"My name is Ron, and I'm a Gecko."
A little of the life and mind of Geckoman. Since I am 'coming out of the closet' and back into the world of public introspection, I thought I might share more of who I am and where I'm coming from. Such a statement of faith and purpose might help those stumbling upon my blog to construct a more complex picture of who this reptile guy is.
We moved to Arizona in January of 2006. I became fascinated with the little geckos that crawled up and down the cement block wall in our backyard. You could only see them when they moved. Often they would stay in the same place, just bobbing up and down. So I wrote a poem about it, wherein I compared myself to the little animal, going up and down in the same place. We live in a double world, as married gays in the Mormon church. Many of the faithful I know might be repulsed to learn that I am attracted to men; many might find it hard to touch or endear my little reptilian friend as well. But on a personal note, I too am often frustrated by myself, that I can't seem to control my thoughts and that I make choices for behaviors that are on the edge. So I find myself bobbing up and down, drawing attention to my own condition. However, like the Gecko, my bouncing behavior has a purpose: it cools me down and tones my strength and coordination.
As the years have moved on, and now that I've read and learned of other's common Moho experiences through the bloggosphere, I see that I'm not all that peculiar and many 'struggle' in similar ways that I do. I have become more accepting and loving of myself, and less judgemental and homophobic of others. Like others, I realize that I have known from childhood that I was a bit different, or processed things differently than most other guys. I began to especially notice this in junior high school, as I bloomed into puberty, yet I refused to acknowledge that I had anything 'gay' going on. I just chalked it up as I've always been a sensitive, creative kind of guy.
I joined the church when I was 18, and that set me back in coming to terms with my homosexuality. But that was probably for the good, since it trained me to live asexually for a few years, until I met my wife at BYU and married her. (And I am truly thankful for her and my wonderful children.) I believed the church's rhetoric that my SSA was a consequence of the sinful choices I had made, and that I would grow out of it when I got married and could have regular sex. The married sex was good, but with that increased sexual activity I also found an increased hunger for men and to be accepted as a man. However, I never went 'all the way' sexually with another man, although I could have a couple of times cruising for some kind of connection. For many years I programmed my life to be absorbed in work and family and church, and simply shut out my feelings of attraction. I'm less willing to do that now, and have chosen a path to understand my heart better, and still love the Lord for it all.
I am a man of practised faith. I know of God's goodness through personal experience, even though I have suffered injustices when it comes to finances and employment and what some people do to each other. My heart is more tender, I've chosen to be more accepting of those things I cannot change and empathetic to the plights of people struggling in a world of pride and indifference. I hope that I can overcome my own pride and enmity towards the Lord, submitting to his will more freely. I struggle with cynicism and critical thinking when it comes to our shared religion. I want to believe that it is all directed by revelation, but I suspect that many times the Lord is willing to let us evolve slowly as a people and a culture, allowing our church leaders the bias and prejudice of their tradition. I also acknowlege that change is a matter of timing, and the Lord will direct events as the saints are willing or able to embrace change. We saints are not always as humble and loving as we would like to think we are.
I'm distressed by the church's role in the whole Prop 8 controversy, and in general it's lack of inclusiveness towards gays, feminists and intellectuals. What a shame, what a loss of human resource available to build a more global and powerful body of Christ. I see much of the church's singular attitudes as a power struggle to maintain the status quo: well-intending, but entirely convicted men denying those with different political/social/spiritual agendas a seat at the Lord's table. I fear at times that our leaders are not being led by divine revelation, but I have hope that eventually the Lord will make His will known in more conclusive ways and that the church will be more receptive to follow. I guess time will tell, and I remain in the church, on the side of safety, ignoring the prejudice and trying to work on my own personal agendas of faith, hope and charity, praying for better understanding while also trying to develop stronger integrity.
Within the last couple years I lost my job and most of my financial securities. I am far from alone in this messed up economy. As I have confided previously, most of these things are merely 'accessories' anyway, and not the important stuff of life. But praise God, the Lord has been aware of the little Geckos on the wall, and I am truly blessed to again have a wonderful job doing what I love, and to be 'home at last' in the beautiful place of my nativity. I feel we are where we are in life for a purpose and reason. To think otherwise is to accept that life is nothing but chaos, and I know in small and simple ways that God lives and loves me, the little Gecko.
Slowly but surely I will become known as a gay and yet faithful man in the church. I don't intend to broadcast my orientation carelessly to whoever will listen, but I will talk about it if asked. People may find my blog and the word may spread. I care only to love and be courageous in I what I believe to be the cause of truth. I have nothing to hide anymore, and I'm not ashamed of who I am. I don't want to be known only as that gay guy who loves music and ice cream, but I'm willing to take the risk. Hopefully I'll continue to be able to serve the Lord and to help to advance His purposes, relying wholly upon the mercies of Him who is mighty to save.