Sunday, January 31, 2010

January Theme

By Mister Curie

So I feel that to be truly integrated into the MoHo community I need to respond to Abelard's monthly MoHo theme. As I have less than an hour to do that before the month is over, I better get started . . .

January Theme: What are your personal goals for 2010? What do you hope to accomplish in the upcoming year?

1. Family - spend quality time with family: (1) weekly date nights with Madam Curie, (2) be "present" when I am watching Le Petite Curie, rather than distracted by something else (most recently the MoHo blogs . . .)

2. School - PhD thesis (I'm still trying to decide if I really want to finish up this year or if one more year of research will really help me solidify things)

3. Health - lose weight, I'd really like to get down to my pre-marriage weight (145 lbs).

4. Homosexuality - accept myself and come out to my family (joining the MoHo queerosphere is one important step to accomplishing these goals)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Movie: Milk

By Mister Curie

This week's movie is the biographical movie "Milk", rated #4 on and #2 among MoHos. From IMDb:

Upon moving to San Francisco from New York City in 1972, forty year old Harvey Milk gains focus in his life as a gay activist in the city's Castro district. Gay rights activism turns to political activism as Milk decides he can be a more effective voice for the gay community as a politician, elected or not. Through several elections and losses both for a city seat and a state assembly seat, Milk becomes the first openly gay man in the United States to be elected to political office when he wins a San Francisco supervisor seat in 1977. His many political battlefronts include one with the national anti-gay Save the Children crusade, led and fronted by singer Anita Bryant. Closer to home, Milk has a continuing struggle with his fellow supervisor, Dan White, a staunch social conservative.
I learned a lot from this movie, and I got a glimpse of how little I know and how much more there is to learn. (1) I realized that I know practically nothing about the gay rights movement, (2) I learned that the same arguments and battlelines used in Prop 8 were used 30 years previously in the Prop 6 campaign (it was uncannily all familiar sounding), (3) I was reminded that it isn't just Mormonism that had pitted itself against homosexuality, and (4) I learned the value of coming out of the closet to let people know that there is someone close to them, someone they love, who is gay and that gays aren't the evil, degenerate people they believe us to be. Yesterday I posted that I still have some latent homophobia, there's something about the cultural conditioning and the lies that I've been fed all my life that is difficult for me to overcome. This movie made me ashamed of those feelings. If I am struggling with overcoming this bigotry, when I myself am homosexual, how much more difficult must it be for others who are not touched by homosexuality to overcome the bigotry? They need to know that homosexuals are decent and wonderful people.

This quote by Harvey Milk struck me:
I cannot prevent anyone from getting angry, or mad, or frustrated. I can only hope that they'll turn that anger and frustration and madness into something positive, so that two, three, four, five hundred will step forward, so the gay doctors will come out, the gay lawyers, the gay judges, gay bankers, gay architects ... I hope that every professional gay will say 'enough', come forward and tell everybody, wear a sign, let the world know. Maybe that will help.
Unfortunately I had to wait for Netflix to ship the DVD to watch this one, no "Watch it Now" option. But this was absolutely a must see film!

What did you think of it? What did it teach you?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pieces of the Past: Putting the Puzzle Together

By Mister Curie

It was only after my disaffection that I was able to see a pattern in my life indicating that I was not strictly heterosexual. This is part of a series of posts as I try to account for all the pieces to the puzzle of my sexual orientation. By documenting the pieces of the puzzle, I hope to be able to put the picture together. Only by being as completely honest with myself as I can will I be able to understand who I am. This tenth post in the series will try to put the puzzle together.

Well, I have now examined the majority of the pieces. There are probably some missing details that would help the picture a little. Perhaps there are some memories I have forgotten that will surface with time. But I think this is probably sufficient to get an accurate understanding of the content of this puzzle. So, what does the puzzle show? What label is going to be most helpful going forward?

Perhaps the most useful tool for evaluating the puzzle will be the Kinsey scale and Klein grid. Human sexuality cannot be described as a dichotomy of gay and straight (with perhaps bisexuality in the middle). Just as I learned there are many shades of gray between the black and white dichotomy of "Truth" taught by the church, I learned that there is a whole rainbow of color when it comes to human sexuality beyond the extremes of gay and straight. From Wikipedia:
The Kinsey scale attempts to describe a person's sexual history or episodes of their sexual activity at a given time. It uses a scale from 0, meaning exclusively heterosexual, to 6, meaning exclusively homosexual.
Kinsey himself said:
Males do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual. The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats. It is a fundamental of taxonomy that nature rarely deals with discrete categories... The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects.
While emphasizing the continuity of the gradations between exclusively heterosexual and exclusively homosexual histories, it has seemed desirable to develop some sort of classification which could be based on the relative amounts of heterosexual and homosexual experience or response in each history... An individual may be assigned a position on this scale, for each period in his life.... A seven-point scale comes nearer to showing the many gradations that actually exist." (Kinsey, et al. (1948). pp. 639, 656)
The Kinsey scale is as follows:
0Exclusively heterosexual
1Predominantly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual
2Predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual
3Equally heterosexual and homosexual; bisexual.
4Predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual
5Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual
6Exclusively homosexual
XAsexual, Non-Sexual
There is also an extension of the Kinsey scale, known as the Klein grid, which I will employ here to try and interpret the puzzle. Klein characterizes sexuality in various aspects of life.
(1) Sexual Attraction: To whom are you sexually attracted?
There was my high school girlfriend (until I fell out of love with her), and I am currently sexually attracted to my wife, but there were also numerous mission companions, and I respond readily to pornographic images of men. I'd have to give myself a 5.
(2) Sexual Behaviour: With whom have you actually had sex?
Officially had sex would only be my wife. However, wrestling with my mission companion to the point of nearly climaxing (and I probably would have continued until climax if I hadn't felt so guilty) might count as well. So this would be a 1 for number of encounters, but a 3 for number of partners.
(3) Sexual Fantasies: About whom are your sexual fantasies?
I think most of my sexual fantasies have been about men. I don't recall ever even having a wet dream about women. I have certainly had sexual fantasies about my wife, but she reminds me that those are probably more about ME with my wife, rather than actually about her or her body. So this one is probably a 6.

(4) Emotional preference: Who do you feel more drawn to or close to emotionally?

In general I am emotionally closer to men and seek out male friendships, rather than female friendships. Of course, it was easy to justify shunning women while a missionary or after getting married "so my heart wouldn't wander." On the other hand, I am very emotionally close to my wife and we have a wonderful emotional relationship and I definitely feel like she understands me better than anyone else. This one is probably a 5 when it comes to the number of relationships.

(5) Social preference: Which gender do you socialize with?

So I pretty much spend the majority of my time with my wife, naturally. However, before getting married, I always hung out with the guys. If I had to choose a group to hang out with, I'd probably choose men (as long as they weren't doing too stereotypically male behavior - like watching a sports game). When I helped out with a recruiting event for the med school recently I ended up at the table with all men. Again, this is probably a 5.

(6) Lifestyle preference: In which community do you like to spend your time? In which do you feel most comfortable?

So I spend most of my time in a heterosexual community, but I have spent an increasing amount of time in the MoHo queerosphere and have felt very comfortable there. I would probably be more comfortable in a homosexual environment if I could get past some of my latent homophobia. So maybe I'll put myself at a 3 right now.

(7) Self-identification: How do you label or identify yourself?

So until recently I identified as heterosexual, then I switched to bisexual to reconcile homosexual feelings with being married heterosexually. Some people interpret the Kinsey scale to mean that anything other than a 0 and a 6 means a person is bisexual. Others interpret the Kinsey scale to mean that only if you are a 3 can you be called bisexual. Overall I think I'm probably a 5 on the Kinsey scale (and I've noticed a sharp turn in my attractions toward the homosexual spectrum since I started to accept my homosexuality). I definitely can't claim to be equally attracted to men and women, even with the abundance of attraction I feel for my wife, so I don't think bisexual is the correct label for me. I guess I'll embrace the homosexual label. Looks like people were right: "Bi now, gay later." I'll put myself as a 5, my wife is a very important exception to my general homosexuality.

And yet, despite accepting myself as homosexual with a 5 on the Kinsey scale, something I read on a website I can no longer find early in my journey, comes back to me. I was researching bisexuality and the site was geared toward a younger questioning audience and said that perhaps the defining question on what being bisexual means is: Who do you see yourself growing old with? And the answer to that is an unequivocal Madam Curie. Our relationship is fantastic on so many levels and I've never met another person who connects so well emotionally or intellectually with me, who understands me so well, or who accepts me so unconditionally. We have built so much together in our life together and I can only see myself in a committed relationship with her. I love her so much! And our sex life, while perhaps unique, works wonderfully well for us.

So, I am gay, and I'm happily, ecstatically married to the most wonderful partner in the whole world. On to figuring out how to make this MOM thing work . . .

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pieces of the Past: Marriage

By Mister Curie

It was only after my disaffection that I was able to see a pattern in my life indicating that I was not strictly heterosexual. This is part of a series of posts as I try to account for all the pieces to the puzzle of my sexual orientation. By documenting the pieces of the puzzle, I hope to be able to put the picture together. Only by being as completely honest with myself as I can will I be able to understand who I am. This ninth post in the series will deal with our marriage.

WARNING: This post will be explicit, as it deals with our intimate, marital relationship. Friends who know us in real life may want to skip it, if they prefer to not know the details of our sex life, and would have a hard time looking at us the same way again.

Madam Curie and I were happily married in the temple and eagerly looking forward to our first night together. We had spent the past several weeks reading together books on marital intimacy and were looking forward to the "marriage bed", although we also had our share of nervousness at the prospect. I had shared with Madam Curie my fear of premature ejaculation, which I did not feel to be an unreasonable fear due to (1) knowing how quickly I could ejaculate when I masturbated, (2) hearing rumors that habitual masturbation primed an individual to ejaculate quickly, (3) knowing I had nearly ejaculated from just kissing her. We had planned for several contingency options, just to be sure it would be a physically enjoyable night, no matter what ended up happening.

The thought of having sex made us hurry to the hotel. As prearranged, we made sure to have lots of foreplay so Madam Curie would be ready and our first time wouldn't be painful for her. We even made sure to have her orgasm through manual stimulation before penetration, so that there would be pleasant memories from our first experience, rather than traumatic feelings that sometimes occur if the first attempts at intercourse are painful. Then we made our first attempt.
Suddenly everything I had heard about how men and women are naturally made to "fit" together didn't make any sense. There didn't seem to be much natural or easy about this. To top things off, as we made our first attempt, suddenly I lost my erection and went completely flaccid. We chalked it up to "performance anxiety" and laughed it off. Perhaps it was "performance anxiety" or perhaps it should have been a huge clue. We decided to revert to plan B, and make me climax through manual stimulation. I was able to quickly regain my erection, but it slowly became apparent that I didn't need to worry so much about premature ejaculation. It took a long time before I was able to climax. Perhaps this should have been another clue. Later in the evening we made another attempt at intercourse, and again I started to go floppy. I worked very hard to think sexy thoughts and maintain the erection and we eventually succeeded. Unfortunately this did end up being painful for Madam Curie, who bled a fair amount. But we were proud of our success in having sex.

Things improved over the next several months as we worked on sex and it became more natural to us and Madam Curie was able to have sex without being in pain. I believed we were happily heterosexual. However, sex for us did take on a pattern of selfless giving and receiving. For a long time we were unable to climax simultaneously. For Madam Curie to climax, she required manual stimulation, during which I would often lose my erection. Then, for me to climax, I had to focus on sexual thoughts and on the feelings I had in my body. It became a common phrase for us to tell each other to "Focus on yourself", meaning: do whatever it is (or tell me to do something) that will heighten the experience for you, without worrying about whether it is particularly pleasing to me. In as equal a manner as possible, we showed love sexually by giving freely, and in return accepting freely. However, our desires rarely focused on the other partner, but on ourselves.

As an example, our first apartment had some great full-length mirrors on the closet doors. We could position the mirrors so that we could watch ourselves making love. Being a man who is aroused visually (like most men, although I don't want to overgeneralize), I loved being able to use those mirrors. I liked to arrange them so I could get the most arousing view of our lovemaking possible. One day I was having a difficult time getting them arranged properly, and Madam Curie was trying to position her body for my pleasure as well. At some point, she realized that I wasn't positioning the mirrors so I could look at her body, or breasts, or face while we were making love - I wanted to be able to watch my own body as we made love. She says that was the moment she was positive that I was gay.

She now tells me that after that, she began a series of experiments to confirm her observation. When we were out, she would watch where I looked, and observed that I never or rarely checked out women, but often checked out men. She started asking me about girls after they walked by, and I never had noticed them. However, I frequently had noticed men that walked by.

Getting married had obviously not stopped me from being gay, even though I still believed we were happily, heterosexually married. Life moved blissfully on and were both felt satisfied with our sexual relationship. There were, however, a few episodes that are probably critical puzzle pieces that inserted themselves into our narrative.

First, as a medical student, I needed to learn to perform physical exams. Part of the physical exam is the genital exam, and the medical school hires people to be "standardized patients" to teach us the medical exam, I'm sure they pay them very well for their time and allowing medical students to touch their bodies as they teach us how to perform the genital exam on both males and females. Madam Curie seemed to be particularly worried about the female exam, which I had few qualms about, as I didn't expect much physical attraction to some random woman's vagina or breasts, particularly when we had no emotional connection. I was much more worried about the male genital exam, and whether or not I would get aroused when touching another man's "package". I also worried about what it would be like to be a doctor and performing these exams on men in the clinic (sounds like the plot for some cheesy gay porn flick). Luckily I got through it without it being a traumatic experience, and I can happily report that doctors (including me) really aren't thinking sexually about your body when they perform the genital exams. But I do think it is telling that my concerns focused on the male exam, rather than the female exam.

A couple more puzzle pieces: I focused on sexual fulfillment within our marriage and avoided pornography. Then, one day I was cleaning up the yard outside and came across a catalog for an adult sex shop. The pictures of men in the magazine sent me into a bit of a Pon-Farr, and I had a difficult time focusing my thoughts. I tried increasing lovemaking with my wife to help me get through it.

When we learned that Madam Curie was pregnant and we were going to have a son, we began to discuss whether we would have him circumcised or not. This discussion coincided with another Pon-Farr episode and I used it as an excuse to look at images of naked men, justifying that I wanted to see what circumcised and uncircumcised penises looked like. (Now, just to be clear, this had nothing to do with child pornography and I was not looking at images of little kids. Rather, I used the upcoming decision of circumcising our son as justification of looking at images of full-grown naked men.) This quickly progressed to wanted to see images of erect penises. Somehow I made it through the Pon-Farr and was able to resume my beliefs that I was entirely heterosexual.

Then, about six months ago, we came across the blog posts we have already described, about male bisexuality being a myth. This introduced some cognitive dissonance because I believed I was heterosexual (despite all the evidence I have now logged to the contrary), yet I couldn't deny that I was attracted to male anatomy. The part of the study that most struck me wasn't its thesis of male bisexuality being a myth, but was the results in the study that no heterosexual man was aroused by male pornography. I discussed it with my wife, but couldn't stop thinking about the study. I looked up publications about other, similarly designed experiments. All seemed to show the same thing, heterosexual men were not aroused by other men. I decided to perform my own definitive experiment and found some pornographic images. While I did feel some response at heterosexual images, I realized that my focus was toward the man in the image. I looked up some girl only porn and found the images disturbing and disgusting (I tried to rationalize in my mind that this was due to church cultural conditioning and perhaps my sensitive spirit responding to the EVIL of pornography). Then I looked up some gay porn. I had huge physical response. These men were HOT! Any church cultural conditioning or my sensitive spirit responding to the evils of pornography went right out the window, I wanted to look at THAT! Of course, that doesn't mean that I didn't feel guilty for looking at it. I knew I probably shouldn't look at it and that I was betraying my wife's trust by looking at it. I shared with her what I had done and she was remarkably forgiving for my "curiosity." I also couldn't reconcile the obvious conclusions from my experiment (that I was homosexual) with what I had been taught about homosexuality in church, so it all went on a shelf in my mind and I tried to ignore it.
It wasn't until my belief system and testimony came crashing down, and I was trying to piece together from that wreckage who I really am and what I believe, that I was able to begin to accept that I am homosexual.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pieces of the Past: Courtship

By Mister Curie

It was only after my disaffection that I was able to see a pattern in my life indicating that I was not strictly heterosexual. This is part of a series of posts as I try to account for all the pieces to the puzzle of my sexual orientation. By documenting the pieces of the puzzle, I hope to be able to put the picture together. Only by being as completely honest with myself as I can will I be able to understand who I am. This eighth post in the series will deal with my courtship with Madam Curie.

I was comfortable with my life course and happily not dating. The summer before my Senior year at BYU, I traveled across the country on a summer internship to perform medical research to improve my medical school application. My roommates joked that I would come back with a girlfriend, I assured them I would not.

Madam Curie and I met at the Singles' Ward. She was in charge of Munch-and-Mingle, a blatant attempt to get the singles to meet and date each other. She was impressed when I brought a peach cobbler to share. I was impressed when I found out she was working on her PhD. We quickly connected on an intellectual and emotional level. It was a nice contrast to my previous dating experience, and while Madam Curie did not meet my naively drawn list of ideal traits for a wife, I began musing in my journal if she might be the type of girl I could marry.

A road trip to a summer church pageant increased the emotional and intellectual bonds between us. We spent every waking moment with each other on the trip and were in our own little world. Others joked that they couldn't eavesdrop on our conversation because we spoke a language all our own as we discussed our scientific research, etc. The road trip ended with an awkward episode following our holding hands. Madam Curie apologized, thinking she had forced me to hold her hand, I thought she apologized for leading me on when I would be heading back to Provo and our paths may never cross again. It pushed progress in our relationship back for several weeks.

Madam Curie started asking me out to lots of group activities and my roommate started a campaign for us to get together. We ended up going to the movies, which we now call our first date, but which, due to her previous apology, I wasn't sure of the expectations about, and we ended up going dutch and not holding hands. We held hands again at a movie night she arranged another evening at her apartment. I eventually asked Madam Curie on a date and tried to impress her with homemade Sweet and Sour chicken and with homemade chocolate turtle cheesecake for dessert. It worked.

My summer internship was nearing its end when we had a DTR (Define The Relationship). We decided that we would try to maintain our relationship after I went back to BYU. I also found that I was having strong physical feelings of attraction for her (particularly experienced when we went on a day trip to a nearby city and I found myself wanting to touch her and hold her close, it was absolutely falling in love and feelings of chemistry between us), so we instituted a strict set of "Celestial Rules of Dating" to keep ourselves morally pure. My last week on the internship was like a long, blissful fairy tale spent with Madam Curie. At the airport, I worked up the courage to kiss her (only the second girl I had kissed). It was a passionless peck, but I was on cloud nine. To me, it felt like a kiss of prosaic love (which I valued above romantic love), it felt like I imagined it felt like to kiss one's wife after 10-15 years of marriage. (Perhaps this all should have been a clue, but I continued on clueless).

Deciding to continue our relationship long-distance was a great idea. We were forced to strengthen our emotional and intellectual connection without worrying about our physical relationship (which, we took as a good thing at the time because of the growing feelings of physical attraction we had for each other, but given both of our homosexuality was probably a good thing because it allowed us to develop a prosaic love that in turn strengthened our physical relationship). We tried to arrange monthly trips to see each other, which allowed our physical attraction to blossom under controlled conditions with long intervening episodes of emotional and intellectual growth together.

We discussed getting married. I searched my patriarchal blessing and prayed about it. One particular line in my blessing said that a girl would come into my life whom I would want to marry and that we should marry. I realized that I did want to marry Madam Curie and I prayed for confirmation, which I got. We began planning the wedding for immediately after my graduation. Planning the wedding brought us closer together as we were forced to rely on each other to meet the challenge of putting everything together. I took a Marriage Prep class at BYU and shared everything I learned with Madam Curie. At the suggestion of the class, we read a book together on human marital intimacy, which allowed us to prepare for a physically intimate relationship.

After so much emotional and intellectual bonding, physical attraction was not a problem. Our kissing became quite passionate when we were together and I would get an erection even when just holding her hand. During one make-out session, I felt myself going through the phases of sexual arousal and, just as I had with my mission companion (as described in last week's post), felt as if I was beginning to ejaculate. Just as before, I excused myself to check my garments, and again found large amounts of pre-ejaculate, but I had not actually climaxed. Once again, disaster averted.

We happily made it to be married in the temple.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pieces of the Past: College, Post-mission

By Mister Curie

It was only after my disaffection that I was able to see a pattern in my life indicating that I was not strictly heterosexual. This is part of a series of posts as I try to account for all the pieces to the puzzle of my sexual orientation. By documenting the pieces of the puzzle, I hope to be able to put the picture together. Only by being as completely honest with myself as I can will I be able to understand who I am. This seventh post in the series will deal with college post-mission.

I went back to BYU shortly after returning home from my mission and lived off-campus, rather than in the dorms. I figured it would only be a short matter of time until I was married. I figured the process would be relatively straight-forward: (1) Guy likes girl and they start dating, (2) Girl also likes guy, (3) marriage. The problem begins when one of the people in that equation are gay and they don't start liking the other person.

I found that I just wasn't interested in dating. It just didn't hold any appeal to me. I was introverted, studious, and unenthusiastic about the women around me. A girl in my Russian-for-returned-missionaries class (who had also served in my mission, although we had never been in the same district together) asked me if I'd like to form a study group. We had a very enjoyable time studying together. It turns out that she had served in all of the same cities as me, just several months after me. We swapped mission stories and found we had a lot in common. I also thought she was quite attractive, but somehow it just wasn't enough to get me to ask her on a date. Finally, my mom was worried about my non-dating, so for Christmas she purchased me two tickets to "Les Miserables" with the promise that I would go on a date. I asked this girl to go and we had an enjoyable time. The date ended with a hug, and it was apparently still not enough to entice me to ask her on another date.

At this same time, I had (what I now realize were) crushes on several different guys. I thought that two of my roommates were quite cute and I'd try to be home when they were so that we could hang out. Once they moved out and I wasn't attracted to my new roommates, I started hanging out with the guys in the apartment next to mine, a couple of which I also developed crushes on. We spent a lot of evenings together, watching movies, and just hanging out. I suppose that was fulfilling my "dating" needs.

Then the apartment of guys decided they were all going to move due to rent increases, and simultaneously a cute guy who was in a couple of my classes, asked me if I wanted to move in with him and 4 other guys as a roommate, which I agreed to. The next-door neighbor (whom I had a crush on) and I helped each other move to our new apartments. I described my feelings toward this neighbor as an "affinity", but I now call it a crush. We parted ways with a magnificent hug that reminded me of the hugs I received from my high school friend when I left for college, or the hugs I'd gotten from companions on my mission. I think I spent much of the following afternoon relishing that hug.

Unfortunately my new roommate (the cute guy from my classes) was rarely around, and when he was around he was surrounded by girls. He moved out of the apartment after spring/summer terms and I felt a little ripped-off, although I continued to see him often in my classes. The new stake I had moved into placed a huge emphasis on marriage. Our stake goal was for every man in the stake to go on at least 1 date a week (where a date is defined as a preplanned activity with an even number of guys and girls, and the guy spends money). I vocally rebelled and refused to date, not that I planned on dating anyways.

Several of my new roommates invited me along to hang out with them at some girls' apartment and I would frequently go, but mostly to hang out with my roommates rather than with the girls. The girls, however, boosted my OGTs. I did not inherit the gay trait of fashion sense, but for my birthday, they gave me a make-over. They took me shopping and gave me advice on clothes to purchase. They also introduced me to Pride and Prejudice and I watched the entire 6-hour mini-series with them, and actually enjoyed it. I started cooking with one of the girls in particular every Sunday morning, and we would make increasingly elaborate Russian cakes. I never felt anything for her. One of the other girls developed a crush on me, but I felt nothing in return.

Eventually, I heard that one of the other girls had a crush on me. She seemed to fit the list of ideal traits I wanted in a wife. She fit the stereotypical ideal standards of feminine beauty and was in BYU's Marriage, Family, and Human Development major (colloquially known as the MRS degree). I felt a little something in return, or at least I wanted to. We went on a couple of group dates, but I found that we did not connect intellectually or emotionally. Still, I tried to make it work. We went on several more dates and I even managed to hold her hand (I was a notoriously slow mover in the physical department, so this was a big step for me, of course now I realize its because, duh - I'm gay!). I started hanging out at her apartment every day. After a couple of months later she dumped me. Her excuse was that things were moving too fast toward marriage. I was stunned. I knew that I was the slow mover, and we had only held hands after many dates, and had never kissed. I didn't see how things were moving toward marriage at any quick pace. Perhaps she actually saw the signs that I was gay (since I hadn't kissed her after many dates? )and decided to move on. Maybe the marriage excuse was the only one she'd ever had to use previously because guys had a hard time controlling themselves around her, I don't know. I returned to my non-dating ways and didn't worry about it.

I decided I was going to apply for medical school and resigned myself to the probability that I was not going to be married for a long time. I hadn't found a girl in my several years at BYU, wasn't interested in dating, and knew that once in medical school I would bury myself in my studies and continue to avoid pursuing a relationship with girls. It didn't bother me, it just was.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Movie: Latter Days

By Mister Curie

I remember hearing about this movie as a TBM. I think I received an email (which I no doubt dutifully forwarded on to my entire address book), denouncing this evil film that makes a mockery of the Divine missionary calling which is about a gay man seducing a Mormon missionary and features a pornographic love scene with the missionary (and no doubt they mentioned the gratuitous display of the sacred Temple garment). Most likely there was a link to an online petition against the movie, which I'm sure I dutifully signed.

From IMDB:
This film was originally to be shown in the "Madstone" theater in Salt Lake City, Utah (which has a heavy LDS population) on the day of its national release, but the theater pulled it a few weeks before it was scheduled to open. The reason given was that the film "lacked artistic merit", but the film's promoters contend that the theater management gave in to local pressure not to show the film due to its unflattering portrayal of the LDS Church.
From Wikipedia:
Latter Days premiered at the Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival on July 10, 2003. The audience enjoyed the film so much that they gave it a standing ovation. . . . The film had a similar reception both at Outfest a week later, and at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
It is now ranked the #3 Gay Film by the LGBT community at, and #1 among MoHos. And no, it isn't because of Prop 8.

What I had heard about this movie was completely wrong and it is full of artistic merit. Yes, "Latter Days" is about a homosexual relationship between a closeted Mormon missionary and his openly gay neighbor in his first area, but it is an honest portrayal of the plight of homosexual Mormons. Yes, it would be uncomfortable for TBMs to watch, but it does not make a mockery of the church. Homosexual Mormons, of course, will relate to the story, but so will homosexuals from any conservative religious background who have had to face the "judgments of God" from their religious communities and families. And apparently many other homosexuals relate to the openly gay neighbor as he seeks to find a something beyond himself. It is a touching love story. Available on Netflix "Watch it Now", two thumbs up, five stars, and all that.

After evaluating my own mission experiences, I can't help but reflect on how much of Latter Days could have happened to me if things had turned out only a little bit differently.

Have you seen this movie? In what ways did you relate to it?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pieces of the Past: The Mission, "It's probably nearing disaster level" (or Months 18-24)

By Mister Curie

It was only after my disaffection that I was able to see a pattern in my life indicating that I was not strictly heterosexual. This is part of a series of posts as I try to account for all the pieces to the puzzle of my sexual orientation. By documenting the pieces of the puzzle, I hope to be able to put the picture together. Only by being as completely honest with myself as I can will I be able to understand who I am. This sixth post in the series will deal with months 18-24 of my mission.

The reprieve from the difficulties focusing and "Satan's temptations" were not to last. Two companions later, I developed another crush on a companion. I was with the favorite companion of my mission. We were together for five months and got along great, probably too great in fact. We were emotionally very close and the other companionships in the district starting calling us a "married couple," largely due to our frequent mini-arguments and "lover spats." It probably only confirmed this impression of a married couple when we used our extra Missionary Support Funds to purchase a waffle iron and new pots and pans. We very nearly purchased new carpet for our apartment as well (we got ample Missionary Support Funds and the economy of the country was declining so we got progressively more money as we exchanged dollars for the local currency). I again became distracted by sexual thoughts, had a supercharged libido, and turned to masturbation. It was nearly impossible for me to admit that I was in love with my companion and what that would mean to me, although my journal entries clearly document that I was getting close to understanding that I was homosexual.

About two months into our companionship we started wrestling. The first time, I recorded in my journal:

Last night, Elder ****** got me out of my bad mood by getting me involved in a wrestling/tickling match. It was pretty fun and we had a good companionship bonding moment.

I loved the close contact our wrestling provided and frequently became aroused during our wrestling. The repressed sexual attraction made working together difficult. I recorded a few days after our first wrestling match:

We haven't been working very well and we've been getting offended a bit and getting angry at each other. The reason is that I haven't been trying to do work, or be one, or to work with him. I've just been thinking about him and we've been wrestling and tickling each other.
With such strong attraction, I began to see that I was compartmentalizing my life, although I had a very negative view of the homosexual feelings I was repressing, writing:

It seems like I'm developing two faces. I have the mask of a missionary and one of a sinner. These masks even affect my thoughts. When I put on the missionary mask, my thoughts improve, I judge others of things that even I do, and I focus more. My sinner mask mostly comes on when I'm left to myself and then my mind wanders to hidden realms, forbidden. I feel like a cavern of darkness is opening inside my ind and that I'm being sucked in.
I need to close that cavern and focus my thoughts on good things. . . I need to stop before things get too bad. I don't feel much like a missionary and my mind is easily distracted now - I've allowed it to roam without constraints for too long.
But our companionship also seemed to be going very well and I was intoxicated by my love for my companion. A few days later, my journal entry reads like I am describing a date:

We got some ice cream and had a nice walk home in the evening. We rough-housed and had tickling fights and kept playing human bumper cars with each other. I felt like a little kid again. . . . We had fun. Then we got home and talked a little bit. It's a pretty weird thought the he's a cowboy. I never would've become friends with a cowboy, but now we're the best of companions. Life is looking pretty good right now.
The next day I recorded:

We were pretty tired from our late night. We had companionship wrestling last night and were worn out.
Our interactions with each other became more intimate. We often put our arms around each other's shoulders when doing companionship study in the morning, or while kneeling side by side at our beds with our legs and sides touching to pray at night. We also regularly gave each other hugs before going to bed. My mission pictures of us together always have our arms around each other, or sitting close to each other touching. One photo even has us practically cuddling on the couch after having eaten a large meal at a member's house. I definitely used the constant counsel that we love our companions to deny that anything inappropriate might be developing between us.

The wrestling continued. A couple days later I wrote:

I wasted Companionship study time with wrestling. It was fun, but I think that I'm beginning to waste a lot of time with this desire to wrestle. I don't know why. I'm not even much of an athletic guy. It's pretty dumb.
Another entry records:

We woke up and had a little bit of exercise/wrestling and so we got started [with Companionship study] a bit late.
And then notes:

When we got home [this evening], we found a note on our door from the neighbor asking us to stop our morning exercises because it wakes her up and she's getting cracks in the ceiling. So it looks like we'd better stop wrestling. It's probably a good thing.
It was probably a good thing because I was getting increasingly aroused by our wrestling. I wonder what our neighbor really thought our "exercises" were.
Then my companion and I had to take a trip to the mission headquarters for a training session for mission leadership. It involved an 18 hour train ride. We sat with each other, touching as we traveled. I wrote about the trip:

The time in the train has also given me some time to think about less wholesome things. I need to focus my mind and be clean... I don't mind the train. I really like being rocked to sleep. The only problem is having too much time to think and allowing your mind to wander. I hate such problems.
The relationship I had with my companion, however, felt very wholesome and good. I believed it was just the manifestation of the pure love of Christ in our companionship. My negative journal entries actually focused much more on the evils of the desire to masturbate, or were filled with negative self-talk when I did masturbate. I did not really connect in my mind the increased desire for sexual release with the repressed sexual feelings I had for my companion.

My "wake-up call" came during a prolonged wrestling session. In my journal, I cryptically wrote:

We sat together on the couch for a couple of hours and I got four letters written. We also wrestled a little, but tried not to disturb our neighbor downstairs. I think the wrestling is getting a little bit out of hand. Actually it's probably nearing disaster level. I need to be more focused on my work. But everything was alright in the end.
What that actually meant, was that we had sat on the couch, our sides touching each other, frequently putting our arms around each other's shoulders while we were writing letters. That progressed into a wrestling session and while wrestling with my companion I could feel my body's arousal intensifying as it progressed through the natural stages of the sexual response and I felt it nearing the point of orgasm. In fact, I felt as if I was starting to ejaculate. I pulled back from the wrestling and tried to regain control. I have no idea what my companion was thinking at this. After an appropriate pause, I excused myself to go to the bathroom where I checked my garments. I had not, in fact, ejaculated, but did have large amounts of Cowper's fluid, or pre-ejaculate. I considered it disaster averted. I had not, in fact, climaxed while wrestling with my companion and had therefore not done anything wrong.

I tried to be better in the future while wrestling so as to avoid the potentially disastrous consequences. I do not know what my companion's feelings about any of this were, as we never discussed it. I don't know if he knew of my arousal or if he was also aroused during our wrestling. However, we continued to sit close to each other during companionship and personal study, prayer, etc. My journal entries record increasingly frequent episodes of bad moods on the part of both of us. I wonder if it might have been a subconscious effort on our part to keep our physical relationship at bay. It may also have resulted from the repressed sexual desire kept boiling underneath the surface. But emotionally we remained closely connected. We didn't wrestle again for about a month, but then my journal records that we started again on a second train trip we were taking to mission headquarters for another mission leadership conference. I just couldn't control the attraction I felt for my companion:

We wrestled for a little while to build up the companionship unity and then discussed concerns. It was pretty good. I hope our wrestling didn't disturb the neighbors too much... Elder ****** wanted to go to bed for the night. We rough housed for a while and then I stopped bugging him and let him go to sleep.
The day after returning from the trip, I wrote:

We came home to prepare a lesson. But I couldn't focus on it. So I ended up wasting a ton of time and bothered my companion. I wrestled with him for quite a while, which wasn't too effective. Actually, it really distracts me and wasn't good... I [again] tried to prepare a lesson ... Then Satan struck me and I fell spiritually [masturbated.] It all happens so fast, but in hindsight I could see it coming. What with all the time to think, wrestling, etc.
Here, I was finally connecting the desire for sexual release and masturbation with thinking about my companion and the arousal I experienced while we wrestled. We were nearing five months together and learned that the plan was to keep us together for another 2 months. But then a problem elsewhere in the mission necessitated an emergency transfer that pulled my companion away. I was devastated when he was transferred and cried frequently before his departure, mourning my loss.

I made it through the remaining 3 companionships of my mission without developing another crush.

After returning home with honor, I heard rumors that one of my high school friends was sent home from his mission early for homosexuality. The rumor was that he had apparently crawled into his companion's bed one night and tried to fondle him. I was never able to confirm these rumors and didn't know what, if any, church discipline he faced. I remember being shocked and thinking to myself that if things had turned out slightly differently on my mission, or if one of my companions had interpreted things slightly differently, that would have been me. But they hadn't, and I couldn't admit to myself that I was gay.

Disaster averted.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mixed Orientation Marriage - Squared

By Madame Curie

Sometimes, my husband will understands me better than I understand myself.

Last night, Mister Curie and I had a long conversation about our marriage and the role that sexual orientation plays in it. I had been expressing the concern that, with the fluctuations in the Kinsey scale that naturally occur over time, there would come a time when the idea of kissing me would be repulsive to him. This seems to be a not-uncommon occurrence in many mixed-orientation marriages (MOMs). He explained that he had never been repulsed by me physically, although at times (particularly at the early stages of our marriage) he has been frequently less interested in love-making than I. He then flipped the question to me, asking what I expected the outcome would be if my Kinsey scale shifted rightward again. I started answering the question.

And then... it hit me.

I finally grasped what the "unknown fear" in my future was. I conceptualized what I was worried he would feel towards me.

Before I joined the LDS Church, I was exclusively attracted to women. And I was grossed out when I was physically/sensually involved with any guy. I had forgotten (blocked?) that from my memory. I had forgotten how repulsed and nauseous I often felt while making out with my ex-boyfriends. I had forgotten how those experiences weren't something I had looked forward to with men. They were things that I endured because it was expected, but I never liked it.

I had forgotten how worried I was in the early days of our relationship that I wouldn't want to kiss Mr. C (sorry, honey!). I remember that now. I specifically remember that I was consciously worried about his trying to kiss me when we went on our first road trip together to the Hill Cumorah Pageant, because I didn't think I could without being grossed out again.

Amazingly to me, I actually really liked kissing him - I was surprised by that.

I was also worried on our honeymoon whether I would suddenly stop desiring him. In the past, anticipating the sexual activity was always so much more powerful than actual kissing or touching with men - making out with my boyfriends was always either boring or nauseating. And when the real stuff started, I would always, always, always be repulsed.

Mr. C got an email last night from a fellow MoHo who has been following our blog, and in his response to him, Mr. C wrote:

Navigating our MOM is sure to be an interesting experience, although as I'm still coming out to myself I haven't had to think too much about it yet. Our MOM, while similar to other MOMs in many ways, may also be unique because my wife is lesbian. She describes her sexuality as being incidentally sexual, but from her stories she is essentially only attracted to females (had a girlfriend in high school) and has been repulsed by most men she has dated. I am her exception. She was a convert to the church in college and church dogma convinced her to date only men and she convinced herself that she was becoming more heterosexual. She did not tell me that she was attracted to women until after we had been married for some time...

She claims that she highly suspected I was gay while we were dating, but that it was confirmed to her within the first year of our marriage... She thought it was awesome because she had always wanted to be married to a gay man. Now she is facing the fear that when you marry a gay man, you also face the possibility of only being a "place holder" until the right man comes along. I am gay, but I am attracted to my wife (she is quite possibly my exception as well, or it may be that when I become emotionally close to a person, my feelings of attraction follow). I was never repulsed by
women, I just wasn't interested in them very much.
Have you ever had those moments where you are trying desperately to understand something about yourself, and then someone else explains you to you? This email did that for me.

I hope that he doesn't suddenly become repulsed by me. I hope I am truly his exception.

Pieces of the Past: The Mission, "I'm not here for this!" (or months 12-18)

By Mister Curie

It was only after my disaffection that I was able to see a pattern in my life indicating that I was not strictly heterosexual. This is part of a series of posts as I try to account for all the pieces to the puzzle of my sexual orientation. By documenting the pieces of the puzzle, I hope to be able to put the picture together. Only by being as completely honest with myself as I can will I be able to understand who I am. This fifth post in the series will deal with months 12-18 of my mission.

I wrote in my journal:

Things have been pretty tough since the new year began. I hate it when things get tough in the way that these things got tough. What caused it? I can't even put my finger down on the cause. It's been bad. I've been wasting 20 days of my mission. Lame! . . . I need to stop thinking about other things, stop letting eyes and mind wander, and stop repairing and repenting when I should be clean and serving the Lord. I'm not here for this!

What I am cryptically writing about was a difficulty to keep my mind focused on missionary work. My mind was constantly on sexy thoughts and my libido was super-charged, such that I was actively looking for sexual explicit or sexually charged pictures whenever we were out. These types of images were plentiful on magazine's displayed in roadside stands. The majority of the pictures were female, but it wasn't so much what the image was (although I'm sure I would have preferred male images), but that the images made me think sexy thoughts. After having kept myself from pornography and masturbation to be clean for my mission and keeping myself that way for the first year of my mission, suddenly I was actively looking for incidental pornographic images and I began to masturbate again. I couldn't understand why I suddenly had these strong urges. Looking back on the journal entries in the three weeks leading up to this, however, and the added perspective of time and a better understanding of my sexual orientation, it becomes obvious that I had a huge crush on my companion. While I couldn't admit it to myself at the time, these strong urges were a manifestation of my internalized sexual attraction to my companion and were an attempt to relieve those pent up feelings.

I was training a greenie and he was really cute. I have a picture of him that I remember thinking was absolutely adorable, although I didn't realize (or couldn't admit to myself) that my feelings were of a sexual nature. We had a great companionship and got along very well. He was very dependent on me as his trainer and I felt a strong connection to him. Things began to get difficult over the New Year holiday when we were ordered to stay in our apartment for two days to avoid the potentially dangerous street conditions of drunken New Year revelry. While you are always with your companion 24 hours a day as a missionary, something about 48 hours alone in the apartment without contact with anyone else allowed my innate attraction for my companion to blossom.

A couple days later I wrote:

Today was tough to stay focused. I don't know why, but Satan sure is working hard on me. . . The bus ride was so crowded, everyone all squished together. Elder ****** was practically spooning me because of so many people.

However, I believe I intentionally mis-recorded events to hide the attraction I felt for my companion and to remove responsibility from myself. How I actually recall events, the bus was crowded when we got on and was standing room only. While traveling to a fairly distant destination, the bus got progressively more crowded and eventually everyone was pressed up against everyone else. I was pressed up close to my companion and was behind him. I felt my body begin to respond to the close contact. I tried to shift my body, but only ended up spooning him closer (the bus was really crowded). I tried to mentally will my erection away, but it only seemed to get stronger. I hoped and prayed that my companion would think it was my Book of Mormon poking him from behind. He never said anything about it.

I also noted in the same journal entry that we later went tracting and were invited into an apartment where there was a large poster of male pornography hanging on the wall. It was a huge temptation for me and I tried to avoid looking at it.

In the next day's journal entry I describe my companion in endearing terms and compare him to a little puppy. I was enamored.

The next day we were cleaning our apartment and I found a stack of pornographic magazines in the closet (I assumed they belonged to the people we were renting the apartment from as our apartments came fully furnished and often had the belongings of our landlords in them, perhaps it was naive of me.) I tried not to look at the magazines and put them into a box so that I wouldn't stumble across them unintentionally, but I didn't feel free to throw them away because I assumed they belonged to the landlord. I think the magazines had pictures of naked couples and it was hard for me to not think about the magazines sitting in our closet. Combining the pornographic images with my repressed desire for my companion was a difficult situation. I ended up masturbating for the first time in a couple of years. I wrote an anguished journal entry and worried about being sent home.

The masturbation, however, apparently didn't relieve the attraction I felt for my companion. Later that day I wrote:

We ended up wasting time [at the apartment] and I gave Elder ****** a back massage to help him study, a mistake! I had to push myself to go out and work after that.

I am sure that my mentioning that giving my companion a back massage was a mistake was due to my becoming aroused while giving him the massage. I also noted on a different day that I gave him a good backscratching. I suspect I also got aroused during that.

I was constantly distracted by my repressed feelings and had a hard time thinking clearly. I even recorded that I almost got hit by a car because I stepped into traffic without looking because my mind was distracted by looking for pornography at the street vendors. A few days later I accidentally cut myself with a knife because my mind was distracted by my repressed sexuality. I started to have difficulty sleeping, recording:

Last night was a pretty rough night. I didn't get a lot of sleep. I hate waking up often during the night. I don't understand it. Satan sure is tricky in his work.

I am sure I was distracted by my desire for my companion and that I would wake up and stare at him sleeping in the bed next to mine. I developed this theory that if Satan was tempting me, his presence might also be causing temptation for my companion. I began to wonder if he was having difficulties with keeping his thoughts properly focused or if he was also being tempted to masturbate. This allowed me to think of him masturbating and was another highly distracting thought.

Luckily I was transferred a couple of days later, and suddenly the difficulty focusing and all of "Satan's temptations" disappeared as I was not attracted to my new companion.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pieces of the Past: The Mission, "Leading it to paths I'd rather avoid" (or Year One)

By Mister Curie

It was only after my disaffection that I was able to see a pattern in my life indicating that I was not strictly heterosexual. This is part of a series of posts as I try to account for all the pieces to the puzzle of my sexual orientation. By documenting the pieces of the puzzle, I hope to be able to put the picture together. Only by being as completely honest with myself as I can will I be able to understand who I am. This fourth post in the series will deal with the first year of my mission.

I think missions can be particularly difficult for the homosexual. All day, every day, is spent with with other men and specifically avoiding women. You are told to love your companion and love for one's companion is a highly prized attribute. As I mentioned in my previous post, it can also be compared as preparation for marriage.

I think these puzzle pieces will begin to define the picture of my sexual orientation, perhaps we are finally getting to the corner and edge pieces. Dump, dump, dump . . .

I entered the MTC and was shocked to discover that we had communal showers. After my fears concerning communal showers had been relieved concerning the BYU dorms, it never crossed my mind that there would be communal showers at the MTC. They came to be known in my MTC district as the "Tree of Life" due to their construction of a single pole with shower heads protruding from it. I woke up thirty minutes earlier than required at the MTC so that I could avoid the traumatic experience of a communal shower. I also discovered that there was a separate handicap shower in the bathroom, which I used. However, that didn't stop me from finding reasons to wander into the bathroom later in the morning, when everyone else was communally showering, to watch.

After having been in the MTC for 4 weeks, a new batch of elders arrived, and a rumor erupted that one of the new Elders would tap dance naked in the bathroom because of the great acoustics. There definitely was a tap-dancing Elder in the new group. However, I never found him to be naked when I wandered into the bathroom while he was tap dancing . . .

Out of the MTC and in the real world, I had a difficult time transitioning to missionary work, due to my introverted nature. It became particularly difficult with my second companion, who was also a fairly young missionary, because he wanted me to take more responsibility in the companionship. We actually had a great companionship and became quite good friends. After one particularly difficult morning tracting, he offered to give me a blessing. After the blessing, he gave me a hug, and it felt wonderful. It felt very much like the good-bye hugs I got from my best friend when I left for BYU. The hug actually made me feel much better than the blessing. A few days later, I asked for another blessing, probably because I knew I would get another hug afterwards. Although I didn't admit it at the time, I suspect I allowed myself to have difficult days on my mission, just so I could convince him that I needed a blessing (and a hug). Admitting that, now I feel manipulative . . .

I served in a Russian speaking mission under a Russian-born mission president. He was excited for us to learn about the Russian culture and encouraged us to participate more fully in it. While with my second companion, our zone planned a trip to the Russian bath house. Basically the Russian bath house experience consists of a sauna, where you sit around naked with the other guys until you sweat your brains out, and then you go jump into a cold pool of water. Then you return to the sauna to repeat the process again and again. This supposedly removes the impurities from your body. To help get those toxins out, you also take damp branches that are covered with leaves and hit each other with them while you are in the sauna. I was very nervous about the trip, and the majority of the Elders were completely naked. Luckily there were several who wore shorts the entire time (perhaps they were also gay?), so I didn't feel too uncomfortable leaving mine on and participating in the festivities (although I had fully planned on forgoing the sauna and shower just so I could keep my shorts on). I still spent a good amount of the time indulging my curiosity and enjoying the view of the naked elders, with the shorts hiding the evidence of my arousal. (As an aside, I later learned that the main organizer for these trips to the Russian Bath house was actually a gay Elder in our mission who wanted to get the naked men together). After the trip to the Russian bath house, I wrote in my journal:
Satan was working really hard on me today. But it was from a different, older approach. He wasn't working so hard with fear and depression but rather with my mind's focus and leading it to paths I'd rather avoid. I had to pray several times for divine help to avoid temptation.
My fifth companion and I also had a great companionship. We worked hard and tried to include the Lord in all of our decisions. This companion was also a very touchy companion and gave me regular hugs. I really enjoyed his hugs. My companion was Zone Leader and always going on splits with other companionships and making overnight trips to a distant city in our zone to conduct baptismal interviews. It was probably a good thing that we weren't able to spend more time together.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pieces of the Past: College, Pre-mission

By Mister Curie

It was only after my disaffection that I was able to see a pattern in my life indicating that I was not strictly heterosexual. This is part of a series of posts as I try to account for all the pieces to the puzzle of my sexual orientation. By documenting the pieces of the puzzle, I hope to be able to put the picture together. Only by being as completely honest with myself as I can will I be able to understand who I am. This third post in the series will deal with BYU my freshman year.

Shake, shake, shake. Out come more puzzle pieces . . .

Leading up to my departure to BYU I had several "good-bye" parties with friends. These invariable ended with giving hugs to everyone. I particularly enjoyed giving hugs to my best friend. He was at several of these parties and it was always the highlight of the evening. I assumed it was due to the close nature of our friendship, and maybe it was, but now I am forced to wonder. It wasn't a sexually charged hug, but I did feel a sense of giddiness after each hug, a lightness in my step, and a feeling that the world was a better place for having received that hug. I looked forward to each event that I knew he would be at, because I could anticipate a hug at the end of it.

I officially moved out on my 18th birthday and moved into the BYU dorms. On the drive there, I suddenly realized that I didn't know what life was like in the dorms. My thoughts fixated on the showering situation, did they have communal showers in the dorms? I'm sure I convinced myself that I was concerned about privacy, but my previous communal showering concerns of being made fun of and having others realize I was aroused by men played into it. I must have expressed these concerns somewhat forcefully to my mom, who was traveling with me. When we arrived at the dorms, she rolled down the car window and yelled out at one of the students exiting the dormitory, "What are the showers like in the dorms, are they communal or private?" I was mortified! But the student's confused response was reassuring, "They are private."

I was homesick at BYU. Anticipating this, I had prepared a photo album of family and friends to look. I regularly pulled the album out and stared at the pictures. I suspect I looked at the picture of my best friend the most, although, again it wasn't in a sexual way, but a deep emotionally connected way.

Not having my best friend around to encourage me to date, my regular dating schedule screeched to a grounding halt and I didn't go on a single date my entire freshman year. I just wasn't interested in the girls. I convinced myself that I was just really focused as I prepared to go on a mission and didn't want to be distracted by girls. I did have one potential mini-crush on a girl in my study group for microbiology, but it wasn't enough to ever get me to ask her on a date.

I took a mission preparation class at BYU my second semester and the professor told us that we should look at our missions as marriage prep. Our missions would teach us about the type of person we will want to marry and give us opportunities to learn how to work through personality issues. The thought of treating my mission as marriage prep may have helped me to maintain the delusion to myself of my strict heterosexuality, despite my mission experiences . . . which is a whole new post, but I'm sure he would have been appalled to think physical attraction would have played into his marriage prep analogy.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Movie: Were the World Mine

By Mister Curie

High School Musical meets Dead Poets Society meets Rocky Horror Picture show. Ranked #8 on and #9 among MoHos, this is a very enjoyable show and belies one of my Obvious Gay Traits (OGTs), a love for musicals.

A story about an openly gay high school senior at an all boys' school who is in love with the apparently straight school jock. He is cast as Puck in the Senior play, William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. While practicing for the play, he discovers the secret formula for a love potion and sets out to make the school jock fall in love with him. Things soon get out of hand as he turns the whole town homosexual. The movie takes on the plot of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the conclusion of the high school play and the movie occurring simultaneously. It is a clever gay twist on a timeless story. The music was catchy and the singing amazing. Costuming was directly out of the counter-culture, but endearing nonetheless. Two thumbs up, five stars, etc., etc. Available on Netflix Watch it Now.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pieces of the Past: High School

By Mister Curie

It was only after my disaffection that I was able to see a pattern in my life indicating that I was not strictly heterosexual. This is part of a series of posts as I try to account for all the pieces to the puzzle of my sexual orientation. By documenting the pieces of the puzzle, I hope to be able to put the picture together. Only by being as completely honest with myself as I can will I be able to understand who I am. This second post in the series will deal with high school.

Alright, lets dump more pieces out of the puzzle box. What do we have here?

Ninth grade.

I had a crush on the girl I had previously had a crush on in 2nd grade. Our group of friends had a "Secret Santa" group among ourselves and I was excited to draw her name. I went a bit overboard trying to make her feel special with all the "Secret Santa" gifts I got her.

Our family also got a personal computer (a fancy 386), which brought in the internet, and exposure to pornography for the curious teenager. One afternoon when my parents were gone, my curiosity got the better of me and I looked for some porn. The internet was pretty new back then and most of the pornography was in pay-to-view sites, so there were just "teaser" photos on the portals to the sites, and I wasn't willing to pay. The female images were somewhat arousing (probably due to the forbidden nature of pornography), but quickly became boring. I quickly clicked through several sites looking for something more exciting. I stumbled across some sites with heterosexual couples, but was always disappointed that the male anatomy was blurred out. My guilt quickly overcame my curiosity and I stopped looking. I didn't know about browser histories and my parents soon confronted me about it. I lied about visiting the sites. Either I was a successful liar or the cognitive-dissonance was too great for them to believe their "perfect" son had looked at porn, and they believed me. I think Grizz's friend was ultimately blamed for the browser history.

Occasionally my curiosity or my libido would be stronger than the guilt and I'd go back on the internet to look at what else was there. Somehow in my mind I convinced myself that the pornography we were told to avoid by church leaders only applied to naked women and it was okay as long as I wasn't really looking at the women and I just wanted to see the men. I remembered to delete the browser history. Sometimes when I would start to question my sexual orientation, I would look at the female porn to ensure that I could have a physical response to women, but I think that was usually an excuse to try and find more men to look at when my rationalization that it is "only pornography if it is women" failed.

We also had cable television, but none of the premium channels with late-night adult programming. However, I discovered that if I flipped the channels on the cable box quickly, the show on the premium channel would sometimes become visible (although somewhat distorted) for a few seconds. I occasionally would stay up late, flipping around these premium channels, in an attempt to glimpse a pornographic video (the pornography I had been exposed to online was only static images). Again I recognized that I wanted to see the men, but I convinced myself that the pornography we were told to avoid only applied to women. I was usually disappointed that they didn't show male genitalia (I guess the videos were geared toward heterosexual males).

After a several year abstinence from masturbation after my first traumatic experience, I broke my vow to never masturbate again. The urge for physical release was probably a combination of raging hormones, pornography, and stress (my mom gave birth to a disabled child and life dramatically changed with lots of responsibility falling to me). My favorite place to masturbate became standing in front of the bathroom mirror. I loved looking at my naked body (not that my body was all that great looking, but I had a clear view of my penis, unlike those blurred out images on the internet or the screen cropping and blocking on the late night videos). I felt guilty afterward, but couldn't seem to control myself at times. I read some books at the library about masturbation being perfectly normal behavior, but then I would look through all the church resources we had at home (The Miracle of Forgiveness, Guide For Parents, etc.) and only find condemnation. I prayed for forgiveness and promised to never look at my naked body in the mirror again. I was grateful then for my small penis and knew that God had given me a smaller-sized penis because He knew I would be unable to control my physical desires if He had given me a larger one.

Tenth Grade.

I was in the High School band and played the Tuba. We planned a band tour to go to Seattle. My best friend's parents were divorced and his father lived in Seattle. My friend confided in me that his father was gay and that his parents had gotten a divorce because of it (I am planning a future blog post about my friend's dad with some speculation as to his backstory). My friend invited me to stay with his father while we were visiting Seattle. Somehow, I convinced my mom to agree. In Seattle I met my friend's dad, his partner who was dying from AIDS, and several of their gay friends. They showed us around the gay area of Seattle, which was filled with counter-culture. When we got back to their house, we watched "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" and they taught us all of the things you yell at the screen throughout the movie. My ears were a little burned by the obsenities and I was uncomfortable. There were two decorations in the house that caught my attention. The first, was a picture on the wall of my friend's dad's partner dressed in drag, which I thought was just weird. The second, was a small statue of a naked man that my friend covered with a hat when we came into the house, but which I was intensely curious to look at. The trip did two contradictory things for my perception of homosexuals. (1) By meeting homosexuals in real life, and knowing that my best friend's father was gay, I no longer feared homosexuals the way I felt the church taught me to. When I heard others spout homophobic statements, I could think of actual people I met on the band trip to Seattle, and be more reasonable in my approach to homosexual issues. (2) On the other hand, I did not identify with the counter-culture and the trip further convinced me that I was not gay.

While also on this band tour, a flute player in the band (who I was aware liked me) and I paired off in a band tour romance, as is typical. We sat next to each other on the bus and talked a lot. My best friend kept pressuring me to hold her hand, but I was somewhat shy about doing so. Eventually near the end of the band trip I did hold her hand and I enjoyed it, however I did not want to hold hands in public (to her dismay). We stayed good friends after the band tour and began to talk on the phone every day after school for long hours, much to my family's horror, as they wanted to use the phone. However, we did not start to date until I turned 16.

Eleventh Grade.

My mother was quite protective of her son and did not want me pairing off so early in my dating, so she requested that I go on a date with a different girl between each date with the flute player. I soon found that the flute player had a very jealous streak, and I also found dating other girls to be quite enjoyable. These were purely platonic dates, no holding hands, goodnight kisses, or even usually hugs at the end of the date. They were not much more than planned group hang-outs with an even number of guys and girls. My best friend was a very prolific dater and was always happy to have someone to double with. He often pressured me to find a date so we could all do something together, as his parents preffered him to double date as well. Dating other boys didn't even cross my mind as a possibility, but I probably went on more dates doubling with my best friend than I went on dates with any other girl, and I also probably paid more attention to my best friend than I did to my dates when we were together.

Band tour this year was to San Francisco, although I did not see the homosexual counter-culture while we were there. I was still semi-officially "going out" with the flute player, just with required dates with another person in between each of our dates. We obviously paired off for another Band Tour Romance. My best friend was appalled that I had not yet kissed the flute player, as it had been an entire year since we held hands. He put on the pressure to kiss her. I eventually caved to the pressure and we kissed while on band tour. It was enjoyable and I had a physiologic response.

At some point in the relationship I decided that I no longer wanted to be the flute player's boyfriend (maybe it was my homosexuality asserting itself as our relationship got more physical, maybe it was just the typical intransience of an early romance, I don’t know). Although I didn’t want to be her boyfriend anymore, I did want to remain her friend. I still wanted to do stuff with her, I just didn’t want there to be the boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. I figured out in my mind that the only way to get her to remain my friend after breaking up was if she decided that she was the one who wanted to break up with me. Then it wouldn’t be my fault, I couldn’t be to blame, and she would have to accept my offer of friendship. I remember spending many Saturdays at the park, making out, but it was no longer enjoyable for me. We would kiss and in my head I would be plotting how to get her to break up with me, there was no physiologic response.

At the beginning of the summer after 11th grade, I was invited to attend Boys State, where we were housed in Army barracks with tons of other young men. The showers were group showers and I refused to shower in them the whole week, again convincing myself that I was afraid I would be made fun of for my small penis, but probably also afraid my erection would give away my attraction to men. I did enjoy going into the bathroom in the morning as others got ready so that I could look at all the naked men. I would take my time brushing my teeth and getting ready after I was fully dressed so that I could enjoy the sights. There were penises of all shapes and sizes!

While at Boys State I developed a nearly instant affinity for one of the guys in my barrack, I now recognize it as a crush, but didn't call it that back then. I think I recognized that he was very cute. We hung out a lot during the week and I often found myself staring at him and daydreaming about him. When the week was over, I was quite sad to have to part.

While also at Boys State, I heard a rumor that one of the neighboring barracks had a masturbation party one night. One one hand I was glad that it wasn't my barrack, but on the other hand I wanted to have been there to watch everyone masturbating. This rumor disconnected the thought in my mind of group masturbating being a homosexual activity (although I never actually participated in group masturbation, I would sometimes think about it).

Later in the summer, after Boys State was over, we had several sleep overs of just guys at various friends houses. I would sometimes fantasize that we would have a group masturbation session at these sleepovers, but no one ever brought it up and I certainly wouldn't have. Also, in my mind, I knew masturbation was evil, and I was thoroughly convinced that I was probably the only person in my group of friends that had a difficult time avoiding masturbating, and I didn't want to reveal my sinful nature.

By the end of the summer, I was convinced that my girlfriend was not going to break up with me. I eventually decided that if I wanted out, I would have to call off the relationship, even if she didn’t want to remain friends afterwards. I eventually worked up the courage to do it. I called her up and told her that I no longer wanted to be her boyfriend. It was a great relief to be out of the relationship. BTW, she did still want to be friends.

Twelvth Grade.

I still dated a lot my senior year. Again, the dating was purely platonic, with the occasional good-night hug at the end of the date. The dates were probably as much an excuse to be able to hang out with my best friend as anything else.

There was one week that I spent the entire week at my best friend's house while his parents were away on a hunting trip and they didn't want him to be alone at home the entire time. I probably developed a bit of a crush on him at that point, just because of spending so much time with him. I do remember specifically thinking at one point during that week that if he asked me to masturbate with him, I would in a heart beat.

So those are all the high school puzzle pieces. The picture still isn't fully clear, but perhaps we're beginning to get a general inclination of things. . .

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pieces of the Past: Early Childhood

By Mister Curie

It was only after my disaffection that I was able to see a pattern in my life indicating that I was not strictly heterosexual. This is part of a series of posts as I try to account for all the pieces to the puzzle of my sexual orientation. By documenting the pieces of the puzzle, I hope to be able to put the picture together. Only by being as completely honest with myself as I can will I be able to understand who I am. This first post in the series will deal with my early childhood. Many of these experiences are a bit hazy in my mind and it is difficult to separate what I was feeling and experiencing at the time in contrast to what I later convinced myself I must be feeling. I am sure there will be future progress in understanding what these early experiences say about me and how these early experiences shaped me.
I will seek to include all the puzzle pieces that may be relevant, although I understand that I may be including non-relevant puzzle pieces.

WARNING: This particular warning is meant for my brother, Grizz Curie. I will be discussing some potentially disturbing elements from my childhood. I do not know if you went through similar experiences or if you have come to peace with such things. This is just a warning for you, if you have unresolved feelings about experiences toward some extended family members, this post may bring back some memories. Proceed with caution. If something does come up, I am happy to discuss it with you. You know how to contact me.

Alright, lets dump some pieces out of the puzzle box. I'll try to sort through them in as chronological order as possible.

My female cousin who is a couple of years older than me was sexually abused by her father. She introduced me to the "penis game", which I am sure she learned from her father. I don't really recall what the "penis game" consisted of, other than it took place in the back bedroom at my Grandmother's house, and I think it involved my cousin touching my penis. It might have involved me touching her with my penis. I remember her telling me one day that we could no longer play the "penis game" because she was now 8 years old and baptized and it was wrong to keep playing it. I think I was disappointed. I know that she also played the "penis game" with her younger brother who is about my age because he once told me years later that she did and that it was sick and wrong. I was embarrased about it because I also knew it was wrong. I don't think we ever played the "penis game" with the three of us together. I don't know if she played the "penis game" with Grizz Curie.

When I went and visited some younger female cousins from the other side of the family, I introduced them to the "penis game". I was probably only 4-5 years old. I feel really bad about having done that. I hope their lives haven't been messed up because of it. I don't think I played the "penis game" with any of my male cousins.

However, my mom babysat a boy about my age. I think I was about 5 at this point, and we were probably in kindergarten. We played the "penis game" together in the closet of our basement playroom. With this male friend, the "penis game" definitely involved touching each others' genitals, touching each other with our penises, and we each put our penis in the other person's mouth and sucked on it. Grizz Curie was watching cartoons in the playroom while we played in the closet. My mom came downstairs to check on us and found us in the closet with our pants down. I don't think she knew the full extent of our activities. Luckily, she did not freak out. She simply told us that we should not touch each others "private parts." I think that ended playing the "penis game". I'm sure my mom's response made the experience much less traumatic than it could have been.

Sometime later we had a male babysitter. I remember that he pulled down his pants and showed me (maybe also Grizz?) his penis. I don't remember if he did anything else with his penis. I don't think he touched my penis. This same babysitter did draw pictures of penises on the people in a drawing I had made. The penises were peeing. I am sure that I told my mom about the pictures and him showing us his penis. He never babysat us again and I'm sure my mom talked with his mother.

I don't know how or if these experiences impacted my sexuality. I'll probably never know. If anything, I would think the "penis game" with a female cousin would have pushed me toward heterosexuality instead of homosexuality. I think I am at peace with these experiences. I understand that my cousin was sexually abused and didn't mean to hurt me. I understand that my other experiences were simply childhood early age experimentation. I really do hope my younger female cousins also understand that.

When growing up I really liked rainbows, unicorns, and care bears (actually I still really like rainbows and putting colors in rainbow order). Once while on a family vacation when I was about 4 I really wanted my mom to buy me a child make-up kit. I think I threw a temper tantrum until she bought it. She told me to keep it hidden so that the other kids wouldn't make fun of me. Several years later (when I was probably around 10) my mom had a make-up party at her house with several ladies from the ward (Avon maybe?). They decided to (or maybe I convinced them) to practice putting their make-up on me. They all told me how beautiful I was. In 6th grade I dressed up as a girl for Halloween. (I really don't have a fetish for cross-dressing, I promise, and I don't think cross-dressing and wearing make-up a couple of times when I was growing up made me gay, but they may be pieces to the puzzle, so I include them).

I had several crushes growing up. In preschool I had a crush on two different girls that my mom babysat. I also had, what I think I would describe now, as a crush on my best male friend in 1st grade. I idolized everything he did. He also liked Care Bears. I was devastated when his family moved away. I think my feelings for this friend were stronger than my feelings for the girls I had crushes on. Most of my childhood I was more comfortable around girls. I enjoyed hanging out with the girls all through elementary school much more than with the boys. I had a crush on a girl in 2nd grade. At the store I found a fancy tropical drink cup with spots for two straws at the top. I got my mom to buy the cup and then when the girl came over to play one day, we watched a movie and drank soda from the cup together. I was not coordinated at sports and did not enjoy playing them.

On another family trip when I was about 12 (I think?), I went into an older female cousin's room and she had a poster on her wall of a man from the waist down in his underwear with the words "the bulge" emblazoned across the top of the poster. I couldn't stop staring at that poster and "the bulge".

I was first introduced, I believe accidentally, to pornography at my cousins' house, when I was around 12 years old. We were watching a non-pornographic movie that my cousin had borrowed from a friend's house, who supposedly had borrowed from another friend, who had recorded a movie from TV on the tape. These were the VCR tapes that held up to 6 hours of footage. When the first movie got over (the one we were intending to see), we unsuspectingly started watching the second movie on the tape. Shortly into the second movie, there was a sex scene where the man and woman started undressing and it showed the woman's breasts. My cousin shut off the movie. I remember replaying that scene over and over in my mind, mostly wishing that we could have played the movie a little bit longer so that I could have seen the man get fully undressed and have seen his penis.

I remember in Jr. High that a locker near mine had a picture of Cindy Crawford in a swimming suit hanging in his locker. I remember him talking about how beautiful she was. I honestly couldn't see the attraction. I think I naively told him that I didn't think she was very pretty. He may have called me gay, but I don't really remember.

What middle-school reminisces would be complete without the locker room memories? Thankfully we were not required to take showers in gym. I am sure I would have gotten an erection while showering with the other guys. I do remember trying to change as quickly as possible, and trying to look at the other guys while they were changing to see if I could get a peek at their "bulges." One kid in gym did occassionally use the showers. I would always make a point of walking past the showers on my way out of the locker room to see if he was showering and if I could get a glimpse of him (once I was safely dressed of course). At some point earlier in my life my mom had unthinkingly told me that I had a small penis when compared with my brother (Doesn't that make you feel masculine, Grizz, assuming you've read this far?). I was fairly traumatized by this statement. I definitely used this thought that I had a small penis as (1) a defense for why I didn't want to shower with other guys because they would see my small penis and make fun of me, and (2) an excuse to look at others' penises so I could compare my own with theirs.

I looked forward to going swimming at the local swimming pool for several reasons: (1) I enjoyed swimming and actually felt somewhat coordinated with swimming and almost joined the swim team in middle-school and (2) frequently the men coming from the sauna/spa area of the fitness club would shower naked in the swimming pool showers. I liked to look at their naked bodies in the shower while evidence of my arousal was protected from exposure by my swimsuit. Once Grizz noticed through my swimsuit that I had an erection and called me out on it. I denied that I had one.

It was after one trip to the swimming pool when I was just over 12 that I first consciously masturbated. Health class and my parents had warned me of the changes taking place in my body and I knew to start expecting wet dreams. But I did not expect that the wonderful feelings I was experiencing when I was masturbating was going to culminate in a gush of creamy liquid. I felt terrible when I realized what I had done and the words from "Miracle of Forgiveness" about masturbation condemned me. I was in the shower when it happened and I immediately knelt down in the shower, crying, and prayed for forgiveness. I felt convinced that I had lost my virginity. I plead for forgiveness and even offered Heavenly Father to keep from me the blessing of ever having children if He would just restore my virtue. I resolved to never masturbate again (a resolution it turns out I couldn't keep) and with an approaching baptism-for-the-dead trip, I felt that I needed to confess to my Bishop about masturbating. He was very kind and understanding and asked about what I thought led to it, and I mentioned the porn movie at my cousin's house. I did not mention that I had been more interested in seeing the man than the woman in the movie, and I don't recall connecting in my mind the fact that I had gone swimming earlier in the day, had probably seen men naked in the showers, and that those thoughts might have led to my masturbation.

So there you have it, a bunch of puzzle pieces dumped out of the box from my early childhood. Not much connecting them together. I'll guess we'll see what happens as we add more puzzle pieces. . .

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pieces of the Past: Introduction

By Mister Curie

I thought I had left cognitive dissonance behind when I decided that the world made a lot more sense if the church wasn't true. Turns out I was wrong about the cognitive dissonance being gone. After I accepted that the church wasn't true, I began to realize that I'm gay, and that has restored the cognitive dissonance.

Madam Curie is, I believe, still working on some research for a post on personality types, disaffection with the church, and subsequent faith community. From the Meyer's Briggs personality test, I am an ISTJ (but only slightly more than an INTJ). From Wikipedia:
ISTJs are faithful, logical, organized, sensible, and earnest traditionalists. They earn success by thoroughness and dependability. Shutting out distractions, they take a practical, logical approach to their endeavors. Realistic and responsible, they work steadily toward their goals. They enjoy creating order in both their professional and personal lives.
Despite their focus on their internal world, ISTJs prefer dealing with the present and the factual. Keen observers of life, they weigh various options when making decisions. ISTJs are well-prepared for most eventualities and have a good understanding of most situations. They believe in practical objectives, and they value traditions and loyalty (emphasis mine).
This describes me quite well. I like the "tried and true" method. When working in my lab, I prefer to ask around for the scientific protocol that others have used, rather than blaze my own path. So what are the traditions that shape my world view? My Mormon culture, of course, is the largest influence on my world view. Gay Mormon Boy's post this past Friday with it's sentence, "Part of us is aligned with Church teachings while the other half stands (whether it be in action or existence) in opposition to that ideal", hit me powerfully. Despite my disbelief in the LDS church, it turns out that I'm still (at least culturally) a Mormon boy at heart. I should have realized this was so. Even though I'm disaffected with the LDS church and Madam Curie no longer attends, I still attend weekly with Le Petite Curie and fulfill my calling - its tradition after all.

My Mormon world view doesn't have a place for being gay. Being gay isn't in the "program" and that caused me a lot of cognitive dissonance this past weekend. I didn't think that things relating to the church affected me anymore, but I was wrong. I have this irrational fear that due to the temporal nature of my journey, TBM family and friends are going to think that my losing faith in Mormonism gave Satan the opportunity to enter my life and turn me gay. I mean, how do you get married and not know you are gay?!?! It seems preposterous!

The answer came to me when I read Good To Be Free's aptly named post "Questions Answered" when he said:
Much of the current position of the Church with regard to homosexual attraction is fairly recent, ie early to late 90’s. Before this time, and honestly even up until now, the most comprehensive guide for dealing with homosexuality has been the book Miracle of Forgiveness. . . . I will quote a few lines, “This perversion is defined as the sexual desire for those of the same sex or sexual relations between individuals of the same sex, whether men or women. It is the sin of the ages.” And later he uses these adjectives to describe homosexuality: repugnant, deviant, unnatural, abominable, evil, ugly, and curable. To those who fail to overcome he denigrates as “weaklings.”
Good to Be Free further noted that the church's most recent resource on homosexuality is an interview with Elder Oaks and Elder Wickman which contains:
certain words used several times . . . in order of most to least used in referring to homosexual feelings: struggle used 10 times, challenge and affliction each used 5 times, problem and limitation used 2 times, and one each for not normal, infirmity, and "the problem of homosexual inclinations." There are also comparisons of homosexual feelings to alcoholism, theft, disfigurement, physical and mental disabilities, and short tempers.
I related to Good to Be Free when he stated:
Let me ask you, as an impressionable young man . . . who places all his trust in the leaders of his faith to hear himself described in such language, would he not feel unworthy of God’s love? Wouldn’t it be easier to deny that these adjectives describe yourself than admit to being the deviant that you must be? Some of the family, I’m sure, wonder why I wasn’t able to be honest with myself . . . . I hope this helps in understanding. As I developed my sense of self growing up, I could not admit to myself that I was one of these unnatural creatures. How could I be? I didn’t feel that I was, so I could not admit to myself or anyone else that I was in actuality a deviant.
I'm working on a series of posts now where I try to piece the evidence together that should have clued me into the fact that I am gay, which I will title "Pieces of the Past". It didn't start with my disaffection, I just couldn't believe that I was gay when I was TBM because the cognitive dissonance was too great.

As FireTag commented on the post, "Labels":
What struck me was not the labels, but the "vs." we automatically put between them.

Particle and wave is truth.

Particle or wave is convenient.

Particle vs. wave is usually entirely inappropriate.
My whole life it has seemed Mormons vs. Gays. Now I'm trying to be Mormon and gay. Now that's some cognitive dissonance for you.