29 May 2007

Too Close To Home

I got an email on Tuesday afternoon informing me that a friend of mine had committed suicide on Monday evening. She's been married a year, and was 8 months pregnant and they weren't able to save the baby. I've known her for a few years, but I wouldn't say that we were super-close friends or anything. We were casual friends, the kind that would stop to talk in the hallway at church or at a social gathering to see how the other was doing, but there wasn't any contact beyond that.

I had this interesting admiration/annoyance towards her. She was the most spiritual person I have ever met in my life. I know of nobody who was more dedicated to doing what was right. I've never heard anyone pray like she could. In some ways I was full of admiration, and maybe a bit of jealousy, that she was so much closer to the Lord than I have been able to get. On the other hand, it sometimes annoyed me to listen to her pray in Sacrament meeting, because she was so wordy in her prayers. But, I mark that one off to my not being in the proper mood/mindset to have a serious prayer at those times. Her prayers were beautiful conversations between her and a Father that she was very close to. I think that I was just jealous that I didn't have that same kind of relationship in my prayers.

I last saw her on Sunday, after Sacrament meeting. I saw her get up to walk out and I noticed how very pregnant she looked. I realized that she was about as far along as my sister in-law. I thought, wow, those two kids might be in heaven right now saying, "Hey, my uncle is friends with your parents. Maybe we'll get together sometime in this life." I smiled and thought of how lucky she was to marry such a great guy as she did. He was so patient and loving with her.

If we were just casual friends, why has this dropped on me like a ton of bricks? I found out at about 4:00 and lost all ability to focus on my work for the rest of the day. I almost broke down and cried a few times while in my office. I called a mutual friend while I was driving home and shared a good cry with her (crying while commuting down the 405 is a bad idea).

Today was the funeral. It was sad and spiritually refreshing, all in one. Her husband told the whole story behind it. It wasn't anything we didn't know. She was bi-polar and an absolute perfectionist. She joined the church 9 years ago, had been extremely active in those years, held many great callings, was always out there to help other people, and never would accept the fact that she could be imperfect. She didn't understand that perfect is something you become, not something that you are in this life. As a bi-polar sufferer, she had extreme highs. But with those highs came the abyssal lows. She was at a low on Monday. She couldn't stand not being perfect. Her suicide note said that she didn't want to die. But for some reason, her mind was so clouded that she couldn't get control of herself. She went to the garage, started up her car, and lay in the front seat until she fell asleep.

A lot of people blame the church for demanding too much of people. They lay the blame of suicide at the feet of the leaders. I've thought about this too. Is it really their fault that one of the members took the rules of the church to the extreme and ended up taking their own life? No it's not the fault of the church. It's not the fault of the person who committed suicide either. Fault belongs to no one. That person just had physiological/psychological issues that did not allow them to cope with things that the rest of us cope with very well.

I'm not really sure where I am going with this post. I just wanted to empty the thoughts out of my head to get some closure on this.

Given the fact (or urban myth, I'm not sure) that there is a high suicide rate among gay men, I really hope that I never have to deal with losing any of you to it - especially those of you whom I've gotten to know well. It's a terrible thing for the family and friends that are left behind. We have hope for a brighter future when we can meet them again after this mortal life, but that doesn't make it a painless experience to go through. If you have any problems with suicidal thoughts, please, please seek professional help.

27 May 2007

How much longer?

My head surfaces out of the salty water. I peer into the distance through my goggles to find the buoy marker. It's not too far. Man, I should not have worn this wetsuit. It's sapping the life out of me as I swim. I didn't train with it on, and now I am suffering. It's not helping like it was supposed to. I should have just swam in my speedo. Oh well. Keep on kicking. Nothing I can do about it now.

The rest of the wave of racers were creating a fair distance between themselves and me. Swimming just isn't my strength. That's okay. I'll make up the time.

I round the first and the second buoys. How much longer is it? Am I going to be able to make it? My arms are so tired. My shoulders are destroyed. Damn this wetsuit. I would really hate to drown right here. How much longer can I go on?

C'mon, Kevin. Keep your head in this. It's going to be fine. You can make it to the end.

Finally! Out of the water and onto the sand. Now I have to run up to my bike. What the? How far is it to the bikes? And I have to run in the sand while in this wetsuit?

That proves to be just as difficult as I had imagined. All of my running that I had done to train for this event was in shorts and running shoes. The movement-restricting wetsuit is taking it's toll on me. I'm so tired and out of breath. How much further is it to the bikes?

There they are. Now where did I park mine? I'm feeling a little disoriented from the strain of running in that wetsuit. Ah. There he is. Good old Como. He's seen a lot of miles with me. A lot.

I finally strip off my wetsuit. It feels so good to get that burden off of me. I feel like a new man. I pull my padded bike shorts up over the speedo I'm wearing, put on my shoes, pull on my biking jersey, stuff my energy goulash in the pockets and hop on Como.

Finally, the open road. The biking is my strongest event. I'm not sure why. In a comparative sense, I'm very weak with respect to most all of the other competitors out here today. I'm no athlete. Why am I even doing this? Who was the idiot that talked me into a triathlon anyway? Oh yeah, my roommate that didn't show up for the race.

The blacktop rolls beneath my wheels. I feel a breeze coming from the ocean. Nice. A little wind at my back will help me to recover from my overexertion in that wetsuit.

I pedal. And pedal some more. I've done plenty of rides that are much longer than this one. It should be a piece of cake. It's even more wonderful that the cops are out here stopping traffic for the race. I don't have to skip a beat in my pedaling. They make sure that I can get through.

Ah, here I come up on the guy that was in front of me during the swim. He's toast. Wow, nice bike dude! How do you like it that you are on a $2,000 triathlon bike and are getting passed by a guy on an old mountain bike? Yeah, I thought so. Too much money, and not enough training. Better luck next year.

Hey, there's another guy. Sweet. Passed him!

And another. Wow, I'm really beginning to like the bike portion of this competition.

Oh dear. Here's where the hill starts. In theory, this is where I'm really supposed to shine on the bike. Most of these other guys are roadies whose bikes have never seen anything but flat ground.

I'm true to form and pass three more people while climbing the hill. It's a very, very long hill. Approximately 3,128 miles I think. Holy crap. How much longer is this hill? Pretty soon I'm going to pop out of LA and into Denver. I think this is the longest, continual uphill ride I've ever attempted. How much longer is this? I'm getting tired. Time to downshift and slow a bit so I don't kill myself for the run.

Hey! I can see the crest of the hill! Nope. That wasn't it. How much longer is this ride? I forgot to reset my bike computer, so I don't know how far I've gone.

Wait a minute. There it is. Yes. The top of the hill, and now for the descent into downtown LA. Wow! This is steep! And there are potholes! It's a good thing I have these wide tires on this mountain bike. I can coast down with no fear. Wait, did I say coast? I meant pedal hard and go as fast as I can. Good thing I have that bike computer so I can see my top speed.

15 miles per hour. 20 miles per hour. 25 miles per hour. 30 miles per hour. Now I'm starting to pass a lot of the roadies that are too scared to ride fast. They are actually hitting their breaks! I can't believe how many people I'm passing!

35 miles per hour. Wow, that's the fastest I've ever been on a bike. 40 miles per hour. Cool, this hill is still going. I wonder how fast I can get before I hit the flat part at the bottom?

43 miles per hour. Okay now this is starting to get a little scary. I've never ridden a bicycle this fast before. 45 miles per hour. I hope Como holds up. 47 miles per hour. The top speed that I hit. I'm really glad I didn't hit any potholes. Man, I sure passed a lot of people riding down that hill!

Finally. On to the run. I sure am getting tired. Triathlons are hard. How long is this run? Oh yeah. 10k. I can do it. I think I can. I think I can.

Allright. There's 2k of this race done. Hmm. My knees are starting to hurt. Oh crap. I forgot to put on my knee braces at the transition from the bike to running. This is going to suck. How much longer is it?

3k. 4k. 5k. Wow, I am in severe pain right now. My knees feel like they are going to explode. Who is stabbing me with knives? Why do they hurt so bad? Why am I such a non-athletic queer? How much longer is this race? I can't quit now. I've got too much invested in it. It's time to do the walk/run tradeoffs.

6k. 7k. 8k. Oh yes. We're finally getting there. How much longer? 2k. I can see the end. Wait, no I can't. Why are all these old people on crutches passing me? I feel like such an idiot walking as much as I am. It's taken me longer to get this far on the 10k run than it did for me to finish the 50k bike ride. That's pathetic. Stupid bad knees!

Okay. Time to pull it together and finish this race. 9k. Still going. It hurts so bad. I don't think I can make it. I want to cry. The pain is unbearable.

Hmm? What's that? All these people are cheering me on? No. They must be cheering for someone else. Wow. I think that they are cheering for all of us. Yes! I AM the guy in the yellow shirt wearing #864. People ARE cheering for me. Well, that makes me feel good. I can give it one last boost to finish strong.

And I do. 10k. It's over. I made it. That was one of the worst, but most rewarding experiences I've ever had in my life.


How much longer do I have to struggle with the heartahce of SSA? I don't even know if I'm out of my wetsuit and onto my bike yet. How much longer is it? I wish I at least had a map of the course.

24 May 2007

Emotional Immaturity

Previously on Here's To Hope:

As time went on and we talked more, my anxiety about sitting there with an attractive gay Mormon subsided and I was able to just be normal and view him as a friend.

The following takes place between 12:36 and 12:52

If you didn't watch 24, then you won't find that amusing, you'll just think I'm an idiot. Anyway, I wanted to write about my emotional immaturity.

On Monday, after wading through the awkwardness of meeting an attractive gay Mormon guy, and both of us knowing it, I thought I was doing well. John used a phrase something like "friendship desexualization." The act of getting in control of your sexual desires for other people, and just viewing them as friends. By the end of our hanging out on Monday, and even on Tuesday when I wrote the post about Monday night, I thought that I had sufficiently desexualized our friendship. I was wrong.

My mind is still whirling around with that one little voice telling me not to be friends, but to "be friends" with John. And that voice is directly connected to the boys downstairs.

I know what I really want out of life. I know which path I want to follow. I've made all of those decisions previously, and I plan on sticking to them. Why is it, then, that I meet someone and just completely lose it?

I'm 34 years old for crying out loud! Most people have had the wonderful opportunity in their lives of dating and being in relationships from the time they were teenagers. By the time they are my age they have had a plethora of experiences that have helped them overcome the awkwardness of relationships and their emotional immaturity. They grew up. I, on the other hand, have been in the closet my whole life. I've only ever dated one person (female) for more than a couple of weeks. I've never had the opportunity to develop emotional maturity through relationships with other people. I am a complete and utter idiot around other people.

One of my problems, as I see it, is that I don't have any close friends. I've blogged about that previously. I don't share any deep emotional ties with anyone. So, when I meet a really cool person that I could become great friends with and share desexualized ties of friendship with, my brain doesn't know how to process it. It just automatically wants to bow-chiga-bow-now (I'm not sure how to spell that). Whereas if I already had lots of deep, emotional ties with other people, my brain would be capable of sorting gay Mormons into the proper bins.

I think I'm just starting to ramble now. Anybody have any suggestions on how to pull my head out of my @$$ and grow up emotionally?

22 May 2007

Jordin all the way!

Blake is cute, but Jordin has got some pipes!!

MOM: Meeting Other MoHos

So I met my first MoHo in real life last night. It was a great experience.

John left a message on one of my other posts, indicating that he was in the area for a couple of weeks and suggested that we hang out. My initial reaction as I recall was, "Sweet! I get to meet a potentially hot gay Mormon guy! The possibilities are endless!" Then that thought quickly evolved into, "Holy crap! Do I dare meet a potentially hot gay Mormon guy? How will I restrain myself from throwing him down and getting it on?"

In many ways, it's much more difficult to deal with the prospect of another gay Mormon than just your average gay guy. It's actually not too difficult to say no to someone who doesn't share your core beliefs. But, when it's someone who is on the same spiritual plane as you are, and understands absolutely everything you feel from day to day, then it's not so easy to say no. I had a lot of fear about this bottled up inside of me. I've never openly met with another gay Mormon guy. I was extremely hesitant to accept the invitation to hang out. But, I figured that it was a hurdle I needed to jump over, so I did.

I had a bunch of friends coming over last night to watch the season finales of 24 and Heroes, so I invited John to come down and join us. I figured that a group setting would help ease the situation - it's kind of hard to jump another guy's bones in front of a bunch of people who think you're straight. We set up a good cover story as to who he was and why he was visiting me, since he is 10 years younger than me. We pulled it off without a hitch. I'm a pretty good story-inventor (I prefer that term to "liar") when it comes to covering up the gay trail.

So 8:00 rolls around, and John calls saying that he is at my condo and is wondering where to park. I immidiately started having major anxiety issues. My head was swimming with random thoughts:

What if he's really hot? I cant' handle that. I sure hope he's not attractive. What if he tries to put the moves on me? I should say no, but hey, I've been a little lonely the last few weeks, and... Crap! Why am I thinking all of this? I don't even know this person! What's wrong with my brain?

I hear him walking up the steps. Well, this is it. No turning back now.

Then I get my first view of John, and my first thought was, "Yikes! He is really good looking. This is not what I need right now."

I invited him in, we shook hands, he sat in the recliner and I sat on the couch. None of my friends would ever show up on time to anything, so of course it was just the two of us. And we started talking. I have to admit, it was a bit awkward for me. And awkwardness leads to poor conversation flow.

We chatted for a bit and then my friends showed up. We ate pizza and watched 24. As a side note, I was disappointed in 24 this season. I think it was my least favorite season. Too much blah, and not enough bang.

After 24 my friends left (none of them are Heroes fans, so I should probably not be friends with them any more) and John and I watched Heroes. It was a great season finale. I love that show. I can't wait for it to start up next season.

Then Heroes was over, and it was time for talking - and hopefully nothing more. I opened up with, "So, how's the gay life up at BYU?" And that got the conversation rolling.

I thoroughly enjoyed the next 4 hours talking about everything. As time went on and we talked more, my anxiety about sitting there with an attractive gay Mormon subsided and I was able to just be normal and view him as a friend. My mind was at ease, and I had a great time. He didn't make any moves and try to make out with me, so I was disappointed greatful for that. :)

So, meeting another MoHo wasn't all that bad. I conquered my fear of it, and can comfortably say now that I look forward to someday meeting many of the rest of you.

Quote of the Day

I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that he didn't trust me so much.

Mother Teresa

20 May 2007

Advice #2: Get Out!!!

This is a post in an ongoing series of what it takes to live your life as a single, celibate, gay Mormon.

Get Out!!!

It is important to note that I used, not one, not two, but three exclamation points in the title of this post. I'm not sure why that's important, it just is. :P

When I say "get out" I'm not talking about coming out of the closet. Just go ahead and stay in there as long as you need to for whatever your individual reasons are (I've remained in said closet for 30 years). Get Out!!! with three exclamation points means to get out and do stuff.

Why is it important to get out? Part of remaining celibate/chaste means that you have a lot of time where you're not dating and/or married and having sex. As such, you need to fill those moments with activities, otherwise you tend to sit at home and wallow in self pity. Seriously, a big depression catalyst is sitting at home, alone with nowhere to go and nothing to do. If you find yourself doing that a lot on the weekends, you need to fix that or you will become a sad, depressed person.

Don't ever let your friends not take you out with them on the weekends. When they call and say they are going to do such and such, don't hesitate, just go. Be spontaneous. Be fun. Have fun. Even if you would rather rip your arms out of their sockets and beat yourself to death with them than go out, go out anyway.

Take advantage of the fact that you aren't bound at home with a wife and kids. Travel as much as you can. I've been all over the US - 40 of the 50 states so far. The last three years I started major foreign travel (beyond Canada or Mexico). So far I've hit Peru, Ireland and the UK (twice). The next place I want to hit is Guatemala, when I can find a few people that want to go. Anyone interested? :D

I think that the moral of this advice is to do something with yourself rather than bemoaning the fact that you are a gay Mormon that potentially will be single his/her whole life. Don't be emo. Get out and live life! Plus, being social is your only opportunity to meet new people and possibly that one magical person of the opposite sex that you can be attracted to.

16 May 2007

Advice #1: Live With People You Aren't Attracted To

This is a post in an ongoing series of what it takes to live your life as a single, celibate, gay Mormon.

Live With People You Aren't Attracted To
This one can be really tough to do, but really helpful if you can pull it off. There have been a few times where I have had roomies that I was madly in love/lust with. It becomes a real distraction to your friendship, and a constant disruption to your daily life if you have undesired thoughts swimming through your head about them all the time.

A few years ago I was looking to rent out my spare bedroom for the summer. My previous roomie had just gotten married a few months earlier, and I was missing all of that extra money that he was paying me to live there. So, I posted the opening on the ward housing website. I had a guy call me, he and his friend were coming down to So Cal for the summer to work internships and were looking for a place. I was hesitant to let two people move in because my place isn't huge, but when they offered me an extra $300 per month I caved. Damn my greediness!

One of my roomies was extremely hot. I mean A&F model-hot. He was about 6'1" and had the most amazing physique I have ever seen in real life. Seriously. The guy could be America's Next Top Model. We'll call him Hottie McHotness.

There was no air conditioning in my house since I live so close to the beach, so during the hotter parts of the summer it can get a little warm in my place during the day. Every day when he got home from work he would strip down and walk around in his board shorts for the rest of the evening. It seriously was like a living A&F catalogue.

Anyway, with my place being small, and three adult males living there and needing to get ready for work in the morning, etc, the place kind of turned into an MTC-esque atmosphere. The door on the bathroom was never closed and people just came in and out as needed to get ready for work in the morning.

Let me set the stage. You walk in the bathroom door, the sink is immediately to your right. If you turn and face the sink, the toilet is to your left, and the shower on the other side of the toilet. The mirror above the sink is very large and gives you a wide angle view of the bathroom.

One morning, I'm standing over the sink, shaving, and Mr. McHotness comes walking in to take a shower. Normally he would walk around with a towel on, but that morning he adopted the practice of walking around the house completely naked. He walks in the bathroom stark naked, and turns to take a leak before he gets in the shower. I'm standing there in nothing more than a towel, shaving, and with a full-body, frontal nudity view of Mr. McHotness. I just about swallowed my own toungue along with my face. Yes, it was true, the parts of him that I had not yet seen turned out to be just as amazing as the parts I had. Now I don't know if he was a slow urinater or if time actually slowed down, but he seemed to stand there in all of his glory for about 12 hours.

I still can't get that image out of my head - and not because I'm writing about it in this blog. It randomly pops into my brain at the most inappropriate times.

We became really good friends over the summer. We had a lot of fun. But, as the summer wore on, my friendship and attraction to him started to turn into something more. I was really falling for this guy, and that was taking me to a place that I knew I didn't want to go. If he had turned out to be gay and had ever made a move, I can guarantee that I would have completely caved and my life would be very different right now - Mr. and Mr. McHotness. When I step back and try to take an eternal perspective of things, I know that is not what I really want. That relationship would satisfy a lot of things in my life, but not the most important ones.

It took me a very long time to get over him. I was devistated when he went back to BYU for his senior year, and like most straight guys, forgot about me completely. He didn't stay in touch. He didn't come back down the following summer like he said he would. It hurt a lot. I didn't just have a crush on the guy, I really felt strong bonds with him. I can honestly say I was in love with him. There is always a lot of pain and anguish associated with the breaking of you heart. It really, really sucks.

I don't know how practical this advice is, because sometimes you just don't have much of a choice with who your roommates are. But, given then opportunity to choose and if you are one who is travelling down Path #4, I highly recommend doing all you can to just have cool roommates that are your buddies, and not ones that you are physically attracted to.

The Fourth Path: Gay, Mormon, Celibate

There was an interesting blog over at sunstoneblog.com that was referenced in a comment on -L-'s blog. I took some time to read it and read through a lot of the comments. The commenters started out well, but like my real life sunstoner friends, they quickly veered off into hallucinogenic debates on the relevancy of toilet paper in the afterlife.

I figured that being at least a decade older than most of the singles guys in the Queerosphere here, and given that the older single MoHos have either been previously married, or are living in same-sex relationships, that probably makes me one of the oldest living examples of a celibate/virgin MoHo and therefore one of the foremost authorities on what it takes to stay on path #4. So, I figured that I would share some advice on things that I have learned about path #4 over the years. They will randomly appear in separate posts here on my blog.


15 May 2007


The beautiful sights of San Francisco. That is a photo of me taking it all in while I was on my road trip a week and a half ago. You know, the one that I never wrote about. It was super awesome. The only thing that I felt I needed to do was to go to Fisherman's Wharf and get some clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. Mission accomplished.

We drove up on Friday, spent most of the day Saturday in Golden Gate park, eating chowder, and shopping at my new favorite store - H&M. I forgot to take my church clothes with me as I left my house, so while in Frisco I had to buy a pair of slacks, shirt and a tie (my church shoes were in my duffle bag).

We went to the Stanford singles ward on Sunday morning and then drove home down the coast with a brief stop in Santa Cruz for a ride on the roller coaster at the beach spiritual experience. We topped it off with dinner at In 'n Out.

I'm greatful for road trips.


So I was driving home from work today and traffic started to slow down. It got slower and slower until finally it came to a stop. This is not unusual for the freeways of L.A., but we sat at a dead stop for quite some time. I tuned into the L.A. traffic channel on XM radio to find out what was up. Sure enough, there was an accidents blocking the HOV, #1 and #2 lanes. In other words, "a doozey." I switched off the radio and plugged in my mp3 player to listen to some music that I could sing along to and, perhaps, entertain other drivers near me as they gazed into my car and tried to imagine what I was singing and/or how bad it sounded.

We inched along, literally, for about 20 minutes. In that time I think we covered a total distance of about 250 yards. And then I could see it, the accident. Or at least what was left of it. Most of the cars had been towed away, and the ambulance ahd already taken off with the people in it. All I could see was the last remaining vehicle that was involved. It was amazing. Outside of a junkyard, I have never seen a car that badly mangled. It was completely unrecognizable - and I'm kind of a car guy, so I recognize most cars on the road. And it was in the lane that I was driving in.

I wonder what would have happened if I had left work five minutes earlier today. I would have been in that lane (the carpool lane). I would have been passing that spot at roughly the same time as the accident occured. I potentially could have been the person that got carried away on a stretcher to the hospital - or worse. It was kind of a sobering thought.

I'm greatful that I was busy and a little late leaving work today.


I had someone come in my office today to talk to me about some work that I need them to do for me. It's a little more than what she is used to doing on other projects, but this project is really in trouble and needs a little TLC. We chatted for a bit, and she started asking me about what it was like only working part time (side note: I only work part time right now because I'm starting my own business. I quit my job, but they begged me to stay on part time until I get a replacement trained. Yeah, it's the coolest thing EVER.)

We got to talking about who was going to replace me, and I made a comment about how so-and-so should have my job because everyone likes him and everyone hates me at this point for pushing them so hard. She dismissed my statement, and said, "nah, everybody likes you. Brandon is just kind of a jerk, so that's why he says the things he does. You've done a really good job with this project."

That meant a lot to me. She's been one that I've often been at odds with over the particulars of the project, so for her to say that I've done a good job really made me feel good. Not enough to keep on working there, but good nonetheless. :P

I'm greatful for compliments.

12 May 2007


Well, true to form, this blog is turning into my personal journal. And by that I mean that I do really well for a while, and then I start to get distracted and write less and less. Maybe it's mostly because I've already brought a lot of my issues to the surface and there's not much more to write about. I'm not a deep thinker (as you can tell from my pseudo-philosophical posts), so I don't have that gift to write about absolutely everything. But the less I write, the less interaction I have with my fellow Mohos. And little/no interaction with the rest of you would be a travesty, a sham, and a mockery - in short, a travishamockery!

Oh look, there's something shiny over there...

04 May 2007

Woot! Road Trip!

Hey guys and gals, I want to respond to the comments on my post entitled Suicide, but I'm going to be gone for the weekend. Spontaneous road trip to San Francisco! Yay! Anyway, I'll get back to responding to those comments early next week.

Enjoy your weekend! Be like me, do something spontaneous and fun!

What happened to the comments?

I went back and modified the title of my post "And so it was" to "Single's Conference: Eating My Words" and now none of the comments will show up. In the "edit posts" section of blogger.com it shows up in the list of blogs and shows that it has 11 comments, but for some reason the comments won't show up. I broke blogger!

Do you know me?

I have inserted a lot of clues in this blog that would lead one to fairly easily figure out who I am - well, at least if you already know me in real life. It may be my overactive imagination, but there are a few people in my ward who seem to be treating me a bit differently as of late. Could it be that they have stumbled across this blog, read through it and figured out who I am? Are they too nervous to ask me about it? It's possible. Or I'm crazy.

Anyway, if you know me in real life, or at least think you know who I am, feel free to come talk to me. Call me up. Catch me after church. Whatever. Don't feel awkward about approaching me and discussing this. I'll give you the code phrase, with my pseudonym, to say to me so that you don't have to outright ask me if I write a gay blog. Say, "Hey, Max, I hear that you ninja-punched some guy in the face at the conference."

Or, just send me an email.

03 May 2007


I've never had the feeling to commit suicide. I don't understand that feeling. But, when I was growing up my mom had severe depression problems. I witnessed all of it first hand. I know that one day while we were at school and my dad was at work, she had a loaded gun in hand, barrel in her mouth and finger on the trigger and almost went through with it. So, even though I myself have never felt so hopeless to the point of feeling that killing myself is the only way out, I have seen with my own eyes what transpires in a persons life to make them feel that way.

Given the history of depression in my family (3 of my 4 siblings are medicated for anxiety and depression right now), I wonder if I will ever get to the point where I understand that feeling that I know my mom had. I frequently go through bouts of depression where I contemplate leaving the church, abandoning my former life, and plunging headfirst into a gay lifestyle. It's so lonely sometimes. Thank God that up to this point in my life I've always been able to dig out of those deep, dark pits. But each time I do, it seems that the pit is a little deeper, a little wider, a little darker, and it's just a little bit harder to get out of it.

I've also mentioned in previous posts about how the depression used to be infrequent and now it's much more frequent. If the pits keep on getting deeper, and I fall into them more often, at what point does that start to consume me?

I previously made a commitment to myself that I would never let it come to feelings of suicide. I decided that if my life turned into such throes of depression from the loneliness of being a single, gay Mormon, I would rather let go of some of my stances on homosexuality than let go of my life. I would rather pursue a gay lifestyle than off myself.

Would that solve the depression problems at that point? It's quite possible that it would not. Would I indulge in the gay lifestyle to assuage my feelings of suicide, only to have the feelings of abandoning part of my faith ultimately drive me to the same destination? It's a very frightening topic to think about.

Again, I'm not feeling suicidal or depressed right now, but it has been a while since my last bout of depression and I can almost feel it lurking around the corner waiting to pounce.

So I guess the next topics to ponderblog about are:
1) What triggers my depression episodes?
2) What gets me out of them?
3) How is it that I've been able to keep myself from being overcome by depression for so long?

02 May 2007

Single's Conference: Eating My Words

I figured that I should probably write a follow-up to the singles conference this past weekend.

You know that "one" guy (or girl) in your ward that is just, well, a little off? Actually, more than a little. I mean, the one that you would really just rather gouge your eyes out with a 9 inch replica of the Empire State building than talk to? Yeah, that one. That is the type of person that you automatically think of when you say "thirty-something, single Mormon." At least, that's what I think of. As I've mentioned before, I refer to my singles group as the Island of Misfit Toys. We're not that bad, but I can easily rattle off reasons why everyone in my ward is single.

Anyway, I fully expected the singles conference to be jam-packed with all of these sweet spirits. Imagine my shock and amazement that while I was working at the registration counter, checking people in, I saw that most all of the people coming to the conference were normal. You might even go so far as to say that a lot of them were attractive. *gasp*

It turned out that I was completely wrong in my presupposition of what the conference would consist of. I had a great time at it. I even felt a hint of guilt for not having helped out more with organizing it (but I got over that by Sunday night).

I got in the water on Saturday in my new wetsuit (which is super awesome, stretchy and warm) and helped some out-of-towners pick up a few of the basics of surfing. It was probably more entertaining for me than for them. The waves were horrible on Saturday afternoon. It was funny for me watching them get eaten alive by the walled-out shore break that we had going on.

All in all it was a great weekend.

But of course there are clouds gathering around to block out that silver lining. The conference was also a little sad for me. Here I was in a group of 1000 people with a female to male ratio of about 3 to 1, and I can't find anyone that strikes my interest. Sure I met lots of girls there that were pretty and all, but as much as I willed it to be, I just couldn't drum up any emotion towards them. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Of course there were tons of guys there that I found extremely attractive, blah, blah, blah.

In a setting of that size, if I can't find one girl that can stir up the smallest amount of desire in me, then I just don't think that it can happen. I'm doomed.