarely fight about all that any more.  We have agreed to see differently. 

My parents are really amazing people.  They have always been civil to men, and women I have dated.  They have allowed these people into their home for holidays, family events and just regular visits.  My parent’s for Christmas last year had my family over, my family being Tiff, the girls and I.  They also had my ex-wife over.  So yes, my ex-wife, my current partner, my children, my siblings, my grandparents, my parents and I celebrated the holiday together.  The only comment made all night was during our annual battle over who has to say the prayer.  This comment was made by my mother “I think Amy should have to say the prayer cause she brought the most guests”.  I don’t know why we have to say a prayer at thanksgiving and Christmas every year, but we do.  Only those two times out of the countless family events require a prayer. 

My siblings both live out of state.  They are supportive of Tiff and I.  They are supportive of me.  They love my daughters.  My grandmother calls Tiff my “friend”.  Yes my grandmother knows about our relationship as I tell her all the time “grandma, you mean FLAMING LESBO”, when she refers to me.  My grandmother rolls her eyes and humphs while stating under her breath “ I don’t know why you have to talk like that”.  Meaning I have poor manners for talking “that way”, not that being a FLAMING LEBSO is wrong.

My family thinks being gay is a choice.  They believe this because for me it has been.  I have had long discussions that it is NOT A CHOICE for many people.  This hasn’t been very successful, but I try.  Sorry for that. 

I guess that it hasn’t always been this simple.  My mother and I have fought about this topic.  It always boils down to my mother raised me to believe in myself, to be true to myself and to not follow all the other sheep in life.  Perhaps had my mother known how I would take those things and live them she wouldn’t have raised me the same way.  Oh well now, I’m all done and grown up.  J

This is pretty much my coming out.  Rather dreary.  Yes there has been tears, and probably disappointment, and anger, and therapy.  Yet through all that, here we are.  13 years later, I have 3 kids with an ex-wife.  I’m planning a wedding with another woman.  Tiff my kids and I live 4 blocks away from ex and from my parents.  Different directions, but 4 blocks for both.  We go to my parent’s house at least once a week.  We, meaning Tiff, my kids and I hang out with my parents all the time.  We have dinner with them, hang out there, at their house for hours.  I like being at my parent’s house.  I love my parent’s.  I enjoy watching my girls with their grandparents.

I am grateful that I have a family that is just that, a family.  I am grateful that, even though my parents would probably prefer my path be different, they are supportive.  I’m grateful that Tiff will go and camp out at my parents with me.  I have many, many blessings.  I love my family.

Now that I’ve talked about coming out, next week I can tackle turkey basters.  That one will be more comedic than this.  My coming out is rather old news and relatively trauma free so it’s sort of boring.  I guess my coming out is just simple.  I live my life, I love who I love and life just goes on.  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Catharsis 2.0

There is a lot on my mind.  Generally there is, which is why I keep lists.  I always have a running list going somewhere.

At work, every day, I keep a running list of things I need to get done during the work day.  By the end of my eight-hour shift, I have created a list of things I need to accomplish when I get home that evening.  I also keep long-term lists going, too.  I always have a list of things I want to write about on this blog as well as my personal Website,  I keep a list of life goals, six-month plans, five-year objectives, business ideas, book ideas, etc.  I am always writing things down and tucking them safely away.

I don't know why or how I got in the habit but, if I don't keep my lists active and up to date, I start losing my mind and I can't accomplish the things I want and need to get done.  Truthfully, I think I'm ADD and if I don't keep track of these things, I will move on and never truly accomplish anything.  But I think that is a different thought to pursue on perhaps a different day.

Anyway, lists and lots on my mind.  A friend of mine has approached me about starting an online media business and I am thrilled and totally excited.  Another friend wants to co-author a book for teens and young adults.  Still another friend wants compile and edit a series on self worth and body image, and I am still in process of writing my own memoir AND I want to compile and edit a series of stories about coming in to oneself prior to coming out.

Plus I write for this blog and, as I mentioned, I also have a opinion/editorial Website.  Writing is a passion of mine.  I studied communications in college and I love to write now; it makes sense that it is such a huge part of my life.  But, there are only so many hours in the day so I am restructuring my life and my approach to my lists and my writing resources in an attempt to reach my goals. 

Starting next week, I am going to use this blog as a way for me to write first-draft chapters of my memoir.  I already spend time writing for this site, why not double up on my personal expectations and let "Breaking the Silence" help me break mine!

That being said, I still have my running list of things I wanted to talk about on this site so, today, I am going to purge my mind and cross things off my list of topics for this site.

Family versus Family of Choice - 

Well, as many of you know, my relationship with my immediate family is quite precarious.  At first it was killing me inside but now I am finally starting to make peace with it. Don't get me wrong, it still hurts that I am no longer acknowledged by my mother and by extension the rest of my family, but I am slowly realizing I am strong enough to carry myself independent of the approval and support of my immediate family.

The only way I am able to find the strength to move on is through many of you - my family of choice.  Having friends and adopted family members are often all that keep me going.  I rely heavily on them during the hard times and (I hope) I fill the same role for them as needed, too.

Gay Bowling -  


I joined the "Alternative Lifestyles of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Bowling League."  That is too much to try and remember so I affectionately call it "Gay Bowling."  We meet every Thursday from the beginning of September to sometime in April.  It is the longest-running league in the state of Ohio and I have never been crammed in such close quarters with so many gays and lesbians of so many diverse backgrounds.

From older biker dudes with Do Rags, tattoos, and leather vests, to lipstick lesbians and muscle twinks, the spectrum of LGBTQ diversity is pretty well represented.  I love going to the seedy bowling ally in Hickville, Kentucky, because I never, EVER sense judgement.  Even when someone doesn't like someone else, there is respect given by both parties.  It is impressive and encouraging to say the least.  It makes me want to be a better person on top of a better bowler!

Dating Apps -

In the gay dating world there are few fish in a large pond.  Conservative estimates state that approximately three percent of the human population is "gay" while some more generous estimations state that roughly seven percent identify on some level as LGBT or Q.  Either way, there are a lot more opportunities for straight people to date than me (us).

So, in today's technology age, how do we work around that problem and make finding each other easier?  Dating applications like Growlr, Grndr, Scruff, etc.  In principle, I think things like this are great.  In application, I think it can be awful.  I am so sick and tired of having messages sent to me that either ask for more than I'm willing to give or quickly volunteer way more than I want.  It's outrageous but, that being said, I'm not sure I'm willing to go back to the times folded hankies of varying colors in my back pocket.

Out Athletes, Actors, and Politicians - 


This past week we recognized National Coming Out Day.  As a result, I posted the following "dream" on my Facebook Wall:

Today is National Coming Out Day. It is my greatest hope that there comes a time in my life when a special day like this isn't necessary.

A time when we love all of our brothers and sisters regardless of gender, gender identity, race, nationality, or sexual attraction.

A time when all of God's children feel comfortable enough to be who He made them to be.

A time when a person's sexual identit
y doesn't determine his or her place in their parents' hearts or homes, in the pews of their churches, or their ability to stand (or kneel) at an alter and marry the love of their life.

A time when love supersedes hate and compassion overtakes judgement.

But, until that day, I want to thank all of the gay, lesbian, bi, trans, and queer people I know for being some of the strongest, most beautiful examples of humanity I know. Thank you for being you and thank you for influencing my life in so many wonderful ways.

Initially I received a few nice comments supporting my thoughts but I did receive one ignorant one:

"Hm so i love all my brother's and sister's regardless of all that jibber jabber doesn't mean i agree with it love ya though"

Jibber jabber, eh?  That is what all of the challenges and heartbreak and duress that being gay and loving someone means to this person.

Coming out is tough. Too tough sometimes.  As I slowly crawl out of my closet I gain an even greater appreciation for those who have the courage to come out and be their own authentic selves - regardless of how well known they are in the public eye.

I know it's not much, but in my own small way I want to thank some of the gay men and women in the public eye for their willingness to be positive examples for all of us!

 Matt Bomer and his partner and three kids

 Neil Patrick Harris and his husband

 Chris Colfer

 Jane Lynch and her wife and two step daughters
 Portia DeRossi and her wife Ellen Degeneres
 Ricky Martin and his boy friend and twin sons
 Anderson Cooper and his boyfriend
 Professional boxer and former olympian Orlando Cruz
 First openly-gay politician, Harvey Milk
 Wanda Sykes and her wife
Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham

And many, many more.  To the rest of us who aren't in the limelight, I want to thank all of you for your examples and for being you.  You all mean far more to me than you will ever know.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


I'm writing this blog post in secret at my house, waiting to eat my mom's birthday dinner. While driving here every Sunday afternoon, I always listen to "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga. You can dispute her use of the word "Orient" as a white person, or critique her stated purpose to write a great gay anthem, but the song inevitably makes me feel better and gives me a little bit of confidence before going over here to be greeted with fast Sunday messages and statistics on why R rated movies are evil.

I also like to listen to Nicki Minaj's part in Kanye's "Monster," since it's super fun to drive down my neighborhood of people who attack me behind my back singing, "I'M A MOTHER FUCKING MONSTER!!" Alternatively, I like Muse's "Take a Bow," since screaming "YOU WILL BURN IN HELL FOR YOUR SINS" is equally cathartic in this neighborhood of rich white straight judgmental people.

I have a hard time loving people all the time. Of course, no one has to love everyone all the time--that would be impossible. But one of my personal beliefs is that trying to love everyone is better for you and for the world. As you can see from above, I have a hard time with that most of the time, and sometimes being frustrated can be just as valid and cathartic is being loving. But there are certain movies I like to pull out and watch when I hate everyone and wish the world would just explode to remind myself that people, sometimes, are worth loving. Here, in order, are my favorite movies to watch when I just want to love a larger slice of the world.

1. Lars and the Real Girl

The director's stated purpose in writing this movie was to imagine what the world would be like if someone who had a mental illness was treated nicely by everyone. A lovely, fabulous movie about relationships and kindness ensues.

2. 127 Hours

If you can stand a little (okay, a lot) of gore--and I almost can't, every single time--this movie is a fabulous metaphor about being impossibly trapped and overcoming against all odds. The movie is framed by shots of busy swarms of people; at the start of the film, I'm usually annoyed by the hoards of people taking over the world, and by the end, I look at them a little more tenderly. Of course, it's also a fascinating true story that makes the metaphor that much more solid.

3. Sunshine

Another film by the same director as 127 Hours. I can't really say why I love this movie so much--it's a lot less overtly optimistic than the former two films, but it does a lot of the same things as they do; it focuses on how much we all need the earth, nature, and each other, and ultimately highlights the triumph of humans working together to defeat evil.

4. The Nightmare Before Christmas

The main reason I love this movie so much is just because it's beautiful. It's gorgeous to look at. And sometimes we just need to look at gorgeous things and be reminded that people created them.

5. The Return of the King

For some reason, I waaaaay overidentify with Frodo Baggins, a fictional fantasy character from a made-up world. But Sam's selfless to devotion to this sad character makes me cry like a newborn baby.

In conclusion, sometimes the people in our lives are incredibly frustrating, and sometimes it's fine to rage and scream and tear our hair out, especially if something is hurtful and unfair. And it's never okay to quietly suffer abuse. But sometimes it's also nice to sit back, relax, and watch a movie that reminds us that humans are capable of creating great things, and that we don't always have to rage against the whole world--there are things in it worth loving and living for.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Day Late And A Dollar Short

So I fail at things. I mean we all have failings but my most annoying failure is lack of social abilities. I just don’t know how to make friends… or date.
Like today. I had a date. It was an awesome date. I thought we had a lot of fun. But when it came time to take her home I didn’t know what to do. Granted there is the whole "BYU I can’t exactly have a traditional door way scene" thing to worry about. But did I even want that? Because to me it seemed like I was trying to push her out the door. Which is silly because I was also contemplating how to ask her out again. 
Because I know how to ask someone for a date.
I know how to plan a date.
I know how to dress myself up real pretty.
Sometimes if I’m really lucky I can even survive the date without making a total fool of myself.
But I can’t end a date. 
So that is my failure.  

Other failures that are actually funny. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Holding Back On You All

The above picture is an original photo taken by my best friend Kim. My biggest support system and the person I miss the most. She has always been there for me and always will be. I can easily say that I'm closer to her than my parents, my family, my BYU friends. But she attends UC Berkeley. Light years away as far as I'm concerned because the amount I get to see her is 0. And I don't like it. However, she is coming in March!!!

Which is six months away *angry face*

I want her here to help me make my decisions. I'm a grown man (or boy, maybe) but I still want her here to help me make decisions. 

What sort of decisions? Well, something I've been holding back from you all is that... well... I'm trying to date a 30 year old right now.

I'm not the type of person who wants to always have a relationship. However, they say I got out of one three weeks ago and I'm already moving on though. But I say I was single for a year and a half before my last relationship, just two relationships in a row just randomly happened.

For the record, I'm not in a relationship. I'm just seriously considering it. I really like this half Asian. 

Also, for the record, I know I need to be careful dating people this much older. He owns a house. He has two jobs. His mother lives with him (really, he owns the house and she moved in). And so, I recognize that I could be puppy loving with the ideas of what this half Asian brings. Ideas of security and future. But now I'm pretty sure this is not it. I'm puppy loving with the man behind all this.

He introduced me to coffee. At least the taste of it. Which I love. But I'm scared to try more than a couple gulps due to a certain hyperactivity level I display. :)

He keeps up with my banter. My jerkiness. My sarcasm. It is a competition without a clear winner. Now, I realize that this is not ideal for most people. But this what I like. Maybe it is a strange way of flirting.

So, without further ado, I will pursue a dating life with this man. He lives in Salt Lake *red flag! Long Distance Relationship!* He recently got out of a serious relationship that had built for almost two years *red flag! Rebound!* He is thirty years old *red flag!* But let me try. Let me try, because I have not had this much puppy love, this much infatuation, since I was 17. And now I'm 20. 

And to think I once discouraged one of my best friends from dating a 34 year old when she was 20. I get it now. When you know you want to date someone, you know. Age is an important factor when considering someone, but it is a factor that can be overridden. I want this to work. More than I wanted to be on the BYU racquetball team. More than I want to get out of BYU. More than I want that job I applied for yesterday. More than anything except Kim. I want Kim to be here. But that's not happening. So let me hope for this.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


So I was asking Tiff last night what to write about.  Sometimes there’s so many different topics that I try and cram them all into one little blog and things tend to get messy.  Tiff is constantly “cleaning” up my blogs and helping me keep to just one little itty bitty topic ;).  Today, still undecided I was texting her my feelings about the recent speech during LDS conference by Dallin Oaks.  She texted back "sounds like you have your blog honey".

I know MJ asked me to talk about my turkey baster.  I will MJ.  I promise.  I’d also like to talk about my parents and family and my coming out story.  I think it’s important to share because it shows where I came from.  Also I’d love to talk about divorce, lesbian style, co-parenting, step-parenting in a lesbian world and whether we should have more children. Then there’s the fact that I have a daughter with special needs.  That alone is it’s own month worth.  Navigating the medical field being a lesbian parent, divorced and getting remarried. 

So to say the very least picking a topic every week tends to be a tornado of life events whirling in my brain.  I want to share my stories, my experiences, my mistakes and even some of my achievements here.  I’d like to expose every layer of my crazy onion self for you to see what my eyes see when I look around.  Given all the above paragraph, this will take time.  So please be patient with me.

So we went camping with Tiff’s parents over the weekend.  This was stressful.  They are extremely religious and carry high titled positions within their church.  Of course their church is the LDS one.  I don’t believe in god.  I’m sure you can see how this could be stressful.  Her parents listened to conference while camping up at their camp.  We avoided it.  Her mom came down and talked about Dallin Oaks speech about protecting children.  She left off a vital tidbit...

Back history: Tiff’s parent’s don’t think I should have had children.  They think it is harmful to children to be raised by lesbian parents.  They believe I’m selfish.  This has created a vast chasm of issues for Tiff and I.  She feels defensive of her family and I’m irate that anyone comments about my children.

So, this speech by Dallin Oaks which you can go google, I’m not computer savvy enough to know how to do it for you. (that linky thing) This speech talks about children needing to be protected from selfish adult decisions.  Children are being harmed when raised by same-gender parents.  What I have written are not direct quotes, I’m too lazy to go get those too, or perhaps I’m so emotional about the topic listening to the speech even one more time might cause this computer to fly. So I am paraphrasing.  Although it is close to what was said.

First, several studies have shown that homo parents and hetero parents are pretty equal.  There is a study called the US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Psychological Adjustment of 17-Year-Old Adolescents.  This study has very interesting information you should google it too so that you can see the facts about homo parents rather than hear opinions.

Second, I happen to believe it’s beneficial for children to be loved.  It’s not by whom they are loved that is the issue.  Lots of grandparents, step-parents, adoptive parents, single parents, hetero parents and gay parents raise well adjusted children.  The important concept is love. 

I am really hurt by Dallin Oaks and his speech.  It’s true, in order for something to hurt me I have to: 1. Choose to let it hurt me 2.  Give it some sort of importance and 3. Decide that somehow I fall below standard.  I struggle with all of this because really, I feel that raising children in a cult like religion that doesn’t allow free-thought, forces children to fast, pay tithing and dress certain ways is selfish.  I can look at my adult non-active LDS friends both gay and straight and see where parts of them are agonizing over the brainwashing they had in their youth. 

So, my perspective is that I believe the LDS religion to be selfish.  I find it to be self-serving as well.  Up until recently they didn’t allow African American men to hold the sacred priesthood.  They also didn’t allow women to pray, men came to relief society to say the prayers for the women.  There are several other documented reasons why this religion is certifiably insane to me.  I think raising your children from birth and indoctrinating them with it in all aspects of life is selfish. 

I have friends that are damaged by this religion.  They struggle every day with themselves.  They fight between what they were taught to believe and who they are today.  I’m confused by this time and time again.  I know amazing people.  I have heard stories that make me cry, I have lost people to suicide.  I have known people to go back into the religion because they couldn’t stand not being with their family and being ostracized any longer. 

I know that the LDS religion believes in life after death.  I know what they teach and say.  I know that my friends who have chosen to go back to the church to be accepted by their families believe that they will be rewarded in heaven.  Here’s what I know to be a fact: this is the only thing you can know for sure,  this life you have right now is all there is.  Why spend the entire thing focusing on what could potentially happen?  Why waste it?  I try to be a good person every day.  I make hard choices, I make sacrificies.  I donate to charities, I give to homeless, I offer aid as often as possible. I don’t care what that does for me in the hypothetical heaven.  I do those things because they make me feel good now.  I’m not trying to reap rewards in another space.  I just want to be the best person I can.

I want people to know they are beautiful the way they are.  Actions speak much louder than words.  I hope when you look in the mirror you see someone who deserves love and acceptance.  I hope you see in your reflection the truth that this life is what you have right now, hell or heaven will either be there or it won’t.  No matter what happens when we die I know that sun is going to raise for the rest of the living.  The only legacy I have to leave is that I was true to myself. That I raised my children to see their inner beauty for the harmony and the chaos it is.  I raise my daughters, not by telling them as much as showing them, my acceptance of myself, in all aspects.  I do this with the hope that it will show them how to love themselves.  I hope they learn how to cherish every sunrise for the gift it is. 

No matter how black the storm, no matter how deep the water, no matter how difficult the climb, I will be here to catch my children, guide them in their darkness, remind them to float on their backs in the depths, and stop to smell the fresh air around them on the hike. This makes me a damn good mom, and by god, the LDS religion and Mr Dallin Oaks can’t convince me otherwise.