In an effort to consolidate: a lot of posts will be posted today

I have realized that maintaining THREE blogs is a bit of a time suck. In an effort of consolidation, today I will be posting several of my favorite posts from my other two blogs. Some of them are a few years old.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed writing them! 🙂

-thatboyleroy

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Day 5: Do not go into a Lavender Marriage

Hello Readers!

I am in one, yet I tell couples not to do it… LDS gay men should NOT go into mixed orientation marriages (M.O.M.’s), otherwise known as a Lavender Marriage: a marriage meant to cover up or fix a persons sexual orientation.

For me, this is an awkward conversation because it is one where my thoughts and my actions did not go into the same direction. Many people assume that because I am in a Mixed Orientation Relationship that I think that it is what EVERY gay man needs to do, that they should do this to “fix themselves,” and that this is what God wants of his children. This is entirely not the case and is the exact opposite of my opinion and actions on this issue. When asked, “Do I think that a gay man should be married to a woman?” Almost always I would answer by saying, “no!” Here are my thoughts on this issue:

When someone finds out that I am gay and engaged to a woman they almost always ask me, “How does that work?”, unless they are LDS (Mormon), then I am usually congratulated and told something that means: “Good, I am glad you did the right thing.” The first response is easy to answer and the second makes me very sad and sometimes angry. The interesting thing about these two reactions is that I almost always answer with the same goal, to get them to understand that I did not expect or seek out my relationship with Anna to please God, I did it because eventually I realized that I had somehow fallen in love with a woman (an amazing lady at that!).

Before Anna and I decided that we were going to get married we discussed the harms that we had seen happen to other relationships like ours, both of us were worried that the same fate would befall us a few years down the road. We read blogs and heard from soon to be or were long ago divorced M.O.M. couples where the relationship sent both spouses into a downward spiral of depression and attempted suicide, into sadness and broken families and into anger and hurt. In these situations no one was spared, children, parent, spouse, family and friends all suffered. Anna and I did not want this for our future, and we were concerned that this would happen. To prevent this hurt from happening in our relationship we talked, and talked, and talked about what we would do if the relationship was harmed do to me being gay and her being straight. When would we know when to end the relationship, if needed.

We eventually decided that we were not going down the path of self-destruction and decided to get married.  Soon after this decision was made I came out to Anna’s parents. My soon-to-be Mother-in-law, unknowingly sharing our past fear, asked us to see a counselor. She was worried that we were setting ourselves and our relationship up for failure, it is unnatural for a gay man and a straight woman to be together. The counselor cemented our past decision, that Anna and I were making the correct choice.

For us, our M.O.M. works. We realize and try to let others know that this is not always the case (in fact, very rarely!). For Anna and I it just happened, I was searching for a Man and so was she. I just happened to find a woman instead! We are also not in  a M.O.M. forced by religious belief, which I think is absolutely horrible and should never be done. civil_disobedience_gender_identity_Ekthesi_fotografias_kai_video_art_apo_to_gitv12

Suffering as a gay man in LDS culture and beliefs I learned and do not understand HOW the majority of LDS culture tries to convince gay men that they need to be in a heterosexual relationship. Religion forcing someone to be what she/he is not is a very cruel and horrible thing to do to ANYONE who identifies as being LGBT. I by ACCIDENT fell for Anna, and was intensely shocked when I realized I was in love with a women. The internal struggle of this realization was one of the hardest in my life, it was a choice of being honest to my sexuality or Anna’s and my  happiness. Eventually, after months of watching our relationship and having MANY conversations with Anna made the decision that it was ok for us to be together. As I said above, it took us thinking A LOT and seeing a therapist to make us fully comfortable with continuing our relationship.

Being in a Mixed Orientation Relationship is not a joke, and can end VERY badly for the couple if they go in thinking that the relationship is “commanded by God” or that it is something that they should do because religion tells them to do it. Do not EVER go into a “Lavender Marriage,” do not ever go into a relationship because God or religion told you to. Make sure YOU know your self in your own skin, as a gay man, before you commit to anyone else. This is especially true if you are thinking about entering into a mixed orientation marriage, where you and your gay may affect the relationship in ways you may not want it to.

For those of you thinking about going into a Mixed Orientation Relationship and even a Marriage, make sure that it is the right thing for you. Ask yourself if it will make and KEEP you happy. If you are going into the relationship for you or her, only because God has “told you so”  (I have heard many men say that the revelations telling them to marry a women were false), and/or that your bishop, parent or someone else is making you think it is your only choice. If you say “yes” to any of these I highly recommend that you rethink your commitment before you hurt yourself, your spouse/potential spouse and your future children.

I cannot say more than this without getting redundant, but I do recommend the following blogs that talk about the pro’s and con’s of being in a Mixed Orientation Marriage:

http://aaronandstephanieslife.blogspot.com/

http://www.joshweed.com/

http://www.rickross.com/reference/mormon/mormon336.html

http://mtagm.blogspot.com/2011_12_01_archive.html?zx=176f65e617a3901f

ex-gay

I am in a happy and successful Mixed Orientation Relationship, but I would not recommend to other gay men to do what I am doing. If I did I would fear that they would face the same fate of depression and hurt that so many other gay men have unknowingly gone into.

Also, I have a message to those of you who are considering fixing your gay through marriage, instead of trying to pray your gay away and seeking for God to fix you, pray and ask if He wants you to be gay. While doing this, ask for yourself and not for what others want from you or because you have been told you are supposed to be straight. Pray and ask if it is ok for you to be gay, then define for yourself what being gay means to you. Being gay is not a light switch that you can turn off, it is part of you and always will be you. God made you as you are for a reason. As Bruno Mars says, “You are beautiful just the way you are!” 🙂 (check the music video out here)

Sincerely,

-thatboyleroy and thatgalanna

Day 4: Protests, Cooperation and Love

Dear readers,

Tomorrow the Utah legislators begin looking at the non-discrimination ordinance that will help in protecting LGBT people from discrimination. It is unpredictable what might happen with this bill, but whatever does happen always remember that it gets better! To help those of you involved in this both personally and organizationally Anna and I have some words of knowledge that we have gained that we would like to share.:

Anna and I have two role models who have helped us with activism, being and staying human and always remembering to love each other and our fellow human beings. One of the ways we show our love is through carefully planned protests, that harm no one, no plan, and no thing. We recognize that words and deeds go a long way and represent who we are, the distance our words and deeds travel go farther than most people understand. Through action change occurs, through words change is brought forth with motivation.

Anna takes a lot of her inspiration from Robert F. Kennedy who said,

“Few will have the greatness to bend history; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation … It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is thus shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

Here Mr. Kennedy tells us how courage and the belief that many small actions done by many people will create positive change. Kennedy understood how protesting worked and how this tool of free speech effected the progression and digression of positive change in American society. With this direction, Robert Kennedy also gave us a warning, he said that the future “will belong to those who can blend passion, reason and courage in a personal commitment to the great enterprises and ideals of American society.” To create change, you have to also do it reasonably. To create change in a reasonable manner and with many people doing small actions you have to do so cooperatively, including the main negotiators and the citizens. Gandhi, who I love and try to be as good as, also thought this and saw the benefit of not rushing into “the battle” by protesting in a way that has the potential to hurt those who the goal is to protect.

Gandhi taught that protests should not happen unless they will not harm the cause. Gandhi taught what Kennedy taught, that passion, reason and courage create change. However, Gandhi also emphasized the power of love and careful planning. Gandhi realized that many people create change, and he worked in a network of activists who together created change. Not one person alone can create the change needed to make the world a better place, but many people with like minds aimed at carefully thought out protests do create change.

Anna and I realize that change needs to happen within many aspects of the worlds societies and cultures. We also realize that to create change a person has to think about how this is to happen before it happens. For a group of people to bend history, each one has to work in harmony with the reality of the situation and with the others involved. One rogue group never accomplishes anything, and often makes the situation worse. We hope that tomorrows protests and discussions were created in this way, with the implications of the consequences well realized before the gathering of people began occurring.

Anna and I have watched many people (including ourselves!) suffer because of the actions of those who did not think about what their actions would cause. We hope that tomorrow, Thursday, stays peaceful and that the days events create positive change for all involved, including all individuals on both sides of the LGBT issue. positivespeaking

Anna and I believe that love, wit, courage, patience, knowledge , reason, passion and cooperation are the keys to creating positive change. This is only the case if everyone involved in the creation of change are communicating in a positive and effective manner.

It is also important to recognize that peace, love, hope, belief and faith are character traits needed by both the individual and the group to be able to do and encourage the needed behaviors and character required to create the pro-active change in the world that both John F. Kennedy and Gandhi describe.

Tomorrow is a big day, Anna and I will be sending good energies your way! Our thoughts, actions and prayers are for positive change to come to our society and world, and Utah taking a step forward is a huge step towards the goal of full equality for all.

 

With Love,

-thatboyleroy and thatgalanna

 

Letter 3: Food- Do it right or die trying!

Dear Reader,

A lot of people ask me what the biggest change in my life was when Anna and I became serious. For me it was: FOOD.

Anna and I we have a lot of dietary restrictions. What is interesting is that because of Anna’s food allergies I was able to get some of my health issues solved. I did not realize that some of the food I was eating was causing things like asthma attacks and crazy stomach issues. Figuring this all out was a great thing, but it also meant HUGE changes to my diet that I still fight against today…

Together, our list of food allergies is LONG and covert all the food allergies most parents have nightmares about! The foods Anna  is allergic to are dairy, gluten,eggs, soy, peanuts, avocado and lentils. My food allergies include crab, tuna, dairy, gluten, non-organic lettuce, pork and possibly tomatoes. With all of these dietary restrictions we have a hard time figuring out what to eat, which has led us to sometimes not giving our bodies what they need. Luckily, Anna has been in this food allergy world for several years and has a doctor who knows her food caused illnesses very well!

Anna’s doctor is one of those hippy doc’s who blame all health issues on food and lack of yoga and meditation. I was REALLY skeptical of this doctor until recently, when she figured out what is causing my asthma (dairy) and why I am sometimes sluggish in both mind and body (gluten). Anna’s food caused illnesses are even worse, soy causes open sores, gluten puts her in bed for a week, and dairy basically makes her unable to do anything.

The lack of these  American diet staples messes with her (and my) body.Funny enough, we are able to attribute food to a big part of how our relationship developed (we did after all meet in a coffee shop!). These food allergies and intolerance have led us to want to live a life of good health, because for us it is either do it right or die trying. To take care of our bodies right we have to patiently communicate and understand each others likes and dislikes. A lot of meals are started by this conversation,

“How about we eat this?”

“No, I do not like that.”

“How about this?”

“No, I am not in the mood for that.”

“How about THIS?”

“YES!”

Through doing this we have developed a patience for each other and an understanding of what each other likes and dislikes that we would not have had otherwise. This almost daily conversation has moved into other aspects of our relationship where communication is critical. Through communicating about our food allergies, dislikes and likes we have been able to build our relationship around good communication. We have also discovered that food seems to bring us together in ways that nothing else does, food is a medicine for the body and the soul. When used right, food is a huge blessing to our lives.

For us, eating the right food is like building and keeping our relationship: We either do it right, or we die trying!

For those of you wondering what we DO eat, we eat a lot of raw foods, veggies, fruits, meat, and bakes goods made with rice flours. A lot of alternative foods are also available.

 

-thatboyleroy and thatgalanna

Day 2: A day worth celebrating!

Dear Reader,

Today is a day of celebration! The first functional cure for HIV was found, for babies! 🙂 Neither Anna or I have HIV, but we do recognize the harm it does to the LGBTQ community and how this cure could change many people’s lives. We are crossing our fingers and our toes hoping that this can be replicated.

Check out the article written by US News here:

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2013/03/03/researchers-describe-1st-functional-cure-of-hiv-in-baby

 

-thatboyleroy and thatgirlanna

Letter 1, Day 1: OMG SHOPPING!

Letter 1 (ONE):

Today was a gay and diva delicious day.

We started this diva day out right by going to the hair parlor and getting Anna’s hair trimmed. We went to “Wimsy, a Salon,” located in downtown Boise, Idaho. It was one of those salons where each beauticians station was decked out in vintage furniture and relics that scream Buddhism and Celtic heritage. The gal who cut Anna’s hair was pretty rad and awesome. She talked it up and wore some pretty awesome tattoo’s (all the hair dressers here had awesome tattoo’s, I was impressed!), and she did an amazing job on Anna’s hair!

After Anna’s hair cut we went to get coffee. I ordered an ICED COCONUT MILK MOCHA, OMG was it AMAZING (again, OMGAMAZING!!!). I consider myself a pretty big coffee snob, and this drink BLEW MY MIND, I definitely recommend this drink for you all to try! 😀 I was in coffee heaven until I tried Anna’s drink, a mango and coconut milk smoothy… OMGEPIC! This drink took me from heaven to nirvana, this is the coffee beverage I will suggest when I go to a coffee shop with my Mormon friends. We then did what a flamin-gay Elmer Fud would do, we went a-hunting for clothes!

So we went hunting for clothes for a specific purpose, to find Anna and pair of pants. A very dramatic, almost failed 007ish, and long clothing “Ohsh*t” story made short: Over the last couple of weeks Anna has been tirelessly looking for a pair of dress pants that fit her correctly… To make a pants search miracle happen we decided that Today we were going to check out Plato’s Closet, a Boise thrift store that sells designer clothes. We found the miracle Anna needed: a good, cute, and nearly perfectly fitting pair of pants (FINALLY!), OH and an extremely cute shirt! As an added bonus, I found an AMAZING black Dress Coat that matches my purple button up and black dress pants “State House” outfit PERFECTLY! I think this jacket is going to make those Idaho Senators jealous of my cute gay intern self! 😉

Overall, It took us TWO hours to make a decision on what we wanted to take out of the store with us, the waste of time was well worth  the reward. We ended Anna’s pants crisis and got this gay boy all cute jacket giddy! 😀 When we got home Anna looked at me and said, “So… can you hem these pants up for me???” That is right, I am that gay fiancée who can sew better than his soon-to-be wife (BOOYA!).

On our way back to the house we drove through old downtown Boise and found a herd of TEN deer!!! I was pretty much flabbergasted that a herd of deer would make an adventure into Boise’s downtown Saturday insanity! The irony of this rare occurrence: Today was the ONE day of the week that I decided to not bring my camera with me… I call that a failed epic photographer moment…

Now Anna and I are off to watch “The Help,” a movie known mostly for it pre-60’s African-American house maid who feeds a Sh*t containing pie to a white American stereotype wife from hell.

 

Adios!

-thatboyleroy and thatgalanna

P.R.S. (stands for Perfect Relationship Solution): Today’s Gay-Straight relationship advice is to BE HONEST! Guys, If the pants make the butt look fat tell her and do not start singing the “I like big butts and I do not lie” song, you might get slapped… In all seriousness, Anna and I would not have the relationship we have if it was not for us being honest to each other about who we are. For me, I need to be honest about being gay, for her she needs to be honest about being straight, for both of us we need to be honest about what our sexual identities need from the relationship. Honest is the glue that holds our relationship together.-thatboyleroy

100 Letters for 100 Days: looking through the computer glass at the life of a gay man and his straight fiancee

Thank you all for the comments on the past couple of posts, because of what you all wrote in response to what Anna and I shared we decided that it would be awesome for us to share with our readers the daily life of a gay man and his straight fiancee.

I hope that you all will enjoy this addition to our Mixed Orientation Relationships blog series  as much as we are looking forward to doing it!

Join us on our 100 days of letters!

-thatboyleroy

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