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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.
 
An interesting coming-out post from a gay, het-married mormon… who's staying that way. Yay for firmly entrenched cognitive dissonance? Though given his axiom-set, I would guess he's found just about the optimal solution. :-/

h/t +Alex Fink /via http://www.metafilter.com/116792
When we do tell people about this—and we've been telling a lot of people lately, so we've gotten really practiced at it—they usually have a lot of really good, genuine questions. Here are some...
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87 comments
 
Does it work for his wife?  She seems completely absent from this.  I am skeptical.
 
Yeah, she does write a piece for it saying she's fine with it.  Given that they're both expressing themselves in a positive, open way that works for them, then that's fair enough for them.  And he says he won't judge anyone else's chosen path, so as far as I'm concerned, this is what true tolerance is.
 
+Sai, I remember when I was younger, I was talking to my parents about sex and religion and my father said, "oh, Skinny, if God didn't want humans to masturbate, He would have made us with little tiny arms like the T. rex!" You know, as clever as the quip is, there is no way in hell I would ever jump into a discussion about what God truly intends. I have no idea. Further, I have serious problems with what's been canonized and left out and how these Scriptures have been translated, making it difficult to accept that anyone else might have the answer. I'm just going to try to be decent and enjoy myself and help other people be decent and enjoy themselves. 
 
As a gay man I'm torn by this.  On the one hand I get where he's coming from because it sounds a lot like the discussions I hear now about gender identity being a spectrum, and not a binary thing. On the other hand I interpreted this post as him wanting to be out and keeping his heterosexual-Christian privilege at the same time.  I also see the ex-gay "therapy" people using him as a poster child. But hey, if everyone is happy, is consenting to the paramaters of the relationship, and nobody is getting hurt, more power to them.  
 
Not that I'd expect them to go into details, but I'm totally curious as to how they manage their sex life. I'm imagining if I were in an analogous situation in a society where gay relationships were the norm, how I'd adapt - as a het guy - to being in a gay relationship.
 
Well, they're Mormons, so presumably they're not getting drunk to work out the details.

Maybe it's close your eyes and think of England Utah?

Either way, they seem content.
 
Yes, I did read it.  And I'm extremely ambivalent about it.  I know all too many families where they split up because dad (or mom!) could no longer handle being in an opposite sex relationship.  I'm not predicting this for him (although I would not be one bit surprised if it did happen down the road), but I do feel (taking his story at face value for the moment) that his is the exception that proves the rule.

I mean, +Lionel Lauer's point says it all.
 
+Sai, that's a much more emotional YouTube video than I was prepared to encounter. Thank you for linking it here.
 
+A.V. Flox her piece strikes me as canned.  I can't put my finger on it, exactly.  
 
+A.V. Flox  I have to admit, I never thought about certain religious groups thinking about adoption as going against God's plan. But, I also know several people who use "God's Plan" when they feel like it and actually do whatever they seem to want while judging others. 

+Cindy Brown I agree, that is a good question. She does give a lengthy response in Q6, after he says "we" this and "we" that. I feel like they talk to each other a lot.
*Edit- I didn't see the rest of the messages before this, sorry about that. :)

I am heartened by Josh's honesty here, and I hope it will help some people to be more accepting and help young gay people to feel less ashamed (if they do).
 
+Sai I take your point. I'm not saying it would impossible for me to adapt, but I'd sure have to be with the right person.
 
+George Lara, I think there is value in this story because it shows privileged groups (in this case monogamous heterosexual couples) that being anything but requires people to make really painful, sometimes completely alienating choices. It's very hard for the heterosexual man and woman who want to one day have a colonial and white picket fence with 2.5 kids in the yard to imagine what it means to make a choice. Once in a blue moon we experience it -- when we fall in love for someone of the wrong faith, or the wrong class, or the wrong age -- but even then it's different. Your spouse, who may be 17 years older than you, may have scandalized the town, but your relationship doesn't necessarily define you and if it does, it doesn't define you in anywhere nearly the same way as being gay has traditionally defined people -- especially in such communities.

So in that sense, I think he has done a good thing. In the sense you describe, the idea people might take this post and distort in hopes of "curing the gays" thus stifling people's personal evolutions and forcing them to lead lives they have not chosen for themselves, lives imposed upon them as "what's right"? I fear that, I do. And you're not crazy to be weary. It's not the intended message, as he says. But since when have people with an agenda cared about the original intent of anything? 
 
A few more random thoughts:

There's a tone of smug superiority that does grate, although I have to hand it to him for the rest of his stuff where he urges love & acceptance of the gay people you know.  Still:
"Many people never get to this point in their sex lives because it requires incredible communication, trust, vulnerability, and connection [and ] we weren’t distracted by the powerful chemicals of infatuation and obsession that usually bring a couple together (which dwindle dramatically after the first few years of marriage anyway). [...] This has resulted in us having a better sex life than most people I personally know."  Oh please.

And you know that the homophobic crowd will zoom straight [pun unintended, but welcomed] past the overall tone of his message and use it to beat people about the head on YES YOU SO CAN CHOOSE TO DO THE BIBLICALLY MORAL THING YOU UNCLEAN CREATURE YOU.

Meh.
 
I think lots of people do that.

Heck, my husband and I have done that as "something new" for kicks.
 
Key question: Does he close his eyes or turn off the lights while they're having sex?
 
+Lionel Lauer Do you? What an interesting question...I think you should post it for comments after putting some definition around it. 
 
+Cindy Brown, I don't know that this is meant to prove anything other than that someone chose to completely deprioritize sexual attraction in the relationship they chose to have and ended up feeling fulfilled by the result.  
 
Yeah but lots of normal hetero couples like to do it in the dark for various reasons.  You can't attach any particular meaning to that.
 
+Cindy Brown, as for the homophobes -- I hope Josh Weed will stand up if they ever try to use him to shame and force choices on gay and lesbian members of the community. He was right to point out there are no role models, though in so doing, he has made himself one. The burden of responsibility is heavy.
 
Mmm, not really.  Different strokes for different folks.  I bet you I could find lots of different couples who have varying reasons.  I know some women who have body issues and just aren't comfortable being seen.  I know couples who like to have fantasies that way, even though they're in love and completely committed.  I know Ren faire types who would undoubtedly see it as more "authentic" that way.

Either way, I'm with +A.V. Flox that if they've chosen to have sex a particular way, or if they've chosen to have a relationship without much sex in it, that's their valid choice.  Doesn't sound like anyone's being forced into anything.  I mean sure, you can argue that it's a patriarchal religion and the lady feels compelled or whatever, but here's the crux of it: they're both legally consenting adults to this enterprise and if we're going to demand that other legally consenting adults get respect for their bedroom choices, we need to grant it to these ones too, even if it's not what we'd choose.
 
+Kimberly Chapman, sex in the dark is very mysterious. Also, you get to contort in whatever way you please without worrying that you're going to freak out the other person by bending in a way that is simply not human (or just plain gross!).
 
Are you saying I'm not so sexy with my foot behind my head and my left arm doing the noodly appendage dance?  Well feh, there goes my Tuesday evening plans.  Pshaw.
 
+Kimberly Chapman I'm not arguing any of those points, or judging anything they do, I'm just totally curious as to how they're working around the elephant in the room, which is the mechanics of how a guy who's completely unattracted to women goes about having sex with one.
 
Maybe she dons an R2D2 costume and he puts on his Leia buns and they play Hide The Lightsaber In the Droid.
 
I've got to say a couple of things.

First of all, he's bi.  In forty years on this planet, I've never met a truly gay man or woman that would consider such an arrangement out of anything more than convenience.  It wouldn't even cross their minds.

But, that's okay.  I just wish he'd admit it.  Bi-sexual isn't a bad thing, but for whatever reason it's anathema to everyone except those that are that way.

My wife is bi.  She prefers girls. She's had more girlfriends than boyfriends.   Is that bad?  I don't think so.  I'll couple that fact with this fact that we're both pretty polyamorous.  But we've agreed that we need to be monogamous right now,  Mainly, she's happy with a dude.  I don't know why, but it certainly works for me ;)

I won't comment on his relationship with LDS because I don't ascribe to that.   Religion is religion, and that's a personal thing.   Like love, if it makes you happy, go for it.

But I will ask that you think about one thing.  He and she are both happy, in a monogamous relationship, love each other, have children, and want to be honest.  I only wish he were actually honest.  He likes that girl. That's not gay, that's life.  It's  a beautiful thing, and I wish he'd see that.

Tagging +kat Folland in because she's a better writer than me, and closer to the subject.
 
The lover of life is not the sinner "DIO"
 
+Olav Folland, you're using your own experience to decide whether another man, completely foreign to your experience, is being honest with himself. Just wanted to point that out.
 
+A.V. Flox I won't deny that.  It's entirely possible that this is a relationship that I've never heard of.  I'm also not judging.  They're happy, and that's freaking phenomenal.  Any time I hear of people being happy together, whether it be two, or three, or seven.  They're happy.  Not my place to judge.

I just ask the question because there's an anathema on bi relationships - both in the straight, and gay communities.  Neither side seems to want to accept the middle ground, and that's just abhorrent to me.  I fear that he's hiding that from himself, and that that's okay too.
 
Since I was tagged into this... I suspect Mr. Weed was and is in a place where he feels one must be gay or straight, nothing in the middle. As a bisexual woman the only sensible way to divide people into just two groups is bisexual and monosexual (and +Sai  I was tickled pink to see someone else use the term!). 

I have a strong dislike of the idea of dividing the world into straight v. gay, for obvious reasons. (Okay, if you didn't read my husband's comments, yes, I am a bi woman who is more strongly attracted to women but is very very happy with her marriage to a man. I'm not fucking "passing"; bite me.)

All that said: I'm not hugely into labels. Mr. Weed is in a relationship that makes him and his partner happy. That's fabulous. He is using this opportunity to send the message that one can be gay and still be good with God. I have no problem with that. I think it would be even more powerful for him to come out as bi... but, again, if they're happy, I've got no problems. 
 
+Sai  I wish I could say the same, but I'm glad to hear that!
 
+Sai I also liked your phrase "axiom set". 
 
Phobia is there way of say i wish i could and i want to at least try...
 
I like monosexual as well :-P
 
+Sai I'm a breeder and I've seen it.  The saddest part is that I've seen it in San Francisco.  Even there, one can be 'not gay enough'.  The hypocrisy sickens me,
 
I have a distant relative who is an evangelical christian and gay.  He's resolved it by being celibate.  I feel badly for him, in a way, but he has managed a type of separate peace, reconciling his religion and his sexuality.
 
lol "post-gay". I love it. The way you meant it, anyway, +Sai ;)
 
+Sai, no, do tell! I hope it's not something unpleasant!
 
+Olav Folland, how can you say you're not judging when you kick off your commentary with "First of all, he's bi.... I just wish he'd admit it"? You denying that he's gay is no better than people denying bisexuality. The fact that he might be gay and chosen to live a heterosexual lifestyle has nothing to do with whether bisexuality exists or how many variations of sexuality there are.
 
+kat Folland, bisexuality has a history of being denied by people who prefer a monochrome sexual landscape. It would do a lot of good to help people understand that sexuality is not so neatly packed into little boxes. I agree with you there. That said, I don't think it's appropriate to assume that a person is only saying he's gay because he doesn't think it's okay to say he's bisexual, or, as +Olav Folland did, to just say he's bisexual and needs to admit it. How much better is that than looking at the journey of someone who identifies as bisexual and saying, "why can't you just admit you're gay already?"
 
+Eber Medina, the only thing modesty has ever done for humankind is oppress us and give us terrible body image issues. I'll pass.  
 
+Sai, there's a lot there, which one caused you to whistle? 
 
+Sai, I don't like to be perceived as ditzy, that's awful and enough to make me want to change it up. Everything else just adds to the wonder -- even being one of millions is pretty cool. 
 
NO WAY ARE YOU DITZY...If you were how come every one is still here????
 
The whole gay/lesbian/bi/straight identity thing involves a shitload of sexual politics, unfortunately. I was once in a relationship with an 'officially' lesbian woman that went Horribly Wrong because the local lesbian community so looked down on bi women.
 
+Sai, is it that the fox most often associated with the transgendered? That's fascinating. I had no idea. 

You can derail the thread because you made me start it, but this conversation will be far more interesting if we have it elsewhere, at another juncture when Skyrim isn't staring me down like I'm abrogating my responsibility to humanity. xo
 
+A.V. Flox I'll start by saying he has the absolute right to identify himself as he chooses.  At the same time, I've never met anyone that's espoused a lifestyle, "but", that isn't denying a part of themselves.  

Here's the thing.  +kat Folland, my wife, is gay.  It's fair to say that she prefers women over men.  Except that for whatever damn fool reason she chose to live with me. That doesn't make her any more or less gay - she just chose some shlump that makes her happy.  Gender isn't important to her.  That makes her bi.

Bi and gay aren't that much different.  Hell, straight people have shades.  I'm a breeder, but I'll say I'm partially gay. I don't have sexual desires, but a naked man can be a freaking beautiful thing,  

Those desires are the crux though.  I'll admit that I can never fully understand bi, or gay, or anything other than what I feel towards others..  It's just not possible.  If we're going to talk shade though, every person I've met that identifies as 'gay' - male or female - wouldn't even consider a member of the opposite sex as a mate.  It wouldn't cross their minds.

There are plenty of shades of sexuality, and none of them bad.  I just think he's trying to pigeon-hole himself,
 
+Olav Folland Yeah, this is where sexual politics pisses me off. I hate it when people lie in order to avoid an inconvenient label. You're a man who likes to fuck both women & men? - You're bi. You're a woman who likes to fuck both women & men? - You're bi too. 
Really, it'd be so nice if people weren't hung up on these labels.
 
+Olav Folland, I get that, I really do. But should her experience define another person that has nothing to do with her? I am not denying +kat Folland's truth. She is bisexual and she is happy and that works for her and for you. You are self-aware and fulfilled together. Why isn't this guy allowed the same courtesy? Is it fair to cross off someone else's experience as a lie simply because it doesn't jive with what you know? Think about that.
 
+Lionel Lauer, I've had sex with women and I don't consider myself bisexual, not because it's inconvenient (as a sex writer and a woman, it would actually be very convenient), but because I don't feel sexual attraction or the desire to participate in any long-term form of intimate involvement.

To call myself "bisexual" would seem to me a complete mockery of the experience of men and women who really have these desires and face the stigma associated with that, and make me no different than the coeds at happy hour who make out just to get free shots from the guys standing by. 

But what do I know? Apparently sexuality has nothing to do with how we identify and everything to do with how people choose to see us. 
 
+A.V. Flox Well, that's the thing. I've had sexual contact with men, but as it turns out, it's not something that does it for me - as much as I might've wished otherwise at the time.
On that basis, I consider myself heterosexual, rather than bi. Regardless of what things you've tried, if you don't actually find women a turn on, it seems to me that you're het.
 
I'll never know what i'am.There is no where i belong..your all lucky..
 
+A.V. Flox  Thanks for the add and for the great commentary. I hadn't thought about the "non-shared-biological children can be against god's plan" aspect of defining the "ideal family".

I agree completely with comments made by both you and by +Sai: Given his axiom set, he has arrived at an optimal solution for himself, and that is no small feat. Props to him. And given that he is happy in his situation, he actively avoids encouraging others to make his exact same set of decisions, but rather to find their own way. Props to him again.
 
+Aaron Gable, thank you for inspiring more commentary around the story. It was really interesting to see the discussion unfold in that direction.
 
Honestly I think of sexuality on a spectrum. While the most useful way of looking at the world for me is dividing into monosexual and bisexual, that's merely a convenience. For instance, if you didn't want to use the word "bi" you could say I was 45% hetero (or 55% gay). I would put my ex-husband at around 70% hetero. I can't see him ever having a relationship with another man, but I know for a fact that he's not unwilling to have a sexual encounter with a man. I feel that anyone 90% or more of either end of the spectrum is probably far less common than some people would like to think.

When it comes down to it, labels can mean different things to different people. Basically they are a mental-shorthand and should be recognized as such. Some people find labels to be silly and useless for them, others tie their identity to the label they feel describes them. Labels can be restricting or they can be liberating. I feel concern when a person has embraced a label that limits them, but if, on the other hand, it brings them peace... well then I can hold mine. ;)
 
+kat Folland, I agree completely with everything you say here. I think, however, that is very important to allow people to define themselves and their sexuality and to accept it as who they are. We must realize, too, that this is not a static evaluation, but one that may change, not because the person is "confused," but because we're all constantly evolving -- putting ideas and constructs to rest and hopefully coming closer to our inner truths, whatever these may be. 
 
I think in the end, since this is (as presented), a mutual thing, with all cards on the table, and consented to by adults, I'm certainly not going to condemn their arrangement, even if it makes me uneasy with what I think it demonstrates about the tenacity of various cultural and religious doctrines to shape -- if not deform -- the way we think and live our lives...
 
Hm yea.  And since he's not hiding the fact that he's gay from his wife, well...
 
+A.V. Flox +Cindy Brown While Dan Savage's point about how anti-gay religious conservatives will interpret this successful marriage is a very good point, I actually physically shuddered at the disdain, dismissal, and judgement contained in this sentence:

"[They believe that] Society should encourage each of us to find an opposite-sex partner who is willing to marry us and who we can either fuck successfully while thinking about gay sex or whom we feel so strongly about that we 1. actually enjoy fucking or 2. will claim we enjoy fucking in blog posts that our opposite-sex partners help us write."

While I like (and agree with) most of Dan says in that short post, and while I usually appreciate his no-holds-barred, all-truths-bared speaking and writing style, I just felt like that particular comment was hypocritical and unnecessary. Maybe I'm missing the humor in it. I dunno.

I disagree with Josh Weed's religon and ideals, but I do think he deserves support for being emotionally supportive of others, honest with himself and the world, and finding a good place for himself. Dan seems to think he made the wrong choice anyway, and I find that incredibly unfortunate.
 
For 3 years i can't even fell hugs. Please believe me, I never want pity. I even have epilepsy and lived a 1000 life's, great one's. But when my last old lady left when her kid turned 18, she was Bisexual. I just need to like myself before i go to the jungle ;-). :-P Lol B-).
 
From the comments on Savage's post (excerpt):
_ I guess it's just plain serendipitous that Weed's ten year anniversary and subsequent public coming-out-as-happily-mixed-orientation-whatever coincides with a year that a popular vote on gay marriage is occurring in WA_
Even beyond the propaganda motive, I find his post pretty sinister. It's been pointed out elsewhere since this exploded on the internet, but he's not exactly without vested interests. He works as an LDS marriage counselor specializing in "sexual addiction" and "LGBT issues." He describes this as something like 'reconciling same sex attractions with religious beliefs.' I'm going to hazard that he, like so many other gay spokesmen who have made straight life 'work,' makes his money off a variety of ex-gay therapy.

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2012/06/11/gay-man-marries-straight-woman-enjoys-fucking-her-writes-blog-post-about-it-internet-explodes#comment-13902391
 
My thought on all this-- there are more scary things out there.This is something so we are looking the other way...as always .
 
+Aaron Gable, I don't think it was intended to be funny. I see it as a mean comment and wholly unnecessary, but I see the wounds in it, too, and I understand where he's coming from.  
 
+Lionel Lauer That article you linked to read a little angry. It makes me wonder why the animosity? I must be missing some hidden anti-gay message in Josh's blog. 
 
+Pam Adger That was just part of a comment from the original thread on Savage's site. I quoted it here because I think it adds context to both Weed himself, & the timing of the OP.
 
Oh I read Savage's whole post on the subject. My comment refers to the tone of his blog post. 
 
All of the thoughts all of you are still talking about. Every one rejoiced in at once. Like December 25, was really 3 days men gave gifts to each other and had sex. Saturn's day. We were Pegens back then. The church had to slowly get us prepared for there world. Most of the holidays are based around each other........ The pentagram, is really feminine not satanic. 4- 20 was spring time, not the black Sabbath. Like the movie by brios krloff. All at your local library. Lol!
 
+Lionel Lauer and +Pam Adger, I think it bears noting that we're talking about a percentage of the population who have been actively denied rights afforded to everyone else and who have been oppressed, abused, ostracized and depicted as the epitome of sin for no other reason than being born with an attraction to people of the same sex.

Charlatans and well-intentioned people alike have historically done terrible things to "cure" homosexuals, and even today, people continue in their quest to stamp it out, many of them profiting from it. I'd say people have every right to feel weary about the motivations for this story, given Josh's line of work.

And I hope that in time they can see that the message of compassion and acceptance is greater than all the other problematic elements we have identified in this piece. Because that's an important message. It doesn't matter what side of the gay rights fight you're on: compassion is something we could all use.
 
+A.V. Flox I hadn't considered that aspect. I guess that makes sense. Thanks for taking the time to spell it out for me. 
 
+A.V. Flox Yes, exactly. That's why I'm also very cynical about the timing of this guy's statement - especially considering his profession.
 
+Lionel Lauer, that's not to say we should dismiss what he is saying, though. I do think his message of compassion is very important. Time and time again he says that homosexuality is not a choice and that people should be accepted as they are and allowed to make their own choices in their lives and the best thing a Christian can do is accept and love. That's an important message and one I don't mind being hammered into the minds of people who drag their gay children to therapy.

I do mind the message that families are not possible unless one marries someone of the opposite sex, and that children can only come from the two people in the marriage. I think those messages are incredibly problematic -- but these are not Josh's messages. They're the message of his faith and many like it. 
 
+A.V. Flox I'll put it this way: I'd really, really like it if what he's saying is 100% true for him & from his heart, but my cynical side has reservations.
 
Great find, +Cindy Brown ! I've contacted her. Hopefully she will allow me to run her piece on +BlogHer -- I think it's a powerful element in this discussion.
 
It rings far more true to me, that's for sure.  Let us know what happens!
 
+Cindy Brown, I so will. Nothing yet, but I imagine she's getting slammed with media requests.
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