It is impossible to detail all the daily struggles a Gay Mormon experiences when trying to repress their sexuality. If I were really to write a detailed description of my lifelong struggle to scrape the gay out of me, it would fill volumes... and I've already written a 9-part "My Story" series. But sometimes I feel like if we could really explain these daily struggles, maybe it would help people realize what kind of life a repressed gay person lives. For those of us who know first hand, it is second nature... we don't even realize that it isn't normal. So I will attempt to describe a couple examples.
I remember talking to a friend about another mutual friend who had mannerisms that were "gayish." This friend said, "kind of like you." I demanded right then and there to know what I did that seemed gay. Apparently the way I stood and the way I used my hands to talk were a bit "gay." Well, this was before I had accepted that indeed, I was gay. So I immediately determined to re-teach myself to talk and stand in a more "straight" way. Not using my hands was impossible, so for the next few weeks, I just worked on talking less. I would just sit back and listen and only talk in a bored, disinterested manner when I did. It was so hard. I'd watch how guy friends sat and stood and walked to try and mimic them better. I wanted to rid myself of any trace of gayness. Basically I wanted to become someone different.
Growing up I never allowed myself to really express my love for things that were "girly" or "gay." I would take straight guys' lead. If they said something was gay, then I definitely didn't like it. But in all honesty, I loved it. I loved Spice Girls and Brittney Spears. I enjoyed reading about Edward in twilight. But I could never allow myself to express my real likes. The only way I got away with reading Twilight was because I read all the books out loud to a dyslexic friend of mine who wanted to read them but couldn't. So that way, it was just because I was such a nice guy, a good friend. I was probably more interested in reading the next chapter than she was. I'm pretty sure she would have been happy no matter what I was reading. But I could never admit that I was actually into the books.
Then after all my hard work... after trying so hard to make myself as straight as I could, every once and awhile, friends would still ask, "are you gay?" Seriously... can anyone cut a guy a break??!! I was trying SO hard and somehow everyone saw right through it. Eventually that is the question that finally broke me. A person can only react defensively so many times. Eventually I had to consider it for real... as much as I wanted to deny it.
Well, let me just say, it is such a relief to be gay and be okay with that. I can like gay things all I want. What is the worst someone could think? "He must be gay?" SO what? I AM! I can blast Brittney Spears in my car, I can say when I think a guy is hot (like that guy on Burlesque/Twilight OMG), I can buy all the chick-flick DVDs I want, I can decorate my room, dress with style, get highlights, watch Glee every week... the list goes on and on. It isn't that I didn't like these things before. I've always liked them. I just could never allow myself to appear as if I liked them. So I got really good at lying to myself. It is so refreshing to be honest with myself... even before the great feeling of being honest with others. I can finally let myself enjoy life and be unashamed about it.