I realized that, despite an unhappy marriage, I really was the “marryin’ kind”. As much as I treasured being alone, I wanted a companion. I never heard of gay “lovers” before. I thought it was a lonely, promiscuous life, but I soon learned otherwise, and I really wanted to have a companion.
Perhaps it was because I felt guilty and wanted to punish myself, or just naivety, but I got involved in a series of abusive relationships, one right after the other. On several occasions I was literally in fear of my life. I have had my car stolen, my credit card stolen, my credit rating ruined, thrown out of my car and beaten up on the side of the freeway, my missionary suits stolen, the Swiss watch I got on my mission stolen, threatened at gunpoint, irreplaceable books stolen. Somebody stole my identity and opened up a phone account, charging it to me. I have been lied about, maligned, exposed to dangerous diseases, etc. You will meet adulterers, fornicators, liars, psychotics, narcissists, rapists, sadists, child abusers, welfare cheats, and peeping toms. And, (shock!) all of the above, Gay ex-Mormons.
It’s nice to think of the gay community as a bunch of good, but misunderstood people. Realize that there are also a bunch of alcoholics, criminals and perverts blended into the mix as there are with any human mix. And, do not make the mistake of thinking that being subjected to discrimination and intolerance makes a person more tolerant and less judgmental.
This may be another reason that I ran into trouble with many of the people I met. I was riding on a crowded bus in downtown Seattle, on my way to work. Let’s just say that the bus was filled with the type of people who usually ride a city bus, and the reason why many people refuse to take public transportation. I prayed for a special endowment of the Spirit, if you will, for lack of a better name, that I might see all people as our Heavenly Father sees them. He gave me that gift some 30 years ago, but He forgot to take it back. Something happened to me that day, and I saw everyone on that bus in a totally different light. I wasn’t riding on a bus full of old ladies, minorities, disabled people, and homeless people, with the occasional business man trying to keep as far from the rabble as possible. I saw a bus full of gods and angels. I looked around me and saw the people in a completely new light, as I were god and they were my children. I was filled with love and admiration. They seemed to look back at me with an inner recognition, as well. I will never forget that experience, and that experience has never left me.
But, it does have one serious downside. Deep down inside of us is an inner goodness and shining beauty that often blinds us to the evils that may lurk on the surface. I got hurt and betrayed a lot, because I saw only the inner goodness and forgot to look at the outside. We have to judge the whole man, not just the skin, and not just the inner beauty of the soul. We must worship the creator rather than the creature. But, each of us is a part of God. We carry that potential within. We are creators, though sometimes our creations — our exteriors that we have created — are not so pretty to behold.
“Wherefore, let no man glory in man, but rather let him glory in God …” D&C 76:61.
The economy turned sour in Seattle, so I moved from Seattle to Silicon Valley in order to get a job. With no family to move, I was able to be more flexible. I was involved in a same-sex relationship. The guy was smart and talented and had a Master’s degree, but for some reason he just couldn’t get a job of any kind in Seattle. He had blown through his unemployment and I was supporting him, along with supporting myself and paying child support, which didn’t go to my kids, but bought an awfully nice telescope for my ex-wife’s new husband.