Never in the history of my blog have I had so many people send me a link to the same thing and ask for my thoughts as I have with Josh Weed’s Club Unicorn post.
For those of you who haven’t read it, allow me to sum it up very roughly. Josh is gay. He’s married to a straight woman. They have three kids. They are extremely happy. They have no trouble being very intimate sexually and otherwise. And, they wouldn’t change a thing. Oh yeah… one more thing. They are devout Mormons.
Why people want my thoughts, I’m not entirely sure. Maybe it’s because of my post I’m Christian, unless you’re gay (as well as all the subsequent follow-up posts). Maybe it’s because I used to be Mormon. Maybe it’s because of the many other dynamics of happiness I delve into here on SDL that could be discussed side by side with Josh’s post. Whatever the reasons, there is no doubt that his is a post worth looking at and an assertion worth discussing.
I will say straight up, something about it rubbed me the wrong way, and it took me a while to figure out what that was, but I finally did. I’ll get to that further on.
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First I want to give my thoughts as to why Josh’s post was both poignant and important by discussing the three biggest dynamics of what he published… Being gay. Being Mormon. And being married in a mixed orientation relationship.
First let’s talk about being gay.
I am straight. But guess what. I haven’t always been certain of that. I’ve received some criticism in the past from people who thought I had no place discussing the dynamics of homosexuality as a straight person. But what I haven’t ever really discussed was my own struggle to figure out my sexuality in the past.
There have been a couple time periods when I got really confused about whether or not I was gay.
The first was immediately following my second wife’s split from the marriage. I didn’t have a good sex life in either marriage. For some reason, sex always was difficult for me. I often ran from it like the plague, and I never could figure out why. I never thought that me being gay might be the culprit as I never experienced sexual attraction to men. At one point in my second marriage, I remember really looking at my problem, and telling my therapist, “I think I’m asexual.”
“Why would you think that?” she asked.
I swallowed hard as I was about to admit something that I felt no real man would ever admit. “Because, I don’t seem to be attracted to women and I’m not attracted to men, either.”
She pushed back her next appointment and gave me an extra hour that day for free.
And in that session, she really dove into what I was feeling and I came to some conclusions that made a lot of sense to me. It wasn’t that I wasn’t attracted to women. It was that I wasn’t attracted to my wife. And because I was determined to never find any woman attractive besides my wife, I started feeling that I wasn’t attracted to women at all. She also helped me realize why I struggled feeling attracted to the person I was with, and in the end it had much more to do with my feelings of inequality and injustice in the marriage than it did with anything else.
So, I let that drop, content that I was a straight (albeit a broken) man. And not too long after, the marriage ended.
As wife number two drove away, her final departing words were, “I know that you’re gay. Maybe someday you’ll admit that to yourself.”
Under the heated circumstances of the moment, I should have just shaken it off. But later that afternoon I drove to Noah’s mom’s house to discuss the suddenly changed situation with our son. One of the very first things she asked was, “be honest. Are you gay?”
I immediately thought back to my time as an older teenage boy when both my parents also asked me if I was gay. The sum of it all shook me. Hard. After all, if the four most dominant people in my entire life thought I was gay… wasn’t it possible that they were right?
So, I did what I never dreamed I’d have to do. I started trying to honestly question my sexual orientation. Was I really straight? Did I really like women? And did I have the guts to actually learn the truth about myself? After all, I was fresh out of the Mormon church, and the insane pressure that was placed on others to “control” their homosexual temptations was still very ingrained into me.
The problem was, every time I’d let the thought enter it was immediately replaced with the thought, never. No way. Why are you even questioning it? For the first few months I kept pushing it away, unable to approach the question with any real amount of integrity. And, it started to weigh on me. Horribly. I can honestly say, I didn’t know what I was, and it was the most confused I’d been about anything.