Monday, April 30, 2007

On Surrender

I'm really not sure where to start this post. I guess I'll start it with saying that I haven't crossed the nebulous line. Although I'm really not sure where that line is, actually, I'm 99% sure that I'm still safely on this side of it. But here's the thing: I don't know how I feel about it all. I see so many of you married and happy, and I wonder if I can have that. I wonder if I can have a meaningful, romantic relationship with a girl, like so many of you do.

See, the problem is, I don't think I can. When I kiss girls, it's the application of a refined science, and it's fun because it's kissing. When I kiss boys it's something else entirely. I mean, it's still that, but it's more than that. It's like... like sitting next to a warm fire and getting all warm. No... that's not quite right... It's like diving into a cool lake on a warm day, the way you kind of feel completely immersed and tingly all over... That's still a bad example... maybe I should give up on this trying to describe it thing... The point is, it's not the same.

So I guess what I'm saying is, I can stay true to everything in the short run, and that's fine. But in the long run, I don't know how anything will turn out. And it's scary. Consider: If failure is certain, why attempt? I mean, I feel impressed that the church is the right place for me to be right now, and when I listened to Elder Uchtdorf speak, I felt the spirit. I've sat only a metre and a half away from President Monson, and I can swear to you, without any hesitation whatsoever, with every fiber of my being, that he is a man of God, possessed of a spirit so powerful that it extends beyond him, touching everything around him. I practically expected flowers to crop up around his shoes wherever he walked, and I felt like I would live forever, and like everything around me would live forever. But...

I'm not ever sure what the but is... My objections don't make sense. If I know that these men are men of God, then how can I not be kosher with what they say? If they say I shouldn't let cute boys sit on my lap, then how do I rationalize it? I don't know. I can see ways of rationalizing it, but nothing I couldn't tear apart with three main contentions and an eight minute speech. That means, of course, that I'm being irrational, something I hold to be inherently bad. The problem is, I don't know how to fix it. I don't know how to convince myself that my lap doesn't make a good chair. Or even if I should. I have objections there that I can't tear down with a 3 contention, 8 minute speech...

The obvious thing to do would be to not see Kevin again. He will, at some point, want to take any kind of relationship that isn't purely platonic well past the line. So clearly, I need to just cut it off here and now. But I don't want to. I like having him around. He's laid back, he's not bad looking, he's funny, mature, intelligent... All of these are attributes that I like. And yet, after my shocking discovery that I do in fact love the church...

I guess I understand a bit more what you guys go through now. See, before I was going to leave the church anyway, so a relationship didn't matter, and wasn't really causing any kind of internal conflict. Even a relationship at BYU with another Mormon guy wouldn't cause that much conflict, because I wouldn't have to worry about being expected to put out at some point or anything. But this is just... a feeling that I don't like. I don't like it at all. I want two things, and I can't have them both. It's made all the more complicated by that fact that even though I want to stay with the church for now, I struggle to picture myself still with it in half a century, when I'm old and grey.

This has gotten longer than I meant it to. I don't know what I'm looking for, but I hope I'll find it. I hope I'll find it soon. On another note, I'm going to Woodburn tomorrow to visit the Aeropostale and Pacific Sunwear outlets. Expect descriptions of more interesting preppy clothes, and hopefully soon some pictures. And I got a job today. 8USD/hour to build computers, and as close to 40 hours a week as he can give me without having to pay benefits. Actually, today was pretty exciting, but it all seems kind of pointless in the shadow of this issue. I'm not to the point of self loathing yet, but I do think that I can empathize with some of you a little bit more now...

-Stephen

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Homecomings

Hey it's good to be back home again. Sometimes, this old house, feels like a long lost friend. Yes ’n’ hey, it’s good to be back home again.

As soon as I crossed the border from Idaho into Oregon, I exited in Ontario, a border city, to buy something, anything, without a sales tax. And to feel Oregon ground under my feet. Even so, by the time I got home Friday night, it was extremely late, and I went to bed shortly thereafter. I meant to blog then about the long drive, but, yeah...

Saturday morning, I had an appointment with my beautician. We talked about it, and she filled me in on western American preppy fashions and styles over the past few months. So, we cut my hair short. I'll put up some pictures on my Facebook. It'll be cool. While we were at it, she gave me a shopping list to take to American Eagle, A&F, or Hollister for my new look. Since A&F and Hollister are owned by the same company and obscenely expensive, I went to AE. Plaid shorts and a good earthy-green vintage fit worn shirt were the order of the day, one outfit at a time... Then I went and got this really good smelling Adidas Rasierwasser.

Well, the better part of the day later, I went to go see a play at my old Highschool, and thereafter went to this party, all the while wearing my new preppy clothes and soccer fragrance. Somewhere along the way at the party somebody suggested hot-tubbing. Who says no to hot-tubbing? Anyway, this kind of cute kid, he might come up again so he needs a name... Kevin. Anyway, Kevin is not exactly religious, and he's also gay, and he was in the hot tub too. Obviously, nothing really happened with the ten or so other people in the hot tub, except with so many people, we were all a little crammed and he had to sit on my lap. We were both real put out about that. :)

Anyway, some time around 6:30 in the morning I headed home, and got ready to listen to elder Uchtdorf, who spoke at a stake conference at my old high school today. Elder Uchtdorf is the apostle that would be my favorite if it weren't for the fact that one shouldn't have a favorite apostle. I mean, come on, he's German. Anyway, he said a few good things that everybody should know. Portland reminds him of Germany. People need to try to be less clickish. We have a responsibility to go forth and serve our fellow men constantly. We all need to have more charity, the pure love of Christ, for everybody. CTR actually means "Current Temple Recommend," in addition to "Choose the Right." Everybody should prepare to serve a mission, and try to hold a current temple recommend.

I guess the point is that as soon as I get back to Oregon, everything runs like butter, but gets all the more confusing. I'm not sure I'm kosher with how preparing for a mission and letting a cute boy sit on my lap in a hot-tub interplay...

-Stephen

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Jack Healey and -L-'s list

I just spent the better part of my afternoon with Jack Healey, who was the director of Amnesty International for 12 years. We talked about his work with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as well as his work abroad and, well, we just talked about everything. I think he's a really laid back guy for somebody who's accomplished as much as he has.

Also, I've been checking repeatedly for the past few days, and now I finally feel kind of official. Obviously it doesn't really change anything at all, but I'm on -L-'s list. I feel, well, like I'm officially a MoHo... Not that I wasn't before, but you know how when you walked at your high school graduation and they gave you the fake diploma and you were just kind of like, "Dude, WTF?" and then the real diploma came in the mail and it was official? Or like, when you finished your eagle project and turned everything in and finished your big long nasty board of review, and it was kind of done, but not really? And then you actually had your eagle court of honor and it was official? Maybe this isn't making sense to anybody else, but... yeah... I'm going to quit while I'm ahead.

-Stephen

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cars, Apartments, and my dear, sweet, Mommy

Let me preface this post by saying that I love my mother very, very much. On with the show.

So, my mother brings the car into town yesterday. Before we go to dinner, we decide to stop at the dry-cleaner so I can get my favorite suit ready for Jack Healey's arrival and the alternative commencement. Well, what should happen but the car should break down. Fortunately, we got it pushed out of the way and Drex came and gave my mother a ride back to the Hotel, and then we had Heroes. And dinner. It was good.

Well, I run back to where we left the car right after Heroes, and it's a miracle! It starts! So I drive down to my mother's Hotel and we talk for a few hours. It's the car and apartment conversation. With the classic, "do you ever plan on shaving?" In all fairness, I really should shave, but... Come on... Anyway, about half an hour into it, she decides that I need to "stop harassing [her]" and "stop asking [her] for things." I didn't realize that having a conversation to work out the details of something we'd agreed on ages ago was harassing. Anyway, we finished watching the Cosby show, and I drove over to Drex's to recollect myself before I went home. But I didn't end up going home. I slept over instead. And had Chocolate cake.

So, the next morning (It's now Tuesday), I get up and I drive back to my apartment and take a shower. When I get back to the car to go get my mother, it doesn't start. Oh joy of joys... Anyway, she manages to get up to my part of town and we call AAA and they come and tow us to SDS auto. Props to SDS auto for fixing our starter issue in less than an hour after they got our car into the shop. While it was waiting, my mother and I went to lunch, and we chatted, and it was fun. Except that she doesn't like keeping secrets from my father, who seems to think that my reason for staying at BYU is that I've fallen in love with some girl. The food was good though.

Well, the car got fixed and we went and drove and looked at apartments in a few places. My mother seems to think that I should move into the Bavarian. It's more expensive, but it's so nice... Roman Gardens is pretty much out, regrettably. It looks nice, but it only has 6 washers and dryers for a two ward complex, the kitchens are tiny, really really tiny, and the microwaves are significantly older than I am. For that matter, all of the appliances are. Other than that, they were really nice, and it's very well landscaped.

So, we're driving to the airport when she tells me that she really does not support me in getting a car because she thinks that it will distract me from my mission. You read that correctly, the reason that she doesn't want me to get a car is because she thinks it will distract me from my mission. I told her that was ridiculous, that if there were things that might distract me from a mission cars were not on that list. That answer didn't seem to satisfy her, but we were at the airport at that point, so the issue couldn't be canvassed any further. Leave it to my mother to tell me exactly how I should live my life (which complex to live in (she went way in depth on why the Bavarian was so much better than everywhere else), whether or not to get a car) and why, and then to jump out of the car to get on a plane before I can formulate an answer. I love her, but sometimes...

In other news, a company from Germany bought up some of the old Tektronix property in Oregon and they need people to translate everything from technical manuals to business letters to personal letters at a rate of 15USD/hour. It's not super likely, but it's possible I will be able to get on with them this summer between the time I get back and the time I go to work at Boyscout camp. Obviously, that would make my day like no other. Extremely good money for work I could do with my hands tied in my sleep. Well, the technical manuals might not be that easy, but the business letters would be a walk in the park. Anyway, I'll keep you posted on developments on that front.

In other, other news, I'm going to dinner with Jack Healey tomorrow! Feel the excitement emanating from me. Because it is emanating.

-Stephen

Monday, April 23, 2007

Mother

So, my mother is coming into town later today. She's only staying until tomorrow night when I drop her off at the airport, but yeah. It's kind of exciting, although I'm not really sure how she's dealing with everything. I mean, we haven't actually physically seen each other since early March, and we haven't had any kind of deep, meaningful conversation since I came out to her about two weeks ago. For my mother and I, that's pretty abnormal.

Anyway, she's told me that she would be interested in meeting you, so if any of you are hanging around before heroes, you might just get to meet my mother. Umn, if that's OK with all of you, that is. Obviously, if it's not, just tell me and it won't happen. You don't even have to comment if you're not comfortable with it, you can e-mail me (it's on my profile).

Anyway, between not having slept this last night because I was writing an essay that's due in about two hours (and it's damned good, if I do say so myself), my mother coming, and a final that I'm only about 80% ready for, or maybe even only 60% ready for, coming up very very soon, I'm just feeling enough pressure to blog about it. Good luck to everybody with an early morning final today!

-Stephen

Saturday, April 21, 2007

On My Week

I don't even know where to start, so I guess I'll just type something and use that as the beginning. Tuesday night, I hung out with a whole bunch of people from the MoHo blogosphere, and it was a real blast. I felt good about myself, and happy, and I just had a really good time. And then there was this kind of silent period. Nothing Happened. I was OK with that, for a day or two. I needed to focus on my studies and catch up on some things, and it was overall not a bad thing. But. When Friday came and the extent of the contact I'd had with anybody that lived more than 500 but less than 20,000 feet away that didn't have something to do with the alternative commencement was a brief message on my facebook wall, I was more than a little worried. Had I made somebody angry? Was I just not cool enough to hang out with everybody? Was I somehow defective in terms of my new friends?

See, I have this thing about calling people without anything to talk about. There are very few people that I really feel comfortable calling just to shoot the breeze. Especially when it's hit and miss with who's taking a final and really doesn't want their phone to ring or what. So I was kind of a recluse. I just curled up in my little ball and read about all the fun stuff that everybody else was doing that they wrote about. And I wondered some more. Had I made the right decision in telling UO that I wouldn't be joining them in the fall? Why was everybody else enjoying waffles and giant pop-tarts and stuff while I was just sitting at home on the couch with textbooks? And I mean, you can't just ask people why you're getting left out. If you even are getting left out, for that matter, and it's not just a figment of your imagination.

The reasonable conclusion to draw is that it's an oversight. People either just make an honest mistake and forget to call you, or they conclude that you must be busy with something else more important. But, when we're feeling left out, we don't come to the reasonable conclusions. I guess I shouldn't say "we" I should say "I". I tried to convince myself of the reasonable conclusions. I had seen very little evidence that could even be construed as people absolutely loathing me, and it wouldn't make any sense at all for me to just conclude that they did. But, I decided that that had to be it. I must have taken an argument too far, or not been outgoing enough, or let an awkward situation get too awkward, or let my unreserved side out for too long.

Despite my best efforts, I convinced myself that the reason nobody was calling me and everybody was having fun without me was that they didn't like having me around. Forcing myself on them would have, of course, only made matters worse. So there I was, sitting on my couch, believing that nobody wanted to do anything with me, and not wanting to be clingy and make matters worse, I didn't do anything about it.

Friday night, I called my friend Kara and we had a nice, long conversation about how she was the only person that called me with any regularity. She was able to (kind of) convince me that I wasn't as bad as all that, and that it was OK. I went for a long walk, and I almost called on Drex, but it was late and I figured he'd be asleep. Besides, I didn't have anything to say anyway. I was just feeling dejected. So I walked back to my apartment and went to sleep instead.

Saturday was a little different, but not too much in the beginning. I woke up around noon, and went for another walk. Once again, I almost called on Drex, but without anything to say it seemed like I was only creating more potential for an awkward situation. I went home again, and I saw on my facebook it said that I was invited to a Mean Girls and Boba party. I was relieved and excited, and I confirmed my attendance. Then I looked at housing options for the coming fall. I think that I may live at Roman Gardens, but I haven't completely decided yet.

Then I walked around the far east side, because I don't do that very often, and I ran into Hidden. He took me to see the boyscout museum, and I was really excited, but it was closed. <./tear> Anyway, I won't bore you with the details of the walk. 7:45(ish) came around and we went and chilled with Drex for a while before the party, and I felt vindicated. There was nothing to hint that I had done something to make him mad, and nothing to hint that I had done something to make anybody at the party mad. In fact, it was a right party. Had a great time. I think everybody there did too.

I guess the moral of the story is that I need to call people more. Calling on people can be majorly awkward if they're in the middle of something important, but just calling shouldn't be that bad. I'm making it a personal goal to not let this week repeat itself, and the next time I'm feeling left out, I'm going to call somebody and do something about it. I think that wanting to hang out with friends more often than once every four days isn't unreasonable, so that's what I'll do. If you get a phone call from me in the next little while saying, "Hey, are you doing anything tonight?" or something like that, don't assume that I want to go out on a big date or anything. It just means that I'm tired of studying and want to get out and do something.

If anybody actually read that all the way to the end, thanks.

-Stephen.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Jabberwocky

As I was whining to a very good friend of mine today after my 310 final, she asked me a pretty simple question that set me off in a complete different direction. "What does vorpal mean?" I stopped dead in my rant, stumped. I'd heard the word before, one of Lewis Carroll's drug induced ramblings in "Through the Looking Glass," but I honestly had no idea what it meant. So, I employed some research skills. I looked it up in OED, MW, and Dictionary.com. The final one had an entry, "deadly" but it didn't justify the definition, and all it said about the etymology was the Lewis Carrol had made it up. I wasn't satisfied, so I tried wikipedia, which gave a pretty lame answer saying that it was an adjective indicating an enhanced ability to behead. So, where to look next? JSTOR. No dice. So, if anybody has any idea, with a decent justification, what "vorpal" actually means... I'll bake the first person to give me a good answer one of my chocolate experiments. Or maybe a pumpkin experiment. I'll let you decide.

Anyway, I took the opportunity to read the classic poem, "The Jabberwocky," where the word is first mentioned. And I realized something. I want a Vorpal Blade. Something that I can just use to go "One, Two! One, Two!" and "Snicker Snack" to remove the challenges and obstacles from my path. I would have loved a vorpal blade for my 310 final. Another one for my 330 final would be even hotter. I could snicker snack the head off of any jabberwock, and it would be great. Instead though, I've relegated myself to actually having to work through challenges, and to deal with things on my own.

We all have jabberwocks in our lives. Little things that keep us from going out and doing the things that we want/need to do, from living our lives to the fullest. Sometimes we blog about it. Sometimes we aren't so eager to allow certain aspects of ourselves to be seen. Some people are clingy, and need to be in constant contact with other people. Some people aren't initiators and get left out of what everybody else is doing. Some people convince themselves that the reason their non-initiator friends don't initiate contact with them is because their friends don't want to talk to them, or that they themselves are somehow deficient. And there will always be that voice in the back of your head saying, "beware the jabberwock." For the most part, that's what we do. We refuse to challenge these parts of ourselves and overcome them.

Somewhere, there is a vorpal blade for everybody to slay their personal jabberwocks. Somewhere, we can find the strength and tools to overcome these parts of ourselves. But that isn't easy, and for some of us, the journey seems long and arduous. Some people seem to have it all made and taken care of. For the rest of us, we just keep trekking, and maybe, someday, hopefully, we'll be able to appreciate ourselves.

Oh, and I had a Pomegranate Paradise at Jamba Juice today. It was to die for. So tart, yet so sweet, and just so good. And it's an all fruit smoothie so it's (kind of) good for you!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Skiving and Touching

So, last night I had about a billion things to do, and I didn't really do any of them. I mean, I kind of worked on a few of them, and I did get a little bit done, but not nearly as much as I should have. I was instead actively engaged in skiving off. No, that's not dirty, it means to do pretty much nothing, and avoid working on things. At about 6:00, gimple and I started talking about the spring block party. Then at about 7:00, he dropped off facebook, and I managed to get a little bit of work done. Then at 8:00, I got a call, and I went up to the spring block party with Brady, Calvin, and Gimple. We ran into Stephalumpugus, and the Jet too. Well, as cool as the party was, we left and went to go watch a movie at Steph's house. I missed an Alternative Commencement meeting to hang out. Fortunately, it wasn't a super important one, and I don't regret it. I'm still getting everything done that I need to on that front.

Now, more about that touching. See, I normally don't make a habit out of touching girls. I mean, I've done it a few times in the past, but I much prefer touching... well... anyway... Touching is such a complicated thing. There's platonic touching, like being crammed together in a car or most touching; then there's loving touching, like a mother-son hug; that's not to mention anything of caressing touching, like hand holding and cuddling. Well, last night, Steph and I interdigitated, and it kind of confused me, because it wasn't really caressing touching. I mean, we went through the motions, I put my arm around her, and held her other hand, and we did the whole thumb-caress-thing. I mean, all things considered, it was some pretty intense hand holding! But, it wasn't really the same as other times that I've touched girls. In the past they've always seen it as a sign of commitment, which meant that it was pretty much time to end things. But this was a different kind. It wasn't exactly like platonic touching, the kind that just happens in normal activity, and it wasn't like the loving touching of the mother son hug. It just sort of, was... I need to come up with a new classification of touching. As a side note, I think I may have made Brady somewhat uncomfortable, because with my arm around Steph's shoulder I needed somewhere to put my hand, and his arm was sort of there. To me, that was platonic touching; it was just a natural part of us being crammed so close together, but yeah...

Anyway, I'm going to take today as an opportunity to do all those important things like laundry, more complicated cooking, baking, nail cutting, but nothing really super important. I might just do what ATP is doing an curl up in a ball and watch movies once I finish everything else...

-Stephen

P.S.

Brett's getting interviewed by Newsweek!

P.P.S.

Brett will be called by his middle name in the Newsweek article. Brett has never gone by his middle name, ever. He has expressed confidence in his safety in regard to this now.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bishops, Evergeen, Missions, Newspapers...

So, I talked to my bishop on Sunday. It was the first time that I had mentioned my same sex attraction to an ecclesiastical leader. I'd like to say that it was a wonderful, testimony building experience, but in all actuality, it wasn't. His initial advice wasn't all that bad. He said, "Well, it's important to realize that even though we don't just forget about prophets, President Hinckley is speaking directly to you, President Kimball wasn't." referring to the discrepancy between a certain passage in The Miracle of Forgiveness and what President Hinckley has said.

Then, it got to be a little less fun. He suggested that I think about participating in Evergreen or repairative therapy so that I could figure out why I was "over compensating." I wasn't really sure what to say to this, but I said that I would look into it. So I looked at Evergreen's website... I was less than impressed, I won't lie. The way that they represent completely unproven theories as facts is... upsetting. So... I don't know, it's something I'll think about. I understand that there's a large, strong group in Portland that I can join, or at least talk to. But I don't know.

Then we talked about priesthood, and missions. In spite of everything, he says that he doesn't see any reason that I couldn't serve an honorable, full time mission, as long as I'm serious about it. He also says that I'll need to prepare myself to resist temptations that most other missionaries don't have. So I'm back to square one on the mission deal. I'll fill you in. I still don't know if it's something that I want to do. I mean, obviously it's advisable for most people, but I just don't know... Two years is a very long time. It's a big commitment... Anyway, I think that I agree strongly with Drex. The mission is not for everybody, but preparation for a mission is. So, I guess, for now I just need to prepare for said mission, and I can decide when I'm older...

Oh, and Brett was in the newspaper! http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_5684555

-Stephen

Sunday, April 15, 2007

BYU Alternative Commencement

So, just in case anybody didn't know, Brett is the faculty Liaison for the BYU Alternative Commencement, and he had a few things that he wanted to share with everybody, starting with the BYU Alternative Commencement mission statement.


"Last month, Brigham Young University invited Vice President Dick Cheney to speak at the school's April commencement. Many students, faculty, alumni, and community members feel that Cheney represents neither their standards nor those of the University.

BYU Alternative Commencement is a grassroots effort comprised of BYU students, faculty, alumni, and friends determined to make their voices count by marching to an alternative commencement following the official graduation ceremony.

We want this event to be an alternative commencement, but also a commencement about alternatives. Instead of responding with criticism and traditional forms of protest, we want to give students, faculty, and community members an opportunity to express dissent in a constructive way. Our program will focus on alternatives, as well, featuring speakers who offer creative, democratic solutions to the problems facing our country and government. By holding an alternative commencement, we seek to honor speakers who embody a spirit of political optimism and ingenuity. We hope that this event will counter cynicism and wholesale criticism by encouraging discussion and empowering graduates to offer positive solutions to daunting problems. We believe that preparing students to make this kind of visionary, creative change is what commencement should be about.

Please join us after the official ceremony to listen to human rights acitivist Jack Healey, former U.S. Senate candidate Pete Ashdown, and third party advocate Ralph Nader."

Now, the thing about Ralph Nader coming to campus is that he wants a decent amount of money, about 15,000 dollars. Healey and Ashdown are far more reasonable, but even so, we need to raise some money. Any little bit counts. If you can donate just a couple dollars, please visit http://byualternativecommencement.com/id10.html

-Stephen.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Pretty Much Brilliant, and Coming Out to my Mother

So, for the record of any interested parties (though I have no idea who, if anybody outside of those who have commented and a couple others, reads my blog) Calvin and I are just friends. And that's all we're going to be. I was pretty much reading way the heck too much into everything, and after my conversation with Hidden, Drex, and Salad tonight, I thought that I had been making him extremely uncomfortable and awkward. Calvin and I have talked though, and (I think) we're good. A purely platonic relationship is definitely what's in his best interests, and I will not do anything that is not going to be good for him.

I don't know if I'll turn my attentions elsewhere before the end of the semester. There's not much time left, and I think I might just rather not think about it. I don't know. It's late, and I'll sleep on the issue.

So, coming out to my mother. Once again, for all interested parties, I came out to my mother Wednesday morning. This was something I had been dreading, and not planning on doing until I no longer required her financial support. But, as a part of my recent paradigm shift, it became a necessity. Tuesday night, I was praying about whether I should transfer to UO, like I'd been planning, or stay at BYU. It was my first vocal prayer in a long time. In fact, I can't remember the last one before that. But the answer I got was very clear. I needed to talk to my mother, and I needed to tell her about what I had found here, and tell her everything she needed to know to help me make that judgement.

So I did. And I was scared. See, also on Tuesday night, my good friend, umn... we'll call her "Kara" had been cut off by her mother for converting to catholicism. It's something we both had been living in fear of for a while. I told my mother that I had been praying about the transfer, and that God had told me to talk to her, and to tell her everything. She was surprised there were things she didn't know, but she wanted to know what. So I said, "Mom, I'm SSA." "What's SSA?" "Same Sex Attracted." "What's the difference between being S-S-A and being G-A-Y?" "SSA is the church approved term." "I see. Are you sure?" "Yes." She asked me that question two or three more times over the course of our conversation. She wanted to know when, and how, I planned on telling my father, and I told her I didn't. We talked about Drex and Salad a lot, and that seemed to alleviate most of the issues. I told her that my older brother, we'll call him Harry, already knew. She was surprise to hear that he had cried about it when I told him. She didn't cry. She didn't cut my tuition money. She didn't take any action against me at all. In fact, she was OK with it.

See, my two older brothers had been disowned and written out of wills and everything for various issues, ranging from Drugs to Premarital Sex, to Incarceration. I'd expected a similar reaction, which I probably would have gotten from my father, but it all worked out. Anyway, I'd deliberately timed the conversation such that we would only be able to talk for about ten minutes, and then she'd have some time to think and process everything that I'd told her. She said that she still loved me, and that she understood that nothing had been changed.

Overall, it was a liberating, testimony building experience, and I am glad that God helped me come to the decision to talk to my mother. The Paradigm shift is still running, and we'll see where it takes me, but right now, everything is looking up, and I am just going to keep rolling with it until it stops. I like the direction it's taking me.

-Stephen

Thursday, April 12, 2007

RT: This House would hold a weekly MoHo FHE

My Neg cases are always better than my Aff cases, and this is no exception. It’s not awful, but it’s not my best work. If anybody has a Neg case to throw against this, I’d really love to see it. Obviously, I think I’m right, but I admit the possibility that I’m wrong.

And as a side note, unless I’m reading it wrong, going on dates doesn’t seem to be against the new revised honor code. Any thoughts on that?

Definitions:

This house => The Provo Moho Blogosphere

Hold => Cause… to occur

MoHo FHE => Special interest group FHE aimed at the MoHo community to emphasize the Mo in MoHo.

  1. By holding our own FHE, we grant ourselves the ability to regulate the activities that take place at it.
    1. It has been proposed that, were we to hold this FHE, people would be “hooking up left and right.” But what is to stop another body from creating an FHE group where such activity is encouraged? By having our own group, where such activity is not encouraged, we discourage the formation of other groups with lower standards.
    2. Creating our own group gives us absolute control over what takes place there. We can encourage high standards, and can even specifically discourage any activity we choose, in a loving, caring manner, helping us to keep each other on a good, righteous path.
  2. By holding our own FHE, we can use this as a tool to find others who are in the area and think they are alone, bringing them into a caring support system where they can have friends who really, truly understand what they’re feeling.
    1. I cannot speak for all of you, but I myself was in a not so great spot until I found you. I wasn’t thinking about suicide or anything like that, but I wanted to get as far away from this place as quickly as possible, and never return. I was going to never tell my parents, I was probably going to end up leaving the church, and it was just going to be that way. But then one of you found me, and I met more of you, and if you read my other posts, you can see the good that’s been done. I want that for every good LDS male who happens to like other guys, and this is just one way we can give it to them.
    2. While our main goal would not be outreach, every soul is of invaluable worth. If we can fine and keep just one on the straight and narrow as a result of this action, I would say that it was worth it. If we can give just one person hope, then it’s worth it. If we can prevent just one suicide, or even just one person from cutting, it’s worth it.
  3. Often, a regular FHE situation can become extremely uncomfortable, because at least in my experience, there is never a shortage of people who seem to think that “God hates fags!” or some other such nonsense. It also sometimes feels like the lessons don’t really apply to us, or that they even sometimes seem targeted against us.
    1. In holding our own FHE, would could avoid this kind of uncomfortable situation because we would never have any kinds of lessons or opinions voiced that may cause us to feel alone, unloved, and unwanted.
    2. Although we wouldn’t want every lesson to be about it, we could focus on things that we could never focus on in a regular FHE, like living a gospel centered life in light of our homosexuality. That said, we would not want to focus on it.

For these reasons, I strongly encourage you to vote with the affirmation

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

What an Incredible Day!

Gosh, so many things have happened in the past 24 hours... I don't even know where to start. I guess I'll tackle 'em in chronological order.

We've got Ralph Nader for alternative commencement! Talk about awesome, eh? The only problem is, we need to raise a little money. Like 15,000 dollars... but yeah... my usual appeal of, "if anybody wants to help, let me know" goes out.

I talked to my mother today. As in to say, my mother and I had the conversation that I've been putting off for the past years. She took it pretty well, I think, and she agreed that it were best to keep it from my father indefinitely. She didn't disown me, or cut off my tuition money, or anything. She seemed a little confused by the fact that I wanted to stay in the church, at least for now, rather than abandon everything I've spent my life building and go live a new free lifestyle. We also talked about whether or not I should return to BYU, and I'm starting to think that I should. You see, the MoHo community here is good and strong, and it's a support network that isn't going to be encouraging me to go out and have sex with everybody. Instead, you guys gently influence me to be the best that I can be, to be both Mormon and Homosexual. Even if I pursue relationships with guys here, it still will not be the same as it would be at University of Oregon. I think that, I'm starting to see that this place isn't as bad as I thought it was, and at least deserves another try. I have all of you to thank for that, and for (unknowingly) giving me the strength to talk to my mother.

And then, when I went to the library to chill with Calvin, Hidden, and Drex, I learned the most amazing news ever. The Honor Code has been changed, and made into a form that is much less like the Gestapo, and much more like a real rule/law that can be worked with. The regulations are now much clearer, and the honor code can no longer be used to just rain down random judgement and hellfire. I'm just so excited. Happy like you don't even know. It's been a fantastic day. Really, truly. I wish all days went as well as today. I'd be the happiest, luckiest guy in the world. And even now, I'm still feeling pretty good. Thanks everyone.

-Stephen

P.S.

I've had a few random thoughts running through my head, and I've taken a little time to process. That said, this is still going to come across as something of a brain dump...

Unless otherwise stated, I think I will be returning to BYU in either Fall 2007 or Winter 2008. I can hardly wait to see all of you again at that time.
I won't be leaving on the 23rd as planned. Instead, we're looking more at the 26th, or maybe even the 27th, because my mommy wants to see Ralph Nader as much as I do. That means that I will be there for Heroes on the 23rd!
We'll have to do something fun after finals, like a closing social of sorts or something.
The Mattis FHE might only be monthly, but what do you think about having our own local Mattis-esque FHE? Obviously, the Mattises wouldn't be there, but I don't see any reason that we, who are in some cases almost like family anyway, can't have our own FHE. What do you think?

-Stephen

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hearing is my favorite sense. Well, maybe.

So, I woke up this morning, and by this morning I mean shortly before noon because I don't have classes today. Something was wrong, but I really wasn't sure what it was at first. Until I heard a sound. Well, at least, I heard it with my left ear. And there was a problem. I couldn't hear out of my right ear. So, I started walking in the direction I figured would have a hospital, and I texted a few people. Well, one of them got back to me and told me that Bulldog and 3rd West was the place for me, so I went and checked into the emergency room.

I thought it was a pretty snazzy place, but it really wasn't. They admitted me, and I only waited about half an hour for a bed, which was what impressed me so much. The problem is that I then got to watch Who Wants to be a Millionaire until 4:10 when a physician finally saw me. And what did he say? "We don't have what we need to treat you here. Sorry." and then he said, "I think you might actually be able to help yourself if you [do this]."

So I went to Smiths and bought some Carbamide Peroxide, which I squirted into my ear. And then I had hearing back for a minute, but it went away again. I actually started writing this right after it came back the first time, but when it went away, I put that on hold. And I went and put some more stuff in my ear, and then I went to visit a friend who I hopped might have a device I needed.

Well, fortunately, she did have a bulb syringe, and I squirted water into my ear. A lot of water into my ear. After about fifteen minutes of this, my hearing came back, and it hasn't gone away yet. When I lost my hearing, I realized just how much I love my hearing. And in the even that I lose it again, it's good to know that I have good friends like you who will support me until I get it back. I'm just not looking forward to getting old and losing it forever!

-Stephen

Monday, April 9, 2007

We like to party.

Today was definitely a whole lot of fun. A very good friend of mine from Oregon who goes to BYUI is in town until Wednesday, and we went to the museum of ancient life at thanksgiving point with a few of his friends, but they were coming from elsewhere so we rode together. Anyway, we chatted, and I told him, and he was just sort of like, 'meh'. So that went over really well. Then we hung out all day at his friend's house, and we baked brownies and watched youtube videos and played games and just had a generally great time. Then we left, hoping that we could make it back to Provo by 8:00. I was a little late to dinner, like ten minutes, but it was OK.


So anyway, he dropped me off at Salad's appartment, and I went in to see a whole bunch of really cool people as always. I wish I went over to Drex' and Salad's places more often. I always have a great time. Anyway, forgive me if I start to sound like a teenage girl, because I'm really doing my best not to here. One of my confidants definitely told me I sounded like one when I was talking to her after the party tonight, so I'm trying to be extra careful.

Anyway, Calvin was there, and as I've noticed is usual, I pretty much shut down. See, I was one of those lucky kids who went through high school and never had any trouble talking to anybody, or making moves when need be, or anything. Then Calvin shows up, and I know exactly how all those guys in the Disney Channel movies feel. I'm a debate champion, I'm a big time boyscout, I can get up in front of groups of over 400 with absolutely nothing to say and not even get nerves! But then, as soon as soon as he walks into the room, I start to over analyze everything.

He's not sitting next to me, does that mean he doesn't like me? But then, he got up to get pie with me, and totally stood next to me for like, five minutes while eating that key-lime pie. Maybe that's a good thing? And he gave me his last name so I could find him easier on facebook. But he hasn't responded to my friend request yet. I was kind of not flirting exclusively with him though. Maybe he took that the wrong way and thought I wasn't interested? And how come he stayed behind with Drex and Hidden after everybody else had gone?

You get the idea. Reading way the heck too much into any and every little thing. Just like a teenage girl with a hopeless crush. I think I'm mostly snapped out of it at this point, but yeah. See, this is my way of putting things into God's hands. I'm pretty sure he doesn't read my blog, so if he doesn't then he won't know (yet) that I kind of am starting to develop feelings for him. If he does, or randomly starts, then he will know that. Simple as that.

And if he's not into me, I'm OK with that. I think he's insanely attractive, and that he has a great personality, but if nothing comes of this, then that's OK. I can live with that. I can be happy in light of that. There are plenty of other fish in the sea, and even though I think he's pretty cool, if he just wants to be friends, I'm good with that.

Anyway, the food was awesome, I met iwonder in person, hung out with Gimple and Gay BYU Student until they left. Agirlwho and Attempting the Path were there, and so were two others, stephal... something and another who's blog I haven't read yet. And of course, Hidden, Salad, Drex, Calvin, and me. In a purely platonic way, if you're reading this, I'd like to take you up on that bonfire. I think they're fun. Anyway, until the next time something exciting happens...

-Stephen

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Introductions

Well, since I prefer my anonymity, I'm going to call myself "Stephen" like they do on the other blogs. I went to the Heroes Party at Salad's with Brett last night. I won't hide who I am if asked, but I probably won't drop any hints stronger than that.

I guess I should be an arrogant douche and talk about me for a while, but I don't want to talk about me for more than a paragraph or two. I guess there are two main things worth saying about me. The first is that I'm gay. Guess there's no beating around the bush or anything on that one. The other is that I'm a Mormon, who, like most gay Mormons, often has trouble reconciling things about himself, like his sexuality and opinions on various matters, with both official opinions of the Church and general Mormon Culture. But I just do the best I can; that's really the best I can do. Someday, it might all make sense, but until then, I'll just keep plodding along, hopefully not making too many mistakes along the way. By the way, in case anybody was wondering, I'm single, cute, and datable! ^^

Anyway, like I said, I definitely went to the heroes party last night, and had a great time. I can't remember the last time I saw that many cute guys packed into one room. I'm not sure where all of them are in terms of their sexuality, but I would really like to get to know a lot of them better. Even if that doesn't mean dating or anything, they just all seemed like really cool people, and I wish we could have talked more. Maybe if there's another party before I leave forever, (like the kind where you do something with room for conversation) we'll get a chance to get to know each other better. Settlers Tourneys are definitely in style. Anyway, it's just a pipe-dream of sorts. Unless we do something over the reading days, I doubt we'll see each other again. Which makes me kind of sad.

But yeah, Heroes is a really fun show, and sitting around watching other various videos with other people who I know feel at least kind of like I do was a lot of fun. But now I'm hungry, so I'm going to go eat. I might post another blog if anything exciting happens in the near future.

Yay for new blogs!

Since nobody reads my other blog anyway, excepting a few loyal friends who either already know or I wouldn't mind knowing, I've taken the liberty of creating a blog for somebody who deserves to get out a bit more, and would like the ability to express who he really is. He'll edit under the name of Stephen, and, well, what can you say. He's a good guy. I'll let him introduce himself in a minute after I post this.
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