Turn It Off!

11 August 2011
"Turn it off! Like a light switch! Just go click!"

"Imagine that your brain is made of tiny boxes and find the box that is gay and CRUSH IT!!!"

Both of these are lines that are sang by the gay missionary in the musical, The Book of Mormon. I can definitely say that what he sang rang true for my experience growing up in Utah. There were many times growing up that I thought I could turn off my attractions to men. I tried so hard. I would punish myself for checking out the lifeguard, fantasizing about my crushes, or watching pornography. It was never physical punishment, but rather reading more scriptures and taking my fun time away. I was serious and I wanted to show God that I wanted to turn off my sinful attractions. I'm even sure that I tried to crush the "box" that holds my homosexual desires. Needless to say, I couldn't turn them off or crush bedazzled, glittery, and boa-lined box.

When the gay missionary was on stage, it reminded me of myself. He was completely dedicated to the Church and he fully believed that things would work out according to God's plan for him. I think that he believed, like many gay missionaries, that if he served God diligently during his mission he would be "cured" from this awful "curse" of homosexuality. There was so much dedication to God and hope for change. Seeing this, made me sad. It made me think about how many other young men are out there struggling and hoping for change to straightness that never comes.

Overall, I think the writers had a great portrayal of the struggle of being a gay Mormon missionary. I only wish they could have developed his character more, but he was never a main character.

Getting up on my soap box now...

If there is anyone out there who has so much hope for change to heterosexuality, I hate to say stop hoping, but it's the truth, stop hoping. It will never occur. What you can do instead is stay true to yourself. I'm not saying to throw away the Church and embrace your gayness or throw away your gayness (pretend to be straight) and embrace the Church. What I'm saying is take time to discover what you truly believe and what want in your life. This may take many years, but when you know what's true and what you want, stick with your beliefs. Also, always remember that it's perfectly normal to be gay and Mormon. Stay true to yourself.


05 August 2011
*Ding dong*

Hello! My name is Elder Llewellyn, and I'd like to share with you the most amazing book! (From the opening song, but with my name place in it).

Back in May, I went to see The Book of Mormon. I'd like to say that I absolutely loved it! I know that a lot of people in the LDS community have said some awful things about it, but I'd like to say that they have inflated their opinions to extreme views. Also, I highly doubt many of the critics have seen the show.

There were some aspects that I didn't like of the show. They all were around the vulgarity of some of the characters and songs. I felt that some of the things said or sang could have had the poor language taken out. That being said, I can see why the language was in there. People do a lot of swearing and for some it is just a part of their vocabulary. So it seems to me that the writers were staying true to the "missionary" experience. I've never served a mission, but I'm sure that some people who missionaries try to visit have run into many people with colorful language.

Now, here is why I liked it and why I differ from most of the LDS critics. It's true that the writers poked fun at our quirkiness (they also poked fun of a lot of sensitive issues), but we do the same with movies like Singles Ward. The truth is that we make fun of ourselves in the same way as they were poking fun at us. I don't see anything wrong with this because I was taught growing up that we, Mormons, are queer folks that are different from the rest of the world. It's ok that we are different and it's ok to poke fun at our quirkiness. The writers were trying to portray Mormons as a unique group of people and they were able to accomplish this, but it wasn't in a demeaning fashion. I thought that they portrayed the LDS Church in an excellent light.

Many people have said that they do a bad portrayal of the Church, but I disagree. The writers showed that missionaries, while they may be innocent, are going out to places like Uganda to try to better the lives of and to give hope to many people. Throughout the musical, it shows the progression of how the missionaries are changing the lives of a town. The people are no longer dismal and angry; they transform into a people full of hope of a better life and they are striving to better their lives. Isn't that what missionary work is all about? I'd say that these missionaries did a wonderful job doing it.

Other critics have said that missionaries aren't as innocent as was portrayed in the musical. I'd like to say that they are. I'm sure when missionaries are going through the MTC that there is some education of the area, culture, and "trials" that people face, but learning about them is completely different than actually experiencing them, especially when you come from the homogeneous state known as Utah or Idaho and the surrounding states. When the missionaries arrived in Uganda, they were completely horrified at the situation--they couldn't believe what was going on. The missionaries that were already there had lost hope in spreading the Gospel and were waiting until their two years were over. Soon the newbies had experiences that caused them to question what they were doing there. Each situation caused one to lose more and more faith because he didn't realize that the world was unfair. He seemed to imagine the whole world to be like the US, specifically Orlando. It took him a long time to realize that the world is not all butterflies, unicorns, and rainbows. Eventually, his mission companion helped him realize that the world is not always fair and that they can actually change the lives of a whole town for the better.

Finally, a lot of people have said that they don't show the correct doctrine. While this is partially true, most of what they say is true. The writers had to change a few doctrines so that people of other beliefs could relate and understand; however, these changes were not so far away from the actual doctrine. Imagine trying to teach someone who has no knowledge about the Church everything in a couple hours. Can you do that? Of course you can't. That is why they changed a few things to make it more "mainstream" Christianity.

Overall, I absolutely loved the play and I have bought the soundtrack. It always makes me smile. Also, I think that this musical and the current Mormon.org (I think) ads in NYC is giving the Church a lot of publicity, which could in turn cause more people to be interested in learning more about the Church.

PS There will be more to come on my thoughts about the gay missionary in the musical.


08 July 2011
Sorry that I haven't written for a very long time. A lot has been going on and I haven't had the desire to write much. Nevertheless, here is a quick update with a chance of a longer one later. I'm not keeping any promises...

I have moved on to a whole new part of my life. I was admitted in Mount Sinai School of Medicine's MD/PhD program! I moved up to New York last Friday and I have almost completed my first official week of school. I'll be in the city at least for the next 8 years. So far, I'm loving it here and I'm loving school. Everything that is currently happening to me is exactly what I want and need. Life is good right now.

Here are some keywords to describe my adventures in New York: apoptosis, programmed necrosis, Central Park, site-seeing, TNF, U-Haul, NYPD, food, DNA fragmentation, parents, and fireflies.

Ex-Gay Article

22 June 2011
I came across this interesting article recently. Take a look at it if you're interested in the topic of ex-gay men.

Interesting Walk Home

09 June 2011
Today, I had an interesting walk home. I was strolling along and minding my own business when a black truck with its window down passed me. The person inside yelled out, "Why are you walking faggot?" He continued driving. I had no idea why he called me a faggot. I don't think I look "faggy" today. I was wearing a white and gray, horizontal striped shirt, a pair of light washed straight leg jeans, my green and grey backpack, and a pair of tennis shoes. Does this scream faggot? I didn't think so. I kept on walking and ignored his comments. As I continued on my way, he circled around and pulled up again. He said the same loverly phrase again and I kept ignoring him. Then out of the blue he decides it would be ok to throw a beer can at me. Luckily he sucked at throwing and completely missed me. This man was such a true gem of society. I wish everybody could grow up to be like him and throw beer cans at people instead of being nice.

You DON'T NEED A Boyfriend To Feel Good!

17 April 2011

Absolutely loved this video! I was laughing the whole time.

Unconditional Love From My Mom

14 February 2011

My mom sent me the book, "Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You," in the mail today. I cried the whole time I read it. This is the first time that I felt my mother's deep love for me in a long time. I called her to thank her for the wonderful book. Also, I wanted to tell her everything that I have been keeping from her. Sadly, she didn't have much time to talk since she was going out on a date with my father for a Valentine's Day. The message in this was definitely something I needed to hear from her. I think I'm going to start being more open with her now.


22 January 2011
My life has continually changed since I have started this blog. Along with my life changes has come changes in this blog. My life is no longer what it used to be and neither is this blog. I no longer feel the need to write my story on it's pages. I'm not sure what to do with it anymore. We'll see if this blog will develop into something new or shrivel and fall by the wayside.

I still write occasionally on my other blogs. The links are given below.

Journal-like blog for friends and family (not gay friendly). Feel free to read and comment if you would like to, but please use discretion with your comments.

Personal, more introspective blog about searching for meaning in my life.

PS I'm still contemplating what to do with this blog. So if any of you have ideas, feel free to let me know.

I Just Want...

14 January 2011
Dear God,

The only thing that I want in the world right now is to be accepted at NYU.


The Italian Stallion

09 January 2011
I am so mad right now! This weekend was my birthday and everything was a hot mess until The Italian Stallion decided to be an utter douche bag. I need to give some background of The Italian Stallion so you all can understand why he's a douche bag and no longer my friend.

The Italian Stallion (further called TIS from here on out) is a colleague at work. He was one of my first straight friends in Frederick. TIS was very nice and welcoming. He starting inviting me to bars with him and other colleagues, and we quickly became close. Eventually, TIS started talking about sex with women, picking up on chicks, etc. I always came up with an excuse or just changed the topic. I asked another colleague who already knew that I am gay about coming out to her and the rest of her lab. She said that should be perfectly fine. I did that and TIS seemed to be ok with everything. Quickly, our friendship changed. He was no longer inviting me to events and texting me. Then he started avoid conversations with me. It became interesting, but I decided not to care because I have made other friends. Jump forward to this weekend.

I invited his lab to go out with me to celebrate my birthday. A couple of them wanted to go to a gay bar and club to experience it. He told me that he was going to Delaware this weekend and couldn't make it. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and believed he was actually going to go to Delaware. Well, last night I come to find out that he did not go to Delaware and stayed home this whole weekend. Again, I decided not to care because I don't consider him a close friend anymore. Then he started texting one of the male colleagues during the evening. He was asking about the gay people hitting on my colleague, how weird it was, etc. That started to bother me. I didn't let it get to me and ruin my night though. Then this morning he texted a couple of my male colleagues asking them if they were ass raped last night and received HIV from it, because all gay men have HIV. That seriously irritated me. What kind of naive, conservative douche bag is he? It makes me wonder what he thinks of me. I'm guessing he thinks I'm a whore who has HIV and who is spreading it around to all of the heterosexuals. UGH! I want him to say something to my face so that I could confront him. I have A LOT I want to say to him.

As I have been talking to my colleagues, we have all decided that TIS is a closet gay. He is very homophobic, hypermasculine, insecure, touchy-feely (he touches everyone but me whenever they walk by him), never has had a girlfriend, and other markers. Also, TIS will not make eye contact with me for fear of catching the gay, but I catch him staring at me all the time when I'm not looking at him.

My question is what do I do? Should I just confront him about everything that is bothering me or should I just let it go? I'm not one to take crap from people, but I don't want to mess up work dynamics and have people start hating him and me. Also, if he is truly gay, I don't want to force him out of the closet when I feel like he is so very deep in it. Sigh... I wish there was an easy way out of this one.


This is a very interesting video about the history and misconceptions of homosexuality by the general population.