Monday, March 2, 2009

I'm going to come out. Ideas?

So, I've been working on a letter to my parents. I don't know if I'm actually going to send it. Here it is. It's really long. I'm thinking of sending them this letter and a copy of the first part of In Quiet Desperation - the Matis' part of the book. I might see them in early April, and I think it'd be nice to tell them soon and then they'll have a few weeks to let things settle before we see each other. I'm posting this because I really need anything that you can share...and because something this significant just has to be part of my little online journal. I'm so frazzled right now because of the anxiety and's like when you're cliff jumping - the anticipation is worse than the jump! Wow, I'm sure my blood pressure has been elevate 20 mmHg for the last week. I really feel it.

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's the people I've met in the coming out process, but it's time to be honest with you. 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. 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, 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 that, 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 it's position regarding "changing" the 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. All I want to say with this is that I don't loath 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 homosexuals. 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 - kinda 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 love guys like I can't love 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 any more. 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 can not 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 (homosexuality excepted). 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 this journal. You can see the changes I've gone through. The overall pattern of change goes from:

- an attitude of 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
- finally 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 cause 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 cause 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? Please don’t think of me as trying to preach. The only person I’m trying to teach here is myself. Otherwise, I’d be bordering hypocrisy. 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 kinda 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 a 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... 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
Today, I was thinking about the things that I have that I can be happy about. Dang, there's a lot. I've got some of the best friends, roommates, cousins, sisters and parents that a person could imagine. So what if I'm gay and can't seem to change it. 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(ary). 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.
Ok, I know that sounds kinda corny, but I really mean it. There is a way of being, a song that your heart can sing, a presence that you can develop; whatever you call it, when you are this way, the people and places and events in life are all good and right and when you're not this way, everything is wrong and poor. They didn't change, you did. This way of being only ever results from or is the sum consequence of the fine choices that you make every day inside yourself that nobody knows about. I say this to myself, because I forget it too easily. The way that you are inside - your way of being - is not something that you get to choose directly; rather, it is a sum of the choices you make in your thoughts and heart throughout the days. This presence of yours is ever-changing, formed by who you are in the places where nobody but you and God can see. I feel ashamed for being who I've been this last little while...kicking against the pricks. So...change doesn't happen in an instant. It requires time and effort. I've already started towards it; now, I need to continue and soon, I'll start to see as I was able to see some time ago. There'll be more light, more purpose, and more why's to wake up every day and follow the ideals that guide.

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 some day. 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 cause 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 cause 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 kinda 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, huh? 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'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 for ever anticipated and expected. I know that I need to be and I promise to be very patient with you guys. It definately takes time to wrap your mind around it. But, do feel assured that things are k 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 had 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 lets cross those bridges when we come to them. Lets take this slowly. Anna is getting married in the temple and that is reason enought to be increadibly happy. Lets 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 to tell the girls, please let me do it. If you want to keep this between we 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.

So, it's really long, but I hope that it, along with the Matis' story from In Quiet Desparation will help them to have a helpful introduction to this. That way, when I see them in April, we'll be able to have more reasonable and helpful ideas to converse about. Wow, I've got to get this done with...but definitely in the right way. I don't want to make it painful for them. I love them too much.


Yudanashi said...

This is a very good letter and I think it conveys your struggle and time spent dealing with everything which is something that is important to get across. I really enjoyed it and think that it will benefit you to send it soon.

Abelard Enigma said...

I don't want to make it painful for them. I love them too much.

I would start with that. Perhaps a short initial email just telling them how much you love them, that you don't want to hurt them, but that they deserve to know what's going on in your life.

Then maybe break up what you've written into a series of daily emails leading up to when you see them in person in April - give them time to digest the information in smaller portions. You may want to start out using the "same sex attraction" euphemism and then work up to "gay"

I know you have a lot on your mind that you want to get out - but don't try to feed them with a fire hose. They'll probably be a little numb after the "I am gay" bit.

Captain Midnight said...

That's a really great letter and I think it will go over really well. I also think it's a really smart idea to send them the Matis's part of In Quiet Desperation. My mom and dad were positive I could be straight if I tried hard enough, but then they read In Quiet Desperation and became a lot more understanding. It's always a good idea to have parents read that book, especially the Matis's section.

Sean said...

I think it's a great letter, but my advice is always to tell them in person or talk to them on the phone about it. This gives them the chance to ask questions and for you to be fully honest to them. It also allows you to clear up some misconceptions they might have. I personally don't like letters. I know that I have told some people to tell them over the phone/in person and then give them or send them the letter you wrote.

They usually seem to have a good response by doing that.

Cadence said...

ok, so I can't help much since I am behind you in this whole "coming out" thing... however I am not far behind and what I have seen so far is a mix between Abelard Enigma and Sean... I was all about letters and depending on who it is I think it is ok... however the people you are closer to I think it is better to do it over the phone or in person... I might say you should send them the letter but tell them to call you before they read it...

I came out to my sister in laws sister who I knew would be most open to it and could give me advice on how to deal with my brother and his wife... I did it through a series of emails and there was much misunderstandings due to stereotypes and she knows me really well... however I did learn a lot and overall she is willing to work with me and help me and has accepted that yes I am gay... I am now within a few weeks of coming out to my brother (in person) it's been really weird I've had a few opportunities that would of been opportune but I wasn't ready... now I will wait for one and I will do it this time...

anyway back to you... I think in the long run you will be happier that you did this over the phone vs. through email and in the end it won't matter which way you did it, it might seem harder now to do it in person but if your parents love you and your as close as you say you are it won't be that hard...

I hope this helps, I'm sure it's more confusing then anything but I am so busy with school but I wanted to quickly let you know what I thought... we need to chat sometime, my AK trip planning is going well...!!! take it easy...

robert said...

That is a wonderfully constructed letter. I think it is useful to ask of yourself why you need the letter? Do you believe there will be an untenable outcome if you tell them in person? The letter does explain your thinking and feeling on the matter in great detail. For this reason, it is good. You might want to preface the letter with the real reason(s) you will not come out in person to them. If they believe that you fear them, it will soften their hearts considerably.
You are to be commended for coming to this point.

Anonymous said...

I think this was really well written. Just from my own experience in talking with my parents (and some of this may not be worth anything to you because of your own circumstances) here are some things I would consider. My parents told me that they really appreciated the fact that I didn't come out and say "I'm gay". I can use that word freely now, but because of the initial stereotype of gays, using the word gay would have thrown my parents off. So, I said that I "struggle with Same Gender Attraction". It isn't necessarily true that I "struggle", but it was comforting for them to hear that. It showed them that it was a concern and not something I was planning to embrace. Like I said, I can freely use the word "gay" with them, but they understand it differently now.
The other thing that made a difference to them was that I didn't tell them in a letter. It was harder and scarier that way, but I'm so glad I was able to talk to them face to face right away. I think the reason that was good was because I was able to see their reactions right away and could respond to it right away. I know you'll be able to see them shortly after you give them the letter, which will be good, but I do think it is a good idea to say things in person.
I thought the letter was really well done, and I love the idea of sending them journal entries. That really shows them how things have been for you the past 2 years (?). I'll be praying for you man! I hope everything goes well!

Jim said...

Ummm.. you have no idea how you just helped me. apparently God is still listening to me and answering my payers :) I'm already out to my parents, but they are still struggling to see my stand on the church and my desire to marry a man. Your explanation was right in line with my feelings. I think I know what I need to say to them now. Thanks.

Andy Foree said...

That is a really good letter Robert...almost like a novel, but I got through it. :) I think its great that you are finally having the desire to come out to your parents. It's going to be hard at first for them to accept it. I'm pretty sure that they have always "thought" or "guessed" that you were parents did. But, it still came as quite the shock. Don't worry if the initial reaction is worry, anger, or distress. They will get over it. I am glad that you are going to give them time to think about it before you see them again. I wish you the best of luck! Love you! You are the best roommmate ever!!!

Robert said...

Thank you all soooooooooo much for your encouragement and support. It's indescribably undeniable. You all made me cry as I read your comments, made changes, and replied to you. I love you all so much. Thank you. I'm in the BYU library and there are 3 stranger guys at the table and I've got tears in my eyes. Thanks alot! Love you all. Thank you.

Yadanashi - thank you so much. Yours was the first comment and I was sooooo not happy with the letter - mostly not happy cause this is going to be hard. Thanks for your support.

Abe - I've made a few necessary additions now. I'm going to call and ask them if it's ok if I send them a really important letter, but I want to send the whole thing...I see advantages to sending it in parts as well as sending it as a whole. I'll just prepare the way with a call and a the added paragraph (see my latest post).

Captain Midnight - Thank you soooo much for the encouragement. Thank you so much. I love the Matis' part of that book. I really think it'll be so helpful for them. Thank you so much again.

Sean - In the addition to my letter, I explained why I want to do it in the letter (see today's post). Thank you for your support. I still feel quiet tense, but it's much better than even yesterday. Thank you so much Sean. Love you man. Thank you.

Cadence - I love you man. The weather is getting better. I've been riding and's time again. Thank you for your thoughts. I really thought about it...but I've got to do this soon. The anxiety is killing me. I gotta get it done. The time feels right, and now, the more time that passes, the worse the build-up.

Robert - I've got to do the letter for a few main reasons. I won't be able to see them for another three weeks, I'm terrified at the thought of facing them and telling them - it'll take some time for our feelings and thoughts to settle before we can talk productively about it.

Hidden - I'm still debating wether to use gay or to use sga. You've almost got me convinced. I love you man. You and your parents are on my mind often. Thank you man.

Jim - I'm so glad that my post was helpful. We're in this together man. I hope that things get better and better. I understand the mangitude of the support we get here and of how powerful it is. Love ya man. We're together here.

Andy - I love you Andy. What more to say? We're a team. I almost told mark last night...but I got a hold of myself. Love you man.

Scott said...

Robert, I don't know if I've come too late to this for my input to do any good, but here are my views...

First off, MAJOR kudos for making this decision and MUCH love and support as you go through with it. Know that Sarah and I are behind you 110% (at least).

RE: Letter/In-Person. Each has its advantages. I write better than I speak, so email gives me a chance to make sure I say everything I want to say, hopefully clearly and without room for misunderstanding. On the other hand, in-person allows misunderstandings to be cleared up quickly (as long as both people are willing to communicate--if the person you're coming out to isn't willing to ask questions, you might as well just write a letter). IMHO, a letter ending with "please call so we can talk in person if you have any questions, and let's get together ASAP to talk about this" is the best of both worlds.

RE: Long letter vs. series... I'm a "get it all over with at once" kind of guy, so I would tend to disagree with Abelard's suggestion to break things up (sorry Abe!). They won't absorb everything in the first read, but they can go back and re-read as often as they need to (and they almost certainly will).

RE: Gay/SGA... It's tempting to want to soften the blow, but I think honesty is the best policy. Tell them who you are. If you're someone who struggles with SGA, tell them that. If you're gay, tell them that. Giving them anything other than your true perception of the situation (in an attempt to make it easier for them to deal with) is going to give them a false impression. Given the content of your letter, telling them that you "struggle with SGA" (and then later telling them that you're done struggling) is going to confuse them. Be confident in who you are, and let them have a chance to get to know you without any pretense or deception.

Good luck!

artemisandollie said...

You are amazing. this is a kick ass letter, exactly what I would want my son to send to me if he needed to. You can feel your love, your heartbreak, your struggle and your strength just pulsing off the page. I know I don't know you and just read your blog but I am completely distracted now not knowing the follow-up! I am thinking of you and keeping you in my crazy atheist prayers.