Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Thinking--and a question

Lolly is out walking with some friends, and I'm sitting here, reflective.

If this were one month ago, I would be trying as hard as I could to think up some funny or awkward moment of my life to transform into a humor post. 

Today, I'm allowed to actually speak.

I think my blog has finally accidentally become a place where I can be my true, authentic self. And there's little on this planet I cherish more than that idea. 

In fact, that's one of the things that got this whole Club Unicorn thing started. I was sitting upstairs in my bed trying to write a humor post. I stopped and started and stopped and started and was unable to write anything, and I had no idea why. Lolly came in and said "What's wrong?" I didn't know. I told her that I thought I had writer's block. 

And she, knowing me better than I even know myself at times, thought for a moment and then said "I know what's wrong. You are feeling inauthentic. You are tired of hiding parts of yourself. You are not the type of person who keeps secrets."

Her words resonated deeply. 

After letting that truth sink in I said, "You're right. I never would have come up with that on my own, but you are exactly right." 

It was true. I wanted to be able to be myself. All of myself. I wanted to tell a gay joke about myself like I can with my family. I wanted to be real with my experience--with all of my experience. Being gay is not an all-consuming piece of who I am. But it is a part of who I am. It's a part of my life. It is a part of my experience on this earth. 

This month, it's been a pretty big deal--more so than it ever has been. But I have no doubt that in months to come it will take its normal place in my life: a feature; a side-note; a truth that comes up at times; a thing that I experience. Nothing all-defining. Nothing overwhelming. But there, existent, a part of my world. 

Being able to write freely about this thing--not feeling like I have to protect a huge secret--is absolutely freeing. It's exhilarating. It's liberating. It's refreshing. 

I love it. And I find myself feeling so grateful. 

I see now that that's why, when Lolly said what she said that afternoon, something clicked. That was the first time we contemplated in any kind of serious way the idea of not hiding this part of our lives anymore. We thought through all the people we know, made lists of who we'd need to tell, who we'd need to email. We made it a matter of prayer. That conversation was the genesis of a huge shift and an important spiritual journey for us. It was the genesis of what has become part of a conversation that is broader than we ever imagined, and that we still don't even understand.

And how fitting that--even though the thought of USING the blog itself didn't cross our minds as a way to be more open until months later--it was writing here, writing in The Weed, that brought the issue to our minds in the very first place.

God is a clever one at times, isn't he?

Also, I have a question for you guys. There are two directions I can go with moving the Club Unicorn discussion. I love that the discussion is happening, and I really am aching to find it a better home. Both of the things I'm proposing are ready to go, but I'm just not sure which to choose. So, I want to ask you all:

Club Unicorn Forum (with login requirement), or Club Unicorn Facebook Page?

Go. 

Oh, wait! Before you go, I want to answer one the FAQ's about the Club Unicorn post. Here goes:

I have known a lot of homosexual males who were sexually abused by men as children? Were you ever sexually abused? If so, do you think that's why you are gay?

This is a valid question, and I'm glad it was asked various times so that I can clear up this potential mis-conception. 

I was never sexually abused, or abused in any other fashion, as a child. So if you have never met a gay man who wasn't sexually abused, you have now. Nice to meet you. *gives a hearty handshake*

I know, as a clinician and through other venues, of various male victims of childhood sexual abuse who are gay, but I also know many such victims who are not gay. There is correlation here perhaps (though I've never seen it in an actual study), but not causation.

All right, back to what I was asking before:

Club Unicorn Forum (with login requirement), or Club Unicorn Facebook Page?

Go! For reals this time!


209 comments:

  1. Do I get a prize for being the first to comment? Like a Unicorn T-shirt or something? Well, I like the Log-in Forum control. I think you will get a more sincere and authentic, as you say, conversation that way. Facebook can be a little to casual for my taste. Although, I think you can probably do both. Have a Facebook page people can like and comment, yet still have a forum for deeper and more moderated comments (not that you would do much moderating, but there have been a comment or two that I could probably have lived without reading.) Just my input.

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    1. I'm with Michelle! Both!! Since everyone uses both... but the forum definitely where most discussion can take place!

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  2. I like the Forum idea :) same reasons as Michelle.... also because that way the comments on here where more people share stories of their kids doing the same kind of things ( I don't have children, so I don't have many to share) aren't interrupted by the really great, but deep conversation that everyone else is having on the Club Unicorn topic. And then I don't have to switch from laughing so hard my stomach hurts, to wanting to tear up at the amount of love and support everyone else is sharing :)

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    1. I am very much with you on those last couple sentences. I don't think my mind can stand the oscillating back and forth on the emotional spectrum that is going on and giving CU its own space would mitigate that.

      --LM

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  3. I'm liking thia late night posting, not least because it allows me in England (yes, Weed, you are international!) to be one of your first posts.

    Josh, I love the sense of perspective you have, that your sexuality is an important part of you but not the most important thing that defines you. You know you are a son of God, a husband and a father foremost.

    I think we are all multi-faceted beings with almost infinite variety. It is the wise and happy man who can be master rather than slave of his impulses, desires and habits. Many of us are striving to put off the natural man (or woman - sorry, Monty Python gag there) in order to develop and pursue that which brings forth good fruit. And your little girls are just about the cutest fruit ever! (after mine, of course).

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  4. Oh yeah - and forum, by preference, but I'm joining either!

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  5. My first thought was forum with a link to your facebook page, but then I was thinking that that's going to be a management nightmare for you to have two places (three if you include here) that you have to monitor. Not that you would be heavy-handed in the monitoring, but like you mentioned in another post, some comments are so graphic they need to be taken out.

    Can you have multiple moderators on your forum? If not, I'd suggest the facebook page, since you can name people you trust to help out as admins. If you do enlist help, facebook is a place they would probably already be familiar with and they would already be visiting on a regular basis so stopping by the page to make sure it's not terribly abused wouldn't be too much to ask.

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  6. Good luck with this becoming just a small side note of your life. So not likely to happen. I am here as the former straight girlfriend of a man who was desperately trying everything possible to pray away ( and then some) his gay in a fundamentalist church. He / we just couldn't do it. Could not get to where you are. Wanted to, tried to, prayed to, fasted to. No dice!

    So your situation is of immense interest to me and thousands of others. We are the ex ex-gays and the ex partners of ex-gays, Mormon or not.

    You seem like a really nice guy and the anomaly that keeps me coming back here is that there does seem to be more love And companionship and dare I say, passion in your relationship. That is what we cannot get our heads and experience around. We've BTDT and it was bitter lonely unsuccesful isolation for most of us.

    What I personally think is that you are just bi enough to be able to dig deep and find enough opposite sex attraction to fuel a marriage. I realize this may not be your world view but this whole i'situation had a huge impact in my life so I've been reading up and staying in touch and generally interested ever since. Anyway, you coming out has added a new voice and viewpoint to a debate I have been following for more than 25 years. To put it bluntly, the photos and images I see of you and your family are more loving and believable than any of the flagship marriages presented by Exodus et al over in the fundie world. So you are unique to me. And to others. As many others have said here, I don't know you but I like you and I wish you well. All of which adds up to you remaining in the spotlight. We are simultaneously rooting for you and scared you will fail, because so so many of us did.

    Whether you wanted it or not, you are now on under media scrutiny. As well as all the authority figures in your own church being just desperate for you to succeed and prove them right.

    Anyway, forum or Facebook ? Forum, please. This is a topic where many need anonymity. You needed it yourself for a while, so please make it available to others.

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    1. Wow! You can't imagine how happy this makes me! I've been wondering how ex ex-gays, and other victims of change campaigns might react to this, and your reaction is way, way better than the best that I dared hope for. I realize that you're not speaking for all the victims, and maybe not even bringing up all your own doubts and concerns, but for you to accept this story, even tentatively, as authentic, knowing what you apparently do, has wonderful, wonderful implications for me. I'm so grateful for your post!

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    2. It's me again, the same anonymous. Let me quantify further, just to be real clear in my view. I believe we are all born on a spectrum of sexuality. Most us us clustered right at the straight end, a large group clustered right at the gay end and a few individuals scattered between, there's being bi. Some bi's are way close to one end.

      IMHO, Josh is very close to the gay end, but I believe he has enough bi in him to 'channel' it and stay focussed within his marriage. I'm happily married myself. I'm not in any way looking for an affair, but I can appreciate the merits of a good photo of George Clooney. So, I guess, can Josh. Outside his relationship with his wife, the rest if himself is responding to men.

      So he is a 'first to step forward publicly' representative if a formerly closeted man who (IMO) is jus bi enough that he can flourish within his marriage while recognizing that it is an anomaly for him.

      I have read many if the 3,000 comments and a I saw that a tiny number, maybe 6, we're from men saying they were in a similar situation. That is a WAY smaller number than the thousands of people like myself who attempted a mixed orientation marriage or relationship and it failed because the partner was just too gay. Enough bi for a moth or a year or a decade but not for a lifetime.


      Why have we not hear from these people before? Because we did not need to. They could 'make it wirk' and satisfy the church. Kids who were further at the gay end could not and can not. So please do not apply Josh's story to them.

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    3. I strongly believe that the discussion on whether Josh (or people like him) is actually bisexual rather than fare and square homosexual is very important and intriguing and, although he addressed that issue somewhat in his seminal post, I'm sure there is much more to be said about it.

      The reason why I believe it is so important is because it can actually plough the path towards the answer to the question whether his example can be followed by other people with the same or similar issue or not.

      That however can get us into dissecting some very intimate things in his or other people's relationships, which may very well turn out to be inappropriate, but I'm sure the discussion may pursue without being way off.

      I'm personally gay Mormon married to an exceptional woman (having three kids), and a bisexual label does not resonate with me at all, whereas I am very comfortable considering myself fair and square homosexual.

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    4. That's interesting because I read most of the 3000 comments and remember seeing at least 25 that claim to be unicorns. We have no way of knowing how many are on the same spectrum as Josh is, but it seems like there are a lot more making it work than many want to believe. I'm sure it can't work for all, but I find it sad when people come here saying that Josh is living a lie and doing damage to the gay community when it's obvious that he and many others are living the life that they want.

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    5. Yes, I keep saying that there is much more of us than the eye can see, and the only reason why we did not speak up is because we didn't see the point in doing it. But now, Josh has given us the point. He is our harbinger and our captain.

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    6. First anonymous again... Thanks for the open discussion.

      FG Mormon, you are expanding on the very reasons that this whole discussion here has been different. Here we are talking about a small and previously un-celebrated group, the mixed orientation marriage that sees itself as likely to last a lifetime.

      You see yourself as "gay Mormon married to an exceptional woman (having three kids), and a bisexual label does not resonate with me at all, whereas I am very comfortable considering myself fair and square homosexual."

      I do not think of you as bi. Bi to me, means fairly equally attracted to both sexes. I see you as "gay Mormon with enough straight/bi tendencies to stay married" It's your life and my opinion, so I get it that these are bold statements on my part. Even at the gay end of the spectrum there are variations. Some gays are just so gay that they could not live out a life in a mixed orientation marriage.

      We all know the (yawn, heard it before) example of what happens when straight people are locked up in prison or a concentration camp. We know that some of them will find enough bi tendency to set up a same sex relationship. And others will not. And others might be able to but will resist on principal.

      Yes - some people can manage a lifetime in a mixed orientation marriage. Others go into a MOM thinking they can. Some realize after time that they cannot go one day longer.

      So after talking it through with you guys I am now at peace with my view of who you are. To me you are gay guys with enough bi/straight tendency to stay married.

      But I remain seriously concerned that the club unicorn reality (which IMHO requires that small bi/straight tendency) is being thrown in the face of most gay people who are either just too gay to achieve it. There are way way way more gays (and their poor straight partners) who will be miserable unto suicide in this situation than who will be able to flourish in it. This is not an option for them.

      Do you accept their reality as much as you want them to accept yours? Are you willing to post a disagreement every time we see a comment here that says "Wow, I just can't wait to share this blog with my gay friend"?

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    7. Forum. I think the forum format will help authenticate the discussion that goes on. Pseudonyms could might be appropriate if desired, but you would have a trail to the authors to help prevent misuse.

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    8. It seems to me that there are dozens if not hundreds of factors helping to influence an individual's perception and definition of their sexuality and orientation. Asking someone just how bi they really are is a difficult question, and sometimes it's better to take a person's answer at face value. Since I'm (at least) bi myself I've never had the experience of being oriented exclusively toward one group or another, and can't speak to this experience. But I don't see why someone can't be completely, a hundred percent, "never even looked at a girl that way" gay and still enter into a heterosexual relationship. Relationships are about so much more than sex - most importantly they're about respect, friendship, and familial love. Rather than saying someone can "channel their bi-ness" to enter into a heterosexual relationship, it could equally make sense to say someone is "suppressing their sexual desires," "focusing on their non-sexual love and friendly attraction," or a number of other methods to make the situation work. You don't have to rationalize someone's stated sexuality away to explain this situation, and it doesn't do a disservice to anyone else's situation which unfortunately didn't work out. Every relationship is unique and some are much harder than others, for various reasons. That doesn't mean it's impossible to be gay and in a heterosexual relationship without having to "admit" to being something one is not - namely, interested in women.

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    9. I would argue that my situation is even more peculiar then Josh's, in a sense that during my late teenage years and for the most part of my 20-ties I was completely and utterly same-sex attracted exactly the way Josh explains it (zero attraction to women, total attraction to men) while at the same time I was totally unrestrained by any kind of religious beliefs, since I considered myself a staunch atheist (mainly through upbringing of my equally religiousless parents).

      Furthermore, throughout my high school and university years, I was a member of a very close group of about 10-15 both male and female peers to whom I came out particularly because I had a crush on one of the male friends from the group. Incredibly enough, all of them, without exception, including this poor fellow on whom I had a crush (and who is heterosexual) accepted me completely, without even the slightest reservation, for which I will be eternally grateful to each one of them.

      As I was then trying follow my homosexual inclination towards it's fulfillment, it became increasingly clear to me that a gay relationship would not be something that would necessarily bode well with my internal moral compass. At the same time, while I was digging deep into my homosexuality, another interesting process has begun: my staunch atheism slowly but surely started to melt away.

      So, at the time of me joning the Mormon church, I already sort out things in my head in terms of what lifestyle to pursue, I was just kind of looking for an appropriate framework to pursue it. But that does not at all mean that my same-sex attraction was gone. Quite to the contrary, let me tell you that I had some work to do in channeling my attraction away from young missionaries. :)

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    10. Thanks FG Mormon, (Me again, the first anonymous) I am learning more from you. Just to be lighten the tone here, forgive me for being flippant but it sounds kind of like you did the classic 'raised religious, tried straight, repressed, started to acknowledge, came out, left church, left wife' but all in reverse! You are right - even more unique, I am not going to join with you in calling you peculiar ;-)

      It is good each of us are sharing our stories and perspectives here and that they will remain here and on Google for others to come along and learn from. When I was 'going through' all this as the straight partner it was pre internet. I read what I could get and went to meetings but there is more honesty, knowledge, experience and education in a few days of reading blogs around this topic than I had access to in 10 years.

      We are not 'one explanation fits all'. I am with you on that!

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    11. Anonymous, you directly asked me two interesting questions which I didn't answer in my previous comment:

      Q1) "Do you accept their reality as much as you want them to accept yours?"

      A: I accept that pursuing gay relationship for many gay people seems the only option simply because I know through my own personal experience how tough and unilluminated is the path that I have chosen. That's why I find Josh's story so important. However, I firmly believe that no one should ever dare to FORCE anyone into choosing it, because it should be strictly a personal decision of only most resilient and slightly looney individuals. But I also argue that there are much more "most resilient" and "slightly loney" individuals out there than anyone could possibly imagine.

      Q2) "Are you willing to post a disagreement every time we see a comment here that says "Wow, I just can't wait to share this blog with my gay friend"?

      A: I am not willing to post a disagreement with anyone who wants to share anything with anyone about anything. If asked, I might say: "Darling, this isn't for you", but other than that, I do not have any inclination to tell anyone what he or she should or shouldn't share about my story, as long as I perceive it accurately communicated, and even I perceive it distorted, I would involve myself into discussion only to draw anyone's attention to obvious inaccuracies.

      Each one of us have our own personal responsibility not to take things for granted. We all are supposed to do our own due diligence of ideas, I reckon.

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  7. I think Facebook is more accessible and as a result you might get more participation, but that also means you're more likely to get snarky, obnoxious people who don't take this conversation seriously at all, so I say

    Forum

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  8. Well since your friends can follow anything you do on facebook, I wouldnt really feel comfortable discussing things there. I think you are reaching out to a lot of people who are still very skittish. Its nice to still enjoy the anonymity of a blog/forum until you are ready to control who knows what about personal feelings. As Im sure you can relate.

    You did all this 100% on your own terms. Facebook is a little interconnected to allow that for other people.

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  9. I've been on the edge of my seat, refreshing the page, waiting for the next episode, and it was well worth waiting for.

    Sure, both would be better, but honestly Weed, I have doubts about doing either one.

    I've spent maybe hundreds of hours in Internet forums, over a period of more than ten years. I will just tell you my feeling without trying to substantiate it: I think it would do more harm to your message than good.

    Among other things, in every internet forum I've ever seen, one or more groups or categories of people are stereotyped and stigmatized, and systematically subjected to intense psychological cruelty, regardless of the character and intentions of the administrators and moderators. I've seen it in the forums of even the most fair-minded, best-intentioned, diplomatic, and skilled administrators and moderators.

    Apart from that, please at least do some substantial investigation into the headaches and hazards involved in managing a forum.

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    1. Some more thoughts:

      I've re-read what you've written about creating a forum.

      One reason I see for the forum is to move the flood of comments away from this blog to somewhere where it can be managed better. That's the only reason I've seen you mention. I can think of others, and there might be others for you, too.

      Please, please, think carefully about all your reasons, and brainstorm about possible ways to address them, besides a forum. If it's for all voices to be heard, especially the ones that most need and deserve to be heard, a forum is definitely *not* the solution. If it is for people to learn to love each other across the divides, a forum is definitely *not* the solution. The people who are ready and willing to do that already have plenty of places to go for that.

      What is needed for any beneficial purpose that I can think of that a forum can serve, is not a single forum. It requires more than one forum, in fact many forums, and those forums already exist.

      I imagine there will be a forum, at the very least to divert this flood away from here, but I hope, for your sake, that you won't be managing it, or blamed for it.

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    2. Oh! Here again I see the same reason for wanting a forum:

      "I love that the discussion is happening, and I really am aching to find it a better home."

      I second that, with all my heart. Two things:

      1. Again, from my experience, any forum with your name, or "Club Unicorn" in the name, or identified or associated with you or the club, will do far more to discredit your message, than anything anyone else could ever do on the Internet.

      2. This discussion will do far more good by being taken to many forums, all over the Internet. I've seen that happening in one forum already.

      3. If you're overwhelmed by the number of messages addressed to you, a forum might not solve that problem. It might even be harder in a forum for you to see everything everyone wants to say to you.

      4. If it's for people who want to respond to each other, how about this: Invite people to post links with their comments, to forums they use, where people can respond to their comments if they want to. That's just an example. Please, as I said, do some brainstorming about other ways besides a new forum, to do what you imagine a new forum will do.

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    3. Yeah, I know. "Two things:" 1, 2, 3, 4.

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    4. Have you been following the results of a Web search with "Weed", "gay" and "Mormon"?

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    5. In the very first link that I followed from that search, I saw a spin-off from here, in the comments to another blog. That's an example of where I think this flood needs to go, rather than into a forum of its own.

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  10. Facebook seems like the easier option to me, and I like having the ability to block ragers and porn-pushers there.

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  11. There are HUGE pros and cons to both platforms. Facebook is all about being public but Forums can grow and grow into a nightmare-ish never ending web of moderating posts (especially considering the subject matter of Club Unicorn) to keep it somewhat family friendly. Trolls will abound in both platforms but on FB at least they aren't anonymous (if not easier to detect w/bogus accts). Forums can be a more comfortable setting, but there are other factors that you have to worry about that you don't with FB: Hackers, viruses, hosting fees, etc. Although, with a Forum, you are the owner outright of your site and its content, whereas with FB you really don't (contrary to common belief). Soooo... that's my own two cents from running both. ;) No preference, just a word of advice to have a couple of trusted helpers to be sure the tone of conversations stays civil, but be sure they are strong-stomached and can easily disconnect emotionally from the intensity of the out of line comments (to put it lightly) that they *will* encounter. As you well know, people are actually very nice generally, but there are some sick tickets out there that love stirring things up for no reason whatsoever, and the ones that just hate whoever for whatever and make it their life's work to post vile comments ...usually from the comfort of their gramma's rent free basement, while gaming and eating a sammich. (well, it's true!)

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  12. Weed and Lolly, I've been exploring the results of a Web search with "Weed", "gay" and "Mormon", and I'm surprised and pleased about how much I see gays and friends of gays accepting your story as authentic, and taking a friendly attitude toward you, regardless of their concerns about how your story might be misused.

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    1. I'm glad that's been your experience. I'm a graduate student studying evolutionary biology (also a Catholic) and I posted Josh's story to my Facebook wall because I thought it beautiful and inspirational for how I view my own faith and marriage.

      Unfortunately, there is a lesbian pair and some friends (all atheists) who found posting Josh's story as "homophobic" and "unfair," apparently because it put him in the position of having to choose between his "fundamental, natural desires" and faith. Apparently calling acts between members of the same sex (not homosexual orientation itself) "sinful" was too judgmental for them and it sounds like I'm in the process of being ostracized from my department for it (all this despite the fact I said that I saw myself as sinful as well and in need of God's grace and forgiveness). I think that in their minds, they don't share Josh's notion that sexuality is a part of a person, but not all of them. Any critique on their sexual choices is then seen as a critique of the person as a whole (in their minds). I can't get them to see and understand otherwise. I think they're determined at this point to see me as "homophobic," despite the fact I've tried to be doubly nice and respectful to them.

      It's a shame because I draw a lot of strength and inspiration from people with same sex attraction who decide to give their sexuality back to God through chastity (whether it's through a chaste marriage or celibacy). I find their desire to conform to God rather than this world inspiring and fell like if they can live counter culturally, then I can too.

      Thank you Josh for sharing your story with all of us. You certainly appear to be a genuine, faithful and happy person and I look forward to many inspirational stories to come. You may fall or get bruised along the way, but we'll all be praying for you for the grace and strength to continue being a faithful witness.

      God bless,
      Catholic in NY

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    2. Wow, I can really appreciate what you're saying Anonymous.

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    3. I also appreciate what you said Anon. It is sad that someone can't have an opinion without thinking it is "judgmental". Life is a judgement call for the post part. Just because a person does not agree, does not mean they are homophobic. That is just not true for the post part (ok there are exceptions to the rule). I appreciated your post.

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    4. Chiming in here as a new anonymous and an atheist and as a person who has traveled all around the gender and sexuality spectrum throughout my entire life, the first time I heard about this blog I was a little skeptical. The premise of a gay man marrying a woman or denying his homosexual desires is often portrayed as a negative thing, particularly when attributed to religious reasons (I don't know if particularly is really necessary here, because I can't really think of an instance where it hasn't been religious, but I digress). And a lot of things that go along with that premise are negative - pray away the gay camps, public figures with scandals relating to homosexual affairs, shame - are negative.

      I think it is that premise that your facebook friends/coworkers/other various haters are working off of. It's really unfortunate because they must not have read a single word of Josh's blog or that post.

      Josh's story is about so much more than homosexuality, and it's about so, so much more than the religious aspect of it. I think that's the difference. In this case, there's no shame. There's no hate. There isn't even a desire to stop being homosexual. I think, for me at least, that that is the most powerful message here. Josh's capacity to love and accept himself and others is inspiring and impressive.

      So this is a bit of a ramble, but what I'm trying to say is that those people who are hating on this blog as homophobic and those who are upset that you posted it are really missing the message here. But it can be a hard message to swallow. Imagining unconditional acceptance and love is something that is really difficult to do, and I think that a lot of people imagine something sinister behind the scenes here. I think people are trained by society to be skeptical because it's so much easier to jump to conclusions or call names or believe things stem from hate rather than love. This is a story of just the opposite, and I hope that people are able to see through whatever lenses that they may have and appreciate it's sincerity and message.

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    6. I deleted my previous comment here because I accidentally posted it under the wrong comment. I've moved it to where I originally meant to post it.

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    7. I also would avoid a co-worker who declared my marriage or my orientation sinful. And please spare me the "I'm only calling them sinners if they act on it" bit.
      No one wants to be judged like that. No one.

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    8. Fresh Hell, The first anon did not call anyone a sinner. He shared a story that offended them. It's very sad that you can't see your attitude is just as damaging as the attitude of those you seem to hate so much.

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    9. I've always had trouble understanding why most people don't have a problem with the fact that I think unchastity between heterosexuals is sinful, but if I think unchastity between homosexuals is sinful I must be a bigot. Bottom line, I think that any sexual relationship outside of marriage between a man and a woman is sinful. At the same time, 99% of my non-Mormon friends are unmarried and have had sex with someone, for the most part heterosexual sex. Many of these people live with their partners, etc. It's no secret that I live differently than they do and that I believe we are all supposed to be chaste. So what I don't get is that plenty of heterosexuals have no problem with the fact that I think the way I do about chastity, but homosexuals think people like me (and first anon) are bigots. It doesn't make sense.

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    10. Megan, that is a great point.

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    11. Megan, are you pro gay marriage as a civil issue? If so, then I have no problem with your line of thinking. But if you think sex outside of marriage is wrong and you are against gay marriage, then I believe you are being discrimitory towards homosexuals. Then it's a double standard.

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  13. P.S. I really agree with Jim Habeggar's points. Your desire to have people conversing about this delicate topic has already happened. There are numerous places where the conversation takes place away from this location, and that will continue and grow. Mission accomplished on that note.

    A forum will become a headache. A FB page ...mehhh ...just doesn't seem kosher, so to speak.

    Honestly, *you* don't need to provide a home for this conversation. Jim is right in encouraging you to really really think it through.

    I suggest a completely separate blog where you can address certain topics, questions from commenters, share pertinent experiences, have "guest bloggers" etc etc etc.

    The dialogue will continue to happen in the comments section there as well as all around you (like it is now). But this way it is separate from your normal blog and *you* have more control over the tone in your venue.

    And I MUST agree with Jim on his point about using *your name* or the title "Club Unicorn" in association with the message you carry (in a formal sense). I love it and it plays to those with a good sense of humor, but in the long run it won't help the overal message. And the use of your own name these days can be risky with regard to unexpected PR nightmares or litigious rats out to blame or bring down.

    A blog would be interactive on your terms and will reach people on a more personal level and without an onslaught of trolls detracting from your message. It can even become a blog run by more gay Mormons than just you.

    Just think about it again before you make a definitive choice. :)

    And please give Lolly a hug from me! Mom to mom. Just cuz she rocks!

    ...aaaand now I better hurry and try to get a couple hours of sleep before everybody wakes up! dangit!!!!!
    *Curse you WEEEED!!!!*

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    1. I Agree with Jim and Lisa. Think it thru, talk to those who have tried to do what you are imagining. I like it the way it has evolved naturally, you may not be able to control it any better than it is going. The one problem I see is allowing people to have their own side discussions, but such forums already exist.

      I love your blog the way it is. I trust you and Lolly to make the choice of where you want to take this. (but I am not hot on FB)

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    2. Lisa, yes, I'm also in favor of separate blog, exactly the way you described it, and for the same reasons.

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    3. I like the idea of a separate blog as well. FB doesn't set well with me either.

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    4. I agree... I think a secong blogger account with a link from your current blog might be the best. That way you can have a fun family blog and a more serious blog to counter. Or if you want make a website if need be.

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    5. a wordpress site might also work. You can make a forum on there and also it can double as a blog.

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    6. Hello,

      I suggest a brainstorming session with Josh, Lolly, and anyone else they might want to include (hand up in the air, waving violently: "Me! Me!"), taking each of the reasons they and others want a forum and/or FB page, one by one, and looking for other ways to serve that purpose, besides a forum or a FB page, without categorically excluding either one. What is best for one purpose might not be best for another, and might even be detrimental. The brainstorming would include looking for existing resources, including offline resources, that might serve those purposes.

      Examples of purposes:
      - Networking about how to spread Josh and Lolly's message.
      - Places for people who might be helped by discussions with Josh and Lolly and any others they might want to include.
      - Places for people to continue kinds of discussions they're having on that blog.
      - Places for people who met on this blog who want to continue their discussions with each other.
      - Places for all voices to be heard.
      - Places for people to learn to love each other across the divides.

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    7. Thinking about it some more, it seems to me that one result of a new forum or FB page would be to create a new faction, and a new target for factional hatred, from all directions, which seems to me to be the exact opposite of where this flood needs to go. The more I think about it, the stronger my feeling that you need to try to redirect this into existing forums, blogs and Web pages.

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    8. I have found the current blog format to be working beautifully. I don't have any experience with forums, but I can certainly see the need for caution based on Jim and Lisa's comments. If you feel like you need some separation from the seriousness of this issue, I would encourage you to start a separate Club Unicorn blog. But as a reader and supporter, I have no problem with your gay discussion intermingling with your humor and anecdotes about every day family life. As you said, it is a complete and authentic view of who you are. And that is why I continue to read.

      Delete
  14. [i had a previous comment to my p.s. comment, but I guess the internets ate it. bleh. it basically said doooont do a forrrummm! and now I'm too tired to list out the reasons why all over again. -_- maybe after a few zzzzz's]

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  15. Stay as you are. Every forum I have been on, no matter the topic ends up with 2 or three members with their own agenda. I posted a link to club unicorn very early on. It's amazing how many time I have since heard it come up in conversation amongst my Facebook friends when I meet them in real life. Or in other words you are addressing issues and starting the conversation without a forum.

    I do have a question that has come up from quite a few people, if you are now in a loving heterosexual relationship, in what way do you still consider yourself gay ? Is it just that if you ate both watching TV you both have your heads turned by the good looking guys?

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  16. I agree with a lot of the other comments already made - forum - for the sheer fact that it's anonymous. A FB page would allow for some sort of conversation, as well, but I think this is still a really sensitive topic in the world and for people who aren't ready to talk about their situation openly, a forum provides an option to both get answers and feel safe. Thank you so much for what you and your wife are doing. You're an inspiration to so many and for that, I thank you.

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  17. I think a forum would be really great. I don't know what kind of conversations you want to have, but you could have multiple "rooms," like a room for other heterosexual couples with a gay/lesbian spouse, a room for anyone who wants to ask questions, a room for people who are gay/lesbian (and do/don't want to be that way). And when people log in, they have to state which "rooms" they want to access. That way general conversations stays in one place and support/questions/etc for people in similar situations can occur without any hating or mockery or flaming. But that all takes a TON of management!

    Anniba

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  18. Forum! I can't stand Facebook groups. Forums are easier to moderate, as well as being searchable by member or topic.

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  19. No solution here. It sounds like others have already given you food for thought. I will support whatever is best for you, Lolly, and the girls. I'm just an follower of The Weed but would just like to give you guys a big, big hug for the love, courage, and support you have shown. If you ever decide to move to Colorado, I'd like you guys to be my neighbors please :-) You are honest, loyal, funny, and your kids do embarrassing things. All great qualities in a good neighbor!

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  20. As a bisexual man in a heterosexual marriage, I like the idea of a forum. I love the idea of community solely for others in similar situations in which I can be candid, ask questions I would not feel comfortable asking on a blog such as this, and generally get support. I think this needs to be something away from those people who are merely curious in the issue, even those who genuinely want to understand and offer support, and more for those of us who live in the reality (often very hard) of this situation.

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  21. I usually do not comment on these types of things, but after reading what everyone else posted, I thought I'd chip in a bit.

    I daresay FB is right out for all the reasons listed so far.

    To forum or not to forum?

    Most forums require a ton of management to do right, management that is likely outside of your purview (and interest, for that matter). On a sticky subject like this, it could easily spiral out of control and turn into something you just don't want it to be.

    Anonymous who posted above me expressed a sincere desire to have a place to get support and discuss. I think that is an excellent idea, but I doubt you'd be able to pull that off AND do what you feel called to do. You simply cannot be everything to everyone. As a fellow therapist, I know I have fallen into that trap more than once with clients and I would bet you have as well. Avoid it here - it will dilute your message.

    The best suggestion so far is another blog - you have full control, and you can even invite guest bloggers to participate. If you need someone to moderate comments, you'd be able to get 1 or 2 people you already know and trust well instead of needing a boatload of moderators for a forum.

    Thank you for shifting this conversation in your unique way. Perhaps you volunteered for this in the pre-mortal life? As you said, what you are doing now feels right to you, and why not have this be part of your mission here?

    Keep the faith, brother. After all, He obviously has faith in you. :)

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    1. Josh, I again agree with Ian. Your unique skill is writing this incredible blog. I fear that another project would detract from this. At the same time, I understand your desire to help people and give others a place to discuss sensitive and controversial topics. I suspect that being an admin will not be your strength,. So just like fixing cars, let someone else do it.

      Have you looked for an existing forum that you like and could adopt? They might accommodate you in exchange for all the traffic you would create.

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  23. Josh, I would argue that the ONLY reason why this discussion here is so rich, versatile, interesting, inspiring is because of you who gives a (pre)text with each of your blog posts for a discussion.

    I would also argue that a discussion wouldn't be as nearly as valuable if we are left to our own devices, at either a forum or a Facebook group. Don't leave us high and dry.

    So I am in favor of the idea of starting a new blog which can be devoted to "all things homosexual" no matter how much or how often you would like to write for it. In that new blog, you can have guest blog writers, according to your preferences and desires.

    Through that blog as a (pre)text, I'm sure we can continue this immensely important discussion.

    By the way, I'm a journalist by a profession, so I am more than willing to help you out with editorial issues of whatever kind.

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  24. I think that either idea is a great one. Although FB is a great outlet, there are some that just might not want their name to be known. Here it's a little easier to be anonymous. That way there is not much, again I say not much, danger in saying what you think. There could be bigger or more repercussions to posting on FB as to a forum. The question asking whether you were sexually abused being the reason you are gay, I'm glad that you replied with the answer you did. I have friends that are gay and have never been treated with anything other than love. They may not have had the best childhood but still they were very much loved and encouraged to be who they were meant to be. Keep it up Weed. I love reading the blogs and it helps me in my day to day life in some form or fashion. You and your family are so awesome!

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  25. And by the way, I drive my car through a city where I live, which is half way around the world from you, thinking about you, sheding tears of joy and telling to myself: "Unfreaking believable! He is completely clueless on what he has started!"

    But you will learn. You are smart. (As Anon @June 27, 2012 12:09 AM observed: "Good luck with this becoming just a small side note of your life.")

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    1. "But you will learn. You are smart."

      And well-surrounded.

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  26. I probably think facebook would be best. But another reason for my comment, my friend is a Calvanist and he post things every now and then and today I read something he wrote about homosexuality. I thought he did an excellent job! If you get a minute, I thought you might like to read it. http://www.thetwocities.com/culture/forced-to-be-gay/

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    1. very good article.... never thought of it that way, but I see what the writer was trying to say.

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  27. facebook, easy access

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  28. I'd seriously suggest a Facebook group. I run many on Facebook and, with the right management, they are very easy to keep an eye on and watch over. It also gives individuals the ability to block others that they don't want to see the posting of.

    Facebook groups also give you the luxury of knowing when someone has responded to you--a forum does not.

    A Facebook group requires people to use their real name. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing.

    The GOOD thing is that it will cut down on trolls who are just looking to push porn or spam or be rude. If forced to comment under their real name they'd be less likely to come. Yes, they can always create a second account and go at it like that, but again, "block" is only a click away...

    The BAD thing is that people who wish to remain anonymous would have trouble doing so. However, they too could create a separate account for purposes of commenting about these issues. I personally would be using my actual account and I too am attracted to the same gender but am active Mormon. However, I'm in a different place than many others.

    Just be aware that either way you go there is going to be trials and annoyances. I know a lot about Facebook and you'd have more control there---you really would. So would your posters. Plus, you'd probably get more traffic on Facebook since most people visit it every day but not everyone is going to go to a separate website with a forum in order to post about one specific topic. Facebook gives people the ease of commenting in your Club Unicorn while also looking at their live feed and talking to family/friends all in one place.

    Just my two cents.

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  29. I have a lot to say to bear with me here I apologize for this being kinda long.
    First of all I have been one of your biggest skeptics (dare I say biggest who has stayed to follow the blog). For reasons thinking you were egging on the haters of LGBT folks and things of that nature. I have to say 3/4 of the way through this blog without my control I thought "OMG I love you Josh Weed" and here is why: I do not have the pleasure of being able to fight the stereotypes with my own stories, just with my own feelings. You see I am female and I love women. I also had a very traumatizing childhood. But those two things have nothing to do with each other, I know it in my heart and in the depths of my soul. I have spent years working through the issues and dealing with it to know I am not "rejecting men" or something like that. But I can not say with my own story that LGBT people are not always traumatized because I was. So thank you for sharing that part of your life, and for sharing that yes you are married to a woman but you are still gay. Attracted to men. Just choosing that life. I think I'm starting to understand how this is going to help. Even those who are going to be closed minded will have no choice but to open their minds eventually I think, and some never will but that would happen whether or not u shared your story. So josh weed: thank you. I hope Lolly shares some of where she's at and where she's coming from. I think you guys would write an amazing book.

    Forum vs Facebook Vs Nothing:

    Well facebook sounds like its out because you can't be anonymous so I wouldn't be able to comment. And I think of a lot of people feel that way.

    If the forum ends up not working or being terrible you can always shut it down. requiring a log in will make sure only the people that really want to be on there are going there, and I think people really need a community where they can talk about these issues. Not that it *needs* to be away from the blog but that it gives you more options for who is talking to who and where the conversation goes. There are some people on here I want to talk to but I can't reply directly to them and the replys have gotten to long, so too bad I guess, but in a forum we would be able to swap stories.

    Just my thoughts, thanks for your story.

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  30. While I am deeply grateful that you chose to share this portion of your life with the world, I do believe that there are elements of life where secrecy is valuable. Some things are sacred and to be shared only under certain conditions. Some matters should not be publicly shared for the sake of personal and family protection. Or, at least the time and place of the sharing should be measured.

    As far as the matter of inauthenticity goes, I'm not sure if there's an objective measure. Is it necessary to be willing to disclose every fact about my life to others in order to be authentic? Frankly, some stuff is nobody else's business. But I see the point about hiding an essential element of one's identity leading to a feeling of inauthenticity.

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  31. I found your blog on a facebook link posted by a friend. I don't reccommend you start a facebook page however. My son came out to me at age 15, but I didn't believe him at first. Then at 16, he posted on facebook that he was gay and didn't care who didn't like it or him. That's when I got the phone call from another mom at church asking if I was aware of my son's post.It was Jan 2011 and the start of the worst year of my life and a rough one for my son as well, although he was better because his depression lifted and he was free to explore who he was instead of trying to live up to my unrealistic expectations. We handled it with love and grace. Our son is an amazing young man and a good, decent person. He has left the faith because he knew he would be ostracized and he was right. None of his friends at church remained true to him, only his school friends who already knew him. Now another boy at church has come out to his family, and reached out to my son, who was there to help and guide him through. But his family rejected him and are keeping it very quiet. I reached out to the mother and she has not responded or acknowledged my note. The shame is too great for her right now.I felt desperate to talk to another mother in my situation when I first went through this nightmare. We survived the first year and a half, are much better people because of it, and my faith was challenged, examined, and proved to be true during our crisis. I would love a place to discuss the Mormon cultural issues about gayness, the ways to help my son deal with his loss of faith, and a place to share what we have learned through this experience.

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    2. Incredible story. We need to know such stories and do something about them as responsible members of the church.

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  32. It's upsetting to me how many people here seem to equate being gay with thinking with one's genitalia. There is so much more to falling in love than sexual excitement. Yet Josh, who seems to be completely in love with his wife in nearly every way that matters, calls himself a gay man -- not a man who responds on a purely sexual level to homoerotic imagery. I wonder what his life would have been like if he had fallen in love with a man before he met his wife, because while he seems to have had the experience of attraction, maybe even mutual attraction, that's no substitute for the sort of intimacy that a real love match creates (and can create without sex, as any number of people who are incapable of sex due to injury, paralysis, etc. have written).

    I find this couple's personal choices and commitments to being true to themselves to be admirable and moving. Where I keep getting stuck is the fact that, though they both acknowledge that their choices are not for everyone and should not be taken as some sort of role modeling, they have not made any sort of statement about what rights they believe others should have who have not made the same choices. The LDS church's official positions and the behavior of many of its members has been deeply hurtful, not only to gay people, but to Jewish people like me who find it detestable that anyone would "baptize" us after death because in their view our entire lives are spent living a lie since we aren't Christians.

    I am a member of a liberal Jewish congregation not only by upbringing but because within that structure, I can hold a wide range of beliefs that do not require devotion to any strict theology or set of principles; we do not have a governing body that dictates core beliefs we must share, not when it comes to God nor our personal lives nor American politics nor the state of Israel. I do not believe I could belong to any church that made moral or ethical decrees that were absolute for its members, let alone for everyone else, beyond the ones that protect all of society such as the wrongness of murder and theft. When it comes to the smaller things -- should we tell white lies, should we have sex before marriage, should we help a dying loved one hasten the end without pain -- there's a wide range of belief and opinion.

    So while I can admire Josh for saying he, personally, made a choice to devote himself to God and scripture as he interprets it, I'm still feeling scarred by the Prop 8 battle and the knowledge that Holocaust victims have been "reclaimed" by LDS. There's a piece of me that can never believe any Mormon respects my beliefs or those of anyone else until they come out and say that they believe it is wrong of the Church to involve itself in the lives and choices of non-Mormons. (And I feel the same way about certain Catholic and Baptist leaders in US politics, certain Orthodox Jews in Israeli politics, and certain Muslims who believe religious law should trump secular freedoms.) What does it mean for someone to say he personally respects my choices when he's a member of an institution that does not?

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    1. I, too, have found myself sometimes offended or confused by other religions. You were raised in a congregation that "do(es) not require devotion to any strict theology or set of principles", doesn't even "dictate core beliefs", or make "moral or ethical decrees".

      That, alone, is confusing for me. How can you have an organized church that doesn't really have a belief system? How can you have a church when everyone is left up to their own interpretations? And it's not just Jewish culture that does that, but several Christian denominations as well. If you go to church and you don't like what you hear, you hop over somewhere else. You shop around until you find one you like. It seems strange to me. How could God tell one person something, and another person something completely different? Is there no order with God? No plan? Just blindly following our own devices in a world where there are limitless outside influences that can change our thinking from good to bad? How do we know what to aim for and what voices to listen to without direction?

      So, while you find the one end offensive, I find the other offensive. And we can still respect each others choices. I don't believe I've heard of/read of an instance when the LDS church has imposed on another persons right to choose a religion (please correct me if I'm wrong). The baptism of Holocaust members, believe it or not, was done out of love to complete work we view as necessary. We also believe that, after death, that person still has every right to choose or reject the work that's done. Still, no belief of force to change ever.

      Here's the part I don't understand..... You view our beliefs as hooky. That's fine and doesn't offend me at all. What I'm confused about is, if you think we are just crazy, why not kindly ask us to stop baptizing and move on? Why take offense at something you don't think is relevant at all? Why not just view it as a colossal waste of time and expense on our behalf and realize that in your belief, when we all die, none of it does anything anyway? If we are right, then the work will be done. If we are wrong, none of it matters.

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    2. Michelle,
      Please know that we (members of the Church) have been asked not to do temple work for Holocaust victims. It was read in a letter to all church members early this year. However, people still have their agency. They can still choose not to follow what they have been asked to do, just like any other commandment or request made.

      Second, please know that we firmly believe that when we do temple work such as baptisms for the dead, the person we have done the temple work for has a choice: they can accept that work or they can not. We do not believe it is being forced upon them in any way. I believe this is one of the most beautiful things about temple work. People who have passed on are given the opportunity to accept the work, but are not required to.

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    3. Michelle, I understand your feelings, and as a devout Mormon, I know for sure that the leadership of my church undertook definitive measures to stop the practice objected by the Jewish community. The policy against the practice had been promulgated many years ago, but now the highest authorities of the church put the teeth on it in a sense that a member of the church may now, to my understanding, face church discipline for disobedience to the policy.

      A for Prop 8, my understanding is that the LDS church wishes to defend itself from a prospect of government's imposition of a definition of marriage on a society (including on churches) that would be contrary to the core doctrine of the LDS church, for which there is a historical precedence.

      I may agree that by supporting Prop 8, the church actually took the path of least resistance, and that the more principled stance would be to engage against government's authority to define & perform marriages altogether (as that should be the sole prerogative of churches and other private entities), but supporting Prop 8 was obviously more effective way to reach the same goal, at least short term. I would also argue that nothing short of the coming of Messiah could actually revert the process towards making same-sex marriages sooner or later legal nationwide.

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    4. We're all analyzing and interpreting our scriptures constantly, either by ourselves or with the authority/assistance of someone else -- a church leader, a study group. I didn't say Judaism doesn't have a belief system, just that the parts of that belief system mean different things to different Jews and are constantly being discussed and debated, which has been true since Talmudic times. To take a widely discussed example from Hebrew scripture (the so-called Old Testament), I have met many Christians who believe that reviling homosexuals is acceptable based on Leviticus, yet not one who believes that Red Lobster restaurants are an abomination, nor that Wal-Mart selling mixed-fiber clothing is a sign of declining morals.

      My particular branch of Judaism reads the prohibition on sodomy (which we don't find specifically defined in scripture in the first place) as part of the Kosher laws which were established for reasons of health and community. As contemporary Jews, we do not strictly obey many of those laws -- I'm not even sure we fully understand them -- and we certainly don't believe in establishing secular laws that would require other people to obey them.

      More importantly, though, I don't find your beliefs offensive or "hooky" -- I don't presume to know whether divine revelation comes to different people in different ways. Nor do I find it offensive if you find homosexual attraction repellent or homosexual acts hateful to yourself, any more than I'd find it offensive if you didn't like certain common intimate heterosexual acts. What I find offensive is any time a church involves itself in dictating restrictions not for its members but for everyone else living in this very diverse country.

      And what I find deeply offensive is a practice that insists that all of Judaism is misguided and superficial, "completing" the assimilation of Jews many of whom who died for their religion in the first place. Mormons have been "kindly ask[ed] to stop baptizing and move on" yet I keep reading that the practice continues. How can you say you respect our choices when this is the case? Wouldn't you be offended if, after your death, I slapped a label on you that you never wanted and declared that I was doing it in the name of love?

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    5. Without defending the practice of some members of the church, which is by the way heavily discouraged by the LDS church leadership (as I previously described), I also have to admit that it is not entirely clear to me how a Jewish person can object to the Mormon practice in question without implicitly admitting that there is at least a modicum of truth in that practice.

      There is nothing in the practice that has any material effect on anyone, everything is purely "mental" or "spiritual".

      Although I do not believe that the practice actually insists that Judaism is misguided and superficial, even if that were the case, I would also argue that for the mere fact that others, for example, do not observe Kosher in their eating habits could also imply that Judaism is misguided and superficial.

      In closing, I argue that Mormons are actually among most ardent supporters of Jewish people and our love for them is abundantly manifested in many ways.

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    6. I am in no position of authority, so I can't say for certain, but I also heard the church announce that they would no longer do temple work for Holocaust victims. Though, as I understood it (and this could be wrong and just my interpretation of what was said, since it was a while ago), that was applicable as in "the church" just having a list of Holocaust victims and doing their work. As far as I know, members are allowed to submit names of their own ancestors. I suppose, under that, there may be Holocaust victims baptized at their own families request.

      My personal opinion on that is... It's really the families' right to decide what to do with their ancestor. If a member of the LDS church had a great-grandmother that died in a concentration camp, why shouldn't they be allowed to do temple work for them? Who has control over what happens to that person's name? The church they belonged to or their family? I would say the family, but of course... I'm biased.

      And I can honestly answer that I wouldn't be at all offended if someone of another religion stuck a different label on me in the name of salvation and love. But again. Highly biased with a belief that there is more work to be done when we leave this mortal body and more choices available to us all on the other side. I think if I got to the other side and saw that someone had baptized me LDS, and Baptist, and Catholic, and Jewish, and Muslim, and whatever else I would simply choose which one lined up for me. Can I emphasize again my recognition that I'm highly biased? I don't know of another church that believes in missionary work after death, so I'm sure this isn't a common belief among anyone outside the LDS faith.

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    7. I stand corrected. A quick search on lds.org shows that members are not to submit names of Holocaust victims. It also says that in order for a person to get around the safeguards preventing those names to be submitted one would have to use "deception and manipulation." I'm sure that if you know personally that names are still being submitted and baptized, the church would need to know about it to pursue whatever action they need to.

      (I still feel it's the families' right to have their ancestor baptized, but am apparently incorrect.)

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    8. Michelle -

      I hear the shellfish argument pretty regularly, so let me quickly disabuse anyone of the veracity of that point.

      The avoidance of shellfish was a requirement in the Law of Moses, fulfilled by Jesus Christ. How do we know that the sinfulness of homosexuality was also not removed with the Law of Moses? Because the New Testament brings it up again as a relevant point, therefore, shellfish are open season, but homosexuality is not.

      I'm not going to say that the Christian interpretation of those scriptures is strictly accurate, but that's why no one can complain about us eating lobster while still fighting gay marriage.

      Hope that helps. :)

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  33. I think log in forum. Not everyone is strong enough yet to follow a Facebook page. That might be to exposing.

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  34. which club unicorn on facebook is it? there's alot out there.....

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  35. I would love a FB page, because I know I would be more likely to participate in the conversation as I visit there a LOT. Anyways. But it would be better on a forum, like the first commenter said, and I agree with her reasoning. So I would recommend the forum.

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  36. I think a forum to begin with. I am sure you know this by now but people can be cruel and unkind. While the majority will be supportive, you can start with the forum and work up to a FB page. Logging in is a filter of sorts. Maybe someone who is willing to do that will be more likely to share honest open comments even if they are not supportive at least they may be serious. Just a thought. I guess you don't need a Mom. You have a great one but I hate for people to be mean to you. Hugs to you and yours

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  37. I was going to say facebook, because that would be easier for me. But, I think that a forum would better meet the needs of those who need anonymity and would allow for stronger discussions and more safety.

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  38. Honestly Josh, I do not want to see you bifurcate your Unicorn identity from your Weed blog Identity by creating separate homes for them—at least that is the way I see it. People seem to want to connect with YOU on these topics because of how YOU approach it -- with honesty, nuance, humor and compassion. People are feeling safe to engage with YOU in reciprocal honesty, respect and kindness. They trust YOU and I believe that is why the dialogue has been much more meaningful than it often is in impersonal forums.

    There is a time and a season for everything. I say let this one have its day – it has needed to have its day for a long time so I hope you just continue to roll with it wherever that takes you and in whatever way feels good to you. Whatever you choose, I hope you keep your blog as integrated as you have become as a person and just write what you feel to write whatever that may be.

    Best to you and your family,

    Laura Dulin

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    1. Hmm.,. An interesting idea. So you kind of propose that we in essence pretty much kick Josh's family and close friends out of joshweed.com blog and "hijack" it for our little epic discussion. And make Josh open his on little private blog someplace else, like at refugefromintrusiveunicorns.com

      Delete
  39. I'm going to have the 3rd, or 4th, 10th the suggestion of a separate blog. Maybe one where the comments are easier to load when they get above the 100's. I think that way, you can control the direction the conversation steers (as in, provide a topic), and I LOVE the idea of having guest bloggers to offer a different perspectives and options.

    IMO, a forum is a scary, scary idea. A lot of crazies are on forums, and I can just imagine the hostility you may find from both sides if you had a forum with both a board for Unicorns and a board for same-sex partners. I have mostly seen supportive posts on here, but I have read and ran away from some pretty vicious writings on this subject. I think it would be a nightmare to moderate. I know of a very good, friendly, high-expectation on being civil with each other forum, and even there the moderators commented about the CONSTANT complaints they received from people.

    And facebook doesn't offer the anonymity that I think is still needed for people. There's a ton of hostility on each side, and I don't picture someone in a tough situation being able to post and ask for help.

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    1. Yes, if a new blog is created, then it should definitely not be created on the same platform on which joshweed.com is created.

      Comments section should be considerably more user friendly and much easier to follow than on this your blog.

      Delete
    2. The comment platform Disqus is a great one!

      Delete
  40. I definitely favor the idea of a separate blog dedicated to this topic, and definitely not FB. People need to be able to remain anonymous as long as they need to. I think you'll get a lot more participation from others in a similar situation to yours if they don't have to reveal themselves.

    I am also a Mormon with SSA, married with children. I think the only reason why I am not more open with my family and others (my wife knows, my parents know) is that I don't want my wife to deal with the repercussions of that revelation, especially as it relates to how others might treat her. I don't know what the repercussions might be. I'd be interested to hear what Lolly has to deal with from others. As I read your posts, it feels like it doesn't even matter to you both if people treat you poorly. You are who you are, you live happily with it together, and you rely upon each other for support and comfort, so what does it matter what some yahoo says who has no understanding? It seems that is the outlook you have.

    The other reason I don't make it widely known, is that I don't consider it to be a terribly important facet of my being. Also, I know it is a temporary condition. It might last my whole life, or it might not, but it definitely won't be a problem for me eternally. So why make a big deal out of it? I think you were alluding to that in your post. I accept it. I am loving myself and my wife and my God in spite of it. I have a major health issue that requires I take medication every day of my life. If I ignore my meds, I suffer physically. So I take them. Problem solved. Likewise, I pray, study my scriptures, and improve intimacy with my wife. Still have the unwanted SSA, but where is the real problem? Maybe not eliminated, but controlled at least. And that allows me to have a happy life.

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  41. Forum. You will have more control over the content and the format. You will get more serious participants and far fewer idiots.

    And you will OWN the content, clearly and unambiguously, until the sun burns out and the earth is nothing but a frozen cinder.

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  42. I just wanted to tell you and your wife that I think what you are doing is a good thing. For those who say you can't truly be happy because of the life you have chosen I just have a few thoughts. Does a recovered alcoholic have to be drinking to be happy? Does someone who has been through drug rehab have to be sad because they are not doing still? Or even as simple as does someone who loves food and has now made healthy eating and workout habits to lose weight have to be eating chocolate cake to be happy? You are doing the best to live the life you want and that is wonderful. I applaud your love and devotion to God.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Josh is probably happy. its not our place to debate. but being gay is NOT the same as being a recovering addict.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, I know...bad analogy..just trying to say that this is what makes him happy. Might not work for all but it does for him. Really don't want to offend anyone by the bad analogy, sorry.

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  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  44. forum. it is more respectful than FB.

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  45. Josh, I've run both a forum and FB page & group and I can testify to you with every fiber of my being that it doesn't matter what the subject is... those venues will end up making you want to tear all your hair out many many times over and jump on a pile of tacks!

    With forums, the conversation is *totally user driven.* That means, it constantly evolves beyond your control or vision, there are a bajillion random personalities colliding, a bajillion different views of what "family friendly" and "appropriate" means, etc etc etc.

    In short, *you* set the tone initially, then that tone is quickly overtaken by the *users.* Retaking control of that for the good of your message and civil discourse will require constant, CONSTANT maintenance and moderating ...AND a VERY THICK SKIN.

    A forum, is a tree that just keeps growing branches and branches and branches, and keeping all of that family friendly becomes impossible. And the discussions WILL all go rapidly downhill without some administrative moderation (which then makes people feel like they are being policed or their free speech is being suppressed, blah blah blah)

    ugh! It's just a nightmare! And it will take over your life and become an overwhelming chore.

    With forums you have to deal with these things:
    hosting fees, hackers, trolls, trolls that coordinate "attacks" within your forums, trolls who post porn, viruses/trojans, religious zealots, religion bashers, users with agendas, political fights (not debates, fights), the list of crazy is endless.

    In short you spend so much of your time putting out fires and maintenance that there is no more time for your message. Which is what people come here for.

    Your posts *supply* the topic of conversation for everyone. Supporters, dissenters, those with questions, those with valid opinions from every spectrum, those who can relate, those who feel like they are alone, those who have stories and experiences they feel the need to share, those who want to express their disappointment in the topics, ...everyone!

    I think with this sensitive and controversial subject, gay mormons should be leading the conversation, rather than letting the general public do that.

    You help shape the tone of conversations by supplying your own personal insight and then letting others discuss and form their opinions in a place where you are able to control the environment from elements that would greatly detract from the overall message.

    Facebook will not give those who need anonymity a way to join the conversation. There are "Private" groups but FB recently changed the groups policies so that your group can only be "hidden" if it is less than 250 members total. Once you go over that, your private group becomes visible and searchable to anyone.

    Forums provide anonymity but that works in the favor of all the jerks out there. And you would be surprised at just how many there are who seem to just cyber bully, troll, and agitate on forums regularly as if it were their full time job! It is a fun and challenging game for them. Overall most individuals are good, honest people, but with forums and fb the balance of your time is spent cleaning up their messes.

    So, in summary, again, with my obnoxious long-windedness... If you want to move this conversation to a more comfortable and productive venue, a separate blog would be the most effective way to continue leading an important conversation with a civil tone that will help enlighten others and promote meaningful discourse through contrasting and comparable opinions by everyone, and with the least amount of headaches for you, while you've got a full time job and family and life to tend to already. ;)

    OK, that's all. I promise. I friended you on FB if you want to contact me. K, that's all! Good luck!!!

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  46. Forum! For privacy and anonymity :)

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  47. I agree with the previous comments ~ go forum for privacy and respect so that those of us that came here for support and understanding can partake of that and not be targets for insensitive, mean-spirited posts.

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  48. Facebook posts are effectively invisible after 22 hours (Yeah, I know you can search, but who does?). This is a valuable discussion that deserves to be accessible via Google.

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  49. I think the whole idea of privacy on a forum is a valid point... But then sometimes forums are kind of scary. So I'd think facebook?

    Or, actually, I just saw one of the above comments. I think having a separate blog sounds reasonable.

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    1. I know some (completely unrelated) forums I've visited have been a total turn off and I never go back. But ifs its done well, it can be a friendly, inclusive and safe place. One forum where I am a regular (An enya fan forum) set and enforces what some might consider quite strict rules about what is appropriate - ie there is to be no religious, political or sexual orientation discussion and it maintains a very friendly, warm community where I have met many wonderful people and made some good friends. While obviously those exact same rules are not possible here given the whole purpose of this forum, I'm sure some guidelines could be created and enforced (Which will require the time of several people who are willing to act as moderators who will enforce the rules) that encourage respectful, friendly discussion, then I see no reason why this forum would have to be a scary place either.

      Delete
  50. I would like to see an actual proper forum, as on facebook my friends, family and others would easily be able to see that a) I joined the group and/or b) that I was commenting/taking part in discussion. (As I see comments my friends make in various places in my own newsfeed, I'm pretty sure they'll be able to see mine on their newsfeeds too). While I am keen to be a part of the discussion, or to at the very least read others ideas and comments, I would be very reluctant to use the facebook page. With the forum at least I can have the assurance that no one in my real life with will accidently or otherwise find out, until I am myself ready to tell them.

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    1. I agree with Abby. Although many of my close friends know I'm a gay christian but celibate, many do not. If it becomes a FB page I would not participate nor make comments for fear of my friends seeing my comments or posts on FB.

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  51. Maintaining a forum is a HUGE, around the clock job.
    While it provides anonymity, that tends to work to the advantage of the trolls. Most people are good, honest people looking for engaging conversation, but it is the constant putting out of fires of the trolls and troublemakers that will take up far more of your time than you can imagine.

    Forums go hand in hand with trolls, hackers, embedded viruses, and every manner of crazy there is out there. And trust me... it doesn't matter what the topic is, but yours in particular is a very enticing target on their radar.

    The tone and environment of forums are driven by the users and will spiral out of control unless all threads are heavily moderated, which then makes people feel like they are being policed. It's just a very unpredictable platform that takes a lot of people and a lot of personal time (and thick skin) to maintain at the level of civility and decency needed for your overall message. And FB just offers no anonymity, not enough control, and no ownership of your content.

    Speaking from experience, I would think seriously of creating a separate blog with a comment platform such as Disqus for effective discussion.

    Again, you would have better control over the environment and anonymity is an option for visitors. You can invite others to guest blog their own personal stories, invite other trusted individuals to become authors on the blog with you to add more insights, hold Q&As, live chats, share your thoughts on different things like you do now, share funny stories, invite others to share their thoughts, experiences, and funny stories, etc.

    The discussion will continue to go on effectively in the comments below. But the best part is that *you* are leading the conversation and setting the tone rather than the *users* driving it. It makes all the difference and will be much more effective and appropriate for the nature of your message in this very misunderstood, little known, confusing, controversial, and interesting subject.

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    1. Lisa, you nailed it. Spot on. Thank you!

      Delete
    2. I like this idea very much. Thank you, Lisa!

      I still have concerns, even with this, about creating a new faction, and a new target for factional hatreds. The benefits of this new blog might very well outweigh the risks, by far, but maybe those benefits could be achieved without creating a new faction, using blogs, forums and Web pages that already exist.

      It might not be obvious what I mean by creating a new faction. A new "us" and "them." No matter how benevolent, beneficial, and all-embracing it is, I see it as inevitable that at least some of the participants will make it a new "us" and "them." And it's absolutely impossible for any one place to be a safe place for all people. There *will* be groups and categories of people who are continually stereotyped and stigmatized, and treated cruelly if they show up. Even if that doesn't happen, it will become a target of factional hatreds.

      I do love the idea of a separate blog as you've outlined it, Lisa, and I'm not sure it wouldn't be worth the risks. I just would like to see other possibilities considered first.

      Delete
    3. Two illustrations of some of my previous thoughts can be found by searching for "In Which I Feel Compelled to Start a Blog Because of a Club and a Unicorn," and "Walking the [Gay] and Narrow Path." (I don't know if it's okay to post links here). The second is especially significant because it's on an ex Mormon site, and the most vicious responses I've seen so far have come from ex Mormons.

      1. It illustrates the friendly (or at least civil) attitude toward Josh and Lolly that I'm seeing even among the people who are most alarmed by the implications and possible misuses of this story.

      2. It's an example of the kinds of discussion that I see as vital to the mission here, that would *not* happen in a "Club Unicorn" forum or blog.

      I don't know how to explain this. I see some wonderful possibilities here for promoting love across some enormous gaps, that can only be realized by all of us going out into the world, rather than retreating into our own mutual admiration society.

      I do see a need for us to have some kind of networking and support group, and new blog might serve that purpose, but even that might be possible in some existing forum.

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    4. My suggestion is to migrate this entire blog to a better platform that has the features you think are missing. What you have is mostly working. FB or a forum is a completely new project, and one that is likely to suck you dry.

      I suggest Wordpress. There are lots of extensions, even converters that will help you make the switch from Blogger.

      You will never ba able to completely separate the two worlds, so I suggest keeping it one blog.

      Delete
    5. Here's another idea:

      Write a new post about all the reasons you can think of for a new forum, FB page or blog, and any ideas you have about other ways to pursue the same purposes. Invite readers to add their own ideas about reasons, other ways to serve the same purposes, what other people are already doing or might do for those purposes, and what kind of support and encouragement they could use from you.

      Then, think some more about your priorities, and where to go from here.

      About priorities: Here are three examples, which might lead in entirely different directions (or not).

      1. Retreat for people who love you and your story, to bask in our fellowship.

      2. Networking and mutual support centers for educational field work, out in the trenches.

      3. Therapy clinic for people suffering from the hostilities around gay issues.

      4. Places for people who are ready and willing to learn to love each other across the divides.

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    6. Did it again. "three examples:" 1, 2, 3, 4. I do proofread them, really! You should see the first drafts!

      Delete
    7. I like Lisa's thoughts too. I'd love to see you move forward the way you feel inspired, as well as chip away at the frequently asked questions that come in without getting sidetracked and buried in a bunch of other stuff. Thank you so much for answering this call and fulfilling a mission that few others would be able to fulfill, but that is so needed in our time to bridge gaps and spread love and understanding. Great things will come of this, and you will make the right decisions as you move forward.

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    8. Jim, I feel that your past experience ("thankless and fruitless", as you described it) has made you too hurting and too cautious.

      I would argue that there is nothing wrong with forming an new faction as long as it is "we love you" against "we love you except hate some very few of you but those we do hate we hate indeed" faction.

      Delete
    9. FG, Thanks.

      I'm thinking out loud, here, in case these ideas might interest anyone else.

      Considering various possible reasons for a forum or FB page, some of them would be for people to talk to Josh and Lolly, and some of them would be for people to talk to each other around the story of Josh and Lolly. That could all be considered together as ways for interested people, including Josh and Lolly, to talk to each other around that story.

      Then the different purposes relate to the object/subject of the conversation, for example:
      - socializing
      - therapy
      - networking about initiatives
      - learning to love each other

      I still don't think all that could happen in one place, and I don't think any of it requires a new forum or FB page. I think it could all be done better, using some already existing forums, Web pages, blogs and other resources.

      Delete
  52. I think a blog about this subject is very relevant. I just read your blog today for the first time. I have not read everything yet but I think I will start following your blog. I was given this link by a professor of mine in Seminary. Anyway, we have been discussing United Methodist Theology in an intensive class over the past week.
    Honestly, I guess I am a bit sheltered and I have never known of any man who is choosing to be married to a woman as a homosexual. So, that being said I think your blog as it is now over the last month or so is going to be very helpful to many people who my professor gives this link to in the future. So I would say keep the blog be funny and be you.

    Grace and peace to you-

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  53. Definitely not FB. Thoughtful, sustained dialogue on a single topic is more likely outside the realm associated mostly with status updates. That said, the forums I'm used to seeing can become extremely intense to moderate and from the little research I did on it a couple of years back, it seems they're not super easy to set up, either. Good luck, man. I don't envy that monster task.

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  54. Go figure - after all the other myriad of comments and posts, this would be the first comment :)

    I think that a forum with login would be more appropriate. It likely would be more easily managed to dissuade the occasional pornographic post that way as well, but as the above Mickelle mentioned, they can be very intense to moderate and with as many comments as you've been getting on the posts, it would be a full-time job to moderate (hey now, you could contribute to job fulfillment!).

    You could also create a separate blog as well, but that might be just as obtuse to manage.

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  55. I am a practicing mormon and so proud of Josh and Lolly for bringing this discussion to the fore in our faith. Josh, what do you think about the church''s position on gay marriage?

    Our prayers are with you.

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  56. I am a practicing mormon and so proud of Josh and Lolly for bringing this discussion to the fore in our faith. Josh, what do you think about the church''s position on gay marriage?

    Our prayers are with you.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I think the FB option would be more accessible but I guess if people really want to join in, they can log in and join the conversation. It seems like whenever there is a login, you will lose some people though (such as with private blogs). FB might be the way to go.

    I love that you're able to be your authentic self too. You are awesome!

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  58. Here's a good link for us Mormons who don't totally understand why we are required to hate the homosexual lifestyle:
    http://www.slate.com/articles/life/faithbased/2012/06/mormons_and_gays_why_the_lds_church_might_be_evolving_.3.html
    I found it interesting and helpful.

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    Replies
    1. Hmmm.... I don't think we are REQUIRED to hate the homosexual lifestyle. God has proclaimed homosexual activity to be a sin, therefore we believe it's a sin. We are also told to love everyone and not pass judgement. There has never, in my recollection, been anyone from the church telling us to "hate" any group of people anywhere for any choice.

      Delete
    2. I just read the link above and it wasn't helpful at all. Just more opinion. And I love how you use "us Mormons" and "required" to make your point, which is false by the way. I read many of the comments after reading the article. Just a lot of hate and not much in the way of people coming together to understand one another in a respectful effort.

      Delete
    3. I read the article, but didn't find anything in at about why someone needs to "hate" homosexuality or anything like that. That article was really great in that it did a great job of showing how the Mormon church is moving forward and becoming more and more accepting of gay people. Maybe one day the Mormon church will accept gay and lesbian couples as they are and maybe other churches will follow behind.

      Can you explain where you found that it wanted folks to "hate" the gay "lifestyle"?

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  59. the question that keeps coming into my mind is, what do you mean when you say you have an "active, healthy sex life" with your wife? we don't need specific details but does that mean you engage is sexual activities with eachother once a week, once a month, once a quarter? if it's not too personal it would be nice to know how the experience is from an emotional stand point. does your wife have feelings of "he's not 100% attracted to me". do you have feelings of "this would be better if she wasn't a women". these are honest questions from someone that thinks you are great and really appreciates your authenticity. sex is such a sensitive area of any relationship and must be even more so for the two of you.

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  60. I have posted here before but I'm afraid it got lost in the other thousands of comments and that's okay. But just to catch you up to speed in case you can answer my question----I'm gay and have also been married for a wonderful 10 years to my loving and amazing husband. I still struggle at times dealing with my attraction to women but I am also unmoving in my choice to live my life with my husband and three children. So my question to you is, do you ever feel the stab of jealousy when you see a gay couple living happily together? Or for me just seeing the act of two women kissing makes me feel jealous that they can experience that w/o feeling guilty. Being a faithful member of the church and believing the doctrine to be true I know I could never engage in such an act and not feel horrible afterwards. Even if I was single and free to do as I wanted I don't think I could ever make that choice b/c I don't want to leave the church. I am making large strides and am contemplating telling all of my extended family about my personal struggle. My husband knows and had known before we got married and is such a support. Although I do wonder if it is easier being married to a gay woman vs. a woman being married to a gay man. I"m just kind of spitting out whatever comes to my brain after midnight. Most of the time it just gibberish. But back to my original question...it would be great if I could have some input. Thanks.

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  61. I'd love it on facebook. It would be easy to refer family and friends. But any way you do it, I'll love it. Also, your anwering "were you ever sexually abused," makes me laugh, and I'm sorry to anyone who has been and that's why someone thinks they are gay. No disrespect intended. It's just that my daughter went through being asked all the stereotypical questions long ago. She had me watch the movie, "But I'm A Cheerleader." Have you seen it (you probably have.) It's full of all the steryotypical stuff that is a misconception when being gay. I LOVE that movie - it's hysterical!

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  62. I think a another blog would be good or wordpress where you can have both. Wordpress has a lot of customization options to it.

    I have a question for you. I was pondering over this question.

    Josh, you say, "I know, as a clinician and through other venues, of various male victims of childhood sexual abuse who are gay, but I also know many such victims who are not gay. There is correlation here perhaps (though I've never seen it in an actual study), but not causation."

    I am more curious now. I know it is not a causation of homosexuality but there is a correlation correct? Why do you think women who have been sexually abused by a male at a young age tend to shy away from males later in life but males who are tend to go the opposite way and show a correlation? I am really serious curious why. Is it the sex drive differences? Or just how male and females react differently.

    Another thing, I too have many gay friends. Over and over they tell me that during there 12-14 age range they had there first experience with an adult male. They liked it (of course because it's sex) and then got confused, and now are gay. Why is that? The few lesbian friends I have hate men because they where abused by men at an earlier age or during a marriage. My good friend's sister is also the same way. Had a horrible abusive marriage and turned lesbian after because she was so traumatized by being with that man. How much of a pattern do you see. I would love to see a quantitative or qualitative study done on this topic to really see the statistics of it comparative to heterosexual men and women.

    Any thoughts Josh or anyone else?

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    1. To comment on my own comment I found some studies done on pubmed.com..

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=homosexual%20abused%20as%20child

      and it did show a correlation between CSA (childhood sexual abuse) and homosexuality, bi, lesbian. It was found in the first study that...

      "Among women, bisexuals, lesbians, and heterosexuals with same-sex partners had 5.3 times, 3.4 times, and 2.9 times the odds, respectively, for CSA occurring sometimes/more frequently (vs. never) compared with heterosexuals not having same-sex partners or attractions. Among men, bisexuals, gay men, and heterosexuals with same-sex partners had 12.8 times, 9.5 times, and 7.9 times the odds, respectively, for CSA. Men and women sometimes or frequently abused had significant increases in odds for HIV/STI incidence compared with those not abused. Among women, sexual minorities had 3.8 times the odds and heterosexuals had 2.8 times the odds, whereas among men, sexual minorities had 4.2 times odds and heterosexuals had 1.5 times odds."

      Here's another study..
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15803252

      "This questionnaire study investigated the prevalence of, and interrelationships among, self-reported same-sex sexual orientation, childhood sexual abuse, and suicidal behavior in 1262 university students in Turkey. Approximately 7% of the sample reported lifetime or current same-sex sexual attractions, 5% reported that they engaged in same-sex sexual behavior, and almost 2% self-identified as either homosexual or bisexual. Overall, almost 10% of the sample acknowledged some form of a same-sex sexual orientation. Twenty-eight percent of the participants reported at least one instance of sexual abuse during their childhood. Almost 42% of the students reported suicidal ideation during the past 12 months or lifetime, and 7% reported that they attempted to kill themselves during their lifetime or in the past 12 months. Five hypotheses about the interrelationships among same-sex sexual orientation, childhood sexual abuse, and suicidal behavior were developed and tested in the study. Self-reported childhood sexual abuse was associated with same-sex sexual behavior. Participants who engaged in same-sex sexual behavior and those who identified themselves as homosexual or bisexual perceived more distance between themselves and their fathers than those who did not. Being sexually abused by someone of one's own sex was related to same-sex sexual orientation in male participants but not in female participants. Childhood sexual abuse was found to be an independent predictor of both suicidal ideation and attempts during the past 12 months. Only identifying oneself as homosexual or bisexual was associated with an increased risk for suicidal ideation during the past 12 months."

      Delete
    2. Here is another...
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11775080
      Lesbians reported more childhood sexual experiences, were more likely to meet the study definition for childhood sexual abuse (CSA), and were more likely to perceive themselves as having been sexually abused as children. CSA was associated with lifetime alcohol abuse in both lesbian and heterosexual women. However, adult sexual assault (ASA) was associated with alcohol abuse only in heterosexual women.

      and another....

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1497098/?tool=pubmed

      "Of 327 homosexual and bisexual men participating in an ongoing cohort study pertaining to risk factors for HIV infection who completed a survey regarding history of sexual abuse, 116 (35.5%) reported being sexually abused as children. Those abused were more likely to have more lifetime male partners, to report more childhood stress, to have lied in the past in order to have sex, and to have had unprotected receptive anal intercourse in the past 6 months (odds ratio 2.13; 95% confidence interval 1.15-3.95). Sexual abuse remained a significant predictor of unprotected receptive anal intercourse in a logistic model adjusting for potential confounding variables"

      and another...

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7820347

      "Autobiographical interviews with 26 adult male survivors of childhood sexual abuse were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim and content analyzed to identify common psychological themes. Approximately equal numbers of men were abused by male and female perpetrators, almost half came from disrupted or violent homes and a majority had a history of substance abuse. Fifteen psychological themes were identified: Anger, Betrayal, Fear, Homosexuality Issues, Helplessness, Isolation and Alienation, Legitimacy, Loss, Masculinity Issues, Negative Childhood Peer Relations, Negative Schemas about People, Negative Schemas about the Self, Problems with Sexuality, Self Blame/Guilt and Shame/Humiliation. The themes are discussed and illustrated with examples drawn from the transcripts."

      and yet another...

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1486514

      From May 1989 through April 1990, 1,001 adult homosexual and bisexual men attending sexually transmitted disease clinics were interviewed regarding potentially abusive sexual contacts during childhood and adolescence. Thirty-seven percent of participants reported they had been encouraged or forced to have sexual contact before age 19 with an older or more powerful partner; 94% occurred with men. Median age of the participant at first contact was 10; median age difference between partners was 11 years. Fifty-one percent involved use of force; 33% involved anal sex. Black and Hispanic men were more likely than white men to report such sexual contact. Using developmentally-based criteria to define sexual abuse, 93% of participants reporting sexual contact with an older or more powerful partner were classified as sexually abused. Our data suggest the risk of sexual abuse may be high among some male youth and increased attention should be devoted to prevention as well as early identification and treatment.


      Hmm, I wasn't expecting to find so many studies showing a correlation out there, there are a tons more. Don't know what to think at this point...

      I still do have the question of why women men handle things different though. Why do male children who are abused have a higher incident of homosexuality and turning to a man (even if they where abused by a man) and women tend to go the opposite?

      anyways...

      Delete
    3. Club Unicorn is about unique people with unique experiences. I try not to make points by tabulation.

      Delete
    4. I am not a clinician. But I'm going to offer my two cents anyways, take it for what it is :-).
      Every person (male, female or otherwise) reacts to every situation differently. That is why you can find a study that supports any theory you want. I don't like to use studies to make my points because it can be turned around to make any point you want. But here is what I will share: My best friend is a special education teacher (and an amazing one at that if I may say so). I asked her once about the so-called "gender-gap" in educating boys versus girls. And in order to not cloud her response I simply said "So, in what ways to boys and girls learn differently? How do you keep that from being a problem with your kids?"
      She smiled and replied, "Boys and girls don't learn differently. People learn differently. Some girls learn in the way I was told is the way boys learn and boys in the way girls were supposed to learn, I just create lessons that fit each kid."

      So you see, my point is, as a society we like to group men and women into groups and make generalizations because "most" or "some" of the few people who were surveyed responded in a certain way. Even if its "most" its only a small percentage of the women or men of the world. Its not enough to say "this is how women are" and even if one man is different it automatically takes away the ability to say "all men are this way"

      So to my point, if i person was abused as a child, teenager or adult, how they react to it will be different than their peer. Regardless of what age it happened or what gender they are or what the circumstances were.
      Some people who are abused might "explore" different things because of the abuse, thus putting them in the LGBT category for a time, but exploring and experimenting are not the same as falling in love and having true feelings for a certain gender.

      A person, no matter how abused they were, no matter how much they hate men, no matter how much their childhood sucked, can not deny their true attractions. It is seen here when Josh, though married, can not deny he his gay and had to come out.

      I want to give you an ability to trust me so I will tell you I did go through those things growing up. Too many to count. And I turned out attracted to women, so now that's the reason people want to give me for why. So I figured, if I could sort through my past I would be healed. I sorted through my past, came to terms with it and realized that the feelings of love and attraction were very very very separate from my fear and distrust of men. (sidenote, I now trust men and still love and am attracted to women)

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    5. I am the original poster, and I like you was sexual abused as a young girl. By the time I was 7, I had been abused by 3 18+ men and a set of older teenage girls. Yah unlucky me, I have no clue why I had so many people who did that to me (although I think the orientation that some people have for children is a real thing, that's the only explanation I could come up with). I even remember the early experience when I was 3 almost for of a young 18 year old male babysitter abusing me.

      It really has not affected me over the years. I never told my parents, and to this day they don't know (I think I might have told my sister but that's about it). The reason was I worked through it on my own as a teenager and just never looked back and be sad about it. My thoughts on why it has not affect me is I felt...It happened, there's nothing I can do about it and theirs no point letting it fester and eat me alive. I separated the act and realized at a early age that it was not my fault and people are flawed.

      I to am heterosexual and love men ALOT!!.. but I will admit that I have fantasized here and there about being with other women (not that I have ever acted on it lol). Is this relate to my sexual abuse as a child? I often wonder. So I guess according to one of the anonymous posters up above (which I think is a hilarious way of looking at it, and trying to figure it out) is I'm a "Heterosexual women who has just enough bi tendencies to actually have fantasies about other women or do an act if I allow myself go down that path" HAHA. And Luckily I know the gospel to be true (I have had to many witness and things happen in my life to every doubt. I know 100% it is true) and will never act on a fantasy, because fantasies are just that, FANTASIES.

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    6. I want to clarify that nowhere in my post did I state that i was heterosexual. I guess I accidentally implied that i was male somehow and I apologize. I am not heterosexual at all.
      Though I was traumatized as a young person that is NOT why I am who I am. which is the point I was trying to make.

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    7. anon 9:22. Ok I misunderstood your last line you posted. For some reason I though you were saying you where heterosexual and trying to prove a point that you are "heterosexual and was abused as a child" to disprove. Now I see that you are inline with the correlation (CSA and homosexuality or SSA) like I am. As much as you think that being abused as a child did not harm your inner sexual clock it did. Stuff like CSA always do and always will. It's just the nature of the beast. I have been trying to come to terms with why I have fantasies of women sometimes, my thoughts always comes back the realization that my "sexual clock" was messed up. Even though being SA as a child and not being very traumatized by it changed me, it changed you. In fact it changes ALL children in one way or another.

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    8. Last line correction...

      Even though I was SA as a child and it not being very traumatizing, it still changed me, it changed you. In fact it changes ALL children in one way or another.

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  63. facebook!
    and a forum.
    but facebook is better for those of us who are too lazy to go to some new external website which we'll have to try and figure out and continue to remember it exists (no where else would i admit such tendencies in myself, but i'm pretty sure you have them, too-- ADD + Josh-ness and all...)

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  64. Ideas for processing the comments.

    Josh and Lolly, I'm working on ways for volunteers to help you process the comments. I'll go through two or three hundred posts, compiling questions, responses, suggestions and concerns, and noting people who want to connect with you personally, then I'll send you the results. If you like it, maybe you can find volunteers to process all the comments that way.

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    1. I think it would be interesting to keep track of how many self identify as unicorns and are still married and how many are divorced.

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  65. Forum's allow a degree of anonymity that will allow people to comment who may not on facebook.

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  66. Exaggerating to make a point: if homosexuality were caused by pigs flying through the air and secretly dropping gay pills into the mouths of unsuspecting newborns, it would not matter. People can be gay and live a gay lifestyle if they want to, whether or not a group of folks, even a large group that has a great cluster in Utah, agrees or not. As long as that group keeps their judgements on this to their own group, then it's not so awful. I mean their will be suicides which is awful but at least it will be kept within that one group.(and yes, a few other religions as well are equal in their anti-gay obsession)
    I'm glad that Josh is feeling free now that the Mormon Church has said that gay people are human. Seriously, that is amazing movement in the entrenchment. Not far enough but I must applaud even the baby steps. folks will still kill themselves but hopefully at a lesser rate.
    Some say that homosexuality isn't 'natural.' But then again, Josh implies that it is not a natural feeling for him to be intimate with a woman and yet he overrides his natural inclination. Uh yes, some might say, but his natural inclination is actually unnatural so really he is overriding his natural-unnatural inclination to what is actually natural. And further, if he didn't override his natural-unnatural inclination to what is natural then he would be claiming the natural-unnatural as natural which would be against what God says is natural. And naturally, the punishment for that would be harsh. And really, some would say, society is failing, falling like Rome did becauss of all this unnatural natural inclination everywhere these days. Naturally, we must put a stop to this by any natural means possible.
    Confusing? Naturally.

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    1. THe mormon church has always said "gay people are human". I grew up in the church I never saw or heard that ideology going around the church. The church stance it that homosexuality is a sin (an all sexual experience before marriage or cheating while marriage). It has nothing to do with the church thinking gay people are not human. It's all about the sin in the eyes of God, nothing more. The one thing the church has been clear on is that we love people regardless of their choices. If a LDS person is being cruel, it is because we have free agency, and some people just have their own agenda that are not supported by the church. The church is true, its the people who can make choices on how they live the gospel.
      For example.... For me, I love my Dr. Pepper, for another LDS person they might think its a word of wisdom issue. To me, I love taking my family out for sunday dinner (that's about the only time I can get all my teenagers together in one place) , but for most it is the sabbath day you keep it holy so they would not do that. I am sure people don't agree with me on some of my things I do and to be honest who cares what other people think anyways... but they love me regardless.

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    2. I should clarify... Growing up in the church I never heard the notion that "Gay people are not human". Is what I meant in the 1st and 2nd beginning sentence.

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    3. Thanks for responding. Although I have to say that I don't believe (and I could be wrong) that your drinking Dr. Pepper would result in your being ex-communicated by the church or so shamed for it that you want to end your life.
      Shaming is not only what is said but in deeply entrenched attitudes. So while folks may indeed love their gay brethren and tell them so, the attitude, the belief, is that being gay is wrong and a sin that is abhorrent to God. Hard to explain properly but that belief underrides everything else and so that while a gay person may feel loved and accepted, underneath all that, the undercurrent if you will, is that being 'true to who you are' for lack of a better way of putting is, is wrong. But I mean it's interesting - from reading most of the comments I see just how entrenched this perception is and how again, entrenched it is and impossible in many ways to see beyond. I think if I hung out mostly with folks who felt this way, I would start to question what for me is my reality. But hopefully, my reality has strong enough roots that I wouldn't uproot it for these other beliefs. Hmmm, not clear reallly but mainly I'm saying that it is nearly impossible to change a belief system that has been entrenched and affirmed since childhood. The cognitive dissonance is simply too great.

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    4. anon 11:46... the problem with that rationale is that what about other sin? What about if a person murders. The way you are saying it is that we need to accept the sin because its the only true way of saying you love the sinrne without "underriding" their feelings so they feel loved. I am sorry. Sin is sin, regardless of how we try to rationalize it as human beings. We all have that little compass telling us right from wrong, even the gay person fights with his/her own moral compass to come to the conclusion that its is ok or not. That moral compass (the spirit) will tell you if things are right and will definitely tell you if things are wrong. A person will have a 100% confirmation that is is right, and not feel conflicted inside about their decision.

      The Dr pepper with was just a very basic analogy.... yes the church would not excommunicate over that. lol.

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    5. Two consenting adults having sexual relations is akin to murder? Do you really not see how A)offensive and B)ridiculous your analogy is?

      I'm thankful to have been raised by parents, and supported by a religious community, that does not believe that homosexuality is a sin.

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    6. Examples do not constitute my thinking that anything is related to anything else. I keep on seeing you saying stuff like that on ALL of Josh's post- fresh hell, texas. The poster above asked us to "accept what we can't accept" and it is the ONLY way to love the person. This is not true. Like the murderer, or just someone that has maybe cheated on their spouse - We don't agree but we are asked by GOD to love regardless of what people do. It's a stupid notion that we have to accept their sin to love them.

      Sin is Sin regardless of how you feel. We are asked to love the person regardless of what they do. Why do people require others to accept their sin? Because I really don't think that is fair of anyone to have a double standard here. You want others to believe that being gay is a natural tendency, but then you are unwilling to see that other people don't have to agree with you. The gay community can't have it both ways... wanting acceptance but not being accepting of other individual's beliefs.

      I am glad I was raised in a religious community that is not so blinded by what the "world" thinks is ok and just conforms to fit in, I am glad the LDS has become more peculiar as time passes because of the changes in society. I was never born to fit in, I was born to STAND OUT. I am glad to be "sheltered" and I am glad my children are sheltered to. Who wants to have our children see things they are not old enough or mentality or emotionally mature enough to see. NOT I.

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    7. The real question, and one I really really want an answer to but can't ever get one is WHY is being gay a sin. Murder is a sin because you ended a life, theft is a sin because you took something which wasn't yours. Being gay is a sin because? Gay mean you're loving someone who happens to be the same gender as you, what about that is sinful. I'm really being serious and not sarcastic, though you can't here tone here.

      What is the sin?

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    8. Being gay is natural. No one can deny that ALL mammals have a certain percentage of their population that prefers same sex relations to opposite sex ones. That is a scientific fact.
      Call it a sin, I really don't care what a person's opinion is on GLBTQ issues. I only care that they treat others with respect and do not deny them their civil rights.
      Lastly, my church recognized gay rights long before the rest of society, so don't accuse us of going along to get along. It was a brave stand to take and I'm proud of it.

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    9. All sexual experience outside of marriage are a sin. Not just homosexuality. Sexual sin is sin because it degrades what sex is really for. Plus I saw a post about medical reason for it (which was very interesting btw, I never thought of it that way). Homosexually end the chance of creating life, or not bringing biological children into this world. Children need both male and female role models in their life. To deny children that CAN, not WILL (there's a difference here) cause role confusion.

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    10. Fresh Hell: What church do you go to? I've never heard of a church which doesn't hate gay people, that sounds wonderful, I would love to explore such a place.

      Anon: If gay marriage was allowed then sex within that marriage would no longer be able to be considered a sin. Correct? So the church is MAKING homosexuality a sin by not allowing gay people the ability to follow the churches teachings.
      Also, what do you mean by role confusion? Are you speaking of sexist concepts of men's and women's jobs? Then I have to disagree because men and women are free to do as the please, I have a mom and a dad still happily married and I fall into the "not following the gender roles/rules" category and the "not loving the opposite sex" category so your theory doesn't pan out.

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    11. I am a Unitarian Universalist. But there are many denominations that are coming to terms with GLBTQ people, which is wonderful to see.

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    1. great post!! and now I am more curious about you FG Mormon... :)

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    2. To 11:11 pm anon - Well, the question is what 'sin' is really. And that is not something that can be debated properly here or debated at all because those who have chosen to take a little view of The Bible will not her anything else so it would be like banging my head against the wall.
      I would though, urge folks to at least know where in the Bible/the Book of Mormon homosexuality is discussed, the context, etc so that when folks ask why is it a sin, y'all will at least have an answer.
      Actually, from what I've seen the gay community is way way more tolerant of Josh's story than I have been. If I had been told my whole young adult/adult life that who I am is wrong, wrong, wrong and if I'd had to deal with that every day of my life while also living with the fear of losing my job because of who I am or losing my church or even losing my life, i would be a whole lot less sympathetic because josh' story could well be used as further 'proof' against me. I can't imagine and I don't think anyone can until they've lived it. there's a reason there aren't a lot of comments from actual gay people on here - partly, I suspect because the homophobia (comparing homosexuality to murder, for example) (a trigger word I realize) even when cushioned in nice words is rampant and partly because there is simply no real space here for someone to say I am gay, I am in a same sex relationship and it is not a sin.
      I have no problem with Josh' story and I would expect then that others would have no problem with gay folks living gay lifestyles. But on here, they do. so, I could turn your argument around - why does the Mormon community get so upset when gay people living a gay lifestyle tell their stories but not when Josh does?
      Also, I note that often, when it is suggested that gay people living a gay lifestyle have the same rights as straight people and are not sinner because of it, that religious folk soon bring out the "I don't have to accept what the world says!" rhetoric. I honestly don't know if it is fear or anger or what, but if you (the generic you) feel that offended by a few comments with another point of view on a blog, can you then imagine what it is like for gay people who are living a gay lifestyle to have their very beings negated again and again and again?
      but again, honestly my bad because this point of view cannot be understood on here. It just can't be.
      Also, just my opinion, I don't find Josh peculiar or weird, not at all.

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    3. not little view, sorry, I meant literal view.

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    4. I am the poster from 1:11 pm btw. :)
      Sadly.. Mormons and the Gay Community community is not all that different you know in one aspect ...the gay community and the Mormon community are very misunderstood in general. I know the gay community has had similar 'trials" per say as the Mormon church has had with persecution. If you look into the history of the church you will see that, and is still a problem now a days, and will probably always be because the way we view things. Just like the gay community will always have "trials" per say because of how deeply rooted, personal and the way things are viewed in their life's.

      I don't accept the lifestyle but that does not mean I don't have great friends that are gay and lesbian. In fact, I love them regardless of what they choose because I see them as people, struggling just as I am to understand life, our place and what our core philosophies are. I will say that sometime I wish they would stop talking about there "sex" life per say because who wants to hear about that stuff and constantly trying to prove themselves to everyone around them (who cares really what people think is what I usually say to them) but besides that I have a great relationship with all my gay friends. My gay friends understand that I don't necessary agree with there lifestyle, but then know that I don't agree with alot of peoples lifestyles, but I love them regardless. They also don't agree with me being LDS (or such a goodie two shoes lol), but that is ok, because I know they love me. It's just how it is.

      I personally find Josh and Lolly awesome. Like many of the people out there I have to fight my own desires (and boy do I have a few!!) just like everyone else. I can't imagine where I would be if I just did everything my mind thought about desire wise. 0_0 that would be a scary thought!! ha!. I wouldn't have the family I wanted, I wouldn't have a very docile life and I would not be where I am today if I allowed my desires to dictate me. I know that 100%. Anyways thanks for the comment anon 2:01. I respect what you said.

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    8. I gotta say I'm not sure what girls would go for being practice for homosexual men who want to eventually go on to marry women despite having no attraction (not just physical obviously, let's not reduce it yet again to that here)to them. Homosexuality does not make one 'a nerd, geek or oddball' although I imagine that being gay and being married to someone of the opposite sex could result in this. I don't know you FG Mormon, but it seems to me (and obviously I could be completely wrong) that perhaps by putting a 'nerd or geek' label on yourself it helps you to feel better about everything you have denied yourself in life. No matter how much the straight folks (and I am, in fact, a straight folk) on here praise you and that must feel amazing after feeling alone for so long, they will never ever ever understnd what you are struggling with and in fact are comparing it to such things as committing murder or drinking Dr. Pepper.
      I think any young woman who would do this would have issues herself and it might not be all that healthy for her. I suggest and I mean this with all sincerity and honesty, that a prostitute could be hired - not to have sex with the young gay men but to help them learn how to kiss, hold hands,etc. There are escort services, i'm not talking about street level prostitutes.
      On a separate note, Josh refers to being able to be his 'authentic self' now. I surmise from this that his being gay has something to do with his 'self' as it were and not just physical attraction or sin. Being gay is part of one's self.

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    9. Please, continue the discussion with me (FG Mormon) in a thread that I've created further down, because this thread is messed up. Thank you.

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  68. I just wanted to echo the comments from many others - NOT Facebook! Do a carefully moderated Forum (find people you trust to help), or a separate blog. For the forum, having the password would help not only with the privacy, but with eliminating the trolls quickly. You've had good luck with the comments on the blog thus far, but you can't count on that continuing. People will come and purposefully stir up trouble. I don't think I've commented yet on your blog, but I wanted to tell you how inspiring you are. You are living your religion in the face of extreme difficulty, which is wonderfully admirable.

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  69. Please, no Facebook! I FB everyday but I feel it will cheapen your message and take it to undeserving places.

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  70. Hey guys. I gotta tell you. Yes, I'm peculiar and weird and awkward in whatever you could have read about me from my comments so far. But that's not even close to how you would feel if I just told you what's been through my mind and before my eyes in just past 24 hours, let alone my entire life.

    Not even as an anonymous "FG Mormon" I would dare to tell you everything. I still haven't got to the point where I can sincerely say that I dare to be as authentic as Josh has managed to become. It is because I find that the quest for authenticity in this life is until we part with our last breadth.

    Let me say, as a side note, that nothing written here implies that I am doing or have done anything that would make my personal near term or long term damnation inevitable. No, it is just that I am simply weirder, more peculiar and more awkward than Josh Weed, if you can imagine that. (Can you imagine that, Josh?)

    However, there is something soothing, something very calming, reassuring, relieving, alleviating in the midst of all this epic exhilaratingly nightmarish or nightmarishly exhilarating phenomena that I'm experiencing. It is something very special, very precious, on which I can hang all my horrors, apprehensions, all my misgivings, all my trials & torments & tribulations, and I know it won't break.

    The Love of God.

    Hey, Josh, I feel so calm, so secure, so at home here, under your wings. Thank you.

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    1. great post!! and now I am more curious about you FG Mormon... :)

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    2. OK, Anon, let me give you a glimpse of what you are up against.

      Sure, Josh was lucky, he virtually found his wife in the kindergarten, so he had enough time to make her mind wrapped around the fact that he was gay. What about the rest of us, who are just as gay as Joseph Smith is the prophet but haven't figured it out early enough, so we find ourselves in the age of menace to the society without the slightest clue on how to hold hands or kiss with a girl (or with a boy for that matter, but let's not push it to the extreme), although we want that experience at least as purely scientific experiment?

      So, I was wondering, perhaps we should organize a graveyard of newly awoken young elephants who would join our ranks as soon as they realize that they are screwed, as some form of an exhibition for girls who are, I don't know, just as displaced in their big heterosexual world as we are in our little homosexual one or are, I don't know, set on fire by nerds, geeks, oddballs and alike, no, not for the purpose to actually marry us, because that would be an attempt to cure us and that never ends well, but to simply teach us how to kiss and hold hands in an unthreatening and unpresumptuous environment.

      If you find this my proposal out of place or perhaps cynical or even downright silly, think again. I'm carefully trying to phrase it in a way that it is acceptable to all of you, no matter the side of the debate you are on, while at the same time giving those young folks some window of opportunity, no matter how small or insignificant, to sneak through, between you, BIG BEASTS, thank you very much.

      You get it?

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    3. I gotta say I'm not sure what girls would go for being practice for homosexual men who want to eventually go on to marry women despite having no attraction (not just physical obviously, let's not reduce it yet again to that here)to them. Homosexuality does not make one 'a nerd, geek or oddball' although I imagine that being gay and being married to someone of the opposite sex could result in this. I don't know you FG Mormon, but it seems to me (and obviously I could be completely wrong) that perhaps by putting a 'nerd or geek' label on yourself it helps you to feel better about everything you have denied yourself in life. No matter how much the straight folks (and I am, in fact, a straight folk) on here praise you and that must feel amazing after feeling alone for so long, they will never ever ever understnd what you are struggling with and in fact are comparing it to such things as committing murder or drinking Dr. Pepper.
      I think any young woman who would do this would have issues herself and it might not be all that healthy for her. I suggest and I mean this with all sincerity and honesty, that a prostitute could be hired - not to have sex with the young gay men but to help them learn how to kiss, hold hands,etc. There are escort services, i'm not talking about street level prostitutes.
      On a separate note, Josh refers to being able to be his 'authentic self' now. I surmise from this that his being gay has something to do with his 'self' as it were and not just physical attraction or sin. Being gay is part of one's self.

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    4. Wow! What an interesting breed of two seemingly utterly unrelated threads! (Josh, you should definitely find a better home for this discussion.)

      Anon @3.37, I hope you understand that unintentionally hijacked my thread, but that's okay, I don't complain.

      If I understand it correctly, you are asking what's the use for hetero girls to do the kissing and holding hands with gay men. And you are righ. I see no use, and that was meant to be a joke, and was meant to be something other than it turned into, but that's okay.

      Now that I'm kind of drawn into your discussion, let me just say that there are some standards - let's not in this particular (awkward) situation (of mixed threads) make them a part of sin vs. sinless paradigm - that simply mean a lot to some folks, no matter what fixed those standards and why in the minds of those people. Call them dumb or irrational or stupid, but allow us that we find them important, for whatever reason.

      And so we conduct our lives around those standards the best we can as long as we find them important, and then sometimes we suddenly and (un)expectedly find them less important, and that's the end of the standards for those who find them such. But the rest of us keep enforcing them upon ourselves, and please, if you don't understand, don't ask why we do that, it is inexplicable and perhaps it is not necessary that it is. Thank you very much.

      I hope that this thread will now regain it's intended form and substance.

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    5. as for hijacking threads, I'm simply commenting on a previous comment you had made. This seems to be your new thing though, about hijacking, so okay - that's not what I'm trying to do at any rate.
      I maintain that since the Mormon Church is excommunicating folks for being in same sex marriages and is making it clear that being in a gay relationship is a sin that will result in excommunication which can (not always) result in devastation for those people and since some on here have gone as far as to almost say AIDS is the fault of gay men, and since some are comparing homosexuality to murder, I think it is more than fair to ask the root of these ideas. The root might not matter so much if these beliefs weren't hurting other people, but they are and have. Also, since Mormonism is quite big on evangelizing, I would think folks would be more than happy to explain some of their beliefs. I'm not calling them dumb or irrational or stupid, I am simply and honestly trying to find out why these beliefs exist.
      I'm not sure what ''form and substance' you intended this thread or why you are taking ownership of a thread but i would suggest that if you want to control comments on someone else's blog that that might be tricky and not really your call. On your own blog of course, you can have whatever control you want.
      If it is true that some folks have 'inexplicable' reasons for denouncing homosexuality, that would concern me greatly and I can't imagine that that is actually true.
      So, no, I will keep on asking why and hope that someone on here actually knows why. I can't imagine a Mormon saying to someone enquiring into the Mormon faith, 'well, we believe this but we don't know why and it could change at any minute.'' That's not true.
      I believe you said much earlier that you are ESL which I find interesting because my job is teaching ESL and I have never seen the kind of writing that you present from another ESL person - and I've taught hundreds from many different cultures and countries from beginner to advance -in terms of sentence structure etc. I am not doubting you or saying you have a bad writing style, certainly not. It is just interesting.
      Again, I completely get that you are on a hijacking thread idea now but trust me, I'm not trying to take over what you feel is yours. I'm just asking honest questions, as is my right. Thank you very much.

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    6. ANON.. O M G... I have not read anywhere on Josh's blog that someone is liking gay relationship to murder or a AIDS being the fault of the gays. I think you read to much into what people say because it is not what I understood when I read those posts. WOW.

      I think the post compelling evidence I have seen so far is the medical reason one of the anonymous poster wrote about. Medical knowledge is tangible. That theory could be taken as a inexplicable reason. It interesting to discuss other then spiritual or a "it's against god" theory.

      FG Mormon... I am trying to understand what you are saying but still don't.. You are being to cryptic. Spills the beans. Enquiring minds wanna know. :)

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    7. OK, we kind of get somewhere with this discussion. In the previous thread, certain Anon made a reference to Anon @11:11 PM comment which had been posted in the thread before. It was obvious at least to me that the comment was mistakenly posted by the commenter because he or she pushed the wrong button and filled the wrong comment field. That Anon @11:11 PM was obviously yourself, and you picked it up, which is perfectly okay. I have no intention nor desire to control this discourse by denying anyone an opportunity to speak, as I am no one. I'm just trying to sort out things to where they belong.

      As for your question to me, let me answer in my next reply.

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    8. Anon @5.07 PM, part of what I consider peculiar in me, which had been mentioned in one of my earlier comments, is the fact that I had not been born in the LDS church, I chose to be baptized by my own free will an choice when I was almost thirty.

      It is conventional wisdom that non-Mormons with same-sex attraction (who I at the time had been) should and would run in the opposite direction from anything that has anything to do with the LDS church, except perhaps if in their utter oblivion they end up being baptized by a Mormon missionary on whom they previously had a crush. Well, then my story is definitely counterintuitive.

      I can argue that I joined the church EXACTLY BECAUSE and not IN SPITE OF her policies towards homosexuals. It would take too long to explicate my train of thought that brought me to that kind of conclusion, but suffice it to say that after a long and exhausting quest for a fulfilling gay relationship as a staunch atheist, I realized that that course of action may not necessarily be the best for me, so I started to look for alternatives, including looking into the Mormon church.

      Another topic.

      I would argue that calling something a sin is not necessarily a problem or detrimental to a wellbeing of someone who is, for example, gay. What IS detrimental is constantly and endlessly batting that thing in OTHERS and hoping that it would be ultimately batted out of existence.

      As Josh had put it in his seminal post:

      "Let go of your impulse to correct [gay person] or control them or propel them down the path you think is right for them. Do what you need to do to move past that impulse. Do not condemn the choices your loved one makes. Love. Only love. Show your love in word and deed. Embrace them, both literally and figuratively."

      Or as one of church's general authorities has sad: "Do not judge other for sinning differently than you do."

      As for my ESL, thank you. I still find myself flawed in my English language because I am not perfect in puting (definite or indefinite) articles in their proper places or not recognizing that I have made a major blunder. I would call myself proficient not until I am able to publish an article directly in a newspaper without needing anyone to go through it and make corrections.

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  71. I vote forum, login required.

    ...and, I loved that you made a distinction between correlation and causation! We should have billboards of that.

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  72. forums are anonymous. You need that for this conversation.

    People won't be real on Facebook. or they won't realize they just barely accidentally came out to 500 friends and acquaintances and their grandmas.....

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  73. "Like the murderer, or just someone that has maybe cheated on their spouse - We don't agree but we are asked by GOD to love regardless of what people do" - there's the murder example.
    As for AIDS - the fact that it even came up indicates that it is part of the argument against homosexuality. And it didn't take too long for it to come up. And how could that be taken as an inexplicable reason? Inexplicable would mean that it couldn't be explained - but by citing medical 'evidence' as justification that is giving an explanation. Hence it is no longer inexplicable. And the religious reason would not be inexplicable either if folks would just, well, explain why their religion says it is wrong. Otherwise, why would anyone follow something for no reason? If this is strictly a blog only for Mormons to comment on, then perhaps there doesn't need to be an explanation. But since it isn't, people are going to be curious, or at least I am. Ignoring the question or minimizing it or striking out against it doesn't make the question go away. Perhaps Josh will clear this up in another blog post, perhaps not. Again, if this is strictly to be only Mormons leaving comments, please let me know.
    For the longest time after the AIDS virus was discovered, very little was done about it because it was 'only' a 'gay disease' and a disease that Haitians got. No one cared. The stigma put upon gay people (and drug addicts and Haitians) was horrendous and there was a lot of 'you reap what you sow' talk going on. So bringing up the AIDS virus on a forum like this where some (not all) folks seem to not know why they believe what they do I admit scares me. So when I read folks referring to the AIDS virus I may, it is true, take a leap to what has been claimed in the past. Viruses have no morality, they don't care if someone is gay or straight.
    I wish I were just reading into things I really and honestly do. I wish people weren't likening (not liking per your comment) gay relationships to murder or drinking Dr. Pepper, I really do.
    As for FG Mormon, it saddens me that he is seeming (and I could be totally wrong, I realize that) to get his self-esteem from posting on here and talking about how weird and quirky he is and being, as you say, cryptic through bizarre turns of phrase. I have a feeling this is the most attention he has had in a long time and he will be revered here for denying his homosexuality and I imagine that that feels great. But to me, it just makes me sad. He is not special for choosing not to live a gay lifestyle andd quite frankly, my heart breaks for his wife. Maybe she is happy though and wouldn't it be great if Mrs. F G Mormon were to post on here?

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    1. All sexual experience outside of marriage are a sin. Not just homosexuality. Sexual sin is sin because it degrades what sex is really for. Homosexually end the chance of creating life, or not bringing biological children into this world. Children need both male and female role models in their life. To deny children that CAN, not WILL (there's a difference here) cause role confusion. God's law is all about multiplying and replenishing the earth. Hence you asked for an explanation and you get one.

      It is really no point arguing about the rights and wrongs of god's law does it. In the end everything will be worked out and justice will be complete according to his law anyways. Correct? So as much as you are upset with what people say here, alot of it is factual information, others are viewpoints relating to spiritual matters, and still more are just trying to get people to understand.

      How about we take a sabbatical and just agree to disagree and realized this back and forth is only infuriating people. Lets get back to what is the real issue. What's will be the next Josh Weed blog post. :) Make it good josh!!.

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    2. Anon @8.30 PM, I addressed some of your questions (and concerns, if I may call them such) in my previous thread of comments.

      As for me "denying my homosexuality", don't be sad, although it's okay to feel that way. I'm not denying my homosexuality, I actually like it more and more with every passing hour. And the more I like it, the more I feel good about it and about my life in general. And for that matter, about happiness and wellbeing of my wife.

      By the way, I have a confession to make. I keep telling you guys that I have three kids. Well, I don't. I have only two kids and a wife that is just about to deliver. She is in the hospital right now because of high blood pressure, and I expect to become a father for the third time within next couple weeks. So, I apologize for misleading you. :) I also appologize because you won't be able to hear from Mrs FG Mormon.

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    3. I haven't ever commented before for many reason, but I have to stop and say here that I think FG Mormon may be a patholigical liar. That is quite a charge for me to make and I don't make it lightli at all - to me, and maybe only to me, the odd way of saying his stories, adn now his wife convenintly being unable to comment and just a feeling I have. While I dont like lots of what people are saying on here that seems to be against Mormons, a pathologicial liar woold be almost worse. I'm nnot for name-calling but in this caase I had to speak out.

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    4. Anon @11:22 AM, to have an unborn kid, particularly the one who is due in less than two weeks, is also having one. And I apologize for apologizing, that was a joke.

      As for Mrs FG Mormon, she probably wouldn't care to comment even if she wasn't in the hospital. But, don't worry, I will make up something on her behalf so that everything sounds more plausible.

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    5. And I also said less than two weeks, which contradicts my previous post.

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    6. I agree with 11:22 am I have to say. I'm sensing some, as 11:22 said, pathological lying but you know that, FG. It's my issue though, I'll just ignore whatever it is you say on here.

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    7. Anon @2.42 PM, fair enough.

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  74. Thank you. Not sure where in the Bible/the Book of Mormon it says all of what you wrote but no matter.
    My bad in many ways - I love to debate (and most definitely have been proven wrong on many, many things in the past) and that can come across at times as aggressive, which is never my intention.
    And I know and have always known that debating Mormons is impossible but once I get going I almost get OCD about it and can't stop. I know that but I dive in any way because I'm bored or I'm looking for an outlet and etc.
    So for that I do genuinely apologize.

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  75. but one last thing- Mormons! I urge you to really look into the life of Joseph Smith (and not just the Mormon material) and to check into how many Mormon youth have committed suicide because of what they are told about being gay. And to question why a group of mainly white middle-aged American men are telling you what to think and what to believe. And to really understand the Bible both in its original meaning and its context. And like Marie Osmond, to adopt children rather than just overpopulating the earth, maybe even hard to place children.
    phew, ok, that really is it.
    I will stop commenting. I really will. I will breathe and think about the 12 steps 'I am powerless against commenting on a Mormon blog.'

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    1. hahahha... I will say you are determined :) I have to say your last comment is a hoot. :) It's really ok to debate it just gets no one anywhere when there is so many things being said. We both know the mormons will probably always have a hard time understand the homosexual lifestyle and the gay community will always have a hard time understand why mormons believe the way they do. The is the blessing of living in a free society, we can have different opinions and hopeful respect each other enough to be willing to listen. :)

      Having said that do you have anything else you would like to say or ask?

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  76. how about both! a forum as more of a safe place for people facing himosexuality whether personally, as family or as a friend...and facebook as more of public interest and a place to hear about the forum

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  77. how about both! a forum as more of a safe place for people facing himosexuality whether personally, as family or as a friend...and facebook as more of public interest and a place to hear about the forum

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  78. You may have answered this question somewhere and I may have missed it. How has the Church members and leadership responded to your coming out?

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  79. Thinking about this some more ...

    I was thinking about how to get this flood away from here, so you can get this blog back to normal, but just now I realized, you won't be going back! Obviously. You might not want to continue a humor blog at all, but even if you do, it will not be the same blog that it was.

    Wow, so ...

    I had been thinking, maybe you could move this flood away from here by posting about the gay-Mormon-man-in-a-healthy-marriage-with-a-woman story, in a new blog. But now, since this blog can never be the same again anyway (or can it?), maybe there's no point in doing that.

    In any case, I see more than one purpose in the idea of a new forum or FB page, and I think it would be a big mistake to try to fulfill all those purposes in a single forum or FB page. Plus I think that a new forum or FB page would be a really bad way to fulfill any of them. Worst of all a forum or FB page identified or associated with you or with the club.

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    1. I take that back. I do see one good way to use a forum and/or FB page: as *part* of a support network for people who are working on any initiatives that might arise out of this.

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