Going back to Sunday... I talked with my bishop and we both came to the conclusion that I am not sure what I want in my life. Yes, this means that I have made my way back onto the fence. I hate to admit this, but it is true and sad at the same time. We also both came to the conclusion that I have been spiraling downward since I was rejected from serving a mission and that is what has caused me to land uncomfortably back on the fence.
What has lead me being back on the fence and drowning? Well, the answer is not very simple. There have been a lot of things that have been affecting me.
One is the lack of direction and goals. I am a very goal oriented person. When I was working on going on a mission, it was so much easier to forget about all my issues and it was easy to focus my attention on being good so that I could go. I did have my weak moments during that time, but I generally had the Spirit with me and a direction to go. Now, life is completely different. I have tried dating, but it has frustrated me so I have decided not to worry too much about dating seriously or even consider marriage right now. With that goal out of the picture, what other Spiritual goals do I have? None... I do not have a calling and I feel like I do not have a purpose right now. How can a set goals for myself and move in a forward direction when I do not have a purpose or a calling? I cannot. I have been trying to move forward, but I have been slowly forgetting to swim.
Two is not feeling welcome in my ward. I have been going to my family ward since October now because my parents have wanted me to stay home because of health issues. I have not had the desire to go to my stake singles ward because it is just like high school all over again and I personally hated most of the people in high school and I did not get along with them. That is why I have continued to go to my family ward. The problem is that I do not feel welcome. Nobody talks to me except my parents and a few old ladies here and there. My Elder's Quorum and home teachers can careless about me (I do not even know who my home teachers are and nobody ever talks to me in Priesthood because they do not like my liberal take on the Gospel). My Elder's Quorum President didn't even know my name until after being there for almost 6 months. Does that make anyone feel welcome? NO! It is so frustrating! UGH! Not feeling welcome makes me not want to go to Church. I would try to find excuses not to go and when I would go I would hate it and end up texting people throughout the whole block. I could not feel the Spirit when I felt like nobody wanted me there or wanted to hear my opinions.
Three is stopping reading the scriptures and praying. I know this is my fault, but when the two things mentioned above started affecting me, I really did not the inclination to be spiritual. Then I eventually started feeling guilty when I would pray and read the scriptures. That caused me to stop altogether. I prayed for the first time tonight in probably a couple of months.
Four is falling for a guy and doing things with him.
Five is wanting a relationship.
Six is lying to myself that all is well, when in reality I was starting to drown. I kept telling myself that I was doing fine. That I was being spiritual. Yeah, right! I kept telling myself that I was strong. I was putting on a facade with myself and with others. As I look back, I know that I care a lot about how I appear to people and admitting to myself and others that I was struggling was something that I could not do because so many of you know me personally. I was the strong person--someone people looked up to, the one who was going to stay in the Church no matter what. So I started to lie to myself and to you all through blogging and in person. I used to could write everything that I was feeling on this blog, but that changed. Then I used to could write everything that I was feeling on my private blog, but that changed too. Now, I am going to write everything on this blog. I am not going to lie to myself and others. I struggle just as much as the next guy or gal.
So there you have it. I am done telling sweet little lies. I am going to tell the truth and the way things are. This blog is for me and you all should feel luck that you can read this part of my life--the part that I do not share with many people.
I am drowning right now. I do not know what to do. I am glad school is almost back in session because I think that will help me out. I think I need to take a break so I can start to tread water again and begin to swim again.
She told me a story of all of her roommates (there are like 12 of them) sitting around and talking. They were tip-toeing around the subject of getting some sort of affection from guys and then finally flat-out said, "Seriously, I need some action." There are around 30 girls in her study abroad group and 3 or 4 guys--I do not remember exactly. So the chances of hooking up and getting some action are very slim unless they hook up with the locals. When I read this in her email, I laughed really hard. Then I thought that this applies to me and almost everyone too--unless there are some people out there who are never horny.
I need and crave action just like every straight and gay person in the world. I guess the problem is that I crave action from guys and according to the Church, getting action from guys is wrong. I have never had the desire to cuddle, make-out, and have sex with a woman. It is just something that is not appealing to me. I will give you two examples that have happened to me in the last little while. About two weeks ago, I was hanging out with one of my straight friends--he is now on a mission... :(. I find him attractive and we were watching a movie at his place. I just wanted to get closer to him and cuddle with him. Then the other night I was hanging out with two girls. They are both fairly attractive and they are really fun. We went back to their place to watch a movie. We all jumped in their lovesac and cuddled. I cuddled with them because they wanted to do it. I did feel nice, but it was not something that I was craving. Another example is with another girl. She likes me a lot. She has been putting the moves on me and trying to get some action from her. The thing is that I do not want to kiss her or even get close to her. It kind of repulses me to be quite honest.
These moments when I get horny and crave action (it happens a lot) can be trying and break me down after awhile. After being broken down, I satisfy these cravings by sometimes going to masturbation and porn, but these are also bad and I personally do not like being addicted to either of them. They make me feel gross and out of control of my life. I wish there was an easier way to curve these cravings. Alas, there is not...
The moral of the story is that I am gay and horny. I need some action, but the place that I want action causes problems with the Church. Sigh...
Here is the news report:
A group of openly-gay members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spoke out today after the Church postponed a meeting it had scheduled with them.
Earlier this year, Church President Thomas S. Monson assigned the director of LDS Family Services to hold the meeting, but it was postponed until a new director is hired.
Affirmation leaders say they did not want to wait until next year, and so they communicated their priorities at a morning press conference.
The Church reacted by saying, quote: "It has always been the intent of the Church to engage in an open and honest discussion with Affirmation leaders, to listen to their concerns." So, today's disagreement over the meeting seems to come down to timing.
"We were sent here to this Earth as gay brothers and sisters for a purpose in God's plan," said David Melson, public relations director for Affirmation.
He and other gay members of the Church spoke out about their lifestyle and their faith.
"We believe there is room for us in the gospel. We believe there is a place for us ordained of God in the gospel," said George Cole, director of young adult programs for Affirmation.
Melson says, right now, "gay members do not always feel safe in an LDS Church environment."
While the group is pushing for more acceptance in the LDS faith, they also hope their same-sex relationships will be recognized by the Church. The group wants better training for local Church leaders, affirming statements in the Church's General Conference and, maybe down the road, a change in doctrine.
"We also hope to convey that it isn't natural for a gay person to be celibate their entire lives either. While we do understand the Church's position on that matter, we ask that they recognize the significance or our committed long-term relationships," said Olin Thomas, executive director of Affirmation.
The group, Affirmation, claims gay Mormons are frequently shunned, some to the point they turn to suicide rather than face life as a homosexual.
"Being gay is a biological characteristic. There are physical, biological traits that seem to be the cause of being gay. It is not the fault of good mothers who raise their children in righteousness, and they should not be saddled with any kind of a guilt trip or blame," Melson said.
The group believes statements made by Church leaders in recent years have been positive in accepting gays in the Church. But they don't believe this message is widely accepted by Church members.
"I believe of the biggest gifts that God gave me was to be sent here in this time as a gay man. Being gay in this day and age, you have compassion and empathy for other people who suffer for others who are discriminated against," Melson said.
The Church responded with this statement: "The issues surrounding same-gender attraction deserve careful attention, not public posturing. It appears from Affirmation's actions today that it has opted for a public rather than a private exchange."
There is no word yet if that means the offer by the Church to hold a meeting with Affirmation is now off the table.
Statement issued by Church spokesman Scott Trotter:
"It has always been the intent of the Church to engage in an open and honest discussion with Affirmation leaders to listen to their concerns. When the Church was originally approached by Affirmation, Church officials offered a much earlier meeting date. The meeting was put on hold until August at Affirmation's request. The Church asked for the same courtesy as it hires a new director of Family Services, a position crucial to this conversation.
"The issues surrounding same-gender attraction deserve careful attention, not public posturing. It appears from Affirmation's actions today that it has opted for a public rather than a private exchange."
I agree with a lot of things Affirmation. I think that Church members can be better educated and more accepting of people like all of us so it does not lead to things like depression or suicide. I also believe that we do have a special purpose in life and that is why we have been given our attractions. I do not agree with Affirmation in its desire or hope to change the doctrine of the Church. In my opinion, the Church will never change its stance because there are firm statements from God talking about family and how marriage is only between a man and a woman. Changing the doctrine is also not consistent with the new pamphlet God Loveth His Children.
What If You Only Thought You Were Gay?
For some men, the trouble starts when they realize they're actually straight.
In the early nineties, Dan Rothenberg was having a gay old time--literally. A rising comedian in San Fransisco, he spent his nights at clubs in the Castro, where he discovered, to his surprise, that he was "a bit of a boy magnet." Rothenberg, then in his early twenties, was for pretty much the first time in his life finding hooking up with people easy. A regular at the Stud's disco night, he was known for starting off his routine at local comedy clubs by saying "I like my women like I like my coffee... I don't like coffee." Fifteen years later, he sits outside a West Hollywood Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf reminiscing with a woman about his days as an out-and-proud gay man. The woman happens to be his wife.
Rothenberg and Colleen Crabtree, both 35, met seven years ago. Five or so years before that, Rothenberg was paralyzed by fear over the realization that he wasn't actually gay. Although it took about a year to admit to himself that his Castro days were over, one incident stands out. "I happened to see a female friend getting dressed," he says. "I remember watching her and thinking 'There's no way words can describe how much I want that.'"
Despite the insistence of many--straight and gay--that switching between sexual preferences can't technically happen, Rothenberg isn't the only man to have believed he was homosexual before deciding that he was wrong. These aren't gays who attend faith based programs to be "cured," or bisexuals who rotate between male and female sex partners the way the rest of us alternate pairs of shoes. And they're not the type who hide gay urges in public while privately trotting off to the local bathhouse.
For Andrew Brin, who grew up in Milwaukee, it was all about girls--until he has sex with a guy at the end of his senior year of high school. "It was fun and I had a great time, but I remember having the feeling that I was doing something that wasn't right," he says. In his early thirties, Brin started dating a man and came out to his brother. When he later fell in love with a woman (who was at the time a lesbian) and realized he was straight, he didn't inform anyone the he'd been waving that rainbow flag mistakenly.
And although there aren't statistics to show how many men go through similar sexual shift, anecdotal evidence suggests that some men who consider themselves to be gay experiences this kind of change not because of sexual experimentation or peer pressure but because they decide that they want to sleep with women instead of men.
For Ethan Robinson (not his real name), a 37-year-old film editor from Los Angeles, chasing women during his post-college years became a chore. "If I went to a gay bar I got hit on like crazy, whereas at a straight bar the women all but turned their back," Robinson says. "At the gay clubs you danced, you had fun. At straight clubs, you sat around, posed, and tried to affect a degree of indifference."
Frustrated by his relationships with women, convinced that romantic relationships with men would be easier, and figuring that if he never tried it he'd never know whether it was for him, Robinson got into a casual relationship with a "really attractive, interesting" guy for about two months. After the first time they had sex, "I thought, 'Well, that wasn't as weird as I thought it would be,'" he says. "I didn't recoil from the experience."
After that relationship fizzled, Robinson dated another guy but eventually realized that he wasn't gay. "It just didn't fit," he says. "It wasn't what I ultimately wanted." The switch back to women wasn't complicated, in part because he was never officially out.
But for some men the sexual confusion is a little longer-term. Bob (not his real name), a 33-year-old artist from Los Angeles, decided he was gay when he was about 10. Although he had sex with girls in high school, an extremely close friendship with a neighborhood boy, combined with homophobic taunts from his sports coaches, only strengthened his belief that he was gay. He wasn't wholly convinced he'd been right until he was 25 and went on a date with a girl but ended the night by going home with a male architect the two of them had met at a bar.
Then, while he was in his second relationship with a guy--during which he would have to fantasize about women in order to have an orgasm--Bob realized his decision had been premature. "And finally it hit me when I was in bed with the guy I was [dating] and he said, 'You're not into this.' My dick wasn't hard. I was like, 'I'm not gay, I'm not gay, I'm not gay.' It was like the flip scenario of wen I thought I was gay."
While these men all think the switch from gay to straight was a definitive experience, some experts are skeptical that such a turnaround happens in any but the rarest cases. "I've only run across men who came out of the closet and pursued their gay identity but couldn't withstand the pressures of family and society so returned to being closeted and heterosexual relationships," says Ian Kerner, Ph.D., a sex therapist and the author of Sex Detox.
Nevertheless, instead of trying to run from their pasts, these men feel extremely grateful for having gone through what they did--and some even believe it makes them all the straighter. "Experimentation adds to your perspective--it doesn't limit you," says Rothenberg, who, along with Crabtree, transformed his experience into Regretrosexual: The Love Story, a two-person play that they perform to sold-out crowds in Los Angeles. And while she may be married to him, Crabtree isn't necessarily doing much to perpetuate Rothenberg's heterosexual image. When Rothenberg is informed that the blue patterned shirt he's wearing looks a little flamboyant, he sighs. "My wife picked it out," He says with a smile.
What if you are only thinking that you are gay when in reality you are straight? This is insanely crazy, but I guess it happens. There might be some hope for some of us out there... ;)
How many of you are like me? You strive and seek perfection and beat yourself up when you do not achieve it? I bet most of you are like this in one way or another.
I have done a lot of thinking on being perfect this week. Why do we strive for it? Why do we hate ourselves if we do not achieve it? Why is it so important for us to be perfect? What would the world be like if we were all perfect? Well, I have come up with some answers to this and I would like others input.
Why do we strive for perfect? In my opinion, this is the easiest one to answer. We are commanded by God and Christ to be perfect even as they are perfect. Essentially this becomes our greatest life mission--to become perfect. This is because Christ was able to achieve perfection and so should we. The problem is that we can never become like Christ in this life. We can never be perfect.
Why do we hate ourselves if we do not achieve perfection? The answer goes along with the first question's answer. We are commanded to become perfect. The reason why we hate ourselves is because we think that we can or know that we can be perfect in some areas of our lives and when we do not achieve that perfection, we hate ourselves. We also can hate ourselves for not reaching perfection in areas that we are not even close to being perfect. We, however, need to realized that we are not like God and Christ. Christ sacrificed Himself so that we could become perfect through Him. We cannot be perfect on our own. We are supposed to try our very best to be perfect. If we do not achieve it, it is fine because Christ has made up for the rest. He only requires you to try your best and if you do that, you have not failed in His eyes--you may feel like you have failed in your eyes though. Do not hate yourself because you think you have failed. Remember that Christ will make up for your lack.
Why is it so important for us to be perfect? This answer again comes from the first question. We are commanded to become perfect like God and Christ. We are supposed to be perfect so that we can become Gods. Again, we have to realize that this is not going to happen in this lifetime and that we need Christ's help to achieve perfection and Godhood.
What would this world be like if we were all perfect? In my opinion, if we were all perfect, the world would be boring. There would be no competition because everybody could do everything perfectly and there would be no reason to compete with each other to see who is better. There would be no challenge because again everyone could do everything perfectly. We would not be unique anymore--our imperfections are what make us who we are. We would all be the same or very similar--that seems really boring to me. I personally like meeting new people because they are new and different, not the same. I think that there would also be only happiness and good things--all of the trials and the heartache would be gone. This is because we would be able to handle everything perfectly without any problem.
All of my imperfections make me who I am. I know that I do not follow all of the commandments perfectly because if I did, I would be God or Christ. I know that have lied, hurt others, had sex, looked at pornography, masturbated, cheated on tests/homework, stolen some things from stores, not paid a full tithe, and many other things. These imperfections, however, made me the person that I am--they all have taught me lessons. They have given me unique experiences that has shaped me into the person I am today. I do not claim to be perfect and I know that I continue to make mistakes and with those mistakes comes the process of repentance and starting anew. I just hope that people can forgive me of my imperfections and see that I am trying my best to be the best person that I can be. If any of my imperfections and actions have hurt any of you, I am truly sorry.