Friday, January 30, 2009

Is Mormon scripture silent on same sex love?

"And Moroni went to the city of Mulek with Lehi, and took command of the city and gave it unto Lehi. Now behold, this Lehi was a man who had been with Moroni in the more part of all his battles; and he was a man like unto Moroni, and they rejoiced in each other’s safety; yea, they were beloved by each other, and also beloved by all the people of Nephi." (Alma 53:2)

We are not told exactly how they rejoiced in their love, but Moroni gave Lehi a city, not a small gift. Nonetheless it is clear that these two men cared a great deal for each other, had been together a great deal in battle, were grateful for their mutual safety and joyful to be reunited with their respective "beloved."

That they we also beloved by all the people of Nephi may suggest that their affection for each other was not anything out of the ordinary, not something that was hidden from others. The scripture also contains the reference that "this Lehi...was a man like unto Moroni..." Yes, they may have been Kinsey Ones who were just dear friends (as are many straight men bonding as brothers together in war, church callings, or servitude) but they could also have been Kinsey Sixes or Threes and the narrative holds together at least as well or much, much better depending on your view. What do you think?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

One GBLT, white or wheat?

I'm standing in line for a sandwich and talking on my cell. As the call ends, the guy in front of me says, "You're into the GBLT community? Wow I like guacamole BLTs too, but I didn't know there was a community."

"Actually it's not GBLT as but GLBT as in gay, lesbian, bisexual and transexual," I tell him.

"Those gays in California, they already have rights. I just don't want them to call it marriage," says the stranger.

I flash on the MLK's quotation that 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," but I say nothing. We have a few seconds of welcome silence and then he says, "So you got a gay kid?"

"No, my kids are straight. I'm the one who's gay."

Again a few moments of silence as I open my wallet. "But that's your wife's photo, isn't it? And your wearing our underwear."

"Excuse me?"

"The garments, the white shirt, the Mr. Mac suit. Does your Bishop know about this?"

"He sure does. I'm his first counselor."

This conversation didn't really take place, but it would make a good urban legend.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Put Your Wheel Back on the Stool, Push Along

In this post, Beck shows a what Scott calls a titillating scene, plus a three-leg and a four-leg stool. Since I wrote such a long response, I'm cross posting it here so I don't feel like I'm neglecting my blog--such are my rationalizations. ; )

Hey Beck, great discussion!

My age will show again here, but I'm remembering an old BJ Thomas song:

A little bit of love is
better than no love
Even the bad love is
better than no love
And even the sad love is
better than no love at all

I used to hear that and think, that's just wrong. Some kinds of love are destructive and just the opposite is true: Sometimes no love at all is better than than a bad love, sometimes a little love is too little too late and just isn't worth it.

And that's where I've mellowed and changed over the years. The physical affection my wife and I share is not as intense as it once was. But I'm grateful for all we do share. For me this "little bit of love" goes a long way and has helped keep us together for three decades.

But I'm also much more open to loving men and accepting their affection. Years ago if a high priest had put his arm around me during Priesthood, I'd have have thought it was creepy.

Now I just enjoy it. It happened last week. It was a blessing. I don't worry it. I just feel the warmth and acceptance. So what I once would have defined as inappropriate has become welcome. I "keep changing" as L might say.

Regarding your metaphor, I think our marriage stool is one with five or six wheels, and sometimes one of them falls off or needs replacement. It's a problem and it needs attention, but we can deal with it and otherwise it's a great stool.

p.s. Scott: The word "titillating" makes me laugh. Thanks for the chuckle!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Reaffirming Our Spirit, Choosing Hope

Here are a few the quotes that stood out to me from President Obama's inaugural address today:

"The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."

"On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord."

"Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America."

Monday, January 19, 2009

If Gay is the New Black, then...

Here's an edit of Dr. King, to liken an excerpt of "I Have a Dream" to current events...

"The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the gay community must not lead us to a distrust of all straight people, for many of our straight brothers and sisters, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom."

And the original:

"The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom."

And another great line out of the speech: "You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive."

Read, listen or watch the speech here. I've seen excerpts many times, but only a few days ago did I read and view the entire speech. I highly recommend the experience, and welcome your thoughts on what it means to you.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Must it be an Either/Or World?

Sometimes I feel that I'm living in an either/or world. Either you're gay or straight. Republican or Democrat. A Ute or a Cougar. Active LDS or apostate.

I'm glad to have seen some recent discussion on the MoHo blogs about the Kinsey scale. I identify with those who say they are fours, but for me it has changed over time.

When I was first married and a young father, I would say I got down to a three, maybe even sometimes a two. As I've grown older maybe I'm just more honest with myself. For a decade or so, I'd say I'm at least a four, and many times a five.

In my bisexual way of thinking, I don't see my life as a married man and father who appears to be heterosexual as a fraud. It's the truth, just not the whole truth and nothing but the truth. To misquote Al Gore, it's a convenient truth.

There's just more to the story. As much as I love women in general and my wife as my friend, confidant, companion, partner and mother of our children, her touch is different than occasional male hug I am blessed with. (The difference is particularly notable when the hug comes from someone I am strongly attracted to.)  

So here I am a bi-guy, a man who can (in theory anyway) love a greater variety of God's children than either a Kinsey 1 or 6. I'm also a Ute who doesn't hate the Cougars, an Obama supporter who likes Huntsman, an active LDS high priest who believes that the church will eventually revise the Proclamation on the Family.

How could that happen? Because I'm not always an either/or thinker, I can imagine a doctrine that upholds marriage between a man and a woman as ordained by God, and a modern-day revelation that marriages between same-sex couples are also fully acceptable.

One of the ideas that offers me the most hope actually comes from the Proclamation on the Family. It is this sentence: "Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation."

So yes, heterosexual marriage is of God, but for some of us "other circumstances may NECESSITATE individual adaptation." I can see the church eventually embracing this view, but then again I'm also old enough to remember the pre-1978 church which would have looked upon the marriage of Barack Obama's parents as something evil.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Alfred Edward Housman

A.E. Housman (1859-1936) wrote the following about his unrequited love for Moses Jackson. Not being a particularly literary guy, I just discovered this tonight thanks to Wikipedia.

Because I liked you better

Than suits a man to say

It irked you, and I promised

To throw the thought away.

To put the world between us

We parted, stiff and dry;

Goodbye, said you, forget me.

I will, no fear, said I

If here, where clover whitens

The dead man's knoll, you pass,

And no tall flower to meet you

Starts in the trefoiled grass,

Halt by the headstone naming

The heart no longer stirred,

And say the lad that loved you

Was one that kept his word.

One of My Guys

I'm grateful for a few good friends including an outdoors man who once intimidated me with talk of his weekend adventures. We are alike and different. Both of us are married fathers, active LDS priesthood holders, good friends who have sought each other's company for years.

We both appear to be straight, but he actually is. We both appear to be at home in the world of men, but he actually is. He is comfortable in his own skin and somehow when I'm with him I'm more comfortable in my own skin.

I notice and appreciate his hands, wrists, forearms and shoulders; his intense but warm eyes, his smile, his voice, his laughter. He is kind and relaxed, quiet but articulate. A huge part of his appeal to me is that he isn't tuned into to any of these kinds of things.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday Limerance

Ten Things I Love about Sundays

1. Time with family
2. Sleeping in (two of every three years, that is)
3. Sunday dinner with the fam
4. Our discussions before, during and after dinner
5. Singing congregational hymns
6. Partaking of the Sacrament
*7. Sitting, singing, talking with my Priesthood bros
*8. Handshakes, howdy do's, and occassional hugs
9. The Sunday newspapers
10. Rarely going to work or shopping

*Depending on who I'm interacting with, or just sitting behind or next to, there may be none, a small amount or a fairly large of amount of limerance.

Friday, January 9, 2009

50 Years in Five Sentences

1. For more than half of our three decades together, I've been out to my wife.

2. In other words I entered this, my first and only marriage, without being honest with myself or her, but that was typical of MOMs (mixed orientation marriages) in 1979.

3. We love, respect, admire, serve, worship, fight, confide, travel and laugh together, but she is no longer in love with me and my sexual passion for her continues to fade.

4. I'm out to my Bishop and he knows one of the huge reasons I go to church is to be with my buddies and brothers, the High Priests and Elders.

5. My man crushes, bromances and unrequited loves equal a dozen, so if I live five more decades, it may reach two dozen at this rate.