Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Hope You're Okay With That

There is a kid that sits in front of my mom and me in Sacrament Meeting. His parents are good friends of ours, and I have known the husband my whole life. This son of theirs is about ten years old, and I have known him his entire life. When I was a Primary teacher, I taught his older brother, and he (the kid I'm talking about) was in the Sunbeams. As I've watched this kid grow up, I become more and more convinced that he is gay. He may not know that yet, and it may not even be so, but this kid sets off my gaydar big time. I can't even pinpoint what it is. I mean, he's a bit effeminate and certainly has his own individual sense of style and fashion, but that doesn't necessarily mean he is gay. But I think he is, and I'm interested to see what he's like another ten years from now. I think what I like most about him is he refuses to "fit in a box." He is definitely his own person and seems to have no shame or qualms about expressing himself through his appearance.

Anyway, if it does turn out that he's gay, I hope his parents will be okay with it. They do lean more on the liberal side, so I suspect that even if they are not initially cool with it, they will come around eventually. I'm pretty sure the husband, at least, knows I'm gay, and his attitude toward me hasn't changed one iota. And his father is my former bishop, a man who I have referred to many times in this blog as being one of the most Christ-like men I know.

And who knows? Maybe the kid isn't gay at all. Maybe I'm just projecting something on him that doesn't even exist. It doesn't really matter. It's just interesting to me to speculate about.

This brings me to another kid I know, this one considerably older. I've also known him his whole life, although I am not as close with his family as I am to the aforementioned family. This kid is about 21 or 22 and returned from a mission recently and is engaged to be married in about a month. I also have always suspected this kid is gay as well. Unlike the previous family, this kid's family is ultra-conservative, and I have a very hard time imagining that they would ever be okay with his being gay. And again, I may be wrong (although I will say that my gaydar is pretty accurate), but I do get the feeling he's done all the things he does because it's the "right thing to do" or because he's expected to do them. And although he may love his fiancée, I feel a sense of sadness in him and wonder if he will regret his choice later on in life (or if she will regret it). Maybe they won't. I know some mixed-orientation couples who seem to be making things work for themselves. I just know I wouldn't have been happy myself were I in his same situation. I feel like who he really is inside is being covered by this "brave-faced" facade.

Again, it's all speculation. I could be completely wrong about both these kids. I guess only time will tell.


Ren said...

A friend of mine could have ended up marrying another friend who confessed his SSA to her. He'd been seeing his bishops about it for years and had served a mission, too. She eventually broke things off. Not because of that but it likely influenced her decision. In the years since he has come out to some of his family and is in a fantastic relationship with a good man. I'm relieved for both of my friends that they didn't marry each other.

There's a handful of lds families I know where I'm fairly confident the husbands are closeted. They've asked me questions about my gay friends. All the single lds guys who've asked me about my gay friends eventually came out. Straight men never ask me about my gay friends.

I'm sure at the time these men who married felt they were making a good decision - or maybe the only one they felt they could make at the time. While the church says it no longer encourages people with SSA to married, I know people who've received that counsel not so long ago. I suspect many bishops still dole it out. It saddens me that this is how the lds culture is. Even for straight people the pressure to marry is strong and people end up marrying for the sake of marriage (I'm one such person & eventually divorced.)

I hope the young boy you know has a supportive family and he doesn't feel trapped to follow a route he'd rather not.

Tony said...

Interesting thoughts. Perhaps the boy is just a special little guy whose got a great fashion sense and a sensitive temperament, and yet quite a heterosexual boy. Perhaps not. I have to say, whatever the case, he's looking sharp!

I think sometimes part of the problem with modern society is that anything seen as "effeminate" is construed almost automatically as undesirable in guys, or as 'gay'. I have come to understand more and more that what it really is are Christ-like attributes that often times boys aren't allowed to express (though I personally think the Church allows for better and healthy male bonding more often than not). A boy should be able to be strong, and yet sensitive; creative, and yet sporty, etc. I think Christ is the perfect example of that. I just hope we can continue to resist societal influences and help our boys realize that.