As a Mormon bisexual man I live in the "other circumstances" mentioned in The Family: A Proclamation to the World where "Death, disability or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation."
My sisters had dolls and I liked to play with them. My parents gave me toys for boys like trucks, trains, Lincoln Logs and Erector Sets. I also had weapons including toy rifles, pistols and fake knives made of rubber. Some of this stuff was kind of interesting, but not anywhere near as cool as dolls.
I also liked purses. It seemed to me that guys got ripped off just having a little wallet, when girls and moms got to have these interesting and colorful compartments to keep their stuff in. Evenually I outgrew my fascination with dolls and purses. Maybe it's because my parents steered me in other directions.
I don't have any early memories of being called a sissy, pansie, faggot, queer, homo. Not when I was a little boy. But the I think I got called all of those in junior high. It's not like I was dragging dolls to school with me or carrying around a woman's purse. But I wasn't interested in sports and I wasn't good at them, and I was interested in art. I also remember that as boys my age talked about how wonderful girls were, I was noticing the guys. Everything about them seemed noteworthy: their eyes, their hands, how they combed their hair and if they could grow decent sideburns. I couldn't.
I wonder if there had been gay-straight alliances in Utah schools 40 years ago, if I would have participated. Probably not. I knew I was gay, that I was strongly attracted to the same sex. I could admit it to myself, but not to anyone else. I remember thinking I will never, ever tell anyone. I also remember the first time I made out with a girl. I became aroused and I thought, maybe I'm not gay after all. I enjoyed dating girls. I enjoyed kissing them, but I didn't want to go beyond kissing. I heard other boys talk about their sexual adventures with girls and I thought that sounds gross. Sometimes I'm amazed that I made it through junior high and high school. Sometimes it seems a miracle that I fell in love with a woman, married her, and that together we have raised a wonderful family.
When I look at this painting of the little boy sitting on the steps, I think, I know that boy. I was once that little boy. I'm glad he got so much love and affirmation for who he was. I'm sorry that he was sometimes taunted for being different, but he did the best he could with what he had, and somehow life has turned out pretty good for him.
Other little boys who liked dolls were not so lucky. Many have died from a variety of causes. Some have been murdered. Some have killed themselves. Some have lived lives of isolation and loneliness. And some have flourished. They've lived, loved and learned. Some have married women. Some have married men. All of us are human. What we have in common is greater than our differences. All of us have the need to touch and be touched, to love and to be loved, to belong to and contribute to something greater than ourselves, something that matters, something that makes the world a better place, even it it is for just one child sitting on a step holding a doll.
Thanks to Into the West I watched an excellent episode of House last night. It deals with the wedding of a young couple. She is straight. He is dealing with SSA from which he says he is "cured." The episode helped me understand the sense of betrayal my wife felt when I finally came out to her after coming out to myself many years into our marriage. The ideal that child should be raised by a committed mother and father is also something I've pondered since watching the episode. A mixed orientation marriage is not only difficult for the wife and husband, but it also has implications for the children that may be brought into the union. True, no marriage is perfect, and I don't know if there is any data on the effects of MOM relationships on children in those families. If you are aware of any information on this, please let me know.
In early April of this year, the Greener Lawn Association (GLA) announced that xeriscaping will now be a fully acceptable form of home landscaping. Association Director Lance White asked that I send this email. The policy was changed after extended deliberations. It was also approved by the Landscape Foundation and the National Council of Home Gardeners. The following text provides additional details.
May 17, 2010
Dear Lawn and Garden Enthusiasts,
As we have seen changes in the economy and the environment, we have been grateful that many property owners have turned their attention to improved landscaping. Although we continue to fully embrace lush green lawns, we also see that xeriscaping brings certain advantages in some locations. As many others have demonstrated that xeriscaping can an acceptable alternative to traditional lawns, we have pondered how to include this option within the context of our organization. After much deliberation, we now encourage all property owners to consider the best options for their particular needs and location, including both green lawns and xeriscaping. So keep it green, or dry, either way just as long as beauty remains your top priority and please help us spread the good news.
I notice guys all year long, but when the weather turns warmer and many of them are sweating and taking off their shirts, I notice them even more.
True, it's been cold and rainy lately here in northern Utah, but still we've had some beautiful days in the last few weeks and more quintessential "perfect spring days" are certainly ahead. Years ago my reaction to the various colors and scents of spring was to try to shut down my emotions. I remember very deliberately trying not to stare, trying not to obsess, which made me even more obsessive.
Now I try to look at things more philosophically. Hey it's springtime. Flowers and trees bloom, dead grass revives, and both men and women spend more time outdoors, wearing less clothing the warmer it gets. It's just the way it is. Why not enjoy it? Sure there are lots of reasons to remain somewhat cautious: traffic accidents, other accidents. But within reason I don't think I need totally cut myself off from the many manifestations of spring.
What do you say? Are you also more likely to experience pon farr at this time of year? If so, how do you deal with it? Any advice for those of us who are also in the same boat?