Monthly Archives: September 2008

Taking Care of Some Business

So, I am going on my first honest-to-goodness-take-more-than-one-day-off-work vacation in over two years.  Tomorrow I leave for a week and a half to go to Europe.

Friggen A.

What does that mean for Soy?  Well, it means that it’ll be neglected for the next couple of weeks.  I’d fully intended on writing several posts and scheduling them to be go up while I was away, but with a mountain of pre-vacation work that I’ve been hit with, it doesn’t look like I’ll have the time.  I’ll leave comment moderation off (so, play nice), but that also means that there might be some spam or crazies lurking about.  I apologize, but I’ll just have to deal with anything like that when I get back.  Plus if your incredibly insightful comment gets wrongfully snatched up by the spam filter, sorry, it’ll be up in a couple of weeks.

Thanks for reading and you’ll hear from me when I get back!



I flipped through the songs on my iPhone until I found one by Blink 182.  I belted out the words as I drove on Interstate 20 towards Atlanta.  I was returning from my nephew’s baptism in a surprisingly good mood.

For the past few years, every time that I had attended a family event, I returned feeling stressed and depressed.  I was frustrated with this because I loved my family and couldn’t explain the feeling of isolation and sadness I felt when I was around them.  I usually returned home with a lessened desire to keep the commandments.  Christmas alone usually caused a month’s worth of emotional turmoil.

But as I flipped the next song, I found that I wasn’t experiencing those feelings this time.  I thought about what was different.  The main difference was that it was the first family gathering since I came out.  I came out because I finally accepted myself for who I was and I had a renewed confidence that I hadn’t experienced for a long time.

My family treated me the same as they always had (which was a good thing) and I enjoyed playing with the kids and talking with the grown-ups.  Not long before I left, one of my brothers came up to me and said with a grin, “nice purse you got there.”  He motioned down to the small bag that held my mother’s digital camera that I had borrowed.

“What?” I said, looking down at the bag.  “Oh, it’s mom’s camera.”

“Looks like a purse to me,” he said, grin widening.

“Whatever,” I said, mildly annoyed.

“It’s really small and cute,” he continued.  My irritation flared.  What was the deal?

In an instant I realized why I was annoyed.  When I was around my family in the past, I found myself slipping into the attitude that I had during high school: I must always project an image of straight masculinity.  My annoyance had nothing to do with my brother.  In fact, whether intentional or not, the message he was sending to me was, “just because you are gay doesn’t mean you are immune from my teasing.”

I smiled.  “This is nothing.  The man-purse I normally carry is way bigger.”

He laughed.  He didn’t care about the bag at all.  He was my brother and I was his.

I switched the song to “Hysteria” by Muse and started singing at the top of my lungs to keep myself awake as I drove through the dark.  Soon I would crest the hill and see the Atlanta skyline glowing ahead in the distance.  My family was behind me.

Just like they’ve always been.

A Matter of “Principle”

I have a few rules with respect to this blog.  One is that I don’t update it more than a two times a week.  Posts generally take me an hour or two to write (including research, links, etc.).  I don’t feel like devoting more time than that to writing about how I’m the sort of fellow that spends at least half an hour (more like 45 minutes) determining what cut of jeans he is going to buy at Target.  Another rule is that I don’t write when I am emotionally down.  When I write in a funk, my writing isn’t very funny and is often, well, depressing.

But today I am breaking that rule.

I’ve been down for a couple of days now.  It started when I went to the temple.  A lot of people enjoy going to the temple because they find it to be spiritually uplifting or at the very least get a since of service out of attendance.  On my mission I was the same way, but then again, my mission was kind of a spiritual “Twilight Zone” that doesn’t seem to have a close relationship to my spiritual life in the real world.  Point being, temple attendance since my mission has been problematic at best.  Instead of feeling lifted up by going, I often left feeling depressed, miserable, and emotionally drained.  The temple seemed to represent everything that had gone wrong in my life and intensified whatever emotional issue I was having at the moment.  Faced with that every time I went, my frequency decreased until I hadn’t gone for quite a while.

But things change, right?

I decided to go to the temple again this week with my close friend.  It had been a long time, but I had faced a lot of my emotional issues head on and felt I was ready to go again.  Shortly after entering, however, I realized I was in for a rough evening.  It was as if I was under constant spiritual attack – so much so that I was completely taken off guard.  I had expected it to be difficult, of course, the level was almost unbearable.  Compounding the situation was the number of people assuming that my friend (a woman and engaged to another friend of mine) and I were a couple.  Someone spoke to me referring to her as my wife.

“We aren’t married,” I said.

“Ah, your girlfriend then,” he continued.

“No. Just friends,” I said quickly.

“Okay, you just look like a couple,” he said.

“Maybe something will blossom there,” a woman in the corner said.

Why wouldn’t they just shut up?  No, we were not a couple.  No, nothing would “blossom there”.  I knew they didn’t mean anything by it and it wasn’t the first time this friend and I were confused for being a couple, but my anxiety was already high and caused me to become really distressed over the exchange.

As the session continued, I was flooded by all the anger, doubt, and worry that had plagued me on previous visits to the temple.  I felt powerless against it.  I sat there trying to keep myself from passing out because of the inundation of negative emotion.  Even old self-disgust reared its ugly head again.  “You’re sick,” came the thought, “You’re a perverted, sick freak.”  I immediately knew the source and knew that it wasn’t me.

“Don’t you dare!” I yelled back in my mind, “DON’T YOU F****NG DARE! Don’t you even start with that bull***t!  That is NOT TRUE!”

I said it was intense.

That line of thought immediately died, but the rest of the confusion and worry continued.  Later as I sat praying much of the intensity had subsided, which left me exhausted.  In a spark of thought I realized my worst fear.  I realized that my worst fear wasn’t to live my life alone.  While a life of general solitude wasn’t what I wanted, I realize what I was more scared that the Lord would tell me that I should get married…to a woman.

Afterward I was talking to my Mom on the phone while pacing around the temple grounds in tears.

“I don’t think He’ll require that of you,” she said.

“He’s done weirder things,” I replied.

She paused.

“I guess this is like Brigham Young and polygamy,” she finally said.

I realized she was right.  While my mind recoiled at the thought of the Lord asking me to pursue heterosexual marriage, it’s not like he hadn’t done something very similar before.  When presented with “The Principle”, Brigham Young responded:

I was not desirous of shrinking from any duty, nor of failing in the least to do as I was commanded, but it was the first time in my life that I had desired the grave, and I could hardly get over it for a long time. And when I saw a funeral, I felt to envy the corpse its situation, and to regret that I was not in the coffin.  (Journal of Discourses, 3:266)

Plural marriage went against his very core, yet he had a desire to be obedient.  He went from wishing for death at the very thought of marrying a second wife to eventually having more than fifty.  The thought of me marrying a woman goes against my very core.  The thought of me eventually even becoming a champion for mixed-orientation marriage I find deeply distasteful.

I don’t believe that I received a command from the Lord to pursue heterosexual relationships.  I don’t see what I felt to even be a heads up that such a command is going to happen down the road.  Maybe it will.  Maybe it won’t.  Whatever happens, the Lord made it clear that He requires that I be willing to give Him everything.  Everything.

And that scares the hell out of me.

What Now?

I knew that it would come and sure enough, roughly one week after coming out my ward, friends, and the Internet, I caught myself thinking, “well, what now?”

Church went along as normal yesterday (as I expected it to).  Work is going along as normal.  Life is going along as normal.  I knew it would, but it is sometimes strange to actually see it..  The world didn’t explode once I revealed that I, in fact, think Lee Fanning from Pushing Daisies is just adorable.  I wasn’t stoned for making it known that I was in the group of people watching Resident Evil for Eric Mabius, not Milla Jovovich (it’s not like anyone watched it for the plot).  When all was said and done, it wasn’t as important to people that I was gay as much as I was trying to live my life in a Christ-like manner-which is something we have in common.  Sometimes people surprise you.  Sometimes, they wonderfully don’t.

So where do I go from here?  To be honest, I’m not 100% sure.  I have some ideas of a long-term direction, but I’m still figuring things out a bit.  The Church has done its job well; I want a family.  It’s just the whole wife part that I’m not really on board with.  Gay marriage is out.  So…yeah….  A large problem for me is that, well, I don’t like working – at any job.  When I’m the only one who benefits from it, it feels especially pointless.  Sure, sure “keep myself from starving to death in a gutter” carries some motivation, but providing for a family seems like it would be more worthwhile.  Yeah, someone to go through life with would be nice.  It would even be nicer if they were hot….


I’m not dwelling too much on this.  I learned a while ago that if I focus too much on the future, I end up making myself miserable.  The future will happen whether I worry about it or not.  So, I think about it for a while and then leave it alone for a bit.  But yeah, the future…who knows?  You know?

Life Outside of the Closet

I was sitting in my car yesterday after a shoot while waiting for a guy to come pick up the HD camera.  I was listening to music and wiped the green screen paint off my fingers before switching to the next song on my iPod.  As I listened to “Peace and Hate” by The Submarines, I realized that I felt…weird.  I sat there for a few moments, trying to identify the feeling that I felt.  Once I did, I almost laughed out loud; the feeling that I was having such a hard time identifying was that I felt normal.

Since Sunday, I’ve had my anxious moments, but I’ve never doubted that outing myself was the right thing to do.  The posts on my personal blog, facebook, and this blog were all overwhelmingly supportive.

I tried to make sure that I was at a state where I didn’t view coming out as a solution to anything.  I tried to make sure that I was in a state where if I came out and everything went very wrong, that I would still be okay.  That being said, coming out has been great for my personal self-worth.  Let’s face it, having most of the people that are most important to you (and even complete strangers) tell you that they support you would benefit just about anyone.

I don’t necessarily recommend coming out publicly like I did.  Some people may need some time to come to terms with their own sexuality before they let everyone know.  Some people’s situations are more complicated than mine.  Some are content to just let a few friends and family know and as long as they aren’t constantly plagued by negative thoughts toward themselves, I support them.  I, however, knew that for me to continue as a productive member of the Church, I could not longer live with the thought that I had to keep that part of myself secret.  So I came out, and so far, so good.

But life continues on.  I know that coming out hasn’t solved all my problems.  I know that there will still be loneliness, frustration, and all the other negative emotions that one can think of.  But there is one that I refuse to feel anymore and that is the need to hide myself from the world.

I’m Clint and I am a gay man.  …Friggin awesome.

“I’d Like To Bear My Testimony”: Why I Came Out To My Entire Ward

You know there is always that one testimony every month that makes everyone feel really awkward, avoid eye contact and makes everyone shift uncomfortably in their seat?  Well, I decided to get that one out of the way early this month.

I just wanted to let everyone know why I am here.

My entire life, I’ve on some level known that I was gay.  Growing up gay in the church was really hard.  Living gay and active in the church can be really hard.

But no matter what I want to be true, no matter what I hope to be true, no matter what I think to be true, I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true.  It’s a knowledge that is impossible to take away from me.  (I’ve tried.)  I know President Monson is a prophet of God.  I know the Book of Mormon is true.

I don’t say all this to solicit pity (although I do enjoy a good pity party), guilt, or to shock.  I say this because no matter what our individual situations, the church is amazingly, frustratingly, inconveniently, wonderfully true…so what else matters?

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I walked passed the bishopric and the stake president (of course he would happen to be there) and down the aisle to my seat back in the chair section.  A third of the way there, I realized that I was looking down.  “Hold your head up!” I forcefully told myself, “You are not ashamed!”  I held my head up as I walked back to my seat.  When I slid into my chair, one friend put his arm around my shoulders, another smiled at me through teary eyes, and another turned around and gave me a smile and a thumbs-up.

So why did I out myself to my entire ward yesterday?

  1. To let other gay Mormons know that they aren’t alone.
    I don’t know if there are other gay members of my ward, but if there are, I wanted them to know that there are other gay members out there, doing our best to live the gospel.  Loneliness and isolation are the kryptonite of the gay Mormon.
  2. To help remove some of the stigma associated with homosexuality.
    I didn’t plan on it, but I was asked to help bless the sacrament yesterday.  I wanted to be the first one to bear my testimony (rip off the band-aid) and before I went up, I realized the significance of what was going to happen.  I was going to stand up from behind the sacrament table and, in front of the bishopric, the stake president, and my ward, reveal that I was gay.  I wanted to help dispel the myths that if you are gay you are a sinner (well, no more than anyone else at least) and unworthy of participation in the church.  I wanted to show that gay people aren’t disgusting pervs.   I wanted everyone to know that you shouldn’t be ashamed, and I am not ashamed, of being gay.
  3. To raise awareness.
    I’ve had people tell me that they thought I might be gay but dismissed the idea because I was active in the church.  I wanted people to know that gay Mormons are out there.  It’s a lot harder to hate a group of people when one of them is sitting next to you in Elders Quorum.
  4. To bear my testimony.
    I wanted to come out in testimony meeting because I wanted everyone to know what I believe.  Plus, a lot of my testimony was built while I was sorting out my sexuality.  It is a part of my testimony like my mission, youth classes, and everything else in my life.

Oh, and by the way, my real name is Clint.