Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Coming Out to My Parents

So, here's the final draft. The additions are in another color. I took a few things out to avoid repetition and make things a little more clear. I'm sending it out tomorrow along with a copy of In Quiet Desperation and a little note with the Matis' number and instructions to read their part and call them if they feel it would be helpful. Thank you all so much for your advice and encouragement. It's been an emotional few days and it's only getting worse...the time to come out has arrived. I'll definately write about how it all goes. Wow, I'm afraid...afraid of the tears and pain and hurt that this is going to involve. I know my parents will always love me, no matter what gets said. I would not be able to do it if i didn't have such incredible and extra-ordinary friends, I just couldn't do it alone. Feel it deeply that if you're reading this, I've felt your support. Thank you.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dear Mom and Dad,
Hi… So, until recently, I was always absolutely convinced that I would never write this letter or have this talk with you. I’ve told Hillary and my bishop and then there are the people I’ve met in the coming out process, but it’s time to be open with you.
I need to take a quick moment and explain the reasons that I decided to write a letter instead of talking with you in person or over the phone. First, this is a long letter and it contains a lot of information. You can read it slowly, read it two or three or more times, or take a break if you want. With a conversation, when it’s over, it’s over and there’s nothing tangible that we can go back to for review, clarification, or validation. Second, this gives us opportunity to let the information settle before we react. Reading this letter, and for me writing this letter, we’re able to cry, curse, laugh, or do anything else we need to do. With conversations, it’s face to face. There’s also the possibility that emotions will give way to misunderstandings that create unnecessary concerns or prompt ill-founded comments… – this way, we’re able to let things settle. The last reason is that this is hard. I can look at my computer screen and type the contents of my heart and mind, but I don’t know that I could look into your faces and share it. You know that I love you and that you are my great confidants. I respect your ideas and opinions and I treasure the virtues and values you’ve taught me. I think it’s because of how much I love you and how highly I esteem the things you’ve taught me that I don’t want to do this in person. Do understand though, that I fully expect to talk with you about this over the phone and in person. I just felt that it would be most helpful to breach the surface with a letter…so, here goes.
As I write this letter and as you read it, we’ve got to agree to do something. Let us speak, remember, and see truly. I have to chuckle for a moment, because there is so much that we’ve moved past and put behind or under us—things that we’d rather not remember; but, for me, in writing this letter and for you, in reading this letter, our minds will frequently (and appropriately) be called to remember some of those things that we’ve all but forgotten. It is necessary for us to be honest and willing to see what has been and what is. I’m gay—what I’m supposed to desire and experience relative to girls, I experience about guys.
First, I’m going to elaborate on the present situation, and then I’ll tell you about how things have evolved to the present. So. . .gay. Again, what that means is that the things I’m supposed to feel for girls, I only feel it for guys. It’s sad that I’ve got to clarify this, but society’s stereotypes of homosexuals requires elaboration—you guys know that I’m not a pedophile, and I’m not hyper-sexual or confused. I’ve finally come to terms with what I feel, I know what it means; now, the only question is what I’m going to do about it. I’m sure that you feel surprised when I say that I’m not sure what I’ll do about it.
The obvious and easy answer is to fix it and move on to marriage and a family—that’s the purpose of this life; so, God will help us to achieve it, right? Well, that’s not the case. Please understand that I’ve put that belief to the test for the last 15 or so years—as long as I’ve been aware of experiencing this. Pre-mission, on the mission, at the MTC, at ANASAZI. . .I’ve tried pleading, deals, compromising, threatening, patience and every other possibility. Homosexuality is not heal-able.
It’s not a sickness. The church has altered its position regarding "changing" homosexuals. Decades ago, Spencer Kimball wrote: "Certainly it can be overcome, for there are numerous happy people who were once involved in its clutches and who have since completely transformed their lives. Therefore to those who say that this practice or any other evil is incurable, I respond: ‘How can you say the door cannot be opened until your knuckles are bloody, till your head is bruised, till your muscles are sore?’ It can be done." In the present day, the church acknowledges that homosexuals "may not be free of this challenge in this life" and that marriage should not be seen as a means of treating or changing someone (from the Church pamphlet God Loveth His Children). All I want to say with this is that I don’t loathe myself for feeling this way anymore, I’m not trying to hide it anymore, and I’m not trying to change myself anymore—through faith in God or therapy or any other means.
I’d like to tell you about the way things are for me now-a-days. So, here it is:
- I believe that our prophets and apostles are called of God in the very way and for the very purpose that we have always believed—namely that they are His authorized and appointed leaders for His children.
- I believe that we, as a church in general, assume too much. I think that God has given us a skeleton of knowledge and we’ve added flesh to it. I don’t blame anybody, but I think that’s what we’ve done with all our time and pondering and philosophizing.
- I believe that we don’t know for certain how God feels about homosexuality. It’s clear that even our prophets don’t know God’s final feelings on the subject. From the changes in the church’s official position over the last 50 years, we can easily divine that God is revealing to His prophets only as much on the subject as His children are willing to accept—kind of like African Americans and the priesthood.
- I also know that I love the church and the values it’s instilled in me. More than anything, I value the great awakenings that I’ve received under the tutelage of the church. God exists and He loves us. Christ’s offering of Himself provides opportunity for us, as long as we’re willing, to prepare ourselves for an existence with him and others that we love. And as long as I am willing, I can be close to and in contact with God, thereby providing a means with which He can guide me in the walkings of this life.
- Last, I know that I experience something about guys that I can’t experience about girls. I tried; I’ve been marriage serious with two amazing women. I never kissed them; as a matter of fact, I haven’t kissed a girl since Jasper kissed me when I was 15. That’s the only girl kiss I’ve had. I want to marry a girl. I wish I was straight. Wow, things’d be easier. . .but, that thinking has sent me into serious depression too many times. I won’t do it anymore. I tried reparative therapy for 5 months last year and I won’t ever try to change myself again. I can’t. It’s something I cannot do.
What’ll I do then? … I don’t know. I love you. I am the same person I’ve always been—I haven’t changed at all. I love the church and the standards of morality it teaches. And I will not strip myself of integrity or morals by being a lustful or promiscuous person.
I started a journal last year when I finally faced this and quit denying that it was there. Following are excerpts from that journal. You can see the changes I’ve gone through. The overall pattern of change goes from:
- enthusiasm for changing quickly and moving on with life as a fixed man to
- depression from failing to change to
- depression for sinning to
- depression from feeling completely helpless to
- accepting that I am who I am and there are some things I can’t change to
- finally being happy with who I am and deciding that I’ll be happy with whatever I end up doing because it’ll be me who chooses it and I won’t choose anything that is less than wonderful.
Here are a few excerpts:
April 16, 2008
The last two weeks have been really different, pretty difficult, and absolutely terrifying. . .I’m trying to figure it out. I was invited by a few close friends to come to a meeting that was held for people dealing with same gender attraction (SGA). I went, telling my friends that I was there to support others and that I was really interested in the issue; all the while, thinking that maybe it wasn’t a good idea to be there because I might end up facing my own long hidden SGA issue. And face it, I did—for the first time ever. It’s terrifying!
Long ago, on the mission, I made a promise to the Lord that the testimonial experiences that He had given me would never be discarded. That I would always know what He had given me to know: that He loves me and is always ready to take me in and comfort and heal me; that He is in control and as long as I keep my choices true to what I know He wants me to do, I am where he foresaw me to be and therefore safe in his hands; and that repentance is the way to become right again and is a gift given by Christ to all who will use it. I will forever keep that promise. I’ve come to accept that some challenges will never go away, but I have a real hope that the Lord sees the end of our mortal journeys and will lead us to the best exit. So, this journal will chronicle a new beginning in life, and the places it leads me.
April 19, 2008
I surpassed the nerves and worries and started talking with a couple of guys over the phone and on Facebook chat and eventually decided to do lunch with couple of them. Just try to imagine the meeting. I totally wasn’t sure what kind of discussion they were thinking of and the same visa versa. There were definitely a few um’s and silences at first, but then, we started talking pretty freely. Some of it was about our shared problem and some of it was about anything. It felt pretty good to be talking for real and not hiding anything.
Now, I know this sounds quite random and, knowing that the three of us who met up have the same sga issue, kind of gay. Well. . .random it was, but gay it wasn’t. You’ve gotta know this. The main reason that I wanted to meet up with these guys is because they’ve been traveling this road of dealing with sga longer than me and they had both, via email, mentioned that their real goal was to have a real family of their own and be good, faithful husbands and fathers. I, too, have no greater desire. Instead of this being some homo-indulging fun time, we really felt safe knowing that we shared this common ailment and common goal. Safe is a very great way to feel, especially when it is so rare.
May 3, 2008
It’s been a few weeks since I last wrote. And quite a lot has happened. With regard to "coming out" (it feels odd using that term) I wasn’t even entertaining the possibility of it, but because of my new friends who are helping me, I came to the feeling that it would be good to talk to my two closest friends about it. Both are girls I dated and I truly loved them both-and still do. I also talked with my bishop about it and tried to talk with my little sister (we’re really close) but that didn’t go quite how I was hoping—she didn’t believe me. . .haha. I guess, that’ll just mean that I’m keeping it to the two close friends that I’ve told and be happy with that. Kind of a count your blessings thing. So, now, three people know. All in all, coming out was so good. I think it does two things. It helps you to understand that you’re not as bad of a person as you came to believe, and it allows you to honor your true friendships in that you include your friends and allow their help and love and support to lift you from being so far down. Hopefully, you find out that they still love you and think well of you in spite of this thing.
June 14, 2008
Hmmm. It’s been too long. Since I last wrote, I’ve messed up some. Boy, I’m really sorry for that. I’m at the point now to where I don’t know if I should just throw up my hands with this or whether I should keep fighting. “Throw up my hands” doesn’t mean “embrace homosexuality.” It just means “drop the issue and try to live life aside of it.” I know it won’t go away, but I don’t think it’ll do any good to turn a lot of attention to achieving progress—especially when I don’t even know what kind of progress to achieve. By throwing up my hands, the pathway I’m living life on will no longer be measured by success or failure in being gay or straight. I’m not sure whether this is a bad case of give-it-up-itis or whether it’s smart…or both. Whatever it is, I’m doing it.
I just don’t know. Maybe we’re not supposed to fix every broken thing in life. Maybe, we’re supposed to do the most possible good with what we have. Maybe, these broken things are the very same things that will enable us to achieve greater levels of service that would otherwise be impossible. Maybe, we’re not all supposed to have the “traditional” life here. . .or maybe it’ll just happen a little later on. And along with that, what can we hope to become without learning to deny or control our passions…ourselves? Maybe, we should just do what we can, find happiness where it is now, and hope (sometimes blindly) that the rest will work out according to some/the divine plan…
June 28, 2008
Things have been kind of confusing lately. Someday, I’ll have a family. God asks us to remember the things that He’s taught us—to remember them in such a way that we can make decisions based on those teachings even if we aren’t filled with a burning belief in them at the time that the decision needs to be made. If once, long ago, we learned, undeniably, that in spite of our wrongs, God was willing to guide us out of our dangerous corners to light, happiness, and destined callings, then we can rest assured that the same is the case now. . .and forever. For a bit of humor and irony, a quote from The Boondock Saints fits to end this entry: "The question is not how far. The question is, do you possess the constitution, the depth of faith, to go as far as is needed?"
Sometimes, I don’t think I posses it; sometimes, I think otherwise; and then again, sometimes, I just don’t think about it cause it feels better not to. Sometimes, I don’t think I can do what I know I should. . .or more truthfully said, sometimes, I don’t do what I know Heavenly Father would help me to do because I lack the heart to continue to try. . .that is, if I’m being totally honest. But, sometimes, I remember what I’ve experienced and the awakenings and testimonies that God has shared to me. . .and I make choices based on what I know I once knew. . .and I do better.
June 29, 2008
It’d be so nice if they knew; but then again, would it? I did a little imagining of what it would be like if my family knew. . .. . .. . .It was horrible. I was really starting to consider telling my parents and maybe some others. . . but no, not after tonight’s imagination exercise. I hate feeling like I’m falling away from my family. Maybe I can fix this distance problem without disclosing anything. Our relationship has been excellent in the past. Maybe we can get that back. It just seems that now, the hardest issue I’ve ever known—the one that kicks my butt; the one that’s been the source of the greatest fear, shame, and uncertainty of my life; the one that I need help most in—I have to hide. . .
July 25, 2008
I took a really well-placed vacation. Three weeks—one on the bike in Montana with my family and two in Alaska with very dear friends. I decided that it would be a complete hiatus from all the things that were on the table in my mind. It proved to be a little more difficult to clear that table than I had expected, but I did it. Now that I’m nearing the end of the trip, I’m allowing stuff back onto my mind’s table one issue by one.
Here they are: 1. I am still ashamed and sick for experiencing same gender attraction. When I talk with anybody about this, I feel so gay. I would never want anybody to feel offended that I associate so many negative feelings with that term, but I can’t call myself gay and not be very offset and upset. 2. I was on a walk tonight and I realized that I feel like I went too far in coming out to myself. I’ve been allowing myself to say that I’m gay. I don’t think that I’m going to say that anymore. I’m going to stop it at saying that I experience strong same-gender attraction (sga) and that it’s really an obstacle for me. 3. Should I fix things or change or correct these attractions before I try to move forward, or should I just move forward? If I try to do the former, then I feel like I’m not making any progress and I’m starting t get stagnant; and like stagnant water, I begin rotting. If I do the latter, then am I setting myself up for disaster down the road for not fixing the problem or am I just saying "I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down!"?
September 18, 2008
Every time I had ever changed stations in life or moved it was because of the same feeling inside me that was so clear in directing where to go and what I was to do there. As long as I followed it, I knew that I was where I was supposed to be and doing what I was supposed to be doing. When I left Arizona, I knew where I was supposed to go—UT, and I knew what I was supposed to do—go to school, but I had no idea why.
For two years in AZ, I had been engaged in as good a cause and effective a cause as that when I was a missionary. Why was I supposed to move back to UT where I had previously crashed in stress, anxiety, and trouble? Well, in April of this year, I went to my first Matis meeting (a supportive kind of evening for gay or lesbian LDS members). I finally started to deal with my homosexual feelings. All the sudden, I knew that this was the reason I was supposed to move to UT. I had to deal with it.
Now, after all the events of the last five months, I’m asking, "What was God thinking?" I’m so lost and wandering. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m going to finish psychology, get my license, and help young people; but, aside from those outward things, I have no idea where I am or where I’m going or how to have the heart and ability to do what I feel I’m supposed to. . . I feel completely empty, pointless, and lifeless. Why?
September 29, 2008
I remember when I was working with others that were experiencing trials and challenges, I would say to them that they needed to focus on things that they both wanted to change and could change. Worrying about anything else was not only futile and wasteful, but harmful and destructive. Well, it’s plain to see that I need someone to share that very principle with me. I’ve been concerning myself so strongly with changing things that I can’t change that I haven’t even had safe control over things I could influence or change for the better. After thinking about the good fortune I experience in life, I thought about some of my most cherished memories, including touring the museums in Washington, DC, with Hill. In one museum of art, there were tons of quotes on the walls accompanying masterful paintings. One of the quotes was from Carl Schurz: "Ideals are like stars: you will not succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the seafaring man on the ocean desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them, you reach your destiny." I think I’ve been following my feet—or at least looking down all the time while saying that I’m trying to follow the stars. Yeah, doesn’t work.
I think he means that we’ve got to stay focused on the things that we do want and can accomplish and not let ourselves be distracted or turned from our path by other seemingly valid concerns—concerns that we might be able to affect, but that would prove to be less important than the grand plans and ideals that we chase and could otherwise be accomplishing if we would but stay focused. So, I’ll spend the next while working on understanding how best to stay focused on the stars and be guided by ideals. Of course, it’ll be a process; but perhaps, it’ll be the reminder that I need to recall to me the way of being I once had—the one that brings joy and fullness to work and relationships, and love and life.
October 13, 2008
April will be the one year mark from when I admitted to SGA. I have nightmares sometimes that my family finds me out. It’s going to happen someday. I don’t have a partner and I don’t ever plan to, but being single for too long is just about as much of a give-away. At any rate, the other questions and evidences will eventually give me up. But, I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, no?
October 23, 2008
Something dawned on me the other day. I need a different purpose in life—a new something for my mortal existence to culminate in. I mean, shoot, there is no other right life aside from the track of baptism, priesthood, mission, married, and children. That’s the purpose of life! or was. . . Well, I thought about it for a while, and I decided it was OK if my life’s culminating purpose—the thing that I could say was my mark for having lived—was my work with adolescents and their families. I hope that doesn’t sound a mediocre answer, cause in no way do I hope to have only a mediocre impact on a mediocre number of individuals. I thought, "If I don’t have a family, then all the time that would have gone to them can now go to my work. The people I work with can be my family and expanding and building that business bigger and bigger so as to increase our capacity to help more and more families could be my life and the thing that I invest my heart into."
My question to the critic would only be: "What else am I going to do with it?" I see that this is quite idealistic, but "ideals are like stars," right? I mean, I’m not foolish enough to believe that things will turn out just like I see them in my detailed daydreams; but, that’s not to say that they can’t actually turn out to be better than the dreams. The biggest reason for failing, I think, is because people fail to dream and then believe in themselves. And again, I can see that this is a stretch, but it’s what I’ll shoot for. So, something good is that I might have found a new purpose in life.
However, I am still afraid of the future. . .of me in the future. I’m afraid that I’ll become someone that I’ll regret, or that I’ll regret living alone, or that I’ll regret marrying, or that I’ll regret something I didn’t want to write. I know what I want, I know what is true, and I know where I should be. . .but knowing all those things has never precluded me from making grave mistakes. It always comes down to that moment when you face the decision. I think it’s that moment that I’m afraid of. No matter what I want or know or see for a hundred days in a row, that moment is decided by what I am able to see then and there. I’m afraid because I don’t have a good track record. I’m a wild card, even to me. I feel like a coward by saying all this, or like a person that plans to fail, or like a premature quitter. But I’d be a liar if I was to say that I know what will happen or that I know I’ll be where I’m supposed to be in 2, 5, or 10 years.
Don’t misunderstand, I don’t question my testimony; I don’t question my love for God and Christ; I don’t question prophets, revelation, leadership, or the power of faith. I question that moment and me in it. I’ve just learned from so many other experiences. . .that no matter how I feel now, I can’t tell you for sure what will happen at that moment. I’m afraid of not being where I should be some day down the road when I stop and take a look around and then look at myself. Well, with all the above drama, let me just say that I’m not in a crisis. I love my friends, I love my family, I like my work, and I really don’t like my classes. So, I guess I’m normal, right?. . . maybe I am.
February 9, 2009
I turned 26 today. My first thought this morning was that I should have accomplished more by now than I have. I’m still working on my undergrad and I’ve not really done anything of great or lasting consequence. I promise I’ve stayed really busy and I’ve tried to leave a good mark everywhere I go. On the other hand, I do take great comfort in what I have inter-personally—in who my friends are. Hillary said that she thought that the quality of my friends was a reflection of me. I half agree—I think it’s as much good fortune/God’s blessing that my friends are so incredible, uncommon, and heart-filled as it is a reflection on me. I’m unarguably a very fortunate person.
Yoga, running, basketball, volleyball, lifting, classes, work, and church. That’s me—week in and week out. I’m loving it so much. For the most part, I’ve really been on cloud nine for January and the start of February (November and December were darker and more horrific that I believed possible). There are a few things that slow me down here and there, but not for long. All my grad school apps are in and I’m waiting anxiously for a word. It could drive me nuts, but I’m staying busy enough to get by. I kind of feel like I’m in limbo—waiting for the transition period to wherever I go to school. I start to make plans for this or that, but then I remember that it’s all contingent on what happens with grad school. So, yeah, it is driving me nuts.
I don’t have a boyfriend and it’s been that way since the end of December. That’s good. I don’t have a girlfriend either. ;) I suppose that’s good as well. I am still unsure of what will happen. Fortunately, the unsurity isn’t for the same reasons as before (see the latter half of October 23rd’s entry). It’s because I want two opposite things so strongly and yet equally. I have friends who decided to be in relationships and I feel so happy for them and I think they’re such incredibly great and golden people—but how would I feel about me if I found that kind of happiness? I want that so badly. . . A fulfilling relationship—like what happily married people experience. . .I want that. Or, what if I married the woman I love? Right now, there isn’t a soul, man or woman, I am happier to be with or love more than Hillary. Really, that’s the bare and full truth. But, I know that can’t happen. It’s unhealthy, inappropriate, selfish or otherwise purely wrong for gay people to try to force a marital relationship—that’s how they end in heartache for entire families.
Otherwise and for the most part, I’m really doing great. I feel like I’m walking in an open meadow and I’m so so grateful and peaceful. There have been a couple hiccups here and there but all really is well. I feel so full of love for everyone I spend time with and for all that I correspond with. My heart feels full because of thoughts of my friends who have offered support to me in times of deep confusion or despair. There’s a good way to put a smile on my face. . .
That’s a lot of journal entries, no? I put them there so you could understand what’s happened over the last year. Mom, you said that I’ve really changed over the last year. Yeah, I have. I wish with every part of myself that I hadn’t. I wish even more that I was normal. I’d be married happily and probably with children. . .you’d be grandparents! But, like I said above, I’m not going to do that anymore—I’m not going to wish like that anymore.
I’m sure that this leaves tons of questions unanswered. When you are ready to ask them, I’m here.
Please think hard if you feel to guide me to work on change. I believe we’d find ourselves at an impasse. It’s taken me a full year of pain, hurt, friendships, guidance, struggling, mistakes, and wandering to bring me to where I’m at—to a feeling of acceptance and readiness to move on with a different life than I had forever anticipated and expected.
I know that I need to be patient and I promise to be very patient for us. It definitely takes time to wrap your mind around it. But, do feel assured that things are ok and that they’re going to remain that way. I’m healthy, most often happy, and prepared to move forward with a very productive life.
What am I lacking? Everyone has challenges and mysteries to solve. . .of course I’m not going to be an exception to that. The future? Well, we can’t write it now, so let’s cross those bridges when we come to them. Let’s take this slowly. Anna is getting married in the temple and that is reason enough to be incredibly happy. Let’s see this as a side story to Anna’s marriage. Really, that’s where it belongs.
Please don’t tell any extended family. If you want the girls to know, please let me tell them. If you want to keep this between us three for now, that’s ok too. I love you guys. I’m me, the same one you’ve always known. When you go to sleep tonight, remember that I love you and we’re really fortunate to have each other. I love you.
At the close of this letter, I would like to say one thing. If after reading this, you feel concerns that I’m going to do something or say something that you would have previously considered inconsistent with me and my character, understand that I have not changed and that I am exactly the same person you knew yesterday. I’ve not been pretending or faking my personality. I’m still me. I love riding, running, sports, shooting, hunting, cars, mud, travel, psychology, you, Sari, Celia, Anna, Allie, and Tux. That’s all unchangeable. I love you guys. Don’t let this bring you down much. We’re not unstable, in crisis or in need of immediate action. Take your time, forget about it and go to a movie if it’d help. In the words of the great purple dinosaur that Anna brought us all to hate, “I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family.”
Really mom and dad, the reason for this letter is that I now understand that this is not going away and it’s not right for me to do this alone. Just like the whole cancer scare, I try to keep this un-fun stuff to myself, but that’s not ok. I love you sooo much and I’m so fortunate and blessed to have you. I’m healthy, you’re healthy. I’m safe and you’re safe. Call me whenever you’d like, ask whatever you’d like. Call Hillary if you feel it. I love you.

Your son,

P.S. First, it’s not your fault. I don’t think you’ll blame yourselves, but if you try, understand that there is nowhere to point the blame. Things are ok. Second, I will always stay in the Church. I love the Church and what it stands for and how it helps me. Rest assured, I love God and I’m forever grateful for the Church and for the way you two have stuck with and raised me. You could have handed me over to the juvi system and I’ll never forget that you kept me.


Ezra said...

I think maybe you're trying to cover too much in the first e-mail... maybe less is more... just tell them you're gay, and summarize the process you've been through so they understand that you aren't coming to this conclusion hastily... I feel like your letter is overwhelming with it's sheer volume of material.

But it's all good--I'm not saying there's anything you shouldn't say, just maybe not all in the first message...

October Rising said...

agreed. the letter is good but maybe a bit overwhelming. but, it's what ever you feel is best and what you feel you need to say in the beginning.
Hope it all goes well.

Bravone said...

Robert, I just finished reading the whole letter. I love it. It is you. It shows your heart and explains things well enough to help your parents understand what brought you to this point of being able to and wanting to share with them. It is a sacred trust that you are sharing with them. If you were my son, I would reach through the phone, wrap my arms around you and reassure you how much I love you.(I might do it anyway!)

You have a plan for post graduation. Stick with it and you won't go wrong.

Love you man,

El Genio said...

This is a huge step, and I just wanted to complement you on the bravery & courage it takes to write/send something like this. I'm not there yet, but your example is greatly appreciated. I'll send a few prayers your way.

robert said...

As a father, your sincerity and thoughtfulness breaks my heart.

Robert said...

I just added this P.S. I thought it was necessary...

P.S. First, it’s not your fault. I don’t think you’ll blame yourselves, but if you try, understand that there is nowhere to point the blame. Things are ok. Second, I will always stay in the Church. I love the Church and what it stands for and how it helps me. Rest assured, I love God and I’m forever grateful for the Church and for the way you two have stuck with and raised me. You could have handed me over to the juvi system and I’ll never forget that you kept me. Thank you.

Cadence said...

dude seriously it is AMAZING... I was brought to tears with your intro and conclusion I think it is perfect (it is very real and touching and adds what was missing...) not that it matters but I think now it is right and your doing the right thing... you need to remember the feeling you get when you mail it and walk away... thanks for being the example... I look forward to the rest of the story...
oh and to rub it in I've gone just over a thousand miles since 1/6/09 !!! haha

Robert said...

Thank you guys so much. I sent it today, and I feel very good now. It's supposed to get there tomorrow or friday. When I called my parents to ask if I could send them a "very important and impactful letter, one that would help them to understand what's been going on lately," they aske if I wouldn't just tell them over the phone. I said to be patient and if they were ok with me sending the letter, it would explain everything. So, they're waiting for some mysteriously important letter and the book accompanying it. The rest of the story is yet to be written...however, when it is all settled and smoothe again, things'll be ok. I'm sure of it. No matter the reactions, I know they love me and that they'll always love me. I, of all people can understand what strong emotions and shocking news can do to your reasoning and affect your actions. Thank you all for your help and encouragement. Thank you.

Eternity said...

Your letter was excellent but as a mother that could have received that letter it was a little overwhelming. I think I would have just added a couple of your journal entries-probably the first 2 then the last one so they can see where your heart and mind have been. I wish you the best of luck and to let you know that if your parents need someone to talk I would be willing to talk to them. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and wish you the best.

bekka said...

I think you did a wonderful job. I love that is it well thought out and explains your process, which is personal and beautiful. Many of my old friends have come out as gay and recently my husbands brother did and unfortunately I have learned more about the internal struggle that goes on from you and other friends (Hillary)than all of them. From my prespective (as narrow as it was) they were straight and the next thing I know they are living with their boyfriends in Miami, I was so confused. I have to say if I ever recieved your letter from my son I would be so grateful that he had the courage to share that with me because I don't think there is a harder thing to do.
Again I thought it was really well written and I'll be thinking of you and your parents.

2Mod4U said...

Such a gorgeously personal letter, would have to melt any parent's heart (I have kids that I love with all of my heart).

The beginning and the end made me cry, because it was so heart felt.

I already considered you to be amazing when I got to meet and speak with you recently, Robert. It just backs up my considering you to be highly amazing and impressive.

I've been hoping to see your blog updated. Kudos to you for choosing to come out to your folks.

The time isn't right for me to do so since my Dad is on oxygen and needs a triple heart by pass, etc.
I also haven't yet come to the conclusion that it would be best to come out to them, either as my Dad has often taught us morality through negative and hateful examples.

Thank you for your amazing example that you set. I have been watching you and Michael as examples as I want to live SSA in the most healthy (I almost hate to say godly way) way.

Thanks so much for your example; Somehow I have a feeling you'd likely think that your life isn't being lived perfectly so I shouldn't look up to you. That being said, there is so much that you do very well and so much that is godly about the way that strive to live; That you are worthy of emulation

2Mod4U said...

on Second thought, perhaps this is the perfect time to come out to my folks, as my Dad won't be able to chase me down to clobber me! LOL

J@y kr{}LL said...

wow. That was way more put together and thoughtful than my letter to my parents. Admittedly I was in a suicidal panick when I wrote it and it was what needed to be done in my situation. But I still wish I had your elegance with words and presenting the information clearly. Good luck with everything. I know it's scary. But it's amazing and wonderful.

J@y kr{}LL said...

This is kinda random but your info says you're from Montana. What area are you from? I grew up in Drummond (50 miles east of Missoula).

Kurt said...

I wish there was a cookie cutter way to do this. Everyone is different and no one is going to know your parents like you do. I can tell you that those first phone calls are a bit scary. Make sure your ready. But I think everyone deserves an honest life.

Z i n j said...

Roberto...glad I caught this event before I go back to the Boonies. What a great letter. I hope this works out for you. You are so incredible, You deserve only the best that life has to offer. Stay Kool my friend... Zinj

Andy said...

You're so amazing. You're parents are so very lucky to have you as their son. Thank you so much for being such a great friend to me. Your example has helped me in immeasurable ways. I'm sure that everything will end up in the appropriate way, whether it's sooner or later than we had planned.

Love ya tons man!

Robert said...

Thank you all for your encouragement. It wasn't easy waiting to hear from them or dealing with the sadness that is only natural when your family learns that you're gay. You have got to believe me and understand the sincerity when I say that I could not have done this without your encouragement, suggestions, input, and love. Really, fee my gratitude for your concern and love. I've got a test tonight, but I'm going to post about how things went. They did go well. My mom was saddened by the way this makes things more complicated and harder adn my dad has asked me to give him some time to come to terms with it and understand all of what we're experiencing. They both expressed love and support. It's been a sickening rollercoaster ride of emotion. Ug... but, I'm so fortunate to have them and you. I repeat that I WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE to do this without knowing that there are so many out there that love and support like you do. Thank you again and from the bottom of my heart, I hope that you are equally comforted when you find yourselves in a situation similar to what I experienced this last week. Thank you and truly, I love you for your kindness and compassion.