The Weed

Happy Corpus Christi! I’m at my parents’ house for the weekend, bracing myself to go back to the nomadic existence that I’m just gonna have to deal with for a while — bouncing around between my sister’s house, my brother’s house, and my [old] roommates’ house, when I can handle the latter. So conditions are not ideal for posting.

In the mean time here’s an excellent and surprising post from a Mormon man who is gay and is married to a woman. Couple of excerpts:

One of the sad truths about being homosexual is that no matter what you decide for your future, you have to sacrifice something. It’s very sad, but it is true. I think this is true of life in general as well. If you decide to be a doctor, you give up any of the myriad of other things you could have chosen. But with homosexuality, the choices seem to be a little bit more mutually exclusive. If you are Mormon and you choose to live your religion, you are sacrificing the ability to have a romantic relationship with a same-sex partner. If you choose a same-sex partner, you are sacrificing the ability to have a biological family with the one you love. And so on. No matter what path you choose, if you are gay you are giving up something basic, and sometimes various things that are very basic. I chose not to “live the gay lifestyle,” as it were, because I found that what I would have to give up to do so wasn’t worth the sacrifice for me.

And a bit further down:

During our conversation, [my psychologist at the time, who is a lesbian] told me about her life with her partner. She spoke of a girl, whom she considered her daughter, who is the biological child of her ex-lover, with whom she lived for only three years. She told me of how much she loved her daughter, but how infrequently she got to see her. And eventually, when talking about my sex life, she said “well, that’s good you enjoy sex with your wife, but I think it’s sad that you have to settle for something that is counterfeit.”

I was a little taken aback by this idea — I don’t consider my sex-life to be counterfeit. In response, I jokingly said “and I’m sorry that you have to settle for a counterfeit family.” She immediately saw my point and apologized for that comment.

Whole post is here. I like the lack of self-pity, and the way the author considers his homosexuality to be “a critical part of [his] person”, without considering it an overwhelming, all-encompassing part.

More from me as soon as things settle down a little (O when?). Oremus pro invicem.

11 Comments on “The Weed”

  1. Gabriel says:

    Looked up his blog. This is excellent stuff — thanks for the link.

  2. eaa says:

    I loved this! I read it this weekend and was so amazed and impressed at his courage and strength. I am not a fan of the Mormon Church, but i have never met a mormon i didn’t like. I think that it really is a testement to the value they place on family that a relationship like this is able to be open and public. I’m not comparing to Catholicism – as it really is apples and oranges – but it is impressive nonetheless.

    I am especially impressed with the degree to which he has completely cut himself off (or as completely as possible i suppose) from the temptations of his SSA. I can’t imagine how difficult that must be, but at the same time it seems like perhaps the only way to really make his marriage work and to be content and happy within it.

    The fact that he had it picked up by Gawker and opened himself up to comments there was especially impressive though terribly disconcerting.

    The amount of virtiol he was met with on that site was awful – especially what came from the “gay community,” which both insisted on calling him bisexual “by definition” (because of how he chooses to live his life – married and in a physical relationship with a woman – though the same people would not call a closeted married gay man bisexual, even in the presence of a male/female physical relationship), and questioned the validity of his story – calling it a fake planted by conservatives to make liberals question thier views. I need to just not read the comments section of websites – i get grumpy.

  3. Dan S. says:

    Did anyone else think that it would be wholly inappropriate for a psychologist to inject their own personal story into a conversation with a patient? I assume that this occurred during a therapy session.

    1. Dani says:

      Yeah, I’m not even sure it was very appropriate to share the story about her daughter in the first place. That seems to be very personal information.

  4. Joshua Gonnerman says:

    He’s also been coming under a significant amount of fire from the Christian right, eaa. A number of people have been accusing him of “supporting” homosexuality, of living in sin, of clinging to temptation, and insisting that he should go back in the closet, just off the top of my head.

  5. eaa says:

    Joshua – I have a huge problem with large portions of the “Christian Right” for reasons like this. I am Catholic, very conservative, but i hate to ally myself with many of these folks. Once again – I love most of the Evangelical Protestants that i know and I know so many that do so much good in the world – we work very closely with so many in my husband’s mission and community outreach work, and they are present in much larger numbers that the local Catholic churches are. However, it is also the Evangelical Protestants that are behind the abstinence education programs that seek to teach teens that sex is dirty and women are for men’s “use” (there are good abstinence education programs, but they don’t get publicized), and that are behind the often damaging homosexual conversion programs that may have some effect in a very small number of people – but that mostly serve to be horrid PR for Christians and cause such toxic shame in individuals struggling with SSA.

    I don’t want these folks speaking for me. The world is so much more complicated and sexuality is not as black and white as we wish – the refusal to acknowledge that SSA is a real struggle is sad; the refusal to be accepting of people who, through no fault of their own, don’t fit into a “normal” sexual box, but want to live a virtuous life (SSA, intersex, etc…); saddens me to no end.

    I think Steve is a fantastic, realistic role model for Catholics in this position. I think Weed is a great role model as well, though I don’t know how realistic his path is for most. There are multiple paths and these issues can be discussed with respect for the struggles people face and without alienating people with uncompassionate rhetoric. You can be honest about sin and compassionate for the person at the same time.

  6. current lector says:

    Great post – I was going to send it to you but you beat me to it…

  7. Joshua Gonnerman says:

    I totally get it, eaa; just thought it was important to remember that it’s not just the left that doesn’t like this sort of thing!

  8. eaa says:

    Too true. I find so often that both sides of the coin want things to be black and white that just are not. Many on the left want 100% “tolerance” – there is no wrong and you had better not imply that sin exists – while many on the right want the lines drawn to be very very clearly, without compassion for those outside of the box (even if they might be on a path towards right), when that is unfortunately unrealistic in many cases.

    The Weed’s circumstances are one of those situations where I can see each side getting pissy – he’s not gay enough for the left and how dare he want to still stay true to his faith; he’s not Christian enough for the right because he has compassion for those struggling with SSA rather than condemning them or wanting to cure them.

    ugh. Frustrating.

  9. Working It Out says:

    Responding to your remark: “I like the lack of self-pity, and the way the author considers his homosexuality to be ‘a critical part of [his] person,’ without considering it an overwhelming, all-encompassing part.”

    I must give kudos to Weed’s parents and the fact that he felt free to come out to them at 13 and didn’t get any backlash or negativity, but just received love and acceptance even while being very conservative in their faith. That saved him at least 7 years of teenage misery fearing whether his parents could accept or reject him or be disappointed in him. Feeling accepted and relaxed about his sexuality around his parents in those formative years probably gave him the space, freedom and time to dream outside the box and comfortably fall into the unique life he chose for himself as a “unicorn.” :)

    In my case, I waited until I was 20 to share my secret with anyone. By then, I had 8 years of emotional baggae, insecurities and half of my then conscious life already spent in secrecy, shame, fear, loneliness and confusion. Weed may have continued to live with confusion for the rest of his youth, but he eliminated the other four burdens secrecy, shame, fear, and loneliness once he came out to his parents at 13 and received a loving, accepting response from them.

  10. Mary says:

    Working it Out….that was really insightful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *