Friday, March 27, 2009

Goals for 2009

A good friend of mind inspired me to make a list of Goals for 2009. It has been said that a goal is not a goal unless it's written down and published. Therefore I may be accountable for the completion of these goals. After much thought I compiled this list of things that I want to devote my attention to. This year will be geared to accomplishing these tasks. I"ll let you know when I can check them off the list.

1) I will get a passport.

This costs money and takes time, but I need one for many reasons. My good friend, mentor and editor has invited me to go to England this summer. A passport is the first step in making that trip. . AND possibly others abroad.

2) Workout at least 3x a week til June 6

I need to be comfortable in a speedo by PRIDE this year. In order to do that I need to workout at least 3 times a week, with plenty of cardio and upper body strength. I'm already well on my way, but the word HOT needs to come to mind when I see myself in the mirror and that hasn't happened yet. I'll let you know!!!

3) write 5 chapters of my book before July

I have been challenged by my mentor and editor to write 5 chapters before July. I am totally on board with this. It's doable and it will be fun.

4) Move to SLC by August

I have my current rental contract up for sale. I need someone to buy out my contract and then I can move to SLC. If nobody buys my contract, it will expire in August and I will move then anyway. Roommates anyone?

5) Get a job in SLC that meets my needs.

Hopefully in the field of social services.

NOW!!! You know my goals. Feel free to encourage me.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My First Kiss

This is a true story.

I was a 22 year old Mormon boy with virgin lips when I had my first kiss. I returned from my mission and moved to Utah, ready to start a new life on my own. After a few months, feeling quite lonely I posted and ad on MSN. I was struggling with feelings of isolation and depression. I thought that I might be gay and wanted a friend to understand and help me. Someone named Marcus, a returned missionary from Brazil (22) replied to my message. He invited me to meet him at an institute class at BYU, which I did. Yes I was nervous. I had never met another gay man before, nor openly admitted that I was gay. I was so lonely. I desperately needed a friend.

I went to the institute class on BYU campus. That class changed my life. I did meet Marcus. He was very nice and very good looking. We instantly formed a bond. While sitting together in the class, a devotional was given by a girl who looked very familiar. She was reading a scripture. She looked up from the podium and scanned over the class. Her eyes met mine and she let out a high pitched squeal. "Elder Robison!!!" The girl was a sister from my mission, Sister Darla Danielson. She didn't' even finish reading the scripture. She jumped off the rostrum and ran down to meet me. She gave me a very tight hug. The feeling was incredible. She and I also bonded at that moment. Within 20 minutes I had forged 2 very powerful friendships that I would remember forever.

Consider this peculiar coincidence. Looking back I can see how this moment was so pivotal and highly ironic. I met, at that time, both my soul-mate/girlfriend. . .and my first gay lover. What a combo?!?!

I ended up spending a lot of time with Darla. Every free moment I was at her house. Her roommates considered me a part of the house-hold. We laughed, played games, watched movies, went on picnics, camped out. We Had a glorious time. Darla was a very cheerful girl, prone to laughter. She was incredibly loving. I likened her to a Heavenly Mother. She cared for every pure thing and she had such compassion. I could not keep secrets from her. She saw deep into my soul as if I were completely transparent. I can honestly say I loved her.

Marcus and I also hung out together. He had a charm all his own. He was tall, with darker features. He was masculine and had an exotic foreign charm. He captivated me. He seemed to be OK with his homosexuality. He wasn't as scared and confused as I was, yet he was kind and compassionate to me. We had fun times together. We watched Simpsons and played video games. He baked some very delicious Brazilian food. He also worked in a factory that made scented candles. So his apartment always smelled delightful, as did his skin (I came to find out).

The three of us, Marcus, Darla and I did everything together. I really enjoyed having my two best friends around me so often. I longed to be with them so badly when I was away at work. I looked forward to the weekends of fun. I looked forward to singing songs around Darla's piano. I looked forward to sharing mission stories with Marcus. I was completely overcome with a feeling of pure happiness and acceptance. I Had never before felt such a thing at home. This was a new world to me, and I loved it.

Time passed. Months went by and the mood began changing. Darla got a job and wasn't always available on weekends and nights. I had become so addicted to my new friendships and the feelings of codependency that I couldn't stand being alone. I began spending more time with Marcus. We watched late-night movies. We went on long drives. We spent time talking about issues that were important to me. I felt free and comfortable to share the parts of my life that I had always considered to be shameful. He made me feel validated. The first time Marcus touched me was while watching "The Mummy." I barely remember the movie because of the anxious electricity going threw my body. Marcus had put his hand on my shoulder. I was concentrating only on that. My heart began beating faster. I was sweating. I felt feverish. It was like being electrocuted. . paralyzed but unable to let go of the live-wire that was his hand.

When the movie was finished and the credits kept running we just sat together on the couch basking in the heat of the moment. Finally I got up to turn off the movie and he invited me to stay the night, which I did. He laid down on his bed and took his shirt off. I also took off my shirt and laid down next to him on the twin-size. I faced away from him, and he wrapped himself around me and pulled me in til I was completely enveloped by Marcus and the smell of candle wax. The feel of his skin against mine was intoxicating. I felt a tremendous release of energy flow out of me, and my physical body reacted by surrendering to the moment. I inhaled and took it in. I just laid there in an ocean of ecstasy that I never knew was possible. The thought went through my mind, "Is this bad? Something so wonderful can't be bad. Then why do I feel like I should run away right now, run from this feeling of peace and safety. It MUST be bad. I like this. I want this. I'm in touble. . . ."

Hours passed in darkness and heat.

That was the first time I experienced the touch of a man. We hadn't comprised our temple covenants that night. We remained semi-clothed. I refused to remove the clothes below my waist, even though his fingers tried to wander there.

I continued to date Darla. Our discussions grew more serious. We spoke of having children and careers. We talked about where we wanted to be married. She seemed to be unsatisfied with my level of excitement about the topic. She seemed worried. Plus Darla had some family troubles that began to bother her. Her thoughts turned more inward. While we talked about our future lives, I could sense that something was not right. Was it suspicion?

Meanwhile, my sleep-overs with Marcus were continually more intimate. I hadn't crossed any real moral lines, but the passion that was developing between us was intense. Marcus was becoming more and more aggressive in his insistence that we see more of each other. His hands continued touching me and searched under my clothes in places that made me very uncomfortable. The level of intimacy he wanted scared me. I was growing weary of his advances. He began playing off of my vulnerability. He knew I enjoyed his touch and the closeness that we shared. He also knew I was feeling weak and confused and not ready to commit to going further. I was becoming weak, and signs of depression were setting in again.

Marcus was preparing for an extended trip to Brazil. He was going home to see his family and he asked me, very seriously, to return to Brazil with him as his boyfriend. This was def con 5, now or never, all or nothing. I had seconds to think it through. The word "boyfriend" was deafening. He had caught me off-guard with such a monumentous proposal. I reacted defensively and I chose to abandon ship in order aleve the anxiety. I told Marcus that I was not his lover and not ready to commit myself to him. I was not ready to accept my sexuality openly. I was not prepared to be openly gay. The idea of running off to an exotic country with my gay lover scared the SHIT out of me!!!

Marcus, suddenly angry and rejected, asked me how it felt to be with him. It felt wonderful. His touch was so powerful. The attraction I felt to him was ionic. Being near him made my body do things that weren't normal. My heart raced, my palms sweat, my fingers ached to be entwined in his. While my mind was preaching virtue, my body was demanding to be connected with his in every intimate way possible. With all of these things blazing through my mind, Marcus asked me the question that flipped the switch. "Do you feel this way with Darla?" Boom. . .mushroom cloud.

Not even in the slightest. My feelings for her were completely emotional and appropriate and temple-worthy. I felt no such feelings of lust or affection toward Darla and I think she knew it, Marcus knew it. . but it had never occurred to me. I was SUPPOSED to ache for her. I was SUPPOSED to touch her, hold her and kiss her. I was SUPPOSED to long to caress her neck and shoulders. Those thoughts were so foreign to me. Yet here I was completely flayed before Marcus, longing to be physically united with him. Marcus was the one my body ached for and he wanted me just as much. But Marcus was not the one I was considering to marry. HOLY CRAP!!! I was in checkmate.

The weight of the impasse broke through my tear ducts and I ran out of Marcus' apartment with tears trailing. I knew I was in love, and Marcus knew it. But if anyone else knew, my world would end. I thought my family would disown me. My church would excommunicate me. My lovely soul-mate, Darla would never forgive me. I would never forgive myself. I drove home.

Marcus followed me. It was raining (ironically appropriate). Marcus came to my door. He begged to let me in. He was both sad and angry (sangry?) I was a miserable mess. The desperation that I felt, to hold on to the wonderful feelings of acceptance and bliss, was my drug. Was I willing to steel for it? Sell myself to the night? Betray my loved ones? Forfeit my integrity for that wonderful feeling of ecstasy? . .

. . .I opened the door.

Marcus came inside. He looked pathetically beaten and unable to accept defeat. He grabbed my shoulders, flipped me around and pinned me against the door. Soaking wet, he placed his hot, quivering lips on mine and penetrated deep with his tongue. The virginity of my soul was sacrificed that night, along with that of my lips and my body. I gave in to the magnetism of our bodies. The rest of my life would resemble that proverbial struggle between two seemingly contradictory forces: love and lust.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"I used to be gay"

I was chatting on last night (like I do). I was very pleased to receive a private instant message from a man in Provo who said he was also LDS and was a current student at BYU, age 28.

I generally welcome conversations from most people who have those things in common with me (having gone to BYU myself and being of LDS-background).

Then. . . the train jumped the track.

This person, who named himself Drew, said "I'm not gay, but I used to be."

(awkward pause)

Think about that statement for a moment. . . "I used to be gay."

Is there such a thing? My initial reaction was to laugh at the statement. According to all I've read and learned in college about sexuality is that it is unchangeable; and trying to do so often results in catastrophic problems. But this guy, Drew, was positive he was no longer gay.

I asked him what a straight man would be doing browsing at 2:30 am. He replied "I'm just curious."

I said, "straight men do not entertain curiosities on websites such as at 2:30 in the morning." He simply stood by his reasons for being curious. He wanted to reminisce about past temptations, even though he was no longer tempted. I found that fascinating and said "it's interesting how we sometimes keep our past so close to our heart, even when it was once so painful. Too bad you keep your gayness so close." He was offended by my comment. I"m not surprised.

So, you can see the problem here. A gay man, goes to therapy and decides he is no longer gay and now identifies as a straight man. He then feels a curiosity about old temptations and indulges in them. Is this man REALLY straight?

I ask you. . . is there such a thing as "used to be gay." I want to know your thoughts on this.

Before reading on, take a moment to think about that and respond.

Now. . . Something went terribly wrong. Our conversation turned into a train wreck when Jeromy opened his big mouth.

I said "Drew, you go to BYU. A statement such as "I used to be gay" sounds an awful lot like the words of a man named Jeff Robinson. Do you know him?"

Oh boy. I should have just kept my mouth shut. Jeff Robinson, if you don't know, is a very well-known therapist employed by BYU who specializes in re-orientation therapy, a therapy technique denounced by the American Psychological Association, as being devastatingly harmful. Jeff Robinson seems to be the LDS church's go-to guy on homosexuals and one of the only group of therapists in the US who still practice this form of therapy.

That explained to me why my new friend Drew thinks that he "used to be gay."

Unfortunately for me, the mention of Jeff Robinson's name opened a can of worms. Drew asked me to explain how I reconciled my own homosexual feelings with my faith. But Drew wasn't ready to listen to my story. He obviously wanted to make himself feel better by bashing a real gay man on (and yes he verbally bashed me with extreme prejudice). I found the whole conversation incredibly rude and hypocritical. The worst part was when he said that he wanted to spread Christ's love to the gay community. But really, I think he just wanted to pump himself up with a twisted kind of gratification that he had made it to an exalted path, and was better than the measly, groveling homos that he used to include himself with.

Was I hurt? yes. Was I angry? yes. Did he make me question my own morals? Sadly yes, because I am humble enough to second-guess my own values in the interest of personal growth (but leaving my heart open to manipulation).

CHRIST'S LOVE, MY BIG TOE!!!! There was nothing Christ-like about Drew's condescending feelings and self-hatred. There is nothing healing about his supposed-transformation from gay to straight. This poor gay soul crawls back to to wallow in his confused and suppressed sexuality. He feigns righteousness just to mask his inner-sorrow. At least that was my impression of him. I got no confirmation of the spirit while chatting with him. I felt no righteous indignation in his criticism of my ideals. He was simply self-righteous. He called me narrow-minded. He said it was useless to even talk to me because I was a lost cause, having acceptd my sexuality. WOW!

I blocked him from contacting me both on and on MSN messenger. Interestingly he sent me an email titled "Coward!". . in which he said my whole idea of reconciling my sexuality to my faith was left without a leg to stand on. Again. . WOW! The audacity.

How dare he accuse me of hypocrisy. How dare he judge me. How dare he claim to serve Christ when he is the servant of his own selfish and corrupted gratifications.

After this conversation I felt the need to affirm what I know to be true. I am a son of God and he loves me. He knows my struggles. He knows I'm gay. My family loves me. My friends love me. The atonement of Christ will set things to right in the end. The gospel of Jesus Christ is still true.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

If God Were half the Man

When Dad tells me he loves me, there’s nothing left to say.
To me it means a wealth of things because he knows I’m gay
And loves me anyway.
If God were half the man Dad is, I think I’ll be ok.

A boy of ten and prone to sin, my Dad would chasten me.
And when in bed, he touched my head and said that he loved me
And he was proud to be
My Dad. He had, when he as mad, a righteous empathy.

In later years, with many fears and awkward youthful woes
Dad came to find I had in mind a different kind of beau;
And even then he chose
To let me grow and come to know a love my very own.

I can’t imagine how he felt to know I killed his dream
Of burping bibs and bouncing kids up high upon his knee
But never do I see
A trace of disappointment or resentment over me

At twenty two I had to move and set out on my own.
My Dad agreed but if I needed to, I could go home
But further I did roam
To taste the fruit and further mute the stranger I’d become.

With broken will and broken heart I prayed and made the call
When desperation pulled apart my soul after the fall.
And it did take my all
To speak the words that must be heard, a ruined prodigal

My Dad a man of little words who rarely offered tears
Hung up the phone and hit the road and closed the gaping years;
and quelled my raging fears.
And once again he called me friend, assured me “Son I’m here.”

And to this day, although I’m gay, My Dad’s my biggest fan
He tells me so and even though he’s old, he understands;
And loves me like Dads can.
And God would love like Daddy does if God were half the man.


So I had a dream last night; a most peculiar and fabulous dream.

I was among the chosen few to be competing in Tyra Banks’ America’s Next Top Model; yes me. Now stay with me here. There were 2 other male models and several ladies. We were all in a room together where Tyra was explaining the next challenge. We would each be photographed on a set that would be chosen specifically by the team of experts to accentuate our inner personality.

One of the girls was taken out to hair and make-up. (My dream was already edited by the way, so everything happened in precision timing.) Within seconds her photo shoot proofs came back and she was FABULOUS. They turned this homely woman into a fabulous and SEXY star with the cunning use of a python.

Next was MY turn, yes me. Tyra looked at me and said the team was going to bring out the inner wild side in me. I was swept away to air and make-up. They took a blow dryer to my hair and made it BIG. They gave me these tiny hot pants to wear, leaving little to the imagination and then covered my body in white paint with psychedelic splatters of color here and there. Then they took me to a desert scene with one gnarly tree and tied me to it. It was a man-eating tree with people inside of it working the branches like arms, clawing at me. Tyra was behind the camera yelling at me, “You’re scared. You’re defiant. You’re FIERCE Jeromy FIERCE!”

The proofs came back and everyone looked at them on a big screen. I was FREAKIN HOT! The look on my face said, “This tree knows who is Boss. Who’s its Daddy?!?!”

Then thought thought occured to me. . .How about I never wear denim hot pants again. . mmk?

I woke myself up laughing. I often remember my dreams, but I only record the ones that are particularly crazy or meaningful. This falls under the category of CRAZY! And that usually means I am of sound mind and have little else on my mind to bother me in my sleep. Thank goodness for being of sound mind during the day and CRAZY in my sleep!!!!!