April 19, 2011

A Friendly Reminder...

This was the message I received today. I have to admit, I already had a second part of that original blog written out that I was waiting to post today. But now that I got this message, I'm not sure I want to send it. Hahaha! In all seriousness, this was a very kind and loving reminder which I needed. And to that friend, I say thank you. I love you very much as well.
I was going to leave this comment on your blog, but a) it was long, and b) it was quite personal. So here it is.
Let's get one thing straight (no pun intended). Being gay does not equal being imperfect. No matter what people tell you. And in the second place, NO ONE IS PERFECT. We're not supposed to be! If we were, there would be no need for the Atonement. We're supposed to do the best we can, but the Lord doesn't ask us to do more than that. We waste so much time on guilt. Sometimes we think we're supposed to..."godly sorrow" and all that. But the Lord wants us to be happy. That's His ultimate goal for us.

I'm going to be candid and straightforward right now. You may take my advice or leave it.

I think sometimes gay Mormons equate “being happy” with “being straight.” And since everyone’s goal is “being happy,” it means that gay Mormons’ goals sometimes become “being straight.” But you might as well say your goal is “having blue eyes.” Nothing you do in this life will change your eyes to blue. The only person who has the power to do that is God. So it’s kind of in His hands and His hands alone. That’s a harsh and direct way of saying that, I know. But who says that having blue eyes will make you happy in the first place!?

Happiness comes from doing meaningful things with your life. From learning new things. From gaining new experiences. From cultivating meaningful relationships. Romance CAN bring happiness, and the Lord wants marriage and family life to be a part of everyone’s happiness. But just because you’re gay, don’t exclude yourself from all other forms of happiness. Sometimes you have to shut your ears to the members of the Church and just start listening to the Lord Himself. Things get confusing otherwise. (Which makes my message of advice kinda hypocritical. But whatever.)

So maybe it’s time to reevaluate your goals. “Being straight” may not be the place to start. “Doing something meaningful with your life” might be easier to work towards. It’s hard in the Church because so often, the message is, “Start your own family and then your life will be filled with happiness.” But happiness comes from “family life.” And you came from a family too. You don’t have to be the patriarch of a family to have happiness in it.

And whenever I hear anyone say, "That's so gay" I always say "I didn't know that thing could have a sexual orientation. Or did you mean that thing is stupid? Because being gay and being stupid are pretty different things." It makes me mad.

And I love you dearly.

April 17, 2011

The Double Life of Michael Liberty...

Sometimes, no… let’s be honest. Often, I get wrapped up in feeling pretty crummy over not being able to get over these feelings. I would almost like to compare it to the double life of a secret agent… except that makes it sound fun and exciting. And let me tell you, it’s neither. But I feel like I’m living two lives. On the outside, I’m happy, funny, perhaps even mistaken for being righteous. On the inside however, I fully recognize just how sinful and hypocritical I probably am.

I know it sounds pretty dramatic, but in a way, I allow those feelings to over-dominate my life. I’ve talked about this. And obviously, the next step is that it affects my happiness. But what it also does is hinder my spiritual progression. I mean, if the whole plan given to us by our Heavenly Father is that we can be happy, then I’m flunking that class altogether.

I have a friend named Ben. Lately, Ben and I have been spending a lot of time together. He’s pretty nice, friendly, and generally light hearted. But there is one mannerism that Ben has which just pissed me off to no end. Ben says what a lot of people say: “That’s so gay!” “Don’t be gay, man!” “You’re so gay!” And so on… Now, I’m not going to get into the fact that Ben doesn’t know that I really am gay. I’m not going to talk about how he is meaning “gay” as in “stupid.” I know he isn’t bashing me, because if he really knew how him seemingly constant barrage of sentences with ‘gay’ in it actually affected me, he wouldn’t do it. But Ben’s comments only remind me of what I’ve been trying to ignore. I am gay. I’m imperfect.

I feel guilty, and I don’t like it…

April 5, 2011

Something Old, Something New...

Dear Readers,

I would first like to apologize for the apparent neglect I have been showing my blog these last few weeks. While it was never my intention to conjure posts every day, I still feel that I owe you all something substantial at least once a week. But with my birthday, which was yesterday, and other events in my life, I have not been able to stay as dedicated as I had hoped. So, with that said, I am sorry.

Having said that, I want it known that I am very happy at present. I believe I left off last explaining how I had a prayer answered. A bit of a cliff hanger, as soon of you have told me privately. Heh! While I hadn’t intended on sharing too much concerning that situation, I’ll divulge (hopefully) enough to appease your interest.

About three weeks ago, I came to realize that I have been praying to be straight for a long time. I was almost frustrated when I thought about how many times I begged Heavenly Father to somehow lift this same gender attraction from me. And yet, nothing had changed. True, I am not out sleeping with guys or even dating. But I was no closer to being straight.

Then I realized that I had always been praying for the same thing. It was always that I would stop being attracted to men, and while I think that that was a righteous desire, I became aware that there were other things to pray for. So, for possibly the first sincere time in my life, I prayed to find women attractive. I told Heavenly Father that I wouldn’t care who it was, that I would honor that attraction as well as the woman. I explained how I would love to have a family, but I didn’t want to marry without any attraction to the woman I was married to. I knew that all men, straight or not, still find other people than their significant other attractive. I told Heavenly Father that I was willing to join the ranks of people who dealt with that attraction while balancing a committed relationship, if only I could have that. By the end of the prayer, I felt much better, as thought the Spirit was hugging me with comfort.

That was Friday. On Saturday, we had the opportunity to have BYU’s Young Ambassadors in our sandy little town, who performed Harmony at a local performing arts center. After the show, I was telling a friend about how awesome the show was. When I turned around, I saw a girl standing behind me. I immediately recognized her as a performer who was obviously coming out into the crowd to greet them personally. She was blonde, short, and extremely engaging.

“Well of course she is, Mike. She’s in show business!”

Yeah, yeah I know. And I tried to tell myself that that was all it was. But deep down, I felt that there was more to this girl, Melody Randle. But even though I felt a strange pull towards Melody, there was something else I wanted to do. So after a little while of conversation, I politely excused myself to talk to another of my friends. But the next person I saw was another performer who was also making his way towards me.

Now, I want you to know that I am a firm believer of free agency, which means that there needs to be options. There are a lot of good roads, a lot of bad roads, but usually only one perfect road. I could talk more about that, but I think it’s fair enough to say that I was being presented with two options at that exact moment, even though I didn’t quite realize it yet.

Even so, I began talking to this guy who I later found was named Flynn Kennedy. He was tall, handsome, and I instantly knew (thanks to the miracles of Gay-dar) that he was batting on my team. Somehow I knew that Flynn was one of those people who, prior to joining the Church, I had the habit of dating. They’re fun, exciting, and usually the life of the party. So far, in my mind, I became instantly scared of him. And if you think about it, and your perfect temptation came walking up to you, wouldn’t that be a little scary? Flynn isn’t exactly monstrous, but he’s a little too much of what my carnal self is looking for that it makes me really happy that he lives in Utah.

So, as I said before, with free agency comes the ability to choose. And with the ability to choose comes opinions. And as bad as it sounds, if I were to be honest with myself, I would have to say the feelings I have for Melody came from Heavenly Father, whereas the feelings I have towards Flynn are… not. Which means I have some choices: pursue a relationship with Melody, pursue a relationship with Flynn, pursue one with both, or drop them both. Now it may SOUND like an easy decision, but I assure you it isn’t.

Imagine being faced with an option that is comfortable. It is familiar… what you’re used to. It poses problems, sure. But then doesn’t everything? And then there is the other option which is just about opposite in every way. It’s new, and by new I mean it’s like a six year old on the playground with a crush, pulling a girl’s hair and then running off shouting, “I love you!” Seriously, the earlier post about straight guys acting all goofy when they’re around girls they’re interested in ought to be updated with this new-found revelation. I have a little more sympathy (empathy, more like it) than I did before.