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Yes, I'm gay

If you have been reading my Facebook feed or my recent blog posts, you may have assumed that I am homosexual.  This assumption is correct.  I did not choose to be gay, nor do I have any recollection of a single event (or string of events) that could have caused it.  I have not been molested by anyone in my life, especially not as a child.  My father and I have a very healthy relationship--he was neither neglectful nor violent.  Neither of my parents abused me as a child.  I do have a close relationship with my mother, but she was not overbearing and I also have a close relationship with my father.  I do not know whether I was born gay, nor do I believe it matters greatly.  All that I can say for sure is that despite every conscious effort on my part to become heterosexual, I have been unsuccessful, and I am equally certain that my sexual orientation will not change anytime in the future.  And, I can finally say that I no longer wish to change.  I am happy with being homosexual, and I am confident that that is the way God wants me to be.

I'm sure that many of you will feel several different emotions, including shock or surprise, upon reading this.  If upon learning this information about me you no longer wish to be friends, I understand completely.  I will not harbor any ill feelings against you and if you ever decide to change your mind and befriend me again, I will welcome your friendship with open arms and a happy heart.  If you have children and you do not wish me to be around them because you want to "protect" them from "people like me", I understand that as well.  I admire your dedication to being a good parent, and your strong desire to raise your children well.  I would like to say one word of defense, wich is that such "protection" is not necessary and that I pose no threat to your children.  I am the same loving, caring man that I was before I released this statement and I have no desire of influencing anyone to become gay (if such a thing is even possible).  My love for children is the same as any father has for his children, and I would never intentionally do anything to harm a child in any way.

Quite naturally, I would expect people to ask how my dear wife Karen fits into this whole schema.  I was gay before I married Karen, I was gay while she was still alive, and I have been gay ever since she passed. There is much more to a relationship--even a marriage--than the sexual aspect.  I feel that love is a much deeper and more meaningful emotion than merely the drive to be intimate with another person.  I loved Karen more deeply than I ever loved anyone else in my life.  I would have done anything for her.  She is an amazing woman.  I know that she is not gone, but that she still lives as a spirit and that one day I will see her again.  I look forward to that day.  I want her to be my wife through the eternities.  I do not regret having married her.  If she were still alive, then I would be faithful to her and I would not even consider entering a relationship with a man.

I have been dating men since the beginning of this year, and I have enjoyed it immensely.  I dated women last year, and while it was fun and I was able to get to know many wonderful daughters of God, I did not experience the same joy and fulfillment that I feel now that I am dating men.  I would say the same thing about my dating experience in high school--that it felt more like just associating with friends than anything else.  I feel now that it would be dishonest of me to date women, therefore I will refrain.  If a woman were to ask me out, I may consider accepting--with the understanding that she is aware of my homosexual orientation--but I would not pursue a relationship with a woman.

To those of you who are Mormon, I would like to say that I have not broken the law of chastity and that I still hold a current temple recommend.  I wish for that to remain true as long as possible, but I foresee the inevitability of a change in the status quo.  If that ever does happen, it would be private information and I will not disclose it publicly.  I will keep at least one foot in the Mormon door as long as humanly possible.  I love my church and I will never turn my back on it.  Even if it comes to the point where I am asked to leave my church, I will not harbor any ill feelings or bitterness to it.  It has been a great source of strength and comfort in my life, and I hope that it will continue to do so throughout the remainder of my life.  I am very grateful to my church, to all of the leaders that have helped me, and to all of my family and their support in keeping me active in the church.  I will always consider myself a Mormon, even if I cannot remain on the records of the church.

To those of you who are not Mormon, let me briefly explain why this is such a big deal.  Mormons (including me) believe that the family is meant to continue beyond the grave--not just in this life, but in all of the eternities to come.  In order to keep your family together, you must make sacred promises with God--you promise to keep His commandments.  Mormons also believe that homosexual behavior is sin--a sin serious enough to break the promise from God that the family can be together forever.  So, what this means is that in the next life, not only will I not have Karen as my wife, but I will also not be part of my own parents' family, nor my wife's family.  I will be a lone individual, and each of my families (my own and my wife's) will have a person missing from it.  My family will feel deserted.  They will be hurt because they want so very much for me to be a part of their eternal family.  My wife's family may feel that I have betrayed Karen--that I no longer love her or that I never did love her.  They will also long to have me remain part of their family and will be deeply hurt if I cannot be.  It will pain me quite severely to know that I am causing my family to feel all of these horrible emotions.  I wish that there was a way I could proceed without hurting them so deeply, and yet still remaining true to myself and to my God.  I do not want to cause anyone harm.  I do not wish to alienate any of my friends.  If you wish to pray for someone, pray for my family--that they can be comforted while they go through this ordeal of watching me make these decisions that they cannot agree with.

Many people have asked me how Karen would feel about all of this, and it is something that I have thought about almost unceasingly for the last several months.  I do not feel qualified to speak for Karen--to put words into her mouth.  I don't think that anyone on this Earth has that qualification.  But, I would not make this public statement unless I was personally convinced that she would support me in doing so.  I love her so much that I would never want to pursue a relationship with someone of whom I felt that she would not approve.  I have fasted and prayed many long hours over the course of the last six months.  I have gone to the temple to draw closer to God and to pray concerning what I should do.  My family even joined in a fast with me a couple weeks ago, for which I am very grateful.  I have thought about what Karen would say and how she would feel.  I would like to think that the fact that we have been married for eternity would help me to be in tune with her feelings.  I attended the temple the other day and prayed one more time about this matter, and I truly felt in my heart that it was time for me to come out publicly and also declare that I wish to find a loving man with whom to share the rest of my life.  Since I feel that this feeling comes from God, I do not believe that doing so will make me unworthy of being with my family in the next life.  Yes,  I may have to leave my church and yes, it does teach that doing so will make me unworthy.  But, if in the eyes of God I have done no wrong, then I believe all will be well in the next life.

I have been writing my feelings and experiences down in book form over the last few months.  It has been highly therapeutic and I am glad that I have done so.  I share this book with you at this time.  I have shared earlier drafts of this with a few people privately, including my family and Karen's, and have modified it according to the feedback I was given.  In the original version of the book, I include my struggles with an addiction to pornography.  I include that version here for those who wish to know my full story, including the addiction.  The main reason I disclose such a personal (and disgraceful) part of my life is that I wish to reach out to other individuals struggling with a pornography addiction and help them overcome it.  While I talk about pornography and sexual matters, nothing is erotic in any way.

I have also included a version of the book in which I have removed all the matters concerning pornography and my addiction, aside from tangential references to it.  This version only includes my dealings with my homosexual feelings.  I feel that those who are more sensitive to sexual matters may prefer this version of the book, since such a person may find reading about pornography to be undesirable.  Since my main reason for releasing the book is to help people better understand homosexuality (particularly my story in relation to it), I have decided that I would like to broaden my audience by including only those parts, so that those who wish to read about my story but not about the pornography addiction may do so.  I do not feel that either version of my book is appropriate for children, merely because it discusses sexual matters quite openly.  However, I would not classify the content as erotic or suggestive in any way.  This version can be downloaded here.

I welcome any feedback that you have to offer and I will be fully willing to answer any questions you might have.  If you have very strong negative things to say, please do not do so publicly, such as on a comment to this post or on my Facebook wall.  Please do so privately.  I will delete any public comments that I do not feel are amiable.  But, I do wish to hear how you feel, so please relate those emotions to me via email or a private message on Facebook.  I do not mind people publicly disagreeing with me or voicing warnings that they feel they must voice, as long as it is done peaceably.  Also, I would appreciate it if you would please read through my entire book before jumping to conclusions about how I feel concerning any particular matter related to this issue.

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