Saturday, April 12, 2008

My Life Reads Like the Classifieds

Have you noticed the ads on facebook? Do you think they are target ads?

I have noticed that lately I've been having tons of gay ads on facebook. Different networks, Utah social scenes, websites, etc. I assumed that they were just the kinds of ads that everyone gets, but now I realize that it is probably target advertising. There are really only two other ads that I get: Art ads and Mormon ads. I am clearly an art student, and I am clearly a BYU student, so those ads make sense. I am not clearly gay, however, on facebook. In fact, I hide it on facebook. So how do they know they should put the ads up? Is it because I am silent on my romantic information? Is is because I have Will and Grace as a favorite TV show? Is it because I quote Hilary Faye in my quote section? What gives it away?

I'm just curious, do any of you have gay ads on facebook? Why?

We Love in Secret Names



Thursday, April 10, 2008

'Cause it feels wonderful

"How about me not blaming you for everything. How about me enjoying the moment for once. How about how good it feels to finally forgive you. How about grieving it all one at a time" (Alanis Morissette).
I have been writing a post over the past two weeks about the doctrines and practices of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that I disagree with. As I have polished and thought about the post, I thought about what kind of response it would garner and who it might benefit. A few people will tell me they agree whole heartedly, and others will argue. In the end, no one will benefit. It will only make me sound negative and critical. So I'll save the post for when I'm in a pissy mood. Since I'm not pissy now, I've decided to write from the positive side and make a list of the good and beautiful doctrines I have gleaned from the LDS faith and express my gratitude for them.
1. The Eternal Nature of Man
I appreciate being taught that the soul of man existed before birth and will continue after death. To me, that is significant belief that provides hope, accountability, self worth, and a desire to seek greater things. While the teaching is not unique to Mormonism, the Church is certainly one of the few Christian sects to emphasize and teach the idea of a pre-mortal existence.

2. The Atonement of Jesus Christ
Often people cite the song "I am a Child of God" as the greatest gift that Latter-day Saints have to offer Christianity. They're wrong. "I Stand All Amazed" is the greatest gift that Latter-day Saints offer Christianity. The teachings of the Atonement, the need for Christ, the nature of His Sacrifice, and the breadth and scope of the applications of that sacrifice are one of the most remarkable contributions of Mormonism. Though the doctrine is taught clearly and emphatically in the New Testament, the Book of Mormon provides beautiful additional descriptions of it that other Christians could benefit from.

3. The Divine Heritage of Man
"I am a Child of God" is the second most important contribution of Mormonism. I appreciate growing up with a theoretical understanding of the divine worth a human has as the offspring of deity. I definitely understood the divine potential of man. Though I may disagree with the specifics, I still believe that man is meant to become one with God and like Him.

4. A Passionate Call to Action
Joseph Smith had a way of getting his followers excited about this new movement. That legacy lives on. Growing up I got very passionate about the religion. I love the way he wrote about this cause and the enthusiasm with which he and other leaders have spoken about what they believe is the future of the Church. It helped shape me into a passionate person.

5. The Need for Modern Revelation
I am so thankful my parents taught me how to pray and taught me that prayer was a vehicle for seeking knowledge from God. I have drawn upon the powers of prayer time and time again. The fact that we need to know things from God and that we can know things from God and that we should seek things from God is one of the most appealing aspects of Mormonism. It is the very principle that gives me confidence in what I have decided to pursue now. I will always strive to petition the Lord's will for me and the path that will lead me to the most happiness.

I may get distraught over certain Church teachings, or over our history, or even over the attitudes of Church members, but I will always be grateful that I was raised by parents who taught me these five beautiful principles. They have blessed my life, and will continue to guide and motivate me.
"How about no longer being masochistic. How about remembering your divinity. How about unabashedly bawling your eyes out. How about not equating death with stopping" (Alanis Morissette).

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Always, Always, and Forever

I am so grateful for the closeness I feel to my parents right now. They have really been supportive recently. Months ago I complained that they were not dealing with my beliefs and desires very well at all. My mom had asked me not to talk about anything relating to homosexuality with her, and my dad just reacted so emotionally to anything that he was also unapproachable. They felt like they were going to lose me in the eternities.

Well today my mom accidentally stumbled across my blog in a google search for something that was unrelated to my blog topic. (I have since removed my site from google searches). She left a message on my voice mail asking me a question about something on my blog. I was petrified. I worried that the blog and the opinions I share here would bother her and make her cry as they would have several months ago. When I called her back, though, she was in a good mood and didn't seem upset about the blog at all.

I am so glad that we can talk about things now. She still does not agree with me, but that's ok. All I want is to be able to communicate with good feelings. I often worried that my parents would not only believe I would be separated from them in heaven but that they would put that belief into practice and separate me from them here on Earth. If I am really going to be kicked out of the family when I die, is there really a need to kick me out early? I feel assured that this is not going to be the case. I don't feel like I will be rejected by my parents any more. However sad they may be with current and future choices, I know that they love me and will always support me.

I Want to Hold Your Hand

"We'd gather around all in a room, fasten our belts, engage in dialogue. . . We would stay and respond and expand and include and allow and forgive and enjoy and evolve and discern and inquire and accept and admit and divulge and open and reach out and speak up. . . This is my Utopia" (Alanis Morissette).

Deseret Morning News reports that the Church will be meeting with Affirmation in August. As you can imagine, I am very excited for this historic breakthrough. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but one of the topics of conversation will be BYU's honor code.

As I talk with friends at BYU, almost all of them are surprised to hear the the honor code forbids "not only sexual relations between members of the same sex, but all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings." That means that two guys can't hold hands or kiss. Most BYU students that I have interacted with expected the policy on gays to be the same as it for heterosexuals--if you have sex you get kicked out. Upon finding out that the standards for gay students are different than for straight students, a lot of these people believe that this inequality should be rectified. It is institutional discrimination to treat the same affection differently based on who the affection is between.

I would be thrilled to see progressive dialog on the subject.

"We would share and listen and support and welcome--Be propelled by passion, not invest in outcomes . . . We'd provide forums we'd all speak out. We'd all be heard. We'd all feel seen. . . This is my ideal, my end in sight" (Alanis Morissette).

Friday, April 4, 2008

So Stare and See That This is Me

I have been tagged.

1. Pick up the nearest book (at least 123 pages).
2. Turn to page 123.
3. Find the 5th sentence
4. Post the 5th sentence on your blog.
5. Tag 5 people.
"This so inflated them that they did various dodgy things to get staying up still longer, such as demanding bandages; but Wendy, though glorying in having them all home again safe and sound, was scandalised by the lateness of the hour, and cried, 'To bed, to bed," in a voice that had to be obeyed" (Peter and Wendy, by James M. Barrie).

Man he writes long sentences. I find it highly amusing that Peter Pan was coincidently the closest book to me at the time that I was tagged by Abelard. What's more amusing is the use of the word "dodgy" in the sentence, because "dodgy" is a euphemism for homosexual behavior in Great Britain. I'll let you use your own imagination in regards to the lost boys doing "various dodgy things" to stay up past their bedtime. You may or may not use bandages in your imagining.

I tag Romulus, Remus, Gabriel, DaVinci, and Draco.