Sunday, April 27, 2014

My Gay Story [part 6]

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

I emailed our professor asking for help searching for gay bioinformatics data. He responded that he had spent hours and hours also looking for some, but he couldn't find anything either. He recommended that we do a similar analysis on Alzheimer's Disease data that the university already has. Our project came to a grinding halt. I felt frustrated. All for nothing? I thought. Then Jimmy emails me:

To: Dan Bunker
Subject: The Stars Have Aligned... have our project royally slaughtered. Meh.
Any last thoughts?

Hmmm. What do I say? "Thanks for letting me hide behind you"? "This sucks because I wanted to find a cause of homosexuality"? Do I tell him that I was invested in the project because I was gay too? I know almost ZERO about gay culture. And LESS about gay culture in the Church. And EVEN LESS about gay culture in the Church at BYU. I started thinking: does having a support group, say alcoholics anonymous, make it easier to get through your experience or does the temptation become stronger because you're talking about it and opening up about it? Luckily I took a chance, betting on the values that Jimmy expressed in his video. I asked for help and advice. Here's an excerpt from that same email conversation; I replied:
This really stinks…last thoughts? yeah. I am really invested in this topic too. I'm gay but haven't had the time to really deal with it or address it since I realized and accepted it at the end of August...So just a huge thank-you to you for being at the comfort level that you are to blatantly get to the point. I don't think it is by chance that we are in the same class, that you were asked your topic before most of the class (out of alphabetical order too), and that the professor asked me right after you. Maybe it's ok that this project is a flop—it was good to meet someone else that has my same circumstance but is a few steps ahead of me and get in touch with the reality of it.
On that note, I know you've written lots on your blog, but any quick advice on how to manage the day-to-day stress of being gay? I mean, testimony and faith aside (they're solid), it's still hard, and it still sucks sometimes—these last 2 weeks have been especially challenging.
He offered some words of comfort and advice. Part of his response:
It's funny, me being gay is no secret (clearly), but I usually don't go around parading it.  In fact, the day before I came out to our class, I had a strange, yet strong feeling that I should come out the way I did, all loud and what not.
The result is a testimony that God, even though it may seem that He leaves us alone for a bit, is working hard behind the scenes (on all different sides) to bring things together for our good. I just had to trust in that, and I was greatly rewarded for doing so. To me, Jimmy's strange, yet strong feeling was inspiration and an answer to my prayers. A gay gene wasn't the help I was supposed to find in this class, it was Jimmy.

Dan Bunker


  1. Wow, that's a really cool experience. It's amazing to me how many people's experiences just like this I've observed and experienced on my own. The Lord is indeed "working hard behind the scenes (on all different sides)."