Thursday, March 27, 2014

My Gay Story [part 3]

A continuation of my story. Originally written 29 October 2013. 
Read part 1 / en español
Read part 2 / en español
Read part 3 / en español

The biggest turning point in my attitude and hope occurred as I was serving as Sunday School President over spring/summer terms at BYU. I prepared a lesson on Joseph Smith's experience in Liberty Jail, focusing on section 121 of the Doctrine and Covenants. I had read this section many, many times before, but for some reason this time it was different. I put myself in Joseph's place. Abraham had his Mount Moriah, Jesus had his Gethsemane, Joseph had his liberty jail, I have my same-gender attraction. Abraham offers up his son on the altar, and Jehovah sends his voice through an angel. Jesus, in agony, prays more earnestly, and the Father sends an angel, strengthening Him. Joseph offers his plea, and the Lord sends His voice. I pray, and God answers me similar to how He answered Joseph: first He comforts Joseph with an eternal perspective. Then He gives Joseph some key instruction:
Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands. Thou art not yet as Job; thy friends do not contend against thee, neither charge thee with transgression, as they did Job.
Joseph, TURN TO YOUR FRIENDS. I melted. I have never really reached out to anyone for emotional support, ever. I'm a pretty independent person. What is a friend supposed to do? To be? What is a FRIEND? By the Lord's definition, do I have any FRIENDS? A quick search on for 'friend' in the Doctrine and Covenants brings a list.

Rafiki means friend in Swahili. Also, he gives
good knocks on the head at opportune
moments, as a friend should.
So a friend is exactly what Jesus Christ considers us. A friend stands by you, offers a warm heart and friendly hands, does not contend against you, does not charge you with transgression (judge), and offers comfort and joy. No matter what. The Lord gives us friends and family for that purpose. He reminded Joseph of this, and He reminded me of this. I had to consider how to turn to my friends. I felt it as a commandment directly to me, piercing straight into my heart: DAN: Turn to your friends. This is what I gave them to you for!  But I was stubborn: I'm independent! Cue the humbling knock on the head (think Rafiki, which ironically means FRIEND in Swahili!)
So I began my journey considering my 'friends'. How do I ask for support? Do I be vague and just ask for prayers in my behalf? Do I come out to them? To whom? When? How? I let it stew for a couple of months. 

Summer term ended and circumstances allowed for me to return home to Illinois for a week and a half before starting fall semester again. I was determined to act on that prompting. 

At the shooting range with good friends
back home. We went shooting twice in the
week and a half I was home...and yes, I did
shoot more than just a staple gun--I'm particularly
fond of my mom's Glock :D

I had an enjoyable week at home, but this experience was gnawing at the back of my brain. Remember me? I'm still here! I waited until the night before I was to head back out to BYU. I sat down on a couch in our living room and just waited until my mom came in to the room and sat down too. I asked to talk. 

While I was home, my brother Brian was
able to visit from New York! Diesel, the
family dog, knew his place in the car.

We did, and I shared my experience of same-gender attraction with her. It's hard enough to face it alone the first time you realize it. Then it's harder to tell someone else. And it's even harder to watch your mother deal with it. We shed tears together, talked about it, and talked some more. My mom is a great FRIEND, by all definitions.

My mom is the best friend anyone
could ask for. Also she's a great shot. 

Dan Bunker


  1. Dan, can i just say you are a great friend. Love ya bud

  2. I really enjoy reading your blog. Thank you for sharing so much about your life and the things you think about.

    As a side note, I teach Jr. High. I have a student who, no matter what I say to him, and even when it looks like he is paying attention, as soon as it is his turn to speak, he ALWAYS responds with, "Now wait, what?" He should read your blog for its title. :)

    Happy night. Duck

    1. Thanks! It means a lot that you have read some of these posts...and even more that you took the time to comment :D

  3. P.S. What kind of Glock do you shoot? I had a Glock 29 for a short period of time. I LOVE Glocks. I think they are amazing guns.

  4. I think about that a lot, the friend thing, and I've been thinking about if I'm a good friend- especially to Jesus. He is always a friend to me, but i have to make sure I'm someone He would call a friend. I think you're good at that Dan.

    1. Thanks Jess! You are definitely a great friend—to me and to all. I see it when I come up for visits.