Saturday, November 10, 2007

Potter Puzzles

The main question in my life right now is that concerning my university. Through the past months, I have been through some of the most agonizing times and some of the most insomnia-causing nights, all to have come to some wonderful conclusions. I have learned much about life and myself. And fortunately, despite all of the unknown, many answers have come my way.

But the largest matter on my mind is the question of where and how I am to spend the next four years of my life. I won't give my entire history with this question here (it is lengthy), but suffice it to say that my long path with this question has led me to two possibilities, that of either staying at BYU or that of transferring to a different university that I have selected.

Who would have thought, however, that this week, and this night, would have made this problem seem so acutely crucial in my life? Consider the dissonance that these following occurrences have caused me. Tonight, when I finally (for the first time) planned out the rest of my college courses as if I were to stay at BYU, the website somehow deleted all of the planning work that I had entered. This is not a problem that is frequently encountered with this program. A mere glitch? Or a sign? I am inclined to believe the former, although I truly don't know. "Coincidences" of this sort are prevalent in my life.

And it has been uncanny how frequently I have seen the alternate university that I have chosen referenced on t-shirts and in other forms. I met a girl at a service project today from its home state. And the people sitting behind me in the movie theater tonight were talking about the tree huggers from this state (how I want to be with fellow tree huggers!). And these situations are truly only a tiny fraction of all of the odd coincidences pointing me towards this university. I know that we see what we look for, but I have honestly experienced too many odd experiences with this university to brush them aside as the product of a selective mind.

Thus, I found it extremely odd tonight when more answers and questions came to me in the form of a movie, namely Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Before the intense action and emotion of the film had begun, I began crying in the theater because of the emotions I felt. I feel a resonance with Dumbledore, the archetypal god of the Harry Potter series and a man who has been identified as being gay. I love Rowling's overarching message of inclusion and compassion within her stories; to me, one of the strongest messages of the books is to love those with less pure blood, to love those that are outcasted, misfitted, or otherwise different, to love those of different species and forms, and now, the ex post facto knowledge of Dumbledore's sexuality lends the theme of the book to include loving gays, as well. How beautiful a tale Rowling created. I love her.

The movie taught me that the greatest way to conquer evil is hand in hand with supporters in the cause of the light. I need supporters. I believe I have many. I recently gained the support of my best friend, a man that said nothing to me other than to express his happiness about my gayness. I have never been received with such a positive light, and his acceptance utterly changed my world and outlook. I wonder if I need more of his form of support, support that doesn't have any religious complications to confound or cloud it. I honestly do not know. But I know that it was beautiful and transforming. Maybe by transferring, I could find professors that loved me because of who I am, including my sexuality. I could find friends that would love for me to be open with them in all things, including spirituality and sexuality. I might be loved in the most wholesome way, and I need that. That is how darkness is vanquished.

The strongest message that I have been learning in my life is that of fear and love. I recognize these two forces as the basic powers that guide all that we do, the one leading to greater light, the other to continued and stronger darkness. In Harry Potter this is evident, as well. Voldemort's greatest weapon is fear; it is how he controls and destroys people. Love, on the other hand, can truly triumph over all, healing the broken wounds and giving breath to the fallen. In my life, I know these two forces to be at work. And it is my deepest truth that I always want to act out of love and not out of fear, as difficult as this may be.

But do I fear replanting my roots, transferring universities, and accepting the unknown? Or do I genuinely love my classes at BYU, the resources here, the opportunities to study abroad, the excellent programs, the quirky professors, the brilliant students? I cannot say. But I will be grateful for what I have, for I feel I have been given all. I know that I love my life and those within it, and for now, that is enough of an answer for me.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Spectrum of People...and Colors

I consistently promise myself that I will use my blog for endeavors other than those that are explicitly gay. Certainly I have something to say about literature, national politics, academics, or even the weather, right? Alas, I find the answer repeatedly being "no." This blog will always be the gay expression of my soul. At this point I have relinquished any hope otherwise.

While it may seem like I am actively "playing the field" out here in college, I promise that my actions are not as lascivious as they may seem. The man that I mentioned in "Meeting My Match" and I have had no further developments. For some people, this is sad news (be assuaged; there is more to come). For others (*cough* BYU Honor Code Office *cough*) this is exactly as it should be. However, prospects are not yet bleak for the romantic life of Sully Littrell.

I was invited to a dance party in a dormitory tonight. I went not knowing the host or the company. I was pleasantly surprised, therefore, to encounter a guy that I had previously met at a pre-semester university function. I remember the first time that I met him simply because his physiognomy is quite similar to that of David, the largest crush of mine to date. This guy, who we'll name Clive, is certainly a rogue among BYU students. His clothing is about as bohemian as I have seen, and in many attractive ways he defies the norms of the university. Suffice it to say that Clive is a kid on whom I have had my eye.

Tonight, Clive was rather attentive to me during the dance. He equipped me with a single white glove to match his own (can anyone say "Michael Jackson"?), he later brought me a hat to adorn (I suppose he was dressing me to his taste), and to be could say that he didn't have many inhibitions regarding dance techniques. The dance was brief but enjoyable, and I left early with a friend of mine so that we could resume our studies for tests we have tomorrow. As we left Clive's dorm, my friend looked back at the dorm and commented on the flag hanging in Clive's window. "That's his gay pride flag," she said. I looked back and saw a beautiful rainbow covering his window. I was curious, so I pressed the subject.

"Is it really for gay pride, or does he just have an affinity for...the spectrum of colors?"

"No, it's definitely gay pride. He's really into that cause."

I guess I'm just hoping he's really into that in general. :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

My Poor Roommate

I have spent considerable time with some of my gay friends recently. One night I got in particularly late, and this conversation occurred the following morning.

Roommate: What time did you get in last night?

Me: A little after 4:00.

Roommate: Holy cow! There must have been some cute girls!

Me: Haha...yeah.

Cute girls all right. :)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Meeting My Match

I suppose that life creates people who become filters for the unique aspects of their lives. Strong female rights activists see the world as one large feminist ordeal. People with eating difficulties constantly notice the prevalence of food in society. I have carried the burden (and blessing) of same-gender attraction, and thus I tend to see life for all of its gayness. I find homoerotic quotes in literature, I identify the stereotypically gay traits of my friends, and I even subconsciously (and occasionally consciously) probe people to fully determine the extent of their gayness. It's a mind game from which I derive much pleasure and occasional bits of knowledge.

The new university setting has been full of people to potentially probe (alliteration!), and thus I have been at my happiest. I was quite shocked, however, when my game granted atypical results. I have frequently been successful in identifying personal barriers and breaking points in my friends relative to "gay comfort" levels. (This is all done with much subtlety and tact, of course.) Thus, when I engaged in this mental pleasure of mine with a man to whom I was attracted, I was shocked to be led hand in hand to any depth that I dictated.

I met this guy (who needs a pseudonym...any suggestions?) through a mutual friend on campus, and we spent the first hours of our acquaintance on a dance floor where I was continually entreated to dance within his circle. I had no hesitation, and the night was quite enjoyable. Later that night, I was privileged to play my game with him, only to find that he matched my flirtation to every level that I took it. In fact, it was Mr. I-need-a-blogger-pseudonym who took it the furthest; he suggested the homosexual relationship between my dormitory, which is affectionately called "Bend Over Stover" and his own, "Gay May." I had been out-flirted gay style.

And then tonight, as we spoke, things escalated. We spoke of our childhoods. I was invited to visit his new house in Denver. He asked for my phone number. When a girl was taking a piece of fuzz off of my shirt, he asked if she needed help and began massaging me. I walked him to his dorm.

I may be at fault for mental embellishment, but I can't help but to notice that I have been matched or outdone by this guy in an flirtatious endeavor. And (un)fortunately for me, I am quite enamored with the boy. I could write an entire post on his excellent qualities, but I'll save that for a further development; I don't yet know if I'll be using his qualities to highlight the incredible man that he is or to lament his name. Time will tell.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gay Vulnerability

Random Anecdote: Brigham Young University hosted a dance tonight to help new students become acquainted one with another. There was a partner dance competition, and perhaps the most progressive (liberal) of all of BYU's male students, a guy named Ben, sought me out as his temporary partner. We danced, I dipped him, and he ended up winning with his girl partner (in the name of decency, of course). It was hilarious, miraculous, and downright blasphemous, so naturally I loved it. If only BYU knew what a commitment it made when it sent me my letter of acceptance. :)

Real Blog: A phenomenon has been occurring with increasing frequency in my life, and my beloved sister finally helped me to pinpoint it. I can only hope that identification is the first step to overcoming, for I often believe that I would be better without it.

When I interact with gay men who are aware of my own homosexuality, I commonly feel a myriad of emotions not typically associated with "hanging out." These range anywhere from feeling a heightened happiness or excitement to an utter confusion or continual anxiety. I leave these social sessions with feelings of ecstasy coupled with what could be termed an anxiety. Unfortunately, I did not know why this was; no amount of self-directed psychotherapy brought me to a conclusion.

The topic must have arisen randomly in conversation, and my incredible sister helped me pinpoint the issue. She explained to me how when I am with this crowd, my deepest, formerly darkest secret is completely on the table for all of these other men to accept or reject. She showed me how, in my social life, it is the pinnacle of vulnerability. I place my concealed sexuality and all of its appendages, facets, trials, etc. in the public (socially speaking) every time I associate with my gay friends.

To exacerbate the situation, my "deepest secret" directly relates to my acceptance or rejection by men. To illustrate, let me use an example: if someone's greatest secret was their love of apples, and they met with other people who loved apples, it would be a vulnerable situation but not anything exorbitantly so. However, if someone whose greatest secret was their love of apples met with a bunch of other apples (who also had a secret love of apples), things would be tricky. That is the plight of a gay man who associates with other gay men. The secrets, and thus the intimacy, are extremely open, and a part of the secret itself is whether or not the other people with the secret accept or reject you. That was a perplexing sentence, but I hope that I have left the reader in a position to understand what I'm saying at least on a basic level.

Does anyone else experience this phenomenon? Or should I not have posted this unique problem and kept it a deep secret? :)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Gay Issues: A Presidential Forum

The American public was privileged tonight to hear from the presently-leading Democrats concerning their policies and platforms regarding same-sex relationships and other related implications. As I sat in front of my live stream, online version of this monumental interview process, I found myself alternating between inward grimaces of awkwardness and outward eruption of chills as the various candidates expressed their opinions both with their oral and bodily language. It was a fascinating night, and I wish to share it with you. As this is my blog, however, I reserve the conceited right to parade my opinions openly, and thus, ensuing are my opinions of each of the candidates regarding their comments on tonight's interview. (Note that I have alternated the order of my opinions from the order in which the candidates interviewed on the show. This is done primarily for impact; what's a blog if the "best for last" theory is abandoned? :) )

1) Perhaps the most lauded of the candidates were Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel, both of whom had the demeanor of friendliness and were similarly welcomed by the audience and hosts with much amiability. These men, in my opinion, represent the ultimate ideal and final product in American legislation regarding same-sex issues. They are the only two Democratic candidates in favor of the full-fledged "gay marriage," including all of the rights, as well as the societal meanings, of the word. They both referenced "love" as an important consideration in these issues, citing that what America needs desperately is a dose of love to replace the brooding fear that seems to overshadow us. When Kucinich noted that he would have suffered devastation if he, after meeting his wife ("the love of [his] life"), had been restrained from marrying her and consequently consummating their relationship simply due to societal notions, I was thrilled by his understanding and empathy regarding this issue. I thought that these men's attempts were noble, right, and strong, which unfortunately translates in the political world as "not a prayer for election." Electing these men is not currently feasible with the American public, but they are representative of progression, hopes, and soon-to-be achievements.

2) Bill Richardson, in my opinion, delivered the worst answers of all the featured candidates. He indicated that he believed homosexuality was a choice, and although he repeatedly attempted to credit himself with his prior legislation, I don't believe that he would take much action relating to gay issues if he won the coveted seat. The other candidate that I believed to be bluffing was John Edwards, who faced similar difficulties in his interview. Both of these men acted somewhat awkwardly, and both seemed to be lacking any genuine interest, only feigning (or perhaps embellishing) to appease the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered crowd in front of whom they appeared. I seriously doubt that either of them consider these issues to be the core of their campaigns (or their souls, for that matter), and this was evident by their demeanor and words tonight.

3) Hillary Clinton was rather impressive. She was certainly the most honest and blunt of the candidates, and after hearing multiple excuses and cover-ups, it was refreshing to hear a candidate candidly answer questions. Clinton, instead of excusing a weak past of little activity relating to gay issues, was honest about her past and present intentions. Her character was strong yet attractive, and although she didn't provide the audience or moderators with optimal answers, her decisiveness was electrifying, and all responded well.

4) Lastly, I would like to give my personal endorsement for Senator Barack Obama, a man in whom I have great "hope," as he would be pleased to hear. While the paradigms and aims of Kucinich and Gravel were inspiring, voting for them feels somewhat like throwing a penny into a toilet and really hoping to have the wish granted. Unfortunately, in our bipartisan political system, being too extreme on either end is almost a determining factor for failure. Obama knows this, and because his intent is to win, he has embraced the necessary evil of staying somewhere within the middle. His speech, as always, came like fire off of his tongue to ignite within me a renewed sense of vision and aspiration. Relative to gay issues, Obama appears to be very sincere in his desires for full equality, and although he is against gay marriage, he supports same-sex civil unions that grant full rights to the participants. Although very tactful (which is, perhaps, one of his greatest strengths), I felt the message that he is withholding the semantics of "marriage" to appease less liberal voters, although his heart, and his policies, are behind the rights of gays. I think Obama has vision, and as he stated, he is hopeful, even to the criticism or chagrin of "more experienced" politicians. And don't you think we could all use a dose of hope?

Share with me your opinions; I largely ignored other comments made about AIDS, "don't ask, don't tell," and other issues noted tonight, so please feel free to share with me anything and everything.

And happy voting!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Personal (Harry) Potter Predictions and Possibilities

WARNING: This paper does include plot spoilers and theoretical mischief, and it is not suitable for anyone who has not thoroughly indulged in the intricacies of the Harry Potter series, specifically Books 1 through 6.

DISCLAIMER: This paper was written at 3:00 AM, immediately after I had done much preparatory reading (i.e. Books 5 and 6) for the arrival of Book 7. Please criticize appropriately.

With the imminent arrival within the next few hours of perhaps the most intriguing and fated book of this century, I emerge into the world of “guesswork and speculation,” as Dumbledore poignantly names it, to venture into the depths of Rowling’s world and to make my predictions as to various foreshadowed events encountered in previous books. These thoughts are randomly scattered and unfortunately hardly have an order, but enjoy them nonetheless.

1. The hunting of Horcruxes is perhaps the biggest quest in which we will find ourselves literarily immersed in Book 7. We assume that there are seven Horcruxes, and we assume that they are (i.e. we assume that Voldemort has sealed a portion of his soul within…)
1) Riddle’s diary
2) Voldemort himself
3) Morfin’s/Marvolo’s ring
4) the goblet of Hufflepuff
5) the locket of Slytherin
6) an item of Ravenclaw or Gryffindor
7) Nagini.

However, I have an objection to the above list. Dumbledore tells Harry that the only Gryffindor relic presently around is Godric’s sword, which we know to not be enchanted as a Horcrux. Thus, I believe that Horcrux 6 is an item belonging to Ravenclaw. I also believe that Dumbledore is incorrect about his calculations of Nagini being the final Horcrux. I believe Harry himself to be said Horcrux, and I implore you to read Number 2 for more information and proof.

2. Dumbledore states that “Voldemort was still at least one Hrocrux short of his goal of six when he entered your parents’ house with the intention of killing you. He seems to have reserved the process of making Horcruxes for particularly significant deaths…” He goes on to make a somewhat feeble attempt to explain how he probably split his soul with the murder of Frank Bryce and then implanted his last soul piece in Nagini, a fallible line of logic. That statement, as well, is a contradiction in itself; would Voldemort consider Frank Bryce a significant death? Absolutely not; he was merely a housekeeper of no worth. Would James Potter be a worthy death? Certainly; he was a staunch fighter who had previously defied Voldemort. Many other signs point to the fact that Voldemort never intended for Harry to die, including…
1) Dumbledore’s previous mention in Book 6 that Voldemort never intended to kill Lily Potter; he only needed one death, and that was James. In fact, he told Lily that she should flee, but she refused to, and thus forfeited her life. In my opinion, Voldemort killed James to split his (Voldemort’s) soul, and he ingeniously implanted a portion of his soul into the being that was to be “marked his equal” by his own hand and destined to destroy him. I don’t think he ever intended to destroy Harry. To support this Harry-is-a-Horcurx theory, also consider…
2) …the similarities between Harry and Voldemort (and their inexplicable nature) including the same phoenix feather in the wand, both Parselmouths, etc.
3) The specifics of how Voldemort infiltrated Harry’s mind in Book 5, all of which are shrouded in a lack of understanding.

I believe that when Voldemort implanted a part of his soul into Harry, Lily’s previous protection of love had a magical effect upon Harry and his blood, thus somehow negatively rebounding Voldemort’s soul, hurting and weakening him. The soul was implanted, but something unforeseen, related to love, weakened Voldemort. Nonetheless, Voldemort had succeeded (he believed) in changing his fate; he had made the very man destined to kill him a part of him, thus eliminating (although ironically creating, as Dumbledore mentions) his problems.

3. The ability to love is obviously central to Harry’s life and the mission of the series’ protagonists. I believe that Harry, in some act of love, will ultimately win the battle against Voldemort. I believe Harry will have to love either Malfoy, Snape, or Voldemort in a very real, tangible way, and this will be critical to the evil side’s ultimate undoing.

4. I believe that Malfoy, who has been ostracizing himself in his attempt to emerge as evil, will ultimately seek sympathy and reform. The evidence to support this is found in Book 6 when Malfoy repeatedly cries about the onus of his murderous covenant with the Dark Lord, and when Dumbledore consistently shows Malfoy the ways in which he is not, in fact, a murderer and the ways in which he can change sides, so to speak. And I strongly believe that he will. (See Number 3)

5. I believe that Harry will ultimately die (although might be reborn). My support for this strong statement is twofold; first of all, I believe Harry to be a Horcrux, and thus he will either have to exorcise himself or sacrifice himself in a self martyrdom. This fits in with the general archetypes of the book that seem to reflect some Christian tendencies, such as extremes of good and evil (Voldemort being Satan, Dumbledore being god), the magical world being the Church, magic being the Spirit/Gospel/forces beyond our understanding, the unending ideas of trust and forgiveness (of Snape, Draco, etc.), and the idea of an atonement or sacrifice (Harry having to perform the ultimate sacrifice to end all evil), among many other things. However, just as Jesus rose from the grave, Harry may be regenerated after his sacrifice by his blood’s odd qualities, Dumbledore’s phoenix (who has a knack for being the most salvation-bringing animal known to the wizarding world), or another person or power (Snape, Malfoy, some unknown magical power, etc.).

Secondly, I think that Rowling gives us a foreshadow to his death when she verifies, although extremely subtly, that Sybil Trelawney has much merit to her seemingly bunk prophecies. In Book 6, (pg. 543), Trelawney prophesies about “the lightning-struck tower…calamity…disaster…” all of which do occur in the thereafter. Since she has previously, consistently, and adamantly prophesied about Harry’s doom, I believe it will happen.

6. Snape is ultimately good. Dumbledore is the archetype of god in these books, and thus if Dumbledore trusted Snape, we as readers can inherently trust him, as well. Not to mention, many of the situations involving Snape are very ambiguous, such as his detention-giving to Crabbe and Goyle in Book 6, thus disabling them helping Malfoy; Snape’s prevention of Harry’s torture in the end of Book 6, done in the name of allowing the Dark Lord the pleasure; among other earlier things, such as Snape’s couterjixes in Book 1 that saved Harry from Quirrell’s wrath. Snape will be, somehow, a key role in the success of the good. He is also symbolic of a repented, changed man, and will thus live up to his role.

7. Blood is a motif that is becoming more prominent, and I finally feel like I am getting a grasp of its importance, only to find more in Book 7 (I hope). We hear mentions of blood as it refers to “purebloods,” “half-bloods,” and “mudbloods,” which are big differentiators in who is good and who is evil (regarding opinions of mentioned bloods, that is). However, we are also starting to see blood become important in two other realms. First of all, Harry’s blood is said to carry some remnant of his mother’s love for him, so his very blood is stronger than Voldemort’s, despite inheritance “flaws.” Dumbledore mentions twice (I believe) to Harry that Harry’s blood is extremely valuable. Also, we see physical blood manifesting itself more frequently, e.g. when Dumbledore and Harry must place their blood upon the rock to gain entrance to the cave. Blood will play a significant role.

8. Lastly, I am almost certain that R.A.B. is Regulus Black, a man mentioned somewhat frequently in Books 5 and 6. He was the brother of Sirius, thus his importance would tie in the house of Black, another significant theme throughout the books. Also, we learned that Regulus was a Death Eater who then renounced his old ways and was killed as a result. I believe that as a Death Eater (and a brilliant one, no doubt), Regulus figured out the Horcrux secret. Good re-emerged within his life, and he began hunting down the locations of the Horcruxes and some of the Horcruxes themselves. I think he will have already done much of the work that Harry believes he has to do. Regulus will have already destroyed the locket, and somehow Harry will gain access to his (Regulus’s) knowledge of the locations of the other Horcruxes or a centralized spot where Regulus has already gathered them.

These are my opinions as to what this incredible novel will hold for the world. Please illuminate my mind with your own, and happy reading.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The David Cure?

**Note--I wrote this in the bleak, early morning hours after "Project Graduation," a community-hosted (all-night) event held immediately after the commencement ceremony of high school graduation. I tell you this for two reasons: the first is that I did not edit myself upon rereading (excepting basic spelling and grammar difficulties), thus I beg that you do not judge my rhetoric harshly. The second is that I cannot say why I posted this entry weeks after I wrote it, although I have a feeling that I am finally reaching into the intangible web that the blogosphere is in hopes of emotional recovery. We shall see.**

Yesterday was my official graduation from high school, and the consequences of this rite of passage are almost as frightening as I assumed they would be. I could talk about the new responsibilities bequeathed me, such as financial obligations, work-related stress, and the onus of being the future generation responsible to find solutions to pollution, starvation, prejudice, and diminishing resources. However, of all of the burdensome gifts that graduation inevitably brings, I find the majority of my struggles surrounding one person. David has been consuming my mind and heart for the past couple of weeks, and I come to the blog (which is, in its purest level, coming unto journaling, which is coming unto myself) in desperate search for answers. This is no passive attempt, for a passive answer is only sufficient for a passive seeker, and my broken heart is passionately waning, in need of great healing.

The beautiful wound that calls himself David has been one of my greatest blessings and trials ever since my feelings for him grew the beginning of last year. It didn’t take long for my longing soul to recognize his; he was an intelligent, confident, reserved, and beautiful man. In all ways, I admired and became infatuated with this guy. I subsequently enjoyed some of the most bittersweet of all my life’s days. I would dream of the next time that I could see him, have a quick word, or catch his subtle smile. I also experienced the most inexplicable depression that year. My feelings for David became so strong that they drove me to change; I knew that I could no longer live with the then-present situation. Whether the solution was death, therapy, or a desperate confession of my love, my starved soul simply would not let me continue in the suppressed fashion that had been its previous course.

Thus, I chose to open up to my parents, two of the most excellent people to have ever graced the earth with their presence. They sensed my despondency and immediately helped me find purpose in life again. I began seeing a counselor about same-sex attraction. I found Evergreen International. I read a thousand books about change, mental health, and the beauty of the gospel. And I attribute all of this to David, the only man wonderful enough to cause me enough sorrow to be forced to change (Ironic?).

I found new perspectives and ways to cope. I tried to befriend David to bring our friendship to something more fulfilling (emotionally). I learned to release some of my own fears and psychoses. I accepted both my manliness and my homosexuality. I changed drastically, but my feelings for David were a constant. Amidst my personal evolution, the constant passion for David remained.

To sum things up in a somewhat more expedited manner, I began to realize as my high school time quickly escaped my grasp that things have not changed. I have officially spent the entirety of my junior and senior years admiring David. As classes came to a close and commencement activities began, much of my joy crumbled beneath me. I felt guilt for loving so strongly someone who will never return that love. I felt sorrow that, unlike other gay "crushes" that I have had, my feelings for David were not fleeting or temporary. I felt shame that, as my best friend was enjoying anniversaries with his girlfriend, I still go home at night and wonder what it’s like to love and be loved on an intimate level like that. And I feel sheer confusion at the fact that, two years, many books, and even more counseling sessions later, I still think David is the most perfect, lovable man that I have met.

And this week, it has all been exacerbated. I spoke with him frequently and have seen him at all of the extracurricular activities associated with graduating. We’ve talked about senior pictures and summer plans. And all of our time together only proves to a stronger point the limited time we have before we forever depart. Yesterday, after graduation, he approached me and waited his turn to talk to me. When I finished my previous conversation, David and I hugged, and he told me that I was "the classiest man [he had] ever known." And then we talked for a moment, and as he walked away a hollowness filled me. As I drove to an all-night party hosted by the community ("Project Graduation"), tears wouldn’t even come; all that I felt was numbness. The most intense pain dwelt inside me. I cannot describe it as anything other than one of the heaviest weights that I have ever experienced, having tangled itself around and throughout my soul for years. And last night I finally felt the full weight of it, and it was hell.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Truly A "Fairy" Tale, Part 1

Once upon a time there was a knight.

This knight, who always donned his armor very seriously, had been engaged in a battle for quite some time. The casualty rate was frighteningly high, but the battle yielded great dividends. The knight felt a strong sense of purpose. He knew who he was, he knew for what ideals he fought, and he took part in the enjoyable brotherhood that could only be forged in a predicament as intense as the battlefield truly was. Although lesion-inducing and exhausting, the battle was home to the knight.

The knight, however, had also heard the voices of distant lands and peoples, all execrating the battle with their seemingly rash tongues, all spreading rumors that the war was fought in vain, over nonexistent contentions. Yet the knight's passion for the war, for its causes, and for his fellow fighters did not wane; the flame burned within his heart.

The knights who took the charge to battle were not without temptations. The knight of this tale was no exception. It was readily understood that, some distance from the battlefield, a beautiful land welcomed all who chose to abdicate their knightly ranks. Rumors of this land were as prevalent as rumors about the war itself; some claimed that it was a land of abundance, beauty, and indescribable peace. Others said that it was a land of lust, gluttony, and loneliness. Some of the knights had been there. Some of them had considered fleeing to its enticing borders. Yet all of them had chosen their places, and for the present time, the noble knights of the battlefield were content within their positions.

As time passed and the war waged on, the protagonist (or antagonist, depending on belief) knight of our tale realized that as he aged, his status would increase among the army. He also knew that he would be called to various missions and campaigns. His first reaction to these upcoming events was excitement, but he was quickly sent into a world of meditation. And as he thought, terrifying truths were made known to him. At first he feared them, for there is nothing as frightening as the truth. Slowly, however, his psyche assimilated these destructive thoughts. The knight realized that the war could be, in fact, unjust. He realized that the rumors about its causes (or the lack thereof) were substantive. And he feared, but he embraced the truth, as he believed was honorable to do. The truth, embraced in all its harmful glory, meant that the knight, as a just being, could no longer fight in the war.

So the good knight alerted his captains, overlords, and brothers in arms to his decision. Although very supportive, there was much remorse. The knight wondered what his fellow warriors were thinking. "What more could we have done?" some would ask. "What a bitter path lies ahead of him," thought others. And the knight himself didn't know what to believe. He felt alone in the world, a world which was quickly losing its defined purpose.

But the knight had his ideals, principles, and scruples intact. He decided that he would travel to the distant land of which rumors abounded. Maybe he could find the rumored happiness there. Maybe he could show others a pathway into something more correct and more beautiful than the realities of the war. So the knight slowly stripped himself of his armor, which fell upon the ground sullenly. He removed his knightly helmet with nostalgia, tears running down his face. He felt naked and exposed. The feeling was frightening and yet most wonderful. The wind running through his light tunic was both cold and freeing, and the knight bid one last good-bye to those that he loved most in the world. He was on his way to the distant land.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Speaking Out on the "Day of Silence"

Whenever you read literature or writing about someone suffering from seclusion or a lack of being accepted it comes off in a terrible manner. I will be the first to admit that accounts of this nature are not the most enjoyable to read. You largely see the writer as one who enjoys personal pity parties, and the feelings that they express are rarely internalized.

Having said that, I need to let out some sadness and seclusion that I felt today. I need to be the one that complains about exactly how painful it is to feel rejected on a personal level. Today was a “Day of Silence” in my city, meaning that the community would be silent (abstain from speaking…yes…that’s the definition of silent…) for the day’s duration in order to represent the silence that gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, etc. populations feel due to the oppression and prejudice that we face in society. The idea, although possibly ineffective, was extremely sympathetic. However, when it came up among a good friend of mine and some other people, it only elicited negative comments. One kid in the group said that he threatened his other friend to “not go gay.” He then told us that if he knew gay people he would shoot them. Then he said, “just kidding…but seriously…”

The night then proceeded with me playing a game of ultimate Frisbee with an adult that is one of the most prejudiced individuals that I know. His entire family must have caught his homophobic sentiment. His daughter “can’t even stand the word lesbian,” she told me today. His wife cut his son’s hair so that the son wouldn’t look gay. I could write a novel about this family and all of the terrible things they’ve said about gays.

So I come to blog tonight because I feel so wounded inside. I feel silenced, outcasted in many ways not seen, not accepted for who I am but for what I am falsely perceived to be. It just hurts a lot. I wish all people could be as loving as some of my amazing straight friends and family. Two of my straight friends, a guy and a girl, did the “Day of Silence.” Numerous other people that I love, such as my parents, love me just because I’m me, unconditional of my sexual orientation. My best friend created a presentation to my psychology class about overcoming homophobia and heterosexism. He's straight as well.

To all of you who love and learn to love others different than yourselves, bless your souls. I appreciate you more than you know.

PS-This post doesn't make much sense. Please excuse me for venting.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


I am not one of those people who whines about Valentine's Day. I have friends who hate it because it represents corporate America, and they hate corporate anything. I have friends who hate it because they are perpetually single, and they prefer to mope and complain instead of simply learning to be kind and hygienic and finding a girl/boy with whom they could make something work. I am not one of any of these groups, but for the first time in my life, I'm actually worried and slightly sad about tomorrow. The S.A.D., by the way, stands for Singles Awareness Day. Amnesty International, at my school, calls it "Love Everyone Day." I admire all of these attempts to spread love to the partner-less.

Why the sadness for me, you ask? I'm sad because I have helped multiple friends buy carnations for that girl that they notice, or create plans to leave someone an anonymous love note, or help them prepare a meal for their girlfriend of "x" number of months, and it occurred to me that I would love to do this, as well. I've had a secret love for a year and a half now, and that deserves some credit, especially considering the typical high school tendencies of two weeks romances. I would love to let this guy know, anonymously of course, that I care for him. I have a lot of thoughts, and I need some feedback. Thus, I pose some questions that I hope solicit answers from all who feel inclined to respond:

1) If someone of the gender to whom you were not attracted left you something for Valentine's Day, would that offend you? You see, I personally think not, because I love it when girls give me things, even though I'll never like them as they like me. However, I want to know what you think.

2) An odd question, but one worthy of asking: is it sinful (in the Mormon religion), do you think, to give a gift to a young man who will never reciprocate your feelings or even find out? There is less than a 1% chance that the guy that I like is gay, and if I ever gave him something, it would be 100% anonymous/secretive, so is it sinning to do so? Does that count as "homosexual activity"?

Part of me would love to do this because Valentine's Day is special, and I don't want sexual orientation to exclude me from the fun and festivities. I deserve to have that adrenaline rush as well, right? The cool thing is that my dad is so amazing and loving of me that I could probably tell him that I was leaving roses on the hood of some guy's (well, David's) car, and I think he'd let me do it. Dad, I love you. :) But the other part of me says, "Wow, this is ridiculous. You can waste your money, make a fool of yourself, and embarrass the poor kid who will find out in the next life, as God chastises me, that I left him the roses, not the cute girl he was hoping." I'd love any ideas on this.

I really am not planning on doing anything, but when my friend asked me what I was doing for Valentine's, my poor mind just started wandering. *Sigh* It's so hard to be gay.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

A Terrifying Comment

A few days ago, our ward's missionaries stopped by my house to bid me farewell. They were both to be transferred, and as I had worked with them frequently, they wanted to say good-bye. We got into a conversation that somehow drifted toward the subject of homosexuals. (It seems like a lot of conversation ends up there, oddly enough.) One of the missionaries made a comment that stung, not simply because I personally have feelings of same-gender attraction, but just because of the sheer ignorance of the statement as evaluated on any level.

"Who do you think committed the worse sin," he asked, "the men who tortured and killed a man for being gay or the preacher that marries gays in Massachusetts?"

He then went on to explain how one party had sinned against man (the torturous men) and one had sinned against God (the preacher).

Ouch. Those things hurt. A lot.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Word is Worth a Thousand Pictures

Have you ever simply heard a vocal artist's voice and known that you were going to be in love with that individual, only to find out later that they are unattractive to you? For me, the sheer quality and other characteristics of a voice can be enough to bring me to my knees, but although my ears may be in love, my eyes are far from it. I wish to share this odd problem of mine with the world, perhaps in hopes that I may find another who suffers from a similar superficial issue. I feel ridiculous that this is my plight, but I suppose journaling (or blogging) can only be a good first step in solving the problem, right? We'll find out if I'm cured by the time I'm done writing...

I have only experienced this instantaneous, vocally-based attraction to three individuals in my entire life. Thus, I value their music as the best in this world. They are, in no particular order:

1) The lead singer of Rascal Flatts, a country/pop music hybrid. The band had my attention when I first heard "What Hurts the Most," but I was entirely captivated when I heard their redo of "Life Is a Highway." Especially during the chorus, this man's voice is incredible, for lack of a stronger word. I had rather high hopes that, in some idealistic world, he could be mine and sing to me daily, hourly, eternally. Besides the obvious impediments (need I name them?), I believed that we could be together forever. However, I saw him for the first time in my life, and he strangely enough looks like a penguin/squirrel crossbreed. *Sigh*

2) The lead singer of The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. This band was one of those that came into my life, swept me off my feet the very first time I heard "In Fate's Hands," and has never let my feet back down to beloved land, which I am beginning to miss dearly. I think this singer's most incredible vocal moment is heard in their song "False Pretense," for any who may be looking to have a similar experience to my own. Unfortunately, when I saw him, he looked hauntingly familiar, and I quickly identified the look as that of the Hanson brothers, the icons of the 90's that had us all "Mmm-bop"ing to life. The long hair just doesn't do much for me, although I am currently blaming the lighting for this man's odd facade.

3) Mariah Carey. She is one of the most talented vocalists that I have ever heard. In one song, "Emotions," I believe, she hits high notes that were previously not believed existent. I also think that she can sing lower than I can. That, however, is beyond the point. She proved to be the one artist who was as beautiful as her voice. The vocal connection was instantaneous, but when I downloaded the artwork for her albums, I saw that her marvelous voice was backed by much beauty.

I like to point out the morals of my stories so that even the thick-headed may gain wisdom from them. Thus, the moral of this story? It is always better to trust your straight instincts than your gay ones.

Oddly enough, I do believe I'm overcoming this problem as I write. How fortunate. Of course, that could just be the soothing sound of Mariah Carey calming all of my fears...

Saturday, January 6, 2007

A Visit With The Doctor(s)

The doctor's office has always been of fascination to me; I am amazed and enthralled that advances in medicine, science, and technology allow the existence of the quality of life that we have. I have always had positive experiences with doctors, and a visit to them has never been a waste to me. Although I detest the fact that (typically) the only reason one needs to see a doctor is due to a problem that is occurring, they are still always fascinating and helpful visits. (-L-, is this better than your television program thus far? :) Tell me if you begin to get more patients due to the positive light I am shining upon physicians.)

My latest visit to the doctor was beneficial, as always, if not unique and slightly disturbing. Two circumstances occurred that are not typical in the archives of my doctor-visits memory.

1) I was overwhelmed by a terrible ratio of doctors to patients. There was the physician himself, and he was enough for me. A one to one ratio feels awkward enough as it is in a medical setting, without thousands of other examining eyes upon me. However, the doctor then introduced me to the nurse practitioner and a medical assistant of some sort. I was sitting on the infamous doctor's bed with the loud, crunchy paper on it (If you're only consulting a physician for information, why do they require you to sit on the bed? I was on a chair, like a normal human being, but the nurse asked me to get on the bed. I think it's a doctor's form of a dunce cap.) and they truly had me cornered. One stood to each side of me, and one directly in front of me. I gulped, not knowing what they wanted. As the doctor told me the entirely-too-many syllabic nature of my condition, the other two looked down at me with solemn nods, as if saying "we, too, have seen your fate..." If I would have had to take my shirt off for my diagnosis, it would have been an entire strip club in that one room. I would have felt more confident if there wasn't a large box of hypodermic needles to the side of the nurse practitioner who, I swear, was eyeing them with a look of evil in her eyes.

2) Before the physician ever enters the room, a nurse typically takes the pulse, tests for blood pressure, and asks some preliminary questions about the reason for visiting the doctor. This nurse skipped the heart/blood processes, but did ask me some questions. One of them was entirely unrelated to medicine at all. She said, "do you know who I am?" I couldn't guess, so finally she told me that she was the mother of one of my classmates, Hortencia, who I rarely see anymore. The nurse told me that Hortencia always thought that I was attractive and nice. The next sentence was the one that pinned me in the heart, however. Said the nurse, "Hortencia always loved you and David, and I always got you two mixed up. I never remembered which was which, but now that you're in my office, I'll always be able to distinguish between the two of you." For those of you who know me, David is the name that describes the male entity that has (unfortunately) been the object of my affection for over a year. For those of you who don't know me, David is the name that describes the male entity that has (unfortunately) been the object of my affection for over a year. (Why didn't I just copy and paste?) Obviously, much emotion is wrapped up in that name. I tried my hardest to keep from blushing (I didn't want rosacea diagnosed, as well), and I kept my thoughts to myself. But I wish to share them now. You know what I think about Hortencia? I think she has the best taste in men in the entire world.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Just a Little Less Gay

Alas, after a long "Blogger silence" of multiple weeks, I have returned to writing. The reason for my absence was actually somewhat of a trauma, and I would like to share it here.

I had this brilliant stroke of comprehension sometime over the past couple of weeks, and I realized there may be much less to write about concerning homosexual issues than I originally anticipated, at least for a blogging audience. I have found that not only have I created narcoleptic problems for multiple readers (sleepers, actually, as they prefer to be called :) ), but I simply think that the correct forum for such proper and controversial discussion may not, in fact, be a blog. I suffered a two minute loss of sense of blogging self, but I recovered, and I came out stronger in the end, with better ideas than ever before.

A quick, mid-message disclaimer: should I choose to continue posting preachy. lengthy, Gospel-Doctrine-class-only posts, please be accepting and forgiving. It's simply in my nature to write in such a manner, and no one can be blamed for their nature, can they? :) (Oh, no! A gay reference! I may never learn to separate from this side of me...)

The logical conclusion, however? I still fully intend for this blog to be a place where I can be openly "gay," so to speak. Everyone who leads a "Jekyll vs. Hyde" life understands the importance of letting "Hyde" out in controlled, healthy settings. Blogging is such a release for me. It's nice to be able to complain about issues, about hypocrites, and about all of the other woes that plague me and all who struggle against significant demons. Nevertheless, my blog may become slightly less gay. SHOCKING! I know. Take large breaths, and use an inhaler if necessary. You will be needing as much breath as you can muster because I will be taking it away with my new posts!