yesterday’s post, when I originally published that post on my Invictus Pilgrim blog in late December 2010, a number of great comments were made. Here are some written (but slightly edited here) by two gay Mormon men who had both been married to women.
A Fairy Tale Wedding and a Sexual Outlet
These comments came from Miguel:
“When I came home from my mission and felt the pressure to date and make the next logical step (marriage) I had no clue how to even get started. I made attempts to date girls back home and when I moved to UT, but it never felt right. When I spoke to the bishop at the student ward at the U his pat answer was that I needed to get married and my SSA [same-sex attraction, the preferred term used by Mormon leaders to refer to homosexuality] would be cured, as he said I'd have a sexual outlet that would take care of the need--boy I wonder how many answers like this he gave and how many more followed his advice ... [LDS Church leaders have since basically denied that such advice was given.]
“Forgive me for being candid here, but as far as the sexual aspect, as a young 25 year old I was capable of having sex with a woman, no issues there but it is part of the normal male drive. The older I got the harder (no pun intended!) it became to be able to perform which was a huge wedge in our intimate life …
“I wanted a fairy tale wedding too, not to mention family & social pressure and all else. I didn't have internet nor a Moho Directory and the only gay references I'd ever heard of were Miracle of Forgiveness, For Young Men Only and To the One ---none of which offered even a slight inkling of love of God or anyone for me, so the only option was to bite the bullet and get married.
“My ex[wife] and I were good friends and although I never felt that euphoria of loving/wanting/longing for someone I figured that those things would come eventually in our relationship. We had a good friendship and managed possibly a good 5 years or so of a good marriage, but there was always that lingering thought that I was never comfortable for the next 10 years or so. I failed to tell her about my issues before we married which is my #1 and only regret …
“I seriously don't recommend anyone entering into a mixed-orientation marriage because the sex may be great in the beginning but then there's very little left when there's no emotional bond down the road … “
You Can Find a Place Where You Will Be Loved
These comments came from MoHoHawaii:
“We think when we are young that we are the only one. It's not until later that we find out that countless others have preceded us.
“When we are young we overestimate our chances of overcoming the odds when we embark on a path that is known to have low odds of success.
“Still, it's worth having the conversation between the generations.
“My message to young men and women only, speaking as a person with a number of decades behind me, would be 1) claim your right to exist in this world and 2) do not enter into a mixed-orientation marriage. About the first point, Carol Lynn Pearson puts it like this: "Don't believe in anything else until you believe in yourself."
“I can't comment on this topic without mentioning the risk of suicide that so many young gay Mormons face. The first priority if you are feeling self-destructive in any way is to reach out and get help. I wish that ecclesiastical support were available, but the fact of the matter is that talking to church leaders often makes the situation worse for gay youth. In any case, the first priority would be to do whatever it takes to save your life. There are people you can reach out to. Find them.
“A second priority would be to heal your self-image. This is what Carol Lynn is talking about when she says to believe in yourself first before believing in any creed or god. A big part of self-acceptance involves reaching out to those who will love and celebrate you instead of those who will judge you. There are people around who will love you as you are, but they may not be in your current social circle. You may need to look outside of your current circle in some cases.
“A third priority would be to avoid the pitfall of early, inappropriate marriage. (I stumbled into this pitfall, and to say that the result was a disaster is an understatement.) Marriage to a person of incompatible sexual orientation is no solution at all. It magnifies the problems many, many times. Knowing what I know I cannot recommend this course. As Sister Pearson says on this topic, "The risk is just too great."
“Finally, I'd say to live your life with passion. You can find joy in friendship and in a life-giving bond with a special person with whom you share your life and your love. You can find it in meaningful work and in contribution to your community. You can find it in education and in all manner of worthy causes. Options are open to you to raise children and to participate in society in ways that were unavailable to previous generations. LDS society is just a small sliver of what's available, and it's not particularly representative.
“Your life is worth something. It is precious. You can find a place where you will be loved for who you are and not tolerated in spite of who you are. You are not a person to be tolerated. How low we aim when we speak of tolerance! You as a young gay person are to be celebrated for all that you are and can become."