Sunday, February 28, 2010

February Theme

By Mister Curie

I seem to be in the habit of tackling the MoHo theme on the last day of the month.

I already blogged about my first crushes here, writing:
"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."
My first male crush after puberty I blogged about here, writing:
"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."
I also blogged about crushes I had on my mission companions, here and here.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Celebrity Crush: Olympics Edition

By Mister Curie

Another Olympics edition for this week's Celebrity Crush, but I couldn't select just one Olympian to highlight.  Here's a selection of a few of the many cute Olympians.

Bode Miller:
Zach Parisse:
Chad Hedrick:
Tim Burke:

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Movie: The Itty Bitty Titty Committee

By Mister Curie

I didn't want the lesbian readers to feel left out with the new blog and Madame Curie being on a blogging break, so this week's movie is the fun, man-hating lesbian film, The Itty Bitty Titty Committee.  From IMDb:
Anna is a young lesbian high school graduate who still lives with her parents, and works as a receptionist in a plastic surgeon's office. She embarks on a wild ride when she hooks up with a cadre of ultra-radical feminist lesbians hell-bent on raising hell. But things get even more complicated when Anna falls in love with Sadie, the radical group's leader who's already involved with an older woman named Courtney.
This movie is available on Netflix "Watch Instantly" and was quite fun.  I recommend it for gays and lesbians alike.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Genetics of Homosexuality: Twin studies, part II

By Mister Curie

Please let me know if anything in this post is confusing or too technical.  I'm being trained as a geneticist and am not always sure how to write for a non-technical audience.

Having delved into the background of twin studies yesterday, today we will review the latest and most informative twin studies of homosexuality.

Archives of General Psychiatry, 1991, Volume 48, pages 1089-1096

Homosexuals were recruited through advertisements in gay magazines asking for the participation of homosexuals with twins or adopted brothers.  161 homosexuals responded, 115 with twin brothers and 46 with adoptive brothers.  Homosexuals were also asked about the existence of non-twin, related brothers.  Relatives were contacted to determine their sexual orientation.  Relatives and homosexuals were asked if they considered themselves "homosexual/gay, bisexual, or heterosexual" and were given a Kinsey assessment of sexual fantasy and behavior.

For identical twins: 29/56 of the twins were also homosexual (52%)
For fraternal twins: 12/52 of the twins were also homosexual (22%)
For related, non-twin brothers: 13/142 of the brothers were also homosexual (9%)
For adopted brothers: 6/57 of the brothers were also homosexual (11%)

From our discussion yesterday, these data suggest a genetic contribution to homosexuality because the identical twins are more likely than fraternal twins to both be homosexual.  We also see evidence for a shared uterine environment because the fraternal twins are more likely to both be homosexual than the related, non-twin siblings.  We also see evidence for a shared environmental effect because the adopted brothers and non-twin brothers are similarly likely to be homosexual and this is above the population rate of homosexuality of ~5%.  The study ended up estimating that the genetic contribution to homosexuality ranged between 31%-74%, with 17%-69% coming from unique environmental effects, and 0%-23% coming from shared environmental effects.

The biggest criticism of this study is that the participation rate may be influenced by whether or not the homosexual has a homosexual sibling and so that could affect the estimated rates of homosexuality in the different groups, however as long as there was no difference between whether someone decided to participate based on whether they had an identical twin vs a fraternal twin, the basic conclusions still stand.  Another criticism is that only male twins were analyzed. 

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2000, Volume 78, pages 524-536

The study contacted twins who joined the volunteer Australian Twin Registry and asked for information on sexual orientation and Kinsey assessment.  9,112 twin pairs were contacted and 4,901 (54%) completed the questionnaires.  In the end, there were 312 male identical twin pairs, 182 male fraternal twin pairs, 668 female identical twin pairs, 376 female fraternal twin pairs, and 353 opposite-sex fraternal twin pairs, where both twins in the pair had completed the questionnaire.  Pairs were analyzed based on Kinsey scores.

39/299 male identical twin pairs had at least one homosexual twin, with 9/39 having both twins being homosexual (37.5%).  31/177 male fraternal twin pairs had at least one homosexual twin with 1/31 having both twins being homosexual (6.3%).  79/618 female identical twin pairs had at least one homosexual twin, with 14/75 having both twins being homosexual (30.1%).  45/338 female fraternal twin pairs had at least one homosexual twin, with 8/37 having both twins being homosexual (30.2%).

This data again supports a genetic basis for male homosexuality with identical twins being more likely to both be homosexual than fraternal twins, but not for female homosexuality where both identical and fraternal twins are equally likely to both be homosexual.  The study estimated for male homosexuality it is 45% genetic, 0% shared environment, and 55% unique environment.  For female homosexuality it is 8% genetic, 41% shared environment, and 50% unique environment.  Confidence intervals contained 0 in all of the estimates, except for unique environment estimates.

This study overcame the prior criticism of selective recruitment by using a national database of twins, however the number of homosexuals is low in the population, so most of the twin groups were actually smaller than in the first study, which leads to less precision in the estimates of genetic and environmental effects.

Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2010, Volume 39, pages 75-80

The Swedish Twin registry records all twin births in Sweden and is the largest population register of twins in the world.  21,481 men and 21,607 women were contacted to participate in the study with 11,229 men and 14,096 women actually taking the survey.  The survey had no question about self-defined sexual orientation, instead it asked about whether one had ever been sexually together with a person of the same gender and how many different partners the person had been with of the same gender over the course of their lifetime.  In the end, there were 807 male identical twin pairs, 517 male fraternal twin pairs, 1,513 female identical twin pairs, and 989 female fraternal twin pairs, where both twins in the pair completed the survey.  Pairs were analyzed based on whether they had ever had a same-sex partner over the course of their entire lives.

71/807 male identical twin pairs had at least one homosexual twin, with 7/71 having both twins being homosexual (10%).  53/517 male fraternal twin pairs had at least one homosexual twin with 3/53 having both twins being homosexual (6%).  214/1513 female identical twin pairs had at least one homosexual twin, with 26/214 having both twins being homosexual (12%).  140/989 female fraternal twin pairs had at least one homosexual twin, with 13/140 having both twins being homosexual (9%).

This data again supports a genetic basis for male homosexuality with identical twins being more likely to both be homosexual than fraternal twins, and some support for female homosexuality  being genetic with identical twins have a slightly higher rate of shared homosexuality than fraternal twins.  The study estimated for male homosexuality it is 39% genetic, 0% shared environment, and 61% unique environment.  For female homosexuality it is 19% genetic, 17% shared environment, and 64% unique environment.  Confidence intervals contained 0 in all of the estimates, except for unique environment estimates.

This study also avoided the criticism of selective recruitment by using a national database of twins, however even using the largest population registry of twins in the entire world, most of the twin groups were not much larger than in the first study due to the small numbers of homosexuals in the population, so estimates of genetic and environmental effects on homosexuality are still less precise than we might hope.  This study also used sexual behavior rather than sexual orientation.   As previously discussed on my blog, this is an imprecise measure due to straight men that have sex with other men and gay men who have not had sex with men (like me). This may also have contributed to the lower estimates of homosexuality in this study.


The definitive twin study has not been performed and the data can be interpreted to support those who think there is and those who think there is not a genetic basis for homosexuality.  Although limited by size, all three studies support a genetic influence to male heterosexuality (39%-74%) with a smaller genetic contribution for female homosexuality (8%-19%). Shared environmental effects appear to be nearly non-existent in contributing to male homosexuality, but are more pronounced for female homosexuality (17%-41%).  However, the confidence interval includes 0 in the estimates of the genetic contribution to homosexuality.  Both male and female homosexuality appear to be strongly influenced by unique environmental effects, and it is only the unique environmental effects that can be definitively identified as contributing to homosexuality in the large, population based studies.  Due to the small number of homosexuals in the general population, even larger studies are needed to more precisely define the genetic and environmental contributions to homosexuality.  It would also be nice to have a twin study with twins separated at birth to better tease apart the genetic and environmental contributions to homosexuality.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Genetics of Homosexuality: Twin Studies, part I

By Mister Curie

Please let me know if anything in this post is confusing or too technical.  I'm being trained as a geneticist and am not always sure how to write for a non-technical audience.

I found the results of my poll on whether scientists should study the genetics of homosexuality to be quite interesting.  While I received several comments on the post cautioning against the study of homosexuality genetics and describing the ways in which such research could be misused, when forced to choose one or the other, 90% (28 votes) thought that scientists should study the genetics of homosexuality, while only 10% (3 votes) believed that scientists should not.  This tells me that even though people are nervous about the implications of such research, most of my readers that voted are interested in learning more about the genetics of homosexuality, and that many would also be interested in a discussion of the ethical concerns raised by such research.  I am looking forward to working on several series of future posts to address these different interests.

Before delving into the details, a bit of background is probably required.  Homosexuality is complex and influenced by both genes and the environment.  When scientists first want to understand the relative contributions of genes and environment to the outcome of interest, they often turn to families and in particular, families with twins.  The first thing to investigate is whether the outcome of interest (such as homosexuality) is more likely to occur in families than in the general population.  If it is, that may come from shared genetics or shared environment.  Twins are useful in teasing these two apart.  Siblings share the same environment (except perhaps the uterine environment) but only half of the same DNA.  Identical twins share the same environment (including uterine environment) and have the exact same DNA.  Fraternal twins share the same environment (including uterine environment) but only half of the same DNA, they are no more genetically alike than siblings.  Really fancy twin studies will further tease the effects apart by studying adopted siblings (who share the environment but none of the same genes) and identical twins separated at birth (who share the same genes, but not the same environment - except the uterine environment).
Scientists then look at the different types of twin and sibling pairs and calculate how often the pairs have the same outcome of interest (here homosexuality).  Scientists can then estimate how much of the outcome comes from shared genes, shared environment, and unique environment.  If the identical twins have the same outcome of interest more often than fraternal twins, that is evidence of a genetic effect because the twins all shared the same common environment.  If fraternal twins have the same outcome of interest more often than siblings, that is evidence that the uterine environment may be important.  If related siblings have the same outcome more often than adopted siblings that is evidence of a genetic effect. If adopted siblings have the same outcome more often than population rates of the outcome, that is evidence of shared environment effects.  If identical twins that grow up together have the same outcome more often than identical twins separated at birth, that is evidence of a shared environment effect. Non-shared outcomes are attributed to unique environmental effects.

A few words additional words, identical twins do not need to always share the same outcome in order for it to be genetic, they only need to share the same outcome more often than fraternal twins (who share the same environment but not the same genes).  Twin studies are typically small and the results are typically presented as point estimates (given the data, what is the best estimate for the genetic contribution, shared environment contribution, and unique environment contribution) and confidence intervals (given the size of the sample, how much might the point estimate vary if we re-did the study with different individuals).  The point estimate is considered significant if the confidence interval does not include zero.  However, just because a confidence interval includes zero, that does not mean that there is no effect.  Larger studies are more likely to have confidence intervals that do not include zero if the point estimate is not zero.

Tomorrow we will review the latest and most informative twin studies for homosexuality.

Madame Curie's Celebrity Crush: Rachel Maddow

By Madame Curie

Just breaking in on the male love-in to share my celebrity crush: Rachel Maddow. Dear Rachel, I want to have your babies. Yes, I do realize you are taken, but a girl can dream.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Wise Man Built His House Upon the . . .

By Mister Curie

I built my house upon the rock, my Lord, my Redeemer, Jesus Christ.  Isn't that where the wise man metaphorically built his house?  I trusted that my church leaders were speaking for God and that I was living my life in accordance with His Divine will.  And when the storms come, and the rains come, the house on the rock stood still, right?  It was the house on the sand that was washed away.  Well, tell me what I did wrong.  Because here's my house of faith now:

How do you rebuild after something like that?  You tear it all down and start over from scratch.  It was during that process that I was finally able to accept that I am gay.  It was during that process that I found the church had created false bogeymen all around and that the world is a much more coherent and beautiful place without my former house of faith.  But I don't know what to do now.  The only blueprints I have for my life are those that came with my former faith.  I feel a little lost not following those blueprints, but I know I don't want to rebuild that house.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Church and Choice

By Mister Curie

A couple of acquaintances have suggested that my church disaffection and discovery of my homosexuality are so closely tied together that perhaps I would be better served by focusing on one before the other, suggesting that my struggles with the church are inhibiting my acceptance of homosexuality.  Invariably they have suggested that I focus on my church disaffection first and that once I work through that, I will be better positioned to accept my homosexuality.

I think I have pretty well worked through my disaffection.  Although I still attend church, I do not believe in its doctrinal foundations.  I do not believe Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet, that there was a Divine Restoration, that the Book of Mormon is a historical document translated by the power of God, or that we are led by a Prophet today.  That pretty much sums it up, doesn't it?  Perhaps not quite - I don't believe that Christ was the literal Son of God, that he founded a church, that he atoned for our sins, or that he was resurrected.  I'm still on the fence about God, I'm still trying to decide if I think there is substantial physical evidence that God does not exist or that God's non-existence cannot be proved by physical evidence.  But I do not believe in an anthropomorphic God who lives on/near Kolob with plural wives and gazillions of kids.  I do not believe in a God that intervenes in the world to help me find my car keys so I'm not inconvenienced, but allows immense pain and suffering in the world.  The world makes much more sense when I stop trying to superimpose Mormon theology on it.  So what more is there to work through?  When you stop believing entirely in the church, there just isn't much left.

Or is there?  There is one aspect of my disaffection that I have not worked through, and it is intricately tied in with my discovery of my homosexuality.  My wife hinted at this aspect of my disaffection in her recent post about feminism and choice.  We are taught that free agency is the greatest gift God has given us and that we must use it wisely (in fact that was yesterday's Priesthood lesson in my ward), but I feel that psychologically the church trapped me into making the choices it dictated.  Madame Curie wrote about how women don't really have a choice in whether to be stay-at-home moms because they are taught that it is a divine requirement.  For the true believer, the choice is whether to please God or disappoint Him. In the church, it is all very black and white.

Similarly, in many of my life decisions, the church gave me a black and white choice where one option was clearly God's will and the other option was sinful self-indulgence.  There really was no choice involved for the true believer.  Such was the case with homosexuality: either you choose to obey God's will to honor your natural affections for a woman or you chose be a sinful, degenerate faggot.

I have not yet intellectually plumbed the depths to which the church controlled my life and dictated my decisions.  The church dictated to me as a true believer how to spend countless hours of my week, what food to eat, clothes to wear, words to use, entertainment to watch, music to listen to, who to spend time with, etc.  You can argue there was a choice and that I chose what the church said, but to me there was no choice other than to please God or to choose misery.

My life's path was largely dictated by the church: go to BYU, go on a mission, get married, have a kid.  I was following "God's plan for me".  I admit that I was too dependent on the church, too quick to succeed my agency to what it dictated was right.  I'm afraid to confront how much of my life was chosen based on what the church said, rather than on what I really wanted.

If the church said it was what I wanted, then I believed it.  Take for example my experience in the temple. The first time I went through for endowments, I was shocked (and this was after the temple was toned down to remove the ritualized physical punishments, etc.)  I was not prepared for the temple experience.  And I don't think that there is anything in the church that will properly prepare you for the temple, certainly not the worthless temple preparation courses.  I left the temple being reminded more about Gadianton robbers than anything else.  I've heard my experience was not unique.  But I had been told that in the temple we found the crowning ordinances of the Gospel, that it is God's house on earth, and that it is the most spiritual place we will ever be.  And so I convinced myself that it was.  I attended the temple weekly and acclimated to the weird worship pattern.  I came to love temple worship, so much in fact that I served as an ordinance worker in the Provo temple for several years while at BYU.  The church told me the temple was the pinnacle of spirituality, and so it became for me.  So much, in fact, that I came to see Sunday worship was essentially meaningless without the temple experience.

The same pattern was repeated with my mission.  I think back fondly on my two years as a servant of the Lord (and not just when I remember my cute companions).  The church told me my mission should be the best two years of my life up to that point, and so it was in my mind.  A review of my mission journal tells a different story.  Most days I was miserable.  My introverted nature was not designed for engaging strangers in gospel discussions.  I worked hard, but failed to become an effective proselytizing missionary.  But my role as a missionary was to do God' will (as determined and dictated by the church) and to go and do what the Lord wanted me to do.

I have not yet come to grips with which decisions I have made because the church told me that I must in order to be truly happy.  For the true believer, there was only the choice between pleasing God and eternal woe.  I tried to choose to please God every time.  And so I wonder, how much of my life path was determined by what the church wanted and how much was determined by what I wanted.  Surely some of the time those priorities aligned and I don't want to throw out everything the church taught just because it said it.  On the other hand, my life has been great and I think I'm generally happy with where I am at.

Unfortunately, prayer isn't very helpful in this struggle because I have already proven to myself that the answers I have received to prayer in the past are largely manifestations of the complex psychological interplay between what I want and what I believe God wants (typically the church's stance), and typically the church's stance won out. But that is how the church teaches it should be.  In the Bible Dictionary we learn that "The object of prayer is not to change the will of God. . . Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other."  Now that I no longer believe the church has insight into God's will for me, I'm not sure where to turn to determine the best path for me.

So what is it that I actually want and how do I get my life on that path?  Or am I already on that path?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Voting Extended

By Mister Curie

I have decided to extend voting on the poll about whether scientists should study genetics and homosexuality.  I have 15 regular, self-declared followers - so surely I should be able to get at least 15 votes.  I know there are more of you out there that regularly visit my blog, even if you haven't declared yourself a follower, so I'd really like to get more of a response than just 15.  Please vote.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Celebrity Crush: Evan Lysacek

By Mister Curie

So with the new blog I've decided to start a new Saturday feature entitled "Celebrity Crush."  Today's featured celebrity is Thursday night's Olympic gold medalist in Men's Figure Skating, Evan Lysacek.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Movie: Big Eden

By Mister Curie

This Friday's movie is Big Eden, ranked #10 on and #25 by MoHos.  From IMDb:
Big Eden is a tiny fictional town in northwestern Montana, as Preston Sturges or Frank Capra might have envisioned it. Timber and Cowboy country. This is the story of Henry Hart, a successful New York Artist, who returns to the town of his childhood to care for the ailing grandfather who raised him. Back in Big Eden, Henry must come to terms with his relationship to Dean Stewart, his best friend from high School, as well as the object of his unrequited love. All these years Henry has been pining for a dream image of Dean from back then. This is also the story of Pike Dexter, the shy, unassuming Native American owner of the town's general store, who is as surprised as anyone to find himself falling in love with Henry. The people of Big Eden conspire and attempt to bring Henry and Pike together.
I enjoyed the movie, although it did not deliver on my high hopes.  I thought I might find a lot in common with the storyline of someone with a high-powered career going from the big city back to his small town where he comes out to his family.  Alas, it was not to be.  Although that is the storyline, his small hometown is nothing like the Red State hometown I come from.  I wonder why he ever felt the need to be closeted, as his entire hometown is very supportive of homosexuals and there are several high profile homosexual relationships in the town. The one aspect I did relate to was the main character's relationship with his straight friend from high school (who is reasonably cute).  Their relationship in the movie reminded me of my relationship with one of my mission companions.  I was definitely attracted to him and have wondered since discovering my homosexuality if he might have been attracted to me to.  While this is just a movie, I think it shows how a gay man and a straight man might develop a relationship where the gay man sees it as a romantic relationship and the straight man sees it as a platonic friendship.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

GLBTQ Encyclopedia: Why does a MOM occur in the first place?

By Mister Curie

The GLBTQ Encylopedia addresses an interesting set of questions: Why do gay spouses marry in the first place? Why do straight spouses--consciously and unconsciously--marry gay spouses?

From the Encylopedia:
Why Do Gays Heterosexually Marry?

Part of the answer to the first question is that our society does not grant permission for young people to explore alternative sexualities. Moreover, our culture places enormous pressure on individuals to conform, especially sexually. Heterosexuality and heterosexual marriage are privileged in all sorts of ways. It is much easier for young people to marry heterosexually than to discover their authentic selves.

Some of the gay men and lesbians who marry heterosexually hope that their gay urges will go away. More often, especially among lesbians, they are not even fully aware of their urges or at least have not labeled them when they marry.

Gay men and lesbians marry heterosexually for a variety of reasons, ranging from the need to conform to familial and societal expectations to a desire, founded on a genuine love for their partner, to create a shared life with their potential spouse. Some marry in order to have children, or to be taken care of, to bond with a mother or father figure, to establish a cover or "beard" for their gay activities, or in hopes that straight sex will "cure" their desire for homosexual relations or, at least, keep that desire strictly sexual.
As I have mentioned previously, I think I felt an enormous amount of societal and religious pressure that made it impossible for me to accept my homosexuality.  I was definitely not fully aware of my urges and had not labeled them in any way, so I did not feel at the time that marriage would be able to "cure" my homosexual desires.  While church cultural expectations likely contributed to my desire to get married, I genuinely fell in love with Madame Curie and wanted to share life (and eternity) with her and have us care for each other.  

As for my wife, I think that she married heterosexually for similar reasons (but correct me if I'm wrong, dear).  Despite having a girlfriend in high school, she had not labeled her attractions, and joining the church threw her back in the closet.  She also genuinely fell in love with me, but probably also felt some cultural pressure to conform, and above nearly everything, my wife loves to fit in.  This is the feminist who convinced herself she wanted to have 6 kids afterall! 

Again from the Encylopedia:
Why Straight Spouses Marry Gay Men and Lesbians

Most straight spouses marry gay men or lesbians without knowing that their partners are gay or lesbian. But some suspect it and others know it for a fact. Those who know of their spouse's homosexuality often think that their partners will grow out of their same-sex desires or that a good marriage will cause the desires to dissipate.

Some heterosexual men and women who marry gay spouses are enablers, people who display an approving and supportive attitude toward someone else's self-destructive behavior or make it possible for them to avoid the consequences of such behavior. Some straight spouses allow their gay and lesbian spouses to "act out" their same-sex desires without really acknowledging them, while neither of the spouses accepts the consequences of such behavior.

Some straight spouses may be unconsciously drawn to partners who might betray them. Perhaps while growing up, they experienced lies and witnessed emotional boundary violations that remained unresolved and left them traumatized. This kind of background can make the straight spouse unconsciously seek a "familiar" spouse who will violate trust.

Some women think of men with homosexual tendencies as challenges. They may believe that they are attractive enough to "convert" gay spouses or "rescue" them from a life of misery.
Other women are drawn to men who are not anything like their macho, patriarchal, abusive fathers in the hope that their partners will not sexually or otherwise overpower them.

Still other men and women marry gay or lesbian spouses out of unconscious interest in controlling or micromanaging a "flawed" partner.

Less is known about straight men who consciously or unconsciously marry lesbians, perhaps because these men usually do not talk about the subject and their reactions. They may find it humiliating to admit that their spouse prefers sexual relations with other women.
As neither of us were out fully to ourselves, I'm certain we did not marry each other hoping we could "cure" each other.  The discussion of enablers and betrayers also does not seem to fit our marriage.  Madame Curie has always been attracted to gay men, open or otherwise.  I think this has to do with the gay man being more aware of his emotions and not hijacking the relationship for physical pursuits.  She could have a serious discussion with me without worrying that all I could think about were her breasts.  There is probably also something to the desire to avoid a potentially patriarchal, macho, abusive relationship where she is not in control (this is the woman who wouldn't date tall men because they remind her of her tall father).  Madame Curie also likes to avoid "drama" and often finds women to be to "catty", so she often finds dealing emotionally with other women difficult.  I have a hard time identifying why I married a lesbian.  Certainly I married her because I fell in love with her and we connected on a deep intellectual and emotional level.  I had no suspicion that she was physically attracted to women and generally repulsed physically by men.  Perhaps I had a subconscious insecurity about being in a heterosexual relationship and Madame Curie put me at ease.  I do not find it humiliating that my wife prefers female anatomy, and I am relieved to know a reason for some of her revulsion toward "dangly bits". Whatever the reasons for marrying, our marriage is wonderful and works for us.  It is highly likely that our marriage works even better for us than it otherwise would because of our homosexuality.

Why do you think you married your spouse initially?  Why do you think your spouse married you?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Genetics of Homosexuality

By Mister Curie

As my profile states, I am an aspiring physician scientist geneticist.  My current work has nothing to do with human sexuality, but since I have accepted my homosexuality, I have been pondering the likely genetic contribution to homosexuality.  I, of course, think all things genetic are fascinating.  I am planning a series of posts on what is known about the genetics of homosexuality.  But before I delve into my pet topic, I thought I would conduct a poll.  Do you think scientists should even try to further understand the genetics of homosexuality?  Feel free to post the reason for your response in the comments section.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Suggestions Sought: Pon-Farr

By Mister Curie

So Abelard Enigma recently discussed the phenomenon he calls "Gay Pon-Farr", which is similar to the Vulcan mating cycle when the gay man's "brain is thrown into a neurochemical imbalance and loss of logic and emotional control, similar to musth in bull elephants. The individual may stop eating and sleeping. As the condition progresses, the Vulcan undergoes the plak tow, or blood fever, and becomes unable to speak or think clearly - thoughts of mating overwhelm them."

I don't think I've experienced the gay Pon-Farr yet, but sometimes a MoHo will post a particular photo that I think almost throws me into one, like this one from Beloved Boyd of Hayden:

Or there was last night watching the pairs figure skating at the Olympics.  Anyways, with my realization that I posted about yesterday that suddenly I am noticing the many attractive men around me as my "eyes have been opened", I figure it is better to be prepared for when the gay Pon-Farr comes, rather than be caught unawares and do something stupid.  So, what are your coping strategies?  What do you do to make it through Pon-Farr?  What do you think is acceptable?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Adam and Eve

By Mister Curie

I don't keep my disaffection with the church a secret on this blog, my disaffection was integral to accepting my homosexuality. However, I am interested in trying to salvage some of my spirituality, and I have been reading a fascinating book by Karen Armstrong, titled "The Case for God." Due to my scientific background, I reject a literal Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, but Armstrong presents a metaphorical view of the Garden of Eden story that I find highly appealing.  In her book (pages 27-30), she states:
It is a typical lost paradise myth . . . . Like any myth, its purpose is to help us to contemplate the human predicament. Why is human life filled with suffering, back-breaking agricultural labor, agonizing childbirth, and death? Why do men and women feel so estranged from the divine? 

Some Western Christians read the story as a factual account of the Original Sin that condemned the human race to everlasting perdition. But this is a peculiarly Western Christian interpretation and was introduced controversially by Saint Augustine of Hippo only in the early fifth century.  The Eden story has never been understood in this way in either Jewish or the Orthodox Christian traditions. . . . The Eden story is certainly not a morality tale; like any paradise myth, it is an imaginary account of the infancy of the human race. . . .To know pain and to be conscious of desire and mortality are inescapable components of human experience, but they are also symptoms of that sense of estrangement from the fullness of being that inspires the nostalgia for paradise lost. We can see Adam, Eve, and the serpent as representing different facets of our humanity.  In the snake is the rebelliousness and incessant compulsion to question everything that is crucial to human progress; in Eve we see our hunger for knowledge, our desire to experiment, and our longing for a life free of inhibition.  Adam, a rather passive figure, displays our reluctance to take responsibility for our actions.  The story shows that good and evil are inextricably intertwined in human life.  Our prodigious knowledge can at one and the same time be a source of benefit and the cause of immense harm.
The story of Adam and Eve has become an integral part of the culture of Christianity because of its transcendent ability to connect with our experiences.  Adam becomes a symbol for Everyman.  I find my life to be an almost disturbing parallel to the Adam and Eve story.

Start with my disaffection, it was my wife who first "took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat" (Genesis 3:6).  This was the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Our eyes were opened to the inconsistencies and contradictions in church history.  We could not shut our eyes again and felt driven from the paradise of being believing members of the church.  But as with Adam and Eve, we would rather have true knowledge of things, rather than belief in things that are false.

The same pattern followed our acceptance of homosexuality.  My wife accepted that she was lesbian first.  She also recognized and accepted that I was gay first.  She then encouraged me to discover my homosexuality for myself.  Sometimes I think she regrets feeding me the "fruit".

But my eyes have been opened, and MAN! how they've opened.  I never knew there were so many cute guys out there!  It seems I've spent years of my life trying to be attracted to the wrong demographic.  I didn't realize that the men were always there.  My wife says the mechanics of how I check out guys hasn't changed, but now the connections are being made in the brain.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


By Mister Curie

I'd like to welcome everyone to our new space, here at  We've only just cleared away the construction materials and cleaned up the dust.  Hopefully all of the posts and comments transferred over correctly.  If you see anything amiss, please let me know.  If you have any suggestions, either with format or content, I'd love to hear your suggestions.  Please remember to update your follower status and/or reader.

With that, welcome to our grand opening party!

And Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Under Construction

This blog is under construction.  Please check back later . . .

Elder Wickman: Elder Oaks' Prop 8 Talk a "Benchmark"

By Madame Curie

Elder Wickman gave a talk Thursday at the J. Reuben Clark Law Society Conference at the U of U. He quoted from much of Elder Oaks' infamous "Religious Freedoms Are Being Trampled!!" devotional given Oct. 2009 at BYU-Idaho. You know - the talk where Elder Oaks compared the treatment of Mormons during Prop 8 to the treatment of blacks in the South during the Civil Rights era. The talk that won for Elder Oaks Keith Olberman's "Worst Person in the World" award, and the scorn of even TBMs. Concerning that previous devotional, Elder Wickman stated:
"That address, I think, promises to become a classic, even a benchmark in our day," he said.
I'm not going to rehash the old arguments again for the umpteenth time. Instead, I direct you to the following flowchart, which, I believe, adequately summarizes them all in visual format (thanks to Patrick Farley for developing the chart!)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Movie: Shelter

By Mister Curie

This week's movie is the #2 and MoHo #6 movie, Shelter, also known as the gay surfer film, which provides lots of opportunities for eye-candy. From IMDb:
Forced to give up his dreams of art school, Zach spends his days working a dead-end job and helping his needy sister care for her son. In his free time he surfs, draws and hangs out with his best friend, Gabe, who lives on the wealthy side of town. When Gabe's older brother, Shaun, returns home, he is drawn to Zach's selflessness and talent. Zach falls in love with Shaun while struggling to reconcile his own desires with the needs of his family.
This film was much more than the sum of it's eye-candy. It is a very touching and poignant story. The film's portrayal of the homosexual relationship as uplifting and good (despite the sister's homophobia) and the none-too-subtle contrast with the realistically imperfect heterosexual exploits of the best friend and the sister, make this a movie that should improve understanding among heterosexuals. Perhaps I was just having an emotional day when I saw this, but this film resonated with me in lots of ways. I particularly related to the main character's struggle with accepting his homosexuality and with his desire to be everything his girlfriend wants and needs. This movie was well worth the wait for the DVD from Netflix. Two thumbs up!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Joe Kort on Mixed Orientation Marriage

By Mister Curie

I read an interested article on Mixed-Orientation marriage recently, or "The New Mixed Marriage" as Dr. Joe Kort describes it. From his website:

Dr. Kort graduated from Michigan State University with dual majors, in Psychology and Social Work. At Wayne State University, he earned his Master's in Social Work (MSW), then a Master’s (MA) in Psychology and has received his doctorate (PhD) in clinical sexology from the American Academy of Clinical Sexologists.
Now an adjunct professor teaching Gay and Lesbian Studies at Wayne State University's School of Social Work, he is doing more writing and workshops on a national level.
Psychotherapist, coach and author Joe Kort, Ph.D, MSW, MA has been in practice since 1985. He specializes in Gay Affirmative Psychotherapy as well as IMAGO Relationship Therapy, which is a specific program involving communication exercises designed for couples to enhance their relationship and for singles to learn relationship skills.
Dr. Kort is also a Board Certified Sexologist specializing in sex therapy and sexual identity. He is also a Certified Sexual Addiction, therapist, responsible non-monogamy/monogamy, childhood sexual, physical and emotional abuse, chemical dependency, mixed-orientation marriages, coming out, depression and anxiety. He offers workshops for couples and singles. He runs a gay men's group therapy and a men's sexuality group therapy for straight, bi and gay men who are struggling with specific sexual issues. His therapy services are for gays and lesbians as well as heterosexuals.
Dr. Kort's practice is mixed with straight, gay, lesbian and bi-attractional individuals and couples.

In the article, Dr. Kort claims the problem is not so much the mixed-orientation of the marriage, but the secrecy that often pervades a mixed-orientation marriage, saying:
I’m not against mixed-orientation marriages per se. They can, and do, work well for some couples. What I don’t support are mixed-marriages that are steeped in secrecy, which is how these relationships too commonly operate.
He then shares the story of a 48-year old man who after 25 years of marriage accepts his homosexuality and how he and his wife struggle with this realization and strive to find a place of honesty and integrity in their marriage from which to make decisions about the future.

Dr. Kort uses this couple as an example to illustrate a process that he believes most mixed-orientation marriages need to pass through: humiliation, revenge, renewed hope, rage, and, finally, resolution.

Humiliation - often the straight spouse experiences a feeling of humiliation that they have been "duped" into marrying a gay spouse, or that they didn't recognize their spouse was gay through the years of marriage. The gay spouse often feels a sense of humiliation at having to reveal their homosexuality and when the spouse has a strong emotional reaction to the revelation, they often have a reinforcement of "a lifetime of shame about [their] essential 'wrongness'." If infidelity has been involved, the straight spouse may also feel humiliated by the affair and potential social ramifications.

Revenge - often the straight spouse will lash out at their gay spouse in a subconscious attempt at revenge for the feelings of humiliation they feel. Revenge may also stem from the hurt and breach of trust resulting from infidelity, as well as from feeling that their world is crumbling around them and that their plans for the future may never be realized.

Renewed Hope - the mixed-orientation couple, who sincerely do love each other, will often make a new commitment to each other, which results in the couple entering something of a "honeymoon" period of renewed hope and mutual appreciation.

Rage - after a period of time, the couple often begins to recognize a "limits of the possible." For the homosexual partner it may be a dissatisfaction with the current arrangements of the marriage, particularly when being unable to act on homosexual desires can leave one's life feeling "flat and empty." The homosexual man may return to old behaviors (illustrated in the article by a return to surfing porn sites and hooking up with men). This may reactivate feelings of betrayal in the straight spouse. Spouses may renegotiate their relationship as they try to make it work. Eventually, both spouses recognize the limits of what each partner is capable of accepting.

Resolution - a resolution to the cycle is achieved when both partners are able to honestly admit what they truly need, want and what they are capable of accepting, and from a place of honesty and integrity accepting the same of their spouse. This resolution is different for every couple and is highly dependent on them. Dr. Kort does not believe it is up the therapist to determine what the "ideal" for both partners is, but to guide them toward an honest acceptance and realization themselves.
He says:

I realize that many therapists disapprove of a gay husband and straight wife staying together under any circumstances. Many believe that such an "arrangement" is a clear sign of an intimacy disorder. Some might urge the couple to consider divorce to allow both parties to move on with their lives. Other clinicians might advise the gay husband to remain the sexually faithful partner he promised to be on his wedding day. . . . My goal is neither to help them to stay married or to get divorced. Instead, it’s to help partners come back into integrity with themselves and each other. It’s truly up to the couple, not to me, to discover what’s right for them.
For some, that decision is "to stay married and make a commitment to never again act on homosexual urges." Dr. Kort is clear that his "perspective on this [is] different from practitioners of Reparative Therapy (RT), who tell gay people that sexual reorientation is possible and, indeed, highly advisable. [He] believe[s] that’s nonsense. However, [he] [does] believe that people who self-identify as homosexual, but don’t wish to come out as gay, can choose to create a heterosexual lifestyle."
For others, such as when the gay spouse wishes to identify as gay and pursue a same-sex relationship, but the straight spouse desires a "full-time, monogamous husband - sexually and emotionally" the only compatible situation appears to be divorce. Dr. Kort notes that "many gay and straight spouses who divorce ultimately become friends."
Dr. Kort also believes that a permutation of an open or closed-loop marriage may be a reasonable for some couples, when they are able to honestly arrive at that being a viable solution (otherwise it is simply another perpetuation of the rage cycle). In describing the couples that accept this option, he says:
I’ve now sat with many couples who’ve struggled long and hard over a divorce or separation when, in the end, that wasn’t at all what they wanted. So I’ve come to accept that there are a number of instances in which responsible nonmonogamy between partners is a viable option. One such instance is when the couple is older, has invested emotionally, financially, and psychologically in each other, and want to be together in their later years. Another is when the couple has become best friends, and the marriage is sacred to them. A third is when the man is emotionally heterosexual and physically homosexual.
The idea here isn’t to change the orientation of the gay spouse. That’s impossible. Rather, it’s to accept the couple as they are and honor what they want.
So, where do you find your mixed-orientation marriage on the continuum of humiliation, revenge, renewed hope, rage, and resolution? Have you and your spouse been able to truly be honest with each other?

Right now I think my mixed-orientation is in the renewed hope stage (although we bypassed the humiliation and revenge stages, so I could be wrong). I think we are now trying to feel out the "limits of the possible" and discover honesty with ourselves and with each other.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Musings I

By Mister Curie

While probably ultimately unproductive, I sometimes like to muse about "What if . . ." scenarios.

What if I had never gotten married? Where would I be now?

As I wrote in a previous post about the path my life was on in college after my mission:
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.
If not for that magical summer meeting my wife, my life probably would have continued on exactly that predicted path.

I imagine would have studied hard for my final year at BYU, not dating anyone. I would have gone off to medical school and buried myself in my studies, still not dating anyone. However, I would no longer be under the rigid BYU Honor Code and living in constant fear that curiosity about my sexuality (such as through the exploration of pornography) would instantly be catalogued and reported to the University, resulting in disciplinary action and expulsion. I would probably have started looking more at pornography and quickly revealed/accepted my preference for the male body. Perhaps under the liberal and LGBT-friendly environment of my medical school, I could have begun to accept myself. I may have attended some events for those questioning their sexuality. I would likely then be in the conflicted spot so many MoHos find themselves in, attempting to reconcile their sexuality with the teachings of the church. That conflict may have been enough to keep me in denial as to my sexuality, but eventually I think it would have given way to an acceptance of my homosexuality. Perhaps that conflict would have led to disaffection with the church, as is frequently the case. Perhaps I would have tried to accept lifelong celibacy. Perhaps I would have decided to date, but keep the gay Mormon law of chastity. If so, I suspect I would have fallen into what I would have believed to be sin (if I could hardly keep my libido in check with my wife when we were counting down the days until we could express our sexuality with approval, what would have happened with a man when I had no foreseeable date release to the sexual energy with approval?). I may have been filled with self-loathing. I may have attempted suicide. I hope that I would have accepted myself and found happiness and joy in being authentic.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lost and confused!

By Madame Curie

I've been having a really sad time as of late. Days of just feeling like the world as I know it is ending. Most of the time, I can't really put a finger on why. But last night, I tied the pieces together and it makes much more sense.

I feel like there are two lovers inside me. Part of me loves my husband so much, that I just want him to be happy no matter what. If that meant leaving me for a man he loves, then I would support that. I want him to be happy as I am happy, to have a full and meaningful marriage with another as I do. The other half of me clings to him. I don't want him to go. I want him to find me "enough" for his happiness, to find happiness in me as I have in him. Its a selfish love, but I don't think its illogical.

I knew who I was entering our marriage. I was under no false impressions of my own sexuality. Yes, I was still closeted in terms of being an "out" lesbian - but I was and am sincerely attracted to my husband, in every bit as full and complete of a way as I was attracted to my high school girlfriend. The disgust that I felt towards men did not apply to him. He was (and is) my perfect exception.

However, Mister C didn't know who he was. He was gay, and didn't accept it. He's only accepting it now. What does it mean that we entered the marriage on unequal footing? I knew and was confident in who I was and am... but he didn't know himself. While I encourage him to figure himself out, at the same time I war within myself at what he will find. I've felt revulsion towards men before. I don't want him to feel that towards me.

How do I deal?

Suggestions Sought: Coming Out to Family

By Mister Curie

I have had several positive and affirming coming out experiences, including to my brother. I am now beginning to contemplate the best way to come out to my family so that it can be as positive an experience as possible. I would love some suggestions.

Here is the situation. We live far from the majority of my family and only visit once a year for 10-14 days, during which time we stay nearly exclusively at my parent's house. This trip typically occurs during the summer. Coming out is complicated by having two different issues to come out about: church disaffection and homosexuality.

Here are the pros and cons I have thought of so far for some of these parameters:

Coming out about both vs. only one issue

Pros for coming out about both:
complete honesty
get it over at one time
live authentically
overall response may be less protracted

Cons for coming out about both:
may confuse the two issues together
supports stereotype that homosexuality is sinful
might fail in making parents more understanding of homosexuals in general
minimizes my other issues with the church (which were not initially related to homosexuality and were sufficient to destroy my testimony without homosexuality being an issue)
response is likely to be stronger (if ultimately less protracted)

If choosing an issue: Church vs. Homosexuality

Pros for coming out about Church:
Follows time-line of my journey (this was the issue first)
Intellect and facts are on my side
If parents reject me over this issue, I can channel my frustration at the church

Pros for coming out about Homosexuality:
I think my parents would be more accepting of my homosexuality than disaffection
Disaffection may be more understandable coming from the perspective that I'm gay
Homosexuality can be seen as an innate quality, rather than a choice (such as drinking tea)
Wife and son would probably get sympathy and support

Cons for coming out about Church:
May make parents later think that homosexuality stemmed from Satan and sin
I think the response would be less favorable than for homosexuality
May estrange wife and son from my family
Blame may be placed on my wife

Cons for coming out about Homosexuality:
If rejected over homosexuality, I will feel like it is more of a personal rejection

Coming Out before visit vs. during visit

Pros for before visit:
If rejected, can save money by not purchasing plane tickets until we know response
less time hiding and more time feeling authentic
written letter will allow me to fully express thoughts without getting lost in emotional responses
things won't be as awkward if parents have time to process before we visit

Pros for during visit:
Will immediately have time in person to show I am the same person and rebuild relationship
More personal and intimate

If during visit: at beginning vs end of visit

Pros for beginning:
More time to show I am same person and to rebuild relationship
more time being authentic and less time hiding

Pros for end:
If bad response, won't be stuck with no place to stay
Less time for things to be awkward

What do you think? What considerations am I neglecting?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hatred under the Guise of Loving God

By Mister Curie

I'd like to thank John Gustav-Wrathall for raising awareness of the current legislation being considered in Uganda. This legislation would make life imprisonment the minimum penalty for gay sex, with some instances necessitating the death penalty. Members of the public who fail to report homosexual activity would face three years in prison, and those who stand up in defense for homosexuals (such as family members) would face seven years in prison. Just as appalling, is that a group of American politicians and Evangelicals are supporting this measures in Uganda, as reported in the New York Times. While reading another article that John provided, one phrase in particular hit me:

promot[ing] hatred under the guise of loving Jesus

I received an email several months ago from a friend who was concerned about my family's public support for gay marriage, "in opposition to sustaining the Prophet." I frequently feel that the LDS church places itself as a mortal proxy for the eternal command to love God. This is reflected in the doctrine that only allows entrance to Celestial Glory for those who have experienced temple ordinances (where admittance to the temple for such "saving" ordinances is dependent on doctrinal orthodoxy, payment of tithing to the church organization, and "following the prophet"). This friend then laid out the by-now-familiar Mormon case against homosexuality, which I will not re-hash here. Essentially, however was the case that I must "follow the Prophet" to show my love for God. Somewhere in these arguments, I found the pernicious promotion of hatred under the guise of loving God.

I responded as a faithful Latter-day Saint, while attempting a rebuttal to the argument that obedience to the Prophet is the highest form of loving God:

I understand why you would be concerned that we are picking and choosing from the prophet's counsel. We have encountered all of your arguments previously and struggled for some time with our decision. We certainly have no desire to go against the Prophet of God or to put ourselves outside of God's guidance. We have made the matter a concern of deep spiritual reflection, pondering, and of course, prayer. We are counseled to obey the prophet, and some have gone so far as to say that "when the prophet has spoken, the thinking is done and the debate is over." On the other hand, we have been taught that God does not want us to be blindly obedient and that we should take all things to the Lord and ask Him for guidance and confirmation. As it says in Moroni, "he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things" (Moroni 10:4-5). I regularly taught the investigators on my mission that they should pray about the Book of Mormon and that they should pray about all the counsel they receive at church.

This matter has been particularly troublesome for us because, as I said, we have close personal friends who are gay, lesbian, and bisexual, most of whom have never been members of the LDS church. We see their pure love for members of the same sex and their sincere desires to share in a marriage relationship. We also know gay members of the church who have felt broken, hated by God, and full of self-loathing due to the stance of the church toward gays. In all cases, their sincerity has convinced us that their "homosexual tendencies" are not a desire to sin or receive a greater "sexual high," but rather they experience attraction not of their own choosing, but which in all respects appears to be the same as the God-given affection shared between a man and a wife. So life is messy and things are not always easily divided into good and evil, or good works and sin. We have made and continue to make this a matter of prayer. We try to keep ourselves open to the influence of the Holy Spirit so that we will not be led astray, recognizing the potentially hazardous ground we may be treading. In all respects, we have felt the influence of the Spirit and have been filled with the love of God toward our gay friends. We feel that we maintain our good standing before God and that he has approved of our actions, both toward our gay friends and toward the legislation that so personally affects them.

We do not feel that we have received Prophetic counsel that we must personally vote against legislature allowing gay marriage or that we must personally condemn the lifestyle of our gay friends. Our gay friends, both inside and outside of the church, do not need our condemnation, they need our love. I am sure that Christ is full of love toward gays and that, if he were here, he would as likely be found loving and forgiving and ministering among the gays as he was found among the "unworthy" classes of people in his own time, the sinners, the poor, and the lowly of heart. We do not feel that our own love, compassion, support of, and attempts at understanding the plights of our gay friends is condemned by the Lord in any way.

You quoted President Hinkley who said, "If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church. If they violate the law of chastity and the moral standards of the Church, then they are subject to the discipline of the Church, just as others are." You then ask "why shouldn’t the Church today put its foot down when certain wickedness is prevailing in the world?" when the "the Church [is] a Gospel for all the world." As far as church discipline, the church itself has agreed that it only has authority up to being able to excommunicate a member. It can only punish its own members. The Church does not have authority beyond removing non-abiding members and does not have jurisdiction over those outside of its membership. Thus, we feel that as soon as the church attempts to directly influence those who are not members, it has stepped beyond its spiritual authority and has entered the realm of politics. Within the church, we believe the church can issue any statements or proclamations that it feels are necessary, those proclamations and statements can even be directed to the entire world. But we believe it is beyond the authority of the church to attempt to directly influence the lives of those who do not grant the church such authority over their lives through church membership. We do not feel that the proclamations and statements so far given by the church grant us the right nor the responsibility to punish or condemn anyone else, gay or straight, inside or outside the church.

Christ invites all people to come unto Him. We feel that Christ's church should do the same. We feel that God does not want us to be judgmental or unkind toward any of his children. We are convinced that God desires all of us to love one another, to serve one another, and to be kind to everyone. No one can understand the difficulties or temptations of another, and we are convinced that the judgment of God will be far more merciful and just than any in this life can imagine. If God does not feel the need to punish or strike down someone in this life, we do not feel it is in our authority to usurp his judgment or power. If you, like some, feel that God is striking down the gays (some have suggested through AIDS), then we are comfortable leaving that judgment in the hands of God while doing everything in our power to succor them in their infirmities and to lighten their burdens (I am training to be a physician after all and have pledged my life to caring for the sick). We are convinced that our support of gay marriage fulfills the injunction of Christ (and our church leaders) to lighten another's burdens, comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to love all men.

While a response to Evangelicals would need to be couched differently than this response to the Prophet-following Latter-day Saints, I think emulation of Christ's example of love and service would be much more pleasing to God than intolerance and legislating the death penalty.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Possible Change in Blog Boundaries

We're considering splitting this blog into two: Third-wave Mormon, which would return to be primarily Mme. Curie's domain and involve interfaith-related and feminist-related discourse; and a second blog, primarily run by Mr. Curie, exploring being homosexual and Mormon (although Mme. Curie would also post there her sexuality-related posts).

There are various pros and cons to this approach, but at the moment we are seeking our readers' input. Please respond to the poll on the right and/or leave a comment with your thoughts.


Mme. and Mr. Curie

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Putting the Puzzle Together: Madame Curie's Turn

By Madame Curie

A few days ago, my husband and I were discussing the Kinsey scale. I have traditionally placed myself as a 4, since I have been attracted to two people in my life - him and my high-school girlfriend - and am generally physically more attracted to female than to male anatomy. However, Mr. C pushed me on this, causing me to recall a number of other things that I had not previously considered. As such, I think it is probably only fair to him that I go through the same analysis that he has. In so doing, I will note at the onset that I am going to be far less explicit in my writing than Mister C was. I am also not going to do a "Pieces of the Past" series, because it would violate the privacy of far too many people.

As a refresher, the Kinsey scale is as follows:

0 Exclusively heterosexual 0
1 Predominantly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual 1
2 Predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual 2
3 Equally heterosexual and homosexual 3
4 Predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual 4
5 Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual 5
6 Exclusively homosexual 6

As my husband did, I will also employ the Klein grid to characterize my sexuality in various aspects of my life.
(1) Sexual Attraction: To whom are you sexually attracted?
I am going to assume that they mean "physically" here, which is a difficult distinction to be made since, for me, sexual feelings are fairly intimately tied with emotional connectiveness. Without question, I am physically 'sexually attracted' only to women, and (aside from Mister C) have actually been physically repulsed and nauseated by any and every man I have kissed or been intimate with. So, I am giving this one a 6, with the very, very notable exception of my husband.

(2) Sexual Behavior: With whom have you actually had sex?
I am going to rephrase this as "With whom have you actually had intimate physical activity with where you enjoyed said physical activity?" I give myself a 3 for this one - equal men and women.

(3) Sexual Fantasies: About whom are your sexual fantasies?
I don't much think about physical anatomy of the person I am with in my fantasies - I generally only think about the emotions at play, and those drive the sexual feelings. However, the one notable exception is in my sexually-related dreams, where I exclusively dream physically about women. Always. Additionally, the thought of male anatomy in a sexual fantasy for me has the effect of cooling my libido faster than a -80 C freezer. So, this is probably going to have to be a 6 as well.

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

Women and gay men. I've almost never felt emotionally drawn to a straight man. Or a traditionally "masculine" men. Those guys just are off-putting to me. Part of me has to wonder whether my emotional attraction to gay men has been a sort of subconscious defense mechanism to avoid becoming physically involved. I do know that the times that I thought I was physically attracted to a straight guy, when he acted on it I quickly figured out that I wasn't really attracted to him.

I count the "gay men" in this group as making me "incidentally heterosexual". Thus, this one codes as a 5.

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

Women and my husband: 5.

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

I'm comfortable in both heterosexual and homosexual communities. So this is a 3.

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

The short answer to this one is that I don't tend to label or identify myself. But, if I am being honest with myself (which is hard on this topic), I would have to say that I more identify with being gay than straight. Well, much more, actually. Its not so much my husband's masculine nature or body that I am attracted to as his emotional and intellectual connection with me. But I can't deny that physically and emotionally speaking, I have tended to hang out with gay guys and hope that nothing physical happens, or hang out with girls and not mind if anything happens. So, this again is probably a 6.

In terms of physical attraction, I would say that I am a 6 - exclusively homosexual. Luckily, I am not repulsed by my husband. I have felt repulsion towards men many times in the past, and it is not something that I would ever, ever, ever want to associate with him. However, I do recognize that a large part of that attraction is the emotional and intellectual bond that we share, which fuels the physical attraction. There are also... other things that come into play that would not come into play for anyone else. In terms of emotional attraction, I am probably a 5 - predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual.

Given that I am emotionally and physically attracted to my husband, the number matters much less than the actual truth that our marriage is outstanding. Until, of course, he starts residency and I don't see him for days on end. Or until he falls in love with another man. Although I recognize that there may come a day in the future when we are unhappy, or when either of us is no longer the other's "exception," the best I can do is enjoy today, hope for tomorrow, and do my best to stay emotionally attached to my husband in the future.

I don't want to trade today's happiness, just to "protect" myself from a potential future heartache.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Out Update III

By Mister Curie

In my last update, I wrote:

I received an email from one of the directors of my school program
saying she wanted to set up a routine meeting to discuss my progress in the
program. I have known she is lesbian for some time and did a quick LGBTQ search
on the university webpage to confirm that she is listed as a "safe" person to
discuss LGBT issues with. I sent her an email today outing myself and setting up
an interview for this coming Friday.

It is now that Friday.

The program director and I had a great discussion for nearly an hour today. It was such an affirming experience! It felt great to be able to discuss both my homosexuality and my disaffection with the church. She was very supportive and knew all the right things to say. I am so glad all of my out experiences have been positive so far!

Friday Movie: Eyes Wide Shut

By Mister Curie

Not a gay movie this week. "Eyes Wide Shut" is (from IMDb) about:
A New York City doctor, who is married to an art curator, pushes himself on a harrowing and dangerous night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife admits that she once almost cheated on him.
Certainly lots of eye candy for the lesbians and heterosexual males, but what really interested me about this movie was its moral themes. After narrowly (and not entirely willingly) avoiding an enticing encounter with a prostitute, and then being kicked out of a high society sex orgy that he snuck into, the main character learns that the prostitute had recently contracted AIDS and that "Powers That Be" in the city are now out to get him. The theme "Lucky To Be Alive" permeates the second half of the movie. This movie made me think about the often unseen and unintended consequences of our actions (particularly those that are impulsively made). Certainly within the promiscuous aspects of a sexual relationship there is the potential danger from AIDS and other STDs. There is also potential danger to committed partners (not just through contraction of STDs), but through broken trust and emotional damage. This theme applies to both heterosexuals (as portrayed in the movie) and to homosexuals. I think it is important to try and imagine the consequences of our actions and to minimize those that would impact negatively on our lives and the lives of those we love.