Sunday, November 16, 2008


Warning: This post is prompted by the ever beautiful 'poor me syndrome.' That is, I will be bemoaning my circumstances and professing them more pitiful than others. This is, by no means, a way to get pity or sympathy but rather a necessary venting to someone other than my sister who doesn't deserve or need my venting and comparing my situation to hers. And, really, this venting is so that I can be the support my sister needs right now.

I have been... paralyzed in a sense. I am terrified of dating. I don't know where that's going to put me with my parents and some of my siblings. True, the trial won't hit until I'm actually in a steady, serious relationship -- but that's where dating leads.

I am ready to start dating, but I don't know if I'm ready to give up the relationship I have with my family. Granted, my relationship with every one of my siblings isn't in jeopardy. One of my brothers and his wife are fantastic about the whole thing. In fact, their response when my parents' told them about me being gay was the best response someone could get, I think: "If anything, we love him more."

I'm wishing my entire family felt that way. It really, really, really sucks to think that I may be cut off. So much so that I have been avoiding the whole dating thing altogether.

For example, my roommate had a party yesterday at our place. I knew there would be single gay guys coming over... so I went and hid at my sister's house. She wasn't even home; I just sat and watched movies by my lonesome -- Kung Fu Panda gets my recommendation -- and fought the urge to go have fun -- because I might possibly meet someone.

Ten o'clock rolled around, and I figured most of the party would be gone, so I headed back. There were still some people left, so I zip-lined straight to my room and watched 3rd Rock from the Sun -- my current favorite TV show... I may spend money I don't have and buy season 1 on DVD... but I digress. But I wasn't free; my roommate came into my room five minutes later and had me meet his friends.

So I went out for about a minute-point-five, said, "S'up" and slinked back into my room. To be honest, I would have stayed to hang out, but there was a guy that I thought was cute and, therefore, threatening.

Turns out, this guy wanted to talk me more, too...

So, I think, well, do I get his number and ask him out? And, BAM, I feel all paralyzed. I mean, it's not like I'm thinking anything beyond some first date with a guy I don't really know... but, still, it really would be my first step into actually being gay. It would be my first step into actually distancing myself from my family. And it's a horribly cripling feeling.

Furthermore... a minute-and-a-half and I wasn't safe... It totally shattered my illusionary safety-blanket of "Well, even if I were to go out and meet people, nobody would be interested in me -- especially someone in whom I may be interested."

Then, this morning, I wake up to my sister texting me with her chagrins concerning her friend who, she wishes, would consider her as a girlfriend -- in fact, their behavior is 100% boyfriend-girlfriend; he just has trepidations and what-not (I won't go into details).

Her situation really is frustrating... but sometimes I want to yell at her, "You know what!? At least the family is rooting for you!! At least the family is hoping that he will work out his trepidations! At least if he does, he'll be 100% a part of the family! Try being gay, having most of the family hoping that you'll never meet anyone ... having most of the family say, 'If you do meet someone, he can't be 100% a part of the family; he can perhaps visit, but keep your visits short' ... and then you can tell me it sucks!!"

It can be tough sitting and listening to my sister when, really, I would kill to have what she has. It sucks that she's in love with a guy who isn't sure where he is in life -- been there (somewhat even on the other side). It's rather terrifying to think that things may not work out for her -- but she has the support of the family; that fear is shared by everyone within the family.

Sometimes I feel so completely alone and unsupported. I mean, I do have friends and what-not who are completely supportive of me... I don't mean to downplay the importance of friends... but my family is so closely knit and wound together. Being cut or blotted out of that tapestry hurts... a lot. It is a completely solitary feeling, as though I'm standing on the moon, nobody else around... no oxygen to breath... no hopes of any spaceships coming to save me... and I'm hating it.


  1. Do you know for sure that your family will cut you off or do you just suspect/fear it? That's an awful situation. :(

  2. Well, at least guys you're into are into you. I'm overweight -- the hot guys don't give me a second look... :(

    But I'm working to change that...

  3. Here's my advice, born from many, many weeks of experience reading about other peoples' lives on (mostly Mormon-themed) gay blogs and mailing lists:

    Your family isn't going to get used to the idea of you dating guys in general, or seriously dating a guy specifically, until they actually have a reason to.

    If you continue to remain single and continue to not date they can continue to be comfortable with the idea of you doing so. When you start dating, and force them to confront the idea, there will probably be some initial discomfort and perhaps some initial distancing, but it's fairly likely that they'll eventually (hopefully sooner than later) come around.

    I've read a few sad stories of people who have been disowned when they started dating, or been told that their partner is not invited to family gatherings.

    But I've read far more stories about people whose families got over their initial discomfort and eventually embraced the choices that brought the gay member of the family the most happiness.

    Although I don't know much about your family, I suspect they're more likely to be like the latter than the former.

    But you'll never know unless you jump into the dating pool.

  4. While we may not be "cut off" because of our orientation, our current feelings toward the Church have led to similar fears within us.

    It sucks, and there's no place for it.

    But you have to do what's right for you, Chedner. You have to. Your family matters absolutely and they should play a part in your decisions, but not to such a point to render you depressed and scared.

    I agree with Scott. I've been reading a lot of blogs as of late as well, and that seems to be the general thing. If you want to bring the subject up to your mom beforehand, to warn her, that might be something.

    But if this is what you feel is right and what you need to do, well - do it. Your family should come around. Having your siblings on your side is a HUGE advantage.

    All the best <3

  5. Lots of growth in life takes place when determination overcomes fear. And often you discover that the fear was worse than anything else.

    So find out the guy's name and get his number. Call him up. Talk. At worst you will make a new friend. Nothing wrong with that.

  6. Thanks, everyone, for your comments.

    I definitely will not let my fear of familial abandonment paralyze me totally. I'm getting over it; venting has helped.

  7. Andrew--

    I agree with the others. It is not easy for me to respond to your blog, inasmuch as I have had the relative support of my dad. Though we don't discuss my orientation much, his opinion is that he really does not care if I have a boyfriend or not. In the end, I am and always will be his son.

    In my mind, I say go for it. You need to allow yourself to be happy. Don't allow those around you who seek not to understand you to determine YOUR life and YOUR happiness for you. A person who is truly for you will encourage you. Remember...Christ said that the wheat will be separated from the chaff.

    I hope this helps. Call him up and talk to him. :)