Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Empathy & Lies

I was just struck with a brief moment of pride in the constitution of who I am.  Not pride in the sense that I'm better than other people.  I don't know whether I have God, my mother, or genetics and the environment I was raised in to thank for a certain quality I'm happily possessed of.  I am an empathetic person.  I almost always approach problems from the perspective I believe others may have.  My moment of happiness about this characteristic just now was kind of odd, because I realized that that quality may be just what is going to see me through the present turmoil that is coming out to myself.  I thought, perhaps I've been given an empathetic soul so that I can give myself a break, and accept me.

I know that this is not really what empathy is about. I have often times had friends vent to me about what other people have done to them or about people that annoy them... and my first reaction and almost always part of my advice to these friends is to put things in that other persons' perspective.  Empathy is about OTHER people.  But let's face it... my personality is made up of multiple people.  One of these "people" is extremely judgmental of all the other Grahams.  I am virtually always my own harshest critic.  I can never really seem to cut myself some slack.  Maybe, just maybe, I've been given empathy to counteract that problem... I've just never known to use it.  My simple point is that this characteristic of mine that is almost annoying to other people, could be used for my very own good, too.  Maybe I can start looking at things the way my other sides do, and judgmental Graham can give it a rest already.  I deserve some slack.

I used to always tell close friends that I felt like my life was so easy and that I didn't really have any big trials.  I would also tell them that this lack of trial made me fearful for my future.  Boy, was I right to fear.  My trials over the past few years have been almost unbearable.  I almost didn't make it.  So many times I've just wanted to run away.  But I'm still here.  I'm still fighting.  And maybe that's just enough heroism for me to actually respect myself.

I don't know if anything that I've just said makes any sense.  This blog really does feel quite vomitty. (There's that word again!)  But I think I feel glad that I know that I can't be expected to handle all of this with perfect grace.  I think I'm allowed a period to be a freak and lose a bit of the control that I'm always so protective over.  It's all good.

One thing that I do still judge myself for is the lies.  Having lied to myself for so long about being gay, (or, at least, how gay I am) has made it so natural to lie to others about it.  Yes... that's what being in the closet is.  But I don't want to be anymore.  I'm not saying I'm ready to be out, because I'm not.  I'm still reeling from finally telling myself that I'm gay.  (Man, I'm REALLY making it sound like I have mental illnesses (read multiple personalities) in this post... I promise that I don't (except for depression, but that's another story.))  I'm just tired of the little lies all the time about how "hot" I think a woman is.  I hate how I feel so phony when I say it.  I wish I could eradicate everything from my life that makes me feel that way.  I loathe feeling like a liar, so I'd like to be able to no longer be one.

Today, I went to lunch with my roommate.  Because it was just the two of us at a restaurant, he predictably became concerned that people would think we were gay.  It's been bizarre letting go of my homophobia that I also used to feel.  I used to be SO afraid of people thinking I was gay.  If I saw someone laughing at me when I was alone with another guy, I used to always instantly assume they were making fun of me for being gay.  Well... I still think that... but it's been weird realizing that I shouldn't have a problem with them laughing.  That's their own damn problem now.  I am gay.  Deal with it judgmental jerks.  (I just went to the Internet to find a better word than jerks, but I came up empty. I'll settle for judgmental jerks, I guess.)  So anyway, I still am just as over-anxious about people judging me, but it's kind of nice realizing... oh wait.  I AM GAY.  It doesn't matter now if people think I am or that I look it.  I'm not saying I'm necessarily embracing being ok with being perceived as portraying gay stereotypes, but I'm just trying to elucidate that it's nice to know who I am.  Homophobia is really a waste of mental time and labor.

It will be so great when I can quit lying and quit acting like homophobia is alive and well in me like normal.  I'm not ready to tell the world that I'm gay yet, but I don't feel like it's too far off that I might come to be THAT accepting of myself.

I got abducted by aliens.  Ask me about it.  The end.
(Curious to check to see if anyone (who isn't crazy) made it through this post.)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sacrifices & Options

I think what's really been so hard lately, is that I'm realizing that no matter what I do, I am going to lose something.  I don't get to be what I've always been trying to be.  It's hurting me, too, that I'm only getting to realize that so much of my pursuit of a heterosexual "eternal" marriage in the Mormon sense has been in vain at the age of 27. I feel like I've missed out on so many years that could have been spent so much better if I would have just been honest with myself.  I need to be honest now and know that I am going to have to make some serious sacrifices if I want to find happiness.

This video struck me as pretty apt for exactly what I'm dealing with.  I'm particularly referring to the list of four options this guy offers as the four things his MoHo friends suggest that they consider as their only options.  I must say that #3 (half in, half out) hasn't really crossed my mind.  I need more honesty.  Which makes it a wonder why #1 (suppressing and trying to live heterosexually) is something I considered as the only option for so long, and I still kind of consider it an option.  Of course, as I've mentioned, I'm not fully not attracted to women.  However, I'm realizing lately that I think I've built up in my mind the kinds of attraction I do feel toward women so that this option #1 can remain viable.  (And only for that reason.)  I think I've fabricated a lot of the attraction I claim to have felt toward women... if I'm being the most honest I have ever been.  So, I think it's really time for me to figure out whether I'm ready for door number 2, or door number 4.  I'm either in all the way as a MoHo who don't ho.  Or I'm all the way out.  Just a ho.  This is where I'm at.  I'm seriously considering who I want to come out to, and talk to about this.  I'm still too terrified at the prospect.  Oh, life.  You're just way too much fun.

Identity Crisis & Cooking

I chose to stay home from church today.  I tried to do some more thinking about where I am, and where I want to go.  I am feeling incredibly lost.  More lost than I've ever felt before.  It's as though I've always had this identity of being an active super-Mormon who keeps his slight homosexual tendencies hidden from everyone, including himself.  So, now that over the past two years I've finally come to terms with the fact that I am almost exclusively attracted to my same gender, I don't know who I am.  I don't go to church.  And even when I do, I don't care about the gospel... only the people.  I want people to be happy.  I just don't seem to care if I'm happy, because it's like I have lost the one and only path I've ever known to happiness.  The great "Plan of Happiness" doesn't include me being gay.  I genuinely miss being oblivious, but I'm aware that I'll only ever get to where I can actually be fully happy if I just endure this period, and find out what will work for me.  What new identity I can take on.  Hopefully, it's a more honest one.

On a completely different note... I wish that some of the gay stereotypes came with being gay... because I suck at cooking.  I'm eating a rather gross pile of frozen chicken that I baked in the oven.  It came preseasoned, etc. of course... because I'm so lazy about cooking, too.  I wish I could add that to my being gay pros and cons list.  Pro: I will now be a fabulous cook!  Nope.  Not gonna happen.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Mormonism & Neighbors

I don't know why I thought it would preserve my anonymity any better to never say I was a Mormon. If I'm going to be the most honest I have ever been, I need to talk about my church in a few more specifics.  So there you have it.  I'm a Mormon.  I still am going to church sometimes, but I really struggle to believe any more.  Every once in a while I'll hear some talk or something that will turn me back around and make me strive to be fully active again and work toward marrying a woman.  But that's just so hard to do when I have so many serious and honest doubts about whether there is any way a marriage to a woman can work for me.  I really really doubt my fortitude to just be abstinent, too.  I basically never consider that as an option. So invariably, I get sick (depressed) and skip church for a couple weeks and slip back into wanting to run away from everything.  This week I've been strongly considering giving it up and trying out a different lifestyle, so I wonder what will happen when my roommates want to go to church with me tomorrow.  Will I get up and go?  Pretend to be a good priesthood bearer?  Duck questions from the bishop?  Endure dating advice that I didn't ask for?  Or... will I lay in my bed feeling miserable that I can't figure out what to do or how to fix everything.  Miserable that I can't be happy whichever way I choose?  I know there is a solution out there for me.  I know there is a way I can be happy in this life.  I just don't know how to get there.  Especially without enduring a LOT of pain and grief... and those two things ain't my faves.  I think I've pretty much lost my testimony.  It's like I just keep wanting to stick with the church because it's what I'm comfortable with.  It's how I relate to so many friends and my family.  It's how I see the world.  It's how I've made so many major decisions in my life.  So, the fact that I don't really find myself having a lot of faith in it any more is a bitter pill to swallow.  Ugh.  I'm just so frustrated.  I was in such a great place a few years ago.  I believed.  I dated women.  I was ignorant.  And it was, in fact, bliss.  I didn't know that the reason I never kissed them, or that I lacked the normal sex drive was that I was actually attracted to men.  I would never let myself think that about myself.  I virtually never let myself think anything related to sex.  It kept this storm at bay for a while, but when the dam broke a couple years ago, all Hell broke loose.  (Literally?  Get it?  I'm going to Hell now because I'm gay and I want to act on it.  Oh, boy... now I'm making light of the situation.  Can you see that my coping mechanisms are struggling?  I usually use humor to diffuse any tough situation, but it doesn't work when it's a conundrum on such a grand existential/eternal scale.)  So... anyway.  Apparently I'm a MoHo now.  I just learned what that was the other day.  A Mormon Homosexual.  It's a tough crowd to be in.  Lots of drama, pain, crying, and whining.  (Well, at least I'm experiencing/doing all of those things.)  I don't know if there was a point to this post or if it was just another way for me to vent what could be summed up in just a few words:  I'm effing confused.

On another note, I had the strangest feeling the other day when I was told that the neighbor upstairs is gay.  It was probably the first time in my life that I really struggled to fake being disgusted.  I was talking to a particularly homophobic Mormon roommate, too.  I wonder, actually, if he noticed that I took the news kind of weird.  It was like I wanted to just rush upstairs and give my neighbor a hug.  As though I am family to him now.  I know that's stupid.  Especially because I'm not out, and I am not the most accepting of gay guys.  Meaning, I'm still kind of indoctrinated with the non-threatening anti-gay mentality.  As in, I'll love the sinner, but hate the sin... and gossip about the sinner.  Am I wrong in thinking that this is REALLY how it is for Mormons/Christians that profess to hate the sin and love the sinner?  We still bash on them behind their backs?

It reminded me of when my friend came out while he was in college at BYU.  He had previously dated girls and had kind of a rebellious streak to him, so many of us talked about him behind his back.  Saying that he had made the choice to be gay.  That he could really be straight if he wanted to.  I said things like that so many times when that friend came up.  Makes me feel super great now.  It's not like I think that he made the choice to be gay and I didn't.  I understand now.  He was doing his best to be what everyone wanted him to be.  He finally caved and chose the lifestyle that would really make him fully happy.  Now he has a great boyfriend and seems to be very happy.  Yes, he chose to be gay, but only after it chose him.  I get it now. It's not a choice, because believe me... who would choose this much pain and anguish?

I don't know what this post did for me except let me vent frustrations a bit.  So, sorry about how poorly written it is.  I'm still just trying to figure out what to do with this blog, and more importantly, my life.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Tests & Conflicting Grahams

FYI, this post is fairly explicit compared to some of my previous posts.  You've been warned.

I'm always trying to test whether I'm actually heterosexual, bisexual, or homosexual.  It's incredibly difficult to know when you're a virgin.  I've read about straight men that like gay porn.  And I've read about bisexuals that really want to be either hetero or homo, and homosexuals that really want to be bisexual.

Tonight I conducted one of my tests, but this one was a lot more clear than many of my previous tests.  If you're into classier porn, like I am, it can be difficult to know if you're just not into one of the two genders due to low quality of the porn you watch.  (I'm aware that many, many people, including the Graham of every year of my life up until I was 26, believe "classier porn" is an oxymoron.)  So, anyway, tonight I went to tumblr for some help.  I found two tumblr blogs with very artistic and sexual naked pictures of each gender.  I saw things on both sides that I have never seen before.  Usually when I see something new, it can be very exciting to me sexually... but when it came to the naked women... I got nothing.  I kept thinking, "Wow, that woman is so gorgeous."  Or, "She is absolutely beautiful."  But it struck me only in the way that beautiful art does.  I think beautiful women's bodies are aesthetically amazing.  However, when I look at a naked man with a great body, I get an erection.  And the things I think are not so art gallery polite.  This happened so clearly for me tonight.  I went through so many women's pictures trying to see if any of them turned me on... but I kept getting the same "Wow, I really think she is a pretty woman" type response, and nothing downstairs.  Then I went to the men, and it took about 3 or 4 pictures before I was standing at attention.  (I really hate euphemisms for erections, but alas, I don't normally write (or enjoy writing) anything sexual.)  I found myself moving through the pictures of men much quicker, wanting more and more.  Then I went back to the women and, to my surprise, it actually made me lose my erection.  I further tested in a way I think you can just imagine to yourself, and men worked where women did not again.

This is just another test that has shown to me that I might not even be bisexual.  It's so hard to know anything without actual sex, but this particular test made me feel more like I am a straight up homosexual than I usually do.  I know that the religious upbringing I've had makes me strongly want to at least be bisexual.  So, I wonder sometimes if I don't manufacture attractions to women that have never really been there.  I've always wanted a relationship and marriage to a woman, but I can't say that I've ever really had a strong desire to have sex with any particular woman.  I would think that would be present if I was attracted to women in the way that bisexuals are.  Graham's a very confused fellow.

I hate that I can't just tell you my real name, but I'm terrified of someone outing me before I'm ready.  Thus, I'm going to continue pretending my name is Graham.  (Which kind of stinks, because I have always wanted to name a son, (if I ever have one) Graham.  I don't know how I'll feel about the name now that I use it as my gay alter-ego.)

Anyway, my last post prompted a response from a kind gentleman that was unfortunate enough to come across my blog.  He related his story of choosing a heterosexual life despite strong bisexual feelings.  He challenged me to create a pros and cons list about the lifestyle choices I can make at this point.  So, I think the best way to handle doing so, is if I clarify two different possible lifestyles that sum up the decisions I'm trying to make.

There are two conflicting future Grahams, one of which may become who I really am:  gay Graham vs. heterosexual-relationship Graham.

Gay Graham Pros & Cons:

  • Pros:
    • I get to actually be strongly sexually attracted to those who I have relationships with.
    • I can stop hiding my secrets from everyone.
    • Along the same lines, I don't have to lie to anyone.
    • I can stop worrying about the interests/style/mannerisms I have that make me seem gay.
    • If I am gay, I won't have the nagging feeling that people think I'm gay.  I will just be it.
    • I can start really owning who I am, and hopefully gain more confidence in that person.
    • I likely won't be as depressed.
    • I can maybe find a relationship that really fulfills me.
  • Cons:
    • There weren't as many pros as I'd hoped there would be.
    • The big one: struggles with my family.  I know that my family will be really conflicted with how to deal with me coming out.  
    • I worry about whether I'll be able to (and be comfortable to) keep the same relationship with my nieces and nephews.  I wonder if my siblings will want me not to be around them.
    • I doubt I'd ever be able to have a man I'm in love with meet and get to know all of my family.  I'm sure some of them would be supportive of my ability to make my own choices, but I don't know to what degree any of them would want to know about my relationships.
    • I wonder if my work situation would become strained.  I am great friends with my coworkers (who are my bosses), and that might change if they know I'm gay.
    • I am certain I will lose some friends.
    • I don't really know if I want to be a gay-advocate, but I know there will be some (at least subtle) pressure to be one.
    • I may want to move away from the conservative place I live, which would take me away from almost everyone I know and love.
    • I worry about anti-gay violence/hostility.
    • I may have lingering issues with leaving my religion behind completely, which would be necessary if I really embraced gay-Graham living.  (Which would be a huge issue for my religious friends/family, too.)
    • I'm so late to this game... I don't love the idea of being so new to it at 27.
    • It's difficult for me to have kids that are actually mine, and I'll be raising any kids I do have (whether through adoption or surrogacy) in a tough environment.  (I don't care how great any gay couple is, that's still a tough situation for any kid these days.  Maybe when the children of today are adults, gay marriage children will be able to grow up in a less difficult environment, but it's not the case now.)
Heterosexual-relationship Graham Pros & Cons:

  • Pros:
    • I get to have the kind of spiritually-fulfilling relationship that I have ALWAYS wanted.
    • If all goes well, (which is a big if), I will have found an incredible woman to be with.
    • This one's huge for me:  I get to have kids, that are my own, that get to be raised by their mother and father.  (Provided we don't get divorced.  Oi... nothing is black and white, is it?)
    • Me and the person I marry will fit in with the rest of my family & community.
    • I won't have religious guilt.
    • I may learn to be sexually drawn to my wife, and thereby sexually fulfilled.  (Sounds a bit like I'm stretching.)
    • I won't have to be gay.  I know that sounds awful, but I've grown up never wanting to be gay because it seems so against nature (I know that's not 100% true in the animal kingdom, but I'm just generalizing.)
    • It would fit the lifestyle I've always envisioned having, until more recently.
  • Cons:
    • I may never find the woman that goes along with all of it.  I mean, not only would I have to tell her that I'm attracted to men and not really attracted to women sexually... but she'd have to take on all my other baggage.  (Depression, insecurities, general things that suck about me (we all have these things.))
    • I might get so far along this path (in years) without having found someone great, that I might just lie to someone to get what I want.  Then I'm stuck in the lies.
    • I'll tend to just lie to people about things, as I already do.  (Except on this blog, of course!)
    • I don't get to go after exciting awesome guys like my roommate, who is, once again, in my line of vision as I write this!)
    • My wife might be less happy than she could really be.
    • I might always resent my wife, just like she might resent me.
    • I may resent my religion and go on pretending to trust it, for my wife/family's sake.
    • I've had such a struggle with ever succeeding in relationships with women because of the early physical stuff they expect and that they need to feel reassured (I'm told)... what would change?
    • I would have to go on getting constant dating advice from everyone that just wants me to be married.
    • I might seem disingenuous.
    • I might always struggle with temptations.  (Not that everyone doesn't deal with temptations for sexual relationships with people other than their spouse.)

So... I think I've been as thorough as I could.  Either way, it's looking like I might have a lot of cons in my life.  Which points out again that this situation just sucks.  Obviously I have more thinking to do, but if you couldn't tell from the above, I'm kind of leaning toward coming out.  Either way, I'm going to take Anonymous's advice and talk to people I trust.  I've never talked to anyone in my life about my homosexual tendencies.  It might be nice to do it finally.  I'm leaning towards telling my brother.  My dad is a great guy, but has some failings that have made me lose some trust in him.  My brother has always been there to fill in in ways my dad failed.  I know it's going to be so hard for him to hear, but I need him more now than ever.  Wow... I'm having such a hard time imagining how that conversation goes.  Can anyone offer any advice for that convo?  I'd appreciate it.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Enigmatic Shifts of Opinion & Asian Pedestrian Girl

I read back the crud y'all are reading on this blog and I am amazed at how much my opinion can change within the matter of days, weeks, and months.  As previously mentioned, I have felt before that kissing a guy would be really gross.  However, as I've had this recent crush on my roommate (who is sitting four feet from me as I write this, GASP!!! SCANDALOUS!!! (he can't see what I'm doing, and I just lied to him and implied that it's work-related)), that opinion about kissing men has kind of changed.  I think I keep trying to label myself as one thing or another, but I just will never know until I've actually had a relationship with a man or had sex with a woman.  I mean, within the last year I've said to myself, "Ok, you're gay."  "You're asexual, and that's ok."  "You're just a bisexual guy that is physically into men, but mostly into women.""You're straight, you just have some physical attraction to men that is probably a phase." "Your religious upbringing was so strict about having sexual thoughts about women, that you never let yourself think about them because of that.  And so you're just confused as your body is wanting the sex."  (Ok... admittedly, I probably never said any of these things exactly the way I just wrote them.)  But it's been a turbulent year or two in trying to discover--and accept--who I really am.  If you sir or madam, who sadly has stumbled upon these rantings, have any insights into my unceasing desire to label myself, feel free to elaborate your thoughts, pontifications, or feelthings.  (Oooh!  Clever new word!  This guy's SO cutting edge!)

And now a small story about an attractive Asian pedestrian.  I was walking the five or six blocks to a store the other day, and almost the entire way I was either followed or right behind a very hipster-esque Asian girl with long brown wavy hair (died slightly reddish).  She was wearing a very flattering outfit, too.  I first noticed her when I heard her flip-flips flippity-flapping behind me.  And then, inexplicably, she ran in front of me like she was in a hurry.  But then she just went back to walking at my pace.  As though she just wanted to be in front of me.  Then I'd pass her at the next crosswalk, and this same running to get in front of me kept happening.  If she was doing it to make me notice her and her ass... it worked.  So... that happened.  Would I ever say something to her?  No.  I am so guarded about approaching people I'm attracted to.  I just don't know when I'm going to be able to break this sex-cone of silence.  Anyone out there want to have sex and help me decide whether I should just be throwing myself at hot Asian girls that flaunt their booty, or the highly attractive (most likely straight) all-around great gentleman sitting across this room from me?  Just, ya know, let me know.  (Not gonna happen.)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Fast Food Depression & Gay Wishes

I never feel so bad about myself as I do after succumbing to McDonald's.  Especially when I only do it because they have their stupid Monopoly promotion going on.  How ridiculous is it that I really think that buying their factory sludge shaped into foodstuffs with the minuscule chance of winning something will make me any better off?  It never does.  I always leave depressed that I patronized their terrible restaurants, didn't win anything, and feel like their food is eating me from the inside.  It's just a really sad state to be in.  When will I ever convince myself that only I can make me happy through my accomplishments?  Material things and chemicals shaped into food-like visages will not make me any happier.  (No, they will almost certainly make me feel worse in the long run if I expend all my energy on them.)  Accomplishments! Not shortcuts and fast food.  Advice just happened.  (Wow, this guy's so full of wisdom and French fries!)

I sincerely wish that my roommate is gay.  He is the first man that I've ever wanted to have a relationship with.  I've had gay fantasies about men I know before, but they're very short lived, and are very physical desires.  I've never felt anything romantic or emotional for anyone that wasn't female before.  So I've always assumed that I could never have a full relationship with a man.  However, this guy has changed my mind.  He's everything I've always been looking for in a woman, but he's a he.  Yes, this started out much like my previous experiences.  I'd see him without his shirt on (a LOT) around our apartment.  He has an amazing body.  But as we've lived together, I've gotten to know him pretty well, and I think he's so great.  Big problems:  A. He goes to church all the time and says anti-gay things sometimes.  B. He gets tons of attention from women, and he seems to be pretty into that.  C. He is always concerned if he and I seem like a gay couple when we grab groceries or something.  D.  He's moving soon.  E.  Even if he were gay, he could get someone a lot more attractive than me.  These are major obstacles to my wishes ever coming true, indeed.

Yeah, I'm never going to get to be with him.  But there are a few minor things that give me hope.  He seems ok to be quite close to me sometimes.  (Like, closer than I'm ok with, most of the time.)  He invites me to do things a lot.  He just offered to help me with something (that could take many hours) that I obviously could do on my own.  Almost like he just wants an excuse to hang out with me more.  I know that I'm seriously pitifully stretching here.  He's such a nice guy that I'm sure he's just trying to pull me out of my sad pathetic life and be a friend.  He probably just thinks I need help.  But, that just makes me wish all the harder that he was gay.

But I kind of don't wish this on him, too.  I am in the worst mindset these days.  How the hell am I ever going to tell my family?  Will I ever tell them?  Do I have to keep this secret my whole life?  Will they disown me?  Will I cause some of them to fight?  (I have siblings that seem more favorable to gay people and other family members (particularly some in-laws) that do not seem so favorable.)  How would my nieces and nephews react?  What about my friends?  I know I have friends that would be pissed at me and think that I just gave up and chose to be gay.  (Why would anyone choose this?  It comes with way too many problems.)  What if people find out and are violent emotionally or even physically because they hate gays?  What if I choose to not be gay?  What if I choose to marry a woman and I find out that because I have gay tendencies that our sex is awful, and I ruin her life?  Should I do that, but be honest about my same-sex attraction?  Sometimes I am attracted to women... if I choose to be gay, what if I miss out on an incredible life (complete with children) with a woman?  It's so incredibly fucking confusing.  I want answers.  I want to know what the fuck I'm supposed to do with this bigayness.  But if I have to deal with all of this, if I am truly irreversibly gay... I know that being with someone like my roommate would make it all worth it.  He's that great.  Really.

Wow... I've written crap like this about women before... this is so bizarre.  I'm writing about my crush on a man.  Who am I?  What the hell is going on around here?!!!

BiGay, out.