Hiroshima and the Cold War

on 15 March 2009

So last Sunday I cam out online to facebook and subsequently the world The following is my note that I cam out with:

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The Real Me Comes Right Out

Today I turn 20. Much has happened this past year to put my life into perspective. Last year was my first year at the University of Utah and my second year of college. I attended BYU for one year but left for personal reasons. A year ago I was preparing to go on a mission, doing all I could to live the righteous life that was expected of me. But 7 months ago I finally recognized a crucial fact. I am gay.

For many who know me this will come as a shock. To you, my friends, I say this. Being gay doesn't mean I'm a sex-crazed fiend, or a pedophile, or a deviant. It simply means that physically, emotionally, and mentally, I find men more attractive than women. I didn't choose this. And to anyone who knows me and still says it's a choice, I ask you to look at my life and what I care about and then ask yourself why I would choose it.

Who would choose to live a life persecuted and hated? Living a life of internalized homophobia, of self-hatred? Who, honestly who would choose that? Look at the David you know. Do you really think I would choose this? Given a choice between lifelong persecution and a nice easy life living the American dream of a wife, a white picket fence, 3 kids and a dog, why on earth would I choose persecution?

Looking back I can see many times when I should have realized this about myself but instead allowed my mind to repress it. This realization has changed my focus and my outlook on life. You see, I am also Mormon and have a hell of a time reconciling these two parts of myself. These are my twin souls as it were, my Yin and Yang.

You see, for a gay Mormon, there are only really two choices:


1. Remain celibate, dedicating myself to the Church and living a life of service, with marriage being an option only if you can manage to develop feelings for a girl (a difficult prospect for most gay guys)
2. Choose not to remain celibate but instead choose any other option--which might run the gamut from a monogamous lifelong marriage or partnership to recreational sex and promiscuity--these are all against the Church's policy and seen as equally "sinful".


Those of you who know me know that I am very analytical. I often times think too much into an issue, not so much that I can't make a decision, but often just shy of that.

But I can't analyze my way out of these choices. I've tried, and the result is a lot of depressed self-hatred. This is not good. In fact, once it got so bad that I tried to take my own life. I'm never going to do that again.

And that's why I have decided, for now at least, to simply set aside for a while this dilemma between my church and my orientation, this internal constant arguing over which to choose. I need "an hour of peace and rest." This is one of the reasons that for Lent I have given up all discussion about this issue that might spark further turmoil in my mind. This includes discussions about it and most of my interactions with my LDS friends who are also gay. I've also decided to give up participating in church for Lent as so often church is another spark for my internal debate.

I have two reasons for doing this. First, to train my brain to be able to set issues aside and take them up later after some peaceful deliberation. Second, to spend the time I would have otherwise spent debating in turning to God, to Christ and to the Holy Ghost for comfort, support, and help in finding what I must do.

The greatest desire of my heart is not to do what I want, but to do what is right. I want so much to be able to be guided by the spirit of truth in my life. I want to be able to know what is right and to live it. To achieve Satyagraha, the willingness to endure personal suffering if necessary in order to do what is right. This is not easy.

Whatever the result of my efforts, however, I can no longer stay inside the closet. I can no longer sit idly by while many of my friends do not know who I am. I cannot sit here and let you look at me without seeing me.

So I plead with you my friends to look at the person next to you, try to see them for who they really are, and try to love them unconditionally just like our Savior would. Not to say you love them but not their “sin” for then it would be conditional, but to love them simply for who they are.

As for me, I am David. I love God, musicals, music, dancing, fencing, reading, school, politics, men, flying, humor, Christ, Shakespeare, YouTube, driving and dogs. But not because I'm gay. Being gay is only a small part of who I am. I am so much more than just that. Now I have to hope and pray that you my friends will see and understand that and, now that you know who I really am, our friendships can be stronger than ever.

Want to know about me, visit my blog at http://mohodichotomy.blogspot.com

*note the people tagged are those who wished me happy birthday before I posted this or who can distribute this news to my various networks of friends or are people who I think need to know/can tell those around them who know me but aren't on facebook.

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That was the equivalent in my life of the Uranium 235 "little boy" being dropped by the Enola Gay. It has forever changed my life. the following is the fallout of this devastating climax to date which, in conjunction with the nuclear theme I have dubbed the Cold War.

Via Facebook All of the comments I have recieved both in the note and out of it have been words of encouragement. This makes me feel glad to live in a society of acceptance rather than one of fear and hatred. However, and I know this sounds lame and crappy and self centered and pathetic in comparison to the hate I could have experienced, I have had silence from a majority of my friends concerning this. Nigh a peep out of them and this... This frustrates me because I would rather have them tell me their true feelings instead of having me sit here and think "well they hate me, are disgusted by me, they feel that if they have nothing to say that they shouldn't say anything at all." These thoughts are hurtful and I would rather face the blows of a thousand words that are flung at me than create them falsely.

Off of facebook, my message has spread rather virally. By wednesday night I had recieved a text from someone int he ward who doesn't have a facebook account, by the family of one of my facebook friends. Today, after waking up I decided to visit the ward and go to sacrament meeting at least for the sacrament. I got there late and after the sacrament so rather than sneak in and sit in my usual spot at the front of the chapel, I waited outside until the choir was set to sing and I joined them and then sat in my pew. I listened to the rest of the meeting with the intention of staying at church until I could get the sacrament form the 20th ward which met from 1-4.

While sitting down I got many looks of positive reinforcment from the members of my ward who are facebook frineds and I also had other looks from members that spoke volumes of ?disgust? no thats not quite the word I am looking for but it give you the idea. So After Church I made my way out from the front row to go to my car to grab my iPod and my Joseph Smith manual so I could study and have something to do for the next hour. On my way out I was pulled aside by my SS teacher who I had all but come out to previously and he offered me the encouragement and told me that he had read my letter and thought that it was very well written and he and I will talk later this week.

After I got my stuff from my car I went to the last pew and started to study while waiting and several people who I have had little contact with in my ward, came up and payed me special attention. While no one besides my SS teacher vocally mentioned that they knew I had come out, I could tell that several including some of the wives of the leaders I have been working with and some old friends, and the others who I shall not name by name here as that is kind of tacky.

Overall, so far, it has been good, but I can easily see this blowing up in my face especially as I am about to befriend via Facebook the friends from Peter Pan who have requested my friendship and the news of my orientation spreads throughout the school. Overall it has been a good experience and in fact me coming out has helped several people come out to me and I think that that is wonderful. So far the member of my ward who I am pretty sure is struggling with coming to terms with himself (we will call him Calaban) has yet to mention anything but then again he doesn't have a facebook.

I am glad that I have come out and hpe that I can help break the stereotypes that are seen across this church and across the world as what "Gay" really means. I hope that Lord I can be an instrument of thy peace and I feel much like Joseph Smith did when he was able to finally share the paltes with the three witnesses. He was so relieed that he could have his burden lightened by his fellow brethren. I am glad that this has happened and in fact I have been able to already stop lying about everything. I was able to tell a kid in my class that I had just come out and finally I didn't have to keep lying. It is such a relief to stop playing this role of a lifetime and instead be liberated and cut free from the bonds of self-imprisonment.

6 comments:

Alan said...

Nice to hear how it's gone for you David. That's a good analogy with Joseph and the plates. It really is amazing how good it feels to come out, I had no idea either until I started. Amazing.

Bravone said...

David, I admire you for attending today with the sincere desire to partake of the sacrament, in spite of the nervousness you must have felt. When I was disfellowshipped, at first, I worried about what people would think as they watched me pass the tray to someone without partaking. I also worried about what the many (bishopric, high counsel, stake presidency and some family and friends) would think of me knowing why I had been disfellowshipped. The experience reminded me, however, the real reason I go to church and take the sacrament. I do it for me and no one else. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about me. It is my relationship with the Lord that matters most.

Anonymous said...

David,
Your videos & words have touched my life in more ways than I could ever tell you. Everything you believe and feel is for me like looking in the mirror and for the first time really seeing my true self. I only wish that I could be as brave and strong as you! God made a very special young man when he created you and I admire you and love you for the person that you are and cannot wait to see how you make your mark upon the world especially while being connected to the Mormon Church. I believe you have found your mission to help teach the Church Leaders and it's members by your example and courage. For me, at this point I need to continue to live a lie, Is it painful and sad - Yes... And maybe as I continue to read and hear yours and other GAY mormons speak up and out I too will be able to accept myself. But you see I am old enough to be your Father!!! The older you get the harder it becomes.. At least that is what I believe. The world was far less accepting when I was your age and at BYU. Know this, That GOD loves you and you are right he made you this way. Pray for me that maybe thru your example I may too someday be able to Yell to the World that I am GAY and it's OK!!! Bless you my friend and PLEASE continue to share your thoughts with the world, You are truly inspirational! I also have to say that I honestly don't know how I came to be your facebook friend, BUT it was GOD that must have directed me to you for many reasons...

Anonymous said...

I impressed by the thought you have put into this incredible issue. I am not gay, but am a mormon who recognizes that homosexuality is real. I have had close freinds come out of the closet and I recognize that there is no way that this is a choice. I struggle with the churches stance. Not to say it is wrong, but I too find myself wanting a better answer. I need one, I have seen too much pain in the lives of those I have known who are gay. I wish you the best of fortune as you endeavor to do the Lords will. He loves you and will give you the strenghth to do whatever it is that is "right".

Max Boyden said...

David, you are amazing. I can't believe how hard it must have been to share how you truly felt. I am most impressed that you stayed in the church. Even though you were raised in an atmophere where being gay isn't encouraged. As a young and small fourteen year old boy I still have a lot to learn about the world. I know that the church believes that being gay isn't something that you can help. People are born that way. God loves all of his children equal. I believe that strong spirits are born homosexual because god believes that they can endure above all spirits and can remain pure no matter how much persicution and challenges that soul may receive. I enjoyed playing Peter Pan and having such a bright, humble, funny, extremely intelligant, and rightous person helping me through the whole time. You are the coolest person I know

Max said...

Hey! My thoughts and prayers are with you, brother. I have been working on reconciliation of my being gay and my LDS religion and my faith in God and my Savior for quite a few years, now. It isn't an easy task. Okay, it a downright hellatious one.

It doesn't always mesh, as the Gospel is so perfect, but the people (all of us) are so .. not perfect. I'll enjoy hearing of your struggles and successes. G'Luck!

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