2007: My Year in Review (Part 2)

(First, one experience from May that I forgot to mention: Hidden wants to take me to see Carol Lynn Pearson's Facing East in Salt Lake; after finding out that we've procrastinated buying tickets until they're already sold out, we resort to creating a poster that says something like, "Desperate for Facing East tickets... We love you, Carol Lynn" and sitting outside the theatre all day. Soon, we have ushers and members of the theatre company doing what they can to help us. The director of the play invites us inside and (after telling us that what we're doing is technically illegal) promises that we will be the first to get any tickets that open up. He takes a photo of us and mentions that he might put it on the company's website. I think, "Oh, crap." We eventually get tickets and I meet Carol Lynn.)

In the second half of 2007, I had fewer large, distinct experiences relating to my homosexuality. If the first half of the year consisted of big steps upward, the last half was kind of a steady slide downward. It was a slide that even seemed to manifest itself in other areas of my life, such as grades and spirituality. It will be easier to talk about the experiences by focusing on topics rather than time periods.

I was incredibly excited to live with my friends, but to my dismay, the whole thing seemed to crash before it even took off. One roommate seemed almost nonexistent and I spoke about twenty words to him before he moved out for reasons I never really figured out.

There were certainly a number of positive aspects of the situation. We did plenty of group cuddling while watching movies, we sometimes went to church together, and we invited other Mohos over with little fear of what we said or did. Still, things began to fall apart. I had a good friendship with one roommate, but the relationship soured more quickly than any I'd ever experienced. We had been BFFs, but now we're uncomfortable spending more than five minutes in the same room with each other.

For some reason I almost completely stopped seeing or doing things with Mohos other than my roommates. The Matis firesides became my small connection to the outside world, but even there I began feeling out of place; I felt like I wasn't gay enough to fit in with all the hugging and lisping going on.

Along with all of this, I wasn't doing the things necessary to keep up on my spiritual health and I knew it. Prayer, one resource I could always turn to, became somewhat boring as I wondered what to say. Church seemed as lonely as ever.

Near the end of the year, I found myself with a roommate that had essentially "gone gay," a roommate who was dating my best friend, and a roommate whose Pakistani food stunk up my entire wardrobe. I was drowning in school and faced letter grades I had never encountered before. The blogging world had become dark and cold, with more Ho than Mo.

My time at home for the Christmas vacation was spent unwinding and refocusing. Strong evidence suggests that my siblings are not ready to know about me (Mom, upon seeing Elton John on TV: "Oh, I like his music." Older sister: "Mom, he's gay!), and that my parents don't really understand what I experience. But I was suddenly able to pray long, heartfelt prayers again. I set goals to make 2008 something different from the dark times of the previous year.

Here at the beginning of 2008, I find myself standing, weak and unsure though my footing may be. Some things have begun to heal; some things hurt even more. Somehow the difficulties that come with the effort to live a righteous life seem worth it. The anguish leads me to rely on the only One I can rely on. I'm slowly reassembling the pieces of a broken life, trying to be okay with the fact that some pieces will always be missing. Ha, and searching for new roommates for this fall.

2007: My Year in Review (Part 1)

I've been blessed with a very, very poor memory. Therefore, this summary will not include several events that it probably should. And my life obviously does not consist of only things related to homosexuality, but that's all I write about on this blog.

Having gone to the BYU Counseling Center for three months, I finally get the guts to start attending group therapy. My face turns deep red and my heart almost stops as I come out to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th people in the world. I slowly start to become comfortable talking about it.

I happen upon a link to AttemptingthePath's blog from the message board on lds-ssa.org. It's an encouraging feeling to know that there's another person in Provo like me. Unfortunately, I read this post and panic; I have no idea what he's talking about, but I imagine that he'd moved to Canada and worry that my hopes to eventually meet another person who experiences same-sex attraction have been dashed.

I get the guts to purchase In Quiet Desperation at the BYU Bookstore. I walk past it several times, glancing around to make sure nobody is nearby. Finally, I grab it and quickly walk to the register with its cover against my leg. Waiting in line, a friend approaches and I break out in a cold sweat. Thankfully, she doesn't notice me.

My only nonmember friend from high school types in the wrong window and accidentally comes out to me over instant messenger. My heart pounds out of control for what will be my first coming out to someone I know. I vaguely tell him that I'm "in a very similar boat," and after he figures it out we share a few laughs and talk about my (then slightly naive) perspective of homosexuality and the gospel.

I begin to read blogs like there's no tomorrow. It's almost a feeling of excitement I get when I read everyone's experiences and insights. I'm amazed that several bloggers are in the process of coming out to their parents and I begin to wonder how I'll ever be able to do it.

I decide it's time to tell my two closest friends in the world, both of whom are female. While one is down from BYU Idaho to perform in Salt Lake, I take them on a drive into the little canyon by the capitol building. We park, awkwardly look for a place to talk, and settle on a bench. Sitting between them, I come out to them and promptly begin bawling. Their hugs are the best feeling of the year so far.

I read about Drex and Salad going to a Matis fireside, and I realize that the firesides are held monthly. Interested in going, I take a step out of the shadows and e-mail Drex for information. He responds with an offer to come and talk any time, as well as an invitation to a Heroes marathon; I find out he lives a block away. Come Friday, I knock on his door and walk into a room full of Mohos. Words literally cannot describe how it feels to be there. Life will never be the same.

Hanging out with Drex, Salad, and Hidden makes me feel like I finally have a place in the world. I almost break into tears every night while walking home. I go to every Moho get-together I can; although I always have trouble meeting new people, I feel automatic closeness with Mohos that makes it slightly easier to make friends.

I get impatient waiting to come out to my parents and decide to go home between winter semester and spring term to tell them. I get a flood of texts and calls of support from my friends. Ultimately, the result is far better than I ever hoped for.

Gimple/Sean, Brady, and I decide to room together in the fall. It had been my secret wish to room with Mohos ever since I met them. Fearing the potential consequences of having a single SSG (stupid straight guy) in the apartment, we begin desperately searching for a fourth roommate. In a move that surprises even me, I e-mail EvadingOdd/Pan and ask if he wants to join in.

I make the mistake of falling in love. It's the best thing I've ever experienced. Some people are hurt in the process.

I leave for study abroad in Japan, hoping to take time to meditate and figure out my direction in life as I step back from the everyday routine. Life in Japan is everything but routine and I find little time for figuring things out.