Monday, August 28, 2006


-l- said: "I can't believe the immeasurable humanity I've read in blogs lately. Sure, the literary quality is variable, the syntax occasionally with something left to be desired (ha ha), but just look at the raw intensity of so many people sorting things out. Look at them looking at the situation with clever eyes, critical eyes, frightened eyes, brave eyes because it matters. Look at the serious tenor that underlines even the casual comments. After all, it is the one thing our human chemistry tells us matters more than anything else in life (even if such a message is disguised)."

Scot said: "It’s a problem I think we’re both hoping to end; when gays sacrifice so much of both their worlds they’re unable to find any peace in either."

Both quotes meant a lot to me. I'm not sure why. But I felt they were worth repeating.


Well, I'm officially starting my last week of graduate school. It's hard to believe that I only have 32 weeks of school left. That seems very short, and with as quickly as the last two years have flown, it'll be over before I know it. It's a little scary to think about what comes next, but it's a good "scary."

So this has been an extremely interesting week. I found out a few days ago that a very good friend of mine who I've known for about ten years is going through almost exactly what I'm going through. He's been an active Mormon for years and is truly one of the best people I know. But he's met a guy he's gotten serious with and seems ready to explore the relationship even if it means distancing himself from the Church. I really felt a great deal of empathy for what he's going through and even admiration for taking the road less traveled.

He's gone through a lot this year. Two years ago he got married. I was saddened that it didn't work out because they are both great people, and I'm sure they've both had a difficult road to travel because of these issues. At the same time it just reaffirmed in me that maybe people like us just aren't meant to get married and that maybe there is more joy to be found for us in a homosexual relationship. At this point, neither my friend nor I know the answer, but we both seem to be in a place and frame of mind where we feel it's worth a shot.

I find it really odd and kind of trippy that we both happen to be dealing with this same stuff at the same time and even trippier that we've both been dealing similar issues as long as we've known each other, but didn't know it. But it's really nice to have a good friend to share things with who's going through similar things, and I hope he feels the same way. I also feel that my friend is one of the best people I've known, and if he and people like us are indeed going to hell or some lower kingdom, then at least I take comfort in the fact that I will be there with a lot of people I love.

What my communications with him have caused me to do, though, is to slowly, once again, creak this closet door open. I've told several of my friends at school about Jonah and me. They've all been enormously supportive, and everyone seems really happy for this. I think it's because they know both of us well and know our characters and know we're good for each other. Most importantly, I think they just sense how happy we make each other. As one friend said, "I just love both of you so much. I'm so happy for both of you."

What's cool is I feel like I can be honest about this relationship, and I'm not so worried about what people think anymore. Here where I'm going to school, it's easier. Most of my friends aren't LDS and are pretty supportive of gay relationships anyway. But they do all know how important my religious beliefs are to me and no that this is not a road without its complications.

In Utah it would be harder to be as open about least to some people. I imagine that's the road I am headed down, though. I actually want to share a quote from an email my friend sent to me, but I'm waiting to for him to give me his permission. But some of things he said really helped me understand the choices I feel I must make at this juncture in my life.

I really find it no coincidence that my friend and I are going through similar stuff right now. I really think God is helping me forge the path I'm supposed to take right now.

It's nice to be back in town near Jonah again. We're both have differing schedules, but I'm not worried about it. I think things will be all right.

The other night Jonah and I were making out and I went a little farther than I had intended. Nobody's fault, but I did feel a little guilty. But it did make me realize that I would like to formalize our relationship (whether a marriage or civil ceremony or what-have-you)) before we have sex. Jonah is fine with that. He is amazing. He really is.

Recently I was more stressed out than I have been in a long, long time (about a lot of different things), and I'm not one who tends to get stressed out very easily. But anyway, I didn't have a lot of time, but I went and had dinner with Jonah on his work break, and he just made feel so, so much better, and I thought as I was driving back home, "This guy just makes me feel great. He brings out the best in me. I just can't believe this could be wrong."

I've really been thinking about a future with him, and it feels good. I can't believe I'm where I am in my life now. I wouldn't have thought I'd end up here. But I really like where I am. I feel really happy, like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I'm with somebody I love, and, gosh, he loves me! I am amazed every day by how much Jonah really adores me. It's something I haven't had in so long, and I love, love, love it! And more importantly, I suppose, I love him, too. I think I'm good for him, and I think he's good for me. What more could I want?

I'm hoping the two of us can get married and move in together in the near future. It would be nice. I also think it would be good for Jonah to get out of his parents' house. They are driving him insane.

Jonah and I had a misunderstanding this week. It wasn't bad or anything, but I think there were hurt feelings. We totally talked it out, and everything is fine now. But what's cool about our relationship is we really talk things out and it's always in a very calm, collected way. We were discussing the fact that we've never had a fight. There may be an occasional disagreement or misunderstanding, but I cherish the trust and kindness that exists in this relationship. And, most importantly, I really feel Jonah is opening me up a lot. I've been so closed and so afraid to love or feel for so long, and I am just finding so many blessings; so much gold in this relationship.

I really think this is going to be a very good year.

Friday, August 18, 2006


"What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?" - George Eliot

Thursday, August 17, 2006

God's Perfect Love and Knowledge

I wish I could fully express what I've felt in my heart the last couple of days, but I know that the feelings I've felt can't be expressed properly here. I was reading a book recently and really received a strong impression regarding God's love for me. What became really clear to me was that God isn't judgmental. God doesn't judge us the way we often judge each other. There is nothing but love in his attitude towards us. This doesn't mean I don't believe we won't be judged for our sins. What it does mean is that there is no judgment behind it, at least not as we define it here in our mortal realm, if that makes any sense. I just felt so strongly that God views us with an eye of perfect knowledge and doesn't judge us the way we judge each other and ourselves. Words can't express the thought I'm trying to communicate, which is somewhat frustrating, but I just wanted to share this because I know so many of us get down on ourselves for so many various reasons, and God isn't viewing us in that way at all. So many times in my life I have felt God is disappointed in me or frustrated by my continually making the same mistakes or angry because I've done something wrong, and this spiritual impression made me see things so differently. I've known for some time that God loves me unconditionally, but I saw something different when this experience happened. We are truly here to learn and have different experiences, and God is not sitting there eyeing us, saying to himself, "Oh, he messed up again," or "What is wrong with him? Why can't he learn this lesson?". He is simply watching us with love and support and knows exactly what each of us is facing and just loves us. I really felt that life is for learning, not for punishing or condemning. So many times we do that to ourselves and each other and feel like failures or feel feelings of disappointment or self-loathing when we screw up. I just felt so strongly that God doesn't have those feelings towards us. He is simply filled with perfect, absolute love. It's a concept I certainly don't understand fully because it's hard in this mortal existence not to transfer our human feelings onto God, but I really feel he isn't passing judgment on us; He is simply loving us and helping us and thinks no less of us when we fail. Again, my words are clumsy and inadequate. My ideal would be to somehow transfer the feelings I felt to all of you who struggle because the experience really gave me hope and made me realize that God is not in the condemning business; He is truly a loving Father.

You know, I've really been learning a lot lately about myself and Heavenly Father and my relationship with Him, and the irony is that I'm learning a lot of different things from a different perspective. I'm kind of living my life with one foot still in the church and one outside of it, and I'm feeling that no matter what I do, God loves me more than I can ever possibly understand (at least in this life), and that things are going to be okay.

A great irony in my life is that I still believe quite strongly that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is God's true church on the earth, but as I've read the words of the Prophet and Apostles (specifically concerning this issue) lately, I just find that I can't seem to reconcile the reality that is my life with what I believe and know to be true, and that whether my acting on my gay feelings is God's will or not, somehow things are going to be okay. It doesn't make sense to me, but it feels right somehow, and I don't understand why. All I know is that God sees life all at the same time as opposed to the linear way in which we view it and that he loves me and knows what is best for me, and somehow living my life with Jonah at this time in my life seems like what I'm supposed to do. I keep asking God if I'm being deceived or if I'm rationalizing my actions. I still don't know the answers to those questions for sure, but somehow I feel that I was meant to be with Jonah, and that things will be okay, and I guess that will have to suffice.

You know, the other day a friend was asking me how I liked graduate school, and I was telling him all the good things about it and said that when I prayed about where I should go for graduate school two years ago that it was very clear to me spiritually that I needed to go to this school. And that is how I met and feel in love with Jonah. And my friend (who doesn't know about my sexual preferences) said, "Well, maybe that's where you will meet your wife," and I felt a strong impression that Jonah was the person I was meant to be with. Again, as far as what I've believed and known to be true, that seems contradictory, but somehow it seems right. I just feel I have to trust that Heavenly Father knows what He's doing and that this choice is right for me right now.

You know, I remember when my sister married her husband. They both felt so strongly that they needed to get married, and yet, to the rest of my family (including myself) it seemed so wrong, and we were all against it. Now, five years later, I see that God sees all from beginning to end, and I believe the direction he gave them, even though it seemed contradictory and hasty at the time, was probably for the best for her, him, her step-kids, and their daughter. It seemed so wrong, and yet now I don't believe it was, and it took me some time to get to that point. I guess the point I'm making is that somehow being with Jonah feels like the right thing to do even though on a gospel level, it seems wrong. I don't know, but I do know we love each other.

One final thought: also as I was reading this book this quote stuck in my head:

" life is a gift. It is a school to learn how love manifests in the physical dimensions where bodies and emotions exist. But the school has many playgrounds, and those need to be used. The physical life is meant to be enjoyed. This is one reason you have been given the senses. Be good people. Have fun and enjoy yourselves. Enjoy the simple yet abundant pleasures of life while not harming other people or other things, like nature.
"Be more gentle... Don't do harm to others."

Be the best, most loving person you can be. Less judging, more loving; both to ourselves and others. That's what the Spirit was really telling me this week.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Prayers for Jonah

Jonah's family is having a harder time accepting his situation than mine is (although a couple of his siblings have been more supportive than he had imagined). Jonah's home life is not as smooth as mine has been. Anyway, I know he's going through some tough stuff right now, so I hope all of you in blogland will keep him in your thoughts and prayers (every little bit helps, right?).

My mom went to a ward function this evening, and several people had commented to her about what a nice testimony I gave on Sunday (see previous post). She wondered silently what they would think if they really understood what I was going through. I told her that was nice of them, but that I also wondered what they would think of me if they knew my situation. I'm sure many would be okay, but I know some who would have thoughts like, "He used to be such a good kid. What happened?" Mom said she had similar thoughts. I guess it's not easy on anybody. But like I told Jonah tonight, "We can't control how other people are going to react; we can only do our best to live the best lives we can."

My ex-girlfriend, Lisa, wrote me today. You can read more about her here. She and I have just started communicating again after about an eight year hiatus. Her husband (who never really liked me early on in their marriage) is okay with it, too. We're just so happy to be in each other's lives again. I've missed my friend (and she feels the same way). Anyway, she said something very nice in her letter that I didn't necessarily expect. She said:

"Okay...I'm going out on a limb for a moment here. I would never want to give anyone advice contradictory to the church, but it sounds to me like you'd be happiest with Jonah. I suppose the question then is, do you choose your peace of mind and happiness, or do you choose the church? Either choice will bring some heartache.

"...I have to believe that the God I have come to know over the course of my struggles is full of compassion and mercy. I have to believe that if one of my boys came to judgment full of tattoos, piercings, long hair, reeking of smoke and stumbling up the steps because of alcohol, that God would STILL throw his arms around him and welcome him home. I think that there cannot be a 'blanket judgment'...I think each person will be judged on a case by case basis, taking all our life's challenges into consideration. I always tell my kids that God only expects us to do our best, and if our best falls a bit short, it will be okay. You have done your best, Cody, and I think some mercy will be given when that days comes and you face God. I truly believe that some people's minds are 'wired' a bit differently and as hard as you have tried not to feel the way you do about Jonah, there is little you can do.

"...the point I want to make is that should you decide to stay with Jonah and let that be your life's choice, I think God will still have room for you in his kingdom. He loves you and knows of your struggle. One day, things will be made right..."

Whether her words are simply comforting to me, they really rang true when I read them today (and do so now as I reread them). I really feel like I'm destined for a different path at this juncture of my life and that things are going to be okay. I also think it's no coincidence that Lisa has come back into my life at this particular time and delievered these particular words to me. I really think it means something.

Another friend, very active in the church and very intelligent, said something that I felt God wanted me to hear. She said, "I really think there is more to it than we really understand." She was referring to the gospel and life, but not in application to my particular issue, but something about it really resonated with me as far as my issues go. I can't explain it; I just felt a certain truth that is helping me feel more at ease about things.

Back to Lisa. As I said in my previous post about her, she has a mental illness, and in catching me up on the events of her life since we last communicated, she explained all the horrific realities she has had to face in her life because of her illness, and I was just overwhelmed by it all. Just as other people can't fully understand what I go through with my problems, her issues are unfathomable to me. When I've read what she and her family have had to deal with I was saying to myself, "I'm so glad I have gay feelings and don't have her problems." She's doing reasonably well, but it made me think that if we had gotten married like we planned, it would have been a disaster. A bisexual and a manic-depressive; what a Molotov cocktail that would have made. I know my nature, and I really don't think I would have handled her issues well at all. My issues would have probably been difficult for her as well. I give great kudos to her husband. He has stood by her through a lot of awful stuff. I know it's been incredibly difficult for both of them.

I remember when she broke it off with me and how unfair I thought it was and how I could never imagine finding someone that I loved as much as I felt I loved her. Now in retrospect I'm so incredibly glad things worked out the way they did; for both of our sakes. It just shows me that God knows every facet from beginning to end, and that's one reason why I believe that this relationship is the right things for me in spite of the fact that it seems to be contradictory as far as what I know to be true. There is something I will glean from all of this that will draw me closer to my Father in Heaven. I just feel it. I can't explain it, and I know there will be naysayers who think I'm delusional, but the only people who can really know the path I need to take are me and the Lord. I just feel I have been led to this place in my life and this relationship, and I am going to count the blessings I have because of it all.

Anyway, that's it for now.

Monday, August 07, 2006

"Vacation's All I Ever Wanted"

Last week Jonah and I spent time in Las Vegas and also Cedar City for the Shakespearean Festival. We had such a great time. It was so nice to see and be with him after a few months apart. I didn't realize just how much I had missed him. We had a nice dinner our first night together. I gave him his birthday present, which I can now tell you about. My sister has a scrapbooking program on her computer, and she used it to make a photo memoir of a recent trip my mom took to Nauvoo. I'm not really into scrapbooking, but what the program was able to do and how it creative it came out made me want to do something similar for Jonah. So I took all the photos we had of things we've done together or places and events that are special to us, and I compiled them using this program. I really put a lot of thought into it, and it was quite a time-consuming project, but I knew Jonah would love it...and he did. It was really a great gift, I think; something that meant a lot to him (well, to both of us, actually). Jonah brought to my attention a fringe benefit I hadn't thought about: we can continue adding pages to the album as our relationship continues. I thought that made the gift even better.

The next day Jonah and I hung out and did some shopping. Then we slept (read: slept) together, which was nice. Later that night I got to see Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian. I'm not a huge fan of the show. I saw it back in 1989 on Broadway and was rather nonplussed by it. I think the plot is weak, the songs are average, and it's just basically a show about special effects. However, I did have a very good time this time. I still don't care for the show itself, but the special effects were amazing, the performances were very good, and because the show has been trimmed for a Vegas audience, it was much better time-wise.

Jonah says they had like a $40,000,000 budget or something, and it shows. It really was an amazing show visually. After the show, Jonah and I had a quick bite together, and I met some of his friends, which was nice.

The next day Jonah and I went to see HMS Pinafore in Cedar City. I am not a Gilbert and Sullivan fan by any means, but I thought the show was excellent. One of my friends was in it, and he was terrific. The show was well-acted, sung, choreographed, costumed, and directed. I just thought it was a very solid production. Jonah agreed. I am surprised that a Gilbert and Sullivan show turned out to be the best show I saw, but it was really good.

We had dinner with my friend, and he surprised me by letting me know that he and his wife of two years were getting a divorce. They had dated a long time before getting married and seemed very compatible to me. He didn't go into details, but it was a shock to me. I guess it's for the best.

I got to schmooze with some big-wigs at the festival, too, which, hopefully, will be good for my career later on. I got to meet a director I've always wanted to work with and also met the Festival's artistic director. Three of my college professors, who happened to all be there the same day, talked me up as did my friend, so that was nice. One of the professors was a man I hadn't seen in 15 years. I was in his last show before he retired. He was still of sound mind, but looked quite frail physically. He was in a wheelchair, and it bothered me a bit to see this man so sickly.

Jonah and I took a nap at the hotel before seeing Room Service that night. It was funny and had a pretty solid cast. Another friend was in that show, and we arranged to meet with him for dinner the next day. I think Jonah really liked Room Service.

Jonah and I cuddled together that night, and it just felt so good to be with him. I just felt right, and the scripture about a good tree not bearing evil fruit came to mind. I thought, "This feels good, and it feels right, so how can it be wrong?" I prayed to God that night and asked him to just let me be with this man and be okay with it.

I will say when you're used to sleeping alone most of your life, it's an adjustment sleeping with someone else. I'm sure I'll get used to it, though.

The next morning Jonah and I made out, which was really nice. I'm still not ready for sex yet, and Jonah's okay with that. But it sure was nice to be with him, and I didn't feel guilty at all, so that made me happy.

We had breakfast the next morning. I think I got a touch of food poisoning, but it wasn't too serious. We did some more shopping and window-shopping, and then we went to see On Golden Pond. I thought, overall, the show was pretty good. The two leads were quite good. Jonah thought the pacing was too slow, and he may have been right. We both liked the set, and we both agreed that the nineteen year-old who was cast as a thirteen year-old was miscast. I didn't believe for a minute he was thirteen and thought he was trying too hard. We found him annoying. I also felt the actress who played the daughter was a bit exaggerated. But it was a decent production.

We then went to dinner with our friend, and that was enjoyable.

We then watched the Greenshow, which was entertaining. I was somewhat tired, but not too bad.

Then we saw Hamlet. Jonah didn't care for it. I thought it was a decent production; not the best I've ever seen, but certainly not the worse. I thought Brian Vaughn, who played Hamlet, did a good job.

Then Jonah and I drove back to my house in Salt Lake City. We had a really nice talk on the way up. We talked about a lot of different things, but also talked about our relationship and love for each other. Jonah bought my sister a lighthouse in Cedar City. She loves lighthouses, and Jonah was using her room to sleep over, so he thought it a kind gesture. Jonah's very thoughtful like that.

The next day my mom took Jonah and I to breakfast. I'm so glad Mom likes Jonah and am so glad she's being supportive of us and our relationship.

When we got home, I mowed the lawn for my mom while she and Jonah chatted. I'm glad that gave them the chance to get to know one another even better. I know if our places had been switched, I'm not sure I would have felt nearly as comfortable chatting with Jonah's mom alone for an hour.

After I mowed the lawn, Jonah wanted to go to the mall. Jonah likes to walk and window-shop, which aren't necessarily my thing, but Jonah's very supportive of activities that I like to do that maybe he doesn't necessarily want to do, so I guess it's only fair to do what he wants to do, too. I guess that's what relationships are about. It turns out we had a good time.

Jonah's loves jewelry. We went in a store that I've only been in one other time in my life, and that was to get my niece a present. I remember feeling awkward the last time I was there because it's a store frequented by pre-adolescent girls, and I remember feeling like a pedophile and was sure everyone was thinking, "Why is this middle-aged man here?" This time I just felt very gay. I joked with Jonah later that the store made me feel a lot gayer than I was comfortable with. After all, I'm pretty straight-acting.

Jonah has fairly gaudy taste in jewelry, but he knows I think that. I figure whatever makes him happy is fine with me. Besides, he puts up with my geeky obsession with all things "Star Wars," so I figure we're even. Jonah even says he's toned down his taste in clothes and jewelry since we met. I find that hard to believe (that's just a joke at Jonah's expense).

That night Jonah and my mom came to see me perform in my show. I thought that was cool that my mom and boyfriend were hanging out. They both enjoyed the show. This is my mom's third time seeing it, and she says it gets better each time. I think it's a somewhat mediocre show, but audiences seem to enjoy it, and Jonah and Mom had fun, so I guess I can't complain.

After the show, Jonah, Mom, my sister, and I talked, and then Jonah sang for us. He's got a great voice. Mine's pretty good, but Jonah has a very powerful, precise instrument. He sang, "Someone Like You" from Jekyll and Hyde. That song was once very special to me and my ex-girlfriend, but as I listened to Jonah sing it, it took on new meaning for me and really made me think about how it applies to our own relationship. Jonah later said it took on new meaning for him as well. I thought it was both odd and wonderful that I was staring at Jonah with goo-goo eyes in the presence of both my mom and sister, something I once never dreamed would be possible.

Jonah and I spent some moments together that night, and then the next day I drove him to the airport so that he could fly back home. But I'll be seeing him soon.

I was supposed to work at my other job, but was told they didn't need me, so I spent most of the day watching old episodes of "24," which was fun. That night my mom and I went to Logan to see Noises Off, which was a lot of fun. I also got to see some old friends, so that was nice, too. It was nice to have a week of fun and theatre.

I spent the majority of the next day doing my show. We had good audiences,, but my voice was a bit tired by the end of the day.

On Sunday I bore my testimony in church. I didn't particularly want to get up, but felt very compelled to do so. I said I knew the Church was true, but that knowing something and living it were not necessarily easy to do. I also felt very impressed to deliver the following message to the congregation: that there are many of us in the Church dealing with horrific problems and issues that are never talked about openly in Sacrament Meeting; things like abuse, addiction, alcoholism, pornography, divorce, mental illness, health problems, etc., and that we suffer in silence but put on brave faces and pretend that everything is okay. We're good, stoic members on the outside, but no one truly knows the battles we wage daily in our hearts. We feel that no one truly understands what we are going through and fear the judgments of our fellow man if they were ever to discover what we're really like. I said that in spite of everything, God knows and loves us perfectly. He knows exactly what we are going through and loves and understands us unconditionally.

I related a recent experience I had. While I was away at school, several of my friends and fellow castmates got on the subject of religion and talked about who they thought was the most upstanding individual they had worked with at this particular theater, and my name came up. On one hand it made me feel good that people view me that way, but it also made me feel like a hypocrite because I'm not living my life according to what I've been taught. That certainly doesn't make me a bad person, but I wondered if, in their eyes, it would. I swear I do not say this boastfully, but, like it or not, I am an example to others. Many people perceive me to be a very good Mormon, and the fact is, while I think I am a very good Christian, I'm not so sure that I am currently a very good Mormon. I said in my testimony that I never wanted to be somebody's example or posterboy and that I don't want people to put me on a pedestal because if I fall, what will that do to them? I realize in the end that's their problem, but certainly I'm not stupid enough to think that my actions don't affect others. But I stressed that I am human and imperfect and that I have my failings and that I'm dealing with one of the most difficult struggles I've ever had.

My last statement was a caution to not judge others because we never really know what's going on inside their hearts unless we actually walk in their shoes. I also made the statement that no matter what happens to me in the future, I love and have always loved this church and the gospel. On some level, it felt like a farewell address. After all, I don't know what will happen in the future. My relationship with Jonah may very well cause me to lose my standing in the Church.

In any case, I really felt the Spirit and many people complimented me afterwards. I wasn't looking for compliments, though. I just know that so many people are silently crying and need assurance that the Lord still loves them.

It's strange. I still believe the Church is true, but I believe there are things to be learned by following a different path. My relationship with Jonah no longer makes me feel as guilty as it once did, and on some level I really believe we're meant to be together. How that correlates with the gospel plan, I don't know, but I feel more and more at peace with the choices I'm making. I do fear how my actions might affect others, but I know God loves me, and I feel okay with where I'm going.

I found the recent articles about gay Mormons in heterosexual marriages very interesting. I'm glad that isn't a path I took. I don't think it would have been the right one. But I think each individual has to follow the path that they feel is right for them, and that's what I am trying to do.

Jonah and I have talked about moving in together, but we agree that, for now, the time isn't right. But I do see it happening sooner than later. And I think I'm feeling pretty good about it.

All I know is that it has taken me such a long time to find somebody I love who loves me, and I remember how empty my life was before I met Jonah. So if it's wrong, I guess it's wrong. All I know is that in spite of the challenges, I feel very happy with Jonah. I think we're enriching each others' lives, and I feel God has blessed us with each other. Again, I don't know how that corresponds with my testimony, but I'm taking it for the blessing it is.