Monday, March 30, 2009

Visiting the Yosemite Ward

This morning I set my alarm to head down to Oakhurst, CA, where I attended my first LDS Church meeting since September.

I want to tell you that it felt good.
I want to describe to you the confirmation of truth I received from the spirit.
I want to express my feeling of foolishness for leaving my beloved church behind.

I WANT to tell you those things. But they would be lies.

Wending my down CA-41 from Fish Camp to Oakhurst, I listened to Trail of Dreams, a Mormon Pioneer musical that I have referenced before.

"Past the farthest farmhouse, to the open plains
every step we've taken, one less step remains!
On, like ancient Israel, leaving Egypt in their day,
and praying God will lead us and will open up the way!

Rolling on!
to sage and pinion!
Rolling on!
to the plateaus!
Rolling on,
to make the mountain valleys blossom as a rose!"

One of my favorite things about Mormonism has always been the Pioneer Heritage. I belted the songs out loud, which moved my soul to a great extent--I had tears rolling down my cheeks as I drove.

My heart palpitated considerably as I arrived at the Chapel, finding not a single parking space. I ended up parking on the curb, which placed my "No On 8" bumper sticker facing almost everyone who'd leave the lot. It was partially obscured by my bike, but it made me feel conspicuous anyway. I spied at least one "Yes On 8" sticker, and my heart tightened.

I remembered vividly the whole experience of why I left.

Walking inside, I thought it must have been ward conference--apparently, they had just combined two wards, perhaps in a money saving measure, but it meant that now the cultural hall was perpetually necessary to accomedate the memebership.

The hymns, which are usually my favorite part of a meeting, were especially bad. They picked hims I could care less about, and the congregation sang with about as much spirit as a man dying of starvation. Timid bland vocals sung at whisper volume. Why are we as Mormons so bad at Worship?

I didn't feel much at all during the whole meeting. I honestly tried to be optimistic and open minded, and sought out the truth in what people said during their testimonies. However, unlike my distorted memories, the spirit didn't speak to me at all. I felt like I was listening to old woman after old woman telling some anicdotal bullshit story and then lamely tying in the gospel. No one referenced scripture, no one quoted the prophets--the Bishop spent more time making allusions to Ben-Hur than describing the story of the woman and the well. (John 4:4-42).

I do miss the church, but I miss it in the same way one might miss a friend that use to be very close and important to you, but whose actions changed your opinion of them. They are still there, you could still hang around with them--but that isn't the person you miss--the person you miss is gone.

That's my latest thoughts on the church.

Contrast that experience with going to Yosemite afterwards, and feeling nothing but JOY and PEACE and happiness for being in God's beautiful creation, this beautiful earth. It's like night and day.

Speaking of night, it's about 2am now, so I should head to bed!

Saturday, March 28, 2009


I'm sitting in the business center at the Tenaya Lodge in Fish Camp, CA.

And I'm suprised and angry.

I'm happy to be here, and think I'll have a dandy time--but there's a lot of heavy stuff on my mind right now.

I've really upset someone. Part of me feels bad, and the other part of me says "fuck you and get off your high horse". I feel like I was trying to be a good friend and apparently was an asshole or something. Basically, now I'm angry too, at least for now. I am angry because I sincerly sought reconciliation and was greated with more passive-aggressive behavior.

Truth is, I don't need that bullshit in my life, and I don't like that it came from someone I hardly know. But why did it affect me so? For now I'm putting them off of my radar--it's the only thing I can think to do.

Secondly, here I am in one of the most Beautiful places in a comfortable Lodge--all alone.

It is getting me more depressed by the second. This type of thing should never have to be done this way. There is some snow on the ground up here. The lobby has a fire place. If only I had a boyfriend who I could snuggle with on the couch while watching the fire burn, or playing a board game.

I know I'm young and lucky to be where I am, but all my success and acheivements are trivial in contrast to my solitude.


I'm starting to scare myself again.

I feel like I'm getting more desperate and reckless as time goes by. Friday night I invited a guy over that I'd dated back around Christmas. He was kind of cute but not my type, especially personality wise. But I found myself asking him to come over and spend the night--knowing full well that there would be heavy petting involved.

He somehow didn't end up making it, and in hind-sight I'm thankful--I'm know I'm better than that.

Yet, when I realized he wasn't coming, I started browsing Craigslist, thinking about how easy it would be to get a hook up or a blow job. I stared at a post for a nearby glory hole for what seemed like 15 minutes, thinking about responding.

"I'd never even have to see the person"--it would just be a mouth, a tool for masturbation.

I didn't respond, of course. I masturbated--twice--and went to bed.

It's unsettling to me, because I know how badly I want a honest, meaningful relationship with someone who makes my heart race, who I always want to be around, who "gets" me. I want someone who turns me on, who gets turned on by me, who I can kiss and cuddle and hold and suck and fuck and make love and hold hands and massage. Who will let me run my hands around their waist and draw them in close.

I've only crushed once, and nothing has felt even remotely close since. Sometimes I think maybe I'm not programmed right. I can't elaborate on this tonight, as my brain is too fried from driving 4+ hours to Yosemite.

But seriously, when do I get to fall in love? :/

I'm so tired and so lonely.

I'll try to post more tomorrow night, and give you all an update on how my first day at Yosemite goes.

P.S. I'm planning to visit the local LDS church tomorrow morning, though I'm not 100% sure I can go through with it. Or WHY I am planning to do it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Seriously guys--who wants to take a weekend to Yosemite with me and stay at the this lodge?
Cuddling is optional, though highly recommended!
It's times like these that I really wish I had a boyfriend... :(

I'm A Stalker

So I'm turning into my roommate. (Well, at least how he used to be before he finally got a girlfriend.)

I say this because I'm an internet stalker.  I'm on OKcupid, and I got a "quiver" match (basically people the computer suggests you message) with a guy who lives in North Hollywood and works as an editor.  He's pretty cute, too.

So I messaged him, telling him that I, too, am an editor living in Noho, and that I was looking to make new friends, date, network, etc and asked if he wanted to hang out.  Nothing too overt, but just a nice message inviting him to grab a drink.

He received my message and looked at my profile this morning--no response.  Granted, he may have been on his way out the door and not had time to respond, but generally if the person you write to views your profile and doesn't respond, you'll never hear from them.

So rather than letting it go and moving on with my life, I get depressed, once again asking myself "why am I so easy to dismiss, and so easy to ignore?"  I mean, am I the ONLY person who actually wants to make gay friends as he seeks out a boyfriend?  I'm not (just) trying to get into your pants!  I'm cool with networking and making another gay friend in my section of the industry!

So I start using information from his cupid profile to find him on Facebook.  Sure enough, there he is--and because of his privacy settings allowing people in his network (Los Angeles, CA) to see all his information, I found out what company he works for (one my company deals with from time to time) and so it just irks me all the more to think I'm dismissible because I'm unattractive.  He doesn't want to "waste his time" to even get to know me.

To make matters a bit worse, I had a great chat last night with a wonderful guy who I'd really love to take on a date, but lives to far away and probably has no interest.


There's a lot on my mind, but I feel like in needs to be stretched out over several posts, to avoid mixing topics and creating confusion.

The point is that I am disturbing myself because I'm so lonely that I stalk people I don't know. :(

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Buddha Says...

This morning, my grandma (who is Buddhist) sent me this

It is true that in some sense Buddhism can be described as a do-it-yourself process.  The Buddha himself said, "Work out your own salvation with diligence."  So it seems clear that, to a certain extent, salvation is up to us and we cannot really get help from outside.  There is no magical gimmick that will solve our problems for us without pain.

How amazing is it that she would think to send that to me when I needed a little boost, when I'd been doubting my path?

I love my grandma

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I Hate You! I Hate You!

I'm standing on the stoop of a brownstone apartment, crying my eyes out. A man stares coldly forward. I punch him on the shoulder over and over again, tears streaking down my red face as I scream:

"I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!"

He reacts like a statue in the breeze. Unflinching.

I remember the good times we shared--everything he taught me, all the character he built up in me. As racked with pain as I am, I realize that I'll never forget about him as long as I live. But I can never forgive him for what he is doing to me.

He has betrayed me--and my love. I gave my heart to this man, and he told me it wasn't enough. He told me I was flawed, broken, and undesirable--but I felt comfort in his arms, so I stayed.

When he hit me, I made excuses. "I shouldn't have provoked him" or "I'm so clumsy". Never seeing it for what it was.

But one day, I looked into his eyes and saw the truth. He didn't love me. He loved that I loved him. As long as I quietly acquiesced to his demands, I was fed, clothed and protected by his strong, loving arms. But in the process, he'd succeeded in making me a fraud--a facsimile. A dull, faded carbon copy where a brilliant color glossy used to be.

So I confronted him. I told him I could no longer permit him to claw deep gashes in my soul. And that brings us to right now--here, on the steps of this brownstone.

"I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!"

It's a vain attempt to convince myself. My eyes are red, my throat burns and my nose runs. What I am really screaming is much harder to hear--

"I love you, I love you, I love you! Why are you hurting me?"

I could have left so much easier, so much sooner, if I hated. But he taught me to love. He taught me patience, long-suffering, charity, kindness. And I realized that he had none of these feelings for me. Not in his heart. It's funny the principles he taught helped me learn my own value, and how to seek a new, more honest path.

But I still miss him.

Monday, March 9, 2009

God Doesn't Need Our Prayers

This Sunday, almost on a whim, I attended the West Hollywood Presbyterian Church in West Hollywood. I think I went because I'm struggling to find what it is I really believe these days, and this church touted itself as having "No Condemnation Here!" and being in West Hollywood, it's mission was to promote acceptance and love for all people, including homosexuals.

Being only the second time attending a Sunday service since mid-September, I dragged out my blue dress shirt and slacks, and tried to find a tie that matched that wasn't in need of dry cleaning.

I can't believe I wore these ties to church. I must have been blind with apathy or misery at my own appearance to have worn that silver tie with visible stains, or my blue-green tie with brown patches of filth. Could I have been that disenchanted that I'd have worn those ties every Sunday, not caring that I looked like a slob?

I'm a bad homosexual, obviously. No regard for fashion.

That being said, this isn't a post about my clothing. This is a post about Prayer.

I pulled into the church parking lot, feeling conspicuous with my Utah license plate. It was a small congregation. I would not disappear, I'd be noticed. I snuck in quickly, sitting in a pew as the five people finished rehearsing a musical number. They rang a bell, calling the faithful in from the courtyard where they filed in and began the service.

(Without going TOO much off on a tangent, it's amazing to me the respect that other churches seem to have for their sanctuaries. People don't sit in the pews before church and yammer on. They have a courtyard, or another room where people converse before entering the chapel. I think Mormon's could take a page from this.)

Anyway, the sermon was about prayer. The woman who was speaking (I think she was the liturgist, but I'm unfamiliar with Presbyterianism) spoke at length about the importance of prayer, and especially praying for others, (Intercession--a term never used in Mormonism, and consequently new to me). I don't remember exactly what she said, but at one point during her sermon, I had a bit of personal revelation.

"God doesn't need our prayers."

God already KNOWS the desires of our hearts. God is omniscient. God doesn't take requests. God gives us what we need when the time is right.

We need prayer, not God.

We need prayer, because it focuses us on giving thanks for the joy and blessings in our life.

We need prayer, because it makes us concentrate on the needs of others, and open our minds to the reception of the spirit, who prompts us to do things that help build up Zion (heaven on earth).

We need prayer, because we're self centered and easily distracted. I am the least of you in this department. Even when I was an active Mormon, I was bad about prayer and scripture study. I hope to try and re-introduce that spirit of thanksgiving and selfless thought into my life.

We need prayer, because it helps us to verbalize and identify what it is that we really want.

To steal from a wonderful Musical about the Mormon Pioneers, "Trail of Dreams";

Angela (An Angel): All our dreams come true.
Brother Brown (The Trailboss): What? God simply asks 'What do you want?'
Angela: Something like that--and we simply answer with our lives.
Brother Brown: (a beat) Wait--did I answer well?
Angela: (Smiling, as she dances him into heaven) Dance, Brother Brown!

We need prayer. Call it meditation, visualization, self-actualization, or invocation--it's all the same to me. Clear your thoughts and focus on what you really want, and let your actions mirror these goals.

God will take care of the rest.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

19 Months Ago... June 28th, 2007

I haven't blogged in a while, and maybe because I don't have that much to say.  So instead I'll be opening up a journal entry from 19 months ago.  It is almost uncomfortable.

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 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 D. H. (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. S.  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 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 necessarily 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 on 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.

This entry almost makes the me of 2009 uncomfortable.