CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE Then I wrote The Disease Called “Perfection”, and while my current sexual struggle wasn’t the biggest thing on my mind when I wrote it, there is no question that it was haunting the background motives of that post. After I published it, I had quite the transitory burst of internal strength….
Josh and Lollys post was extremely moving. I know many heterosexual couples who don't have that kind of intimacy. It is wonderful that they found that joy of love. If more people could simply find beauty in love without labels, the world would be a much better place.
Well modernmom, I think for me the sadness for this couple, most specifically for this woman, is that because of religious beliefs & rules made up by men, neither of them have been able to truly be loved & desired for who they are. Josh is not attracted to women. He may love her, and surely their children, but he is not being true to himself at all. And unfortunately, she is the one who suffers for it. And I am sure he suffers for it too. People can do whatever they want, as long as they are not breaking any laws or hurting anyone physically---but I am very sad for both of them.
I am curious if this post began the longer look in the mirror you took at yourself? I can't judge what Lolly and Josh have, only they know the realities of what works for them. I can tell you in my own marriage it's been the absolute honesty from out of the gates that has made the connection and love amazing. Bringing an intimacy so strong and pure it's divine. I think that is the bigger message they offer, one I think you are finding for yourself as well.
Wow. Reading the first part of that post was like looking into a mirror. I went through the exact same process, albeit within a different situation. But it's something I had a hard time talking about, outside of the friends that you feel safe stripping your emotional life down to the quick with. I am a 28-year-old woman. I was raised in a conservative neighborhood by conservative parents in a conservative town in the northeast, not very far from Boston physically but very far psychologically. I went to a college prep boarding school - all-girls - and during high school began questioning my sexuality. I asked my mother once, junior year, what she and my father would do if I were gay, and her crushing, shattering, well-intentioned response was a slow, measured, "Well, we like you straight." Ouch. Talk about putting THAT internal debate on the back burner. I remained mostly single until I was 22, with sporadic, meaningless "boyfriends" during that time when most people are figuring out how they want relationships to be, learning what they want from relationships, and experiencing their first long-term relationships. I was coping with being something I wasn't, and couldn't question why.
Senior year of college, I fell madly in love with a woman. I had lots of gay friends, in fact most of my friends were either part of the "gay scene" or people I did community service with (largely Christians, which was strange at first for this atheist!). We dated briefly, just long enough for me to realize how natural, how RIGHT it felt. I officially identified as a lesbian.
Moving on. 3 years after I graduated, I moved to a tiny, tiny, Mormon town in northeastern Arizona. I was terrified. I'd been in several relationships with women in the time that had passed, was a very liberal, loud, outgoing person who loved helping others and being a part of a community. I made a friend, (a single father to a teenager), who, for various reasons, ended up spending most of his time at my place. He became very smitten, very quickly, and pretended to try to hide it. For reasons that were, and still are, vague and unclear, I found myself psychologically attracted to him. Somehow, this turned into a physical attraction, and we spent the next year and a half as a couple. Those who knew about my sexual orientation were either devastated or celebratory, depending upon their views.
We broke up a few months ago. There was an overwhelming amount of pressure from friends and family to decide who/what I was NOW, and a lot of hope that I was "fixed"...straight. I wasn't sure myself anymore. I had loved him, but on the rare occasions that I had the house to myself and got to read my lesbian erotica or watch cutesy gay-girl movies, it stirred a deep sense of homesickness and longing somewhere within me. I desperately missed the "gay scene", and it never stopped feeling strange to mention my "boyfriend" to strangers. But I'd just spent the last year and a half more or less happily with a man - could I be straight? Was I lying to myself all these years? Had I just been making up all these feelings?
Finally (and I actually laughed when I read this part of your post), I too joined a dating website. I looked at mens' pictures, mens' profiles, and to be fair, some of them were attractive, nice-looking, funny folk. There were even some that I saw and thought, "Hmmm, I could probably enjoy you. And you are a handsome guy as well!" Then... Well, then I looked at the womens' profiles. About 5 profiles in, there was this mohawked woman with an amazing smile sitting in a sports car with a tattoo on her arm, and my absolute first thought was, "I would really like to do dirty things to you." A few profiles later, there was a woman with pretty eyes standing in front of a waterfall in a baggy t-shirt and mens shorts. Same deal. I am now dating a girl a few hours from me - gorgeous (though not in a conventional, "girly" sense), smart, funny, ex-military, and I can't keep my hands off her when we are together.
The goal of this comment was NOT to write you a novel, really. It was to thank you for being so open about your own personal discovery, and to thank you for being braver in talking about it than I was. It was truly comforting to read that someone else had similar experiences, even if your start and end points were different, and that you came about your end point in the same way I did. Thank you, thank you, thank you, on behalf of gays everywhere, for being man enough to admit your own personal struggles, and human enough to embrace people no matter what. Your comment about talking to men on the dating website feeling "unnatural" struck a chord deep within me - I feel the same way when talking to men in that sort of situation.
I can't say it enough - thank you.
I very much appreciate what you have to say, both your questioning of your own sexual orientation and your response for Josh Weed's post. I am a gay Mormon who is currently in good standing with the church. I haven't served a mission even though I'm old for a preemie, nor am I anywhere near close to marriage, but Josh's story was a story of hope for me. It's one that I really don't think I'll have the good fortune of repeating, but I really do appreciate his willingness to be an example of how some religious people make crappy situations work for them. One little qualm I want to point out: Of all the attached gay Mormons I know, none are in unhappy relationships. Either they are living a gay lifestyle somewhat separated from the church, like many (or most) gay people do, or they are in honest, fulfilling mixed-orientation marriages like Josh's, where both spouses are aware and vigilant. This evidence is highly anecdotal, but in my limited experience, I don't know anyone who hasn't been able to make SOME kind of a relationship work.
That said, I do agree that it's frustrating that Bible-bashers are using his story to add fuel to their anti-gay-actions flame. My good friend and erstwhile girlfriend hounded me with the article, saying that we could make it work if we wanted to.
"I want to make it very clear that while I have found a path that brings me profound joy and that is the right path for me, I don’t endorse this as the only path for somebody who is gay and religious. I will never, ever judge somebody else’s path as being “incorrect” and I know many people who have chosen different paths than myself." -Josh Weed's unicorn post. Maybe you should be more mad that people can't read and comprehend what they're reading? This was one of the things I took away from this post, that someone chooses to do to be happy is not for me to judge. Another thing I took from his post (as a happily married woman) is the great reminder that no matter what issues my husband & I have, that we love each other and want for each other to be happy, and that means pushing through difficult things. His post doesn't *have* to be for gay people only.
@MakamaeB It seems to me that Dan understood the original article and the responses perfectly:
"I actually have no problem with what Josh said at all. In fact, I think his story and marriage are beautiful in many ways. It is not my place to question whether or not his story is sincere or true based on the reality that the masses have experienced. And as we’ve talked about in Whose Life Is It Anyway, every person needs to chase their own happiness, even when it conflicts with the viewpoints and pressure coming from those who surround them.
No. What gets under my skin is how many people are using his post to say, 'SEE?! TOLD YOU SO!'"-Dan's Post
His point is not that there is anything wrong with Mr. Weed's situation, or that there might not be value for people in reading about it. His point is that it is being misused against gay people.
"sexual attraction to a lifelong mate is a necessary part of happiness" I feel like this point of yours was hard for me because I know friends and acquaintances who have had their husbands leave them because they are no longer attracted to them. Some of these women have had breasts removed, some have been in car accidents and disfigured, some have grown old and no longer look like their younger selves, and others have born multiple children and have a body that now holds the beauty of carrying life, but whom their spouses found hideous. So, are these men justified in leaving then because their happiness has somehow been ruined. Trust me, there have been a lot of moms who cry at night because they have had kids and are no longer attractive to their spouse. Where does this statement leave them? With facelifts, and tummy tucks and touchups and the idea that all that they are worth is whether or not they can make themselves sexually attracted to their spouse.
Maybe I've taken this out of context, but this hits a nerve with me. Josh and Lolly, in my opinion, have learned to look past that. And I think we should all look up to them as an example whether we are gay or not. Because you know what, Lolly is never going to feel like she needs surgery to make herself attractive to her husband. He is attracted to her because of who she is inside. That sounds dumb, but that means more to me.
I know I feel the most sexually attracted to my husband when I decide to love him the most. It's not sexual attraction that saves a marriage, it's the love that leads to the attraction that does it. That's the greatest story that Josh and Lolly tell.
@RachelLeavitt I agree that sexual attraction isn't a necessary part of happiness for everyone, but I do think it is a necessary part for some. While reading Josh and Lolly's story, I could totally see their relationship being happy and fulfilling for them, but I know lots of people that that just wouldn't work for them... I also found it confusing that Josh said he had no attraction to his wife, but they had a fulfilling sex life. That just doesn't make sense to me... How can you have ZERO attraction and be able to have sex? (I'm speaking from my own experiences. The best I could hope for was acting and pretending that I liked it when I didn't. That was anything but fulfilling for me or my (now ex) husband.)
I have a friend who considers himself "hypersexual". Sexual attraction for his spouse and her attraction to him is incredibly important to him. It's a need. I see nothing wrong with that. (Although I also can't see him suddenly not being attracted to her just because she gained weight. For him, the attraction goes away when she is being selfish or mean.)
I do really hate it when someone is judged on their outside appearance.... I don't care who it is, it makes me sad.
@OnlyaLittleSugarCoated I have experience with enjoying sex without a physical attraction. While I am sure there are many ways to achieve this, the best way for me to explain this is to think of it like masturbating with someone else that you arent attracted to being there. Sex can be pleasurable whether its with oneself, someone you are attracted to, someone you are not attracted to, and even someone you dont want to have sex with. I am trying to find the statistics on this, or at least one reference, but my searching skills are failing me. There is even psychological condition where a person who was raped felt guilty about the rape because they experienced pleasure at some point during the rape. I am not condoning rape. In fact what I remember about the article that I read all of those years ago highlighted how much physical and psychological damage can occur as a result of rape. The only analogy that fits is to imagine having someone try to kill you, and experiencing arousal at some point in the process because your body responded in a self defensive mechanism.
This is the closest thing I found on the subject: http://www.slate.com/blogs/humannature/2009/01/26/rape_fantasies_and_female_arousal.html
@OnlyaLittleSugarCoated I believe that there is a time and a place for everything. While I am more than happy to share, I dont believe that this is the time or place. I understand triggers, I used to get triggered, but not so much any more. This could take a while to explain, but trust me when I say that I managed to work through the things that were keeping me from being me. If you want to discuss this on a more private forum feel free to contact me directly.
@RyanCarter1 Please don't apologize, I didn't feel offended. Triggered maybe... as in it reminded me of all of my stuff... but not offended at all. And please, if you feel like it, tell your story. I don't see it as a contest at all, I just know sometimes it feels good to tell your story. (And sometimes it brings stuff up that I'd rather not deal with, but I'm always glad I after I do.)
I really REALLY appreciate the conversation. (This is one of the few moments when I feel like I can't write the words that will express myself well enough. I wish I could add in voice inflection and my eyes to let you know my gratitude.)
Sending hugs to a fellow survivor. Thank you for your thoughts and wisdom.
@OnlyaLittleSugarCoated I am sorry, I did not mean to offend. You have been through a lot. A part of me wants to tell my story and everything that I have been through. I won't because this is not a contest. What you went through, and are still going through because of it must have been and must still be hell. But I can only imagine.
I have a bad habit of answering rhetorical questions. There is no answer for either question now that I think about it. Just know that if there is anything that you need, and is within my means of providing it, I will do so. I offer this as a survivor.
In reference to me learning to love myself, the hardest thing for me to do, was to realize that I had to ask for help. I mentioned that in the one comment that you liked of mine. "Keep in mind, also, that these are my beliefs, and these beliefs are based upon years of personal struggle, which finally, with the help of another person, culminated in a huge amount of self reflection." Many people dont know how to help, because too many people dont have the skills necessary to help and not enough people have been in the unique situations that make them a good candidate to help.
I am aware that this is a blanket statement. It fits because we all go through different life experiences. Very rarely does one persons life experiences match those of another. I believe, based upon what I have read about you OnlyaLittleSugarCoated, that we have experienced many similar things. Once again, if there is anything that you need, and is within my means of providing it, I will do so.
@RyanCarter1 I realize that my question wasn't accurate. What I said was, "How can you have ZERO attraction and be able to have sex?" and what I really meant to say was, "How can you have ZERO attraction and have a fulfilling sex life?"
So, that said, I understand sex is possible without attraction. I know exactly what you are talking about when you talk about rape. I was raped as a child, and then in my first marriage. As a child, I don't remember how my body reacted other than that it was very VERY painful.
As an adult, and married, my body did have the physical reactions... but I don't think it can be compared to the pleasure one feels while having sex. It's just the body's reaction. If you stab a person, they bleed. If you put your hand on a hot stove, it gets burned. If you stroke a penis, it grows and creates sexual excitement. I was going to put more about my own experiences, but I just can't bring myself to write the words...
I'll just say, my body adapted. It has taken me many MANY years to overcome the automatic reactions to touch that were NOT desired. Those reactions probably saved my life, because without them, I was being (literally) torn and the pain would have been too intense to survive day after day.
I have my experiences, and that is why Josh's experience confuses me so much. It's possible to have sex. It's possible to have the physical needs met, but I would call that ANYTHING but fulfilling.
Learning to live with something, and being fulfilled by something are so different.
It's like eating burnt rice vs eating gourmet (something you love).
@RachelLeavitt Hi Rachel, I think you raise some good points, although I am not sure I agree with your conclusions. I dont really like describing the feelings that Josh and Lolly have because none of us really know those for sure...and as people post, myself included, we scrape through statements they have made and interpret them. So, I am going to try to make my point in a more generic way: If a person desires to partner with someone they love despite the fact that the potential partner does not match the physical nature of the person's orientation, but feelings are there...as you say "because of what the potential partner is inside" or that intimacy with that person is just "right"...then great. I would want that for myself... I tend to be attracted to a more masculine, often hairy, kind of man. But I have also met and felt intimately close to others who did not match that profile. I am fully confident that deep, monogamous relationships would be possible there.and I would be turned on more by the whole of the person in question than this physical characteristic or that.
In my long term partnership, my partner went through a period of extreme weight gain, and it did not change my intimate feelings at all... the initial drive did not really go away, but morphed into something deeper, less driven, but more rewarding and compelling.
I am sorry the husbands you described, did not have similar passions.
In the situation that Josh described, there was an additional element however... and that was-- it is a situation where a partner is picked not just in spite of the alignment of orientations, but because of an otherwise unrelated third priority. In this case... religion. In an example I gave in another post here, it was men doing it for money. I see those two situations more similar than the intimate passion vs. sexual attraction passion situations.
I have some women in my life that I love deeply... but I am not oriented to them in any kind of physical passion kind of way. They are like sisters to me, and I do not mean that superficially. To be physical with them would feel so monumentally uncomfortable for me, it would supersede the intimate intentions... it would literally feel like I was trying to make love to my sister.
I think it is one thing to have a sexual passion that morphs and evolves and is kept precious. It is another to try to manufacture it in a situation where it does not initially exist.
@RachelLeavitt Thank you for sharing your perspective Rachel. I have been struggling internally with this particular topic, trying to take in everyone's comments and sort them out inside me so that this issue made sense for me. I think you really hit the nail on the head with "It's not sexual attraction that saves a marriage, it's the love that leads to the attraction that does it." I'm still sorting it all out, and I'm glad to have your perspective. My inclination is to agree with you. While sexual attraction is a wonderful thing for those that have it with their significant other, it is not the most important thing in my opinion. We all are going to grow old, life is going to take it's toll on us physically, and sexual desire can fade. I personally, due to my issues with depression, have extended periods of time that I have no sexual desire at all. It does not diminish my love or how I feel about the person I am with. But during those times I am truly not sexually attracted to them at all. I have found it causes many issues because people do not believe you can truly love and have a satisfying life, even sexually, without it. But I have always believed it's possible to transcend that "need" to be desired and to feel that sexual attraction and reach real intimacy. I'm still looking for someone that I can find this with, but I do believe it is possible, and I feel like it their own way Josh and Lolly have given me hope of that.
I missed some fascinating conversations while out living my life this past weekend. For those that are reading the comments for the first time, Lisa Ann decided to contribute her Catholic point of view in this discussion, and caused a public outcry against the things she was claiming as truth. This led to people declaring that they would no longer discuss things with her. I commend those people. I am going to make a final entreat to Lisa Ann, and then let her words fall to the wind.
Lisa Ann: Ask yourself "What if I am wrong?" When I ask myself that question I realize several things. I know that I have helped make the world around me a better place, even if it is at the price of going to hell. I know that I have a diverse group of people in my life that care about me, and what I think and feel. I know that I respect the beliefs, thoughts, feelings of others. I know that others respect my beliefs thoughts and feelings. I see myself as a happier person, because I don't let the beliefs of others become a burden on my soul. If my beliefs are wrong, and another persons were right, then at least I had the decency of letting them be happy with their beliefs.
I treat all people, regardless of where they come from, or where they are going, the same. This is because I don't know if my beliefs are perfect, and this allows me to be open in case I do find a belief that is more perfect than what I currently believe. Treating others the same means respecting their beliefs. It does not mean questioning their beliefs, unless they begin to question the beliefs of others. As a US citizen I know that we have the freedom of religion. This means that I, you, and everyone else has the right to believe what they want. I would like it if we could believe what we want without having to worry about another person attacking those beliefs. Perhaps there should be a law against invalidating the beliefs of another in such a manner that it caused emotional distress. Sure it would be hard to prove, but the end result of encouraging people to respect the beliefs of others would only have a positive result in the end.
@RyanCarter1 I was all set to 'like your post until your statement, "Perhaps there should be a law against invalidating the beliefs of another in such a manner that it caused emotional distress." I have had my virtual fingers on the pulse of American politics for a long time now, and the only practical real-world application I see for a law like you propose, would be as a repressive tool for more bigotry, and totalitarianism. The rest of your post was downright beautiful to me, worthy of a 'superlike'!
@ThomasRoss Yup, such a law would be a bad thing. Hind sight being 20/20, and considering i wrote this 2 weeks ago, my perception has grown a little. Perhaps... well perhaps people will learn to respect one another a little more in the future. Think about how wonderful a place the world would be if there was just a little bit more respect for others. Its too bad I didn't have my current level of reasoning two weeks ago. That 'superlike' sounds awesome.
Should you need to display a graphic form of the Gay Agenda. Here it is.... https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151070714302033&set=p.10151070714302033&type=1&theater
@Rob W On the same topic, this is a video I really enjoyed. http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/17/opinion/granderson-gay-agenda/index.html
Wow. Dan, thank you. This post hit me in many different ways.
First, As a self-identified asexual, the therapy session you talked about brought up a lot of questions for me. Questions that I'm not sure I want to face, or even how to face. I don't feel sexual attraction for men or women, but I do know how to have some very intimate connections with people... none of which were with my former husbands. (Yes. I have two former husbands.) So, thank you for sharing that part of your story.
Second, your reaction to Josh's blogpost is very similar to my own. I am SO glad that he is sharing his story. I know the power of just speaking up, sharing my experiences, and owning my own stories. It just feels good. I also feel very frustrated with many of my friends and family who now think they understand what it's like to be gay, what it's like to be married to a gay man, and what the solution to being gay is. Mixed-orientation marriages are not a new idea. It wasn't that long ago that the church told gay men to get married to women, and that would cure their homosexuality. (I even had an ex-husband who thought that using violence and physical force to get me to have sex would cure me of my lack of sexual attraction.)
Every single one of us have a unique path to walk, and I'm grateful for the people that understand that. You being one of them.
@OnlyaLittleSugarCoated Thank you for you testimony! Self-identified asexuals are something like 1% of the population, or less, but your testimony is important anyway, as is everyone's!
I'm sorry to hear about your ex and his violence and control problems. Sorry for you, and sorry for him too. It couldn't have been easy, married to someone who wasn't attracted to him. Few people manage that kind of hurdle like the Josh Weed and his wife have! And you saw for yourself, what kind of damage can be done while trying to get at that heterosexual "brass ring" of marriage, when orientations are mixed.
With two former husbands under your belt, you sound like a romantic asexual--someone who is romantically attracted to objects of affection without ever getting physically desirous in the slightest. I've never been in your shoes, but I feel for you! It can't be easy, to have the drive to find a mate and turn two individuals into one couple, without the sex-drive necessary to cement such a union, typically.
Fortunately in this modern online world, there are organizations and websites available for you. There are places for you to freely explore your asexuality, and even people available to date you, with the same romantic needs and lack of physical needs that you have! Or similar, at least. My understanding of male asexuals is that unlike the female asexuals, most of them masturbate. They just don't want anything more than that, sexually, from anyone.
@ThomasRoss I'm not for sure I'm a romantic asexual. I'm still sorting that out... meaning, I was raised in a religion that taught that the only way to salvation was to get married. A woman's entire purpose (for being on earth) was to get married and make babies. It never crossed my mind that I could choose not to get married. So I married the first man that showed interest in me. (Twice.)
I liked what Dan wrote because there are many questions I never asked myself. First husband (the one that was violent) was violent from the very first time we had sex. I had been molested as a child. Other than that, I was a virgin... What if he had been gentle? What if I didn't feel attraction to HIM, but I could feel attraction to someone who was respectful?
I figure my first task is to learn how to respect and love myself, so that I don't get into situations like that again... and then go from there.
Thanks for your thoughts!
@ThomasRoss I think you are a very wise man. I totally agree that it will happen however it happens, and I'll deal with whatever happens when it does. :)
@OnlyaLittleSugarCoated Well, it's not a confirmed diagnosis, by any means. But what perhaps your body is telling you, is that you shouldn't go messing around with any of that sex-stuff until you meet the guy (or girl) who takes your breath away. THEN, perhaps you'll feel sexual...or, you won't exactly feel sexual, but you'll feel very gratified by your partner's pleasure....or, you'll have continued difficulties with intimacy resulting in trouble for your relationship...or, you'll come to the conclusion that for you, at least, a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle, and resolve that with a few family and good friends at your side, are complete unto yourself. It's a potluck and a crapshoot, how you will find yourself when (or if) you get to that situation. And while it's worth cogitating on a bit, it's not really worth borrowing trouble. You will react the way you do, and ought to honor that, no matter what you THINK about it beforehand.
@ThomasRoss Although I feel very sad for both ex husbands, I would have to say that I was never in love with them. I cared about each of them, but with the first one I wrote in my journal the night before we got married, "He's not really what I want, but someone has to marry him... That person can be me."With the second marriage, I told people that I didn't want to get married, but if I had to get married, it might as well be to him. He's a good guy. We have some fun together. He works hard and he'll make a good dad. He and I got divorced a few years ago, and now we are great friends. (A friendship that was impossible while I was trying to force myself to be his wife.)
Thanks for your thoughts. You all are helping me sort myself out. :)
"The most important thing everyone needs to know about love is that we must love ourselves first. Many people will say "duh" and not actually consider what it means to love oneself. It took me more than twenty years to learn to love myself, and I was once one of the duh people too. Keep in mind, also, that these are my beliefs, and these beliefs are based upon years of personal struggle, which finally, with the help of another person, culminated in a huge amount of self reflection. In the end, I realized how amazing of a person I was. Then I began to respect myself. Then I learned to trust myself. Then finally I started to love myself. None of this could have happened if I was not honest with myself though.
Part of the struggle required that I went through my own fears, desires, prejudices, and hates. I realized that I hated God in this process. I also realized that there were things about myself that I hated. And there were things that I hated about other people too. Then, slowly, I began to let go of these things. Learning to let go is a very hard thing to do. It requires admitting that you were wrong. Sometimes it even means confessing to other people that there is something about them that you hate. I ended up telling a few friends that I had a prejudice against them, and that I was struggling to get over it.
I cannot explain the whole process in less than a million words. Too much happened. What I can do though, is explain where I am now. Whenever I read or hear another person criticizing or judging someone for something, it makes me want to step in. I usually don't, until afterwards, because I have learned from experience that the critical/judgmental person will not change. What I do, is sweep in, and pick the victim up. I tell them how amazing they are, and how wrong the other person was. This can be difficult sometimes, especially when the person believes what the other person said. This is the greatest example of not loving oneself that I can give. And as surprising as it is, I have seen many people affected by criticism in this way. Sometimes at their own hand.
Part of each of us knows that we are not perfect. I have learned to embrace my imperfections. This is how I deal with criticism. I accept it for what it is. Then I chose to change, nor not. I then look at the person that is judging or criticizing me, and I forgive them. I know that they are where they are in life. I don't know where that is, I don't know where they have been, and I don't know where they are going. I could judge or criticize them right back, but that is just feeding a troll. All that I can do is hope that they get to a better place. Most importantly I try to set myself as an example. Many people that judge and criticize expect it to happen right back to them. By not criticizing or judging them, I also hope that they can see what its like to not have others criticize or judge them, because I believe that they are just looking for acceptance, like so many other people are."
"I don't expect anyone who reads this to wake up tomorrow and be as free as I am now. What I hope happens though, is that someone reads this and realizes that they could learn to love others a little more, and more importantly they could learn love them self as much as they deserve to be loved."
@OnlyaLittleSugarCoated Someone actually posted a general blueprint to getting to loving yourself that I thought was amazing! If anybody reading this message can find it, I think it oughtta be re-posted! It starts with things like listening to yourself, and learning to trust yourself. I wish I could remember more, or find the post!
There is one other kind of asexual I forgot to mention. I can't remember the label they've been officially given, but some people are asexual until they fall in love, and then they feel sexual, but only ever toward that person. To put that on you would be to judge a lack of in-loveness in your marriages, so I'm just putting it out there as a possibility.
@OnlyaLittleSugarCoated Big friendship hugs to you - you need and deserve them! Many can't understand women getting married without a strong sexual attraction to begin with, yet I would guess it happens more often than some would imagine. It seems that's what you did, and things didn't improve - and your personal history of trauma would have put a damper on all that anyway. Seek beauty wherever you can find it - it's all around you. The true love is there for you as well.
@RyanCarter1 you said: " What was the purpose if they knew that they were being trolled? They knew that they could not change her mind, they knew that they could not educate her. Yet they continued to egg her on? Hate might be too strong of a word, but there was definitely dislike on some level or another."
I don't know if they knew they were being trolled. I don't know what they thought, or if they are egging her on. However, when you use strong words like hate, you are dismissing them, and sitting in judgment. I think (at least the ones that I have come to know) that it might be that they dislike her words, her message, it doesn't mean they necessarily dislike her. She appears to be a button pusher, finding ways to provoke a negative response. If she can provoke a person to anger, then she can trounce, or dismiss. I don't think she is someone you can have a serious dialogue with, unlike you who actually engages with people. She reminds me of people who talks over the top of you, can't hear a word you are saying, or just enough to keep on the diatribe.
I decided not to have a dialogue with her, as she appears only willing to do her own monologue. She is distracting everyone from having meaningful discussions about this post that was happening until she showed up. As for me, when she climbs down from her pedestal, er pulpit and wants to actually discuss something instead of preaching, and thumping her bible, or trolling (not sure which behavior for sure she is actually engaging in), I would consider discussing Jesus words about loving one another and not judging others, or the merits of Josh's marriage and if they should be a model for keeping others from loving the one they are truly attracted to.
I think discussing how we can love one another, support those who are being downtrodden, and find a way to help stop the bigotry and hatred towards a segment of the population of those who are born as a gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Society is changing to realize that it really doesn't matter and that change is becoming more mainstream everyday. It really is a non-issue, that the issue comes from attitudes we have been taught. We are saying , wait a minute! These ideas are wrong... it doesn't matter if my lesbian sister marries another woman, or my gay brother loves another man. It does no harm to anyone.
All I can think is like so many bigoted ideas we humans cling to that when love prevails, those issues fall away. One hundred years from now anyone that thinks someone should be kept from marrying who they love, will be thought of as a kook or extremist, some of us Christians have already taken the step away from those who teach hatred of another group. Many are changing their minds now, as more realize and question the stupidity of these old bigotries. Many more will follow. We just need to be the voice of love and reason to help others hear Jesus words, instead of the words of men that are voices of prejudice and fear.
I hope we can turn the discussion around to something more positive that helps lift each other up, not tear each other down. Ryan, I believe that's what you are saying too. I know I have to remind myself a lot when I get caught up in anger and say things I might not normally say when calm. We are all works in progress.
Hi - I want to send a message (another message) to those who would like to think it is possible to support fellow human beings with love and equality, and still pursue a spiritual life within organized religion. Sounds like an odd sentence, reading it back. Shouldn't that be presumed to happen in a religious setting?
Our original post by Dan was in response to a Mormon who so loved his church, and believed in all their teachings, that he decided to marry his best friend who happens to be female, even though he's gay. Having been part of the Weeds' church for 6 years and experiencing the spiritual strength and emphasis on serving others there - I can understand wanting to keep that in my life. [wait- that's not my final statement on the matter - just skip to the last paragraph if this is too long:)]
I was an adult convert to the Mormon church - having spent my life in a different faith. However, then I had my heart changed about the homosexual issue. Previously I really didn't have a position - I was just oblivious. But then a particular individual caused me to look at the issue, and that changed my life. Changed it again - because joining that church in the first place was a life bending occurrence (that also severely tested my marriage).
Anyway! - having had my heart changed - it was opened to the issue so dramatically that I now feel that I would lay down my life for my gay brothers and sisters (though for my family's sake I hope I never have to!). That's what I hope I would do for any oppressed group. I could never be on the side of the oppressors. The Christian Church has a long history of being oppressive and downright mean, so you have to decide if that comes from God, or the human beings who make up the church. I believe it's the latter.
I want to send the message that it is possible to belong to a church that not only believes in God and quotes from the Bible, but that also has ordained an openly gay Bishop - because I belong to such a church. You can be an openly gay Christian and be on equal terms with everyone else in the eyes of your church!!! [I believe gays always were equal in the eyes of God, of course - I just wasn't paying attention enough to know that many churches will tell you otherwise. I grew up in a liberal yet very faithful household]
I can't support an institution that discriminates against certain individuals - and that feels free to condemn an individual's entire existence based on a few words in a book that, however inspired in part, is still an imperfect TRANSLATION. And btw - speaking of a different book, I don't believe that anywhere in the Book of Mormon is there mention of homosexuality - either good, bad, or indifferent. In fact some say one of the early presidents was gay, interesting.
So the Weeds have chosen their way. I care less that Josh is choosing the life he is choosing, than that he belongs to a religion that not only rejects his true being, but that would dare to imagine that it could tell him that if he were to express himself sexually, in a loving manner with a consenting adult, that this alone would keep him from the same grace offered to his heterosexual friends. I'm sad that he belongs to a religion that willfully accepts the fact that they are contributing to feelings of self-loathing, depression, and death in their young people. I care about that.
Hi again, I just wanted to say thank you to all the wonderful posts from RobW, APeene, ThomasRoss, Ono, DavidStevens,JillSummer, Curtis, etc. I can't always get back to them to respond or like them but I wanted to say how wonderful you all are and how much I know they help. I love you ALL.
As for lisa ann I can no longer stand to read ALL her ramblings and complete and utter BULL. I have never encountered someone who can so easily go from supporting the church and discrediting science to flip flopping to discrediting the church and believing science..truly the epitome of twisting whatever she needs to suit her own sick agenda. I tried to see her as someone hurting in some way and that is why she lashes out but you know what, that too is a lie! There are tons of people who are in pain and hurt that don't act, talk and behave with the hatred, judgements and lack of love and compassion that she does. Some people are just down right mean, hateful and vile for no other reason then to feel superior at other peoples expense, even though she failed here I'm sure she has done this whenever and where ever she can. So I am done trying to respond to her and her lunacy. Rob W. said it wayyyyy better and kinder then I can but I feel EXACTLY the same way.
Unfortunately, I don't think she will be like the Grinch and find out the real meaning of Christ and love so her heart WILL NOT be growing, it will stay black and shriveled. May God have mercy on her soul.
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