Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Against my better judgment, I just finished reading the book Twilight.

An avid reader in my ward advised against it. Her main argument is that the book is targeted at teenage girls, and although nothing immoral happens in the book, it still might give the idea that other things (like letting a boy stay in your room during the night, etc.) are harmless. I also didn’t like the fact that the main character, Bella, lied to her dad about where she was going the day she spent with Edward.

I decided I’d better read it for a couple of reasons. First, it seems that almost everyone around me has read it, and anytime I tell someone that I haven’t read it, they are shocked, and tell me I should. That includes people who read my blog responding to my Halloween photo post. Last weekend on facebook, the status of my female high school friends (so, all in their mid-30’s) said things like:

Mary is setting off to see Twilight at midnight! Mary is needing a nap. Too much movie, not enough sleep. yawn.

Brandi is excited for movie night! Brandi loved Twilight. It's not the book - but it was GREAT! Brandi is going to Twilight again tonight. Brandi loved Twilight even more the 2nd time!

Heidi is in love with Edward Cullen! He is so sexy in the movie!

I finally posted my status as
“Sarah is thinking everyone needs to get a life and stop thinking about Twilight”,
to which I then commented:
“Okay, I admit I haven't read the books, but I'm not sure I want to if they are like a drug that everyone is addicted to!”

Another friend's status read last week:
Jane is finally reading Twilight to see what all the fuss is about.
And then the next day:
Jane is finished with Twilight - the fuss is warranted.

So, I decided maybe I should do the same.

So, first, there’s all the fuss, and then second (and probably the main reason) being that our 12 year old daughter also decided she needed to read them to find out what the fuss was about. We have never been the type of parents to restrict our children’s agency on a decision like this, so based on the warning of the lady in my ward, I chose to start reading so that I could discuss them with my daughter.

Now today, I posted the following to facebook:
Sarah is spending the day reading twilight. It disgusts me that I don't want to put it down.
Jane’s comment:
You fell for the trap too, eh?
My response:
Hook, line and sinker. Before reading, I compared its affect on my friends to a drug. Now that I have finished reading, the drug has definitely pulled me in. Whatever happened to my resolve to say no to drugs? :-)
And then to another comment:
I'm afraid that I have now officially succumbed to the addiction. I just finished the first book, and I'm still in my pjs at 3 in the afternoon!
(and I am shaking because I forgot to eat lunch! least, that's mostly why I'm shaking...)

Lately, every time I read a book, I tend to relate it to my own life. For a while, I was on a Joseph and Emma kick. We saw the movie about Joseph at the legacy theater. We watched the new Emma movie on DVD. I started reading the book Emma by Anita Stansfield. Of course our lessons in Relief Society are all from Joseph’s life and teachings. I know it seems crazy to compare my life to that of a prophet’s wife, but some of Emma’s portrayed feelings about love and persecution and trials and the unique purpose of each person’s life really got me thinking and relating it to my own new circumstance with being married to a gay man, my feelings on the prop 8 thing, and the trials I seemed to be going through. Even little things, like Joseph’s nervousness to tell Emma about things like his vision, or later polygamy, helped me have a greater understanding of how hard and yet how necessary it was for Scott to come out to me. Also, it helped give me the determination and courage to fulfill the calling that Scott and I feel the Lord has given us (to spread understanding of what it means to be a gay Mormon) no matter how hard it may seem sometimes.

Anyway, back to Twilight and relating it to my own life. Even though Scott and my relationship is much different than Edward and Bella for obvious reasons (the main one being that he is actually attracted to her ;-), I couldn’t help but hear Scott’s voice and things he has said to me over the past couple of months in Edwards words, but relating to something completely different. Edward is amazed that Bella loves him and accepts him for who he is. And he keeps questioning why and how she could continue to love and support him, a vampire. In my world, Scott has been similarly amazed at my acceptance of him, that I love him just as much, and maybe even more, now that I understand what he is and that being gay contributes a lot to who he is.

Here are some of the passages that caught my attention:

“And you’re worried, not because you’re headed to meet a houseful of vampires, but because you think those vampires won’t approve of you, correct?”
“That’s right.”
He shook his head. “You’re incredible.”


“I was prepared to feel...relieved. Having you know about everything, not needing to keep secrets from you. But I didn’t expect to feel more than that. I like it. It makes me...happy.”


He sighed, “I keep waiting for it to happen.”
“For what to happen?”
“I know that at some point, something you see is going to be too much. And then you’ll run away from me, screaming as you go.”
“I’m not running anywhere, I promise.”


Lastly, like Bella, I beg Scott to stay and never leave me.

One day a month or so ago when I was going through a really tough time with my anxiety, I was on the phone with Scott, thanking him for his support through everything. I told him that someday, if he felt like he needed to find a more fulfilling relationship, that we could divorce if needed so that he could do so. But that I wouldn’t let him go, ever. He and his partner would just have to live with me, and that is it. :)

And I still mean it.

Do you think I have time to start reading the next book? :)

February 2009 Addendum: Kengo posted this regarding the second book, New Moon, when he was reading them recently for the first time. I had similar thoughts to his and was going to blog about it but never did. He had additional insight as well and wrote it out better than I would have, so I am just linking to it instead. :) He also has this other post about the 4th book, Breaking dawn. Interesting stuff!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gratitude with a bit of sadness

I had a wonderful weekend. I so enjoyed the chance to meet new friends, and to put faces and hugs with some of my treasured blogging friends. I wish I could transport myself to Canada, Texas, Colorado, Idaho, etc. to meet more of you. The talks and lessons on Sunday were all about gratitude, and I found myself overwhelmingly grateful for the situation that I now find myself in, married to a wonderful gay man, and also cherishing new friendships and new opportunities for service amongst the mohos.

But in addition to my gratitude, I also felt a bit of sadness for each of the young men that I have met along with many others that I have never met. You have each been placed in such a difficult circumstance, with incredibly difficult choices to make. Do you stay active in the church? Do you stay single and celibate and lonely? Do you try to find a girl to fall in love with and hope that things will work out like they have for Scott and Bravone and others? Or do you choose to live the gay lifestyle, seeking the opportunity for love and family like Scot and Rob, while leaving the church and often your extended family behind you? Why has God given you this trial with these impossible and conflicting decisions? How many more times will you have to endure questions like: "Are you dating anyone? Aren't you getting old enough to think about getting married soon?"

I don't know the answers. I made this comment to one of you yesterday:

Last night I was touched as I thought about all of these incredible young men with such confusion and decisions to make in their lives. None of you deserve this kind of anguish! All of you deserve the blessings that come from being a member of the church, but you also deserve the right to know love and have a family of your own. I am very impressed with you and am grateful for the opportunity to get to know you better. I pray for you (and all like you) to find peace as you think and wrestle with these decisions, trying to figure out how to live a happy life and yet still stay on the path to eternal happiness. Heavenly Father loves you and there is a plan for you. I never expected that God would have this plan for me, but I am so grateful for it. I hope that someday you will be able to figure it all out. Hang in there!

About a month ago, my daughter and I were driving to a Messiah rehearsal. (We are singing in a multi-stake production that I participated in for many years in my parents' Stake.) I think we were talking briefly about proposition 8. On the radio came a song that pricked my ears. I stopped conversing with my daughter and listened intently to the words of the song. I called Scott to have him look up the radio station's web site and let me know the title and artist of the song they just played. It was a new song by Nickelback, Gotta Be Somebody. The CD it is on just came out last week. The chorus touched my heart, and I thought of all my gay friends and their inner conflicts. But doesn't it usually come down to this?

Cause nobody wants to be the last one there
Cause everyone wants to feel like someone cares
Someone to love with my life in their hands
There's gotta be somebody for me like that
Cause nobody wants to do it on their own
And everyone wants to know they're not alone
There's somebody else that feels the same somewhere
There's gotta be somebody for me out there

I want you all to know that I feel for your loneliness, and I don't know what to tell you to do with your lives. That is between you and God. But whatever you decide, I pray that you will each be happy, that you will know that God loves you, that he has not forsaken you, that he has made you the way you are for a reason, and that is who you are and who you are supposed to be.

God bless you! If there is any way I can be an instrument in God's hands to help you, please let me know. I will laugh with you, I will cry with you, or in the words of Carol Lynn Pearson, I'll Walk with You.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Innate Characteristic

Thought for the day: we shouldn't ask or expect people to be something they're not.

(I was thinking specifically gay people, but this applies to anyone, of course.)

Due to the lack of comments, I figure an explanation is warranted, just in case some of you don't understand the comic. i is an imaginary number, and therefore not real. Pi is an irrational number and therefore not rational. It's a math geek thing. :-)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Looking back: The first few days

My memories from the summer continue…

The day after Scott came out to me, I was very tired due to lack of sleep, and very emotional. I attended a Relief Society breakfast. I wasn’t sure I should go, but I decided I needed to try to get away for a bit. I piled on the makeup to hide my puffy eyes. I had some very light conversations with some very good friends, and no one asked me if I’d been crying or if something was wrong. Talking to one of them about it weeks later, she did notice that I was quiet and preoccupied that morning, but decided it best not to ask. She was probably inspired.

I left the breakfast early to attend our oldest son’s ice skating lesson with the rest of the family. I was consumed with my thoughts. I sat there watching my husband, feeling still like I really did not know him.

After the lesson, we decided to take the kids to see Wall-E. I’ve already blogged briefly about this, but I cried at the blossoming romance in the movie, keenly aware that the romance in my life was not what I thought it was.

Other details are a blur… I got some sleep the next night, but I don’t think I slept soundly, and again, I woke with the morning light and then my thoughts kept me from sleeping any longer. We went to church, I probably attended choir practice, then we were off to Scott’s parent’s house for our typical Sunday night visit. As we sat at the kitchen table, playing games with his parents and his sister and husband, I was keenly aware of my inner thoughts and the fact that I usually shared my struggles with these dear people, but right now I could not. I desperately wanted them to know so that they could love and support us like we needed them to. I was very uncomfortable and distracted. During the game, I looked at the cards in my hand, trying hard to concentrate on my strategy. Out of my lips came the words, “Where do I go from here?”

Scott and his sister have this habit of breaking into song whenever anything prompts them to do so. Immediately, his sister started singing, “Where do we go from here? This isn’t where we intended to be...” She started gazing into her husband’s eyes as she sang. I turned on my PDA and hit play, because the song was there ready to go. Everyone was surprised, but didn’t ask about it as the sister continued to sing. Before too long, I couldn’t take it anymore and I burst into tears, turned to Scott and apologized, and abruptly left the table to cry loudly in another room.

Of course, everyone was shocked and had no idea what had happened. Scott made some kind of excuse for me. They all know I am an emotional person, so I’m sure it wasn’t too disconcerting. I quickly gained my composure and returned to the game, pretending nothing had happened. No one said anything.

When we got home, I told Scott that I needed him to tell his sister so that I could have her to talk to and lean on. We started to make plans for how and when to tell her.

The next day we got up early to go to the temple. We had a good discussion on the way. When we got there, we discovered that it is closed on Mondays. Duh. So then we had more good conversation time on the way home.

Sometime Monday I started reading No More Goodbyes by Carol Lynn Pearson. I cried and cried through each agonizing story of self-hate and suicide. The stories were not sugar-coated. They were someone’s reality, a reality I never knew existed for these dear people. The last thing I read of it on Monday afternoon was a quote on the first page of the next section of the book, the section about mixed orientation marriages. Pieces of Me has already referenced this quote. “Should I smile because we’re friends, or cry because that’s all we’ll ever be?” The reality of my marriage hit me like a brick. I went into the next room and shared the quote with Scott, but as I read it I broke into tears and could not finish reading it such that he could understand me. I decided I needed a break from the book. It had been a very emotional day.

The next morning I again woke early and could not sleep. We planned again to attend the temple early, but it was much earlier than I needed to be up. I decided to read. I went in our closet and sat on the floor to read so that turning on the light would not wake Scott. I read about failed mixed orientation marriages, and I came to the conclusion that our marriage was officially not going to make it. I kept reading and cried and cried. Scott got up and showered. I wanted to keep reading, but I knew I needed to get ready, so I closed the book and dressed for the temple. Scott could tell I was really upset, but did not know exactly why. I was quiet during the ride to the temple. Scott was afraid to ask me to share what I was thinking and feeling. We attended a session. It brought some comfort, but still, my mind was tormented with the reality of my life and fear for what it meant. I could not be alone with four children to raise. I could not lose my best friend. I COULD NOT DO IT. Why me? What was going to really happen to us?

In the dressing room, one of the temple workers was the mother of a high school friend. She greeted me happily and asked about how our family is doing. I lied and said we were fine, even though I desperately wanted to share with her what I was going through. I had not been able to share it with anyone but my Heavenly Father, which was good, but not enough. I quickly changed the subject and told her about our family vacation to Nauvoo and asked about her daughter. A few weeks later I found out from my mother-in-law that she had heard through the grapevine that this lady has a gay son who has left the church. I couldn’t help but think that maybe I was being prompted to tell her the truth about my life, rather than just wanting a shoulder to cry on. I think about that once in a while, and wonder if I should get in contact with this high school friend of mine.

On the ride home, Scott was brave enough to ask me what I was thinking and feeling. I let it all out, and it felt good. I wished I had told him how I was feeling before we went to the temple. He told me some of his ideas that felt right for the future, of course with a disclaimer that he had no idea what the future would actually bring. Some of his ideas  were not very comforting, other than he said he could not imagine a future without me in it.

When I got home, I found some courage and began reading again. I had two more chapters in the marriage section to read. The next one happened to focus on positive mixed orientation marriages and how some people are able to make them work out. Oh, how I wished I had kept reading before the temple, that I had gone with this comfort in my heart from Carol Lynn Pearson: “I speak for romantic love. I speak, too, for trusting the mystery, for forgiveness, and for believing that love in all its forms once created can never be undone. And that not only in eternity, but here, hidden under the grey, all is well, and all manner of things shall be well.”

Peace began to fill my heart, and I began to heal and to trust my Heavenly Father that he had brought Scott and I together for a purpose, and no matter what the future might bring, we would have each other as best friends, and all would somehow be well.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Even the Elect will be Deceived

The lesson yesterday in Relief Society was on the Second Coming. The teacher posed the question: “What evidence do we see that the last days that have been prophesied are here, and that the Second Coming is close at hand?”
Another sister quickly responded with, “Well, just this week we see that there are people who want to call evil good and good evil.” The teacher whole-heartedly agreed, and added, “Right now we see members who refuse to believe that the leaders of the church are speaking for God, but instead that they are merely voicing their own opinions. In the last days, even the very elect will be deceived, and none of us are immune to this. We must cling to our testimonies and to the words of the Prophets.”

I was grateful that no one actually mentioned the words “Gay marriage,” but it was obvious what was on their minds. And again, I couldn’t help but feel like she was talking to me when she said that the elect would be deceived.

I agree that it is now very important to cling to our testimonies! But if even the very elect will be deceived, how do I know that it is not the leaders themselves? Therefore, it is important to pray for the guidance of the spirit, and this I have done, and have felt peace with the side I have chosen on this issue.

Scott and I talked last night about how church went, now two weeks after his testimony and coming out to our ward. We attended an Elder’s Quorum social Saturday night, and felt very welcome and comfortable around the few families that were there. We have some friends that we still talk with and interact with like nothing has happened. Other people that have never talked to Scott seem to be friendlier with him than ever before. We met with the Bishop for tithing settlement, and he seemed at ease with us, carrying on a normal conversation with no mention of the testimony.

But there are others that seem to be ignoring us.

Scott said that he has noticed a couple of people, that as he passes them in the hall, they turn to look at the wall to avoid eye contact, whereas previously they would have at least nodded or said hi. Another person quickly said hi, but would have usually been more friendly and talkative, and instead seemed in a hurry to be on her way.

I was in near proximity to one lady a couple of times on Sunday. Normally that would be enough to start a friendly discussion. Instead, it was a quick smile and a turn the other way, off to something important she needed to do. I took a card to her home this week to apologize for my anonymous letter and let her know that I valued her friendship and wanted her love and support through this challenge in my life. She has not acknowledged it in any way, and I don’t know what more to say or instigate at this point.

Now, it is possible that we are reading things into these reactions. We are obviously very sensitive to our observations right now. I am most anxious about this one family with whom we have always been pretty close. I’m sure that they are just not sure what to say or how to react, much like Scott’s stalwart family members. I should probably try harder in the future to instigate casual conversations, but I guess at the moment I am a bit weird about it too because of my letter and card. I just need her to hug me and thank me for the card and tell me that she loves me, just like the Relief Society President did the first time she saw me after I sent a card to her in the mail.

But that’s not the reaction I got, and it hurts.

I guess I just need to be grateful that the reactions have been as good as they have, and that we do have friends that accept us for who we are.

And I refuse to believe that I am deceived, calling evil good and good evil. I am just following the spirit and what brings my heart peace.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Looking back: The longest night of my life

I decided maybe I should go back and put some of my earliest memories from this summer into writing so that I don’t forget my journey. Scott blogged about this event already, when it happened, but I need to write it out from my perspective, even though the details are the same.

June—we had a great family vacation to the Midwest. We stayed with a sister of Scott’s for a few days and then with his brother for a few days. We visited Nauvoo, went to Cedar Point in Ohio, toured a bit of Chicago, and just generally had a fun time letting our kids get to know cousins that they don’t get to see very often. It was an adventure for several reasons: it was the kids’ first time on a plane, our 10-year-old came down with chicken pox, we mixed up our flight date and arrived at the Chicago airport 24 hours after we were supposed to depart (so stayed an extra day and paid lots of extra money), then arrived home with me and the 10-year-old suffering from strep-throat. We all got along great and had a good time together, despite a few obstacles. After a week or so to recuperate from our illnesses and vacation fatigue, the summer routine began. Some summers Scott has had a hard time heading to work when the rest of the family is home. His job is flexible, so he will usually work from home, or at least sleep in and head to work 9-ish or so, come home early and then work from home in the evening.

Around the beginning of July, he started getting up at 5:30 or 6 to work out and then left for work by about 7. I was still in bed and often still asleep (he would wake me to kiss me goodbye, as I usually do with him during the school year). This behavior was kind of strange, since he has never been a morning person. Then he would come home between 5 and 6, help with or make dinner, and then sit quietly and read a book. He loves to read, so the reading was not unusual, but he seemed distant somehow. I asked him a couple of times if everything was okay, and he sincerely answered yes, but did not want to talk much with me or anything. Just read his book.

Okay, whatever. We’ve been through this before. It’s not worth getting upset about.

One day he said “We should go to the temple sometime soon.” It had been awhile (if you don’t count doing baptisms in Nauvoo with our daughter), so it was not strange to suggest that we should go, but it was usually me that presented the idea, not him. That seemed a little weird to me. I asked him if there was any reason in particular, and he said no, that it had been a long time and he thought we should go. He seemed frustrated that we could not figure out a time that week that would work. I even had a conflict Saturday morning.

July 11th, my daughter and I hosted a mother-daughter Mary Kay party. A few days before the party we found out that there was also a family birthday party the same night, but the invites were out, and it seemed like the perfect way to get rid of the boys for a few hours. So, Scott and the 3 boys headed to the family BBQ. They returned home when the party was winding down and most people had left. We got the kids to bed, then Scott helped me clean up, helped me decide what Mary Kay products to order with the credit from my party, and then started shutting out lights to get the house ready for bed. Before he set the alarm, he went out to the garage and brought in a plastic bag with something in it. He had kind of a strange look on his face, so I asked him what was in the bag, and he said “let’s go in the bedroom and talk.” I started to get worried, and I think as we started walking out of the kitchen that I might of said “Is everything okay with your job?” I really worry about money, especially after our extra vacation expense, and so Scott losing his job is one of my worst fears. It has happened before, and I have never gotten over the anxiety that came from that year of no income and the circumstances and way that he was terminated.

He quickly said “No, no. My job is fine. Don’t worry about my job.”

We sat on the bed, he shut the door behind us. I waited for him to say something. He looked scared to death, was fidgety and couldn’t say a word. Normally he is a pretty calm person and does not get nervous about things. He started blowing air through his lips, like he was trying to keep from hyperventilating, and then said, “I knew this would be hard, but I didn’t know it would be this hard.” I started freaking out. I said, “Are you sure your job is okay? Are you sick? Are you dying of cancer or something?” He wouldn’t answer. I started pacing, my heart was pounding. Heat rushed up my body to my head and I felt like I was going to pass out. “You have to tell me, now. Would it help if I stopped looking at you?” He said maybe it would. I took a deep breath, sat down on the bed with my face to the wall and my back to Scott. He said something about my needing to hear him out and try not to react after the first sentence. I said okay, and finally he said “I am gay.”

I totally did not see that one coming, but I was so relieved that he had finally said it that I let out a sigh of relief and through stressed laughing said “At least you haven’t lost your job and you’re not dying of cancer.” We both chuckled at that. I don’t remember everything he said and everything I asked, but I do remember that immediately the thought “Where do we go from here?” kept going through my mind….

Some of the things we talked about….

His experience with coming out to himself, the fact that he did not choose to be this way, feelings in his past that he tried to suppress and ignore, the fact that he has been faithful to me and never had relations with any men, about Carol Lyn Pearson and his experience reading No More Goodbyes and anything else he could find to read (that is what was in the bag that he got out of the car), the friends and love and acceptance he had found online, the fact that he was so scared to tell me and didn’t want to hurt me, but simply could not bear to keep it from me any longer (it had only been about 10 days since he had figured it out.)

The main point he seemed to want to convey is that life could no longer be the same, and that he could not make any promises to me that he would be with me for the rest of our lives or forever, because he did not know what the future might bring, and he didn’t want to risk feeling the need to break such a promise later.

I’m not sure exactly how I felt. I can’t really remember. I was numb. I was in shock.

We finally decided we should go to bed.

After a few minutes we decided we should watch some TV to help get our minds away from the subject so that we could try to sleep. I have no memory of what we watched.

When we turned the TV off and tried to sleep, I couldn’t. I had no idea what all of this really meant. Was my marriage now over? If he’s always been gay, and we have survived this long, can’t we keep living like this forever and pretend that nothing had changed? Does his being gay mean that he has never been attracted to me at all? In high school, through his mission, through our 13 years of marriage, was I nothing more than a friend?

He snored off and on through the night, so I think he slept more than I did. I cried softly into my pillow, my mind kept going through all of these questions. I have never been so confused and felt so helpless.

Around 3 a.m. I got up, found my scriptures and went in the living room. I read my patriarchal blessing. I read his patriarchal blessing. I read the Book of Mormon. All 3 things brought me comfort. I had interesting thoughts and impressions. Now I wish I remember was those thoughts were exactly and what exact scripture passage I read, but I don’t remember. I went back to bed around 4 and finally slept for a while.

Then at 6 when the light started to come in the window, I woke up. The thoughts and questions filled my mind again. I desperately needed more sleep, but I couldn’t. Maybe some music would help me relax and sleep. I picked up my pocket PC and starting perusing my MP3s. “Where do we go from here?” Those words of a song went through my head along with the notes over and over, but I didn’t know the rest of the words very well. I think I have the song, yes, Brooke White sang it on American Idol during Andrew Lloyd Webber week, written for the movie version of Evita a few years back. Where is it? That’s it. “You Must Love Me.” Scott is sleeping (I can hear him snoring). [play]

Where do we go from here?
This isn't where we intended to be
We had it all, you believed in me
I believed in you

Certainties disappear
What do we do for our dream to survive?
How do we keep all our passions alive,
As we used to do?


Deep in my heart I'm concealing
Things that I'm longing to say
Scared to confess what I'm feeling
Frightened you'll slip away


You must love me
You must love me

Why are you at my side?
How can I be any use to you now?
Give me a chance and I'll let you see how
Nothing has changed


You must love me

My quiet tears turned into audible sobs. I couldn’t believe how perfect the words were. I had to hear it again. I sobbed harder. I didn’t want to wake Scott, so I went to the kitchen to get some ibuprofen for my pounding headache. I got a cup from the cupboard, then turned to head toward the fridge for water.

I jumped. Scott was coming down the hall and into the kitchen. I was sure he had been asleep. Seeing him, I felt like he was a different person, like I had no idea who he really was, a stranger in my house. He had tears streaming down his face. He tentatively came to me and hugged me and said “The second time through that song was too much to bear.” We hugged for a long time, crying together. He loosened his grip, looked me in the eyes and said, “I didn’t choose this. You understand that, right?” I nodded to comfort him. But in my heart, I did not know that. I did not understand until a day or two later when I began reading “No more Goodbyes”. Then I started to really understand. And then also, I started to really hurt, for him, for me, and for us.

And I kept thinking…

Where do we go from here?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Blind Sheep

I have the Deseret News headlines emailed to me at work, and I usually glance through them first thing to see if anything interests me, and then I quickly read a couple of articles if I have time. Anything mentioning Prop 8 of course gets my attention. Last week it was about the news release from the church, which made me ornery the rest of the day. Sometimes I also glance through the comments, but there are usually a TON of them and they say the same crazy things over and over. You’d think I would know better than to keep reading such articles…

This morning the title was Catholics, Mormons joined to pass Prop. 8. I gave the article a quick read, and then noticed that there were ONLY 21 comments so far. I had time to read that many to see what people were saying...

It was the usual…

  • Yes, its all about children. The anti-Prop 8 folks don't want us to think about their impact on children.
  • We should all join with them to help preserve traditional marriage - the most stabilizing force in our culture. The opponents to California's passed proposition 8 are now showing their true colors - that of a hate filled and love deprived group of individuals.
  • Two "married" women raising a child tell the child day in and day out by their example that men are not important. That child will grow up either believing that men are not important or that she/he is not good enough to have a dad, or both. Parenting is more than being loving to children. Parenting is putting the needs of the child over the wants of the parents. Children need - and naturally want - both a father and a mother. Traditional marriage is the best way to raise children to become successful adults.
  • Gay "rights" advocates do not just want us to tolerate homosexuality or even just let homosexuals carry on with their lives, they want everyone to applaud them and support them and never verbally disagree with them. Anything but 100% support is "intolerant" or worse, it is bigotry.
  • I am very happy that Catholics are coming forward to defend LDS members who supported Prop 8. We all need to work together for what's right.
  • Where are all your nasty and negative posters? I know it is more fun to be nasty to the mormons. It appears that more catholics turned to vote yes than the mormons did. Where is the outrage?

Oooo, I took that as an invite. Although I did not plan to be nasty, just honest. Here is my comment:

Sad | 7:47 a.m. Nov. 11, 2008
I am an active Mormon with a strong testimony, yet I disagree with prop 8. There are those of you who say these two things together are impossible, but I tell you that they aren't.

Allowing gay marriage DOES NOT hurt my "traditional marriage." And I WANT my children to know that other children might have 2 moms or 2 dads so that they can be tolerant and love them no matter what. Regardless of the law, there are lots of children in that situation and will continue to be, and from what I've seen personally, some of them are blessed with better home and family life than many with a mom and a dad. Allowing gay marriage gives everyone the same constitutional rights and happiness.

Banning it, however, hurts to the core some of the sweetest people you will ever meet. It also hurts their friends and family.

If allowing it doesn't hurt anyone, and banning it hurts someone, then it is sad to me that so many people feel so passionately about banning it, especially members of my own church who profess to have love and charity as an integral part of their lives.

Whoa, boy did I start a discussion and some severe backlash. I was going to quote from it, but if you’re interested, read it yourself. I was amazed that my honest and benign comment could stir up such contention in the hearts of members of the church. Scott jumped in with a few comments (alias SN). I could be biased, but I think Scott is so good at explaining things and making them sound reasonable and logical.

Needless to say I was kind of distracted through the day: proof that it is good that the district firewall blocks my ability to read blogs all day long.

Anyway, I guess it was silly to jump in at all, but I learned a lot about myself today and my progression through the last few months. As I read things like “You can’t be Mormon”, or “Satan is leading you away from the true church” I laughed instead of cried. During the summer I posted a comment on an article once and was VERY hurt by the comments that came thereafter.

I am very grateful for the peace that Heavenly Father is letting me feel right now and that the comments didn’t make me feel guilty or evil. In fact, it has been a very happy day for me. Maybe Satan has just lulled me into a false sense of security, but I don’t think so. Wickedness never was happiness, right? And if by some chance homosexuality is really as evil as some think it is, and I am heading speedily towards hell with such an opinion, then I believe in a Christ that will see that in my heart I am good and kind and tried to be like Him, and that will make up for my error.

I was honest in my comment when I said that you MoHos are some of the sweetest people I will ever meet. Your comments and encouragement mean more to me than you will ever know, and I feel so blessed to be so welcome in this community. Thank you!

Monday, November 10, 2008

MoHo party

For any of you Utah people interested in getting together, see Scott's blog for more details. Straight spouses and families welcome.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Mistake?

I think I made a mistake at school today...

I am embarrassed about what has happened and I’m not sure I should even post this. But I think I need some advice, and some comfort, and I want to tell Scott but I don’t think I can do so in person yet. He asked me earlier what is wrong. I am very transparent. This post will get the conversation going.

Since Scott came out to the ward on Sunday, I have been invigorated. I have felt like we are letting our light shine and doing good in the world around us. So yesterday, as I heard different political conversations going on at work, I jumped in with my own disappointment on Prop 8 passing, and didn’t feel bad about explaining why. One was a teacher in my department that I hadn’t told yet. He was shocked, but I think this will be good for him. Others were secretaries in the office that were impressed with my story and attitude, and they had their own stories to share of gay family members that are hurt by the result of the election.

I figured that Scott is out to family, our ward, our friends on facebook, lots of my co-workers. It will be impossible to keep it contained at this point, and I feel good about spreading more understanding on the topic.

So when students have said things, I have not held back, and now I am afraid it has gone too far…

One of my classes has some students that are frequently teasing each other about being gay. I don’t know if any of them are or not, but their comments are inappropriate and offensive. A week or two ago, I asked them to stop and told them that their comments were offensive and that they might be hurting someone in our class from what they say. They pursued the conversation until, to prove my point I said, “Your comments are offending me because my husband is gay.” They pressed me for more information, and I gave a little, and then changed the topic. There were only a couple of students in the class that heard this.

Well, over the next few days, I heard them telling other people in the class, but I didn’t comment when asked. The students that know are the type of kids that lie constantly and everyone knows it, so no one seemed to believe them.

Then today, our school news program came on the TV screen, and it started with a clip from David Archuleta’s new music video.

One of my students (this is a different class, BTW) said, “Argh. I hate him. My grandma thinks he is gay.”

Me: I don’t think so, but so what if he is?

Student: So what? He’s gay. He’s a homo.

Me: There’s nothing wrong with homos.

Student: Ooooh, don’t say that. They don’t like to be called that. They’re going to come throw rainbow skittles at your house for saying that. (Another kid joined in and they were laughing.)

Me: I don’t think so. There is actually someone who is gay living in my house.

Student: (shocked) Who?!

Me: My husband.

(Other students that happened to hear jumped in. He can’t be. How could he be married to you if he is? Do you have kids? Are you getting divorced? Does he have a boyfriend? etc.)

I answered a few of their questions calmly and appropriately, and realized I had probably made a mistake. But then the bell rang and I quickly delved into things I needed to get done during my next class and forgot all about it.

Later, my last class started trickling in. A couple of boys came up to my desk. One of them asked if everything had gone okay with my cat and if I was okay. (I found out during their class on Tuesday about the cat and started to cry, and they were very supportive of me.) Suddenly one of the boys said, “Is your husband gay? I heard that your husband is gay.” The boy asking about the cat then said, “Yeah, I heard that too.” Then someone else said, “Yeah, me too, but I wasn’t going to ask her about it.”

I sat still for a bit, just looking at them while they continued to ask and spoke of discussions they had heard amongst students earlier. I finally quietly nodded. Then one of the boys started going off with more questions, not giving me time to answer before throwing in comments like “You should send him to Germany. They kill gays there. You’re okay with it? If my girlfriend told me that, I would shoot her. You should shoot him; he doesn’t deserve to live. He likes sausages. You’re okay with that?...

Tears started to well up in my eyes. The other boys pulled him into the hall and the class was quiet. I took roll, and as I finished, the boys came back in the room. The one apologized and asked me what he could do to make up for it. He was very helpful throughout the class and didn’t say another word about my husband.

But the damage was done. My brilliant shining light from yesterday was extinguished, and I was hurting. I felt stupid. What have I done? Where will this go from here? Would any of these teenagers actually try to hurt me or my family for what we are?

I can’t take back what I’ve said. And maybe I’ve helped someone in the classroom who was quietly listening to my opinion, hiding what they are inside. But I feel it is more likely that I have only hurt myself, and I don’t know what to do about it.

Meanwhile, my gay students have started gravitating toward me. They show up after school or during lunch just to say hi or hang out. They bring their friends. I enjoy talking with them. They cheer me up and their presence reminds me that maybe for them, it is good that I have spoken up.

But part of me is now down and depressed again and worried that parents will complain and students will act aggressively. I think I am just letting the worst possible thoughts get to me.

Only time will tell.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Highs and Lows

It has been an interesting week, and it is only Tuesday.

Beginning with Scott's testimony on Sunday and then the candlelight vigil, Sunday was a beautiful day for me. I was anxious for obvious reasons, but happy and relieved. It felt so right to be out to our ward, and then it felt so right to be gathered with Mormons and non-Mormons, gays and straights, at the SLC library. We brought our huge rainbow umbrella, which came in handy on our walk around the block. Our daughter really wanted to come with, so even though I was nervous to leave our 11 year old boy tending the other 2 at home, we took her with us and had a wonderful experience!

I was uplifted and faced Monday morning with renewed strength.

But in the background of my mind was our cat. He has not been well for 7 months or more. We noticed that he was not eating well and that he had lost weight. We left for the weekend (this was in the spring) and came back 48 hours later to discover that he had not eaten anything.

I took him to the vet the next day. They did a blood test and x-ray; they hydrated him, etc. The next day they checked his kidneys and liver again with another blood test. He seemed improved. The next step would have been an expensive ultra-sound. We had already put some $280 into tests, so decided not to spend more. We took him home, experimented with different brands of food till we found one he liked, bought a water dish with a fountain. He was eating well again and we thought he would soon begin to put on some of the weight he lost.

But he stayed skin and bones.

After Scott's sister saw him and expressed concern, we had him back to the vet about 2 1/2 weeks ago. He had lost more than 2 pounds in 6 months. We spent more money on another blood test and then an experimental treatment of antibiotics and steroids. He seemed to improve at first, but then he began to throw up, and then he stopped eating completely (4 or 5 days ago). It became impossible to give him his meds, and he hid so we could not find him to force them on him.

Monday morning Scott suggested what I had been thinking, but hearing Scott say the words was too much. We discussed it as a family last night, and then today Scott called the vet to get his opinion.

The kids came home from school, we took pictures, we petted and kissed our dear friend of 7 years. He has been with us since he was 6 weeks old. We took him to the vet, told him goodbye, and sent him to peace and comfort.

There are six of us living here, but the house is empty. The kids are screaming, but the house is quiet. My dear furry friend is gone. And although getting another cat might fill the void, we were crazy to have one in the first place due to my allergies, and one or two of the children appear to be allergic as well.

I sit here crying, thinking of my loss, and worrying about the results of the election in California. I leave it in God's hands and his higher purpose, and I pray for peace as I mourn tonight.

Caramel is now with his friend (the kitten in the photo, taken 5 years ago), Scott's sister's cat, who got hit by a car last year. And soon, my own pain will begin to fade.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Wow, just wow.

I have read a lot of stuff on "Mormons for Marriage" but nothing like this Speech in CA yesterday expresses what is in my mind and my heart like this does.


I have renewed strength to face another day at church.

And I am looking forward to the candlelight gathering this evening. I hope the weather cooperates, and if it doesn't, I hope it doesn't keep anyone away that would have otherwise come. That would make a statement, wouldn't it, to have lots of us show up despite the weather.


Saturday, November 1, 2008


Today is the 17th anniversary of my first date with my husband, Scott. We have known each other for half of our lives! I want to take a few minutes to reminisce about falling in love with him. I figure that it is always good to strengthen a relationship by remembering what brought you together in the first place.

My junior year of high school, my best friend had a crush on a guy that was in concert choir with us. (The choir had over 100 students, so I didn’t know everyone well.) He would walk with us from our history classes (she and he were in the same class, I in an adjacent classroom) to our lockers. I always felt like a 3rd wheel as they conversed down the hallway.

Then, she and I made the madrigal choir for the following year, and she was ecstatic to see that Scott made it too.

The next fall in our madrigal class, we had two different seating arrangements: sections and mixed. We were seated according to height and would stand in the same positions for performances. Well, it just so happened that Scott and I ended up sitting next to each other in mixed position. We began to get to know each other, and I especially enjoyed his sense of humor. He had a gorgeous voice and was a talented pianist too. I felt a “crush” coming on, but kept it to myself because I knew my best friend still liked him.

Then one day, she said “I don’t think I am going to ask Scott to the dance, I think I will ask _____ instead.” I looked at her, got up my courage, and then said timidly, “Do you mind if I ask Scott?” She was excited! “That’s a great idea! I will help you!” For some reason, asking someone to a dance is a big ordeal, something that requires creativity and careful planning. We cut a pumpkin open and put in pieces of a puzzle (wrapped in plastic) with a message and invitation to the dance on the back of the puzzle. A few days later, my doorbell rang in the late evening. On my doorstep was a hot pumpkin pie. My mom and I sliced the pie and removed a piece. Under the crust was a piece of cardstock with the word “YES.” Wow, not only did Scott have a beautiful bass voice and a great sense of humor, but he could cook too!

Well, we hit it off at the dance. It was so comfortable and fun, and romantic. Thus began our dating. My best friend was jealous! (We worked it out, though.) I now had another best friend. Scott and I went to every school dance together after that. We spent every moment we could together at school. He transferred into my seminary class, so we had two choir classes, seminary, and AP English together. We ate lunch together, and spent time by my car after school talking, and then more time later on the phone. Everyone thought we were so cute together, started making predictions about our future, etc. It was 5 months before he kissed me, which drove me crazy! I always thought it was because we were both so shy. Now I know there was more to it than that. :)

The following year, I went away to college while he stayed home and worked and prepared for a mission. For our first anniversary (from our first date), he gave me a stuffed teddy bear that I cuddled with every night from then on until we got married (nearly 3 years). It is pretty worn out. I named the bear “Tin Silicide” because November 1st was also the beginning of “National Chemistry Week” (or so said a small wallet-sized periodic table that I got in my chemistry class at the time.) I thought Scott and I had great “chemistry”, and the symbol for tin is Scott’s initials, and for Silicon my initials. Kind of corny, I know. I was so pathetic.

Writing this blog post makes me grin. Good times.

Happy Anniversary, Scott! I love you!