Josh Weed is a husband, a father and a member of the Mormon Church. And he's gay. The post below shares his story -- how he told his wife of ten years about being gay on their first date, how their relationship developed, and how he came to choose the life he has now, a life he loves.
I think the overall message here is positive. We're all born with drives, develop unique identities and are raised within cultures and belief systems that expect things from us. Alarmingly often, these things don't fit well together at all. The general approach has been simple: give up the culture or faith and go where you are accepted, or actively deny yourself to remain within the culture or faith.
In this post, Josh Weed shows how he has managed to remain within his chosen culture and faith not only without self-loathing, but without denial. That is important. One may not agree with his faith, may wonder whether it's healthy to embrace a life with no possibility of the sort of sexual satisfaction that comes from being intimate with someone to whom we're attracted, etc., but at the end of the day, there is more power in self-truth and self-acceptance than anything else.
I know people who married someone to whom they were so very attracted and now only have sex a few times a month, if that. I know people who have kinks they only get to fantasize about because their long-term partners don't want to have anything to do with it. I know all kinds of sexual situations. If you asked me now whether it was something I could compromise in a relationship, I would respond, "no!" But I have in the past, and I will undoubtedly do it again. Sex is important, but relationships are a lot more than sex, whatever your reasons.
It works for him -- that's great. If while sharing his story, he is imparting the message that homosexuality is not a choice and that gay and lesbians are not the spawn of Satan, so much the better.
In answer to a question posed by +Aaron Gable
about the emphasis placed on biological children in the piece, I concur that it's troublesome, but altogether unsurprising considering the faith aspect of this story. Adoption may be viewed as a Christian act of charity, and children may be welcomed into the fold and loved, but I think we would be fools to imagine that everyone sees our adoptive kids as truly being our children. Some people don't. And there is judgment involved in some communities when people adopt because they cannot have children -- if God doesn't want to bless them with children, are they trying to get around His decision by adopting?
Some faiths don't believe in praying to conceive at all, lest they offend God by wanting for something that isn't part of The Plan. And only a few months ago the Pope spoke out against in vitro fertilization, telling Catholics worldwide that to create a child outside the act of sex between a man and a wife is inhuman and undignified. One more moderate Lutheran paper on the topic warned that many see surrogacy as adultery, even if no actual sexual act occurs between the surrogate and either spouse.
It's very, very complicated. But given what I understand, it is entirely unsurprising that a man would imagine that being gay and having an "ideal" family are mutually exclusive things.