The Time Has Come

The moment has arrived.

The anticipation of this moment is why I started this blog in the first place.

My son, my oldest child, leaves for his mission in 3 days. Tomorrow is his farewell at church.

[Insert Dad’s actual primal scream here]

Primal Scream

What a hodgepodge of emotion.

  • I’m devastated that he’s been successfully indoctrinated enough to arrive at this point.
  • I’m excited for him to see the world outside his insular Mormon community,
  • I’m thrilled he’ll get to experience leaving the country for an extended period of time.
  • I’m disappointed that he hasn’t really thought about what he’ll really be doing.
  • I’m feeling inadequate and powerless to prepare him for the reality of what’s ahead.
  • I’m troubled that he hasn’t even remotely gone through the process that he’ll be encouraging his investigators to go through.
  • I’m disappointed in myself, that I haven’t done enough to expose him to the alternative.
  • I’m feeling left out of all the Mormon-ish preparations and celebratory events.
  • I feel intentionally left out of the fatherly role entirely.
  • I feel like I’m losing my son to a cult… officially
  • I am worried about his physical welfare…I know the piss-poor conditions of missionary accommodations, the lack of concern for health, the lack of vigilance for his health and well-being by the church he’ll be working for.
  • I’m proud that his stated goal is to serve and love his fellow man and make their burdens lighter.
  • I’m feeling powerless to explain to him that his main objective on a mission is to CONVERT and that that’s not the same same thing  as “serving.”
  • I will miss him.
  • He’s a well liked young man. I like him. He’s clever, funny, sarcastic, talented and intelligent. He has an honest heart and a sensitive demeanor.
  • I’m dreading the farewell. I’ll see all my former ex-in-laws but also my own family who have treated me like shit.
  • I dream of the day I can share a beer with my son. Not for the beer. For what it represents.

Bottom line:

I am glad I’m his father. I love him no matter what. The pain and struggle I’m feeling now is my own. It represents my own life experience and I can’t expect him to realize at 18 what it took me 38 years to discover.

I’m trying to focus on the positive, and ignore the pain.


I’m putting all the negative on a shelf and turning it off… again.

Turn it Off

Posted in Book of Mormon Musical, Fatherhood, LDS Mission | Tagged , | 9 Comments

They’re Hee-eere!

Originally posted on Dad's Primal Scream:

“Oh my! What will we tell the children when the gays come shoving it in our faces!?”

News Flash: They’re already here and always have been!

But since you asked, here’s how it is done:

Two years ago I was invited to a long-time friend’s wedding. We go way back to elementary school together and had recently reunited after bumping into one another at a “No on Prop 8” volunteer meeting.

After my babysitter stood me up, I called my friend to tell her I couldn’t attend her wedding because I didn’t have a sitter.

“Bring them! Please come!”

I swallowed hard, because my friend is a lesbian…not that I have a problem with it  obviously, but because my ex-wife is uber-Mormon and I knew she would. But deep in my heart I knew there was nothing wrong with my children’s participation. Exposure to love is always a…

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Happy Father’s Day! Ignore The Comediennes and Douche Bags

I thought this would be an appropriate re-blog from August 2012….Happy Father’s Day!

Setting aside all the obvious sexual compatibility reasons, there’s something about being the man in a hetero-normative relationship that just didn’t settle comfortably on me.

The default assumption is that a straight man is a messy thoughtless and fumbling creature without the guidance and care of a good woman by his side.

Even as a father, taking an interest in the nurturing and care of children is seen as a part-time task for a normal straight man. When I’d stay home to care for the kids it was referred to as “babysitting.”

Actually being an engaged father and enthusiastic caretaker of our home made me the odd man out in the straight world I was pretending to inhabit. But it was more than just the nuances of my expected fatherly and husbandly roles that sat awkwardly with me, it was also the nature of the expected relationship with my wife.

Take the following comment on a completely unrelated Mormon Expression podcast:

Husband X

When my wife is having insomnia and she is tired but really wants to go to sleep, I kid you not, she will ask me to talk to her about something that is interesting to me lately. Within 5 minutes she’s out. Its so funny to me.

Husband Y

My wife has described this phenomenon as a “Brandt Rant.” Then, when I start running out of steam and ask her a question, all I hear is “zzzzzzzzzzzz”

I think most people would read that and smile, thinking “how cute,” right? I read it and think what assholes their wives are (I apologize ahead of time to these 2 men and their wives. I’m sure they are all kind, loving people. At least I changed the names *smile*).

Just to understand my perspective a bit, let’s switch the roles around. Let’s say it’s Husband X that has insomnia and therefore he’s the one that says to his wife,

“Honey I’m having trouble sleeping. Tell me about something that interests you so that I can sleep.”

It’s not so funny that time is it? What woman wants to be married to that? I personally can’t understand why any man wants it either.

When he says it, he is a douche bag.

When she says it, she is a comedienne.

Men posing as women. Sometimes role reversal and equality just don’t work.

I used to think this was a Mormon phenomenon because I’d hear stuff like this all the time in Elder’s Quorum and around the campfire at father-son campouts. But you can find that same sort of, “Aw shucks! I’m a fool and my wife saves me” male all over in TV sitcoms.

Here’s another quote I found…

My wife simultaneously enjoyed the fruits of my non-traditional nature while she also held the same stereotypical expectations of me. I’m not joking about this next one… once when I was choosing a new vehicle for me to get to and from work she became incensed that I didn’t actually want a pickup truck…like any man in her family or in our neighborhood would (yeah, we’re talking borderline redneckville here). In the Mormon world having a pickup truck is a big broadcast message saying, “I’ll help you move!” If you’re in Elders Quorum you’ll already be assigned to do that plenty with a just a sedan. There’s no need to invite it! Getting an economical Honda Civic that merely got me to work and back somehow made me less of a man.

There’s some sort of gene that a male is supposed to possess that encourages him to broadcasts his manliness to the world via cars, trucks and a bumbling nature around his wife that merely escaped me. Someone should search for THAT. It just may be the gay gene.

Male comic characters in female comic character poses.

The odd difference between being a man/woman or father/mother is nowhere more evident than in the contrast between Mothers and Fathers Day in the Mormon Church.

For Mothers Day, there are talks about the divinity of womanhood. Women are to be honored just because they have a vagina and even more so if there’s been some outgoing traffic in there. LDS wards pass out flowers or candy to all of the women.  At the end of Sacrament Meeting they ask all the women to stand and the youth or Elder’s Quorum distributes the goodies…and in wards that I lived in they made certain that even childless women got one.  They made it a celebration of womanhood, not just motherhood.

If, and that’s a big “IF”, Fathers Day is mentioned at all, it’s a lesson on how men need to be better fathers, honor their priesthood more, etc… Their penises apparently aren’t sufficient apparatuses for praise all by themselves.

That happens the other 364 days of the year.

Everyone knows men have all the power in Mormonism. So they try to downplay manhood and highlight womanhood so no one will take a good long look at the reality. Women are told how wonderful they are so they won’t notice that they are actually disregarded and have second-rate status in the church. Every other day of the year is a celebration of manhood in Mormonism.

As a man, though, and a pretty good father if I do say so myself, I find the attitude  condescending. Often in priesthood meeting they’ll say something insulting to the young men like, “Well, you’re certainly not as good-looking as the young women, but hey you’re priesthood holders so there’s your worth.”  Or the MTC Mission President who says, “Elders, look at these sisters. They’ll get done in 18 months what will take you 2 years.” I couldn’t stand that as a young boy and it never sat well with me as an adult either.

Even while gay pretending to be straight I was still a man and therefore had more power and authority in the LDS Church than ANY woman in it, yet I still didn’t like being talked down to like that.

Is the subtext that straight men hold all the power in our society the sole reason that it’s funny to  demean them in a way that would be unacceptable for any woman? Is that why as a gay man I don’t buy it and never did? Because I don’t actually enjoy the fruits of heterosexual male privilege that I would if I were straight?

One of the things I really like about gay relationships is the lack of stereotypical expectations. Both partners can actually be intelligent and capable without the other being threatened. There’s not an inherent acceptance of one partner being demeaned. From what I’ve experienced and observed there’s more of an expectation of equality and more freedom to define the relationship outside societal norms…since by it’s mere existence it already is.

Ideas for Family Home Evening

This joke would be perfectly fine if it said, “A Husband”

  • Watch a good old family sitcom together. As a fun exercise, try switching genders and repeating the joke. Would it still be funny?
  • What did you do for your mother last Mother’s Day? What did you do for your Father? Were they equal in effort and care? Why or why not?
  • Ignoring gender, would you want to be partnered with YOU?
  • What would you change about your current gender roles or relationship expectations if you could?
Posted in Family, Humor | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Movies, TV Shows and Plays Oh My!

Gay boys growing up along with me in the 70’s and 80’s were sheltered from knowing there was a thriving gay community! Oh, we knew there was a “lifestyle,” spoken of in hushed tones and with sad eyes. But it always appeared to involve crack, or heroine and living in a van down by the river.

At 40 years old when I began to socialize with other gay men I found that I was 20 years behind them in gay pop culture and self-awareness. I hadn’t seen the plays. I hadn’t watched the TV shows or movies. And I certainly hadn’t had the social life.

Angels in America

Watch for Free on HBO or Amazon Prime

I recall as a young boy hearing about Billy Crystal’s gay character on Soap and later about Ellen’s coming out but my Mom wouldn’t allow us to watch it and I didn’t allow myself to watch Ellen. It’s hard to believe now but you just didn’t see homosexuals portrayed on TV in the 80’s and rarely in the 90’s.

The first shows I eventually allowed myself to watch were powerful for me.

Back when I was still married, Mormon, very much in the closet, an employee of mine suggested I watch a show I’d never heard of. She said that she was sure I’d like Angels in America. She didn’t tell me much about the plot other than it was about a Mormon man in New York City and that I really had to see it. She even went so far as to tape it on VHS to give to me on her last day of work. Oddly, she said my wife probably wouldn’t like it, so I should probably just watch it alone. So I did. On my lunchbreak. In my Office. With the door closed.


That woman, my employee, obviously sensed that I was gay. Her gesture was a love bomb of the highest order.

So, I’m going to love bomb you.

Here are some movies, plays and TV shows that have powerfully touched me as I’ve walked forward to a more authentic life. I’m not going to present these as a list. You can find a bunch of top ten lists out there of gay movies, or shows with humanist values. Just google them. But these are some significant works of performance art that have meant something on my journey out. I’m only listing what I’ve actually seen. I’m sure there are many more.

First some housekeeping.

You’re going to want to get movie/TV streaming service or two. Most of these shows are available to rent, stream or buy. Some are just on YouTube. I recently cut my cable … kind of. My new job pays my Internet connection and the cable company gave me basic TV for only $5 more. Now, I have only very basic cable plus these streaming services and I’m saving over $120 from what I used to pay. I have Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, Netflix and when I moved I got a killer deal on HBO and Showtime. There’s also a really cool app called Yidio that connects to all of these services and lets you search among them all to find the shows you want to watch.

You can watch all this stuff on your phone or other device so you don’t have to barricade yourself into your office on lunch breaks like I did! Happy viewing!

Make sure you come back to comment or add suggestions!!!

Heads up! These shows contain language and sexual scenes that might disturb fresh Mormon or Christian sensibilities. Most of my recommendations, but not all, are quite irreverent but not vulgar or pornographic.

Live Theatre

My first suggestion is go to live theatre if at all possible. The reason live theatre tops my suggestions is that there’s a different dimension to the experience that you can’t get from watching a movie alone. As a young boy seeing A Chorus Line for the first time, it wasn’t necessarily the play that impacted me most. It was the overwhelming approval and acceptance I personally felt from my fellow audience members by them showing their approval and acceptance of the gay characters on the stage!

Angels in America is  based on a play by the way. Go see it if it’s playing nearby. Same goes for A Chorus Line! (Don’t bother with A Chorus Line the movie though).

The Normal Heart Poster.jpeg

Watch on HBO Go

One play that does transfer well to the screen is The Normal Heart. It chronicles the AIDS epidemic at its inception. If nothing else, it will fill you with gratitude that you didn’t come out earlier and go through all that disease and death. Not coming out in my teens probably saved my life.

There’s also a one man show called Confessions of a Mormon Boy. I saw it in San Diego a few years ago and enjoyed it. I think it’s well written even if it did seem to be a bit overacted in places (In a BYU Young Ambassadors sort of way) for the small intimate setting in which it played. Still, Steven Fales has earned my respect for making lemonade out of lemons. So much of his story is my story. And there’s a large chunk of it that veers far from my experience, but it’s fascinating. As a gay Mormon man he married a woman who herself had had a gay father, believe it or not! He’s the former son in law of Carol Lynn Pearson if that means anything to you.

I can’t find the full thing on streaming. You can buy it on Amazon.

Speaking of one person shows, one weekend when my wife was traveling out of state I drove up to Hollywood to see Julia Sweeney’s Letting Go of God. The experience with that audience was a lot like my A Chorus Line experience. It helped me solidify that I really wasn’t the crazy one! I found Julia Sweeney so easy to relate to even though she grew up Catholic. She describes a gentle but hilarious visit with Mormon missionaries. You can see that portion here.

Other plays with gay or humanist themes that have touched me:

La Cage Aux Folles

La Cage Aux Folles

You may be more familiar with the movie Birdcage starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane based on this play. The general theme is to be yourself  – the haters be damned! You can watch on Hulu Plus or Netflix.

Book of Mormon on Broadway

A musical that includes a closeted gay Mormon missionary and a missionary tap dance number complete with jazz hands? I’m in!

TV Shows

Back when I was still married, but was beginning to come out to myself I clandestinely watched Queer Eye For the Straight Guy and Boy Meets Boy. Those 2 shows were my first introduction into popular gay … stuff. No matter how you feel about stereotypical gay culture, they are fun shows to watch.

Watch on Showtime Anytime

Queer as Folk. In another instance of a friend believing I needed to watch a show so much that he gave me the Queer as Folk series on DVD. One of my first fleeting boyfriends introduced me to it during the brief time we were together. If there were only one TV show to watch, this would be it.

Don’t take it too seriously, but have fun with the foreign way most of these guys are just so accepting of themselves and each other. The series got a lot of criticism for perpetuating gay stereotypes, but I enjoyed it. I found the characters well-rounded enough to keep my interest. They are a group of gay friends living in Toronto, I believe. This is binge-worthy TV.

Watch on YouTube

I LOVED, LOVED 1 Girl 5 Gays! It’s not for the faint of heart and some episodes can also be full of stereotypes, but I grew to really like the men as I watched it on LOGO TV. This loosely structured talk show explores adult-oriented topics with a rotating panel of five gay men or five lesbians. The questions asked usually revolve around sex and relationships, although more serious issues, such as HIV and abortion, are sometimes raised.

I believe there’s a newer Canadian TV version. You’ll grow to love and dislike the rotating cast members. It gives you an idea what it would have been like to grow up gay in a metropolitan area in your early 20’s. 1 Girl 5 Gays definitely skews younger but it’s good entertainment for us old dudes too.You can find episodes scattered on YouTube, the LOGO TV web site, and Canadian MTV web site (although, I was unable to access these in the US)


Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt. OMG! Watch this show on Netflix if you are at ANY stage of leaving Mormonism!

In fact watch it if you’ve ever felt like a square peg in a round hole… struggling for a fresh start… like a middle aged recently out gay man. So, so funny!

Rent on Amazon

Exes and Ohs. This is like a lesbian Queer as Folk. I only got into it because I knew the writer/actress Michelle Paradise (sort about it here). Too often gay men and lesbians never cross paths. I went through a period where I thought one of my children might be lesbian so I thought I’d watch this. It’s a little less well known than The L Word, which I’ve never seen.

Other TV shows with gay or humanist characters that have touched me:


Watch on Showtime Anytime

You have to be OK with anti-heroes as protagonists. If the picture above makes you uncomfortable don’t watch this show! One of the kids is gay. None of these characters are “good people”, but they are all likable in a very twisted way.

Nurse Jackie

Watch on Showtime Anytime or iTunes

Like Shameless, if you want to grow to love a very imperfect person, get to know Nurse Jackie, starring Edie Falco. This show really has nothing to do with being gay or even leaving a religious tradition, but it has everything to do with a very flawed human being who at the same time just so happens to be a very worthy human being. If you’ve ever lied or felt out of control while on the surface appearing A-OK, in this show you can witness Jackie’s similar juggling act.

Modern Family and Will & Grace

Loads of fun watching these sitcoms with gay lead characters, but then you probably already knew about them.


On Netflix!

The last gay themed movie I saw was The Way He Looks based on the recommendation of fellow blogger, Gay Mormon Southpaw. The charm of this movie is that the underlying gay theme isn’t blown out of proportion. It’s an endearing coming of age story about a blind teenager, his best friend and the newcomer at the school. For a movie of this genre, it is incredibly well acted and produced. Believable. In Portuguese with English subtitles. Warning: If your taste in men is anything like mine, you’ll find yourself infatuated with Fabio Audi, the actor that plays Gabriel, the new kid. Just plain adorable…and he was actually 23 when it was filmed, so I’m not creeping on a teenager.

Try this YouTube link. I can’t find it anywhere else.

Beautiful Thing could be called the original The Way He Looks. It’s a classic among gay themed movies. It follows a similar story line. Two young boys fall in love and don’t know how to deal with the challenges of being gay in a straight world. The production value is a little rough around the edges compared to The Way He Looks and I find the ending a little unrealistic, but I definitely cried watching this one.

Buy or rent on Amazon

Milk was so amazing to me because it got me in touch with history that I had no clue about despite growing up at the same time period in California. I find the acting inspiring and the film a very good choice for your library. I rarely buy DVD’s but I have this one.

On Amazon or iTunes

I think you’d have to be living in a cave to not be aware of the mainstream film, Brokeback Mountain. I experienced this movie on my first trip to Palm Springs with a guy I was dating. The theater was packed with gay couples. It was the first time I’d ever felt like the straightest man in a room! Driving home from this movie, one of our friends living in Palm Springs stated, “Wow! I’m glad we don’t have to live in a world like THAT anymore!” as if no one has to repress their gay selves anymore. Clueless. Growing up Mormon in this world still feels a lot like the environment in the movie and there are many many gay men who still live lives like the protagonists in the story.

On Amazon or iTunes

Far From Heaven. According to Roger Ebert

The movie accurately reflects the values of the 1950s, and you can see that in a scene where Frank says his homosexuality makes him feel “despicable” but he’s “going to lick this problem.” The key to the power of “Far from Heaven” is that it’s never ironic; there is never a wink or a hint that the filmmakers have more enlightened ideas than their characters. This is not a movie that knows more than was known in 1957, but a movie that knows exactly what mainstream values were in 1957–and traps us in them, along with its characters.

I actually didn’t like this movie for the same reason that Roger Ebert did like it. It hit too close to home for me. But it got a reaction out of me, something good art is supposed to do.

On Amazon

For the same reason, I’d recommend A Single Man. Learn what not to do with your life 

On Amazon

Maurice. Man I was shaken up by this movie when I saw it. I didn’t really like the ending. I appreciate stories without happy endings because I believe they serve as warnings. It’s still a beautiful movie and one I’d recommend to anyone longing for love or in the throws of it.

Rent on Amazon

I’m not much into the drag scene but I really could identify with Torch Song Trilogy and I really like Harvey Fierstein and Anne Bancroft. There’s a really good scene where Harvey’s character confronts his mother, Anne Bancroft, when some horribly honest things are said. Respect or Nothing. Great scene for anyone preparing to come out.

Watch on Amazon Prime

Religulous. Some people can’t stomach Bill Maher. If you are one of those people, then skip this one. But I love his TV show and he’s in top form here in this movie. I highly recommend this movie for anyone comfortable with questioning religion. In one portion he interviews Tal Bachman, the Post Mormon singer famous for his one hit wonder, She’s So High

Watch on HBOGO or Showtime Anytime

The Truman Show. I can’t get enough of this movie. Coming out of Mormonism is just like Truman hitting that wall in the boat.

On Netflix!

American Beauty  Such incredible themes of acceptance vs. intolerance.

Prayers for Bobby By some odd twist of fate I saw this back when it was on TV. I think it terrified me enough that I repressed the experience

File:Latter Days Cover.jpg

Watch on Hulu Plus or iTunes

As a former missionary I have a lot of problems with the believability of Latter Days but it is probably a must-see for any gay Mormon.

Some Cult Classics I love

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Watch on Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus and iTunes

This movie is my cult classic favorite and I’ve seen the play on Broadway too! As with most cult films, production value tends to be second rate but this movie is one of the better ones.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch!

Rent on Amazon

Of course, see this on Broadway if you have the chance, but you can rent the movie now. It’s not my favorite show, but it’s definitely a must see gay cult classic.

Mommy Dearest 

Watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime and iTunes

I just love it when she says, “why can’t you give me the respect I deserve?” And then her daughter Christina shouts, “BECAUSE I’M NOT ONE OF YOUR FANS!” Greatest movie line ever.

Dolores Claiborne

Watch on Amazon

I’m not sure why this is such a gay classic film but all of my friends quote from it all the time, especially this scene. If you ever suffered abuse this is a good flick to see.

Harold and Maude

Watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime and iTunes

I’m not entirely sure this belongs in a list of gay classic films any more than Delores Claiborne but I was introduced to it back in high school by a fellow student who, looking back, was also gay and probably frustrated at my cluelessness. A young kid with an elderly fag hag… it just somehow feels gay.

Muriel’s Wedding

Watch on Amazon Prime and Netflix

This hidden gem is worth watching for the boy candy in the form of  Daniel Lapaine alone. Also starring Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths, who went on to bigger fame this is a show I can watch over and over again. The wedding scene is my favorite. Like The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert it’s chock full of Abba songs.

Also See:



Making Love

The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy

Love! Valour! Compassion!


In & Out

The Kids Are All Right

Posted in Homosexuality, Mormonism, Movies, Religion | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Reasonable Doubt and the Boise “Rescue”

The most recent buzz among post Mormons is a recording of an apologetic “rescue” meeting in Boise Idaho.

It harkens back to the “Swedish Rescue” event of 2010 when Elder Marlin K. Jensen (LDS Church Historian) and Richard E. Turley, Jr. (Assistant Church Historian) attempted to stop the hemoraging of LDS members who were exiting the church after discovering its difficult past. Apostasy within the LDS Church seemed to impact Sweden heavily in 2010, including several high-ranking LDS leaders such as former seventy Hans H. Mattsson. In 2013 John Dehlin interviewed Hans Mattson on his Mormon Stories podcast.

Back to Boise.

This time the locals got an apostle, Dallin H Oaks. He was joined by Richard E. Turley, Jr. who also presented at the Swedish meeting.

Both are lawyers by profession, not academic theologians or even historians. If you choose to listen to it you’ll find the whole things comes down to a couple of questions:

“Who’s on the Lord’s side?” (Answer: THEY ARE!)

“How you feel about current leadership?” (Not, how do you feel about Jesus or God, but how do you feel about some some guys named Tommy, Henry, Dallin, Boyd and Neil)

“You can follow false prophets or you can follow true prophets.” (Oaks and his buddies are, of course, the true ones … because they said so.)

Two lawyers gave it their best shot… and I’m still left with reasonable doubt.  

Several thoughts come to mind immediately regarding this meeting … by their definitions of apostasy and authority, Alma the Younger, Abinidi, Samuel the Lamanite, Paul & Jesus Christ would have been apostates rather than prophets.  They basically claim that those who are in authority are at any given time are right. Except that’s not how Christian or even Mormon history has actually played out. Sometimes those in authority were wrong and it took a renegade to point it out.

Their perspective also only works if you are already Mormon. If I were Catholic and listened to their arguments, I would conclude that I should stay faithful to the Pope and not listen to every missionary that knocks on my door.

Hypocrisy much?

In fact all LDS arguments to the non LDS public sounds like this:

“Each religion should be free to propagate itself among present and future generations, so long as it does not use coercive or fraudulent means. Its practices should not interfere with the peace of society. Each religion has a right to present its message in an orderly way to all who are interested. How can we have freedom of religion if we are not free to compare honestly, to choose wisely, and to worship according to the dictates of our own conscience? While searching for the truth, we must be free to change our mind—even to change our religion—in response to new information and inspiration. Freedom to change one’s religion has been emphasized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. One’s religion is not imposed by others. It is not predetermined. It is a very personal and sacred choice, nestled at the very core of human dignity.” (Freedom to Do and to Be, Russell M. Nelson, International Scientific and Practical Conference “Religious Freedom: Transition and Globalization”, Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, 27 May 2004),18255,5004-1-121,00.html

But inside, to its own members the song plays out differently. It’s more like, “You’re already here. The time for comparing, and honest inquiry is over.”

And the final question I just can’t seem to get a faithful LDS answer to… Oaks claims that the Lord has clearly instructed him and his colleagues not to speak publicly of spiritual manifestation even though they are “special witnesses.”

When? Where? And how did the Lord ever say this?

He twists the “Pearl before Swine” parable to mean something else entirely (it clearly does NOT say to never speak of  special experiences, but to just be careful to whom).

This leaves me baffled as to why a “witness” refuses to witness…unless of course there’s no THERE there.

What’s the most sacred event to ever occur in LDS or even Christian theology? I’d venture to say “The Atonement.” And yet THAT we’re supposed to shout from the rooftops! I can’t think of any scriptural instance when sacred = keep your mouth shut. The only reasonable explanation for them not witness of experiences more special than mine is that they’re non-existent….or embarrassing.

One thing is for sure, this meeting was not intending to help doubting members stay. In the Swedish meeting, for example, the doubting members were strongly advised to leave or to stay and shut up. This Boise meeting was held to calm the nerves of the general membership who really don’t think too much in the first place. These sheep are the only ones who will swallow the half-answers and admonitions to just follow the present leadership. You see they’re already pre-disposed supposed to believe that LDS fruit is any better than non-LDS fruit.  But to someone who questions… they’ll question that claim too.

Two lawyers met in the Boise woods and if I were you I’d follow the path least traveled… out the door.

Posted in Apostasy, Mormonism | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Update June 2015

It’s been almost six months since my last new post and probably ten months since I posted regularly. Obviously a lot has transpired.

I’ve most likely lost a lot of readership during the interval, but my blogging has never been about getting a following so it doesn’t really matter to me in that sense. The primal scream from within has been stronger than ever. Every week that has passed without a new post there would be some current topic in the blogosphere that I had strong opinions about. But with every week that passed came my inner doubts as to whether I had anything original or unique to add to the conversation. There are a lot of insightful progressive blogs being written about gay rights, the craziness of Mormonism  and gay fatherhood.

I knew that I was going to taper off my writing. I barely had the energy to keep myself getting out of bed in the morning, but I never wrote one of those “Goodbye, you won’t be seeing me here” posts that people often leave on  blogs and on Facebook. Those posts seem pretentious to me for some reason.

I still read a lot of blogs but I rarely say to myself, “Hmm blogger ABC hasn’t written in a while and he never said goodbye.” :(

In a nutshell I’ve just focused my energies more on living actual life than on the therapeutic need to record it in my blog.

And in all honesty, life got pretty bad there for a while.

So much so that I had no desire to have my voice heard or to say anything important about being a father, or about being gay, or about being an ex-Mormon.

Here’s a brief overview of the last year:

  • I still didn’t have a decent job.
  • I was doing every odd job imaginable and working 12+ hours a day….Real Estate, Taxi driving, door-to-door sales, phone sales, car sales, temp work, substitute teaching, etc…
  • My ex-wife was constantly hounding me for more child support.
  • Meanwhile, she doesn’t work full-time, she and her husband take regular  vacations, and just landscaped their large home.
  • I sought legal help, but even now I can’t afford it. I can’t afford not to either. I’m in a legal catch-22.
  • I lived in a dump. My kids were sleeping on mattresses on the floor.
  • I was at the point of begging for public assistance and help from friends.
  • I was most likely severely depressed (self diagnosed).
  • My life’s intersection with Mormonism and being gay didn’t even rank in the top 10 of my troubles.
  • A family member and a couple of friends came through to help me avoid being evicted.
  • One of these friends helped me revamp my resume.
  • I got a job! A good job. A job I’m qualified for and one that uses my talent and experience. Benefits, base salary, car allowance, travel, the whole enchilada.
  • The base salary enables me to survive – barely, but I’m ever so grateful.
  • There’s opportunity to grow and increase my earnings significantly in this job.
  • I got a reliable car.
  • I moved into a nice town-home near the kids’ schools.
  • The kids can now invite friends over. They have beds to sleep on.
  • Threats of a court battle continue with the ex. She flips out when I say I want kids 50/50 and that we will adjust child support.
  • She threatens me. I pay her more. I end up with no money. I have to pay her less. She demands more. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
  • My son gets his mission call. Sadness and disappointment for me. Smug self-righteousness for my ex-wife and Mormon family.
  • My kids thrive.
  • I have intermittent moments of happiness and feelings that things might turn out alright.
  • The ex doesn’t understand that I didn’t win the lottery and that recovery is a slow process.

As long as I take things a day at a time and don’t try to forecast too much into the future I do OK. I mean, I’m 50 years old and have zero retirement plan. I can’t fathom putting my kids through college. I could go on. But now, today, at this hour I am OK and I’ve learned to focus on that.

My son asked me for a trip to NYC before he leaves on his mission. So we’re going in 3 weeks. I can’t afford it but how many 17 year old boys ask their fathers to come with them on a senior trip? I’m finding the money and doing it. I’m thrilled that he wants to.

I’d like to have more of a social life but it’s difficult in Little Salt Lake City (Southeast Phoenix suburbs. I can walk to the LDS Gilbert Temple). I haven’t gone on a date in years. I don’t even know where to go to meet someone. I had friends in Palm Springs, but I haven’t been able to afford even a weekend trip in the 3 years since I moved.

I work a lot. I travel a lot. I see my kids a lot while I’m working from my home office. I’m grateful for the relationship I’ve been able to maintain with them. Even my son and I have a great relationship as long as I keep my mouth shut regarding the church. When a small window of opportunity opens I tiptoe through it.

So, I’m not declaring that I’m back, but I probably will blog more and experiment a little with how I want to express myself here in the future.

The 2015 Tony Awards are this Sunday! Life is good. Today.

Posted in Family, Gratitude | Tagged , | 12 Comments


Reblogged from 2011 in honor of the HBO special “Going Clear” airing this weekend.

I’ve joked several times about Mormonism being “Scientology-lite” but until recently I never had the chance or much interest to do a compare/contrast. But I suppose you can’t say that without backing it up, so here goes.

I probably have as much knowledge or interest in Scientology as the general population has regarding Mormonism.  I’m familiar with several buildings in my local area, I know some of the absurd parts of the doctrine and I’ve heard rumors.  Of course, I know about the celebrity members and I’ve also witnessed several  “Anti-Scientology” street protesters (former members I presume) holding placards declaring it to be a cult.

I was recently shocked when over dinner one night a friend and colleague came out as a former Scientologist.  She spoke well of several Scientology beliefs and practices and said she still utilizes them.  She’s a very successful business woman, but I had to scrape my jaw off the floor as she related her experience…some good, some bad…just like my experience with Mormonism.

Then, last week there was a pretty extensive New Yorker article which profiled Paul Haggis (Hollywood Director, “Crash”), an apostate of that religion. I found that his experience rang true in many respects to mine as a Mormon apostate so I’ve decided to list the similarities that I uncovered in the article.  I make no claims that this is a result of extensive research.  It’s anecdotal.

I admit that there’s not much to compare as far as doctrine goes, but it’s not doctrine that defines a restrictive religion, or a cult, or whatever you feel comfortable calling it.  It’s generally the practices, the procedures and the behaviors of the leadership, of the membership and the manner in which it sells itself to the public (to both members and non-members). So those are the things I’m listing here that are similar between the experiences of two apostates: Paul Haggis and myself.  Most of this list includes ideas or statements taken directly from the article that could apply just as much to my experience as they do to his:

In no particular order…

  • The church refuses to account for member behavior even when they are quoting or following leaders
  • There are a lot of “unwritten laws”
  • Members default to defending the church, even to lying or turning back on family members
  • It’s all subjective…so how do you “know”?
  • Coverts are often “loners looking for a club to join”
  • Testimonies are overly effusive.
  • There’s “some good” in it, so “what harm can there be?”
  • The crazy S#!$ is introduced later … there’s a long process until you are fully entrenched.
  • Fascinating, enigmatic founder
  • Church underpays its employees
  • Requires sincerity for it all to work
  • Doesn’t “look” like a cult initially
  • Proof is in the lives of its members
  • Testimonies often include, “I don’t know where I’d be without….”
  • Levels of membership.  Focus changes over time.
  • Perverse pride in membership
  • Charitable but not egalitarian
  • Lack of curiosity keeps members in – they are uninterested and afraid of information
  • Willed myopia of membership
  • Hard to get through “scriptures”
  • At upper levels of membership they are deprived of adequate food and sleep
  • Members tell themselves they are wonderful examples to the world of good living
  • Inability of membership to laugh at themselves
  • Certain processes are confusing and unsatisfying
  • Members project unambiguous, non ambivalent view of world
  • “If it changes me for the better, who cares if it’s true?”
  • Arrogance of membership with lots of superlatives used in sales pitch
  • Church avoids “overt political stands” but membership is almost entirely homogeneous politically
  • Apostasy is all the apostates’ fault.  All disconnection to family  and friends is blamed on that decision
  • Wives tend to stay and denounce husbands who leave
  • Church discipline (kicking people out) is seen as “for their own good”
  • Members consider membership “safe” and a “protection”
  • Members  maintain positive exterior, but a very reproachful interaction with former members
  • Public image of religion is MOST IMPORTANT
  • There’s a difference between public tenets and private interaction
  • Greatest fear is expulsion from religion
  • Church holds the power of eternal life
  • Members are taught to handle internal conflict within church’s own justice system
  • Big Brother type files kept of high level apostates
  • Members attack apostates’ character rather than address the issues
  • Church doesn’t live up to its own standards for its members
  • Special service is supposedly to “help people” but most of the time and energy is really just spent on  serving the purposes of the organization
  • Sells itself as “fastest growing religion”
  • Members think it “does more good”
  • Critics are vilified and suspected of “anti” sentiment
  • Members sacrifice a lot with little to show for it
  • Original books are changed and church denies the changes are significant
  • All or nothing claims, “base stories are true or else it’s ALL a lie”
  • Shame in leaving, “Everyone else could see it was a sham, why couldn’t I?”
  • Apostates who leave claim they feel “alive” and can think clearly for the first time in a long time (or ever)

I must also say that I think the “-Lite” portion applies here because there are some serious accusations of institutional violence in Scientology and of literally being held hostage that don’t apply to Mormonism in my experience.

But a comment on the Mormon Expression version of this post made the following excellent point:

“The thing that really struck me in the article is that Scientology is in its Brigham Young phase both timewise and in their organizational behavior. I think if we compared some of the organizational things that are more extreme in Scientology, the Mormon church was a lot more like that under Brigham Young.”

Posted in Belief, Mormonism, Religion | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Vote for Dad for the 2014 Brodie Awards!!!

Hey! A few of my blog posts are up for a Brodie Award and I’m going to shamelessly fish for votes in the categories below:

Vote Here 

Best Post Title

A Tranny, A Mormon, And A 6’2″ Dyke Walk Into A Bar With A Midget… 

Best Religion-and-Orientation Post

Prodigal Brother Syndrome 

Best Parody/Metaphor/Analogy

No. I’m Sorry. I Don’t Want to Tour the New Mormon Temple with You


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

To Obey or Not To Obey

There’s a fascinating observation I’ve made wherein men such as John Gustav Wrathall, who very early on in their lives have least obeyed and followed LDS leaders are the ones most interested in reconciling their religion and homosexuality.

John is married to a man and I don’t believe he has never done the temple marriage and kids thing. Same with that apostle’s brother Tom Christofferson…been with a man since a young adult and so has suffered minimal collateral damage compared to someone who obeyed LDS policy and doctrine of the time by trying to ignore it or change. The obedient ones are the ones now divorced and ridiculed by family, church and friends.

It tells me that it pays to follow your internal compass as early as possible…and you’ll even end up with warmer feelings towards the church you had to disregard to get there.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Voices of Dope 2; On TV

As you may have already heard, TLC is airing a ‘My Husband’s Not Gay’ special in January.

On January 11 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, TLC will premiere a one-hour special following some Mormons who say are living have an alternative to an alternative lifestyle. They are men who are happily married and attracted to their wives, but they are also attracted to other men. They refer to it as Same Sex Attraction… not gay.

My Husband is not gay

What you may not know is that these men are all involved with North Star’s Voices of Hope project and you can get a video preview of the cast of ‘My Husband’s Not Gay’ there.

Jeff and Tanya Bennion

Jeff and Tanya Bennion



Curtis and Tera Brown


Preston and Megan Dahlgren

I’d be more disgusted if they weren’t so darned cute.

If nothing else, please share with others how demoralizing and dismissive this is of those women.

Nobody with daughters wants this for their girls.

Try not to focus on how childish, idiotic and brainwashed (and adorable) the men appear, but focus on how the women are being duped and manipulated. Don’t get me wrong, nobody has forced them into the life they are leading. They have been “drugged” to believe this is their best option.

As I’ve said before

Religion is a drug. Like any drug, it will help you escape from reality. It will take away some of the perceived “sting” of existence. It will take the burdens of thought off your shoulders. It will make you feel like you can fly from the ledge, without wings… It will purport to solve life’s most serious problems. The ironic catch is that the very “sting” and the very “problems” religion can solve are merely fabricated “problems” created by the religion itself.

So, why do these men and women stay in relationships like this?

“People don’t want their lives fixed. Nobody wants their problems solved. Their dramas. Their distractions. Their stories resolved. Their messes cleaned up. Because what would they have left? Just the big scary unknown.”  Chuck Palahniuk (American freelance Journalist, Satirist and Novelist. b.1961)

As a father of 3 beautiful girls, I hope that all the little gay boys out there right now will feel enough acceptance and courage to come out before adulthood and to seek out other men rather than my daughters. THAT’s how we fix this problem. We make it safe and acceptable to be who you are.

If you are a gay Mormon married to a straight women, it’s not the gay part that’s the problem.

See Also:

North Star

Voices of Dope

Helping Latter-day Saint Families with LGBT Children

Women Who Marry Gay Men

MLK “Don’t Let Anyone Take Your Manhood”

Mormon Sand Gays

I Should Have Known I Was Gay When

You Could Have Known I Was Gay Because…


Posted in Coming Out, Family, Homosexuality, Marriage, Mormonism, Reality | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment