Before we finished our home and got our own equipment, I used to go to the gym. It was not a gay gym by any means; it was in fact in the midst of a conservative suburb. Still, I’d sometimes see men being affectionate with each other in ways just barely inappropriate, but I was never hit on or anything, or, if I was, I never noticed; I’m kind of oblivious that way and R always has to point it out to me :-).
Eventually, we made friends with a couple of the trainers. They were straight men, but the stories they told about the gay goings on there…
Turns out there were certain hours of the night in which no reasonable man would dare enter the steam room, as it was a meeting place for closeted gay men, men with families. Our friends had walked in on some shocking and, if you could detach from the tragedy, amusing situations.
This notion was nothing new to me; I had been made aware of it early on in coming out in a dramatic way. It’s a sad fact of a segment of gay LDS life in Utah.
One of such men there, we came to learn, was actually somewhat high in the LDS church; trying not to give too much away, his face was out there as a member of the LDS faith. He was married with kids and had a long time boyfriend, who was also married and in the church. This was no closely guarded secret, though. They were amazingly open with their affection, and when the topic came up the man simply explained that his wife was “understanding”. I’d come to learn how “understanding” when I’d see the men together with their wives right there, and other odd interactions you’d simply not anticipate.
I’ll be out with it; this upset me. No, it upsets me.
Why? Am I a hopeless prude looking to be outraged :-)? Maybe, and, though a similar weapon is aimed at me daily, I’ve a hard time not wielding it here.
At first glance, it’s the sense of instability for the family, and a sense of lies and hypocrisy that sets me off. They can’t be telling the truth to their religious leaders, right? Being a member of the LDS church with your face out there as a member, isn’t this blatant duplicity? I mean, with their marriage vows, they knowingly promised to not do exactly what they’re doing in their marriage, right?
Or maybe it’s also my sour grapes, in part, and I’m just upset that I put such a high value on my home and fidelity and resent such a situation being more respected by my surrounding culture. I’ll not pretend to be above that :-).
In the end, I can sympathize with the predicament of these men and their wives, if not fully understand it, but I do think this is at least a dangerous way to handle it, no?
On the other hand, I admittedly do have to pause and wonder: don’t they all believe, for their faith, they’ve found a way, a sort of loophole that’s relatively stable, the best of the worst (to them)? To them, by how they expect the world to work, this is a better life than the one where they just keep with their wives or keep with each other in an open gay relationship. Something is at least precariously in balance, as I know this has been going on for years.
They have their temple marriage, and their innate attraction met, and all four of them, husbands and wives, believe they just have to wait it out, and it’ll soon be fixed. Sure, in the LDS model, there may be some extra torment for all of them, but they’ve all met the minimum requirements for the highest heaven, right? They won’t be trapped with Hitler and me in the Terrestrial :-). By LDS theology, they can all, eventually, become gods, right? (Not rhetorical :-). I’m really wondering, not wanting to rely on my memory LDS theology)
Eh, but this would be nothing new, really, and nothing particular to homosexuality or the LDS faith. The least moral man in any one's idea of heaven rarely seems to be more moral than the most moral man in its Hell, and I doubt that will change anytime soon. It’s just a bother, another bother :-).