Monday, August 22, 2011
Is married and gay easier than single and gay as a member of the LDS church?
As any of my readers know (I don't think I have many yet), I'm new to the blog world and I've been reading a lot of various posts from those of you who are married. I just have to say how impressed I am by your commitment and desire to do what you feel is right. I'm amazed that you could be deeply attracted to men but somehow continue to show such devotion to your wives and children. Some of you are still married and will stay married, others of you were married and are no longer married. But in both cases, I've been so impressed with the ongoing love that continues to be offered to spouses and children whether couples stay married or not.
With that in mind, let me pose this question for discussion: As a Mormon gay man, is it easier to be single or easier to be married? I'd love any opinions on the topic, not because I think I'm right or wrong on this topic. I'm just curious how my attitude stacks up against your experiences.
Single and gay in the church
As a single man in the church, I spend zero time being concerned about a spouse, whether I should tell her about my attraction, how it might affect the children in the future, whether I'll remain faithful, whether I'll be able to perform sexually, etc. I do spend a fair amount of time thinking how nice it would be to have a partner in life and to build a family. Just because I'm attracted to men doesn't mean I don't want children. I think I'd be a damn good husband and father, but I don't really see it within my sights so this is my biggest challenge as a single gay man in the church who at the present time is still very active. Will I ever have that? Will I ever build a life with someone the way married men do? I get offers to be set up with girls all the time and that's a pain. I also grow weary of trying to fit in and not stand out. I mean, if you're single at 34 years old and aren't in a relationship, people talk and assume and speculate. I hate dealing with that. I sometimes feel that my life lacks purpose and meaning, despite career and educational pursuits. If these other goals aren't geared toward building a life and family with someone, you'd be amazed at how unmotivated you can get at times. I know that married gay men can struggle just as much, but I hope you get what I mean here.
Married and gay in the church
You have the joy and satisfaction of having a family unit and that must be rewarding. Coming home to a wife and kids who can't wait to see you instead of coming home to your own place. Having a clear purpose in life is more likely because you're not just living life for yourself. At the same time, the added stress of providing for a whole family (needs and wants) requires a lot of selflessness. I am giving by nature, but I can see how I exhibit some selfish behavior as a single gay man who doesn't really date. Some married men may feel that it would be so much easier to get physical needs met as a single guy. But let me put it this way: a lot of you married men are getting more quality time in the bedroom than little ole celibate me gets. Along with that, you're getting affirmation, affection, and overall fulfillment of family life. I recognize that it's not all roses though.
I've had some cool conversations about this in the past where a gay married man said it would be so much easier to be single and gay, but I'm not so sure. Sometimes, I think the stability of a family and spouse would really help me with this issue. It's just that the very thought of dating a woman brings me extreme sadness, so how am I going to ever get to that? On the other hand, I don't think I fully understand the plight (sorry to use that word) of what it's like to be gay and married, especially with kids.
Long story short, thanks for your posts. I find them helpful, whether you're still married or not, whether you're still affiliated with the church or not. Your posts will be helpful as I make some decisions in the coming year.