Monday, December 21, 2009

My Mothers Visit / Mortified San Francisco

The first weekend in December, my mother flew out to LA to drive with me up to San Francisco for my Mortified performances there. I had not seen her in 18 months or so, and as a result I was a but unsettled. This would be the first time that she'd seen me as an out (done) and proud (working on it) gay man. This would be the first time that she'd seen me 40 pounds lighter. This would be the first time she'd seen me as a fully self-sufficient man.

It would be the first time she was really seeing me.

And so when I busted my hump to get from Hollywood to LAX during rush hour, you can imagine my frustration when she wasn't waiting for me on the curb. I called her, but her phone was off. Convinced that she'd sequestered herself inside the terminal, I was forced to park and go in after her.

She wasn't inside, either. I asked the Virgin America ticketing agent if she'd boarded the flight. When I was informed that she never boarded, my mind immediately went to the macabre. Certainly no one could be so inconsiderate as to have missed their flight and not called to say they'd be on the next one, so she must be dead on the side of the highway. It didn't take me long to get hysterical. I'd had such a hard week... I'd taken two sick days with a 103 fever earlier in the week, and I was looking forward to having mother come and "make it all better".

To make a long story short (too late), my mother had boarded the next flight. At this point, I lost it. I exited the terminal, screamed, returned to my car, screamed again, and called my friend Liz and cried my eyes out sitting against my car in an LAX parking garage.

I've always loved both of my parents, and I'm grateful for them. But so often it seems that I have to be the adult, the responsible one. Now, in fairness, my mother did say she tried texting me, but I guess she didn't actually send it or something--I've never gotten a text from her before, so I can imagine this might be true. But regardless, my whole life I've been as responsible and mature as possible, acting as my own adult in my life. For crying out loud, my father dumped me from his health insurance when I graduated college... that was essentially my graduation present.

For once in my life I feel like I want to be immature, to do stupid things that I know won't work, to be wreckless, do what feels good, and learn the hard way. I've always carefully considered the options, taken calculated risks, never attempted anything I wasn't pretty sure I could manage.

This blog entry is rapidly spinning out of control. I'm no longer sure exactly what this is about, or even if I should publish it. My mother reads this blog, and I don't want to hurt her feelings. I think my mother is very strong, and is doing the best she can. She needs to learn to forgive herself and realize that she is lovable, and deserves love.

I guess I need to learn that too.

Going to Mortified in San Francisco was a good experience for us both. I got to be me in front of my mother, and have a room full of strangers affirm me and the great job she did as a mother, raising a wonderful son. But how much of it is going to sink in? People were wanting to meet her after the performance, to tell her how proud she must be.

And I think she was proud. She is proud of me and loves me. And in that regard, I just might be the luckiest guy in the world. My life is filled with people who love me and support my identity and my happiness.



Here's my mom and me down by the Embarcadero, with the bay bridge in the background.

It's strange to watch your parents age, and to realize that they aren't going to live forever. I think that was something I realized while on this trip—while I will always be her little boy—I'm a man now, and we're all changing and growing simultaneously. As a kid, your parents seem frozen in time, unchanging pillars for you to rely on. Part of my journey into adulthood has been realizing that when my parents started our family, they were my age—young, ignorant kids trying to figure the world out, and find a portion of happiness along the way.

Forgiving them for their mistakes is easy now, because when I stand and think about how I would fare with a young family right now, I can't honestly say I'd do any better.

I'm grateful for the family that I have, and for the things I've learned so far on my sojourn.

Since the vast majority of my readers live thousands of miles away from me, it's unlikely that any of you will ever be able to attend my Mortified Performance. Which is why I set a camera up on my little table at The Makeout Room (the venue in San Francisco) and taped this video. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy performing it.

Also, this multimedia piece was done by [X]press: Check it out!

I love you all, and leave you with this adorable pic of me and my mother.



Monday, November 16, 2009

No Contact

So Sunday has come and gone, which means my Bishop has probably received the letter from SLC telling him to keep my ass in the church ASAP.

But I've not heard from him. I think (since he received a copy of my letter from SLC) he probably is going to respect my request not to be contacted, and submit my request in 30 days. I guess my Christmas present this year will be my letter of confirmation that I am no longer a member of the LDS church.

Other than that, life is going great!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Resignation Rejection: Full Text and Commentary

For those who are interested/requested, here is a transcript of the "resignation request rejection letter" that I received.

Dear Brother Horne:

I have been asked to acknowledge your recent letter in which you request that your name be removed from the membership records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I have also been asked to inform you that the Church considers such a request to be an ecclesiastical matter that must be handled by local priesthood leaders before being processed by Church employees. Therefore, your letter and a copy of this reply are being sent to President Stephen J. Klenk of North Hollywood California Stake. He will have Bishop Mark S. Mikolyski of the Studio City Ward contact you concerning the fulfillment of your request.

In view of the eternal consequences of such an action, the Brethren urge you to reconsider your request and to prayerfully consider the enclosed statement of the First Presidency.

Sincerely,

Gregory W. Dodge
Manager, Member and Statistical Records

 So yeah, then there was a pamphlet inside that was even MORE aggravating.

An Invitation to Come Back

We reach out to members of the Church throughout the world in a spirit of love and brotherhood inspired by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our interest and concern are always with the individual man or woman, boy or girl. Our great responsibility is to see that each is "remembered and nourished by the good word of God" (Moroni 6:4). If any have been offended, we are sorry. Our only desire is to cultivate a spirit of mercy and kindness, of understanding and healing. We seek to follow the example of our Lord, who "went about doing good" (Acts 10:38).

To you who for any reason find yourselves outside the embrace of the Church, we say come back. We invite you to return and partake of the happiness you once knew. You will find many with outstretched arms to welcome you, assist you, and give you comfort.

The Church needs your strength, love, loyalty, and devotion. The course is fixed and certain by which a person may return to the fill blessing of Church membership, and we stand ready to receive all who wish to do so.

Sincerely yours,

Thomas S. Monson
Henry B. Eyring
Dieter F. Uchtdorf

The First Presidency

There are so many things about this letter that are aggravating.

Mostly, though, it's the magnanimous glee with which they "apologize" for any offense (but not apologize that they hold the opinion that causes the offense, it's more like "sorry you got offended, we were just trying to be Christlike, maybe you should pray about it until God tells you how right we were all along."

Also, I love this gem--"We invite you to return and partake of the happiness you once knew"

WTF? Um, I AM happy. I'm happier now and more at peace now then I have been in any adult memory. When I was attending church, my soul was in a constant state of turmoil, of self doubt, pain, and aggravation. My emotional turbulence prompted my college friends to dub the seventh day of the week "Sour Sunday" because I would be miserable and depressed whenever I came back from church. The inability for me to be one and at peace because of the doctrines of the LDS Church are what made me almost leap off a subway platform my Junior year in college. So, yeah, I'll pass on returning to THAT kind of "happiness".

I am sure that what ever happens, I'm going to be out of the Church by the end of the year, but I was hoping that I wouldn't have to be guilt tripped about it. The thing is, even though I'm mostly able to just let it roll of my back, my Mormon Programming is so deeply ingrained that I almost considered "prayerfully consider[ed] the enclosed statement of the First Presidency."

But I don't need to pray about it, because I know by the fruits that I am doing what is right for me.

I am really looking forward to the day when the church no longer has power over me—let's not forget, that is what this whole exercise is about—it's about the church trying to claim my agency to leave. To prove they are in charge, that they have the power. But they are wrong. I am empowered as an individual who understands his rights and is sure of the path he is on.

Let me know what you all think. Peace.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

They Won't Let You Go


I know understand why the LDS Church is seen as a cult by so many people. It's because cults don't allow their members to leave of their own free will. They have to fight, crawl and push their way through the bullies of the Holy Order of the LDS Church Administrative Bureaucracy™.

Basically, they refused my request, and are instead sending it to my ecclesiastical leader (Bishop Mikolyski). If he calls me, I'm going to be pretty angry.

I called the LDS Church Member Records Division (1-800-453-3860 ext 22053) immediately and this is pretty much exactly what I said, since it was a pretty concise way that I found online to express my feelings:
“As you know, I stopped being a member of your church on the day you received my letter. It is clear that someone in your office thinks I don't know what my rights are.
I do NOT have to contact anyone else regarding my resignation. As a non-member I am no longer subject to your rules and regulations or policies. I DO have a right to get a letter of confirmation from you that states that my name has been removed from the membership rosters of the church.
Please stop wasting time and effort and handle my resignation appropriately. If you don't handle this appropriately, I may involve a lawyer or the press.”
So, we'll see what happens.

I should have known better than to think they'd let me leave quietly. Now I'm gonna get nasty.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fifteen Years

I was baptized on November 6th, 1994.

I dropped this in the mail on November 6th, 2009:


I've closed the door on an exactly 15 year long chapter of my life.

And I wish I could explain how it feels.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Moho Halloween!

As many of you know, I went to Salt Lake City and visited with all my moho blogger friends. It was so wonderful and I had some great experiences.

Most of you were at the party, and know it was a nice time with lots of socialization and some great costumes. It was a really good time, but many of my readers were there, so I'm going to skip to the "after party" if you will... haha!

After the Moho party and Scott's house, Canyon, his friend C. and I went to this club in SLC to get a drink and dance a bit. It seems a little weird to think about gay bars in Salt Lake City, but I'm glad they exist—the immediate difference I noticed was that this place was practically empty, whereas on halloween night gay bars in LA are twice as packed as normal!

We went to the bar, and the 'tender said all they serve is beer (probably a result of SLC's ridiculous liquor laws). Canyon hates beer, and our very attentive bartender offered to make us "samples" of different beers with juice mixed in. So we took him up on the offer, and he made us three samples. I tried the first one, which tasted like cranberry juice. He told me it was called "Cranberry Summer Breeze" (which he said with a playful lisp) and I laughed, it was actually really good--cranberry juice, soda water and michelob. So I got that. There were two others, one with OJ and another with Lemonade (Canyon got the lemonade one, which was humorously entitled "Lemon Especiale" I gave him a good tip, and we went out to the patio to get away from the music and talk some.

Now, a patio in November (it was technically novemeber at this point) in SLC is not very warm. So we were not super comfortable, but it was the only way to have a conversation. So we talked for a while, and this guy in a tunic, who appears to be working for the bar comes over and checks on us, and he seems to be hitting on me, touching my shoulder, talking to me more than the others... it was nice. He wasn't exactly my type, but it's always nice to get hit on (which never happens in LA)

Another bartender was dressed like a Swat Team style police officer (complete with REAL taser) and we talked to him for quite a bit--he was really cute and very friendly. I was just taken aback at how much friendlier everyone seemed the whole night!

After we finished our drinks and went inside to dance for a bit, I ended up dancing with this guy in red strapless dress with a blonde wig who called himself "Alexis"--I couldn't figure out if he was just being cute to complete a costume for halloween, or if he really was a cross dresser. He was cute, and very friendly and we talked a bit during some of the dancing, as the club was getting emptier and emptier... near the end it was just me, Canyon and Alexis on the dance floor "they're all just so intimidated by us" I quipped.

So Alexis took off, and I was going into exhaustion since I was going on about 22 hours being awake (and traveling, which is always tiring.) and so we were heading out. But we stopped to ask one of the other employees who was sweeping up (he was also in a tunic) is it was true that they showed "Glee" here on Wednesday nights. He confirmed it, then turned to me and said "Can I rub your belly?"

I just about lost it laughing.

"Sure" I said, and he started rubbing my belly and said "That's hot". I asked him if he liked chubby guys and he said yeah. So I gave him a hug and told him that if I wasn't sharing a room with three other people that night, I'm might have taken him home with me.

Anyway, we went home (The three of us were all crashing at Scott's house) and just as I was about to finally get in bed and rest, I reached for the lamp in the basement where I was sleeping, and knocked it over in the dark. The moment between when I knocked it and it hitting the ground is vivid. I blurted out "OH MY GOD" at full volume, which was punctuated by a resounding CRASH as the glass around the lamp shattered all accross the basement floor (and me in stocking feet).

Needless to say, I basically woke up the entire household. The Alan Westermark and his son (both in from San Diego with an early morning departure) were awoken, as was Sarah. I was so embarressed, and not because I broke the lamp, but because it was 3am and I'd just woken everyone up after a very very long day. Sigh.

Everyone was very cool, C. helped me quietly clean up the glass in the dark (I only got cut once!) and then we talked quietly before hitting the hay.

The next day, I was picked up by Marcus and he took me to Brunch with a bunch of people from the party. Robert, Brandon, Michael R., Michael W., McKay, and, Marcus and I went to Market Street Grille, and I had my first Mojito. It was actually really good, I enjoyed it.

After that we went geocaching which was fun, and then we went back to the Michael's apartment and played Catch Phrase. I napped for a while, and then we made dinner (Just me and the two Michaels, as others had to leave)

All the guys made me feel so welcome in Salt Lake. It almost makes me want to move up there so I can be a full time part of this awesome gang. Sadly, I don't think that's reason enough—I've got to build Moho Zion right here in LA!

So that was essentially my trip. A lot of fun. I'm sorry if I rambled on incessantly with every mundane detail, but I really enjoyed myself, and figured I'd share with you.

I'm really excited for the next two months--this is a great time of year (aside from the darkness) because it's so busy and I can keep myself distracted from how much I want a boyfriend! HAHA.

Also, stay tuned for an important post tomorrow...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Can't Seem To Shake My Faith

Last night, I drove out to Camarillo, planning to meet this guy and hookup with him. He told me to get off at the Lewis Exit and be there at 9:30pm. So I was running late, and I got there at 9:40pm, worried that I was late.

I texted him, and he told me "b there in 5 minutes" ten minutes passes.

I text again "sorry, dropping a drunk friend off" twenty minutes pass.

I'm getting frustrated.

I text again saying "you're a really bad time estimator, lol" He responded "Sorry, didn't know I was going to end up designated driver and having to drop 4 people off". So now it's four people? WTF. So I wait some more, and finally I say "it's been 40 minutes dude, what's going on"

He finally says he's home, and I ask him for the address. A few minutes pass, and he finally texts it to me. So I drive over, park, and text him. 5 minutes pass. I text "Dude, I don't have time for this, where are you?" He said he was changing out of his suit... and then added "I'm doing the best I can and if you're going to have an attitude you should go home".

So I did.

I'm actually proud of myself that I value myself and my time enough not to allow a stranger to jerk me around like that for over an hour. I wish I'd done it sooner, but the point is I did it... so I never even saw him. Even though I was on his doorstep. I'm really glad I didn't. My time is valuable, and I'm a good guy who not only can get better, but deserves better.

So I drove home, and actually felt pretty great. I'd boosted my self esteem because I'd valued myself enough not to just have sex with someone I was angry with and didn't respect me or my time.

I was so far from home, and I figured I should do SOMETHING to be productive with my trip, and there was this place called "Lake Eleanor Open Space" in Thousand Oaks that I wanted to check out. So I got off the freeway and went there—but I quickly realized it was all fenced off, and I wasn't going to get to skinny dip in a moonlit lake—not that I would of, it was too windy and cool.

I was about to get back on the freeway, and I saw a 65 year old man thumbing for a ride with a bunch of books under his arm.

I stopped and picked him up.

He was headed to LA, and had missed the last bus back to the city after a class that he was attending. The poor guy didn't even have a jacket, and with the wind it was probably about 40 degrees.

He mentioned several times that I was an answer to a prayer... and it made me wonder if maybe the whole experience was to get me out there to help this man out when he needed it.

It's thrown me for a bit of a loop. No matter how hard I try to ignore my faith, when things like that happen, I think of how God must be directing me, guiding me to help others and enrich lives. Remarkable, isn't it?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lovesick

I took a trip east this last week. It was incredible. I visited Maine, Boston, and New York City. I ate amazing food, like good EAST COAST PIZZA tried wine, oysters, scallops, a whole fish, a shot. I saw my sister, my best friends, old acquaintances and haunts.

It was a bittersweet trip, the joy of the reunion, only to be met with the sorrow of departure soon after.

While in New York, I met up with Paul, who is this guy I met up with back in August. He's super sweet and thoughtful and hot, and he's into me back... so that's what makes it all the more frustrating that he has just started figuring out his sexuality. He's 29 and just testing the waters of his bisexuality, and so even if I did live close to him, there's a good chance it wouldn't work out properly. Sigh.

I need to just snap out of it.

But for the first time since coming out, the first time since Seth, I feel like I've met someone who excites me, who makes it hard for me to stop thinking about them. He makes me disinterested in searching for companionship elsewhere. Because I want to make it work with him.

But I'm not a fool—I understand that I'm just in love with the possibilities. I'm infatuated with his body. I'm sure there of plenty of guys who are not attractive to me who are better matches emotionally and spiritually and intellectually, but I never give them a chance because the attraction is not there... this whole thing is frustrating.

Anyway, I'll talk to you all more later,

Peace.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Adventures In Geocaching - Yosemite National Park

Take a look at my latest video creation... maybe I'll make another episode while I'm on the east coast! (I wouldn't hold your breath for it, though.)

Leave a comment here or on the YouTube page! Or Both!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Going East!

I'm in a very good mood, because every passing minute brings me closer to Maine, Boston and New York City.

In the last 18 months, I haven't been further east than Salt Lake City. Considering that I spend almost all of my formidable years growing up in Maine, and went to College in Boston, Massachusetts, I deeply miss it.

It should be an interesting time. Most of these people have not seen me since I have come out of the closet, Most of them have not seen me 35 pounds lighter (I was 284 at graduation, and am currently 249!). Most of them have been moving forward with their lives, as have I.

I'm going to be visiting with the Bishop that saved my life, and probably discussing with him my having left the church. It will be awkward, I'm sure, but I love him too much to not share my life up to now with him.

I'm going to try and get a date with a guy who crushed on me when I was attending Emerson--I was closeted at the time, and now that I'm out and have learned of his interest, it should be fun, even if he lives in Boston and it may never come to anything.

I'm going to spend a night in NYC with a guy who I met a few weeks ago while he was visiting in LA. We hung out two weekends and really hit it off. I miss him, and really could see dating him long term, if only he wasn't in NYC... but if it is love, then no distance is insurmountable. So we'll see.

I'm going to visit Clark Johnsen while in NYC, a blogger who's comments I always appreciated. And I'll be able to add another blogger to my list of "Moho's I've met in real life" :)

As you can imagine, I won't be doing too much blogging whilst travelling. But then again, what else is new?

Love you all!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Who Is This Child?


On Saturday, I was digging through my files and I found a program from my baptism and this photo was tucked away inside.

November 6th, 1994.

I happened to be on the phone with my older sister at the time, and I started to lose it.

I began crying. Hard. I tried to really feel and understand my tears. Why had this photo stirred me so?

I struggled to explain, though I sensed she understood intuitively what I was feeling.

My heart aches so much when I see this boy with such a beautiful spirit, who is trying his best, trusting the adults and people he loves and respects, who are trying to lead him to happiness in the best way they know how.

Yet—

Does he know how much things will change? He knows nothing of the internet, pornography, masturbation, homosexuality, hell—sin of any kind is a foreign experience.

Look at how joyful he is! Free from sin, and following the path of righteousness!

But look closer—the boy is anxious, scared. He's frightened of causing anyone more pain, of letting people down. So much so, he's got a cold sore, which always appear on his lips during periods of extreme anxiety.

------

Dear Ezra of November 6th 1994,

I wanted to write you a letter.

You are of such infinite worth. You do not have to earn love. That love you so freely give is all that is required of you in this life. "As I have loved you, love one another".

You will have a lot of terrible things happen to you, but you will touch many lives with your love and your caring—please realize the value you have to those around you, and internalize that for those times when you feel like no one is there.

I love you so much, and I'm so sorry for all the pain I caused you.

I'm sorry for all the times I beat you and verbally abused you. For calling you stupid, and for never truly accepting you for the loving, sweet boy you are.

Everything will turn out alright. I love you.

Sincerely,

Ezra of Sept 2009.

-------

For the first time in my life, I've had a glimpse of how God must feel.

God knows what lies ahead of us. He looks across the reaches of Heaven, and His endless love swells for us—and oh, the sorrow He must feel! Seeing where we will fall, and wanting to warn us. But knowing that this is our test, and that He cannot intervene, no matter how much he wants to protect us from the pain. It is necessary for our growth.

God's hands are bound, lest agency cease.

I cannot spare that sweet little boy from 1994, any more than God can spare me now.

All I can do is embrace that young spirit inside me, and forgive myself, just as God will do when I finally feel his countenance shine upon me.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The King Has Returned!

You're supposed to read the title of that blog post a la Mufasa from Disney's "The Lion King". But if you didn't, I guess I can forgive you.

Anyway, It's been 40 days since I wrote in you last. If I were Noah, the rain would have finally stopped, but I wouldn't be getting off the ark for another year. (Or so the story goes.) But I'm not Noah, so there.

There are several things that I thought might make good blog posts, but since I'm exhausted after spending the night clubbing with Michael, I'm just going to quickly mention that I won third place in the 2009 Affirmation writing awards! It was essentially a slightly altered version of my "I Hate You, I Hate You" post, which you can read here if you feel inclined.

Goodnight moon, goodnight stars.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hiatus

In the TV industry, there's this thing called "Hiatus".

It's a time when you're done producing your season, and everyone takes a a break.

Well, I'm taking a hiatus from this blog and from most of the blogosphere too.

I feel like I'm never going to be able to let go and move on from the LDS church if I keep spending all my time talking about it.

And frankly, I've kind of run out of things to say.

Take care friends.

Ezra

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Coming Out On Facebook

I'm planning to post this as a facebook note tomorrow, along with changing my "interested in" to "Men". Mind you, anyone who knows me and follows me on facebook has got to know by now, but I really want to clear the air and make official on my one year anniversary. Let me know what you think, or suggest additions/subtractions/rewordings.

---

Twenty-three years ago today, I was born in Springville, UT. And humorously, was also the last time I'd ever be inside a vagina.

Yup, I'm gay.

I hope that made you laugh, because being gay has been a source of far too much anguish in the past. So yeah, about the past. What's the deal?

One year ago, I came out to my brother David and my sister Sarah, in an e-mail prior to meeting with them in Las Vegas for my 22nd birthday. From that point on, I began sharing this long hidden aspect of my personality with the rest of my family and friends. I began to earnestly seek to know myself--for the first time.

What I discovered is that I had spent my entire adolescent life running and fighting myself. After church one Sunday, in my junior year of college, I almost stepped off a subway platform in front of a Red Line train because I was in so much pain from hiding, knowing I'd never be free from this "affliction".

But after that brush with death, I started to ask myself--is this really right? Does God really want me to live this way? Constantly at war with myself, fighting tooth and nail, white-knuckling through life alone?

The answer, of course, is no.

This past year has been an incredible journey, and I still have so much to discover and learn about myself, my faith, and my future. I've got a lot of forgiving to do and a lot more work to undo the years of self punishment I needlessly endured.

To most of you, this will come as no surprise--if you pay attention to the groups I support and the articles I post, it is obvious. However, I wanted to take a moment on this one year anniversary and express it officially. I know now that being gay is actually a blessing--I'm being constantly challenged to learn and open my heart. And in my journey of self-discovery and authenticity, I've met dozens of fantastic friends who have enriched my life in ways I can't even express.

One year later. Finally out. Finally truthful. And finally free.

"One year older and wiser, too.
Happy Birthday to you.[1]"

-------------

Thoughts? Too brief? Too detailed? Just right?


Friday, July 24, 2009

Depressed

I was really depressed last night. I couldn't get a hold of anyone.

That's when I feel the worst. Totally alone.

At least I was blessed with a dream that I had someone cute and nice with which to share my bed.

That's all it'll ever be though. I'm too settled, self deprecating and conservative to earn the love of another.

Monday, July 20, 2009

San Francisco, Affirmation, Old Friends and a Model A Ford

Apologies to those who have been waiting for my feedback on this last weekend in San Francisco (I'm looking at you, Alan) This weekend I took a very short trip up to San Francisco for the 1st ever Affirmation Young Adult Cornerstone Conference. The conference was sparsely attended, but the small group made it feel more like a small ward activity than a big "conference". Which was nice. I think since it was the first time they'd ever had this event, coupled with the simple fact that most young people can't afford to go to San Francisco for the weekend. That's why all the attendees were from the Bay Area except me, Christian and his friend Max.


Christian is pictured here to the left. He is transgendered, and was born biologically female, and has been on hormones since April. I really enjoyed meeting him and getting to hear his story. I'd never met a transgendered Moho before and it was incredible. Interestingly, I still would occasionally refer to Christian as she--it annoyed me, because I support him and his dicisions, but knowing what I knew about his current physical state (pre-op) I would still mentally default to saying "she". I hope I didn't offend, as Christian was a cool person, and as the Bishop's kid in Orange County, I know his path is undoubtedly more difficult than mine.

The conference was fun and I sort of wish I had more time to get the stories of the attendees. I picked up peices between the seminars and talks about political activism and safe sex. But unfortunately, I just didn't get the time. We went on a walking tour of the Castro, which basically consisted of talking about which bars where for what and who goes where and has the best drinks or dancing. It made me feel a little out of the loop. I have gone dancing, but I still don't think clubbing tops my list of things to do on any given night. I still don't drink and frankly haven't more than a fleeting interest in starting. So once again, I was the minority, the guy who was recently out, single and insecure.

It is frustrating, because I'm working my hardest to find out why I'm still so goddamn uncomfortable with myself. My therapist and I are try to get to the root of it. I've got it boiled down the this, at least in my head--I don't deserve happiness. And I'm firmly of the belief that I'll never have it. It can't possibly sound any more emo and self-defeating, but that's the truth. And this blog is about the truth. I look at a couple like Austin and Todd, and I get nauseated. I feel sick to my stomach, knowing that the happiness and joy they've found in each other is never going to be found in my heart.

Don't get my wrong, I'm extremely happy for them--I know they will succeed as a couple. My envy is all encompassing. They are a hot couple, both extremely good looking and thin, which I'll never be. They seem to have given each other their whole heart, which embodies itself in the playfulness of their relationship. As it has been for my whole life, I'm controlled by fear. Despite my best efforts, every date I go on, I feel nothing, every time I look in the mirror and see the fat fuck staring back at me, I know I'll never earn the love and attraction I want, every day that I'm alone, I get more and more ready to give up.

I am sorry this post rapidly became depressing before I even knew what was happening.

I'll have to blog more on this later. To move on, Alan picked me up in his car in the Castro--I joked with him that I never expected to get picked up by an older man in a black car in the Castro..." Hahaha. We went to Grace Cathederal, which no pictures I took do justice. There was a wedding, and I got to hear some music of the choir.

Outside, I encountered this dashing gentleman, and knew I had to have a photo:

He pleasantly obliged, and I sent this photo to my mother, who loves the Scots. She also commented that she thought he was handsome--he is!

After Grace, Alan and I drove down through Golden Gate Park, and then to the 280 south to Woodside (Steve Jobs has a home in this area) up Route 84 to "Alice's Restaurant" (Yes, Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant.) We had dinner with my adopted Mom, Patty Mayall. Alan, Patty and I had a delightful dinner, laughing and talking about a myriad of subjects, before going back to Patty's to have apple pie.

For those who want backstory--Patty and I met at Mortified San Francisco back in April. Have you ever met someone who totally clicks with you and you feel like you've known them your whole life? It's a rare occurrence, but Patty and I were fast friends. And in the short time we were together, we felt comfortable enough to share phone numbers and e-mails, and she extended the invite to stay with her any time I was in the bay area.

So I took her up on the offer. And as we sat at the table talking, it was chilly and I put my arm around her, hugged her. It was very fun, and made me realize how much I miss my real mom, who is still in Virginia. I hope this doesn't make her jealous. My real mom (ToniAnne) and I will often go out to restaurants and sit across the table from each other and hold hands. It's fun, and makes my mom feel so loved and special--and she is both.

So Patty, my surrogate mom, was so appreciative--she's never had children of her own, and I think she really feels as blessed to know me as I do to know her. It's magic. She and her husband Ted are both going to be invited to my wedding (if I ever have one)

The next day, we got to do one of the coolest things I've ever done--easily the highlight of the weekend. We got to drive around the San Mateo Mountains in a 1928 Model A Ford!
Ted gases up the Ford before we begin our sojourn. The engine is gravity fed, meaning that the gas tank must be above the engine--which is why it's BEHIND THE DASHBOARD--basically your riding with 10 gallons of gasoline in your lap.


Here's the hood ornament. Classy! This car can go up to about 50 MPH (on a flat level stretch) and maybe 35-40 up any decent grade. It's a 3 speed flat cut gear manual transmission. It can get between 15-22 mpg. I got to ride in the rumble seat for most of the journey (no seatbelts) and consequently a rocking good time.

And then I got to DRIVE IT!!! This was kind of incredible, and as you can see I was giddy and grinning like the Cheshire cat the entire time. The car has an incredible amount of play in the steering, and it really felt not completely unlike driving the Antique Cars rides at any theme park. You could turn the wheel about a quarter turn before getting any response from the tires. It made driving a very conscious activity. This was real motoring. Oh, and no power brakes either... you're stopping the car with the force of your own foot.
When we finally got to San Gregario, we posed for a picture (me with my new hat I'd just bought).

I took the liberty of correcting and photoshopping this picture to the left to give it a historical and authentic look. Sigh, I want to own a car like this--but only if I've got a cool place to drive it like the winding country roads of the San Mateo Mountains.

In short, it was a fantastic weekend, with lots of new experiences, new friends, and fun. I'm an incredibly lucky guy, even if I don't understand why.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Best Independence Day Weekend Ever

Matt from "dripping with optimism" came down from Sacramento to spend his holiday weekend with me. I initially enticed him with the promise of a Death Cab for Cutie concert at the Hollywood Bowl.

When ever someone from out of town visits, I'm always delighted because they motivate me to get out and go places I've never been or are "touristy". We had a super packed weekend, and Matt did a stellar job of outlining a basic plan, but allowing everything to flow and feel natural.

Friday, we went to the LA Zoo and braved the heat and sun to see all the cool animals. I think my personal favorite might have been the Ocelot. As we waited in the 45 minute queue to get tickets into the zoo (crazy, right?) Matt and I got to talking and I found out that he was aware of the movie "The Wizard of Speed and Time" by Mike Jittlov. Which is amazing because NO ONE knows about this movie. You can only buy second hand VHS copies of it on ebay or Amazon... it's just not out there.

Which inspired us to head to Mike's house in Silverlake. We just drove by, but it was fun. We walked down Hollywood Blvd and checked out Michael Jackson's star. Then we went up to the Hollywood and Highland complex, and took this classic photo:
We are SO sexy... lol. I kept wanting to fix Matt's glasses--they are a bit warped, and so they don't sit quite level on his face. That night, we went to the LACMA and caught a bit of free Jazz. Then we checked out the Mullholland Overlook:
Below, the city stretched out like a glittery dream. Still light out, but at that magic hour when the earth and the sky are the same intensity.

The next day, we went to Huntington Beach. I'd gone last summer with my roommate, and the fireworks show they have was phenomenal. So when we got to the beach, we jumped right into the water--and it was COLD. It was surprisingly cold--even a stalwart Mainer such as I could only last about 20 minutes before my hands started to loose feeling!

We walked around to warm up... but as the sun went down, Matt was shivering uncontrollably. (I was chilly, but okay--but I've got insulation). He wasn't sure he'd be able to hold out for the fireworks.

We sought out a wind break in the nook of a building. I pulled Matt in front of me and had him lay against my chest. I wrapped my hands around him and held his hands (which were freezing) and put my cheek on his ear to keep it warm. It was very cozy.

And I just enveloped him and held him for about an hour and half. We watched the fireworks together like that and I've not felt so contented and peaceful in ages.

People walked by and stared, and I didn't care at all. I stared back--one woman smiled as said it looked cozy--boy was it ever.

As I sat there, I I told Matt that he was going to make some guy really lucky someday. He said "igual"

Ditto, essentially.

I'm kinda honored that he trusted me and felt comfortable enough to share that moment with me. I'm so lucky to have a friend like that. Thanks Matt, for making my Independence Day into a really treasured memory.

We drove home, happy and singing classic 90's hits in the car. It took two hours to fight traffic home--but it was a blast. When we got home, we made Root Beer Floats and watched Clue.

The next day, it was on the the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. I'd say this is my favorite photograph that I've taken in a long time, from the African wing:
After that, we hit up Chipotle for a late lunch/early dinner and then went to the Death Cab Concert--the reason for the trip, the finale to an amazing weekend:

The concert ended with a fireworks bonanza for "Transatlanticism" as a finale.

Believe me, you had to have been there. It was an INCREDIBLE finale to a great concert.

The next morning, as I drove Matt to the station, I admit I teared up a little--I'm a sucker for a goodbye. :( Anyway, thanks for the fun times, Matt. Hope to see you again soon.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thoughts? Feedback? Questions?

My journal series is done for now. Maybe later this fall, I'll feel courageous enough to post my journals from when I started cuddling with Seth--its an incredible read, from just one year later. Would that be of interest?

Does anyone have any feedback or thoughts on my two year old way of thinking? I was a bit disappointed at the lack of feedback and commentary on my entries. It made me wonder if perhaps people were just in shock at how obsessive and scary I was about trying to change my sexuality. I don't know.

But you can see how much I wanted to be straight. You can see how hard I was trying to make myself straight. You can understand my frustrations and my pain.

I'm concerned that my progress is still so insignificant. I still don't see being gay as a blessing or a gift. I still see it as a flaw, a defect. I no longer feel guilty about it--any more than someone who was born with any genetic defect has no say or fault in the matter. I wish I could see my homosexuality the same way I see, say, my left-handedness.

I love being left handed--sure, the world is set up for right-handed people. My life might be a little easier if I was right handed--but I don't really think about it--it doesn't matter, because I'm proud to be left handed. It makes me special, and I feel happy when I consider that left handed people are often more creative as they are right brain dominant.

So why can't I embrace my sexuality in the same way? Why do you think, especially after reading these very personal journals, I still perceive it as a flaw? For those who DO feel proud and happy about being gay--how did you arrive there? What changed your point of view?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Some Great Advice From Craigslist

I found this on craigslist many months ago, and it's some of the most simple and good dating advice I've ever read. Who'd have thought? Mind you, easier said than done, but hey--you gotta try!

(this advice was originally given with reference to a girl, but I've gone through for convenience and changed it to a guy.)

----

You need to cultivate and exude SELF-POSSESSION.

You must have the attitude that you know you're okay, desirable, etc, regardless of how anyone else responds to you. So, you do not NEED to get a positive response from anyone else. Not arrogant, just independent. This makes you cheerful and thankful.

You are free to show that you ENJOY other people and APPRECIATE them, because you are not afraid that they will reject you.

The natural attitude of a self-possessed winner is to be PLAYFUL.

This not only reflects your independent self-confidence, but also that you appreciate how fortunate you are, etc. Having a playful attitude is appealing to others, and it's an enjoyable way for you to go through your day - it's a victory in itself.

It might help you if you were to imagine how you might interact with a very desirable guy you just happened to meet out in public, if you were already deep into a great relationship with some other amazing guy, and there was no way you want to start dating this guy you just met.

Your mentality would be:

"This is probably the only time I will see this guy or talk to him, so the only thing to do is just enjoy these few minutes for the inherent reward of our little chat now. I don't want or need anything from this guy, because I'm already getting plenty of it from someone else. I can just enjoy this new guy's personality, his smile, etc, right now. No need to be impressive, no need to fear his disapproval of something I say, etc. I can just enjoy being myself, a happy guy who appreciates other people. Hmm, he's interesting, so I'll ask him about him - opinions, etc. If I just talk about me, I don't find out anything I didn't already know."

That's about it from me. Like I said, other responses were very helpful.
I hope mine is helpful to someone...

----

I really like this advice--hopefully it helps you too.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

November 20th, 2007

Dear Journal,

I just woke up from a dream about flying. It was rather vivid and though I’m a bit spotty on the details, I know this much:

I was on some journey in a very harsh but amazingly beautiful landscape. At first it was a desert but it later became a craggly, rocky coast with pine trees but it was other worldly in that the water was completely clear and still and there were these things in the water, bright, swirling patches mixing with one another. Reds, greens, browns, like algae blooms or something. Anyway, I was looking for something, with someone, but they weren’t physically there, like a narrator or still-small voice. The items I was trying to figure out were up in some rafters, and I some how got it into my head that I could fly up there if I wanted to, so I ran forward, leapt into the air, stuck out my arms and tried to fly. Well, I sort of flew, but had no control over my direction or altitude and I quickly slowed, glided and fell/descended. I kept trying and eventually I figured it out. I leapt into the air, riding updrafts, circling over the crystal clear water in a stunningly beautiful wilderness landscape. I dove down, gliding gliding just above the water, then climbed up again. But if I climbed too steeply for too long, I’d slow down and start to lose lift. It was thrilling and invigorating. Eventually I think I landed, but when I stopped I couldn’t get going again.

I’m not sure of the meaning of this dream, but I feel it represents my spiritual journey—if I could only figure out how to maintain the lift, how to get off the ground, I could SOAR. The narrator is the spirit, guiding me, but I must do the real work. It was a beautiful and marvelous dream. I hope I can fly like that someday.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

November 18th, 2007

Dear Journal,

Today I received my Patriarchal Blessing. It seemed to be over far too soon, and I now must wait months to read it again. I felt the spirit so strongly. I pray that I will be able to hold on to the memories of exactly how I felt while receiving that blessing.

We chatted briefly before he started and I looked around [The Patriarch's] beautiful home, his wife, saw his children who have gone on missions and been married in the temple. I thought about how blessed this man was to receive such blessings. How God blesses them that follow him!

When he placed his hands on my head, they trembled as he waited for the inspiration and guidance from God to come down.

I began tearing up and holding back my sobbing throughout the entire blessing. I heard GOD talking through Patriarch Williams. The spirit FILLED me so greatly I felt the tears dripping off my cheeks and onto my shirt.

During the blessing, it was revealed that I am of the Lineage of Ephraim. I’m interested in learning now what that means for me.

One of the things he spoke of the almost made me burst into sobs was when I was told that one day I would go to the temple with a woman and be sealed to her—and eventually return to heaven as a family unit.

As I have been struggling, begging and pleading for relief from my homosexual feelings, I’ve always worried I would be alone forever, and that I’ll never overcome my tendencies. But I know that if I live the commandments and exalt God, I WILL have a family and a spouse—and we will return to heaven as a sealed family unit.

Another element that stuck out was that I was told that I had had many experiences that brought me joy, and many that brought sorrow and tears to my eyes—but that all these experiences were preparing me to be able to help others find the way to Christ and the gospel. It’s not good to speculate, but perhaps my struggle with homosexuality is preparing me to eventually help others who feel just as sad and desperate and alone as I have felt. But hopefully I will not have suffered in vain. I am grateful for the experience and the things that have made me who I am.

I was told that (paraphrased) “through my job I would have interactions with powerful controllers of the country” and that my example could/would help the church reach places that it cannot reach.

What job could that be I wonder. I can’t imagine and editor helping advance the church.

It was also revealed to me that one of my spiritual gifts is that of discernment. I am able to discern the needs of others and help them—I was admonished to use this talent to help others and not for selfish gain.

I was also admonished to go on a mission and be a missionary always. If I live worthily, I will be made a great spokesperson for the gospel.

As I reflect on this day, I am so concerned—the spirit faded so fast once the blessing was over, I didn’t want it to end. How can I receive that sort of spiritual high all the time? I crave it. I feel close to the Lord. First you must make the steps you’ve known all along. Read your scriptures, pray always and magnify your callings. Avoid sins like pornography and lustful thoughts and actions. Then you can receive the Melchezadic Priesthood and attend the temple.

That reminds me, I’m pretty sure that at one point in the blessing, I was told by God that I was in doubt of myself as a true son of God and that it was okay, as that’s part of my growth and the stage I’m at right now. However, I was counseled that I would receive the Melchezadic Priesthood and when I do, all doubt would be removed about my divine nature.

Since I am such a mortal, there have been times since I received the blessing that I’ve thought—“well, that sounds like a pretty generic outline for a standard Mormon life—maybe he says most of that stuff to everyone.” But then again, God knows the best path to happiness and immortality is the straight and narrow, so why should I be any different? Honestly, I don’t know what I expected in my blessing—I’d almost like to compare it with others to see how many people have very direct and specific mentions of eternal marriage. Mainly because that sticks out to me the most out of anything in the blessing. Probably because it speaks directly to my pleading for escape from these feelings of SSA. (Same-sex-attraction) I wish I could re-read the whole thing again, as it is so dense and packed with information for me from God!!!

I’m exhausted and spiritually I am uplifted. It’s been a fulfilling day and I’m sad it is coming to an end. However, the process I am in is an amazing one, and I am hoping to continue and become a good and faithful servant who is fortunate to come to earth at this time of opportunity.

Friday, July 3, 2009

October 21st, 2007

I’m starting to get more involved at church. It’s quite amazing, because it’s taken 4 years, but because of my fear and lack of confidence, I generally have felt unworthy or unwanted at church. It’s funny that as I’ve worked with Bishop O. I haven’t stopped being gay, but I have stopped feeling so angry and guilty about being gay, masturbating and hell, even pornography. I was expecting to be “cured” of this, but maybe the cure is learning your own self worth and realizing that guilt and fear are from Satan.—Love, confidence, trust—these are the tools of the Lord.

Well it’s time for bed. Keep faithful, love thy neighbor, and God will bless you and keep you. Good night!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

August 23rd, 2007

Dear Journal,

What a blessing! I’ve got supportive straight male friends to bond with. It is true, I can’t measure my progress solely on my attraction to women. That will come in it’s own time. The highs and lows I’ve felt this summer have been awesome. (meaning awe inspiring and unbelievable, not necessarily good.) It seems like just a week ago I was heart broken and ready to leave God—but it’s foolish to try and leave someone who’s already with you! He’s been with me the whole time.

I’ve learned a lot from reading a book called “You Don’t Have To Be Gay” by Jeff Conrad. So much perspective, such good advice—from someone who has been there, and been in deeper and darker than I can imagine. And he is free!

What a sad thought, a helpless thought, to be unable to change. That is what Satan wants me to think, but God can help me fulfill the LEGITEMATE homo-emotional needs in my life. I was also uplifted by a fact pointed out in the book, which was that because I’ve not acted with others on these feelings, my healing process will be much easier and quicker than if I was deeply entrenched in a homosexual lifestyle.

I’m still praying for strength and additional guidance on who I should tell about these feelings. For a while, I considered telling Sarah, but I think since it’s been almost impossible to get her alone, God is telling me she is the wrong person to tell and I think she is, because she would probably tell me to give up, because I can’t have what I want!

So far, I’ve thought about Dan, John, and Marc. They all love and care about me, but would understand and probably support my work in fulfilling my homo-emotional needs.

I should probably check in with Bishop O.—I think he’d be proud of me not giving up, even considering the hardships I’ve been through.

I’m so grateful for my friends and the positive energy they help me sustain.

Part of what “You Don’t Have To Be Gay” was saying is that you need to fufill your legitimate homo-emotional needs, be accepted as “one of the guys” and received healthy, non-sexual affirmations of masculinity. Well, I felt that I was pretty comfortable around guys, but when I was invited by Aaron and his friend Patrick to go lift weights at the gym, I remembered a huge area of discomfort and inadequacy. Physical—I’ve felt inferior as a man because of my fat and my alienation from sports and male bonding type activities because when I tried and wasn’t as good as the other boys, I felt like a failure, miserable, inadequate. Just writing that starts many blocked or long-repressed memories emerge. No being able to earn the physical fitness merit badge in Scouts, coming in dead last at the Klondike Derby sled race, never being able to do pull-ups, never getting better than a 12 minute mile in gym, doing modified pushups, being too slow to run bases, too fat to keep up with the ball in soccer, but too slow to be a good goalie. The list goes on. But instead of persevering and getting better, I reacted by thinking I was a failure and inadequate as a boy/man.

This compounded by having no really strong masculine role-model in my life, I had no one to help me understand. When I “showed” my penis to Justin, I had no man in my life to tell me that curiosity was okay, but I should try to limit that behavior. I remember how ashamed and sad I was that I’d done something “gay”.

It’s been a slow process, ending up where I am now—I didn’t get born gay, but I’ve been fighting these emotions for so long that I felt like I’d been born with them.

But I went weight lifting with Aaron and it was a little awkward, but Aaron was my guide, my advocate, my friend and he didn’t leave me to flounder. He supported me and affirmed my masculinity—which is precisely what I need!

I’ve talked with Jon about lifting with me when I get back to school, and he’s all for it. Yippee!

It could be a turning point. In a year or two, I can be who I really want to be. I am so glad that I know of my agency and can learn to retrain my responses.

The think I’d really hope to accomplish is to heal some of my emotional wounds with my parents. I need to find someone who can help me work through those feelings. It’s funny that I’ve spent more time with my Dad this summer than I probably have in my life (or at least the last 14 years).

God, please help me to feel this hope I have in my heart right now in my heart EVERY DAY. Please guide me and show me the path you want me to walk. I’m so grateful for all the gifts, talents, friends, and experiences in my life that have made me who I am today.

Until we meet again!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

August 19th, 2007

Dear Journal,

I’ve been unable to accomplish much today as I’ve continued to be lost in thought about me, sexuality, the Mormon Church, Seth, and my future in general. You can imagine that I’d still like to be straight. I’d like to have a family and a loving, intimate relationship. I imagine my infatuation with Seth will eventually wear off, but in the mean time I’m still stuck thinking about him. Part of me just wants to call him and pry him for answers. Is he remaining celibate as a homosexual? Or has he done anything with his desires? Has he read the literature about “going straight” and does he think it’s possible?

I’m still waiting on a response from my last e-mail. The e-mail where I asked him if he felt a strong connection. Maybe I freaked him out, or maybe he sensed I was gay. (Though I doubt it)

I wanted to call Sarah today and talk to her about it. But she was in public with her friend Aajonus so it didn’t seem appropriate. I want to change my sexuality, but I have no idea how. Perhaps I should give it one more semester or year before I abandon it all. After all, I do want to get my Patriachial Blessing. Maybe it can offer som insight.

Dad says that God never works through fear or shame. But the Mormon Church is all about fear and shame. No, let me rephrase that. The Mormon people are often about shame. I feel ashamed just being in a mind set which I didn’t choose to be in. A series of events put me here, and so far, I haven’t been progressing far in spite of seeking lots of help.

Seth seems to have a friend on myspace who’s refusing to act on his homosexual desires, just like me. He said that until Jesus changes him, he’s happy to remain single. He doesn’t like to think about it as being alone, because he is never alone. I realize that God loves me, and I never have to earn that love, for it is that love which is the definition of unconditional.

What are the things that happened in my life that caused my homosexual identity to become dominant?

1. Absent Father—when I was very young, Dad was always away on business trips. Maybe I developed the idea that he didn’t really enjoy spending time with us, and then when my parents divorced when I was six years old, I thought it was my fault because Dad didn’t want to have more than two kids.

This seems strange to me, though, because it wasn’t just my Dad. Because I loved being with him. We went fishing one time and he killed a fish and it grossed me out—maybe I felt like a sissy.

Did Dad ever re-affirm my masculinity?

2. I didn’t participate in any “manly” activities like sports teams or athletics. This is probably more Mom’s fault, but because athletic events often happened on Sundays. I think I got the impression I couldn’t do them. Plus, after the divorce, I was so confused and felt so worthless that I slowly got fatter and fatter and fatter, and here I am today at 280 pounds. I’ve never felt comfortable with other men, particularly playing sports.

3. I have an overbearing mother who taught me (perhaps inadvertently) that men are evil scum, and to please her I became the opposite of the guys I knew—smart, polite, good in school. This is undoubtedly a possible reason.

4. Having some “mildy gay” experiences at childhood which I probably should have attributed to curiousity, and at the time probably was, but instead I assumed that made me gay.

5. I’m clumsy and have low body image and self esteem.
6. Because I’ve never dated or done anything with a girl, I feel inadequate as a guy. The key component to recovery is to stop blaming others in order to avoid taking responsibility for your own actions.

7. When I was in Boy Scounts, I didn’t earn the merit badges, advancement, etc. and was made to feel inferior and consequently less masculine.

8. Because of my Mormon upbringing/homosexual tendencies, I don’t feel comfortable talking with guys about girls and sex, because I’ve never done it and am basically clueless. It’s cyclical because I am not going to fix that problem without violating some core beliefs.

I’m going to leave the rest of this page open for further revelations.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

August 18th, 2007

Dear Journal,

It’s strange to even think about it. I am in love/have a crush. Let me rewind and explain.

Seth contacted me on Couchsurfing.com. He’s a 22 year old filmmaker from NY. Probably one of the most amazing spirits I’ve encountered in a long time. When he arrived, we walked and talked and I started to realize that he acted and talked the way I used to. Excited, full of life, friendly. We were joined by Nick, (the other person I’ve met this summer.) and we went to Sand Hollow Resevoir. We all played and splashed in the water and had a great time. We swam out to the island in the resevoir and jumped into the water.

There was one place where it was 17-20 jump into the water! It was an adrenaline rushing experience.

Anyway, because Kim was staying with us too, Seth slept in my room and we stayed up late (til 4am) talking about everything. Religion, politics, film, sexuality, etc. He is a gay Christian. We talk about what that was like. I lied and pretended I was straight. But when he left Friday morning I felt an emptiness inside. I’ve never felt this sad, even when leaving my best friends or family behind. This was a new experience that I’ve never encountered before. A new sensation. I couldn’t get anything done at work, I just kept thinking about him. How he’d burst into snippets of song, how he’d look me in the eye and smile when talking to me. Everyone loved him—Steven, Kim, David, Nick. He’s everything I wish I was. Smart, winning personality, great heart, openly gay but still maintains Christian beliefs. He’s athletic, thin and beautiful. He’s not like some waxed porno star—he had a hairy chest, but he’s tall and thin. Beautiful both inside and out.

This is so frustrating. I want to just tell him how I feel, give up on trying to “fix” my sexuality and be with someone like Seth. He’s exactly the type of person I’d like to spend the rest of my life with. I didn’t want him to leave and for the last two days I haven’t been able to stop thinking about him. I talked to Dad about it today, and that was nice, to have someone to share my feelings with. Just knowing how non-judgemental my father is has been good for our relationship.

I think the most frustrating thing of all is that even if I were to embrace homosexuality and tell Seth how I really feel, he’d probably be disgusted with me for lying to him and basically working to be straight, and he probably feels nothing for me. I’m fat and ugly and he’s an attractive gay male. He could get any guy he wants. Why would he want some emotionally scarred closet case fatso?

Or maybe he felt the connection too. But probably not, since I told him I’m straight, so he probably never even considered it. But oh, how I wish he did.

I am scared for my mental health because I’m starting to act like Joe Collesano, when he was projecting himself into relationships that didn’t exist. I wish we could watch a movie together, relaxing on the couch, holding each other in our arms… but it’s a stupid thought, and my mind knows this, but my heart aches/longs/pines for his companionship again.

But he’d never be attracted to me because I’m a coward—I’ve hid from myself and who I am for so long. I want to abandon the Mormon Church. When I talk to Dad, his beliefs are so clean and based on love. I want to feel happy from inside, and I can’t feel that right now living the way I’m living. God will give us no burden that we can’t handle.—but maybe it has to be handled differently. Do I have to bear my homosexuality for the rest of my life? Can’t I have someone in my life to cuddle and love?

I’m starting to repeat myself, but needless to say, I’m missing Seth a lot, even though I only met him for a few hours. There’s a special connection (at least with me.) and I just e-mailed him about it tonight (about having a “connection”) I’m nervous to see what he says. I just can’t get over the way he’d smile. Such a beautiful smile, like he really liked me and cared about what I was saying.

When he left, I gave him a “hug/shake” where you shake hands and then pull the other person in for a pat on the back. I wish I could have gotten a real hug. I liked getting a hug from him. *sigh* I’ve been sighing a lot in the last two days.

Well, I should move on from talking about Seth.

On Saturday, (today) I met up with Aaron (from Harrisonburg, VA) who’s going to Dixie State. I went to Sand Hollow with him and his two new girlfriends, Liza (from Hawaii) and Mandy (from Colorado) we had a great time splashing and diving into the rocks. Now I’m home and our four couchsurfers are here. Norah, Estelle, Lorenzo, and Angela. They are Tufts students road-tripping back to Boston (well, Sommerville) over like 3 weeks. They all seem really nice and they’re headed to Zion National Park tomorrow to hike Angel’s Landing. I should probably wrap this up, I’ve been writing for 45 minutes.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Successful Weekend

Hey Friends,

So I thought I'd supplement today's meager entry in my "journal" series with more recent affairs.

Michael Jackon's death caused me to to rediscover his amazing music and I'd been listening to "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and other hits practically non-stop. Well, Friday night I found myself done with work at 6pm. So I hit the gym, and pushed myself to do my "normal" 35 minutes on the elliptical. (I have yet to quit my 35 minute routine because I was tired--once I get going I just can't let myself stop--I'd feel like a huge failure if I did.) Then I hit the showers, (saw some hotties) then went home, grabbed some dinner found myself in front of the computer with nothing to do at about 8pm.

So I convinced myself that I needed to go out dancing. I needed to move my body. So I texted my straight girlfriend Liz, and asked her to be my date to Akbar, a gay bar in Silverlake. I got there, and we danced together from 11pm-2am! I had a grand old time, even if the DJ wasn't so good. He was playing a lot of Michael Jackson remixes that just decimated the dancing power of his music :( But we didn't care! At one point during the night, a heavy black guy and his lesbian friend started dancing with us, and Liz got swept away by the lesbian, and heavy black guy started grinding into my crotch and putting my hands on his ass.

It was fun to dance, but I was not attracted to this guy, so it wasn't as fun as it could have been--but I'll dance with anyone! I felt bad when he tried to pull me off of the dance floor and I didn't follow him, but that's what you have to do. Liz ended up requiring me to save her from the lesbian who started trying to give her a shoulder hickey!

There were a couple times during the night were I should have asked a couple guys to dance, but I was too chicken. I'm planning to keep going back, so I'm sure that'll come with time.


Anyway, the next day, I kicked butt running around town getting errands done--including getting my poster of Clue, a graduation gift from my dear friend Dan framed. It was a high quality reproduction, but I'm almost positive that I spent more money getting it framed than it was worth--but it looks SO CLASSY that it's totally worth it. It makes me so happy just to look at it. Thanks Dan!

I darted down to Santa Monica to hit up the beach with Danny, Jackie and Josh--6 dollars to park, and I found myself hoping around gleefully in the waves. Then of course, I got to lay out in the sun, and show off my new sunglasses and work on my tan.


That night, I went to a party and my Jackie's house, which was pretty meh, everyone was drinking and there were a lot of people I didn't know--and while normally that's fine, I was just too exhausted to play the part of social butterfly.

So first thing Sunday morning, I run out and do my laundry and clean my house, preparing for Damian's arrival, for date #3. It was was a good time. I cooked my famous spaghetti pie and we watched True Stories, and then sat on the couch and talked for several hours. He ended up being over for almost 7 hours, which was incredible, since we were basically talking.

He likes taking things slow, and that's okay with me. I'm not sure exactly what I feel about him. He's pretty good looking, and we have a lot of common interests, (we know and love almost all the same movies!) but I am not yet feeling that elusive chemistry. So for now I'm just letting things roll and see where they go. Hopefully if it ends up not working out, we'll still be friends, because he seems like a cool guy.

Though he can't swim and hates pools and the ocean--which is a huge problem, IMHO--But we're just gonna leave that one alone for now. This is what happens when you are raised in the deserts of Lancaster I suppose.

This morning I had my second session with Dr. Tony. I really like him, and I really like that he's a gay man--when he speaks about gay issues, he uses "we" to describe them, which helps remind me that he's been there or that it's not a unique and/or insurmountable problem. I wish it didn't cost so much, but until I pay down my insurance deductible, that's just how it's going to have to be.

Anyway, that's what's going on with me lately. Hope everyone is doing well. Oh, and a special shout out to my recent blog hits coming from The Westin Hotel in San Francisco and NASA!



An Undated Note...

(I’m unsure when this was written, as it is an undated note, but it was written in the summer of 2007.)

“Why is Joseph wearing this fruity jacket? He should be wearing something macho—leather or combat fatigues” –Advertising execs at Christian Booksellers.

“Do we want kids to turn out gay because of the Bible story with a fruity coat?”

Sunday, June 28, 2009

June 28th, 2007

Dear Journal,

I’m not sure yet. This could be the day that you start making real progress towards heterosexuality—or it could be a day where you’ll look back and regret it. Today I told my Dad that I am struggling with same-sex attraction. Homosexuality.

I honestly can’t believe that I told him. I bought this book on Amazon.com called “Coming Out Straight” by Richard Cohen, and I think it has helped me realize that I may have a chance to change. According to the book, there are many factors that can lead someone into SSA. I have a lot of them, and it really hit home.

When I told Dad, I cried and muttered along, trying to talk through the tears, and we held hands, he just let me get it all out before even speaking, and then he thanked me for trusting him enough to talk to him.

Then we stood and hugged, and I cried on his shoulder as he held me. I sobbed into his chest for a long time, but it wasn’t enough. Richard Cohen was right—touch/attachment therapy between father and son is important. I never wanted to let go. I’ve probably not cried in the presence of my father for 10 years. I’ve probably not been held like that since I was a child and it felt good, like I finally had a Dad. I’m not cured, and I’m not healed, but if anyone can help me, it’s probably him, since he’s the cause (direct or indirect) of most of these potential factors. He’s also good at emotional healing work. So maybe, with God’s help, the Bishop, Evergreen, myself, maybe Dan (if I get the courage to ask him to help) I might be able to melt the pain in my heart that has caused these attractions. I’m scared of what is ahead, but I am grateful to be moving away from the darkness and into the light. There is SO much work to be done—I have such low self-esteem and confidence around men, poor body image, fear of women, inadequacy issues and who knows what else is hiding in my subconscious.

It’s funny. I have been asking God for a friend for the last few weeks, projecting developing a healthy friendship with someone, and maybe I’m supposed to heal and become friends with myself and my Dad. Could be?

There are so many thoughts whirling around in my head. Dad says he will do whatever he can to support me, maybe he can. We may do hormonal therapy, flower essences, emotional healing, and who knows what else. I want to become a real man with confidence, self-worth, and respect, and a deep belief that I am a child of God and he loves me as I am—I don’t have to please anyone else.

Dad says he loves me and wants me to know that I shouldn’t feel guilty for the way I feel. And that he feels change is possible, though even if I stay a homosexual, I’d still have his love and support and it wouldn’t change a thing between us.

I really wish I knew what he’s been thinking about all day. Is he even thinking about it. I want to cry in his arms again.

I feel alone again.
Mom does not know and probably will not know about it until I am done with it (or close to it.)

I love my Mom, but I know (or at least I think I know) that her maturity level is not sufficient to be able to handle that kind of news appropriately. She’d get upset and cry and try to “pray the gay away”. But I already know that doesn’t work.

Sarah would be of the belief that I cannot change it and should accept it, and I’m not sure what Katie and David would think of it. Most of my friends feel the same way about SSA (that you can’t change it). I refuse to accept this because I know God places no burden upon us that we cannot carry—and I can’t carry these thoughts and feelings anymore.

Nothing has even been done yet, but already I have fears and doubts about this. Will the pain and suffering I dredge up be effective and heal me? Or will I be a more well-adjusted homosexual?

All of these fears and frustrations (sexual and mental) are being stacked on top of the lonely-ness of being here in the desert without any friends. Stacked on top of the boring, unfulfilling work I do, the hours of editing crappy footage for J-Sasseville. Stacked on top of my inability to settle or be happy with a film idea and move forward in pre-production. Stacked on top of my concerns about money.

Welcome to adulthood, Ezra.

I’m writing this with my right hand. I need love and I need to get in touch with a very angry little boy who needs healing. I’m looking for a positive, happy relationship. Dad, I need your help. Help me. Help me. Feel me, touch me, heal me.

Sorry if that’s nonsense, I just felt like trying that.

So God, here’s a list (which isn’t all inclusive nor nessicerily complete) of experiences I’d like to have and relationships I want.
-I want to have a family. As much as it is scary, because of my current feelings of inadequacy, I still want to experience the joys (and pains) of fatherhood. Please let me be a good father to a few of your spirit children, heavenly father. I would do my best to rear them in love and respect, with a firm foundation that I will never judge them and they can always talk to me.

An important part of this is to have a wife who loves me for who I really am. A woman who is physically attractive would be a wonderful experience, and if she could be supportive of me and the family, creative and spontaneous, a good homemaker, I will have to think more about this as I’ve never given this much thought. If she is not Mormon I need to come to terms with marrying outside the church, but preferably she should be Mormon. If the love is strong and the woman can accept me even having not gone on a mission, she should be smart and sound minded, but also be in touch with the guidance of the spirit so we can impart good wisdom and love to our kids.

God, I know thou can do anything, and that thou doest it be your timetable and as I further identify what I truly would like to experience in this life you will provide me with strength and understanding (of others and myself.) I realize I have a lot of forgiving of myself to do, and healing with my family, and I ask for special help with this as I have a tendency to worry and feel afraid and hold onto pain and punish myself for slipping up when I should just repent, forgive myself and move on. Thank you. I ask these blessings in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

June 25th, 2007

Dear Journal,

It’s been a long week. On Monday I volunteered at the Church cannery and probably moved 6,000 cans of apricots in my four hour shift. Later, during the week, I got really depressed about having no friends and my struggle with homosexuality. So I called and talked to Bishop O. I tried not to cry when I was on the phone with him. But it did make me feel better. I need to persue making friends with Gunnar. I think he and I should make good friends. I’m just to creeped out to go to “Zumiez” in the mall and talk to him. Call it fear, stupidity, or maybe I’m nervous that he’ll see through me, see that I’m not a very good Mormon, or even that I’m gay. Fear. Discomfort. Anguish. These are the things that make me who I am. Am I really just an “underdeveloped” man who never developed his manhood and so he longs for the manhood of another? Or am I doomed by God because of some sin? Who knows.

Moving on, this week Dad had his Herb Walk this week, and it was very successful. Everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves and I seemed to be really liked by all the women who visited. In particular, Tanya from California. She seemed to really like me and she was a sweet old lady—I carried her backpack for her into Zion because it was hard for her to walk. She was such a trooper, I’m hoping to keep in touch with her.

Did a little budgeting today and I’m still wondering how I’m going to afford school. I imagine God will take care of me, especially as I have a testimony of the power of tithing and have been paying in full. This morning I ran for as long as I could at 8am. I couldn’t get far, but I’m going to try to get up each morning and run until I have to stop, and hopefully reverse my obesity. Wish me luck and persistence.

Friday, June 26, 2009

A New Series

Starting tomorrow, I'll be posting a journal entry from the summer and fall of 2007 every day until July 5th.

I'm not really sure why I want to do this. It's old news, it's angst and pain and not particularly pleasant for present day me to read--maybe because I still feel like I gave up.

Tell me if you think this is a bad idea... I've posted old journal entries before, but I couldn't really tell what people thought about them.

To get you started, feel free to read this entry, from June 17th, 2007, which I posted back in December. It'll all move forward from there.

Affirmation Young Adult Cornerstone

Canyon and I will be attending the 1st ever Affirmation Young Adult Cornerstone Conference in San Francisco, CA on July 17th and 18th (Fri/Sat). It's $20. Check it out if you can, it'd be awesome to see some familiar faces there. You never know what could happen!


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Halfway Sacrament

halfway sacrament
by christopher davis (the Moho I met on craigslist)

oh God, the Eternal Father
i ask thee this day if i should even bother
for i'm damned if i do and i'm damned if i don't
the efforts i make either matter or won't

i could love with the one i would love to, oh Lord,
or live sad and alone, claim a deathly "reward"
but even then i can't be with the one i would choose
no matter how i play, in the end i will lose

so to enjoy life at all, i must do this one sin
but i'll try to meet you halfway, amen