Saturday, September 14, 2013

All the Promise

Matt here.

My roommate who used to be Mormon and our Mormon friend and I were hanging out a while back after having dinner. Maybe it's just me, but I feel a weird dynamic in that threesome. There's a hunger in the air from the gay ones to be part of that world again, and a whistfulness from the straight one that I at least interpret as a longing to get out of it. The conversation always drifts to Mormonism, our old ward and who's dating who and who might be moving to Utah to chase that person they've been not-dating for years and callings and age limits and I miss it.

I miss parts of it. I miss having a cohort. I miss having a Plan. I don't miss feeling utterly separate from my cohort or finding my love at odds with the Plan. 

Honestly, I'm sitting in front of a trendy cafe in Berkeley, sipping too-sweet cocoa and watching a farmer's market get set up, and I feel like if there were a syringe of Mormonism in front of me, I'd shoot up. If it were Sunday, I'd be on my way to the chapel, t-shirt notwithstanding. If I were sitting across from a bishop, I'd ask for help. I want the plan and the cohort pretty bad right now. My life is good, but it's misted with uncertainty. The Navy has somehow still not given me a decision about my officer application and may continue not giving me a decision into the new year. My roommates are planning to move in the unknown but nearish future. My new job starts in a couple days, and though I think I'll like it it's hard to tell beforehand. And then there's dating!

It all comes together to make me crave stability, certainty--a cohort, a Plan. I don't know that I've ever found that outside of Mormonism. Certainly not to the extent of eternity in both directions.

I'm glad it isn't Sunday. All the promises of Mormonism notwithstanding, the endless childhood repetitions of their story notwithstanding, goodwill and friendliness of the members notwithstanding, it's all spoiled by my disbelief ( / its falsehood, if you want to see it that way.) I don't believe, so the cohort can't be mine even if they want to. I don't believe, so the Plan is just a bad fit. 


Postscript: I felt ill and depressed all that day and the next. I chatted with my sister, and after she'd heard all the evidence she chalked it up to recent love life angst--efforts were thwarted a couple different times by a couple different people.

It's interesting that the first thing I thought of to try and fill the "significant other" gap was Mormonism. Makes sense; they're pretty well interwoven. I'm glad I didn't try to make myself feel better by going to church, though. Mormonism isn't what I really wanted, though there's a lot of overlap and similarity.

Mormonism is like a McGriddle. Sometimes I think it's exactly what I need, but every time I partake I feel sick after. The trouble has always been knowing what I'm actually craving and how to satisfy it.


I forgot about this guy. I like him.


Happy Affirmation conference! Maybe next time I'll show up just to rub elbows with all y'all.


  1. Change McGriddle to a two cheeseburger meal (WHY?!) and I fully agree with that analogy. I actually wrote a blog post about disgusting McDonalds food and how it depresses me every time I'm done eating it. Yesterday, I actually went to church and a GA came... spoke about dating, etc... I did NOT feel like I belonged there.

  2. Sorry you've been down lately. These last few have been very provocative posts for me.

    The Affirmation conference was like a SUPER "shot of Mormonism" (metaphor which made me chuckle). It was really, really good. I felt some weird feelings, though, most poignantly during the testimony meeting (which was super powerful, even if one didn't believe--I think--because of the fervor and optimism): hearing all this "Mormon and gay can work" made me feel happy, but it I had to tone down my response because along with the happy feelings came an almost equally strong bubbling up of bitterness and resentment... for the utter needlessness of the suffering and waste of potential that--I feel--has been inflicted on my life by the Church (whatever that is). Complicated feelings. You should check it out next year, maybe, depending on how you're feeling about things. The social aspect alone was pretty great, and everyone can relate to each other even in different places (which, to me, is the glory of Affirmation and what makes it most likely to become the mainstream Mormon LGBT organization someday).

    "Mormonism is like a McGriddle..." YES and YES!

  3. Graham:

    Oooooooh . . . the cheeseburgers. :(

    I can imagine the feeling of being there for the GA only too well, especially if you were hoping for something about faith, or hope, or charity,.Still, though, if you go you must have a reason.


    The past few weeks have actually been net happy--it's just that the down parts were the ones I wanted to write about. I didn't write, for instance, about how much I love my new job. (It's a lot.)

    I think I'd like to go next year, for the social aspect at least. I felt bad that a bunch of my friends were congregating and I wasn't there. Part of me feels like gay mormons will always be my peeps/homies/tribe/crew, and i should embrace it more.

    I will skip the testimony meeting, though.

    1. Matt, yes I was at church last week... but basically only because I feel an obligation to help my shy friend have a social life. That's about it. It is a service I'm trying to do... but it's hard to sit through when you don't really trust the system anymore. Glad you're loving your new job! I actually start one in a couple weeks. Hope I like mine, too.