Friday, April 30, 2010

Betty White!

Gotta love her!  And, no joke, can we get her to host the Oscars?
"Type, Nerds!"

Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Mom and My Blog

My mom found my blog.  Don't worry, it's not as bad as it sounds.  In fact, I'm glad.  But it's quite a funny story.  The day after I came out to her, my mom called me.  She said the weirdest thing happened to her.  She said she was spending a lot of time surfing the web, gathering information about being homosexual and attending BYU.  She said she came across a blog in her searches and began to read about this blogger and his experience coming out to his mother.  As she read, she kept thinking - Wow, this conversation sounds so familiar. I guess all mothers ask the same questions, because this is exactly what our conversation was like.  My dear mother, kept reading, not realizing she had stumbled across my very own blog; I hadn't told her about it in our conversations.  It wasn't until she was just about done reading that post that it finally dawned on her that it was, indeed, my blog!  She had to call me immediately and tell me.  So now, my mom reads my blog (Hi Mom!).  Don't worry, I have no plans to cease writing.  I will still be here for your (and my mother's) reading enjoyment.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Few Thoughts On My Weekend

I moved into my new place this week. I am now a resident of the Salt Lake Valley. Woot! I like it up here a lot more than Utah Valley. I am commuting to and from my job in Provo, however, until I get another job up here. I usually take public transportation, but every once in a while, I will drive. It's not as bad as it sounds, actually. To be honest, I quite enjoy it. Weird, I know.
Anyway, my new place was not furnished, so I had a legitimate excuse to go to IKEA and buy furniture. I have been known to go to IKEA for no particular reason, which always ends up being a mistake - I can spend waaaay too much money in that store! But this time, I think I did pretty well. I got a bed, a dresser and a desk, all for a reasonable price. I saw so many cute things there that I would love to have, but I resisted the temptation to buy them.  My friend, and new roommate, came with me.  He had never been to IKEA before, so, of course, I had to bring him along. IKEA is like Disneyland, I told him. We had a lot of fun. It went something like this:

No, I kid. But it was a lot of fun.
Saturday night was the Moho Party, which was really fun. I tried to be more outgoing and social, instead of being the wallflower that I normally am. It turned out to be great. I met some more people, which is always cool. We just talked and ate, and talked some more. Nothing more to the party than that. But it was great, nonetheless.
On Sunday, I went to sacrament meeting in my new student ward. It was pretty good, until the last speaker. I tend to get a little anxious when people talk about certain things in sacrament talks. In this case, this speaker pretty much stated that everybody needs to serve a mission, because it will be the best thing that will ever happen to them. He went on to explain how his life has been completely changed because of his mission. Now, that's all fine and dandy for him, but when you say that everybody needs to serve a mission, I get really upset. I do not think that everybody needs to serve a mission. The missionary experience is not for everybody; it certainly wasn't right for me. And I have many close friends that have chosen not to go on mission, and in some of their cases, I actually laud them for that decision. Based on the experience I had, the mission would just be wrong for them. I would never wish for someone to go through what I did.

Then, still speaking about his mission in Italy, this speaker said, trying to be humorous, "My mission in Italy was difficult, especially with the Catholic Church and the Pope being there, leading them astray...." Whoa! That remark was tactless and it put me over the edge. At this point, I had to get up and leave. This comment proves the deep-seated intolerance and blindness of the majority of LDS church-goers. I do not, in any way, endorse the Catholic Church, but I always try to stay pretty open-minded about other people's beliefs. I respect them for what they believe, just as I expect others to respect what I believe. To say that my belief is somehow better than another's, is the epitome of bigotry.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Quote of the Week - 4/26/2010

"Excessive pride is a familiar sin, but a man may just as easily frustrate the will of God through excessive humility."

~~ from The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Another highly recommended book, and it doesn't disappoint.  It is an official selection of Oprah's Book Club, which doesn't really mean anything to me, but it is probably among my favorites from the club.  I only just finished the first chapter, but it is a spectacular story.  I am seriously addicted to it.  It is quite long - just shy of a thousand pages - but if you like historical fiction (and even if you don't), this book is a great read.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Power of Madonna

Best. Episode. Ever.

Monday, April 19, 2010

And This Is How It All Happened....

Last night began like any other Sunday evening.  I was in the middle of surfing the internet, chatting with people via Facebook, text, telepathy, etc.  I get a phone call from my mother and this is pretty much what went down:

Mother: "You know that I'm your mother, right? And that you can tell me anything, right?"
Me: "Yeah. Why?"
Mom: "Well, is there anything you want to tell me?"

Silence.  Seriously, I must've sat there for about two whole minutes not saying a word.  My heart was beating out of my chest.  I knew that this was it.

Me: "I'm guessing since you are calling and asking me this, that you pretty much already know."
Mom: "So, are you.....?" (Note how she shies away from the g- word)
Me: "Yes."
Mom: "How long have you known?"
Me: "To be honest, pretty much since Middle School."

I think this threw my mom for a loop.  She went on to remind me that they (my mom and dad) have asked me a few times in the past if I was gay and I always denied it.  I told her that growing up in the environment in which I did, that I was never really comfortable with it.  But now I am much more comfortable with it.

Mom: "So, when were you going to tell us?"
Me: "This summer, whenever I come home next."
Mom: "Are you okay with it?"
Me: "I am now.  I have really come to terms with being gay."

This is the first time that that word was used in our conversation, and it actually startled my mom.  She said, "It's so weird to actually hear you say that word."  I told her that if it bothered her, I wouldn't say it. She said that it was fine, it was just a little jolting to hear it out loud from my mouth.

Me: "Can I ask you what prompted you to call me and ask me this?"
Mom: "I've just noticed that all of your friends that you've added recently on Facebook are guys." Oh, great. My mom, the Facebook stalker.  "There is, like, one girl for every twenty guys that are your friends. And all of the guys have things like 'Pride' or 'Equal Rights' posted on their profiles."  Yes, people, you may have been stalked by my mother on Facebook.
Me: "Well, this isn't how I wanted you to find out.  I wanted to tell you face-to-face. But, I'm glad it's out there now."

My mom then went on to ask the obvious questions, like "How do you feel about the church?" and "Will you still be able to go to BYU? Do you still want to go to BYU?"  I was brutally honest with her; I told her that my faith in the church has never really been that strong, and that I usually just attend Sacrament Meeting, but not the other meetings.  I told her that I was still planning on finishing up and graduating from BYU.

Mom: "Are you in a relationship?"
Me: "No."
Mom: "Have you been in a relationship?"
Me: "No."
Mom: "Okay. 'Cause you know that, with the church, you can have only one or the other.  You can't have both."
Me: "Yes. I know that."

And then I throw the mother of all questions at her.  I know that this will determine exactly what my mother's true feelings are.

Me: "What would you think if I did get in a relationship, and got myself a partner?"
At first, she is silent. But then, "It wouldn't be easy.  It would hurt.  But, as with -------- and -------- (two friends of our family who are gay), I would just want you to be happy."

YES! That is pretty much what I wanted to hear.  I was so happy to hear that!  This was the point at which I could feel a burden being lifted off my shoulders.  At this point, I was so glad that we had this conversation.

We talked for another 10 minutes or so.  She said, "I'm gonna have a million questions for you." I said that I know and that she can call me anytime to ask me.

I feel so amazing right now.  I knew that coming out would be a relief, but I never expected it to be like this.  Me and my mother had an intelligent, mature conversation about my homosexuality, which is the best I could have ever hoped for.  And she shows all the signs of being a supporting mother who just wants me to be happy.  So, that is how it all went down last night.  Although it really wasn't my time or place of choice to do it, I am so glad that it's out there and that I don't have to pretend to be somebody I'm not around my mother.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Well, It Finally Happened!

April 18th, 2010.  A historic day in my life.  Today was the day I came out to my mother.  Yes, people, it's true.  I cannot put all the details in this post right now - I have finals tomorrow morning and I desperately need some sleep (we'll see how that goes tonight - my mind is racing at a million-miles-a-minute).  Stay tuned for all the juicy details.  Have a wonderful night, my beloved followers!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Answers: Part 3

shaantvis: "What reasons do you have for going to BYU? Any prospects in transferring to another school?"

Great question, shaantvis. I began serving my time back in 2006. This was during the time in which I was trying desperately to suppress my homosexuality. I was so ashamed of it; I was so afraid of people finding out. So, I went along with everything I was "supposed" to do. That included attending BYU, because that's what all good mormons do, right? If I had decided to go somewhere else, that would have elicited questions of "Why didn't you go to BYU?" or even worse, people assuming that I was not worthy to attend BYU. I thought that, for sure, if I decided not to go to BYU, people would somehow realize that I was gay. It's interesting to look back and realize just how naïve I was.

Even after my mission, I decided to come back to BYU, even though I knew it would be hard for me. I try not to regret any decisions I have made in my life, but coming back to BYU was probably not the wisest choice for me. Being back in "the bubble" brought back my anxiety and depression which I suffered through on my mission. Yet again, I had put myself in a location where I was afraid of people finding out who I really was.

I don't really hold any grudges against BYU, but I truly believe that, just like the LDS church, it's not really meant for everybody. It's perfectly fine for some people, just not for me.

As for transferring to another school, I have thought about it a lot, actually. However, I have decided against it. I only have two more semesters until I graduate. I do not want to take the risk of switching schools and losing credits in the process, forcing me to stay in school longer than necessary. I think I can handle BYU for one more year. As much as I do not like attending this school, it is a great academic institution. I like my classes and I learn a lot. A degree from BYU would only enhance my resumé. It would not be a blemish, like so many people seem to think.


Rev. Dennis: "What is your favorite internet religious organization?"

Oh Dennis, you already know the answer to that.  eGrace International is, hands-down, the best internet religious organization ever created by man!  I am so proud to call myself a card-carrying member of eGrace.  For those who have not heard of the glory that is eGrace, please follow the link above and bask in it's awesome-ness.  Feel free to join - it's free!

(Dennis, was that a good enough plug for ya?)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Answers: Part 2

pgf: "If you had to kill a baby mammal through blunt force trauma, what kind of animal would you pick to kill?"

Hmmmmmm.......I think I would like to meet you, pgf. You seem to have a fascination with the macabre.


Rob: "If you ran the Honor Code Office, what would you change regarding Mohos on campus?"

This is an interesting question. To be honest, I'm not sure. I understand why there is an Honor Code Office (HCO). Do I agree with all the things they do? Hell no! But to say that the HCO should not do anything about homosexuality, would be to say that BYU and even the entire church should reverse their standings on homosexuality. And, let's be honest, as wonderful as that may sound, it's just not gonna happen. Anytime soon, at least.

But to answer your question, if I ran the HCO at BYU, I definitely would make some changes. I would change the policies that allow "Honor Code Officers" to actively pursue and seek out those living the homosexual lifestyle. I have heard rumors, and I am not sure if they are true or not, that the HCO has "spies" on gay networking sites (e.g. Connexion) and even at gay clubs in Salt Lake. I find this to be a gross breach of privacy, and it would be the first thing I would change. People have their agency, right? So, they should be able to make their own decisions. This policy makes it feel like a lot of decisions are being made for us.

I also hate the "snitching" that occurs at the HCO. At any time, any student can report another student of violating the Honor Code, and remain completely anonymous. No evidence is required. This bothers me to no end! If I made my roommate angry for some reason, he could falsely accuse me of having sexual relations with another man to the HCO. I would get called in for questioning, and I would never know who reported me. Doesn't that just piss you off? I sure get heated when I think about it.

There are many flaws in the HCO, and they should be fixed. But, as I stated before, that's just not gonna happen.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Answers: Part 1

Thanks to all those who gave suggestions on what I should write about.  I will attempt to respond to all your questions over the next few days.  So, here goes:


Horizon: "How has the knowledge of [other Mohos at BYU] while you are there affected you and your social life?"

I also was unaware of the number of gay guys here at BYU for the longest time.  I really, truly thought I was alone.  I felt like I was the only gay person in Utah County.  I was ashamed and embarrassed of being attracted to boys.  Ever since High School, I had tried to suppress my homosexuality.  Anything that would even closely associate me to being gay, I avoided like the plague.  On the outside, I successfully put on a brave face and convinced everybody that I was happy.  Underneath the façade, however, I was miserable and lonely.  I was this way throughout High School, my freshman year at BYU, my stint in the mission field, and the whole next two years back at BYU.  

Finally, my inner emotions came to a boiling point, and I literally had an emotional (but private) breakdown.  It was about this time that, thankfully, I stumbled across some online blogs by gay Mormons.  I had heard about blogging as a source of release and therapy, so I decided to give it a shot.  I began this blog last December in the midst of my emotional struggles.  How glad I am that I decided to give it a shot!  Many people (that I now call my friends) commented and began following my blog.  I was shocked that so many people here in Utah were in my same position!  

There was one follower in particular who invited me to hang out with him and his group of gay friends.  I stepped outside my comfort zone and accepted the invitation.  We went to Temple Square to see the Christmas lights.  I was so nervous, I hardly said a word the entire night.  But I will always remember that night, not because of what we did, but because of how I felt.  I finally found a group where I could completely be myself and not try to hide from it.  I felt so free when I was with them.  This experience gave me strength to get through my emotional breakdown.

While hanging out with this group one evening, there was someone else there that night.  I saw him and recognized him from somewhere, but couldn't quite put my finger on it.  We started a conversation, and pretty soon I figured out that he was also a student at BYU.  As we talked more and more, we discovered that we not only went to the same school, but we were in the same class!  And even more, we had sat right next to each other on several occasions during the semester!  What an astounding revelation!  I was so taken aback that I had sat right next to another gay BYU student and hadn't even realized it.  It was at this point that I discovered that maybe I wasn't as alone as I thought I was.

As time went on, through these friends, I came to know many more gay Mormons (Mohos).  Today, I am so much more at ease with who I am because I have so many great and wonderful Moho friends.  I am much more open with my sexuality, although not quite out of the closet yet.  Six months ago, there was no way in hell that I would've ever come out of the closet even a little bit.  But now, if someone asks, I will be honest.  And I even have plans to come out to my parents this summer.

I am so much happier, my life is so much better now that I have discovered the abundance of Mohos here at BYU.  Although I still have some struggles, I am confident that my friends will be there to support me.

Monday, April 12, 2010

What Do You Want To Know?

I have been racking my brains trying to think of something to post. Thus far, it had been quite unsuccessful. Therefore, I would like your feedback. What do you think I should write about? What do you want to know about me? I will not reveal my identity, nor any information that I feel would compromise my anonymity. Other than that, I am an open book. I would very much appreciate your ideas/feedback. Thanks, BYUMoho.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Quote of the Week - 4/3/2010

"It's not love to be static like the desert, nor is it love to roam the world like the wind. And it's not love to see everything from a distance, like [the sun] . . . . The world we live in will be either better or worse, depending on whether we become better or worse. And that's where the power of love comes in. Because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are."

~~ from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (pp. 150-151)

At the recommendation of Jeremy, I began reading The Alchemist this week, and I love it! It is such a beautifully written story with such profound wisdom about life and each individual's "Personal Legend" or destiny. I haven't even finished it yet, but I am certain it will become one of my favorites. If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What's Wrong With Me?

I want to crawl into a deep, dark cave and stay there forever.

Anytime a friend of mine says that he/she is feeling bad or angry or sad or depressed, I somehow always manage to convince myself that it's all my fault.  Therefore, I get angry/sad/depressed as well.  This is how I feel tonight.

I'm a naturally sarcastic person.  This means that sometimes, without even thinking about it, I can be mean and rude and hurtful by the things I say.  When I get nervous or anxious, I can get kind of overboard with the sarcasm and teasing.  When I'm around a certain person (who I really like), I manage to get this way.  I get nervous because I want to impress him.  I tease him in what I think is a joking way, but it's after several of these teasings that I finally realize that I've gone too far.  I always try to brush it off by saying "I'm only mean to people I really like. It's when I start being nice to you that you have to worry."  That's bullshit.  And I know it.  I really need to treat my friends like they mean something to me.  Like I want them to remain close to me.  No more of this teasing crap.  I don't want to be known as "the bitch" amongst my friends.

So, to this certain person that I may have offended tonight, I want to say:

I'm sorry.  I love you more than you probably know.  You have brought so much light and happiness into my life since we met.  I don't want to lose such a great friend.  My actions are out of line, and I am going to try my hardest to work on it.  I love how we text so much that I have to clear my inbox almost once a day.  I admire your strength and stamina when dealing with your thankless job.  I absolutely adore your new glasses (you look sexy in them!).  And I love how sometimes we can say nothing at all, but still be saying so much.  Again, I'm so sorry for being such a jackass.

Love, Me