I recently finished performing in a play. In the play, I played a Jewish man in love with a black woman at the turn of the century. Obviously because of the time in which it takes place and because of the religious and cultural differences in the two characters, theirs is unfortunately a love that cannot be.
People gave me a lot of compliments on my performance, for which I was grateful, but at the same time, this was never a difficult role for me to play. I know exactly how it feels to want someone and to be in love with someone and not be able to act on it because of religious views.
I remember rehearsing this play and often getting very emotional about the character's predicament, and I kept asking myself, "Why is it so wrong for these two characters to be together when they really love each other?" Of course, I understand that the repercussions of that kind of relationship would have been extremely serious at that time in history. But my heart ached for both characters. Eventually, he makes the choice to stay true to his religious beliefs (though I think her influence has made him more free-thinking) and she marries a black man who doesn't treat her well, and at play's end both characters are alone (although not necessarily unhappy).
I remember during rehearsals and the show that it was curious I was playing a character who was having such conflict in my life just as I was having similar conflicts between my religious views and my feelings for Jonah. My mom came to see the show, and I told her I didn't know what course I would be taking. Although not necessarily wild about me living my life as a gay man, she also said she understood and made it clear she would still love me regardless of what choice I make. My sister has expressed the same thing.
I've really wanted to tell Jonah about how I feel about him, but have never felt the time was right. I almost told him yesterday, but it wasn't the right time, and I knew it. But we're getting together today, and I plan on being absolutely honest with him (which means I love him, but I'm not yet sure what I want to do about it).
This afternoon I received an email from an old college friend who I haven't seen or heard from in about 15 years. Ironically, he's the first person I ever came out to before I gained my testimony of the LDS Church. And now I hear from him completely out of blue. I took it as a sign (I don't believe in coincidences).
Postscript: I told Jonah. As I surmised, he already knew. He made it clear he doesn't want me to stress out about it or feel any pressure from him about it, and he just wants me to be happy and is grateful for my friendship, and I feel the same way. I'm still not sure what this means, but it was at least nice to clear the air and get it out in the open. We had a really nice talk. He's a great guy. In a way, we're kind of in the same boat. He comes from a pretty conservative Christian family who isn't wild about his sexuality. In some ways, after talking with him, I think my family would deal with our relationship better than his would. As I've already said, my mom and sister have both been supportive even though they don't necessarily understand or agree with what I'm doing. But Jonah did say he would feel bad for me if I was excommunicated from my church and that he didn't want that. But I said if I acted on my feelings for him, that's what would happen. It's a dilemma because I do love him and I do love my religion. I know God will still love me and that my relationship with God won't necessarily change if I'm ever excommunicated, but my religion has been a major part of my life and is much of who I am, so being excommunicated (should that ever occur) would be difficult, I think. In any case, I'll write more later. I'm off to Disneyland tomorrow with Jonah. That should be fun. Haven't been there in a few years. Pirates of the Caribbean will be closed though. Boo!