Why was I able to successfully present myself as heterosexual to those closest to me and yet my homosexuality was apparently obvious to everyone else?
Act I, Scene 1
A friend of mine, Cath, and I had run into each other at a baseball game years ago. I was with my new wife. She was with another single friend, a recent LDS convert. After stopping to visit for a few minutes and going our separate ways, her friend had turned to her and said, “He’s one of those.”
My friend, Cath had no idea what she she was talking about and asked, “One of what?”
“One of those guys who would be gay if they weren’t Mormon.”
Funny story but made me wonder once again…why was I able to fool females I was closest to; but my being a closeted gay man was obvious to virtual strangers?
Act I, Scene 2
Another friend, Quinn, was my male counterpart of a couple that my wife and I were friends with back in the day. He had tentatively shared certain doubts about the church with me while we jogged one morning. They moved away. He left the LDS church and they divorced soon after that. After reconnecting and coming out to him his comment to me was, “Yeah, you know you never really seemed very comfortable in your heterosexual skin.”
What about all those girls I dated? I was one of those closeted gay men who compensated for his insecurity by dating a lot; and girls liked me. Here are few of the girls I grew close to:
Scene: Large east coast university
Jenny: We dated during my first year in college (in a far away city) and got mighty close to actually having sex (I was 18 and would have humped a tree). My gay roommates were coming out at the time and it caused me a great deal of confusion. She encouraged me to go on a mission. I did. So did she. Things just weren’t the same when I returned and we both found ourselves at BYU. We’re now friends on FB. She’s married and seems to be a very faithful, typical Mormon housewife. I haven’t come out to her but she might have figured it out.
Nancy: A good friend in whom I sensed a great deal of inner angst. We remained friends all through the remainder of my college years although she pursued me more aggressively than I pursued her. We’ve reconnected on FB and even met up in person. Her husband is very involved with the LDS church in his profession and personal life (in positions that most LDS people would be quite impressed with). We’re able to talk openly about my leaving the church and being gay and they’re both respectful. She once asked why I chose my wife over her. I think it’s because I thought I could fool my wife but that she’d figure me out eventually. She was world-wise. Now she’s just grateful.
Rachel, Lindsay & Sue: I haven’t reconnected with these. I dated all of them and seriously considered marrying each one (you get all caught up in that at BYU). Rachel left me to go on a mission. Perhaps she DID have a clue about me. Lindsay is the only one I pined over when she got married soon after our breakup. She was a cherished good friend, but that wasn’t enough and I knew that. I still miss her.
And then there’s my ex-wife. I care about her and want the best for her as the mother of my children.
Why did I decide to follow-through on marriage with her? Why did I elect to come out 10 years later? Did I hate being married to her? I really like how the following woman who is married to a homosexual Mormon man framed her understanding of his relationship with her in Married to a MoHo Blog
It isn’t that he didn’t enjoy the emotional bond that intimacy brings, that he didn’t enjoy the overall experience- the “completion” if you know what I mean. But it really came at a price that became too high to pay. I get that now. I stand in awe of his love for me that he would keep that up for so long.
Perhaps that’s it. When the stakes were high I performed a lot better than I otherwise did when I had less to lose.
And then I caved when the price of living on the outside in manner inconsistent with how I felt on the inside became too high.