Sunday, April 25, 2010

An Ethical Dilemma

I'm starting finals week in school so I thought I'd blog about something...well...not AS stressful as other things in my life right now.

What do you do when your pet Beta Fish is suicidal? Yup, you heard right, I think Rupert, my fish, is trying to kill himself. I haven’t actually seen him attempt it, but occasionally I hear a large splash in his bowl and when I look over he’s bobbing around as if he has tried to jump out of the water. He currently isn’t in any really danger; it would be a miracle if he could jump high enough to get out of the bowl. But the whole thing concerns me. It started the other day after I had cleaned and changed the water in his bowl. You’d think he’d be happier, but instead he’s doing this. To be honest, this isn’t the first time he’s tried. Probably around six or seven months ago he was doing the exact same thing. I just don’t know what to do to help him. I’d get him a companion,or boyfriend if I knew he was gay, but he’d probably kill it (it’s his fighting fish instincts and all). And I can't have that on my conscience. I just hope he gets better. I’d welcome any advice on the subject.

P.S. I own and love this T-shirt.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Dream

I don't put a lot of faith or belief in the idea of dreams, but every once in a while things happen that are hard to understand. The scariest dream I've ever had occurred while I was on my mission. In my dream I was shot in the chest. But I didn't wake up immediate like I thought I would, instead I was just laying on the ground waiting for death to take over. Okay, so there were some weird parts where the guy in the dream was trying to help me up, and I was like, "I think I'm feeling better." and he'd say, "No your not you're dying!" Looking back on that seems almost funny that I didn't realize it was a dream (I have had dreams where I know that I'm dreaming and I have fun with it) But overall the experience was the freakiest thing in the world. You know how they say your life flashes before your eyes right before death, well it happens even in dreams. I kept thinking of the sins and bad things I'd done in my life (keep in mind I was on my mission). Finally, I woke up and with this huge pain in my chest.

Okay, so that's the story as I tell it to everyone. The part of the dream that has always haunted me, and that I've never told anyone, was that I was shot by a woman because she caught me in bed with her boyfriend. That's right. I was shot for being gay. Just imagine what this did to me while I'm serving God and my religion for two years. I felt so ashamed of myself. At the time I thought that God was sending me a message about what would happen if I ever acted on my desires. This is the only dream I've ever had that I can retain so many of the vivid memories. I had the dream five years ago and I still remember it.

Now that I've decide to accept myself and my desires I've been reflecting on this dream. I honestly don't think that it was a message from God. I think it was more likely a manifestation of my inward struggles while on the mission, but I don't ever think I'll forget the horror of lying on the floor waiting to die.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lack of Understanding

So before I came out to anyone, I tested the waters with many family members by bringing up homosexuality in general with as many people as I could. I’m still doing it with my family, as a sort of prep for when I do come out. Well, I’m realizing that many of my friends and family either believe or have heard a lot of false ideas and stereotypes about gays. For example, my roommate and I have talked a lot since I’m taking a LGBT Literature class and he’s taking Human Sexuality (he’s a psychology major). Well, while flipping through the channels on TV I ran across Ru Paul’s Drag Race (I love this show, it’s Americas Next Top Model, but with camp). Suddenly my roommate mentions that he thinks that the more gay someone is, the more they want to be a woman, thus if they date a man it’s like a heterosexual couple. “REALLY?! How can you believe such crap! I’m gay and I don’t have any desire to be a woman. Does that mean I’m not fully gay? Ridiculous!” Was what I thought, but in reality I just said that that seemed too narrow minded to be true.

That’s just one example of these false ideas that people can easily believe if they choose not to think for themselves. The other thing I hear is that being gay is a choice. I got into a huge argument with my sister (she’s 16 so she’s a bit naive), but my mom agreed at least in general. I just sat there and tried to explain that that is not always true, while wanting to scream, “Do you really think I chose to be gay! I was born this way!” In my case I have just always liked men. There was nothing in my childhood that traumatized me. I had a very happy childhood. I’ve known I was gay since I was 12, even if I lived in denial most of my life.

It just blows my mind how much misinformation exists in the world. There are, of course, attempts to set the record straight. This is one of those videos I like, it's funny too. (even if it does take jabs against Christians in general)

I believe this is a section from the 2007 film "For the Bible Tells Me So" which I have not seen, but which really interests me. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Mistake

In beginning this story I need to explain two important things:

1- For the last four summers I have worked for EFY, the LDS churches youth program. I loved every minute of my experience there and felt that I had a lot to contribute to these youth who were struggling. In some way, I feel my certain circumstances as a closeted gay man gave me a understanding of the struggles these youth deal with involving feelings of negative self worth, guilt from sin, and the unnecessary self-inflicted guilt and shame that many youth carry. I’ll probably say more about EFY another day. 

Four name tags for four years of EFY

2- It’s also important to know that this blog was created out of necessity. I actually have another blog that I update as well using a different profile. My other blog was created out of expression. I wanted a place where I could create and show off various few tidbits about myself with family and friends. It’s a place where my family can see what I choose to show them about what is going on in my life. There are very personal thoughts and ideas that I have expressed on that blog, but I couldn’t express this one part of me. That’s where this blog has come in. Like I said before this blog was created out of necessity: I needed a place where I could put down those ideas and thoughts about being gay that I am only slowly revealing to some of my family and friends (and of course anyone else in the world who takes an interest. I love all my readers). I hope to one day combine the two blogs, but I am not at that point yet.

So, now to my mistake. I have a ton of blogs that I follow both publicly and by using Google Reader. (If you don’t use this you NEED to, it’s one of the greatest things Google has done) Last Wednesday I was signed in on my other profiles Google Reader and was reading one of my EFY friend’s blogs. She mentioned me in a funny way and I decided to comment on her blog. So I went to her posts site and left a comment. The minute I hit post I realized that although my Google Reader account was signed into one profile Blogger was signed into this account. I freaked out and deleted the comment. Blogger only deleted the words of the comment, not the link to this profile. I quickly reposted using my other account, but that link to this profile was permanently placed on her blog. Anyone who read her posts comments would be able to link over to this blog.

I freaked out. The only thing I could think to do was delete this blog, or leave it as is. After a bit of debate I realized that I could not delete this blog. I love it too much. It’s where I get to express all of who I really am. So I left it, knowing that any of my EFY friends or others could now read my blog…if they dared. I was really nervous. Worst case scenarios kept creeping into my head of friends lost, or telling everyone else and ostracizing me. Anyway, I came to the conclusion that this blog is genuine enough that if anyone who really cared about me read it they would be understanding of my situation, or they really weren’t my friends (besides how many people read all the comments on other peoples blogs).

Overall nothing bad has happened yet. I don’t know who all looked at my profile, and I wonder about the girl whose blog it was. I did have one amazing friend who texted me the next day and said he’d read this blog. He expressed sympathy for my situation and an open ear if I need to talk. I was really grateful for that. I am grateful that classy people like him still exist in the world; it’s a whole lot better off because of them.