Friday, April 24, 2009

Helpful Tips for Dating Returned Missionaries (Repost)

Troy Williams Posted this amazing article that makes some great points about the frustration behind being gay and mormon. I have reposted the first few paragraphs with permission, but I highly recommend reading the whole article.

"Last week my roommate came bursting through the front door, “What is it with gay men hung up on Mormonism!?” Ah. I could only assume the obvious. He was experiencing the frustration of dating a guy still trying to reconcile his faith and sexuality. “I think its fear,” he continued. “That and privilege” I responded. “Mormon men have been told since childhood that they are the elect of the earth. Coming out as a big nelly fag stripped them of their divine birthright. The trauma is just now sinking in.” Yup. As Mormon men we were once the first of the first class citizens – but now, suddenly, through a quirk of desire, we have been stripped of our chosen status. Saturday’s Warriors have become Friday Night Infidels.

Gay LDS men have a seemingly more difficult time getting over the Church than gay Mormon women. Within their theology and culture, women have always played a subservient role in both Church and household. The stigma associated with being a lesbian isn’t so different from being ranked below a man in all other sectors of society.

This point came home after I read an interview with the African-American author James Baldwin. Richard Goldstein from the Village Voice asked Baldwin why white men seemed more outraged over homophobia than black men. Baldwin responded, “[As a white gay] you’re placed outside a certain safety to which you think you were born. A black gay person is already menaced and marked because he or she is black… I think white gay people feel cheated because they were born into a society where they were supposed to feel safe… Their reaction seems to me in direct proportion to the sense of being cheated of the advantages that accrue to white people in society.” (Homocons; Goldstein, p. 32)"


See the whole article here.

I know it's not the in-depth follow up/update post that you've been eagerly waiting for, but I feel like our moho community would enjoy Mr. Williams blog.

3 comments:

  1. I think that is somewhat true - as little Mormon boys, going on missions, being raised to hold the priesthood and everything we are throttled with the constant belief that we have a purpose in this world. And once we realize we're gay, it's pretty hard to shake the inner disappointment. It's not really shame or guilt, just a constant pondering of how our lives would have been different.

    Some Mormon boys shake it, but dating the ones who haven't yet can be a mess at times. However, sometimes I think there is comfort in dating another gay Mormon because they understand your own issues with this, so you can strengthen eachother and help eachother love one's self.

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  2. I find the race issue interesting, and as it's been obscured by the Goldstein character (surely a phony White dude) I'll shoot you straight.

    There are two different kinds of White men. There are the sensitive, phony-baloney White dudes of privelige, and then there are the working-class White dudes who often get blamed for all of society's problems -- including homophobia. These working-class White dudes (stereotypified as Klansmen and dimwits on the weekends) are in the same socioeconomic boat as nearly all Blacks and Gays anyway.

    The only people who make a huge issue about homophobia are the sensitive neo-liberal phonies. They do so because their guilt at exploiting working-class people is sublimated toward an expression of outrage about peripheral matters which aren't threatening to the entire structure of the system. The *activism* they're known for is more of a religious ritual than a serious attempt to better the world or increase tolerance.

    If you go to any construction site, you'll find Whites, Blacks and (yes I've seen this) often out-and-proud gays and lesbians. They all eat together, go out after work together, and then go home to watch television and learn about how they're actually enemies despite the fact that they spend most of their lives cooperating. It's always one of these wealthy kooks who is spreading the message, the type that would consider himself too "enlightened" to spend ten seconds of social time with any of the above people he pretends to lecture about.

    The outrage of the White liberal male, therefore, is bogus and self-serving rather than genuine. Gay people will likely find much more genuine sympathy in the White trailer parks and Black ghettoes of the U.S. than they ever will in Beverly Hills or Palm Beach. The people who are supposed to be friends of the GLBT community (and the Black community too) are in fact their very worst enemies.

    The divide-and-conquer strategy only works as long as we're all fighting among ourselves. If we ever woke up and shook these parasites off our backs, the world would be a much brighter place the next morning.

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  3. wow that is really poignant. Thanks for posting this!

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