Lickety-Split Lesbian

Due to heavy  demand (2 requests), my Insta-Gay service has been expanded to include the ladies. As you can imagine, the logistics of such a service requires some creativity. Please read the details below: common-lesbian-terms

Are you a straight ex-Mormon woman with a spouse or ex-spouse who still wants to baptize your kids?

Do you want to prevent it without looking like an bitch?

Well, now you can with my Lickety-Split Lesbian service. Reply now to arrange your lesbian partner for a day

You can choose from either of two plans:

Flannel Forever or  U-Haul Deb

With Flannel Forever you’ll get the real thing and it’s your most authentic option.

c027961154c717b80be4a37da62dd9f3My lesbian friend Deb has agreed to be the Dieseldyke in your imaginary L Word fantasy. She will meet you at Home Depot where you will walk the isles picking out flooring and appliances for your imaginary home together. We’ll pre-arrange to have Melissa Etheridge playing on the sound system as you meander through the store arguing and breaking up on each of the even aisles, then making up and calling each other pet names on the odd aisles.

After an hour in the garden department, you’ll transport your tools over to my house in Deb’s Subaru Outback where you’ll re-landscape my back yard as you flirt, kiss and pet each other among the fresh smell of perennials and succulents. I’ll be snapping the photos when 50 other local lesbians show up for your romantic, impulsive, on-the-spot wedding in my backyard. Deb’s girlfriend Sharron will officiate the wedding.

As your guests leave, Deb will carry you piggyback into the tent we’ll set up especially for you on your wedding night. Inside the tent, Deb will make you her pillow queen and introduce you to life’s ultimate paradox: that the life-giving male appendage is wholly unnecessary for jaw-dropping, OMG pleasure.

In the morning, you’ll cook breakfast over a campfire wearing just your Dockers and flannel tops. Deb will say something insensitive and you’ll have your final argument as I hand you your memory package including: chapstick, Fun Home Soundtrack, long key chain and your marriage certificate.

U-Haul Deb is for you out of towners who can’t spend a full weekend with Deb… or for those of you who just really are straight.

894a10882030e5cd306d869d54be9cecDeb will drive a U-Haul pulling her tiny house to your city. She’ll stop at the curb in front of your house. You’ll move in…. for an hour.

In this option Deb will be a lipstick lesbian so as to not terrify you too much.

You’ll kiss once, taking a selfie in front of her softball trophies.

Afterwards, you’ll move out and return to your former straight life.

All we want to do is serve our fellow man.

There’s a lawyer in the Ex-Mormon community that offers to process resignations from the Church for free.

What awesome selfless service!

I find it inspiring.

So, to do my part…I give you Insta-Gay and Lickety-Split Lesbian . We’ll make it so convincing that the church won’t LET THEM be baptized!

Please send applications to me c/o Deb and include a face pic. Unlike the Mormon church, no request will be rejected here. Just don’t shave for a few days, and please brush up on your professional golf knowledge.

Feel free to share with your friends!

Posted in Homosexuality, Mormonism, Uncategorized | 2 Comments


Are you a straight ex-Mormon with a spouse or ex-spouse who still wants to baptize your kids?Gays on beach

Do you want to prevent it without looking like an asshole?

Well, now you can with my Insta-Gay service. I’ll be your gay boyfriend for a day!

You can choose from either of two plans:

Bed n Brunch or  Airport Speed Date

With Bed n Brunch you’ll get the real thing and it’s your most authentic option. Men_splashing_web

We’ll start off with a long walk on the beach where we can get to know one another better. We’ll take off our shoes, giggle and splash each other in the shallow water only to come together in a passionate embrace and a long, deep kiss while the waves crash about us.

My real boyfriend, Ricky, will follow at a distance with a camera to capture the evidence. From there we’ll walk hand in hand to our beach side hotel room where I’ll do my best to make you question whether this is real for you or not. holding hands

I’m versatile so anything can happen. It’s up to you. We’ll wake up in the morning spooning (I’m the inside spoon). You’ll laugh because your downward arm will have fallen asleep. At which point we’ll finally get up and shower together. It will be bittersweet because this will be our first and last shower together.

Then, it’s on to brunch! We’ll sip mimosas and gaze knowingly into each other’s eyes.

gay-ibiza-holidaysRicky will download all the evidence of our “relationship” and have it ready on a nice flash drive for you by the time our check arrives. We’ll part ways but keep each other as contacts in our phones. You know, *wink, wink* so you can text me pictures of your non-Mormon kids as they grow up without Primary and Mutual all thanks to me.

Airport Speed Date is for you out of towners who can’t spend a full weekend with me… or for those of you who just really are straight.

You’ll fly into town with just an hour layover at my local airport. So as to not creep you out too much, Ricky will stay at home. I’ll greet you at the gate with a firm handshake and we’ll go get a root beer together at the airport pub. Our waitress will take a picture with your phone of us kissing, toasting our “love.” Just once. Quick. No tongue. I promise.

I’ll bring baby wipes and mouthwash for you.

Afterwards, you’ll hop on the plane back home to your family and your straight, butch life. You can share that picture just with your bishop to get the mandatory exemption for your family.

All I want to do is serve my fellow man.

There’s a lawyer in the Ex-Mormon community that offers to process resignations from the Church for free.

What awesome selfless service!

I find it inspiring.

So, to do my part…I give you Insta-Gay. We’ll make it so convincing that the church won’t LET THEM be baptized!

Please send applications directly to me and include a face pic. Unlike the Mormon church, no request will be rejected here. Just be freshly showered and hygienic.

Feel free to share with your friends! I’m sure my calendar will be filling up fast. My time is limited, so act now!

For the ladies, see Lickety-split Lesbian

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Speaking To The Kids About This Mormon Gay Thing

It is my good fortune to have the kids with me this weekend in the aftermath of the recent LDS attack on them, rather than have them hear about it in church or with their uber Mormon mother.

I have four kids, a boy and three girls. My son is 18 and away on a mission. My girls are with me this weekend.

They’re kids. Facebook is for old people. Their social media time is spent on Snapchat and Twitter directly back and forth between immediate friends. I’ve seen no indication that they had any clue about the church’s new policy or how they’d be affected. But I planned to talk to them today to take advantage of the fact that, for once, I get to be the one to spin the message. I was hoping for a sit down dinner at the table with all of us together, but with all their varying schedules that seemed unlikely. So I talked to them one on one.

There are a thousand different ways it could have gone. I wanted to detail the unfairness of it and all the injustices this creates for them. I wanted to share some of the examples of bigotry I’ve dealt with in the church and prepare them for what lies ahead for them. I wanted to point out all the internal inconsistencies this policy creates with the church’s own scripture and doctrine. I wanted to reiterate the difference between morality and obedience. I wanted to explain the discrepancies between what Christ taught and what the modern church is doing. I wanted to paint a picture, where if I were ever disavowed, then financial support would be cut off. I wanted to compare and contrast the phrase “Honor thy father and mother” with “Disavow your father or mother.” I wanted to prepare them for the church’s arguments by discussing the book 1984 and “newspeak.” There is so much more that I wanted to say…

But when I walked into the bedroom of my 13 year old daughter who idolizes her missionary brother and loves both her mom and me, this is the only thing that came out.

Can I talk to you a second? I wanted to tell you something that just happened 2 days ago and I wanted to be the one to say it to you. The church just created a policy that says kids with gay parents can’t get baptized or go on missions until they are 18. And then, the kids will be required to disavow their gay parent’s life and not be able to live with them.

This doesn’t look like it will affect you now, but someday you may be required to say you disavow me and move out. I think that’s a horrible position to put a child in and I want you to know that I love you unconditionally regardless of what you ever decide to do. There’s nothing you can do or say that would change this love I have for you.

I love your brother serving a mission now and each one of you girls. I’ll love and accept you no matter what you are pressured to say or do in the future, and I will never let this sort of thing stand in the way of my love for you.

I’m just sad that you are put in this situation.

A hug and a kiss and a 13 year old girl fighting back tears and I left the room.

I’m going to keep it at that for now. Love. Full stop.

A child deserves unconditional love and they if aren’t going to get it from their heavenly father, they’ll get it from their earthly father

Before: How I thought it would go down.

After  How it did go down

How it did go down

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Children of Gays and Mormon Credibility

I recall vividly the very first time it dawned on me that a Mormon Apostle could be and indeed WAS full of BS.

Let me take you back in time…12115688_1673454692924395_513680204175220967_n

I believe it was April General Conference 1993. I was 28, unmarried, closeted, BYU grad, returned missionary, former MTC instructor and zone leader, working full time teaching English as a Second Language and taking graduate courses in Linguistics. I was active LDS and the Ward Executive Secretary in my single’s ward.

I wasn’t doubting.

In fact I’d never really doubted. Oh, I had a few things I’d tossed up on that testimony shelf where you put things that just don’t sit right, but I was all in. Certain things about LDS “culture” rubbed me the wrong way, but I was hardly skeptical by default. I was even one of those priesthood dorks who actually paid attention to the talks.

One particular talk by Dallin H Oaks called The Language of Prayer at first glance seemed pretty innocuous.  He was just saying that the church teaches us to use honorary, respectful language in prayers. Pretty harmless, right? The message was OK. But if you know anything about linguistics the reasoning he articulated was absurd. He’s just plain and simply wrong about the language. His logic was completely circular and made no sense. If you’re curious, here is an analysis.

My point is that he was trying to sound like an expert about an area he clearly knew nothing about. He was as bizarre as Ben Carson talking about the Pyramids. If he was a mouthpiece for God, then God was a moron.

This mattered a great deal to me at the time. I tried to talk to my roommate about the problems in the talk, but that hit a brick wall. I waited for the next Sunday to see if anyone else would want to talk about the silly talk… all I got were crickets.

I walked away realizing that:

  • An LDS Apostle can be wrong in a fundamental way.
  • He’ll present himself as an expert anyway.
  • The majority of my fellow Mormons will obey and lap it up without a critical thought.
  • Mormons don’t care about the means as long they get to their predetermined conclusion.
  • Nobody cares.


Mormon leaders are wrong about gays. They’re wrong in the way they are dealing with children of gays.

They are wrong in a very fundamental way. I won’t be able to reach the analytical prowess on this topic that a gazillion other blogs will over the next few days, but I know that Mormon leaders are wrong and misguided and selfish…

  • They are presenting themselves as experts anyway
  • The majority of  active Mormons will obey and lap it up without a critical thought.
  • Mormons don’t care about the means as long they get to their predetermined conclusion.
  • SOME people care

That last part really means something to me right now. I have been having a really difficult time lately finding places I fit in and finding a community. I don’t have a group of gay friends here like I did in Palm Springs. When I’ve attended Ex-Mormon events in town I’ve felt accepted, but never quite found friends.

It’s really just me and my kids right now and so this new “Children of gays” thing feels evil and personal to me.

But today I’m touched by the indignation and emotion expressed by straight folks, fellow ex-Mormons and the usual allies at the various social media sites I participate in. Thanks you to any of you reading this…

Just understand that that horror and disbelief you are expressing today encapsulates my general reaction to how the church taught me to think about myself for 40 years. Pretty sick, huh!

I have tons of questions:

  • My kids are already baptized. Will they have to disavow me at some point?
  • Would they?
  • Which child would?
  • I’m not married. Does that make the whole thing mute anyway?
  • Do I have to be married for my kids to qualify for the bigotry? I’m not a big enough threat as a single gay man alone? Way to kick me when I’m down!
  • Will my children be grandfathered in? I mean, will they be called in to disavow me?
  • My kids live with me 50% of the time. Can they get ex-communicated for that?
  • If so, how can I encourage that along?
  • Why couldn’t this have happened 10 years ago before my kids got baptized and when I WAS living with a guy?
  • Can I  use this as evidence in court that my child’s participation in church is an act of alienating them from me?
  • Am I wrong in thinking that if I ever find out a child of mine “disavows” me after turning 18 that I will disavow any financial support?

There’s a whole lot more I could say. And as I’m typing this, there’s some mock interview being posted of one of the apostles defending the church’s divisive policy. They got the guy with a gay brother to be the point person on bigotry towards children of gays. NICE.  I’ll watch it…

Here’s what I can tell you… the word “clarify” does not mean what they think it means. And…

  • That LDS Apostle is wrong in a Christoffersonfundamental way.
  • He presents himself as an expert anyway.
  • The majority of active Mormons will obey and lap it up without a critical thought.
  • Mormons don’t care about the means as long they get to their predetermined conclusion.
  • People care.

That last part is the only part that matters to me today. It’s the part that is going to make Mormons look like the short bus of religions in the not too distant future.

One last note on your way home tonight, Mormons! Don’t forget to turn your clocks back 50 years.


Posted in Family, Fatherhood, Homosexuality | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Cult is as Cult Does (10 Friendly Suggestions)

ReminiI’ve been fascinated by the recent openness of Leah Remini on her break from the Church of Scientology. Her story sounds eerily familiar, especially when she talks about how her former church talks about and treats apostates, the weirdness and secrecy at the higher level of membership, and the absolute intolerance of criticism.

So, to help Mormons out, here’s my unsolicited advice I wrote several years ago to all those Mormon leaders out there who will never read this or deign to listen as to how they could actually change to appear less culty in the public’s eyes….from the outside looking back in:

  1. Incorporate community service as a regular part of your worship rather than as publicity stunt. Make this service significant to those who are not of your faith rather than almost exclusively those within it.

Growing up we did a lot of “service projects” in the youth group. I’ve helped a bajillion families move as an Elder’s Quorum member. As ward Relief Society president my Mom was constantly arranging for meals for a sick ward member’s family.  But all this was almost exclusively to the benefit of other Mormons. Mormons are really good at taking care of each other, but are timid about real meaningful outward facing service. Other mainstream religions are much better at it.

Of course in a natural disaster, Mormons will show up and wear T-shirts advertising their efforts, but as a percentage of their expenditures of time and money, this sort of thing as a tiny drop in the bucket.

On my mission, service took zero percent of our time. I understand they encourage service for missionaries now, but it would actually make a mission more meaningful and less cult-like for THAT to be the purpose of a mission rather than proselytizing. A mission even as it now operates only serves the Mormon institution, not humanity. Cults put enormous efforts into recruiting. Getting converts makes you no more or less right.

Mormons serving in a cannery. These ladies were most likely ASSIGNED to do this.

2.  Actually put families first, any family.

You can’t get any more cult appearing than telling a non-Mormon parent that she/he can’t attend a son or daughter’s wedding. Period.  No further explanation needed other than to recite one of the 10 Commandments – “Thou Shalt Honor Thy Father and Mother” – and note that the LDS Church encourages its members to dismiss it when they treat mothers and fathers in this way.

Putting rites and ordinances above family relationships encourages the same sort of disrespect towards non-member family.  There’s no reason any father or mother couldn’t bless  his or her own newborn together with an Elder…or participate in a baptism. That would bind the family together. Instead, in Mormonism it’s now much more important to bind the individual to the church and create an atmosphere of disappointment towards non-believing family members.

Also, It’s one thing to encourage your own values and morals among the families of your followers. It’s another thing to prefer a child in the larger community have unmarried parents or no parents rather than 2 married parents who aren’t following your special colloquial brand of morality. There are plenty of churches who believe in gay marriage, for example.  How does your opposition in the public realm “let them worship how where and what they may”?

3.  Take the whole “Follow the Prophet” rhetoric down a notch.

You can CLAIM to worship only Jesus, and it has been good to see your efforts to actually walk the walk by removing non-biblical art from your chapels, revamping the official logo and such, but there’s a LONG way to go. Even a non-Christian visiting your services doesn’t see a whole lot of Christianity.  Your members’ homes have YOUR pictures right up there with Jesus for crying out loud. In practice, they obey your word above Jesus Christ’s. They talk about you like you ARE Jesus and you do nothing to discourage that.


4.  Initiate checks and balances into your organization to account for the humanity of  the human beings running it. In mainstream religions this looks like: Public financial reports, allowing public dissent without fear of excommunication, voting on policy by the membership.

As the saying goes, “Catholic doctrine states that the Pope is infallible but Catholics don’t really believe it. Mormon doctrine states that their Prophet is fallible, but Mormons don’t really believe it.”

In the Bible and Book of Mormon, prophets made mistakes and were often corrected by the laity.  In today’s church however the prevailing opinion is that prophets can miraculously do no wrong. That is until they are dead. Then, Mormons become even better than apostates at disregarding a prophet’s teachings.

Fiscal transparency is probably the biggest hurdle Mormonism needs to overcome in the quest to shed all things cultish.

5. Seriously, you need to cut the “sacred, not secret” bit.

Nobody buys it. And don’t you find it ironic that former prophets couldn’t keep their mouth shut about a LOT of weird shit they supposedly experienced?  Joseph Smith, Paul, Moses and Brigham Young all had diarrhea of the mouth. But I’m supposed to buy that Thomas Monson and company have experienced something so far out there that they can’t talk about it? Come on….

Their specific callings are to be “Special Witnesses”. That alone pretty much demolishes any claim that you can’t talk about something because it’s “too sacred.”

Even with the average member, it’s ironic that they only need to keep quiet about the weird stuff.

If you were Christians, you’d see the atonement as the most sacred event to ever take place… so why are you SUPPOSED to share that with people?

Admit it… Sacred stuff is SUPPOSED to be shared.

Weird stuff is supposed to be kept secret.

6.  If your actions regarding respect for womanhood and equality matched your lip-service, I’d feel better about my daughters being raised Mormon.

An all male priesthood is neither scriptural or respectful towards women. Likewise, motherhood is a natural impulse and most of your young female members will want it regardless. By your confining that role to a one-size-fits all image of womanhood you are actually disrespecting my daughters’ individuality. Put your energy into helping her be a good woman with integrity and the motherhood thing will fall into place quite naturally.  When you focus her sights solely on that, however, you diminish her potential as a contributing member of humanity. A dog can be a mom. A woman could likewise be an awesome Mom and a CEO of her company, or bishop of her local ward.

7. Scrap the dress code regulations…

Think about it….cult members dress alike, people in a mainstream religion don’t.

These sorts of things take care of themselves.  People naturally want to dress alike.  If today you said, “Forget everything we’ve ever said about grooming and dress” nothing would really change. Gradually some individuality would creep in to the grooming of your members, but you know what? If it does, then reality will actually begin to match what you yourselves are trying to portray in those “I am a Mormon” commercials.

The second problem with these silly dress and style regulations is that they always inevitably become outdated. You shoot yourselves in the foot when you encourage the white shirt, one earring, dresses not pants, etc… Even the required missionary attire looks silly in today’s world. It also belies the confidence your own founder had in the the membership to be able to govern themselves after being taught “correct principles.”

8. Be more cross-cultural and adaptable internationally.

The structure and content of a Mormon worship service looks and feels late 19th/early 20th century North American no matter where you go in the world. This is great for traveling Americans and Canadians (especially for you Mormon leaders) because we feel right at home in Brazil, Japan, Nigeria or the Philippines. But what ends up happening is that it really only attracts the citizens of those countries who are interested in all things American.  To everyone else, the Mormons just seem like a North American cult transplanted to their homeland.

There’s nothing universal about the organ or piano music, white shirts and ties, or LDS artwork. If the dress, the music, the behavior of the congregation and even the architecture of LDS building reflected local customs you would look and feel less like “American Moonies” and more like a relevant world religion.

This congregation is in Africa but it could just as well be in Detroit or Atlanta.

9. Allow and encourage individual freedom among the rank and file.

Now, I know you’re not going to get this one without a lot on pondering. A regular Mormon won’t get this. Real mainstream Christian religions allow significantly more individual adaptation than Mormonism does.

A Catholic can attend mass anywhere he/she feels comfortable. Mormons have to attend their assigned geographic ward like a elementary school child is told where to go to school.

A Methodist can actually volunteer in church where and when they are personally interested and motivated .  Mormons are assigned jobs and callings without the opportunity to volunteer and with no consideration of their own desires. What you end up with are scout leaders who would rather be ward clerks and ward clerks who would rather be scout leaders. All of them with a silent frustration and resentment that their free time and talents are being strong-armed by church leaders.

It looks very master-planned, socialist,  and cult-like from the outside.

It would be cool if Mormons teachers had actually volunteered for the job. She was probably assigned and it’s hit or miss whether she really wants to do it or not.

10. Institute paid, professional clergy

Mormons already pay their clergy.  You, the General Authorities are paid and yet the rank and file still imagine you are not. It’s therefore not doctrinal to keep this established image of a lay clergy. A paid clergy is solidly within the bounds of Mormon history and doctrine… and Christianity. Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, apostles, Patriarchs, Bishops and Stake Presidents all have received significant compensation for their callings in the past.

Somehow over the life of the LDS faith, the church has managed to establish this myth of a lay clergy to the point that it is really only true for those at the lowest points of the hierarchy. You end up with the folks doing the real ground-work being overworked but uncompensated… a very big, flashing red flag for a cult… underpaid and overworked followers.

A significant side effect of this institutional behavior is an unqualified clergy. If you pay people a living salary to perform your most significant work, education and training follow naturally. Imagine a Mormon teenager approaching her bishop for counseling and actually getting a trained professional rather than an amateur, unprepared, but well-meaning neighbor!

A professional clergy could only improve or enhance what have become drab and corporate-like Mormon meetings.  Everyone wins…and together with suggestion #9 you would be creating a free market for the best clergy and more engaged membership.

No reason she couldn’t be a paid Mormon bishop… try calling it a cult THEN!

Posted in Mormonism, Thought Control | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

Parent or Putz?

Putz, Lawrence J. Jr.Am I a good parent or a putz?

I’ve got to admit the question flashes through my mind constantly. Not having ever discovered the definitive parenting manual, I end up winging it most of the time.

The lucky part is that my kids, by nature, need very little discipline. I don’t say that with blinders on. I know where my son and daughters’ weaknesses lie. My kids just don’t end up blatantly violating the boundaries I’ve set up. The hard part is that my kids are very different from one another and need varied styles of guidance and encouragement.

Last night I winged it.

Last night my 13 year old daughter presented me with an almost exact duplicate of a situation that I encountered with her older sister just two years prior. And about halfway through last night’s event it dawned on me that I handled the two girls’ dilemmas completely differently. Exactly opposite in fact.

To be honest, it was so bad that I found myself wanting to say to my daughter last night, “Um, don’t tell your sister that I’m doing this for you. She”ll get upset”

Aand there’s your sign.

There’s your sign that someone feels guilty. Secrecy.

Here’s the situation. Tell me what you think:

It’s late in the afternoon on a Fall weekend that the kids are with their mother. In a perfect world I’d have some awesome plans for myself to go out, maybe even on a date. But I don’t. Daughter calls me up and asks if I’d drive her to to a haunted house because Mom can’t or won’t. I don’t have anything else to do so I say, “Sure.”

Up to this point the two situations are almost identical, just a couple of years apart.


I’m free. The kids want to go be with friends. They’re reaching out to me because Mom is unavailable. It’s a little annoying that it’s last minute, but they’re teenagers… I ended up refusing to take daughter A, but gladly taking daughter B. Is that fair?

The situations were almost the same. Here’s where they differed…

Daughter A: 2 years ago I was unemployed with very little money and driving an unreliable car. I arrived to pick up daughter A and asked where the haunted house was. She gave me the address and it so happened to be on the opposite site of the metropolitan area we live in. An hour away at least and a good $20 in gas! I asked how she was getting home and she replied, “I’m not sure. I think one of my friends’ sister is driving us back.” At that point I said NO. She threw a fit, I held my ground at NO and she proceeded to lose it some more. I took her out for some Taco Bell. We sat in the car in the parking lot to talk and she began to regurgitate all her 14 year old problems to me… and sitting there listening to my little girl talk to me was one of my favorite parenting nights ever. She asked to spend the night and I blogged about it here.

Daughter B: I now have a decent job and a reliable, economical car. Daughter B calls up last night to say she had arranged to go to the haunted house with a couple of friends. Two of them bought the $25 tickets online just before the third, whose parent had previously agreed to drive, called to cancel. She had arranged it all ahead of time and it fell through. I said that I’d take them if the other girl’s parent would pick them up. Agreed, and all was OK. I was available. I had the means. They had a certain ride back.

Unlike this title implies I am confident I made the right parenting choice in both situations. What causes me hesitation, though, is directly related to my son’s mission farewell a couple of months ago.

In a few years I can picture myself sitting in an LDS chapel for daughter B’s mission farewell listening to her utter the same words her brother did… saying essentially that the only valid family is a Christ-centered family. It  disregarded any parenting that I had done over his 18 years and made it appear as if his mother and her husband were his only valid parents, his only valid family. Never mind the hours I’d driven in his behalf, the tears I’ve wiped, the underwear I’ve laundered, the vomit I’ve cleaned, the ceremonies I’ve attended, the meals I’ve cooked and the values I’ve taught.

It left me wondering if I’d done it right. Did I do this to myself by parenting essentially with my head down, ignoring the LDS upbringing with his Mom, not nurturing resentment and conflict? Did I passively turn myself into a putz?Dumb putz

Experience tells me that any small move I’d taken to talk to him about his mothers religion would have alienated him and driven a wedge between us. I can and actually do say slightly more with my daughters. But with him I had to make a different choice.

Still, it was an anguishing experience to sit and listen to the utter lack of respect or honor that my 18 years of fathering him had earned me in his eyes. It made me feel like a putz rather than the parent that I know I am.

Posted in Fatherhood, parenting | Tagged , | 3 Comments

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