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David and Goliath – The Tale of a Gay Mormon.

August 09, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Featured, Thought of the Gay

davidMost of us are familiar with the story of David and Goliath from the Old Testament.  In the story, the Israelites are facing off with the Philistines in the Valley of Elah. Goliath, a giant, challenges the Israelites to send their best to battle with him.  David, of mere human stature, insists he can defeat Goliath – God is with him.  David is victorious in the battle after pelting Goliath with a stone from his sling.

That story is often used as a metaphor when a community takes on a mega-store attempting to pollute their homes.  Our David today isn’t the small community defending itself from a corporate takeover; instead, he is very much a mortal man.

David is a 20 year old vlogger who has decided not to flee his faith, but instead work to inspire change within his faith.

It wasn’t all that many years ago that the Church preached, and society accepted African Americans as inferior, soulless creatures.  In fact, arguments against interracial marriage were largely biblical.  Of note here is that, while I do not believe gay is the new Black, certainly it can be said that same-sex marriage is the new interracial marriage.  The arguments against each of them parallel each other.

The ideas expressed in the quotes at the provided link, such as “These types of marriages are “abominable,” according to Virginia law. If allowed, they would “pollute” America.” are largely unpopular in modern day religions (and unconstitutional in the eyes of the law).  Someone inspired them to change.

Today’s David may be the catalyst to change within the LDS Church.  He will undoubtadly face much scrutiny, hatred and fear, but he will face them all with an entire community behind him.  If we learn nothing from David, let us learn that we can no longer run from our adversaries, but instead stay and fight.

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27 Comments to “David and Goliath – The Tale of a Gay Mormon.”


  1. Marlin Bynum says:

    Let's hope he survives. The reality is that he will probably end up dead — at his own hands. The hold that faith has on us is so very strong. Just listening to him makes me sad.

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  2. Sorry, no. Deliberately choosing to remain among those who loathe your existence is the very definition of self-loathing.

    Quit first, try to effect change later.

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  3. Marlin: I suppose I have more hope in the human spirit. That likely comes from not believing in a heavenly God. We are the one's that create miracles.

    Kip: I'm disappointed to learn that you would give up your seat on the bus.

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  4. Marlin Bynum says:

    I lived inside of a conservative movement for twenty years, and I didn't even try to change their hateful belief about homosexuality. I aimed for smaller things. I am not sure I survived. The cost is far to high, but I realized that too little too late.

    The desire for community is great. My leaving cost me community. Something that I have not been able to rebuild. To this point in time the cost in so many ways has been high. I was just as positive and hopeful with I was twenty, at 46 I am old, angry and bitter. I didn't survive. I may be alive — but I truly believe I am dead — or wish I was most days. LOL

    Later

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    • Your story Marlin, is remarkable. You followed a path that is right for you. You learned lessons and took what you've learned and did exactly what it was you needed to do. We all must learn our lessons. I can't say whether staying is right or wrong for David, but it's his place at this moment and his decision to make. I'm very proud to know that he is speaking out. I'm inspired by his hope. He may change someone's mind. Your story has its own hope and inspiration. It meant a lot to me to be able to hear your story and changed me. If he can just impact one person, it is a start. If each of us can change one person's mind, and they change one person's mind then things will be easier for the next generation – we can gay it forward as they say. At some point, no one will be made to feel that the aren't surviving, merely living. But it starts somewhere… a small wave to a tsunami.

      Either way, it's important that David, and those like David who are trying to inspire change, know that they have somewhere to turn should they find the place they are to be more than they can bear. Some day, kids will be allowed to be the person they are rather than the person they are expected to be.

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  5. Kip – I feel the need to disagree with you. Leaving a community entirely is a massive decision. Maybe David will be the one person whose actions can change some important opinions – maybe not.

    Marlin – You will find your new community – I started looking later than you did and I found my new community. I'm 56. When the time is right you will find it – like I did. Cheer up.

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  6. His argument has a flaw in it. Just because something is natural doesn't mean it is good.

    H1N1 flu is natural. It spreads naturally. But, it isn't good.

    There are so many ways to take what he is saying and turn it against his basic argument that the LDS Church has the most truth. For example, his saying homosexuality is natural (not a choice for the homosexual or lesbian) would be a proof in support of "original sin." The LDS Church's Articles of Faith denies original sin ("2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression." http://www.mormon.org/mormonorg/eng/basic-beliefs… ) Showing the Articles of Faith to be false is an argument against joining the LDS Church, an organization David would want us to join.

    The discussion is deeper than this.

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    • Yes, the argument always is much deeper when it comes to sexual orientation issues and religion. While he may not change any belief regarding original sin, perhaps the church will cease to see homosexuality as a sin – or at least take a more moderate stance on the issue.

      I think the importance of this is not that change is possible within the LDS Church, but change is possible from the LDS people. Many people disagree with some teachings of their church, but still remain within the organizations. Any more moderate stance will be a benefit to our community at large. It's nice to see someone as young as David attempting to inspire someone to think a bit differently while challenging his own beliefs.

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  7. Marlin- I am so glad you replied to my comment. When I said that David seems to have his eyes wide open – I didn't mean to imply that they are "open as far as it is possible". There is always a little more – and there are things each of us miss. No, I don't think you are whining – I think you are expressing yourself in a good way – because you are open. In terms of your group (book group) well maybe that's a choice you have to make. Are you ready to be fully out – and express your true feelings (not in anger) about what you have read – or do you need more time to do that?? Maybe it is just a matter of finding (or creating) a Gay men's bookclub that is not religious…. (?)

    David seems to have made a decision based on careful thought and a lot of consideration. It seems to be what is good for him right now – at this time in his life. You – Marlin – also seem to have decisions about what is good for you right now – at this time in your own life. (First though it seems like you might want to get away from what is keeping you angry – maybe it is as simple as speaking out sincerely to your group – maybe it is more than that.)

    I also applaud David's courage – and I encourage his faith and his hope – and most of all I congratulate him for being able to take the first step of coming out as who he is.

    By the way – I'm glad there is still some mystery and even a bit of confusion. If everything was clear and concise – well there wouldn't be much to ponder … would there? It makes life that much more interesting.

    Whether our eyes are wide open (that silly phrase) or open a little less – what counts is that they are open at all… That means we are "listening" and observing. If somebody in the LGBT community tells you to be quiet – then just maybe they are not "listening".
    mj

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  8. Marlin – I feel there is just one more thing I should add. I speak as a Jewish Lesbian woman – because I am a Jew – and not a Christian. (Although I have learned about some Christian and other faith traditions on my own…)

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    • Marlin Bynum says:

      mjpngwnz

      I agree that religious traditions can inform us. To deny that would be to deny the experiences, even our own under religious auspices. I personally had many "religious" experiences while I was a Christian. Feelings of closeness to God, presence of Christ, fire of the Holy Spirit. I know believe them to be a certain amount of delusion. Maybe they were and maybe they were not.

      One of the things that leaving Christianity has allowed me to do is embrace my personal "spiritual" experiences. I now have in my home two things I never would have had before. I have a budha, because he knew that life was suffering and that it was human effort that might bring any hope of overcoming it. I am not sure I agree with his self-denial aspect. The other is Shiva. I like her because she reminds me that you have to completely destroy to recreate. If I have done nothing else in the last few years it is destroying self and life. She give hope though because after destruction comes a new creation. I also have in my how multiple Christian symbols, not because I believe in it, but because a) many were gifts and so remind me of people that were a part of my life at points.

      I just hate what taking these beliefs and forming a religion does to people. The Jewish faith, at least by its own historical records began with the genocide of the people that occupied the promised land. Later Christians used their holy book to justify the murder of Jews, Muslims, and pagans. The Mormon faith has not been very kind to gay people. There are stories of torture in the guise of reparative therapy. The self hate and familial rejection that many young people undergo lead to suicide. There actually is a movement within the Mormon church for gay people — can't think of the name right now, but I hope that David makes contact with these people. Maybe they can give him the support he needs. I know I don't need to remind you of the things stated above. I just feel we need to continue to educate people about the damage they are doing to the one's they claim to love by their own homophobia.

      I am transferring a lot of the pain that I feel in life to David, because I fear that he will make all the same mistakes I did. That hurts. I know he has a free choice, but a part of me wants to grab him, take him away and tell him while he is young, don't waste your life here. You only get this one and you need to enjoy it outside of a place that teaches you to hate yourself.

      I have watched several of the videos and I can hear my own voice in them and maybe that is what scares me the most. I can go back in my own journals and see a lot of the same thought. He is a bit ahead of me because he is making a choice to live out, where I did not. Maybe that will make a great difference. I send him courage for this treacherous journey he is choosing to make.

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  9. rrchapman – I think you might have misunderstood part of David's situation. This wondrous young man is not deciding whether or not to join the Mormon Church. He is already part of the community – I would even venture to say that he has been part of that community for quite awhile (maybe even grew up there). So David was deciding whether or not to stay in the community of which he is already a part. He decided to stay because he wants to help those who are LGBT and have not yet (as we say in the community) come out – let others know who he truly is as a person.

    I want to assure you that no matter what any book says (Bible, etc.) – being Gay or a Lesbian (as I am) or being Transgender or Bisexual – is completely natural. Those of us in the LGBT community are living it. David is living it.

    Homosexuality (not my favorite word) – or being L, G, B or T (or questioning whether one is…) is very natural. Before I told my friends and others that I am a Lesbian I tried to be the person I was "expected" to be – and I lived for a time as a heterosexual woman. I went through a lot of suffering and unhappiness.
    The H1N1 virus is not natural – it is a MUTATION. Feeling attraction for a person of my same gender is natural – definitely not a mutation. The same gender (sex) attraction goes back pretty much to the beginning of time.

    Marlin – David seems like he has his eyes wide open. I believe he will survive – because he seems to have hope and energy. Also I believe that if he – at some later point in time – does find a problem staying within his community – that he will make the decision to leave. Hopefully he won't have to make that particular decision. I….. however also have great hope for you Marlin – that you will climb out of your anger and frustration – and you will then find a new community (even better than the one you left). You are also still young (many live to be at least twice your age – I say that with a smile being older than you.)

    KipEsquire – I think you might want to check the definition of "self-loathing" – try wikipedia (I just did). That definition definitely does NOT describe the young man David – as seen in this video. Please try to see that proverbial glass as "half-full".

    I have had a lot to say – and I want to assure you that all of it is meant with a smile and the best of intentions. My picture shows me smiling – and I smile now because I am happy as who I am. Part of who I am is woman who is happy – and living my life as a Lesbian – very naturally. 🙂

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    • Marlin Bynum says:

      mjpngwnz

      Do we ever really have our eyes all the way open. That is part of the delusion of religion or even atheism. We never actually fully know what we are doing. I find that out every day of my life. That doesn't mean I am doing the wrong thing. I hope I am always doing the right thing. In fact one of my philosophies that I have adopted in the last three years is "There are no mistakes" there are simply decisions and the results.

      I hope as you do. The first year I came out I thought I had my eyes wide open. The next two years proved I didn't. When I begun to embrace atheism, and continue to study this idea, I think I have my eyes wide open. The reality is that each step I take moves me farther away from relationship.

      A good example is my gay men's book club. We have read "The Shack" this month. The majority of the group is religious in one sense or another. So here I am wanting to say to the meeting this is a whole bunch of crap that religion uses to chain you to a false hope and embrace suffering as a good thing (the theme of "The Shack"). So I am in a quandry — do I rant and rave against the stupid ideas of this book and loose relationship (eyes wide open.) or do I choose relationship and keep my mouth shut and let these people oohh and aww over how wonderful this book is and how it will help hundreds understand God (being less than I am to keep friends.)

      I am not whining. I made the choices to get here. I am just very tired. I am tired of people calling for us to live openly but then telling us to be quiet. I am tired of oppression from every side. While I lived as a "straight" man I had friends, but was miserable. Now I live as a gay man — and can't seem to find deep friendships (although I now doubt that I ever have actually experienced that). I just fear for David. I know how much I traded away for relationship. I think living as an openly gay man is better. He is doing that, while trying to stay in the church. I applaud his courage. I just fear for his life — mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical.

      If I prayed I would pray for him. Not sure what I would pray but I would hope for his best life, which is what I do.

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      • As a fellow atheist, here's my theory on what happens when the subject of understanding God comes up. Obviously, I haven't reached any sort of spiritual nirvana and I don't claim I'm right, I may even contradict myself in the future – that's a good thing as that shows we are willing to grow and learn from one another – I hope. Like Walt Whitman wrote, "Do I contradict myself, very well then, I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes)." It's a personal favorite quote that reminds me that it is o.k. to change my opinion.

        At any rate, there are atheists and anti-theists. I am an atheist which means I will tell people, "I do not believe in God." Some are anti-theists, which means they tell people, "There is no God." Frankly, God is such a varied term and believed to exist as a deity in the sky, or an internalized human component – to each their own God(s). Religion is different than God. Religion is not about God in my opinion. It is very much about community and relationships and has also been about oppression and dehumanizing.

        We all crave the community and relationships – but don't all wish to be oppressive and dehumanizing. How do we get one, without the other? Change starts within. David is changing from within. He is realizing himself. That's something we have to do before we can ever have the deep friendships you talk about. I firmly believe that we have to learn to love ourselves before we can love or be loved. Otherwise, the relationship is false.

        I'm very worried about David too. He is taking on a huge risk in his life, but if we unite behind him and offer our support, our courage and our hope, his risk will have just rewards for not only himself, but all of those who have been oppressed by religion.

        On a side note, in a recent poll of 9,000 LGBT people, 70 percent identified as Christian with 60 percent claiming it plays a crucial roll in their lives. Compare that with the 76% of Americans that identify as Christian and you see that we aren't all that different in make-up than the rest of the country. — http://gayrights.change.org/blog/view/there_sure_

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        • Marlin Bynum says:

          Jay,

          I think the survey you talked about is probably very correct. But like most Christians, there is not a great deal of understanding about what that really means. I think one of the saddest parts of the Christian faith is the lack of knowledge that believers have in their own holy books, traditions, and doctrines. For most people, even the conservatives, church is about community and protecting that community.

          It always amazed me the number of times people, who were much older than me both in real years and years as Christians, who would come up to me following sermons and say, I never knew that was in the Bible. I am thinking you are 70 years old. YOu were baptized when you were 20 and you never knew that the Bible said this. Most Christians, tend to stick with a very few select verses and don't look much beyond them.

          I am not sure I am an atheist or anti-theist LOL. I think until very recently I would have been the former. But I think I am becoming the latter. One of the first books I read about atheism talked about the idea of people who were like evangelicals and wanted to destroy religion, faith, god . . . versus people who were just atheists and didn't promote or push it. Well I think I am becoming the former.

          Contradicting is a part of growing. Even as a Christian, there were many times that I would later go into the pulpit and apologize and correct a past statement. If one can't change and learn and grow as a person then one might as well be dead. At least that would be for me.

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    • @mjpngwnz

      You appear not to understand the LDS church. It is one of the most missionary-minded organizations you will find anywhere. If you take and active part of in it, you actively want others to join.

      What made you think that I did not know David was in the LDS already?

      David made it clear he felt the LDS had the most truth. He also said that he was not going to accept matters at a 5th grade level. I saw nothing that said that David's only reason for staying was for those of other sexual minorities. Instead, he wants to actively take part in church life.

      Apparently you do not understand what natural means. Mutations are a natural part of life on earth.

      My red hair is natural. My height of being over 6 feet tall is natural. My intelligence is natural. It is all a part of nature.

      Also, as near as anyone can tell, the adult soft-tissue sarcoma I had on my lower left leg was natural (as science cannot place any other cause on it). Getting the flu or a cold is natural. It is all a part of nature.

      We consider some natural things positive (high intellegence). We consider some natural things neutral (being over 6 ft tall). We consider some natural things are bad (illness).

      More importantly, nature just "is." It isn't good, neutral, or bad. We have to live with nature on nature's terms.

      The flaw in David's argument is that it assumes everything that is natural is automatically good.

      Instead, everyone should be learning how to live as they are. Remove the "good" or "bad" value judgment.

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  10. Marlin – The Jewish people began with life – not with genocide. We began with love and creation – as in Genesis 1:1. That is our beginning. Yes, we have been through a lot over many many years – good along with some yucky thrown in – but we began with life and the creation of life. I double checked the first page of my Torah which sits nearby where I spend most of my time. To resolve any confusion for you (or any person who might be reading this comment and wondering) – the Torah is Hebrew for the first 5 books of the Old Testament – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. These books are the basis for all of Judaism. Our laws are there – the most important part of our story (our being) is in those books and they are used in our weekly, daily (for those who pray formally daily) and on the most holy of days. The rest of the Old Testament is stories – stories which are important – but considered more a part of our history than actual law.

    You have cited a number of things (objects) which you believe in – or are very important to you. Everybody has things/objects which are in some way meaningful – but by the way you write these items seem to be causing you pain and holding you back from finding your true feelings. I am so happy for you that you have realized and acknowledged that you are LGBT – but it seems like there is still more of your self that is waiting to emerge.

    When I first lost my community I held tightly onto the things that meant the most to me. I became angry and continued to stay filled with fear. Then one day I had to get rid of a lot of things – for financial reasons – and although it was difficult to let them go I did. Once I let go of everything (even stepped away from religion for a couple of years) the real me emerged. Now I'm not suggesting that you have to get rid of things you care about – maybe just put them somewhere out of sight and forget about them for a time.

    What matters is what is inside of us. I think all of our community has a little bit of fear for each member of our community. No place is completely safe – but we cannot fight for our Equality and live in great fear at the same time. Fortunately when something happens – most of the time our bodies do mend. We need your voice and your energies Marlin. I've let go of fear – so I can live the only life I have. When I sold those items which were rich with memories I thought I was giving up on the person who had been connected to them – then I realized it wasn't the object – it was the memory.

    Every single solitary one of us – has the one life – like David. That included you – too Marlin!! My new community within Judaism (a new Temple with a new congregation of members I've never met before) has accepted me openly as who I openly am. I am MJ – a woman who is a Lesbian & Jewish & also has a disability which puts me in a wheelchair – (well actually a scooter – it's a really pretty blue one). Maybe letting go and stepping away for a time is just what you need. It helped me incredibly.

    David right now seems to need something different. He is at a place in his life where he seems to feel good and – well at least based on his video – he has a very positive outlook on life. It seems like he should continue to do just what he feels right doing. (He doesn't seem to need any rescuing at the moment.)

    There are a lot of neat blogs (non-religious) and websites to follow – where there are discussions on all sorts of things. (jaysays.com has some pretty good articles …. okay so you caught me – I am a little biased – being one of the contributors…) Whenever I feel a little bogged down – I check out something completely different than what is bogging me down. I even read non-religious stuff – like I am finally reading the last 2 books of the Harry Potter series. Maybe not for you – but maybe something else is.

    Please – put the old journals and videos and everything else – away. Do something fun. Do something silly. Quit the book group or find another. Don't worry about the well being of everybody else – take care of you for now!! We need you in the LGBT and LGBT Ally fight for our rights. 🙂

    p.s. shh! Jason (aka Jay aka jaysays) is not 70….

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    • Marlin Bynum says:

      MJ,

      Thanks for the advice. If I were to do some of the stuff that you prescribe it would only hasten the end. LOL.

      I know you are trying to be kind and good and that is a good thing. I am glad you have found peace. I haven't but hope to one day.

      I won't take the time to go item by item, because it would not serve any real purpose here. And I do have fun. I read and write and enjoy movies and television. I go to the coffee shop and sit (alone). And have gone to a bar now and again (but won't know because of TABC warnings LOL).

      When I hear people like you I think of the song "Shadow of the Day" by Linkin Park. "Sometimes solution aren't so simple, Sometimes goodbye is the only way,"

      Have a good one.

      Later,

      Marlin

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  11. David – I hope you are keeping up with these comments. You have done a very big thing – made a major accomplishment – you have come out. You seem happy and energetic and positive. Keep that going – that will help you to make decisions as you continue through your life – yeah even with the tiny ones…

    You don't need saving or anything like that – but you do have the support of a very large community – just as we all do. Please keep being you and keep growing (as we all need to for all of our lives). My age might seem ancient to you – but there is some wisdom that comes with that.

    I am truly looking forward to hearing more from you and about you. Keep up the good stuff !!!

    mj (that's my name … by the way….)

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  12. Marlin Bynum says:

    The Mormon group of GLBT supporters is called Affirmation:

    http://www.affirmation.org/

    Good Luck to David.

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  13. Marlin – okay so don't put away anything. Leave things as they are. Maybe when you go to the coffee shop – take something to read that you find humorous. Smile at everybody you see. They have no idea who you are or anything about you. I find that children tend to smile back.

    Tell your current reading group what you really think of the book. Maybe that will lead to a good discussion – or maybe they didn't like the book either.

    I would really like to continue our conversation. My suggestions were merely suggestions – and some might not find them agreeable – that's okay.

    Marlin – what do you think would make you laugh?

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    • Marlin Bynum says:

      MJ,

      Thanks for caring. What would make me laugh. Well I have and still do from time to time watch television series etc. In fact if it had not been for the DVD of the television series "Freinds" I would not have survived my two bouts with cancer.

      I have not idea what I am going to tell the group. I would almost miss the meeting, but stupid me offered to host in my home. The purpose was two fold — to open up my home to guests. I have lived here for over a year and haven't really had any guests over. Second was to get my but in gear to clean the house. I am a terrible housekeeper, but that is a whole other issue. LOL.

      I do laugh. I just have sadly reached an impass. I hope it will pass soon though LOL. I have tried a ton of things, but think I am just too odd of a fit LOL. I tried liberal Christianity — actually was a communion server in the largest gay church in the world, was even given the opportunity to do more before I realized their hypocrisy. Went to a emergent church, because I have been interested in that movement for years. Even go to the Freethinkers Church here. I have been in singles groups, social clubs, gone to bars, movies, gook club, Just haven't made a connection with people.

      My biggest problem is myself, I realize that. I tend to over think and analyze everything. But I haven't figured out how to turn that off. I have a lot of "online" people I talk to. One of those, who I have met in person a few times, pretty much told me that I am a 150 in a 110 world. I know my IQ isn't that high, but he tells me that most people don't even think like I do. That I agree with.

      I also should have quite my job this summer, but I like my job, just not the people I work with. They are not evil people, but they are very heterosexist and homophobic. I told myself I am keeping the job because I want to help the kids, and that is true. I have asked for diversity training, but reading this book and then thinking about going back to work, and then listening to David. It is was and is just sad.

      But don't worry about me. I have create this mess and will either figure it out or not. My biggest sadness is that overall I am a good person. I do volunteer work with youth. I am a special education teacher. I have worked with homeless people. I am a kind and gentle person in the right situation. But it seems that person is lost sometimes, for whatever reason.

      Never fear one of my newest theme songs is "Defying Gravity" from Wicked. Maybe I will defy gravity, or maybe I will crash to the grown like Icarus and will fly too close to the sun and crash.

      As I said, I am just fearful for David. It was interesting because he actually has a video posted on the affirmation web site. I need to listen to his videos. Has he been excommunicated yet. There was another young man on there who had. I have been wanting to write an article along the lines of "Who Controls Your Soul," but haven't done it yet.

      Well as I said, don't worry after all the other stuff that I have messed up I am down to the book club and can't give it up. Next month will be better with "Dreams of My Father." Which I have actually read before. So I can skim it. It is a good memoir, although it is a political document LOL.

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  14. rrchapman – It is very easy to lump everything into one gigantic "pot". Calling everything that occurs is not necessarily nature. Some things are a mutated response to something that has changed nature – whether science recognizes it or not. Science is massive and gives us many wonderful things – including cures and treatments and explanations – but I do not entirely believe science is the answer to everything.

    Nature creates – something that makes us ill could come from an accident or a bump or something ingrown – maybe a virus which attacked us. That is not nature. Colds (which are viruses) are not natural. They are common (too common) but not part of nature. Nature creates life. Part of life is who we are. Some of are attracted (by what is in our being) to persons of the opposite sex – and some people are attracted to persons of the same sex. There is nothing bad in that. There is only love – when love is found.

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  15. Marlin – you've had some very interesting experiences. It sounds like you give of your own self a lot – and that can be a very very good thing.

    When I first came out – I lost my original community and looked for other communities. Once I found a community where I felt that I fit I gave a lot of myself and my time to help others within the community. I volunteered and attended events within that religious community. It took awhile (several years) to realize that I wasn't quite as welcome as I realized. I pushed harder but that only pushed me further away from the groups I was involved with.

    Then I took time for me – to re-discover me. I also used to teach – before I went to work in the telcom industry. The time I took showed me that I needed to find my source of fun and my own source of calm. Once I figured that out (over quite a period of time) I "stumbled" upon a community which welcomed me with opened arms – literally. I just kept going to weekly services – and started making friends. I am out and honest with those who I have met – and every week we all seem to find something to laugh about.

    When I go to out – it is usually alone. I have the feeling though – that with time I will end up having that dinner with a friend… etc. Give yourself time Marlin.

    You do sound like a good person. In terms of the book club – do what you want… If you decide to stay – fine. If you decide to leave – guess you'll have to let them know that somebody else needs to volunteer their home – or other location for the meetings.

    Anger is difficult to let go of – and I know this from experience. What I did to let go of it will be different than anybody else.

    I used to watch friends (in syndication – I was curious sort of after the fact). What else is funny to you? Do you enjoy LGBT events? Do you enjoy going out for a walk??? Have you thought about reading a book that has absolutely nothing what-so-ever to do with the book club??? (Heck – what have you done for just you – yourself – and only you – lately? hmmmm?).

    ps. For awhile I wasn't involved in any community at all – religious or otherwise – just me. Work and home. Doing what I wanted to do during my time – even if that was absolutely nothing. And for the record…. the last time I had somebody over to my house – years. I am a lousy keeper of my house. It is a mess. (Then I got sick and made it worse.) Now I'm in the process of cleaning it up (albeit slowly..).

    have a good evening !

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    • Marlin Bynum says:

      MJ,

      I read three to five books a months LOL. And at least a couple of magazines. and tons of stuff on the Internet.

      Book club went okay. It fact pretty well.

      Most of all home opened up and that was good.

      Glad you made it through the rain . . .

      Later,

      Marlin

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  16. David Baker says:

    Thank you guys very much for your comments of support and warning. I know that what I am doing is risky, but like all things worth doing there is some element of risk involved. I know that it could be potentially damaging to me and my soul/psyche, but I think that by not staying in the Church and actively participating in the discussion and helping to shape it will ultimately lead to further damage, perhaps not to me, but to others just like me who everyday throw their lives away by committing suicide. If my soul and psyche must bear a bit of that burden for someone else, ten at least that person will be better off… and I will not be alone for I have multiple networks of support and others like me who are standing up, who are creating the need for discussion much like the ECLA had last friday.

    Again, thank you very much for your support and counsel, I hope to hear more and become a part of this community as well.

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  17. Bravo David – you have a lot going for you and we need your energy ! 😉

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