Hurt

Today I did something incredibly stupid. I hurt someone… Again. I say again, because I do this far too often. I always seem to hurt the people that I love the most. I don’t know why, maybe I have commitment issues or something. But what I thought were more words of honesty, and what would hopefully strengthen this relationship, probably ended up destroying it.

I’ve just hurt so many people that I wonder if I’m even capable of actually loving somebody. This, at least to me, is the problem with being gay. I fall in love, and then I feel bad about it, so I have to end it (if it ever started.) If I fall in love, it causes so much hurt. To me, to them, to my friends, and to my family. And I really just don’t want to hurt anyone, so maybe I should just stay single. 

This issue transcends beyond romantic relationships, and into friendships. I think I may have ruined a friendship, because of the relationship, which ironically, probably just ended. You know who you are, both of you. And I’m truly sorry, I’ve tried to tell both of you, and I’m not even sure if you’re going to read this, but I guess I just need to get this off of my chest. I’m sorry if this post is depressing, and poorly written, but I needed to say these things. Also, I’m sorry if I’ve hurt anyone else, please tell me if I have, I want to make it right.

– Landon 

Advertisements

Even if I Tried (part II)

20131023-141339.jpg

What?! You want to know what happens next? I guess I can tell you. But first, let me give you just a bit of background on where my life was when the nest part happened.

It basically started in September of 2012. I was a manager at my work, and my closest friends were my coworkers. There was Tori, she was my best friend at the time; Ciara, we had sung in choir together, and now we worked together; Linnzi, we had gone to school together for years, but we really didn’t get to know each other until now; and finally Kalob, whom I had done a play with the year before. These were my friends at the time, they were my rock, but they didn’t know I was gay. On a side note, there was Matt, who I had been friends with since preschool. He just got a job at my work, and this is where this story begins:

It was my first night closing with Matt. I was skeptical, but it look as though it could turn out to be a good close. It was a good clos

e, but I learned a lot about Matt. I had been living with the thought that Matt was a really good kid that went to church etc. Now, don’t get me wrong, he’s a great guy, and he would give you the shirt off of his back, but I learned a lot about him. I heard him swear, talk about his faith and how he didn’t believe the church was true anymore. This changed my whole outlook. It was time, time to be honest with him.

I still couldn’t talk to anyone face-to-face about it, so I decided to wait for him to pull out of the parking lot after work, then I would send him the text. I did. I went home and took a shower, knowing that he would get the text and reply immediately. He did.

“Is this a joke?”

“No.”

“Oh.”

There was more to the conversation, but now I can’t remember. The next day was awkward to say the least. We decided to hang out at my house after school, which was even more awkwardness. We just sat there trying to figure out how to be friends again. Don’t get me wrong, he was totally ok with it, he just didn’t know what to say, which is understandable.

We Googled it, we looked it up on Reddit, finally I broke the ice by showing him this video. From then on we were fine. Within the next few weeks I would tell Tori, over text again. She was totally cool with it.

Then one night it happened. I just couldn’t help it by this point. I was closing at work again, and we had been talking about gay things all night. Linnzi, Kalob, and Ciara were closing with me. I had to help Linnzi take take out the trashes. I told her that I may not like girls. She didn’t quite get it, and then she did… And, she was totally ok with it (I sense a trend here.)

I feel bad, but I hate to make this too wordy, but I’m gonna kinda put this in fast forward. I told Ciara and Kalob, and they were ok too. B

ut then something crazy happened. I went back to the sink to take some dishes back, and he whispered to me, “I am too.” I probably gave him the strangest look and then I asked him, “You are what?” He was gay. This was probably one of the biggest reliefs. Even though he’s still just a Senior in high school, he’s already done a lot of great things, and I Know he’ll do a lot more great things. You can find him here.

I can already tell that this post is waaay too wordy, so I’m going end this one here.

-Landon

Next time: My first (kinda) boyfriend, and how I eventually tell my parents.

Even if I Tried (part I)

Will and R.J.

R.J. Aguiar and Will Shepherd kiss after their recent engagement.

“The single best thing about coming out of the closet is that nobody can insult you by telling you what you’ve just told them.”
― Rachel Maddow

I stared at my own reflection in the mirror. “I’m gay.” I almost vomited. My stomach churned, because suddenly it was real. Now I couldn’t deny it, I was stuck. I suppose the only way one can be honest with others, is to first be honest with yourself. I had just taken the first step. This wasn’t particularly new to me. I guess I had known for a long time, but I just assumed it would go away. It doesn’t. I thought that I could pray, fast, and beg the Lord to take it away. I doesn’t work that way, I can tell you that right now. You spend many sleepless nights, staring at the ceiling, asking yourself what you did to deserve this. I can also tell you that that doesn’t go away (or it hasn’t for me, not yet.)

I lived in fear, that this might advance from thoughts, to something more. One thing changed that fear. A video make by a group of students at BYU. They called themselves USGA, Understanding Same-Gender Attraction. They are a club at BYU, and they made an ‘It Gets Better‘ video, and it pretty much changed my life… the first time. (You can find that video here. They also have a new video about suicide called “Just Be There.”)

In the video, what Adam said, “I remember going up to a mirror in my bathroom, and looking myself right in the eye and saying, ‘Adam, um, I think you’re gay.'” So I decided to do the same thing. From that point on, I watched as many coming out videos as I could.

About a week before my 17th birthday I made the decision to ask a good friend of mine if she would still love me if I was gay. She responded, “Yes, of course. Is there something you want to tell me?” There wasn’t anything I wanted to tell her at the time. She went on to tell me about a few of her family members who were gay, and how she still loved them.

The next week was Hell. I couldn’t concentrate on anything. I just kept on thinking about having to come out some day. Finally, on the night before my 17th birthday, I texted my friend again, and asked told her that I had lied to her. I don’t fully recall the conversation that followed, but she now knew my biggest secret. The one thing that, at the time, I thought could ruin my whole life. And guess what? She still loved me, and she still loves me (I think.) She proceeded to count down to my birthday by sending me a text every minute until midnight. To date, that’s one of my most memorable conversations.

At one point, I had a running list of people whom I had told, but I have since lost track of who came next. I do know that for a long time, it wasn’t very many. For the next six months, the total of people who knew my “Big Secret,” would amount to no more than five people… That changed on night at work, when I became too friendly with many of my coworkers… But you’ll have to wait for that story…

-Landon

Next Post: How I told the majority of my friends, and eventually my parents.

I am a Child of God

Hold on Tight

©Liz Lemon Swindle

I hesitate to get religious, I suppose because I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable, (not that I have that many readers.) Today I don’t care. Today I’m going to say what I’m thinking, regardless of how I feel it will impact you, the reader. I just have some thoughts and feelings that I would like to communicate to whomever wants to listen.

I want to brush upon the surface of something called the Atonement. If you don’t know what the Atonement is:

a·tone·ment (əˈtōnmənt}, noun  – Amends or reparation made for an injury or wrong.

In common culture though, the word refers to a specific event in Christian history when Jesus Christ took our sins upon Himself, so that we, all sinners by nature, could go to heaven. At this point in the translation of this event, many religions diverge. I’m going to tell it as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon) would. Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is our brother, and that He came to this Earth to take all of our sins upon Him, and essentially die for us so that we can live with Him and our Heavenly Father again.

After completing His ministry, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray to His father, our Heavenly Father. He kneeled down and prayed, saying “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” After the prayer was finished, an angel came to comfort him, and the Atonement began. Jesus bled from every pore, taking on all of our sins, feeling all of our sorrows. He knows what we’ve been through and what we’re going through. He has felt our pains, and through him, we can find happiness. [To learn more about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, visit Mormon.org.]

I’m now going to turn this around, just slightly, and apply this to my own life. I am gay, and I try to be pretty open about it. I am also an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This is hard, and honestly, I can’t think of any other trial in my life that has brought me more sorrow and suffering. I also can’t think of any other blessing that has brought me as much joy and pure happiness as this. Yes, this is both a trial and a blessing. But how can I apply the Atonement to my life, to help myself through difficult times?

If we recall, Jesus spent most of his life as an outcast. He was born in a stable, among the oxen and lambs. People laughed at Him and mocked Him. He was whipped; speared; forced to drink vinegar; and He died on a cross, hands nailed, and a crown of thorns upon his head. I hesitate to compare my life to Christ’s, but I, along with countless other members of the LGBT community, have been through tough things. People have been tortured, beaten, mocked, and cast out. If there is any one person who understands how it feels, it’s Jesus Christ.

Not only did Christ live His life in this manner, He took our sins upon Himself. He knows what we are going through because He has felt it Himself. When He was bleeding from every pore in the Garden of Gethsemane, I felt our pains, our struggles, and our weaknesses. We may not have walked a mile in His shoes, or anyone else’s; but He has walk a mile in ours, and He knows what it’s like to be us.

This same lesson can be applied to anyone’s life, not just to that of an LGBT individual. Remember that He loves you, no matter what. I urge you, if you have any belief in Jesus, and if you are struggling to fit Him into your life, He knows how to help. He’s been in your shoes, and He has felt your pain. Christ is here for you.

-Landon

 

If you have any revisions or inaccuracies that you’d like to make me aware of, feel free to email me at lfulgham1@gmail.com.