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."
Some of us attend services of various types on Sundays. Some of us renew our spirits in other ways. I'm curious what readers of this blog do on Sundays and how you feel about it. I'm in church usually for at least an hour, often for two and sometimes for three. I almost always feel uplifted when I go to church, but just as I sometimes need a break from work, sometimes it's great to need to attend another ward for a blessing, or a farewell or homecoming. And sometimes it's nice to just take my own sabbatical from the sabbath. How about you?
The following chat from Vatican City to Salt Lake City was recently intercepted and decoded.
VC: As Mormons you agree with us that same sex marriage should be fought. You, too, see that gays really are one of the problems we need to deal with. Why's that?
SLC: Well first of all, we really appreciate your support. But I do need to let you know that we don't like to use the word "gay". We prefer to call it SGA or Same Gender Attraction. And we do know that SGA can often be cured or at least suppressed well enough that no one would ever know. We have lots of strugglers who have wives and children. They've overcome it and we know others can, too.
VC: How do you know that?
SLC: Well you've seen our missionaries walking around Italy, right?
VC: Many times, yes, many times.
SLC: We send these young men out to serve two year missions when they're 19 years old. They're paired with a male companion 24/7 for months at a time. They walk together, preach together, share meals together. They learn to share a kitchen and much more, each morning and night the get on their knees and pray together. Why in the early days of the church they even slept in the same bed together.
VC: What does that have to do with homosexuality?
SLC: Well we know very well that some of these young boys are attracted to each other. But it's OK because we also know that most of them have the self-control not to act on it, and when they return home, they'll marry sweet young women, have wonderful families and put their homosexuality behind them for good.
VC: How do you know that?
SLC: Well, confidentially, I can tell you it has happened within the highest ranks of the church.
VC: You mean some of your leaders are gay?
SLC: No, I wouldn't put it that way. Like I said, we really don't like the G-word. I would say they had same gender attraction, but they overcame it.
VC: But what about the scientific evidence that homosexuality is immutable?
SLC: We don't buy it. When science and the gospel disagree, we tend to go with the gospel. Besides that, when some of our highest ranking leaders say that they've overcome this weakness, then we can count on that as the truth.
VC: Isn't it more likely that these men who say they can overcome homosexual feelings are actually bisexuals who are choosing to bond with women because their bisexuality gives them that option?
SLC: Well I hadn't thought about it quite that way. We don't like to use the word bisexual very much. I guess we could refer to it as OGAASGA, or simply OGASA, opposite and same gender attraction. But I think that sounds too much like Obama and we certainly don't want that.
VC: Wow and I thought we were homophobic. It would be tough for an openly gay member of your church to rise to the level of a Cardin---uh---General Authority. But a bisexual member of your church who could pass as straight could certainly rise up through the ranks, couldn't he?
SLC: Well I suppose it's possible, and to be honest with you, I have wondered about some of the men I work with.
VC: And then when discussions about the fluidity of sexual attraction came up, they would be able to say "I know this can be overcome" because they've overcome it. What these bisexuals doesn't understand is that they never were homosexual to begin with. The bisexual has a choice. The homosexual not so much. We see the world not as it is, but as we are. So the bisexual church leader assumes that because he had a choice, others do, too. That's probably why some of your leaders and our leaders are so fearful of gay marriage. They really do think that lots of people could change teams because they have and they see others like themselves.
SLC: Interesting thoughts.
VC: Got to run. I've got meetings. Next time you're in Rome, let's have lunch and I'll give you a personal tour of the Vatican.
SLC: Hey, I've also got meetings, morning noon and night, but thanks, my friend, and the next time you're in Salt Lake, I'll buy you lunch and give you a personal tour of Temple Square. Incidentally, please don't mention this exchange to anyone, it could cost me my job.
VC: Not a problem. I won't say a word, and of course this chat is encrypted. Even if someone intercepted it, they'd never be able to decode what we've said.
Dang it, I need to go my hair cut again. It's not just that my hair is out of control. I also need to see my barber. Not just see him. But but talk with him as he cuts my hair and touches me in his kind and gentle yet professional way. I know he does this for a living. Man after man, hour after hour, days, weeks, he's been doing it for years. I like the way he takes his time. I like the haircut and the process of getting a haircut. I like his hands. And the way he stands. The way he talks. His laughter. I wouldn't go to him if he gave lousy haircuts, but he's amazing. My hair, it's going away fast, but he does his best with it. I think he'd make a good doctor or nurse. I think his touch alone is healing, but then again he's never touched me without giving me a haircut, so what do I know?
Come to think of it I also need a massage. I want to walk into a cool darkened room, take off my clothes, get on the table, pull up the sheet and have a professional get the knots out of my back and my neck. I tell myself I don't mind paying for these services from these trained and licensed men. Hey I'm no good at cutting my own hair. No shame in getting a haircut.
To be honest though, I'm a little more ambivalent about massage. I sometimes wish I didn't have to pay. That I had a friend who would do this for me and that I had the skill to return the favor. Pretty unrealistic thinking, isn't it?
In straight Mormon culture, you give and get hugs when guys go on missions, or when you haven't seen somebody in a long time, or maybe at a funerals or weddings. Maybe things are slowly changing. I touch guys in my quorum and they touch me back. That ought to be enough, right? What kind of a guy is constantly wanting hugs from other guys? What kind of guy looks forward to his barber's touch? What kind of guy will spend a dollar a minute to have some other guy give him a fancy back rub?