July 12, 2009

Humility and Being Gay

My dad and I had a talk a while ago. He said something to me that has bounced around in my head for the past two weeks.

In life we are given talents and attributes. God has asked us to learn certain attributes and characteristics to become more like him. For example being charitable, being humble, etc. We may have been born greedy, or selfish, but this doesn't change the fact that our Father in Heaven wants us to learn these God like traits.

For some (meaning me) the attraction to women is not present in my life, or may be to a small degree, but this doesn't change the fact that God wants me to learn, however much I can, to be attracted to one of his daughters. Just as I need to learn to be humble or charitable.

Because I am selfish or prideful, doesn't mean he doesn't love me any more or less than the next son or daughter. It doesn't allow me the right to say, I was born prideful so why change who I am. Each one of God's children was born with different things to learn or change in order to become Christ-like, so who I am to say because I have always been attracted to men doesn't mean I can't work on my attraction to women?

The attraction may not grow into marriage, but then again charity may never rid the world of hunger. But who will my charity feed, one person I meet on the streets? Who am I to say, that with the help of God, nothing can be done? For with him all things are possible.

Those thoughts, although hard for me to swallow, havent stopped repeating over and over again in my mind.


  1. One of the reasons that the rate of suicide is so high among gay LDS youth is the idea that their essential, most fundamental and private selves are inherently displeasing to God. I'm concerned that your dad's advice sends you the message that your deepest desire to love and be loved is akin to selfishness or kleptomania. Such a view is not the path to wholeness, in my opinion.

    I want to ask your dad if he would advise his own daughter to marry a homosexual man who was trying to please his parents and church by getting married or whether your dad thinks it would be better for her happiness to choose a man who loved her, body and soul. If he's honest, I doubt your dad would wish the many sorrows of a mixed-orientation marriage on the daughter he loves. So, if it's not okay for his own daughter, why would he encourage you to do that to another young woman? How is that even ethical?

  2. Fair point, however he knows and agrees that there needs to be a genuine attraction and love for marriage to take place. That's why he said to develop....

    He would never force anything on me. Nor did he compare me to being selfish or anything else.

  3. I don't mean to sound argumentative or critical; I know your dad is a good person and cares for you a lot, and I know you're devoted to him.

    In my experience, basic sexual orientation doesn't change much, so I'd be surprised if a guy with your background wallpaper on his blog went that way. :-) There are a bunch of guys in mixed-orientation marriages out there you can talk to online. The vast majority will strongly caution against it.

  4. HAHA your right my background is pretty much man love lol!

  5. Quinn, I am one of those guys in a MOM who would strongly caution you. I will not assume to tell you what path you should take but please, please, beware the man selling snake oil labeled as "change." There have been many who have passed by this same path as you. Many who have "knocked until their knuckles are bloody." It is this "desire to change" that has led many men into the arms of dangerous therapies. Please be careful!

    I hear many of Spencer W Kimball's words in your post. Again I caution you. The current stance of the church is that these desires are not sinful. If they are not sinful then ask yourself if they need to be changed. What's the saying, If it isn't broke don't fix it.

    If you ever need to talk, about anything, send me an email, it's in my profile.

  6. I'm sure your dad is a wonderful man who loves you and wants nothing but the best for you. As a dad myself that is exactly how I feel about my own kids.

    I also agree with Chris that I hear echoes of Spencer Kimball in your dad's words. Kimball had many wonderful qualities it seems but his approach to gay people in the Church was both ignorant and sometimes vicious. The atmosphere he created led to some suicides. His thundering denunciations and characterizations of homosexuality have since been shown to be quite wrong indeed and the Church has backed away from them. It now specifically counsels against marriage for anyone in your position, because (1) it doesn't change orientation, and 2) of the reasons MoHoHawaii already stated.

    So you should thank your dad for his splendid love and support and tell him that it's just not in the cards for you.

  7. Quinn, I don't know how much love has to do with it. In my opinion, love and sex are often confused when it comes to our attractions. If I say that my attractions stem from a need to be accepted by other guys, than why do I need a physical relationship to prove that? I wholeheartedly believe that attraction to women can become stronger. If you think it's possible, than why not? But do it because you truly want it and are realistic. I do agree that you shouldn't get married just to please your parents or the church. Anyone, straight or gay, who wants to marry should do it because they want to, and they put their trust in God. One answer isn't right for everyone, you need to find your own path.

  8. Quinn,

    I see maturity and humility in the your openness to explore the idea that with God nothing is impossible. I am married, grateful to be a father, and yet still feel attractions to men. Does this mean I shouldn't have married? For me, no. It is an individual matter between you, a potential spouse and the Lord.

    For me, the key is to love yourself as one of His sons just as you are. Work on your own physical, emotional and spiritual well being. If in developing yourself and trying to follow the Savior's will in your life, you find some special girl that loves you for who you are, and whom you are attracted to, marriage may well be an option.

    I too advise caution, strong caution, but I would never dismiss the power of God and the atonement in our lives.

  9. Just a couple of thoughts on marriage. I've had a father or a young women, who also happened to be my branch president and knew all the about my issues with same sex attraction and how I'd goofed up, tell me he'd be proud to call me his son, if I were to marry his daughter. Too bad I couldn't stand his daughter.

    Marriage may not be for everyone dealing with this, but it is possible for some. If its something you want, go for it. As long as the girl knows what she is getting in to let her make the decision. She has the ability to choose, but if we make life decisions based on the idea that marriage is impossible we may miss out on a having a very rewarding family relationship.

  10. To all:

    I appreciate each of your view points, but let me make something more clear;

    I never said I want to marry a girl. To be honest I have no clue what the future holds for me in the area of realtionships, but I am not closing any doors, be they straight or homosexual doors. Come what may.

    It was, as I stated, something my father told me that has been in my head, and I just wanted to get it down on paper (electronic though it may be).

    I appreciate your genuine concern for me though, that means a lot.

  11. Keeping an open mind and open options. Excellent choice. At 22 you have plenty of time to figure things out. As Braveone (I think it was Braveone) pointed out in a recent post on his blog, LDS cultural pressure on the timing of marriage should change, for the good of everyone, gay and straight. Rushing into any decision, whether it be to seek a heterosexual relationship, to live a celibate life or follow your homosexual instincts, can ever so easily create a serious case of the "what ifs" and "if onlys". Great post. If nothing else, you got everyone thinking!