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It was a confusing world growing up.

Today’s gay Mormon boy at least has the advantage of God acknowledging that homosexuality exists. In my day, God thought that homosexuality was only a verb, never a noun. In other words you were only gay if you did gay stuff. If you didn’t do gay things then you weren’t gay, right?

Right?

Wrong.

My mistake was buying into that false idea that homosexuality was only a verb and therefore dismissible. It should have been clear to me that it was indeed a noun… and a verb, because I was gay long before doing anything about it ever entered my mind …and not doing it had zero impact on not being it.

Here were the early signs.

I should have known I was gay (a noun) when:

 

 

 

 

  • As a kid I would have loved to have said goodnight to any of the Walton boys: John Boy, Jason, Ben, or Jim-Bob. (Did the Waltons have any daughters?)
  • Greg, Peter or Bobby were always right in my mind when they bickered with their Brady step-sisters.
  • I much preferred playing hula-hoop and hop-scotch with the girls at recess than anything else the boys were doing.
  • I was terrified of playing Smear-the-Queer with the neighborhood boys… not because I was afraid of getting hurt, but because I was afraid they’d realize the queer wasn’t necessarily the one holding the ball, but the one enthusiastically piling on top!
  • I somehow have pictures of my young self with jazz hands before jazz hands was even a thing.
  •  I was constantly getting into boy crushes:
    • First grade best friend, Grady
    • Second grade, my friend Tony with whom I’d perform  cabaret shows at recess
    • Third grade, the male Student Teacher who talked to me one-on-one the day my Grandma died.
    • Fourth grade, my male teacher Mr Frazee whom I adored in spite of his being a lousy teacher
    • In the fifth grade I prayed so hard to Heavenly Father that the smartest and best-looking boy in my class, David, would become my friend. Heavenly Father said yes! And thus began a 4 year friendship (actually a 4-year, one-way crush).
    • You get the picture…
  • Junior High Gym class showers. I prayed each day I wouldn’t pop a boner.
  • Junior High Gym class showers. Strategically trying not to catch glimpses of Anthony, another 8th grader who had a hairy and well endowed body of a 25 year old (Why? See above).
  • Junior High Gym class…underscored the fact that I had little to no interests in common with my fellow male peers.
  • Bullies in junior high knew that I was gay before I did. They called me a fag every time they saw me.  But what did they see in me that I hadn’t yet?
  • I imagined six million dollars was too low of a price for Lee Majors.
  • Being haunted and thrilled by sights of my male peers in Dolphin Shorts, or tight Jordache Jeans.
  • Girls paying attention to me was endlessly irritating.
  • No matter how hard I prayed, no matter how many scriptures I read, no matter how obedient I was, I still longed for closeness to men. My feigned straight behavior did nothing to sway my inclinations, my homosexuality.
  • Years of not doing gay (verb) left me no straighter.
  • In subconscious moments completely out of my control, such as dreams, a female was never the subject of my adoration and affection in the dreams… NEVER. Men often appeared in my dreams…like this one right here.
  • When an older boy in our ward came out and got kicked out of home, I was extremely sensitive to the hushed tones, “tsk-tsks” and shameful voices used when the boy came up as a topic of conversation. I remember thinking, “Whatever he is, I am too. It’s obviously a very bad thing so I need to hide it better than he did.”
  • I wondered why Karen Carpenter always got the limelight. I was more interested in, and curious about, Richard…. the same goes for the Captain and Tennille. O Captain! My Captain! is about him right?
  • I was silently pleased to learn on Three’s Company that it was better for Jack to pretend he was gay than for him to be straight and living with 2 girls.
  • I saw coverage of a gay pride parade as a teen and thought to myself ‘Damn, I wish I had the guts to say that’.
  • Would have desperately loved to say “As you wish!” to Cary Elwes in The Princess Bride... and then indeed do anything he wished. I similarly hoped Robin Wright, the princess had been eaten by a R.O.U.S. (Rodent of Unusual Size)

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