Sunday, November 20, 2011

Keeping a Secret vs. Protecting Oneself.

On Friday I had a former co-worker-friend call me.  He went on to tell me that our old mutual boss had texted him and mentioned he saw something on my Facebook page and my former boss asked this former co-worker/friend of mine if I was gay.   My Friend has know that I am gay for many years and he has been totally cool with it... he hugs me, tells me he loves me, he and his wife have me over to dinner.  They have been totally down with it.  I'm very lucky to have him in my life.  Anyway, he said the first thing he did was look at my Facebook page and didn't see anything.  I looked as well and have no idea how he drew the conclusion that I was gay from my page. 

Back to the story.  He was calling to ask me what he should tell our mutual ex-boss.  My knee jerk reaction, which he was fine with was for my friend to tell him that he didn't know.  I hung up with him and now that I'm out of the closet it, it really started to bother me that I would have him do that.  I felt like I'm making him lie for me.  My main concern is that this former boss and I had a strong working relationship and I would like to use him as a future reference if necessary and didn't want me being 'gay' to change his perceptions of me or somehow have it tarnish his opinion of me as an employee. 

Anyway, I ended up calling me friend back and told him to tell my ex boss to ask me. I doubt I'll get a call or txt.   My friend said 'you realize that's basically me saying yes'.  I told him I knew, but that it took him out of the situation of having to lie  or try to cover for me,  and it would give me the opportunity, if he did ask, to do any damage control if necessary. 

I hate that I'm going to have to play these games now that I'm coming out of the closet.  It worries me that as an employee in Utah that I have no rights if i were to become discriminated against at work because of my sexuality.  However, I'm going to try to take the approach that honesty is best, and hope that people will look past whatever image the word gay conjures in their head and look at me for the person I am. 

Guess we'll see what happens with the ex-boss.  Who knows, but I'm glad I'm moving forward and away from that knee jerk reaction.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Circling the Wagons- After Thoughts and Feelings

I attended the saturday session of the 'Circling the Wagons' conference that is affiliated with the Mormon Stories Podcast.  It was a wonderful day for me.  I didn't take notes so I won't be recanting everything that was shared.  I can tell you however what a magnificent spirit that was there during the conference. 

First, It brought a large amount of emotion to the surface for me.  I recently came out to my family and it's been kind of an emotional time in my life.  I thought I had gotten those emotions under control, but they came bubbling to the surface on Saturday.    There was a beautify duet sung from the musical wicked.  I was bawling like a baby by the time it was done.  Not sure of the exact title of the song, but it is something like 'because I knew you'.... 

Second, I was able to introduce myself to some fellow bloggers, one of who was instrumental in a very accidental way in my coming out.  Although the circumstances around my coming out where not planned, I will always remember this person for the role he unintentionally played in the process.  Call it fate, or godly intervention, I feel the sequence of events was put in place by a higher power.  I'm so happy to have the weight of that secret off my shoulders.

Third, I walked away with a renewed sense of spirituality.  This is something that has been missing from my life for many years.  I don't plan on walking through the doors of a Mormon chapel anytime soon, but I did walk away with the feeling that I wanted God in my life and need to find a space where me being gay and god being around and part of my life is possible. 

Finally, It was just good to be around other gay people with similar backgrounds, experiences, stories and lives. I've felt like I've lived in such isolation for so long and it's been painful.  It was therapeutic to feel a sense of community in my life.  Anyway, I'm glad I went and didn't let my social anxieties get the best of me and keep me away.

Till next time.  -Matt

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Circling the Wagons

So, I think I'm going to go to the conference.  I'm having soo many nerves about it however.  It will be my first time to be amongst a group of gay people and their supporters since the time I came out to my family a few months ago.  If you happen to see a bald guy that's feeling totally out of his element, that would be me : ).  Come say "hi'.

So, my family knows I'm gay.  So the question is now what?  The hat is out of the bag.  I need to meet people and I know that requires effort on my part but the few attempts I've made online have not led in the direction I've been looking.  I have pictured in my mind dinner, movie, maybe a small peck on the lips afterwards if things go well.  The guys online are looking for sex, and sex a plenty.  Wow.  So any advice on how a person can actually meet people in person or online without sex being the main focus? I should also mention that I live in Utah County...  oh the challenges that brings. 

Well, Just wanted to state that I was going to the conference and I hope to meet some of my fellow bloggers along the way.  Hope you all have sweet dreams and a great day tomorrow.


Monday, August 15, 2011

It's like a dream

It's still very surreal that I'm out to my family.  It feels like I've been living a dream for the last few days.  Wondering when the reality of what has gone down will sink in and problems start arising.  For now, I'll enjoy the peace.  My brother has been very loving and called almost everyday to see how I am.  My mom called and wants to do lunch on Wednesday.  I need to set my skepticism aside and just enjoy what has happened.

Speaking of dreams.....  does anyone watch True Blood on HBO?  I'm pretty much addicted to that show and one of it's main characters is vampire Eric played by Alexander Skarsgard.  He's super dreamy if I do say so myself.

Hope you all have nice dreams tonight.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Need a Room to Rent


So, this might not be the right place to post this but I'm looking for a room to rent in Utah County, preferably in the Provo/Orem area.  I'm gainfully employed and returning to school part time this fall to finish my nursing pre-requisite classes.  I want to rent a room so I can cut my expenses and save for living expenses while i'm in school. 

I'm looking for a single room with a shared/private bathroom, laundry and kitchen access and I have allergies to cats, so a cat free environment is a necessary for me.  I'm hoping to find something in th3 $350- $400 dollar range

I'm a clean, quiet, respectful person.   I don't smoke/do drugs/etc.  If anyone knows of any place that is gay friendly and available, I appreciate any leads possible.  

Hope everyone is having a good weekend. 


Friday, August 12, 2011

Accidental Outing- My Mom

I hope this is the last of these emotional coming out post's I have.  So, today I came out to my mom.  I knew that my dad was planning on telling her this morning but I didn't know exactly when.  So, around lunch I called my brother to see if he had heard anything.  He told me that was over baby sitting my nephews as my sister-in-law was doing some school registrations.  He said that my mom had talked to my sister-in-law and that she was taking it rough (crying).  However, my brother did point out that in their eight years of marriage that his wife has only cried twice that he has witnessed so it was hard to compare what my sister-in-law thought was rough and what might be rough for my mom. 

So, my brother asked if I had heard from my parents and I said no.  He told me he was going to stop by after work and see how they were doing and asked if I wanted to come.  I told them that I was willing to go if she was ready to have me and talk with me.  He said he would make some calls and get back to me.  I had mentioned earlier to my dad that I could come over for dinner on Sunday and we could talk then.  Anyway, about ten minutes later my brother called back and said my mom was doing OK given the circumstances and that I should come over after work.  So I did.

I was sobbing the minute I left work through the minute I walked into the door out their place and beyond.   we hugged for several minutes.   We then went into the living room where my brother and dad were sitting.  It was kind of strange in that my brother kind of mediated the session in that he got the conversation going.  Anyway, I told my mom I was gay, kind of gave a quick back ground of where I was, where I had come from, discussed my health, and then and in essence bore her testimony about how she thought I would gain happiness by following the gospel.  I was fine listening to what she had to say.  I honestly kind of expected it.  I knew she would say it to me and in all honestly wanted her to say it so that in her Mormon world, she could have a clear conscious that she did what she was supposed to do....ensure she had taught her children of what she believes the true plan of happiness is.  My dad's approach is so much different.  His is more of an approach that if I do what is right, it will all work out in the end.  My mom's is very literal.   Do this, do that, do this and you will be happy, else you will not.  I do not buy into her line of thinking but it's not worth fighting over.

I cried during most of the discussion.  I know I keep repeating it, but this really is not standard behavior on my part.   I don't know how people can cry all the time  My eye's hurt, my sinus's hurt, and it has given me a head ache, lol.    Back on point.  Well all went to dinner for some purple turtle in Pleasant Grove.   Their fish and chips are DELICIOUS.  We then went and peaked in the windows of my recently deceased Grandmothers house.  It was just purchased and the new owners are re-doing it and it looks like it's going to be very nice when completed.  I'm really glad.  I have such happy memories there.  My grandma's birthday was just two days away from mine so she always made me feel extra special around my birthday.  I love and miss her.

Well, I think I'm going to go soak in a warm bath and ponder the last week I've had.  I really can't believe how lucky I am to have my family who has stated over and over throughout the week that thier love is nothing but unconditional and that we will work through things as hey come up but no matter what we are family and that's what's important.    So good.  So Relieving for the soul. I really hope that those who have not had such good experiences are able to find comfort some how/some where.  We all deserve it.  

Well, I guess that its' for tonight.  What a week.  Out to my siblines on tuesday, Out to my dad on Wednesday, and Out to my mom on Friday.  It's done and if gives me soo much hope in my life to be something more now.  I can't wait for what the future holds.  Where as just a week ago I dreaded the fact there was going to be a tomorrow.  Crazy how one sequence of events can change the out look on life.  Hope your all doing well.  Regards and please stay in touch.  i will try to catch up with private messages tomorrow.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Accidental Outing- My Dad

First I want to say thanks to all those who left kind comments and words of encouragement.  I really appreciate the support.  

So I had the big day with my siblings and coming out.  It was emotionally draining.   Wow, it really did take a toll on me.  I felt numb for most the morning at work the next day.

My brother called the afternoon after it all went down to discuss my parents.  We talked about all the options.  Honestly, I was too emotional to really deal with the conversation but agreed with what he was saying.  It's time to get this completely out in the open.   My parents need to know.  We discussed what the best way to do it.  I shared with him some concerns my sister and younger brother shared in regards to my mom and her fragile emotional health.

He asked If it would be OK for him to tell my Dad.  I had really wanted to tell him myself,  but know it could be an indefinite amount of time before it happened.  So I said yes, you can call and tell dad.  So we hung up.  Of course I'm crying at this point, I'm at work, and my office has a glass wall so anyone who walks by could see my ugly cry face as coined by Oprah.  About two minutes later I get a call from my dad.  The first things that came out of his mouth was that he loves me and wanted to know if he could come over to my place and talk after work.  I of course said yes.

Being the mess I was, I told my boss I was having some family problems and asked if it was ok if I took off.  He said yes, and I went home and took a nap.  Am I the only one who needs a good nap before something stressful?  So, anyway, shortly after five my dad shows up at my apartment.  I invite him in and he gives me a big hug.

We sat down on the couch and he expressed his love.  He then went on to relate to me that while I was on my mission he woke up early one morning with a premonition that 'Matthew is Gay'.  He said that since that day he had suspected that I was gay.  He then went on to explain that his feelings for the church and testimony would not change over this.  I told him that I didn't expect him to change.  I expressed that I hoped we could continue to be a family and have respect for the different positions we are in.  He told me that he and my brothers and sisters loved me and that they would always be my family.

I talked about the state of my mental affairs, which hasn't been good, but will likely get better once this is all over.  My dad asked me what my plans for the future were in regards to this.  I told him I couldn't imagine being alone the rest of my life and was going to take things slow. 

We then talked about my mom.  Oh my mom.  She's a bit fragile.  She is about as straight-arrow Mormon as they come.  And she worries, I'm sure she's where I've picked up much of my anxious ways.  To give you an idea of how much she worries, my sister once had a friend who's husband left her and her 4 kids for another women.  My mom had never met this girl, just heard the story from my sister.   My mom didn't sleep for almost two weeks she was soo upset about it.  I think she could use some medication.  But, she would never get any.  It's not her way.

So, my dad asked what we should do in regards to her.  I said I didn't know.  She's the primary reason I haven't come out all these years.  We talked over a few options and decided that he would sleep on it and get back to me today.

My dad called first thing this morning to see how I was doing.  I thought that was very nice.  He said he was still pondering the mom situation but would get back to me later.  He called after work and told me he was going to tell her tomorrow morning.  I asked him if he wanted me to be there.  He said no, he thought it would be best for him to give the news and deal with the initial reaction.  I'm sure there will be tears....  lot's of them.  but it needs to happen.  We can not keep this from her.

So, I'm feeling super anxious again tonight.  Hoping that it goes ok tomorrow.  Anxious about the first time I see my mom and what she will say/ how she will react.  I'm so glad this is finally happening, but the process weighs very heavily on the soul.  It's like I've just gotten on a super scary roller coaster, and it's starting the initial climb and I want to get off but I can't and next thing I know I have the pressure of the ride pushing against my chest as I make the initial decent.  Then it starts again, the climb, the building of the anxiety, and the pressure pushing on me as I make my next decent.  but soon the ride will be over.  Just need to wait and pray the coaster doesn't go off the tracks......

Again, thanks for letting me express my thoughts here and taking the time to read.  Love to all.  -Matt