Saturday, May 3, 2014

Six Months Out! What next?

I read the 7th paragraph of my patriarchal blessing (what's that?) a third time as I sit in my car late at night in the driveway, pondering how the next six months will differ from the first six since I came out on November 4th.

So this means I'm supposed to get married and be a good husband and a good dad, and everything will be swell, right?

This paragraph is the one that mentions eternal marriage and the future. I lean back the driver's seat and open the moon roof to gain a clear view of the stars in the expansive sky. There can't possibly be another paragraph more applicable to my concerns with same-sex attraction and how the future is supposed to work out, so I lightly skim the rest of the blessing.

The second time through, my eye catches the end of the 3rd paragraph: 
"...that you might choose a path in accordance with the lessons of life which you shall experience..."
I sit up straight. Wait...what? I can choose my path? There's more than one path? Doesn't everything in my blessing mark THE ONE path I'm supposed to take? I continue reading:

"You are admonished to be faithful unto the Lord Jesus Christ throughout your life, to honor and sustain the holy priesthood, to heed the words of the living prophet that you might avoid the sadness and misery of this earth life..."
So...maybe I am free to choose a single path of several possible ones that please God, with the caveat that I heed the mentioned principles. 

I lean back again and ponder some more. What if my path conforms to the doctrine but not to traditions? Can I carve my own way through this? Is a non-sexual but emotionally close same-sex friendship or relationship that conforms to the For the Strength of Youth standards acceptable? 

Do not participate in passionate kissing, lie on top of another person, or touch the private, sacred parts of another person’s body, with or without clothing. -For the Strength of Youth

Is it acceptable to me? To God? To those who think highly of me? Even if it doesn't conform to some of the social and cultural traditions in the church?

Why am I afraid to explore this question? Am I afraid I'll be judged by others according to cultural traditions instead of doctrine? Will others think I am a less faithful child of God if I don't pursue marriage? 

What if I just want to be an awesome uncle to all of my nieces and nephew for the rest of my life?

I shiver as the cool breeze flows through one car window and out the other. I glance at the clock on the hour and a half—it's enough pondering for one night. After all, being gay is on my mind every single day. I sigh, sit up, close up the car, and put away my pondering face as I walk up the steps to the house. My family is supportive but doesn't talk about this much, and I don't want to overwhelm them with gay stuff. I won't bother them about it tonight...I'm old news.

Two days from now will be my 6-month coming-out mark, so I'll write a blog post about it then and annoy all my facebook friends with another gay post. May the fourth be with me :)

Dan Bunker


  1. I liked this post a lot, you had good imagery. I'm glad we're friends and hope you have a great time with your new internship!

  2. This was great! And so are you :)

    1. Brooke, YOU are great! I'm glad we could catch up yesterday over dirty Dr. Pepper :)

  3. Come talk with me anytime!!! You will never annoy or bother me.

  4. Come talk with me anytime. You will never bother me. I really admire you. And appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

    1. Thanks Cami! It's always a breath of fresh air talking with you. You get it :)

  5. I remember going through these same thoughts. I truly believe God gives us choices. That is what earth life is about isn't it? But those choices also don't have to be contrary to what one believes. I have been on my path for a little while now but there is still a long way ahead. It has been a wonderful path of self-exploration thus far.

  6. Being gay is on my mind everyday as well even though I engage in other meaningful activities. Mark Author Mark Twain penned, "It is my belief that nearly any invented quotation, played with confidence, stands a good chance to deceive." I assert that it is the ambivalent and evolving Mormon definition of homosexuality causes the belief that we can have celibate relationships or close friendships. As gay Mormons we live in a rarely understood world of confusion, inconsistency, and unnecessary anxiety. Toying with the idea of a relationship/friendship will only waste energy as a practical matter; but it illustrates a beautiful point of view that people need to hear. Your question "What if my path conforms to the doctrine but not to traditions?" is absolutely brilliant point of reference for gay Mormons considering their own path.

    1. I value your input here. I would also like to point out that these are my thoughts--things I'm pondering. They aren't affirmations or opinions "played with confidence" meant to convince, persuade, or deceive but rather honest and real things I'm thinking about. It was hard to open up and be vulnerable with them.