Thursday, July 19, 2012

Welcome, Nightliner!

Oh hi.

If you're here tonight, it means you probably saw the segment about me and my family on Nightline. So, welcome to the blog that started it all!

Let me show you around.

First off, you might be wondering about the coming out post that began this whole process.

I posted it over a month ago, and then it went viral. It's the thing that will answer most of your questions (if you have any) and you can find it by clicking here.

If you don't want to wade through the thousands of comments on that post, but want to leave a thought for us about it, feel free to do so on this post. (But, I'll tell you what, there is always a distinct and obvious difference between commenters who have read the coming out post, and commenters who are just going off what they think it might have said--so if you're going to comment, I'd recommend reading it.)

Before that post, The Weed was primarily (and it still often is) a humor blog. Here are a few of the most popular past posts if you're in the mood for a chuckle:

Bambi Nuggets
Previously the most popular post on my blog, in this post my daughter and I discuss the tragedy of Bambi's mom, and the resultant conversation turns my blood cold...

The Time I Almost Played Trivial Pursuit with Ken Jennings
Spoiler: I'm really bad at trivia...

Morning Run
Yeah. THAT happened on my morning run...

Celebrity Crush
How can I can compete with this guy? Answer: I CAN'T.


All right. Hopefully that gives you a taste of what you can expect 'round these parts. It's pretty much a regular riot, with a lot of talking about homosexuality, and a lot of hilarity surrounding my kids and stuff.

So, yeah, welcome aboard! Or at very least a hearty thank you for dropping in and taking a gander.

(Oh, and if you want more regular updates, I just started a Facebook Page so I'll post a bunch of crap there and it will be awesome.)

All right, I've gotta post this! Someone out East just texted me that the segment's on. (I won't get to see it for a few hours because I'm in Seattle, so instead I'm going to go put two rascally girls to bed and be really nervous and sick to my stomach for a couple of hours. Later!)


111 comments:

  1. Just saw you on Nightline.I think you are brave for putting yourself out there in the public with something so personal.I am a straight married woman so I don't quite understand but think you have amazing strength to denial something so strong to make your life what you want it to be for you and your family.I hope God blesses you and yours.

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  2. Ms. Sarah ShootsJuly 19, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    I saw your story on Nightline. Great job! You are being true and authentic to who you are. Thank you for sharing your beautiful relationship with us. Also read your most popular posts... Hilarious!

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  3. Hi Josh: I also am a gay man, a Christian, and was married. I've have had the gay feelings since I was 8. In High School, I met a wonderful, beautiful girl who became my wife of 25 years before her passing in 2007. I truly did love her and stayed faithful through all 25 years. She also know of my gay feelings, but not until after we were married; but, just as your wonderful wife Lolly, my wife understood, even encouraging me to experiment to see if I WAS gay; of course, staying faithful, I never tested it. If my wife were still alive, I'd still be pushing back the gay, because I truly loved (and still love) her dearly. We'd be celebrating our 30th anniversary this year and I can't discount those memories. I wouldn't have had it any other way. At this time, I have come out to a few family and some friends, and attend church regularly and even volunteer and have had a leadership role in the church. I am not ashamed of who I am - God created me; but others' views can be so different, which is why my Pastor doesn't know. Telling the truth (to myself) and coming out has been so liberating and stress-relieving. I know I can still serve God, as I do love Him and have faith in my Saviour! Thank You for your story of encouragement. Blessings, Brian

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    1. What a beautiful story and testimony to your love and faithfulness to your spouse. God Bless you, Brian!

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    2. Brian,
      I loved this! Thank you for sharing.

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  4. Alma 12:14
    14 For our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us; we shall not be found spotless; and our thoughts will also condemn us; and in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God; and we would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the mountains to fall upon us to hide us from his presence.

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    1. And then there's that other fun one about "judge not"?

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    2. And how about.. As I have loved you, love one another?

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    3. Anon 10;15
      Really? Who needs G-d to judge when we have you. Josh and Lolly are living within the law of chastity and honoring their conscience with their choices, so the fact that "YOU" can't seem to handle their particular situation doesn't mean that G-d can't. I for one am proud to call them my brother and sister in the gospel of Jesus Christ!

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    4. Anon 10:15 PM, for your words will condemn you, yea, all your works will condemn you, you shall not be found spotless, and your thoughts will also condemn you, and in this awful state you shall not dare to look up to our God; and you would fain be glad if you could command the rocks and the mountains to fall upon you to hide you from his presence.

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    5. Wow, how to strip a scripture of all context! Great contribution,*Anonymous*.

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    6. Come on, Anon. Quote the preceeding verse, you know the "If" verse, and then explain to us how that describes Josh.

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    7. There will always be those who "wrest the scriptures unto their own destruction."

      Anon @ 10:15 p.m. - Picking and choosing? Let's read the verse that precedes the one you quoted out of context:

      Alma 12:13 Then if our hearts have been hardened, yea, if we have hardened our hearts against the word, insomuch that it has not been found in us, then will our state be awful, for then we shall be condemned.

      Either you're not LDS or you were asleep when we had this lesson in Sunday School recently. The "word" is the gospel of Jesus Christ (please reference your New Testament for that). Josh has most definitely NOT hardened his heart against the gospel or else he would be off acting on his homosexuality rather than remaining true to what he believes in and faithful to Lolly.

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    8. Thanks for completing that for me Inky (may I call you Inky?). It had become pretty clear that the original poster wan't going to.

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    9. Go right ahead, I've been called worse :-)

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    10. At the end of the day, whether you're straight or you're a homosexual, if you are thinking sexual thoughts or even homosexual thoughts about another person whether that be a male, a female etc. You're committing adultery. I have a hard time believing this guy wasn't having those thoughts and hasn't been having those thoughts. How else would he be gay? I have never questioned whether he's a good man, person, or father. But, don't tell me he's walking around everyday being attracted to men not having those thoughts. I have a hard time believing that. Unless he's able to control every thought that comes into his head.

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    11. Oh and there are several scriptures that say your thoughts condemn you. And the one who mentioned judging, we are commanded to judge righteously. Since I am using this in a scriptural sense, it's no different than the missionaries would do.

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    12. Are you able to control every thought that comes into your head? I've done a bit of searching for stuff about thoughts condemning us and frankly didn't find much.
      What a wonderfully righteous (and lucky) person you must be never to have unwanted and unbidden thoughts flit across your mind. I suspect Josh does little to encourage or entertain "adulterous" thoughts, not least because it would make his chosen path that much more difficult. It is ironic that on the one hand Josh is being condemned for repressing and not acting on his natural inclinations while at the same time he is being condemned by you for having them. He will have predicted opposition from the other direction but who even knew there were people like you out there? We have here a man who is a consumate master of self-restraint, who has perhaps done as much to "put off the natural man" as anyone else I know, and you condemn him for his assumed thoughts. Oh to have your omniscience as well as your level of perfection!

      One the subject of righteous judgement - doesn't that sort of thing involve keys and stewardship and concepts like that? Unless you are Josh's bishop posting anonymously (inappropriate in itself) I think you would do well to pull your head in. On the subject of judgement I did find this from President Uchtdorf:

      "This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:

      Stop it!

      It’s that simple. We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children. God is our Father. We are His children. We are all brothers and sisters. I don’t know exactly how to articulate this point of not judging others with sufficient eloquence, passion, and persuasion to make it stick."

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    13. Just to clarify LDS Church doctrine on this subject, here is a quote from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in a talk entitled "Helping Those Who Struggle With Same-Gender Attraction":

      "Let me make it clear that attractions alone, troublesome as they may be, do not make one unworthy. The First Presidency has stated, “There is a distinction between immoral thoughts and feelings and participating in either immoral heterosexual or any homosexual behavior.” 2 If you do not act on temptations, you have not transgressed."

      Even if Josh (or anyone) WAS acting on their homosexual attractions it would STILL not be our place to judge him. And yet he is not, and I admire him greatly for it. I am grateful to know that the Lord makes a major distinction between attraction and behavior. It is not a sin to be tempted, and thankfully so for all of us!!!

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    14. Yes, we are to seek to control our thoughts, through Christ and the power of His Atonement. It is my understanding from all I have read of Josh that he is doing just that. Now OUR responsibility is to control our own thoughts, including our judgments of other people.

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  5. I have never been to your blog before tonight. I saw you on nightline and did a search and ended up here. I read several of your blogs before getting to the one where you "came out" and they were funny,insiteful(I'm spelling it wrong but am too tired to care LOL), and wonderful. I will definitely be back! As to the nah sayers ignore them. I believe you are the only one who can what's right for you. And it's obviously working for you two!

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  6. I am Mormon by choice & I have gay members in my family that are not Mormon. I thank you for coming out because I truely felt like I was being judged when I went to church all because I have family members who are outwardly gay. Thank you and I wish you all the best. May heavenly father bless you abundantly.

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  7. Josh and Lolly, I LOVE your story and have loved following your blog since your club unicorn post. Thank you for being so brave. I'm sorry that you are having to deal with so much pessimism and criticism. I hope and pray that your marriage will always stay as strong as you are now and that you will prove the nay sayers that eternal happiness IS possible in ANY situation. Your daughters are lucky to have such amazing parents. You are amazing! Stay strong!

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  8. You must be very pleased that came across so well. No hatchet job by Nightline, just a chance for your story to touch more people.

    I know many people wonder why, or if you had to give up so much for your faith. Seeing you in your role as father I can fully believe that what you have gained from the choices you made can more than make up for what you have eschewed.

    Lolly, you are such a brave and loving woman and I am so pleased that you too have been so blessed for the leap of faith you took.

    At the risk of sounding like creepy-stalking-blog-reader, having discovered your blog I feel like you are in my circle of friends. Intellectually I know that you would walk past me in the street and not know me from Adam, but what you have shared with the public and the way you have done it has endeared you to the hearts of so many. I am a fan. Go Weeds!

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  9. I didn't see the Nightliner thing.

    I did read your coming out post and consider myself a member of Club Unicorn. I'm so thankful for what you are doing. I feel you are standing up to BE an example of the truth that homosexuality is not necessarily a choice, but living a homosexual lifestyle IS.

    Even if this was never your intent, there are many who feel this way and I'm super grateful for both you and Lolly's courage and faith in sharing of yourselves in the way you have and, I'm sure, yet will.

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  10. You are awesome, I read your coming out post and have been following ever since. I feel you are no different to my own heterosexual husband as I know for a fact that just because we are married it doesn't stop him being attracted to other women, and myself being attracted to other men. It's what we do with those attractions that is important. I'm sure you have your fair share of trials and temptations as we all do, but I just wanted to say, I think you are awesome.

    I hope that made sense!

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    1. It makes lots of sense. I've always told my husband that "it's okay to look at the menu, but it's not okay to order off it." So I can find another man attractive or he can tell me he thinks some other woman is beautiful. It's OKAY to admire or be attracted to other people. It's not okay to act on those impulses, whether it be heterosexual or homosexual. And admiring or being attracted to is not the same as lusting after (I just wanted to make that clear).

      After all, Lolly has her celebrity crush on Lionel Ritchie and I have mine on the eye candy that is Ryan Gosling (don't judge me!)

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    2. Only found out today that Ryan Gosling was raised LDS. Just sayin'...

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    3. Yup. Search YouTube and you can find him dancing in what looks like a ward talent show when he was a kid. However, I didn't know that until recently.

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  11. Sometimes people just do the right thing, the best thing. We are so much more than our sexuality. I'm glad you have shared your story and after the Nightline segment my husband and I looked at eachother and said "as it SHOULD be".

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  12. I'm not Mormon, not even all that spiritual, but your story touched me. It's so similar to my own! Best wishes for your family's continued success. Have you ever checked out the BBC series Bob & Rose?

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  13. This has nothing to do with being gay, but I hope you read this Josh because its like so important. Kidding. But anyways, this might not be your "most popular post" but it made me literally laugh to the point that my mom came in the room wondering what show I was watching...I had to point out it was no show, just a blog. You should list this in your list of humor posts: the meadow one. You know, where you take the girls to the meadow and your daughter asks for a meadow shirt? I won't spoil it. I don't know what its called. But its funny. The end. I'm not creepy. I just love that post. My dad said it reminded him of me when I was little....idk if that's a compliment :-)

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  14. That was a great segment! I would have been too nervous to say anything coherent. I've read your posts and what you are trying to say is very clear.

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  15. Well done, Josh and Lolly. And, well done, Nightline! They covered your story respectfully. You are an inspiration to us all!

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  16. Good for you both for being open to each other and those who matter to you. And good for you saying that you are against reparative therapy and other forms of abuse and dehumanization of LGBTQ people.

    Here's my concern: Do you understand how sharing your story on a blog and in the media is being used? I can assure you that it is being used by many, many devout Mormons as a dehumanizing "why can't you just be like him" tool against their gay relatives and friends. It is being re-posted, shared in countless online groups, e-mailed and spread in a variety of ways by perhaps well-intentioned people in potentially destructive ways. You can't control how others use what you say or write. I get that. But writers have at least some degree of responsibility to consider the likely use of what they write. I hope you will address this in a clear and meaningful way, both privately for yourself and publically in future blog posts and any future media interviews. It would also help if you would stop using politically-charged phrases such as "the gay lifestyle," if you want to avoid being seen as disingenuous by most in the LGBTQ community.

    I recognize you're not telling people how they're supposed to live. But you are, perhaps without fully realizing it, showing people the "best" way to be a gay Mormon. The somewhat flippant and defensive tone, the eye rolling, the overuse of "like" and "I'm so frustrated," and the apparently thin-skinned approach to criticism (which you had to have anticipated) in the "I'm not a reparative therapist" videos don't help your credibility.

    Your choices are as legitimate as anyone else's choices. I hope both of you are finding the happiness and peace you spoke of in the Nightline segment and write about in your blog posts. Like any marriage, there will be consequences for good and ill. But as a gay man with twenty years' experience in a mixed-orientation marriage, having served many years (in the past) in LDS church leadership, and having witnessed personally the radioactive fallout and needless pain in the lives of hundreds (among the many thousands) of LGBTQ people from Mormon backgrounds, I felt compelled to voice concern about the impacts of what you say and how you are saying it.

    I sincerely hope you are finding the life path that is most fulfilling for you and your children. There are many ways in this world to build a happy marriage and a happy family. For some a mixed-orientation may work. For some it won’t. This is one among many reasons why having marriage equality is important: to provide another legitimate option for those whose best path includes marriage, but not a mixed-orientation marriage.

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    1. "I can assure you that it is being used by many, many devout Mormons as a dehumanizing "why can't you just be like him" tool against their gay relatives and friends."

      I have heard this concern A LOT, but I'm not convinced this is happening. I've seen Mormons share this story because they find it uplifting and inspiring. I've seen them share it because they think it might help those outside their faith understand a little more about the Church's doctrines on homosexuality and families. But I have not seen it used to dehumanize gay people. Of course, a handful of Mormons might be using it in this way, but I just haven't seen any evidence that it is happening on the kind of widespread basis that you suggest.

      In fact, one of the things that stuck out most to me as I read the Club Unicorn post was that Josh was extremely fortunate to have formed such a close, open, and unique relationship with Lolly at such a young age. I suspect that a mixed orientation marriage would be MUCH more difficult without that kind of relationship, and most Mormons I know would not be eager to see their homosexual children force themselves into heterosexual marriages without it (much less see their straight children marry gay people without it).

      I'm a devout Mormon, and I have never looked at heterosexual marriage as the universal solution for every LDS youth who faces same-sex attraction. It's far from the Church's official position on homosexuality, and it's not something I've noticed very many Church members advocating.

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    2. "I have heard this concern A LOT, but I'm not convinced this is happening."

      It's happening here in the comments, for goodness sake. Yet you believe that somehow it's not happening in the larger world?

      Talking about the way people live as "the gay lifestyle", with holding the civil right to marry those are dehumanizing!

      I want any young person reading here to know that there are alternatives. You can choose to love yourself just as you are, you can marry someone you can have passion and intimacy with, you can become a parent...all of those things are possible if you are a man who marries a man or a woman who marries a woman.

      Most of all, I want you to know that G-d loves you unconditionally. I love you unconditionally. A lot of people love you and are rooting for you, just as you are.

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    3. Fresh Hell,

      I see a lot of comments offering support to Josh and Lolly, and I see a lot of comments from people who are basically saying: hey, I'm in a similar situation. I also see a lot of comments from people attacking and defending religious teachings, but even in these discussions I'm not really seeing a lot of arguments from people saying that Josh's path is the correct one for all or even most LGBT youth. These discussions seem to be more about whether or not the Mormon Church is hateful.

      Obviously there are also a lot of comments debating the issue of same-sex marriage, but those comments kind of come with the territory when you bring up any topic that even remotely involves homosexuality. I don't see them as a reaction to the Weeds' story since they're not really any different than the comments you can find at the end of a Wall Street Journal or New York Times article.

      And I don't see the "gay lifestyle" comments as dehumanizing simply because it's one of very few expressions available to describe the difference between a homosexual person who has chosen Josh's path and a homosexual person who has chosen to be in a same-sex relationship. If there was an easier and less offensive way to quickly describe that difference, I think most people would stop saying it.

      Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that no commenter on this blog has made a dehumanizing statement. Obviously, when you post something on the internet and it goes viral you're guaranteed to attract a handful of crazy people. It's just that, when you clear away the political debate, what I see left are for the most part: 1) comments supporting Josh and Lolly, 2) comments of people sharing their own similar or dissimilar personal stories, 3) comments from people attacking and defending religious teachings, and 4) commments like Pablo's expressing concerns about how people are using this story.

      Am I missing something?

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  17. Pablo,

    Just wondering what you would consider the most politically neutral terminology to differentiate between being gay and living gay. I've used the term myself but would gladly trade it out for one that offered a better fit.

    I also found your inferences to be quite extensive for a person you've never met. You're entitled to your opinions, of course, but it's pretty harsh criticism you're leveling with very little to go off of: I won't lie -- it seems like you're reaching to find fault. The overuse of like? When he's impromptu speaking? Really? It might be less than polished, but wouldn't you consider it better to come off a little rough than politician-slick?

    Everyone comes at a story like this with their own story. It's impossible not to. If I may say so, yours sounds quite fascinating. I would even say that your concerns have a measure of validity to them. But what kind of world would this be, if we begin censoring ourselves because we wouldn't want an ambiguous "others" who are "out there" to interpret events in a way that we can't control?

    Lolly and Josh's story is truth, albeit their own. To the extent that others misread what they, themselves have put in print, it is their own loss. And while they may use the Weeds as ammo, they were certainly aiming at the same target long before Josh came along.

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    2. Mickelle,

      Thank you for your thoughtful response to my comment. You are spot-on that I came to the Weeds' story with my own. And my experience in Mormonism has been nowhere near as positive as it seems to have been for the Weeds. My intent wasn't to be a "hater" or accuse or presume. My intent was to raise questions and concerns about the impacts of the Weeds' choice to publicize their life beyond the circle of family and friends.

      I have not commented here until now because I didn't see that it was my place to publicly criticize someone on their own blog for their personal choices. That isn't my goal now either. I'm merely weighing in with my perspective. I am a skeptic and critic by nature, so I can see how some might view that as reaching to find fault, as you say. My critique isn't meant to demean, just to question. I don't know the Weeds personally, so all I have to go on is what they've shared. I apologize to them and any other reader here if my comments presumed too much or my tone was overly strident.

      As for politically neutral terminology, I'm not sure neutral terms exist in such a politically polarized social subject as the role of LGBTQ people in society. So, I don't have a direct answer, as much as I'd like to give one. That said, "gay lifestyle" is not helpful. It sounds dismissive dehumanizing to most gay people who hear it. Why not go with "gay" and flesh out what that means. It seems that this is what Josh Weed is trying to do---explaining what "gay" means to him.

      I'm not asking anyone to censor themselves or advocating censorship at all. All I'm hoping for is that those who are in mixed-orientation marriages such as the Weeds and the Mansfields and who are sharing their personal lives with the public think about what they say and how they say it in a public forum. I don't want slickness. But preparation seems in order. I am still hopeful that the Weeds will specifically tell people who may seek to use their story to try to convince others that “if the Weeds can do it so can you” are disrespecting the Weeds and any gay person who has chosen a different path. May the Weeds find fulfillment on their journey.

      (Re-posted to correct spelling errors)

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    3. Straight survivor of MORJuly 20, 2012 at 5:23 PM

      Mickelle,

      I believe that Josh has been very careful to interchangeably use the terms gay, homosexual and same sex attraction. He has consistently referred to himself as gay or homosexual.

      I have been 'around' the gay/ ex gay/ MOR discussion since my own MOR collapsed more than 25 years ago. 'Gay Lifestyle' was for me a term that the church used to try and classify gayness as something you do (like over eating) rather than something you are (like Caucasian).

      Josh has consistently stated that he is gay, living a heterosexual lifestyle. The lifestyle is what he does. Gay is what he is. 'Others' would like to say that he is 'heterosexual, suffering from same sex attraction, choosing not to live a gay lifestyle'. Wrong, wrong, wrong. He is 'gay, feeling same sex attraction, choosing to live a heterosexual lifestyle'

      He knows who and what he is and he is at peace with it. His story is being told wrong by others, not by him.

      I am a blue-eyed person. If I have a blue-eyed lifestyle, it is news to me. What should you call people? I dunno... how about Josh, Lolly and John Doe?

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    4. In his Unicorn post, Josh gives an interesting look into what he calls "gay lifestyle".

      He claims, and I tend to agree with him, that since he is a gay, whichever lifestyle he chooses, it is technically "a gay lifestyle". It may be a gay lifestyle of marrying a member of the opposite sex. Another can be of being into a gay relationship. Or yet another is celibacy.

      I find this his approach intriguing because one can be sure that a heterosexual lifestyle of one gay and one straight person is quite different than a heterosexual lifestyle of two straight persons.

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  18. Josh,

    I am not going to have any political or social commentary. But I am going to share from my human point of view.This blog really hits home for me.

    I was with my partner for 15 years in a loving strong relationship. That is until one day, he told me he was rejoining the Mormon church to find himself. As you might imagine, I was devistated and blindsided by that. How often have I heard the story of Gay men leaving their wives for men, but for a gay man to leave his partner for the church, and eventually to have a wife and children is unusual.

    It has been 6 years since he left, but even now it hurts. To read your blog, your life and experience also stings, but I am proud of you for your internal honesty and knowledge of self. It's an uncommon thing amongst us humans it seems. I am not sure I am even there.

    Honestly, I am not a fan of the Mormon Church... I think I view the church as "the competition who won" in my case, as the one that took something I held precious away. I know that is very immature of me, but it is my "goto" feeling about your church. Seeing my ex with his wife, and 6 children causes much angst in my emotions.. even though I do remain cordial and friendly to them. I transfer my emotions to a general dislike of the church.

    I want to thank you for opening up, and teaching us all something. I can say I have opened a door in my own heart because of your honesty.

    James

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    1. James, I'm sorry that happened to you. I admire you keeping your heart open in the face of such a painful experience. I wish you the best of luck.

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  19. To the Weeds:

    I don’t doubt your good faith in simply telling your story. But you’ve lost sight of—or perhaps never saw—the larger context into which you’ve inserted yourself.

    LDS Church doctrine and credibility cannot accept same-sex relationships as legitimate. Rhetoric may soften and justifications shift, but the doctrine is unchanged. Countless members like my own father say if the church ever accepted same-sex relationships, they would conclude that the church itself had fallen into apostasy.

    You also know sexual orientation can’t be changed, has a significant biological basis, and homosexuality is a naturally occurring variant of human sexuality. It is arguably a normal part of God’s creation.

    But LDS doctrine can’t accept any of that. It requires Mormons to believe that The Gay is “temporary” and can’t exist in the eternities. Evidence to the contrary must be dismissed. Its doctrine requires the church to reject same-sex relationships.

    The only way to resolve this is to do as you’ve done: acknowledge that you’re gay, but smother the gay part and live what looks like a straight married life. This used to be official church guidance but it proved so disastrous for so many that even the church now concedes it was mistaken.

    Here’s what you didn’t foresee. By going public you’ve ratified the entrenched LDS belief that your choice is the only acceptable one for gay Mormon men. Just read the gushing comments on your blog from Mormons so relieved that you’ve “proven it can be done” and their opposition to “the gay lifestyle” is correct. Countless Mormon families are using your story to shame and browbeat their suffering gay sons who can’t do as you have. You’ve validated the church’s political fight against marriage equality even for non-members whose religious beliefs support it. You’ve made yourselves the poster children for every organization that opposes marriage equality and equal rights for gay people.

    I know you never intended this and don’t think you’re a model for anyone else. But here’s what you’ve missed.

    Your intent doesn’t matter. You’ve made yourselves public figures and public figures are treated differently. Your disclaimers have been and will be ignored. Drama and conflict are what sell advertising time, and you’ve given the national media a priceless piece of it. “Gay + Mormon + straight marriage” is enough for those who will use you as evidence for their own agenda. They don’t want your disclaimers, which would undercut their own purposes. These people are homophobic and must remain so, for their own reasons—religious belief, fear of change, bigotry, or whatever. And they will use you as “evidence” that they are “right.” This includes the LDS church.

    The plain truth is that you’ve done a lot of damage. To undo it, I suggest two things.

    Contact John Dehlin and listen for as long as he talks about how your story is being used to shame and berate gay LDS sons and daughters. Some like a commenter above don't believe this is happening, but it is. I've heard about it a lot already.

    Based on that, put out new messages as strong as your first. Insist that no one use you as a weapon to shame their kids, or push them to do anything they don’t freely choose. Acknowledge the failure rate of mixed-orientation marriages and that even the LDS church counsels against your choice. Urge Nightline to do a follow-up piece with Mormons who’ve been in mixed-orientation marriages that have failed. Blog about all this. Do another Youtube video. Restore the balance. Speak out until you neuter those who distort your story, because it’s being used all over the place to hurt. You’re people of good conscience. Doing all these things would, I believe, be the ethical and right course for you.

    Thanks for your time and consideration.

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    1. Rob, I'm gay, I'm Mormon, I am married to an exceptional woman, and I have three kids. And I have to tell you something. I may agree with everything you say, except one thing, and on that one thing I disagree with you so vehemently that I find your comment so presumptuous, so cocky, so pretentious that it is sickening.

      And don't get me wrong. This is nothing personal. There are many like you who are just as presumptuous, as cocky and as pretentious as you are, or perhaps even more, much more.

      And that one thing is this. How dare you assume that there are more failure stories than there are success stories about mixed relationship marriages?! Are you God Omnipotent? Do you know the soul of every person that has ever lived is now living or will ever live on this earth? It is sickening to see that kind of preposterous pretension.

      I am NOT saying that there are MORE success stories than there are FAILURE stories about mixed relationship marriages. But I DO say that success stories are most likely underreported by a wide margin. Who would in his or her right mind want to throw himself or herself into the lion's den of the kind that Josh & Lolly threw themselves in? Who in his or her right mind needs enemies from both his or her own family & friends as well as from so called "proponents of gay rights"?

      But maybe, it is time. Maybe it is time to finally set the record straight. Maybe it is time that thousands if not tens of thousands of people in mixed orientation marriages across the world stand up and say: WE ARE HERE AND WE HAVE BEEN SILENT, BUT NO MORE!

      Josh an Lolly are our harbingers and our captains.

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    2. Rob,
      I'm the guy whose above post you reference. I actually googled Dehlin to see what you're referring to, and it was tough to tell from anything I read exactly how many LDS parents are really using this story as you suggest--although clearly a few are. Don't get me wrong; you may well be correct that there is new and widespread pressure among LDS members to force their homosexual kids into heterosexual marriages. But my sense is that parents who do that would be doing it with or without Josh's post. I doubt that his story has really added much to that problem, at least among Mormons, because this is not something the Church encourages its homosexual members to do.

      I should probably clarify that I don't consider a parent simply sharing Josh's story with their homosexual kid to be browbeating or pressuring; for me, it really depends on what their motivation is and how they share it, as well as what each kid's individual circumstances are.

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    3. FGMoron, Have you seen how many people have posted on the nightline post? Not many. I know you desperately want to believe that you are one of "tens of thousands" but I've never seen any evidence, nor do I see an outpouring here. And if ever there was a place people would flock to, it would be here after a nation wide piece was aired.

      I'm curious why it's so important to you; this idea that what you are doing is far more common and successful than evidence shows it is?

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    4. Rob, Your post broke my heart because it's so true.

      "Just read the gushing comments on your blog from Mormons so relieved that you’ve “proven it can be done” and their opposition to “the gay lifestyle” is correct."

      I'm happy for Josh and Lolly as individuals. But that is tempered by the sure knowledge of what is going to happen with their story. It literally brings tears to my eyes to think of the futher suffering that LDS youth who are GLTBQ are being/will be put through.

      Even here, where Josh has been so careful about reparitive therapy, people are happily linking to resources that claim that gay people can be changed.

      And I cannot help but notice a more hostile enviroment in the comments. It's turning slowly but surely. How disappointing.

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    5. Fresh, I am convinced that my & Josh situation is far more common than generally perceived. I believe that the statement that stories like mine & Josh's are underreported by a wide margin is common sense.

      And why it is so important to me? Well, exactly because I believe they are underreported.

      Let me add the following. What the society has done and are doing to gay people, no matter if they are in same-sex relationship, opposite-sex relationship or celibacy, is preposterous, shameful & barbaric. I believe that gay movement has established an important, noteworthy & fairly successful counterbalance to terrible prejudices against & abuses of gay people. In some ways, the gay movement still haven't done enough. But in other ways, it has gone far out. So, the counterbalance is necessary and long overdue.

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    6. Straight survivor of MORJuly 20, 2012 at 5:10 PM

      Rob, THANK YOU!!! Your comment here deserves to be promoted and featured as a guest post at the top of the blog. I have been reading this blog, and its 3,000 comments since the story broke and you said it BEST!

      Josh and Lolly seem like really nice and genuine people but they are being picked up and used by church authorities with agendas to push and by well meaning relatives with gays to 'save'.

      You said it so well I really don't have anything to add except gratitude for what you said and how you said it.

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    7. You got it right, Rob! Thank you. I have been reading through the comments and felt so so alone here. I do warn you that you will probably face - and are already facing ('how dare you?' as one commenter already said) a lot of resistance and the resistance here I note generally comes out as sarcasm and rage and not much in the way of actual facts. Oh and denial is common on here too. Very brave of you to have given your name as well. It will be interesting to read more reactions to your comment - but again, don't be surprised if the comments make you feel like you are back in the 1950s. Also, trying to refute some of the points that will be made to what you say I find not that useful because a) the comments are generally not based in fact b) the commenters just get all in a flap and respond angrily/sarcastically.
      anyway, thanks again

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    8. Rob,

      I think you've misstated church doctrine/policy. From the pamphlet 'God loveth his children":

      "In some circumstances a person defers marriage because he or she is not presently attracted to a member of the opposite gender. While many Latter-day Saints, through individual effort, the exercise of faith, and reliance upon the enabling power of the Atonement, overcome same-gender attraction in mortality, others may not be free of this challenge in this life.
      However, the perfect plan of our Father in Heaven makes provision for individuals who seek to keep His commandments but who, through no fault of their own, do not have an eternal marriage in mortal life. As we follow Heavenly Father’s plan, our bodies, feelings, and desires will be perfected in the next life so that every one of God’s children may find joy in a family consisting of a husband, a wife, and children."

      So you are right in saying that the Weeds' story isn't the solution to every situation. But you are wrong-- dead wrong-- in encouraging them to recant so much. the LDS doctrine is simple: chastity before marriage and fidelity in marriage. If Josh's marriage "didn't work out" he would be expected to be chaste.

      While certainly marriages of deception are never good, there are points Josh can emphasize that can positively impact teens in the LDS faith
      1. He told his parents early on, as For the strength of youth has counseled.
      2. He has been open with Lolly since his first date about his orientation.
      3. Chastity works. Fidelity works.

      If you are saying some marriages are going to fail because the man can't stand not being with another man, then what can you offer LGBT youth? apostasy? Most ex-LDS gay men I know (albeit only 2) not only break the law of chastity, but other standards.

      If I'm wrong and you're saying simply that chastity works better, then I misunderstood. I know there are many cases the opposite of Josh's, but does that change God's doctrine? I know the book of mormon, the bible, and modern revelation are true. My testimony comes before any study, though I am perfectly happy to consider studies involved.

      Josh, teach the doctrine... all of it. Everything. teach prop 8. teach John 14:15. Teach that some should not get married in this life. Teach what a lds youth should do. teach charity.

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    9. Jason, as a faithful gay Mormon, married in temple, I have few quick questions. Do you find Prop 8 a doctrine of the church? Do you find the teaching that some should not get married in this life a doctrine of the church? Do you think the pamphlet is a doctrinal reference?

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    10. Prop 8--

      Do I think the church's specific reaction is doctrinal? No, and the lack of a similar reaction in other states indicates it was intended for one state.


      I do, however, believe the family proclamation is doctrine, but I am unsure if it qualifies as scripture (President Packer said it did but that wasn't published). I take 95% of what is said at conference as doctrine, and the brethren have certainly quoted it enough.


      The doctrine is what is found in the family proclamation: "We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental
      unit of society."
      .

      Do I believe Prop 8 is one of those? yes, I do. If gay marriage happens, it will be harder to teach LDS children chastity, true love and marriage. I follow the leaders, but in the absence of additional revelation on the topic, I believe measures affirming traditional marriage qualify. There are enormous civility concerns involved here.


      Some should not get married--doctrine? likely yes. President Hinckley said so, and it is repeated in the pamphlet. I'd have to do more research to be sure.

      Is the pamphlet doctrinal? no. typically only scripture, conference talks, and additional proclamations are. Is it inspired? yes

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    11. Let me clarify. The family proclamation is doctrine.

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    12. Jason,

      Let me express something I wrote to a member of my elder's quorum today:

      The "sexual revolution" of the 60's and 70's seemed to bring about chaos out of order with its emphasis on liberation and guilt-free promiscuity, but the irony is that the gay rights movement ultimately turned into something which is trying to create something of the complete reverse: order out of chaos--marriage giving gay people a way to construct meaning out of their bewildering sexuality to a place of civil/family responsibility, spiritual meaning and community acknowledgment--creating order out of the chaos of their particular carnal desire just as marriage does for the animal instinct of the heterosexual. Gays need all the meaning they can muster in their sexuality--as a fringe benefit to society it would reduce AIDS and emotional illness amongst the gay community!

      Gay marriage may be the one good moral thing that comes/came out of the "sexual revolution," the one thing of substance that means anything real and substantial from that movement, that has some real intrinsic spiritual value even if not religiously orthodox or theologically synchronized with Mormon doctrine on eternal gender and celestial procreation.

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    13. Anon,

      } know there are some (even many) gays and lesbians, who are faithful to their spouse, but this is neither here nor there.

      What gay marriage is doing is equating an immoral activity with the building block of society. I'm sure you've heard of good, better, best by Elder Oaks. Let's talk about bad, worse, and worst.

      It is bad for anyone to break the law of chastity
      It is worse for that to become consistent over a lifetime.
      It is worst for it to be equated by society to a priceless treasure (marriage)


      You speak about reducing AIDS. A noble goal, to be sure. First, the church already has a program for that (its called chastity before marriage and fidelity in marriage).

      Second. you are speaking as if all (or even most) gays would live a similar chastity/fidelity/lifelong marriage pattern if society were willing to accept them. I seriously doubt it. studies by NLLFS (The exact same people who parade lesbian parenting as the best thing since sliced bread) have a couple separation rate of over 50%. Similarly there have been articles about "open" gay marriages. Even some of the original gay/lesbian couples in marriage lawsuits are getting divorces.

      If there are any gay blogs that promote chastity before marriage, please link to them. my experience is very few gays believe in 1 partner for life.

      While all this is anecdotal evidence, my central point is clear. You are trying to attach moral principles to gay marriage. While I fully admit this will happen in some cases (good comes from anywhere), I remain skeptical that this will become the norm, especially given the evidence above, the base principle of gay marriage being a relationship not approved by the Lord, and the counsel given about Prop 22, the Federal marriage amendment, and prop 8.

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  20. Rob-- I couldnt have said it better myself. I know Josh's intentions were good and that his story is unique and under different circumstances as everyone else but regardless of his good intentions his story IS causing a lot of hurt. More than I think he could ever realize for the rest of us.

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  21. Josh and Lolly,
    I have followed since your coming out post. My sister in law told me about it via Facebook. I am not mormon, am a christian. What I got from the post and what I took from the post is this:

    You have made a choice for yourself to put aside your natural desires to love and cherish your love for God and Lolly and to create a family.

    I have made the same choice to cleave to my husband and cherish my love for him and we have also created a family. Are there times when I could easily want to be with someone? Yes because as a sexual human being it would be easy but because I am making an active choice to be faithful to my promises on my wedding day.

    I am sorry if this makes it harder for others but each person has to accept their life choices and don't ask others to keep their story quiet because for Josh and Lolly they only wanted to share with their friends, etc. that they chose to not stay quiet anymore.

    For the statement of why can't you be like Josh, well tell that person your not Josh.

    Josh and Lolly thank you for your willingness to shed light on this and to reinforce for this old married woman to keep in mind its my conscience choice that makes my marriage and my relationship with God strong.

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  22. If you are a GLBTQ youth who has been brought here by the Nightline story, I hope that you are here because you want to be. If you've been pressured into learning about the Weeds because someone in your life is uncomfortable with the fact that you are GLBTQ, I want you to know that you have choices.

    There is a whole, wide world waiting for you that thinks you are perfect just as you are. There are millions of us who know that your right to marry is coming, that your right to be a parent is valid and that your choice of a partner should be based on love.

    If you are feeling desperate and are a GLBTQ youth, there is the Trevor Project hotline at 866-4-U-TREVOR (488-7386). For everyone to use there is the National Suicide Prevention Lifelife at 800-273-TALK (8255)/800-SUICIDE (784-2433). I also recommend the It Gets Better Project at http://www.itgetsbetter.org

    I wish for you peace. Take good care of yourself.

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  23. @FG Mormon:

    Hmmm. So “nothing personal” prompts your statement that it’s “sickening” to see my allegedly “preposterous pretension” of knowledge equal to “God Omnipotent”? When I’ve said nothing to you or about you? Obviously I struck a nerve.

    You say there’s a vast number of successful mixed-orientation marriages out there, needing only Captains and Harbingers Josh and Lolly Weed to lead them out of silence and obscurity. Okay, fair enough. Since you’ve made the claim, it’s your responsibility to produce the evidence. I’d like to see this throng. Please show me where they are.

    For what it’s worth, I was in a mixed-orientation marriage myself, which I entered because the LDS church told me it was the only acceptable choice. Just like it told Josh. And you. And more personal friends of mine than I can count. So this is not just theoretical with me. I’ve seen the wreckage in my own life and in many, many others. Do you think that the LDS church itself would reverse course on this and now say such marriages should NOT be entered into by gay members without full discussion and understanding of the risks if the church didn’t recognize that wreckage and the tragic results of its previous bad advice?

    No, I’m not God Omnipotent. I don’t know the hearts and minds of every person on earth. I just do my homework, so that when I make a claim, I have evidence to back it up. According to the peer-reviewed “Spouses in Mixed-Orientation Marriage: A 20-Year Review of Empirical Studies” published last year in The Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 85% of mixed-orientation marriages fail within three years.

    Nothing personal, of course. If you can beat those odds, more power to ya. You may already have. I certainly did. AND the marriage still ended. Gay guys in their 20’s are more powerfully propelled by testosterone and religious fervor than are gay guys in mid-life. According to one therapist who’s counseled hundreds of those mid-life guys, at that stage “it becomes imperative in their life to be authentic – to live and love as they were created to live. When that happens, the wife becomes the collateral damage in these mixed orientation marriages. Statistics show that 90% of these marriages fail.”

    So I am very interested to see the vast army of successful mixed-orientation spouses you and the Weeds will raise up to end the silence and contradict these peer-reviewed studies and experts. While we both wait for that, please keep an eye out for further media attention on this, particularly for responsive content from straight ex-spouses. I think their stories should interest you very much.

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    1. Rob, thank you for your respectful response. It is indeed nothing personal, and my nerve had been struck before in the comment section of Josh's blog to a greater or lesser degree.

      Now, let me point out where we agree. I do believe that the issue of homosexuality is very complex, multifaceted issue, which the LDS church handled without much of a claim to inspiration. I also believe that the gay issue is going to become increasingly frequent issue in deliberations of the brethren in years to come. And I find nothing wrong with that, quite to the contrary. Everything that brings the attention of the brethren, as well as people in general, to the issue, I do not disprove. I carefully follow John Dehlin's work, and I like it. I believe he and the crowd he attracts do some very good stuff. Of course, there are some things that are far out, but sure, no one is perfect.

      The role in which I find my self comfortable is devil's advocate's devil's advocate. I love to challenge every conventional wisdom I encounter. And my situation, not just in terms of my gayness & my marriage with a woman, but also many other situations I find myself in, which I haven't mentioned in the comment section of Josh's blog, gives me proof that the role that I comfortably perform is right & proper for me.

      As for number of successful vs unsuccessful mixed orientation marriages, I believe that the ratio will be incomprehensible until further progress in acceptance of gay population by general public is made. One needs a safe environment to come out. In that regard, paradoxically, gay movement - by emphasizing a right for same-sex relationship - is actually inadvertently helping those gay people who, left to their own devices and without any social pressure, would still choose a heterosexual relationship over homosexual. Many from the gay movement would find this my statement preposterous, and would claim that exactly the social pressure is one that's causing gay people to enter into heterosexual relationships. But as devil's advocate's devil's advocate, I have a different opinion. Who is right? You are right. The time will tell.

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    2. Rob,

      I'm not quite sure if I disagree with you or not.

      So far I agree with all of your reasoning (excepting the studies, I don't believe studies on principle, but that's a different story). I think it terrible that anybody should use anybody's life as an excuse for poor behavior, including their own.

      I think that any concerned parent for any child's concern should explain to that child the available options and also let them know what they believe the child should choose. Successful parenting happens when the child chooses for themselves with the knowledge of their parent's belief but an even stronger knowledge that their parent will love them regardless of their choice.

      With that, this story does provide compelling evidence that there is hope. There are marriages that succeed through any and all hardship. The statistics are more and more that marriage shall fail (at least once) regardless of orientation concerns. Most of the failed marriage stories I've heard share your "because I was supposed to" understanding in the beginnings.

      Miracles can happen but usually don't. For any who have already chosen for themselves to prioritize their beliefs over their orientation, Josh and Lolly's story represents the miracle. It represents hope. That is the reason I think their story has been so widespread. People LOVE hope.

      At the same time, they represent the miracle. Cancer patients shouldn't 'expect' to be cured any more than mixed orientation couples should expect a successful marriage.

      Also, for the record, the LDS church doesn't council against their choice. They council against the reasoning you object. Marriage is a big deal. Throw in something as difficult as mixed-orientation and yeah, the statistics are against you. Tread with care. Proceed with caution. Don't do it 'because you're supposed to' or expecting to 'cure' or change. As with any choice, do it because you believe it is the right thing. Once the choice is made, move forward with faith and hope and charity. I wish that marriage and divorce were both taken less lightly.

      Personally I also love to read gaymormonguy dot blogspot dot com because he provides another, though less popular, alternative.

      I agree that there are those who would misuse Josh's story. I also think that there are those who are just as close minded in the other direction and would insist that attraction should define your actions.

      I believe that choices should define you.

      Again, remember I'm a mid-twenties, childless bachelor. Don't believe anything I say just because I said it. Decide for yourself. I speak from my own, very limited experience. Despite popular belief, I'm not perfect and I'm still trying to figure things out.

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    3. Rob,

      If you had been reading all of Josh's posts there is no way you could have missed where he said that the lifestyle that he has chosen to live is not meant for everyone. He has said that over and over again!

      I agree with Anonymous @ 3:26 when he said, "you may well be correct that there is new and widespread pressure among LDS members to force their homosexual kids into heterosexual marriages. But my sense is that parents who do that would be doing it with or without Josh's post."

      Let Josh and Lolly tell their story how they feel they want to tell it. Just because you think it is forcing people to do what he is doing does not mean it is true. Those that take his story and think that it is intended for any gay person is taking it out of context.

      Josh is one guy sharing his story in hopes that it will help.

      You don't like it, don't read it.

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    4. oh and that is another common response, 'if you don't like it, don't read it,' type thing. Not refuting what you say, Rob, because they can't so they resort to well, then don't read it.

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    5. of course of all the things to pick out you pick that out. I definitely disagreed with what he said and if you had read more than the last sentence you would have noticed. I appreciate the effort of you trying to stick up for Rob but really you did not have much to say yourself so maybe don't comment until you have an opinion of your own.

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    6. Rob,

      I know what you want. You want Josh & Lolly to clearly state that they are an exception to the rule. But what if they DON'T think that they are an exception to the rule? What if they do not think in terms of rules and exceptions? They repeatedly said that their mixed-oriented marriage works for THEM, and that they do not think it is for everyone. But what if deep down in their hearts they would LIKE for everyone to have a kind of relationship & marriage like they have? What if deep down in their hearts they would also like gay men & women have that kind of relationship & marriage, particularly with (but not limited to) a member of the opposite sex? Would you call them dishonest, disingenuous or perhaps outright fraud?

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    7. Greg,

      I respectfully disagree with your cancer metaphor. I think it is not very appropriate and does not offer a clarification of the issue.

      Mixed orientation couples cannot be likened unto cancer, nor a successful marriage in that context cannot be likened unto "cure". A successful marriage is an ongoing endeavor, gay, straight or mixed orientation. Cancer is not a choice, marriage (including mixed orientation marriage) is. Sexual orientation, on the other hand, I find NOT to be a choice, but it can also not be likened unto a disease, it is rather a character treat.

      Now, what would be my ideal situation with the Mormon church, with the sexual orientation issue, with the marriage around certain sexual orientation and with the attitudes of general population towards all of it?

      I want the leaders of the Mormon church to get the level of trust & confidence in the government which would enable them to inevitably conclude that the church's current stance on homosexuality and homosexual marriages will NEVER EVER be put in question by that government.

      I also want leaders of the Mormon church to understand that the membership of the church may very well put the church's stance on homosexuality & homosexual marriages in question, and that they should never try to utilize the government as a tool against it. The only argument with the members & general public should be a moral argument. (By stating this, I am not implying that I find the leaders of the Mormon church not understanding it.)

      I want the members of the church to understand that acting upon same-sex attraction is a sin, but that sinning by another person should NEVER EVER be a basis for disparaging, judging, condemning, abusing, hating, rejecting (John 7:53-8:11). I also want the members of the church to understand that disparaging, judging, condemning, abusing, hating & rejecting a sinner may very well be a considerably greater sin than that of the sin committed by the person they target.

      I want both members and non-members who are excommunicated because of a homosexual sin to understand that excommunication is not a punishment. And I want those who define excommunication as a punishment, no matter whether they are on giving or receiving end of it, to come to their senses.

      I want for people with same-sex attraction to thoroughly explore their feelings in a perfectly safe & totally non-judgmental environment, and make a decision for themselves about the path & the lifestyle they should pursue. And if a member of the church decides to pursue a lifestyle of a gay relationship, I want that they do not have regrets regarding being "unfit" for the Mormon church. I also want that members who are affected by such a decision of another person also not having regrets.

      I want that the leadership of the Mormon church give members of the church more messages & counseling about 6 related to homosexuality & same-sex attraction. I admit that I'm biased in that regard, because I am personally a gay, and I want to know more about why I am that way from the source I trust. That should not be construed as my demand on them, as I trust their sense of prioritization and accept that there might be more pressing issues on their table.

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    8. FG Mormon:

      My apologies. I didn't intend to compare cancer and marriage. I was simply trying to express that the attitude is comparable, in that you can't simply expect the issue to go away. Orientation is no more a choice than cancer and a successful marriage is no less a miracle than remission. Both take work and a correctly aimed force of will (having a hard time expressing that thought). Also, both are never completely out of the picture, just correctly managed.

      Like all analogies it falls short, mostly in that choice plays a much larger role in gaining and maintaining a successful marriage than achieving remission permits.

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    9. First... John Dublin is a complete douch bag.. How I know this is my husband knew him!!! He's arrogant and a complete a$@@&... I wouldn't trust him ever...

      2nd--- come on people .. Really ... Josh telling his story is going to cause grief for the homosexuals... Really? So the gay movement is more important then a story about a ms. Who is faithful to his wife even though he has tendencies? What is wrong with this world!!! You have a man that never had sex before marriage, has never cheated, has 3 beautiful children, tries to live right and is a good man, AND a contributing member of society.. And it all turns into some agenda by everyone. Well I will just say... Josh is everything a man is suppose to be.. Loyal, caring about others, and what a Christlike person needs to be.
      All you people should be ashamed of yourselves!!! I

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  25. 'in hopes that it will help' who? WHo is it supposed to help? Not clear on that. It is his story and he said he doesn't want it used to influence others so who is it supposed to help?
    Parents will use Josh's story as yet another tool in their arsenal, whether you can see that nor not.
    And again, if someone disagrees with the Mormon salivating over this story as the solution for their gay children, it is called a horrible comment.

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    1. He has opened the eyes of SO many people to help us all understand better how to love, support and genuinely accept others choices and differences. In his coming out post he talked about how if we knew any gay person in out lives that we should reach out and hug them and love them and how much they needed that. I for one have realized a little more the type of struggle my brother is going through and it has opened my heart to be more loving and accepting of the choices he makes in this life.

      Parents will also use this as a tool to help them understand a little better what their children might be going through. I know that has happened with my parents. They have learned better to not try and change my brother that HE has chosen a life that makes him happy and Josh talks a lot about that in his coming out post.

      Maybe it will not help you in any way but it has helped me and my family. It has not helped us to try and make my brother find a woman and marry her but it has helped us to ACCEPT and more fully LOVE unconditionally.

      I know there would be many who could say that Josh Weeds blog has helped them in their individual ways...just read more of the comments!

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    2. It helped me in a similar way. I LOVE how Josh's parents handled it when he told them he was gay. I LOVE how Lolly responded when Josh told her he was gay. I LOVE the way Josh and Lolly really, really love and understand each other as whole people.

      I'm not struggling with any personal issues regarding homosexuality, but there is much that can be learned about how we treat those who approach us with personal information and how we can treat those we love.

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  26. Former Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called for the global decriminalisation of homosexuality, comparing anti-gay laws to racial segregation in his home country of South Africa.

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    1. 'I have no doubt that in the future, the laws that criminalize human love and commitment will look the way the apartheid laws look to us now - so obviously wrong." - Desmond Tutu

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  27. @Greg:

    Two brief points.

    First, if you reject all studies on some sort of principle, then you are choosing to remain uninformed rather than judge things on their actual merits, and your judgment is therefore not to be trusted. The LDS church itself uses and relies on studies all the time. I encourage you to re-think your approach.

    Second, just for your information, the blogger who posts at gaymormonguy dot blogspot dot com has virtually zero credibility in the gay Mormon community. His blog followers are nearly all straight Mormon women. His posts all follow the same overly emotional sermonette script, as if he is auditioning for Seminary teacher. He revels in "halting between two opinions" and in self-imposed angst. I know lots and lots and lots of gay Mormons and gay ex-Mormons; they've all read his blog, they all think he's nuts. And those who've met him in person suspect the same. Food for thought.

    @Anonymous who takes me to task for allegedly not reading Mr. Weed's posts wherein he repeats that his chosen path is not for everyone:

    If YOU had read MY comment carefully, you would have seen that that wasn't the point. The point is that those statements by Weed are being ignored by others keen to use the basic facts of Weed's marriage as fodder for their own agenda. Those people--mostly LDS--don't WANT to hear Weed's statement that his path is not for everyone. They want him to be the evidence that "change is possible" and that if he can do it, then by God their gay son can too.

    That's why Weed needs to put as much effort into publicizing his disclaimers as he does to his own story generally. So far, those have been extremely disproportionate.

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    1. I... disagree.
      I think people have a right to choose.
      In everything.
      They have a right to choose what they want to think.
      What they don't have is the right to choose the consequence.
      For those choosing to use Josh's story as a model for how their own family, or whomever, should live..... well they don't get to choose the consequence of that action (which, at least in the case of my family members, is considering themselves no longer a part of their lives).
      I don't think that Josh or Lolly need to push anymore than they already are on the whole "this lifestyle isn't a solution for everyone" because, unfortunately, some people need to go through being excluded from a loved one's life to realize how important that person is to them, and then to realize how much they truly love that person, and what they are willing to do about that love.
      That's what the whole Club Unicorn post has been about to me: love. The kind of love I want to have in my life for everyone else. Unconditional love. Is that maybe an impossible goal? Might be. But I refuse to stop trying. There is hope in the Weed story that people can love each other completely, leaving aside all faults.
      I come from a family where my parents got divorced, remarried (to others, and horrible marriages might I add, for all parties) and then divorced again, and now one is remarried, and the other... may or may not be contemplating it. But when reading the Club Unicorn post, all I could think about was all of the couples that I have seen that have made it through thick and thin. And it just made me realize on a deeper level that one day, I can have that kind of love in marriage as well. It gave me hope.
      It sucks that people are using this story to try to tell others that they aren't fitting into the picture that they want to squish them into. But, like others have said, if that is what the people pushing the "the Weeds did it, you can too!" agenda are after, they'll find ammo, whether it's the Weeds or someone else. It may just be that those kinds of people need to go through being excluded from a loved one's life to learn to love them unconditionally. And maybe, although painful and scarring, those experiences will help those that are being told how to live become stronger. Hard times will do just that, make you stronger, if you let them.
      That's just my opinion, you can choose to accept it or not. Just wanted to share it.

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    2. Rob,

      Now let me say why I find studies like the one in which it was found that 85 % of mixed-orientation marriages fail within three years absolutely preposterous. Because the researchers take some number of mixed-orientation marriages from which they then deduct 85 % and then they claim to know the original number being absolute & true. And then I'm expected to accept that number at it's face value. And when I don't, then people like you come and say I'm ignorant. They say sure, maybe the methodology does not fully grasp the phenomenon but give us another methodology so that we all come up with a more accurate number. And then when I say that, for the time being, there is no such methodology, then they call me ignorant, because I do not accept "the best what we have for now". Well, if accepting something that is patently wrong - even that being "the best we have" - is called ignorance, then yes, I'm okay with being called ignorant.

      I also believe that the number of same-sex attracted individuals in the world is also grossly underreported. It is a common sense to expect underreporting in the field which is so repressed by the majority.

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    3. Rob,

      Thanks for the response.

      As for the studies, I misspoke. That parenthetical was a last minute addition.

      Correctly stated, I do not take studies at face value. I don't pretend to be a statistician but I've read enough studies to know that even peer review does not negate bias, of either the study nor of the person reading the study.

      While I suspect you to give an accurate summation of the study results and I suspect the findings of the study to be correct, I remain skeptical and will not use it as a source of facts until I have the luxury of time to investigate further. I've had too much experience with manipulation of numbers and 'facts' to behave otherwise. As your main complaint against Josh's story is this same phenomena I'm sure you'll understand.

      As for the other blog, I merely referenced that his is another alternative, and terribly unpopular, viewpoint. I never ever suspected him of speaking for the majority. I do like reading contradicting ideas to help me order my own opinion and help me see any given topic from multiple angles. Even crazy people can help you gain new insight in their ramblings. (using possible tactless hyperbole, not trying to belittle anyone)

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  28. FG - just by saying something is preposterous doesn't make it so. You often, I note, use accusations - 'then they call me ignorant' or 'you are being condescending" etc. This has worked to silence some and may have worked in your debates with others in the past. With the above comment, it seems like you are trying to undermine a study by writing how you feel the study was done incorrectly in order to somehow undermine it. Obviously, all studies take a sampling of people - just because you disagree with how it is done, doesn't make it wrong.
    Again, there are facts and trying to dispute facts with defensiveness and illogic, doesn't take away the facts. I suspect in the past that attempting to brush away facts with defensiveness and sarcasm has worked for you. And if there were studies that showed mixed orientation marriages work well, you would be more than happy to post those studies and believe those facts. The study is not 'patently wrong' because you say it is.
    Again, instead of trying to draw attention away from facts, present other facts. But trying to make facts untrue by questioning methodology or getting defensive is not going to make you right as much as you want it to. This is why I'm happy that Rob is commenting on here - he doesn't get sucked into responding to your tangents and in fact has called you on them.
    People can comment on here anonymously. as such, I would expect that after Nightline there would be thousands and thousands of people in mixed orientation marriages writing in to comment on how great their marriages are. Haven't seen it yet.

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    1. Anon 6:54 AM, thank you for your response. Just as you find my contribution to the debate defensive & illogic, rest assured that I find your contribution the same. So, in that realm of the debate, we probably won't be able to engage in constructive exchange. Allow me not to even start it.

      Just for the record, I consider the aforementioned types of studies a joke because their methodology of research of human behavior I find bogus and reject it wholesale. There is an alternative methodology that I find true, right and proper, which is called praxeology, but it is outside of the mainstream, so I do not find Josh's blog as right and proper to discuss it. Enough said.

      You write that by the usage of "accusations" of various kinds I "silence some". Well, if anyone find himself or herself unable to make a reply to my comment because I made "an accusation", I'm terribly sorry. I should have known better. I should have not written what I think or believe, so that those faint-hearted souls had been able to respond. I apologize. Oh! I'm being sarcastic, and that's also a no-no in your world of debates... So, let's just cross the whole paragraph out.

      And oh, yes, you are right. I would also expect that after Nightline, there would be thousands upon thousands of people in mixed orientation marriage writing in comments on how great their marriages are. But I would also expect thousands upon thousands of people whose mixed orientation marriages failed miserably to also write their stories. Instead, there are few of the stories of both types written here, both before and after Nightline. What that tells me? Perhaps that the whole issue of mixed-orientation marriages is insignificant altogether, so what's the fuss???

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  29. I know what praxeology is. I also love Austria by the way.
    Not sure how I've been illogical I'm asking that we stick to facts and avoid sarcasm, defensiveness and personal attacks. I haven't been defensive at all. I am simply asking for facts to back up what you are saying. You are choosing to not do that but to again, be sarcastic, defensive and attack me. It's a distraction tool that doesn't work with me.
    Face facts (ha!) you don't have the facts to back up what you are saying, otherwise you would post them here.
    I also love Prague, just a short train ride away from Vienna!

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    1. When I say that some studies are preposterous, I'm not saying that they may not incidentally state the truth of a matter, but that wouldn't be because of their scientific validity.

      From the very beginning of this discussion I stated more than once that I do not claim that there are MORE successful mixed orientation marriages than unsuccessful. I only claim that I suspect there might be more of them, and that Josh's coming out story may be something through which over a period of time more people would be comfortable sharing it. I find it self evident that successful mixed-orientation marriages should be underreported in today's society for obvious reasons.

      As for loving Vienna & Prague, perhaps you should come over so that I show you things around. :)

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    2. I critique studies AND many of them are not credible in general because they don't credibility scale. You have to be very careful of taking facts from studies, especially when the sample size is low and the study can't be reproduced by another researcher. There have been many studies ( example the MMR vs autism study) found to be completely inaccurate. Some HS e caused such a hype which was later found to be faults. So please be very careful when looking at studies. Make surfeit passes the credibility test. If you don't know what they are look up the credibility criteria for quantitative and qualitative research studies.

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    3. Damn my grammar is terrible sorry :).

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    4. I have a strong feeling that if an equivalent study showed that mixed orientation marriage works 85% of the time, then some on here would find that study completely credible. I would also suggest people look into the study Rob mentions and if they find it not credible to post on here the facts about why it is not credible. Just casting doubt on studies in general is misleading.
      I don't mean this specifically to the comment above necessarily but it sometimes seems on here that people are trying to dispute facts with nothing of substance to dispute the facts with simply because they do not agree with what the facts say.
      Yes, I have written facts a lot.
      And while I envision some now saying, well, you don't believe facts that don't support what you are saying either, in my case, that is absolutely not true. Not a fact, ha. If people could show me facts that show that being gay is only about sex, I would be very interested to read that.

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  30. Sometimes I wonder if we First Worlders have too much time on our hands and would be better off worrying about how to find food and water rather than criticizing each other. God bless you, Brother and Sister Weed, you are courageous and inspiring in your willingness to be open.

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  31. Here is my post to my blog about your newsflash. My site is gayfathers.org


    If you have not heard there is a married couple that are receiving a lot of press because the man in the relationship is gay, married and Mormon. This happy couple has been married for 10 years, he is a therapist professionally. Mr. Weed has stated multiple times that his is not a "reparative therapist". I am gratified that their situation works for them.

    2 things that I would mention as caution to this story is to NOT generalize it to ALL gay, married men. Secondly, many men (including myself) were able to continue to repress the gay side of ourselves for 20 or more years. I still had the ideal life, marriage and situation at 10 years of marriage. I was able to repress everything and stay busy with out falling apart. I am sure that there are people similar to the Weeds that do actually make things work.

    In generalizing this experience to ALL that are in this situation can be extremely damaging. In religion there is a HIGH expectation to conform to the principles within that construct. Using this story to say, "see, you could have done it", or "you must not be righteous enough like this family", or "other people can repress their feelings to make it work".....these statements are damaging and hurtful.

    Having been in this situation, there was no way I could have continued on in my (then) situation without experiencing much more pain, distress and difficulty. Stories like these may encourage young couples to get married regardless of orientation. This is not a healthy solution. Many mental health providers have stated that one cannot cure homosexuality by getting married to an opposite sex partner. Some religions have the same philosophy.

    I am happy for the Weed's and wish them well, I just hope that well intentioned people do not cause harm to others because they may generalize this situation to others. I would like to check in with the Weed family in 10 years to see where they are at, and are things still working for them?!?! Since he is a therapist, I think his chances of staying in the marriage are greater than most.

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  32. Yeah, I agree that first-worlders have way too much time to pontificate, I really do. And the Mormon Church, sitting on billions of dollars from various businesses worldwide (i.e. Bonneville International, Ensign Peak Advisors, Beneficial Life Insurance Company, Utah Property Management Reserves, AgReserves, and more. Some of these enterprises are for profit) has way too much money and is using too much of it to keep gay people from having civil rights. Last year the church also completed building on the City Creek Center megamall built for $2 billion. The for profit DMC makes $1.2 billion annually. Imagine if the Mormon Church were to spend some of those billions helping out those who are looking for food and clean water, in the majority world. No one knows exactly where all of the money is going because the church is not required to open its books, even to its members. 'Bloomberg BusinessWeek', July 16, has an interesting story on this. According to the article, from what has been disclosed, the Mormon Church gives .7 per cent of its annual income to charity - compared for example to the United Methodist church that gives 29 per cent.
    All tithes are now sent directly to Salt Lake City and what exactly happens with this money, no one (except the church institution obviously) knows for sure. Individual members are not provided with any financial accounting.
    Before anyone starts claiming that these aren't facts, here is a link to the Bloomberg article: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-07-10/how-the-mormons-make-money
    and yes, yes, the Catholic church is sitting on billions too - and that is equally a problem. Were I a Mormon required to tithe my 10%, I'd darned well want to know where my money is going. To me, it seems the church is operating very much like a business, with very little actually going to charity.

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    1. The LDS church puts a good portion into its edifices, namely chapels/church houses and temples. Temples, because of their sacred nature and purposes, are made of the highest craftmanship and quality materials, much like the care and love that goes into a Catholic cathedral. Just visit the outside of any one of these temples and you will see the quality of work that goes into them. The money used for these structures comes strictly from tithing.

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    2. Do you have percentages of how much it puts on its edifices? If i were tithing, I think I'd want that money to go to help people, not build buildings. And I feel the same way about Catholic cathedrals - so much money spent when so many people are starving.

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    3. Here is a recent statement (i.e. since Bloomberg's journalistically poor article) from the LDS church regarding its finances. http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/church-financial-independence

      I am taught at church, amongst many other gospel principles, to be self-reliant both spiritually and temporally. This is in part to enable me to then reach out and help others in matters spiritual and temporal. I do not consider that my religious leaders attempt to teach me anything in word that they and the church as a whole does not demonstrate in deed. and therefore it reassures me to see my church on a sound financial footing. Living in Englnd I have seen so many beautiful, historical churches being sold off and converted into private dwellings by a Church of England which is struggling with the costs of maintaining these buildings. Many which are still used are used only part-time as congrgations are combined to save on staffing costs.
      Knowing that the church is heavily involved in worldwide humanitarian aid as well as having seen the church assist directly in the lives of people in my own circle of friends, I consider it no challenge to my testimony at all to know that the church is affluent. I am grateful for the sound business minds who, with revelation and guidance through the Holy Spirit, keep the church in an affluent state which can bless the lives of so many in this life and the next.

      I have two issues with the accusation that the church is "using too much [money] to keep gay people from having civil rights". 1) How much of churh funds is even being used in the fight against legalisation of gay marriage? As I understand it in California members donated their own money to the Proposition 8 cause. 2) Is marriage a civil right? I'm nt sure. Even if it is, it is being denied to no one. Josh is a gay person and he was in no way denied he chance to marry. We are all subject to the same laws regarding marriage. We are not allowed to marry until we are of age. The person we choose to marry must be of age. The person we chose to marry must not be currently married. The person we choose to marry must be consenting. The person we choose to marry must not be a close family member. The person we choose to marry must be a member of the opposite sex. Well, that last restriction is in the process of being demolished. What one will be next? Do people who fall in love with their sibling (and it happens) have fewer rights than gay people?

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    4. Please excuse missing characters. My keyboard is dying a slow death. :o(

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    5. Thanks, I read the link. From the link -'on occasion someone will try to estimate the Church’s income and determine how much of that is used to care for the poor and needy. Again, they rarely capture the whole picture. The bedrock principles underlying the Church’s welfare and humanitarian efforts are Christlike service and self-reliance."
      I'm not clear why it would have to be estimated. Why aren't actual figures given, at least to members of the church? you are right about mainline churches having to sell off assets to survive - that is happening in Canada too. The little church I attend is desperately struggling to stay afloat due mainly to declining membership.
      As a member, I can ask to see the financials at any time and the church's financial report is given to members in a yearly report so I know exactly what is going where, locally, nationally and internationally. If I were given a vague report that basically boiled down to 'trust us, we're spending the money properly," I'd be nervous. You have the right as a member to ask to see a financial report, no matter what you are told to the contrary.
      Why is the Bloomberg article 'journalistically poor?" The article states financial figures on what the church makes and some ways that it spends its money. In what factual ways does that make the article 'journalistically poor?" The negative comments below the article were critical but also never explained how it is factually inaccurate. If it is factually inaccurate, then that is a problem - were the figures incorrect?
      The Mormon Church went to members and asked them to donate to Prop 8 - some gave all of their savings. I have links to articles that state that which I can attach as well.

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    6. Gemma, It used to be illegal for people of different races to marry. Following your logic, that was just because it was "equal" for everyone, you just had to marry a person of your same race. Are you sure that's the side of history you want to be on?

      As for marriage being a civil right, I'll just go ahead and quote myself because I'm tired of writing it out:

      In 1967 marriage was recognized as a civil right in the case of Loving V. Virginia. Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote for the majority:

      "The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men ..."

      This rests on the 14th Amendment, Part one;

      No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

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    7. Fresh Hell, I admire your persistence. But, sadly, me thinks they have ears but they don't want to hear.

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    8. Thank you, Anon. I think I'll be leaving this blog soon but not just yet. Not when I know that young people are reading here, taking every word into their hearts and minds.

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  33. I've read all comments since my last one with great interest, and I have only a few more brief points.

    FG, I appreciated your first measured response to my prior comments, but then you went back to emotional ad hominem attacks and dismissing a peer-reviewed study for unexplained philosophical reasons. It's like Anonymous said: if you object to facts I present, then produce other facts to rebut them. I can't respond to an argument that consists of "I think it's stupid".

    Your credibility would increase if you stuck to facts and addressed the merits rather than scoffing and speculating. You have done yourself a disservice; you could have educated and persuaded me, but you merely frustrated me instead. This makes me more skeptical of everything you say. Perhaps a different approach with the next person next time might serve you better.

    Anonymous, I agree with what you wrote. Including your last one about Mormon finances. Thanks.

    I remain persuaded that the Weeds have made several big mistakes and in their naivete will end up being complicit in more harm than good if they don't take strong steps to fix things.

    Peace out.

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    1. Rob, you do not expect me to discuss merits of one scientific method over another in the comment section of Josh Weed's blog, do you? It would be ridiculous, wouldn't it?

      You also do not expect me to explain to you an alternative methodological approach to social sciences in short "sound bites" so that "anyone" can understand it, do you?

      If you are interested, you can find out about it for yourself, because I and Anonymous (whom you praise in your comment) gave you enough cues. But I suspect that you are not, you are just interested to peace me out.

      Thank you very much, Rob.

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  34. Exactly. Scoffing and saying it's stupid is not a valid argument. Nor is becoming sarcastic or insinuating that someone is being condescending when in fact that person is being condescending. Facts please. Facts might persuade me - scoffing, being sarcastic and condescending never will. If anything, it dramatically weakens any valid points that person may have to make.

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  35. As does "do it yourself, lazy person, I gave you clues." Someone who puts forth an argument has the responsibility to back it up. If the space is small, then do the damn work of summarizing and providing sources for further investigation. Anything less = no credibility and dismissal of that person's opinions.

    It's simple courtesy, really.

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    1. http://www.mises.ch/library/Rothbard_PraxeologyAsTheMethod.pdf

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  36. I'm the anonymous. I didn't give any clues, FG.
    Again and for the last time because this is not going anywhere - the anger, the sarcasm, the insulting - is not credible. If you can't stick to the facts and repeatedly resort to anger, sarcasm and condescension then there is no credibility.
    I'm 100% certain that an alternative methodological approach doesn't include what i just mentioned.
    If someone can debate with facts, then I will listen. Otherwise, no. Imagine a debate where one side presents an argument and the other side, instead of responding with facts and reasoned argument, instead tells the other person they are stupid and their ideas are stupid. I see that in sandboxes in children's playgrounds.
    You can, of course, respond to this with further scoffing and sarcasm. In fact, I expect that. it's an attempt at distraction but it doesn't work with me. Because you aren't presenting facts, I go and research the facts and when I present them here, they are scoffed at.
    For the record, I agree with everything that Rob has said.

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  37. Read the link but not sure how it disproves the study Rob referenced or how it proves the opposite?

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  38. Are there facts on how praxeology proves that mixed orientation marriages work?

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  39. Those who have ears to hear, will hear. Thank you Josh and Lolly. The spirit of your posts has touched my heart. You are the very essence of love. I hope to be able to emulate that love to all people. Thank you for the understanding you have given me. I trust in the Lord and in his prophets. I know that God is aware of each and every one of us, if we but put our trust in him. Thank you for following the spirit in all you do.

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  40. I read your coming out blog post some time ago and have sat down to write a comment several times but have been interpreted each time. I just want to say thanks. Thank you for your courage and openness. I've spent a lot of time through my own conversion attempting to reconcile in my own mind how a person can have homosexual feelings and still be true and faithful to the gospel. You perfectly and eloquently explain that. I also want you to know that there are WAY more unicorns than I think any of us know. I'm married to one. We feel very similar to you and appreciate that you've opened the conversation so that those, specifically within the church, can learn and understand those who experience same gender attraction and how to show real Christlike love. You and Lolly are amazing and inspirational. While I don't ever see a time where our family will openly discuss our intimate marital relationship, I can't thank you enough for your bravery. I think you've given more people than you will ever know hope, comfort, and the feeling that we're not alone.

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