Why I blog

This may not be the main reason why I blog, but it makes blogging all the more rewarding and wonderful when it happens.  I don't have a huge following on here.  My top-viewed post ever was when I came out of the closet, which has reached nearly 800 hits now.  Most of my posts get less than 100.  I am actually quite impressed with how many people read what I have to say, considering that it literally is just my thoughts and feelings written down in electronic form.  So, I don't expect much feedback from people, since I don't have a huge reader base.  Some of the feedback has been negative. Most of it is simply people sharing their own thoughts--stating they agree with me, or stating in which ways they disagree.  This is all welcome and appreciated.  But every once in a while, I get a private message from someone who has read my posts and thanks me for it.  This is why I blog.

I have had a few ex-Mormons write to me and thank me for sharing my thoughts.  They enjoy having someone to relate to.  They enjoy reading someone else's experiences which, in many ways, are similar to their own.  They appreciate me being vocal about my feelings.  Some have told me that they admire my courage and wish that they too felt bold enough to speak openly about their changed beliefs.  Some are in situations where vocally stating their disbelief would be detrimental--such as BYU students who may be expelled for saying they no longer believe in Mormonism.  Some are as vocal as I, and simply express gratitude for me telling my own story.  And so, I continue to blog because these people find it beneficial.

I think that too often in society we keep quiet about certain things--maybe personal beliefs that may not be popular, maybe one's sexual orientation, maybe mistakes that we have made in the past or other embarrassing things we don't want people to know about.  I have those kinds of things in my own life.  There are things I'm afraid to tell people.  But, I think that it's good to challenge these inhibitions.  My goal is to be completely authentic--to openly and accurately portray myself.  There was a time when I was ashamed to admit to anyone that I was addicted to pornography.  I learned, as I started discussing the matter with other people, that talking about it was the best thing I could possibly have done.  I am not ashamed to admit that I was once addicted, and that I have overcome that addiction (I've written more about that in detail here).  There was a time when I was scared of anyone finding out that I'm gay.  Coming out of the closet was one of the best decisions I have made in my life and I have not once regretted that choice.  In short, every time I have actually made the decision to share some secret, that some people may consider a "skeleton", and followed through with it, I have had a positive experience and been glad that I did so.

I know that when I share my feelings about religion, I sometimes offend religious people.  I know that when I bring up topics such as Joseph Smith being intimate with teenagers and Brigham Young being racist that many Mormons will be hurt by me mentioning these things.  I do not share them to be hurtful.  I do not share them to be sensational or shocking.  I do not talk about it to get attention or to lash out at other people.  I mention these things because I sincerely believe them, because I want to express my own feelings of betrayal and shock at having discovered them, and I want other people to know that they're not alone if they have been in the same boat as me.

I think that the more people there are telling their own stories, the less people will feel isolated and estranged from humanity.  The more we talk about our feelings, the more we'll realize that we have a lot in common.  I want to be loved.  I want to be appreciated.  I want people to approve of me and to acknowledge my worth.  I seek validation.  I think all people are like this.  I think this is part of the human experience.

And so, I blog to show what it means to be human.  I blog to relate to other people.  I blog to share my own thoughts and feelings.  I blog to preach what I believe to be true.  I blog because people send me emails thanking me for blogging.  I blog because I have touched people's lives by blogging, and they have let me know that.

I have one dear friend who has followed my blog basically the whole time I have kept it.  He is an active Mormon and yet, through all of the posts I have made that he disagrees with, he continues to read.  I can think of few ways in which a person could show more loyalty than that.  I do not expect believing Mormons to still be reading my blog because I understand quite well why they would be offended by many of my previous posts.  I might expect people to overlook one off-hand bitter comment, but I certainly do not expect anyone who holds dear to their heart the Mormon religion to have read my blog over the last year and still be on talking terms with me.  I think that for someone to do such a thing is a true display of compassion and an earnest desire to understand me.  This is very touching.  This is the kind of friend I want to be.

My heart goes out to all people who have been hurt.  I blog primarily to help people understand the hurt that gay people feel, being treated as second-class citizens.  I blog to help people understand the confusion and betrayal that ex-Mormons feel, finding out that the church is not true.  But my heart goes out to others as well.  I have compassion for people I have offended by ridiculing their religious beliefs. I do not mean to offend.  I will continue to state that I believe that religion is ridiculous and illogical.  Perhaps this action is wise, perhaps it is foolish, but it is what I think is best.  I will not apologize for my views, but I will apologize for delivering them poorly or for hurting the feelings of anyone who has read them.

Some people may think that I blog because I am bitter and need to exude anti-religion toxins into the air.  Some may think that I blog to seek revenge on the church that I feel has offended me.  Some may feel that I blog to deceive people with lies and cunningly lure them away from the truth that God has to offer.  They are certainly entitled to believe these things.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinions.  But none of it is true.  I blog because I love.  I love truth.  I love other people.  I love gay people.  I love straight people.  I love women, minorities, the religious, and atheists.  I blog because I have support from my readers.  And I blog because I have passion.