I knew as a child that there was something different about me. I knew as a child that there were things I was feeling or experiencing that I shouldn't have been. I knew as a child that secrets would become a very real part of my life.
I grew up in a loving home in Murray, Utah where we were active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This religion gave me the understanding of a Father in Heaven who loves me and watches over me and my loved ones. I learned the importance of the family unit and how my family can be together for all of time and eternity if we live the teachings of the gospel. I love this church and I am grateful for the spiritual guidance it has given me. When I turned 19 years old, I left my comfortable home to serve a 2 year mission in Detroit, Michigan. Never have I been tested to show my faith as I was in this amazing place. I met the most amazing people and I had the most incredible experiences that changed my life for the better. To all those who I met on this journey, I am eternally grateful. You will never know the impact you all had on my life and I love you for that. As I returned home back to Utah, I became immediately aware of the harsh reality that awaited me; Finding a job, moving out of my parent’s home, and finding that special someone were all in store for me within a few months of my return.
The job came quick, and the plans to move out soon followed. Everything seemed to be coming together for me. I even met that special someone that I would want to spend the rest of my life with and I was finding what it was like to be in love for the first time in my life. As happy as I was, and as much as I wanted to shout it from the rooftops, I felt I had to keep this joy locked down and hidden from my family and friends. I was scared to admit to the world that I
was am gay.
I ask that you allow me to explain. At some point in our lives, we have all realized that members of the opposite sex don’t actually have “cooties,” as we grew up believing was the case! Not by any decision of our own but by the internal clockwork that is inside each and every one of us, attractions begin and we each come into our own. I have always been this way. I did not wake up one morning and decide to live this life style (that has so far proved to be a never ending struggle). At the age of 23, circumstances arose, and I knew it was time to tell my family. At this point in time, some of my family were involved with the church and others were not. I myself had stopped attending my church meetings and though my testimony remained intact, I was finally allowing myself to ask God those inevitable questions. Pleading with God and asking him ‘Why me’ seemed to be a daily prayer that has yet to be answered. I had contemplated how each member of my family would take the news and I was spot on with each of them. I first told my sister and her husband. A couple weeks later I told my parents and the following week I told my other sister. Reactions were mixed and I could tell this was hard on every one of them. Comments were made that I had a disease or I had been parented incorrectly. Others felt that they were to blame or that this was a reflection on them in some way. As time often does, wounds were healed and my family has become a major support system. Throughout the last few months, I have had conversations with those closest to me and I have explained my life to them. Letting them in on this secret that has consumed my life for well over 26 years and I have been able to feel their support and have been able to discuss many of their concerns.
While I was on my mission, my Mission President and his wife taught us to be selective with what we were asking of our Father in Heaven in our prayers. We had a mission theme to look for the miracles that were taking place all around us. Taking this to heart, I learned to stop playing the martyr card and stop asking God “Why Me” so often and instead ask how I may be an instrument or a vessel in using this to help others. I don’t know why some of us are born with trials that have no explanation. I only know that we are charged with the task of making this world a more compassionate place and while there have been some rough patches, I look forward to the day when I don’t have to feel like my life needs to be explained to anyone. I look forward to the day when I don’t have to say that I have a ‘Better Half’ without cringing inside and wondering what judgments that person is placing upon me in their mind. I look forward to the day when I will have the answers that I so badly seek on this Earth. Until then, I wait, and I live my life. I have decided to not hide in the shadows in fear that someone else may be uncomfortable with my lifestyle. I refuse to keep my life a secret so as to not allow anyone to feel they have the “upper hand” on me because I am a gay man. I have decided to be happy and to be me. I have established a life with someone that I love and we have goals and dreams for our future just like any other couple.
I am grateful for my family and friends that have been with me as I have fought through some of these battles. I am grateful for the life I have been given. My intention with this blog is not to pretend how perfect life can be and post all the good moments but to share my story and if that helps one person feel like they aren't alone in this world, then I've done my duty. We are all going through this together, whether we be gay, straight, white or black (although I hate titles). For those that feel like they should unfollow me in social media for this, I wish you the best and I accept that this may be hard to understand. For those of you who know me, nothing has changed. You have already come to know the real me. Now you just know the full story. I am who I am, I've always been me, and I hope that you can accept me for who I am.
I felt as a child that there was something different about me. I felt as a child that there were things I was feeling or experiencing that I shouldn't have been. I now know that secrets don’t have to be a part of my life, and because of this, I can now live my life the way I see fit; happily.