Monthly Archives: April 2008

Soy Didn’t Make Me “SSA”

I don’t really use the term SSA (same-sex attraction) much.  I don’t criticize the majority of people who do.  Elder Oaks even counseled for people to avoid using labels to define people and their existence and I agree with him.  So why is the name of this blog “Soy Made Me Gay?”  Because I don’t like how some people are using the term “SSA”.

From some straight and gay mormons alike, SSA has turned into a label of its own which means “gay but not gay like that”.  I’ve seen people use it to distinguish their gay loved ones from the gay people they see on television (which is pretty much the only place that they see gay people).  By so doing, they are able to love their “same-sex attracted” brother or son or daughter or sister and keep hating “gay” people.  It’s this usage of “SSA” that offends me.

I am a homosexual.  I’m not a warm fuzzy “SSA” gay (that is only “kind of” gay, but not gay “like that”).  The one difference between my sexuality and that of, say,  Neil Patrick Harris:  my testimony.  Honestly, if there were an OD-3 saying gay was “a-okay”, I’d be the first one out in my ward.

If you hate “gay” people, then you hate me too.

Homosexuality doesn’t feel any more wrong to gay people than heterosexuality to straight people.  It actually feels normal.  That’s one of the reasons gay people in general feel the conflict that they do.  They can’t seem to understand how everyone can hate them for what comes normally to them.  That is why I don’t blame people who don’t have the gospel for following that feeling.  I hear “love the sinner, hate the sin” a lot, but I find it pretty cavalier of people to use that phrase when they don’t seem to be “loving the sinner” that much.  I believe homosexual acts are a sin.  I believe that eternal happiness comes (in part) from ridding yourself of practices that the Lord has deemed unworthy of His Kingdom.  I believe this because I have a testimony of the scriptures and the prophets and that is what they teach and I truly believe it, but to be honest, feeling sexual attraction to guys feels normal to me.  That’s just the nature of sexuality.

Sure I’m mormon, but I’m also SSA, a fag, a queer, a homo, and last but not least: gay like that.


I’m not turning into the militant gay of the mohosphere.  The next post will be less ranty, yo prometo.

Your New Gay Best Friend

You don't get much gayer than Spongebob

It seems that everyone has one these days, isn’t it time you got yours?  That’s right, nothing says “I’m a Mormon of the 2000s” than your very own gay best friend.  He’ll be there to listen when that douche of a singles-ward EQ president dumps you for some 19 year old co-ed-without-a-brain.  He’ll even remember to bring your favorite ice cream!  No one snuggles quite like him, either!  He’ll never break your heart (but don’t try to capture his).  So don’t wait, get your new gay best friend today! *

It seems as though I am always the gay maid man of honor…never the gay husband.

A lot of people don’t seem to understand why it can be hard for a moho to get married.  Not that it can’t happen, the gay mormon blogosphere has several examples of mixed orientation marriages that seem to be doing fine, but I for one find myself not wanting to get married.  I’m not saying it’ll never happen.  It’s just not something that’s on my horizon right now.

A question that I’ve gotten in the past has been “why don’t you just date more masculine women?”  At the time, I had no idea how to answer.  If I was attracted to men, shouldn’t I be attracted to man-like women?  I finally heard the perfect explanation from the mouth of a straight guy (supposedly, I maintain that he has at least experimented) that I know when he said that it wasn’t about personality, it was about anatomy.  He actually used much more graphic language, but I’ll spare you the details.  However crass he was, he was completely right.  Besides the fact that the butch softball player didn’t have all that sparkling of a personality, quite frankly she didn’t have the anatomy that my anatomy was interested in.

Within this context, the guys I am attracted to make more sense: I find I am actually attracted to sensitive and even effeminate guys.  Really masculine men usually fail to hold my interest.  If it were about personality, one would think I would be attracted to women, but I find myself sometimes getting irritated with “girly” girls to the point of exasperation.  (Because seriously, I don’t care about your new shoes.  They are just shoes.)  In the end, the anatomies just aren’t compatible (ironically enough).

There are sometimes that they are not only not compatible, they are incredibly incompatible.  Almost every gay guy has heard some straight person talk about how weird and gross they think gay sex is.  Well, there are times when almost all I can think about is sex.  These periods can last from a few hours to a few days (or even a few weeks) and from what I’ve been able to learn, it isn’t a gay thing, it’s a guy thing.  Most of the time, the female form holds no interest for me, but when I get in this mode (Abelard nerdily calls it pon-farr) the female body is actually kind of, well, gross.  I feel an actual aversion to having sex with a woman instead of the normal indifference.  Sometimes I don’t even want to be touched by a woman.

There was a time that an Abercrombie and Fitch billboard would almost cause me a panic attack.  (Seriously, there’s one where it is just some guy’s jeans-clad crotch.  I realize I live in the “gay” part of town, but still.)  I felt so ashamed for being sexually attracted to other men.  I tried to kill the attraction however I could and force myself to be attracted to women.  What I eventually found was this actually made things worse.  The more I told myself not to look at the posters in the Universal Gear window, the more I found myself walking by them.  It would seriously cause me emotional turmoil.

Now when I watch Casino Royale with friends I don’t freak out when I wish that they would linger more on the shot of Daniel Craig in those tight blue trunks because I know that the guys around me are wishing they’d cut back to the woman in a bikini riding the horse (I’d roll my eyes at the cliche of it all, if they weren’t busy looking for more shots of Mr. Craig in the waves).  Whatever our anatomies are attracted to, they are going to want it no matter what and, quite honestly, there is little we can do about it.  What we are responsible for, however, is how far we let our anatomies take us.

So, don’t go on and on about how gross you think gay sex is.  We get it.  You don’t understand it.  You know why?  Because you are straight.  I’m not really on board with what you do Saturday mornings before the kids wake up, but you don’t here me compla…ah, crap, now that image is in my head.  Thanks a lot.

*Allow 6 to 8 weeks for delivery.  No guarantees are made to the hotness of the Fedex guy.

Wait? You’re Name Isn’t Cliff?

You know Mark Cuban?  He’s the guy that started Audionet a million years ago and now owns pretty much everything that Bill Gates doesn’t.  You know his brother Brian?  Me neither, but it seems that the bajillionaire’s brother caused a stir recently when he outed himself as a participant in Alcoholic’s Anonymous.  While the “anonymous” part of the groups name should have made it obvious to me, but I didn’t realize that people going through the program are discouraged from publicly discussing their alcoholism.

I see where AA is coming from.  Many-if not most-struggling alcoholics don’t want people to know of their problems with alcohol.  The whole point of the program for them is to deal with the problem that is plaguing their life and to move forward and away from it.  Secondarily, AA doesn’t want to give itself a bad name.  If a member comes out as a recovering alcoholic and then suffers a setback, it not only reflects back on the individual, but also the program as a whole.

Brian’s take on the matter was that he wanted to make an example of himself in order to show that recovery from alcoholism was and is possible.  He felt that if one person read his blog and was helped by it, he considered it worth it.  He said that he was “not going to be ashamed of what has worked so well for me for the last year.”

This got me thinking.

The whole purpose of this blog, for me, was to be a place where I could discuss the issues surrounding homosexuality and the Church but primarily to serve as an example of someone who is living actively in the church and is also gay.  It has always been my plan, down the road, to publicly out myself on this blog and my “mainstream” one.  I don’t do it now because I don’t feel as though I am ready for the consequences that are likely to follow.  Cuban faced criticism for coming out as a recovering alcoholic – no doubt there will be friction to me coming out publicly as gay and Mormon.

I once read a comment on a moho blog post where the commenter asked something to the effect of “do you seriously want to be known as ‘the gay one’ and be singled out in Elder’s Quorum every time the issue comes up?”  I thought about it and I thought of course I do!  Why?  Because, with this subject, I know what I am talking about.  Just like I’d want my non-LDS friends to come to me with questions about the church instead of going to Wikipedia, I don’t want Mormons relying on negative stereotypes in forming their ideas about homosexuality.  If I can be a a good example to straight members of someone is gay and living the gospel then I absolutely want everyone to know that I am gay.  Why don’t I do it now?  Because I am not ready yet.  When I come out, I want it to be on my terms and according to my time-table.  Several members of my family know and a few friends, but coming out to everyone is a completely different thing altogether.  So, I’m coming out, just don’t wait up for it.

P.S. Luke McFarlane is out now.  Not a huge surprise, I’m just sayin’.

Why It’s Not Always All About Being Gay

In my last post I talked about why sexuality it is so important to gay Mormons and now I want to pretty much counter most of what I said.  Well, not really, but I do want to talk about why to everyone else – it really isn’t all about being gay.

We mohos (laziness won out) can be hard to please.  We can suffer fits of anxiety if we people are thinking of us as “the gay one”, yet we get horribly offended if people forget we are gay.  I had a bishop once that did just this.  I had an interview with him (it was certainly not my first time talking with him about it) and I prattled on and on about my personal life and lack of direction and uncertainty of the future (all of which I saw as a consequence of my sexuality).  Soon he stopped me and, without certainty, asked, “you are attracted to men, right?”  I was floored.  What?  He didn’t remember I was gay?  He didn’t think about my sexuality constantly?  How dare he?

Time has helped me realize that, quite honestly, my sexuality isn’t as important to other people as it is to me.  What I saw as significant problems related to my gayness, the bishop saw as problems every twenty-something faced independent of which part of the underwear catalog they lingered on.  Many of my friends have reacted to me telling them I was gay with an “oh, okay,” and little more.  Our relationship usually didn’t change in the least.  Part of me was a little bit annoyed.  Don’t you people know that this is a big deal?  I’m GAY, QUEER, A GIGANTIC HOMO!  I thought I would have gotten a better reaction if I had said I had bought the third season of “Lost”. (“Lost” party at Cliff’s house, yo.)

I now realize that while they may have even been taken aback, they thought the best thing they could have done was to love me for who I was, which was true.  It was the best thing that they could have done.  Deep down, I think I wanted them to validate the self-hatred I felt.  Part of me wanted them to reject me, so I could feel better about rejecting myself.  How glad I am that they didn’t.

So, straight people, please forgive us.  I know that questions like, “do I act gay?” are the queer equivalent being asked by a woman if he butt looks big an (any) pair of jeans.  It is a loaded question and no matter if you pick the obvious answer, it will probably blow up in your face.  We know not what we do.  Especially when we are in the beginning stage of figuring out where we, our religion, and our sexuality fit in with each other we will probably be some of the most self-absorbed people you know.  To you, we’ll be the same person we were yesterday, but our whole world is being flipped for the four-millionth time.  Just love us, we’ll get there, it’ll just take time.  (Sometimes, as in my case, we’ll be self-absorbed for completely different reasons.)

And to mohos, give your friends a break if their world doesn’t center around the fact that you can’t walk past Abercrombie and Fitch without having a panic attack.  They’re there for you, of course, but don’t be overly sensitive to off-hand remarks and comments.  To them, life isn’t all about sexuality and for the most part, they are right.  You don’t see straight people going on and on about how life would be easier if they were gay.  (I actually know one or two straight people that would probably have a less complicated life if they were gay.)  Also, straight people have their own crap going on and, to them, it’s a pretty big deal.  How ‘bout you take them for hot chocolate at Starbucks and listen to them for a change?  Your world will seem less intense if it rotates around another axis for a while.

Why It’s Always About Being Gay

As I’ve talked about being gay with people (talking with people about me being gay, not talking about being gay with them) I’ve realized that, well, a lot of straight people really have no idea what it is like to be gay, especially gay and Mormon.  I decided that I wanted one function of this blog was to be a way for straight Mormons to have an insight on what it is like for us gay Mormons.  (Of course these are generalizations and don’t apply to every person, but seem to be experienced by enough people to be worthy of note.  Or it is what I think.  Either way.)

One thing that seems hard for…I think I need to come up with a word for “straight Mormons”, because I am lazy and I can see me getting tired of typing that; I’ll mull that over…anyway, one thing that seems to be hard for straight Mormons to understand is why gay Mormons…I’m on the fence about whether I should use the online slang “moho” in this situation.  I guess I’ll mull that over, too….

Let me start over.

Gay Mormons think about being gay a lot….  Like, a lot.  We probably think more about being gay and all of its related topics more than we think about anything else (this is a generalization, obviously, but can be especially true when we go through our initial struggles over the issue.).  I got to wondering why?

Straight people seem to rarely think about being straight and then I thought…do they ever?  I came up with one situation when a straight person might self identify as straight, even if it is unconsciously – they would probably do so if they saw a gay couple.  You have Joe Straight walking down the street of Anywhereville and he sees a couple of dudes walking in the opposite direction hand in hand (probably in sandals).  Even if he does it subconsciously, Joe probably thinks, “they’re gay” and subsequently “they’re different, I’m straight”.  Simple categorization.  They pass him as they make their way to Whole Foods and Joe walks along business as usual.

Now, let’s put Billy Gay-Mormon on that street.  While he may like the quality of the produce at Whole Foods, Billy is walking into the Super Target because he chose film as a major instead of something lucrative.  As he chooses between Frosted Mini Wheats and Honey Bunches of Oats (even though he is just going to end up with generic Honey Nut Cheerios), he glances over to see a run of the mill straight couple.  The guy (who isn’t that bad looking) grabs a box of Count Chocula (and immediately becomes more unattractive) while his girlfriend picks up a box of Smart Start (who is she kidding?).  Like Joe Straight, even if it is unconscious, Billy thinks “straight” and subsequently “they’re different, I’m gay”.  Simple categorization.

Now think how more often Billy sees straight people than Joe sees gay people.  Even if Joe lives in a small apartment next to a boisterous club in the gay district of his city, he is still more likely to see more straight people than he will see gay people in the course of his day.  Thus the issue of sexuality is likely to come up less.  But for Billy, the issue of sexuality comes up much more often.

Now to make matters even more complicated, when Billy sees the Whole Food’s couple with their self-righteous canvas shopping bags on the way back to his small apartment, which actually is next to a boisterous club, he makes the simple categorization again.  He thinks “gay”, and then subsequently “I’m gay, too”.  What?  He thinks it with gay and straight couples.  Why does that happen?

My guess?  Billy was raised to be straight just like everyone else was.  Even if he had the most left-wing parents imaginable, Billy was raised around straight people (some of his best friends were even straight).  Billy is used to feeling at least a little bit different even around the people he fits in with the most.  This throws in more situations for categorization.

So Billy is constantly reminded that he is gay.  If he sees an attractive woman: “wow, she’s attractive, but not to me”.  Gay.  If he sees an attractive guy: “wow he’s cute.”  Gay.  Heck, even taking a shower.  Gay. Don’t even get me started about when he goes to church.  Super Mega Gay.  In a society that throws sex at us from every angle, on some level, Billy thinks about being gay all the time, even if he rarely talks about it.

So now you can see why being gay is so important to Billy and why a comment of “I don’t see why it is such a big deal,” can be frustrating.  This is also why he might be uncomfortable with you going off on how you were weirded out when you saw two guys making out outside of Local Gay Bar on your way back from the singles dance.  You may know Billy struggles with “same-sex attraction”, but come on, he isn’t gay, I mean, not gay like that.  Right?

I wonder what Billy is thinking about….

Up next: Why It’s Not Always All About Being Gay.

Mormon Tendencies

Even from a young age, I knew I was Mormon.  I just felt different from all the other kids.  All the other kids would talk about revivals and the importance of their youth ministers in their lives and I just couldn’t relate.  I would just smile and nod.  What would they think if they knew that sitting right next to them was a kid who not only didn’t believe in the Trinity as established by the Nicene Creed, but also accepted modern prophetic revelation and an open canon of scripture?  Could they accept me for who I was?  I doubted it.

It all became public when they found me on the back seat of the bus reading The New Era.  My secret was out.  I was Mormon and everyone knew.  But instead of feeling ashamed, I felt relieved.  I felt free.  I was Mormon and I didn’t care who knew it!

Dumb, I know.

Welcome to the (re)blog of a quarter-aged sarcastic scrawny gay Mormon who wants to change the world but mostly wants to take a nap.