Wednesday, 30 December 2015

What A Year !

Before I start this post, I'm aware that I haven't followed up on my cliff hanger post just over 2 months ago and I will address it for those who are dying to find out, (I know you're out there... somewhere).

So seeing as tomorrow is NYE and 2015 has seemingly flashed before my eyes, it only befitting to recap 2015 and look at how many of my New Year resolutions were met.

Let me just say... WHAT A YEAR!

So here they are, my goals from my resolutions post for this year:

- visit my parents at least 4 times (X - I only managed 2 visit this year)
- spend time together as an entire family twice (X - just the once)
 - fall in love (TICK - woohoo!!)
 - don't say no to an invite for no good reason (TICK - I reckon this one was met)
- make 2 new good friends (friends that actually hang out together regularly) (TICK - I've actually made lots of friends this year!)
 - work for protective services OR get a promotion in my current field (TICK - took the leap here too)
 - travel to the USA (TICK - best.trip.ever)
 - Fit into clothes the next size up (X - not quite yet...)
- Pick up a recreational sport (X - not even close)
- Get ripped Be healthy (HALF-TICK - going to the USA definitely set me back)
 - find God and develop a relationship with Him if He is there (HALF-TICK - well this is an interesting one, I'll elaborate below)

 All in all, 2015 has been one killer year.

Things I achieved in 2015 in no particular order:


Most of the pictures are quite self explanatory except for maybe the last one.

I guess the last symbolises the inner peace I feel with where I am spiritually. I feel free, no longer caged by an institution. I feel closer to nature and perhaps the being that overlooks us from above.

I don't feel a need to make any resolutions for 2016. I honestly feel that I have everything I could ever ask for and then some. I just hope the saying 'what goes up must come down' is not true otherwise 2016 will have a lot to come down from. Perhaps that's why I don't blog as much, I don't feel I needed the outlet I did in the past to vent or there may not even be anything to vent about. Afterall, why would I need to vent when I have an amazing partner by my side (#2).

Happy 2016!!

Monday, 12 October 2015

Will You Accept This Rose?

It's been a while since I've posted mainly due to the crazy schedule I've had recently.

Lots have happened in the last few months - mainly good (or great!) But also with it's fair share of dilemmas.

Let me try and recap some of the things I've wanted to post about but haven't had the time to.

Before I start, I should give bit of context to the entertainment climate of Australia... heard of the show The Bachelor? Well we're onto our 3rd season here and it's a massive hit! Everyone watches it and it's everywhere... it has correlations with the post!

Once upon a time...

About 2 months ago I was bored and probably a bit lonely so I used a lot of dating apps and as per usual didn't find anything substantial. I still refused to hook up with guys however I found my boundaries were getting pushed back further and further. Before I knew it I had a guy over for a movie and some cuddling. It felt nice but I knew it didn't mean anything to him because he clearly was looking for something casual. We had a good night watching a movie and cuddling and even made out. I constantly had to move his hands northward though. He made an excuse to stay over under the premise that we wouldn't have sex as it was too late for him to drive home and he was too tired. To be honest, I quite enjoyed his company. What I found really odd was he started texting me daily after we met up that once. Let's call him Candidate 1.

Simultaneously I had posted an ad for an old fashioned date which some random guy responded to. We had planned to go grab a coffee (or hot beverage) but he bailed on me last minute so I thought he was a bit of a flake. Nevertheless he rescheduled for another day or I thought I'd give him one more chance. We caught up for coffee (in relation to time we caught up for coffee a couple of days after I met Candidate 1), and it was really nice. This guy had great values, we connected on several levels and wanted much of the same things. I had my reservations though because I thought he was a bit young and wasn't really sure if he was interested. The date just consisted of us having an ice cream and chatting... for about 4 hours. I had to go or I think we would've talked for longer. He shall be Candidate 2.

Also simultaneously a guy had sent me a message on one of my dating apps and we had been sending messages back and forth for a few days. We had organised a date the following day from when I met Candidate 2. We caught up the following day and just walked around the beach and just chatted. It was for a good 2 hours too and it was quite nice. He was quite a quirky guy who had a great sense of humour and clearly very mature in his thinking. He had a lot of life experiences which was apparent in the way he talked about the way he handled situations and viewed life. He shall be Candidate 3.

So Candidate 1 had been texting me throughout this time and I had told him I went on a very promising date to which he then asked if he could take me on a 'proper date' soon before the other guys snapped me up. I was pretty shocked to be honest as I didn't think he wanted anything serious. I said yes and we met up later that night for a tea which was also very lovely.

Then there I was... 3 wonderful guys all at once... I only asked for one guy. All 3 of them were great in their own way and they were all so different. I felt like I had a different connection with each of them.

Candidate 1: Very intelligent, we shared a lot of commonality in life experience and our passion for social justice and we had amazing chemistry. On the down side he was a self confessed manwhore who apparently was sick of sleeping around and wanted something stable. He was 27.

Candidate 2: Very down to earth and we shared a lot of common values and aspirations in life. He also had a super awesome North American accent. On the down side, I wasn't sure if he really knew what he wanted in life. He is afterall only 22.

Candidate 3: Very creative and artsy type of guy with a wealth of life experience, made me feel very comfortable when I was talking with him. We were from very different worlds though and I wasn't sure if our world's were compatible. He was 30

There you have it. I can say that the decision was a difficult one. The most amazing part of this story was that I actually spoke to my Mum about these guys and she gave me very good advice on who I should pick. I could never have imagined talking to my Mum about boys! She gave me some very good advice too which confirmed who I should pick. I knew deep inside who I wanted to pick but I was afraid I would make the wrong decision. I felt like I was a contestant on The Bachelor.. all these amazing guys with whom I had a connection with but I could only choose one!

I can reveal that I am happily in a relationship with one of the 3 candidates. As per how these shows (The Bachelor) usually go, the result will be announced next episode (post). Hahaha!

Thanks for reading :)

Sunday, 5 July 2015

My 3 cents

I started writing a post about a month ago with my two cents regarding the social media outburst around Ireland legalising same sex marriage and the whole Caitlyn Jenner saga but stopped half way through just due to lack of brain power. I've always intended to finish that post and the recent news in the US sparked another fire in me to continue to write the post yet it doesn't seem right anymore so I've started from scratch. Let's hope I finish this one...

So to say the least I was quite angered by the overwhelming response on social media expressing their opposition to same sex marriage. Whilst I generally steer clear of political conversations on Facebook I could no longer hold my peace and posted my support for the legalisation of same sex marriage. The first Facebook friend to delete me was ironically a guy I had converted on my mission.

After posting the status, reading an abundance of articles and several intense phone conversations with friends about the issue I have somewhat come to peace with the issue.

There's a lot of talk of love and acceptance but too often the words are easily said yet so difficult to show. I understand the need to respect other people's decisions but I will continue to speak up and be an advocate for what I believe in.

I saw an article that didn't really sit well with me (amongst articles with allegations that same sex marriages will pave the way for polygamy & pedophilia), and I wanted to get fellow MoHo's opinions as I know that this forum has both Mormons who still choose to follow the Gospel and those that choose not to. I had quite a few friends share this article and while it presents a very unique point I could not see myself relating to it as a gay Mormon and this could be due to the fact that I have deviated from the Gospel.

 Have a read here

The question I'm wondering is do SSA Mormons really feel disheartened when their friends show their support for gay marriage?

I did get a crack up out of a status I saw on Facebook which I didn't know was supportive of gay marriage or a typo: "I believe marriage to be between a man and women". (Unfortunately the person edited the status and it was a typo).

Monday, 4 May 2015

The Road to Inactivity

It's been a long time coming but I'm finally ready to say that I am full fledged inactive.

I realised I haven't posted in a while and that maybe in part due to my busy schedule lately but also due to the fact that the Gospel actually doesn't cross my mind as much as it used to.

I went to Church last week for the first time in... about 2 months because my Home Teachers texted me and asked if they could share a message with me after Church on Sunday. I actually stayed for the whole 3 hours... I felt nothing. While my HT started sharing their message, they began asking me questions about how to have courage in defending my standards and beliefs and I thought it would be very hypocritical of me to lie about it so I told my HT that I didn't believe in the Gospel anymore. They really didn't know how to respond, I don't think they saw it coming but it felt good to be honest. There is so much power if verbalising thoughts that your mind has pondered for so long.

I think about my path to inactivity a lot and look at where I am now... how the hell did I get to where I am now?? Not in a bad way... I just can't comprehend how I managed to successfully breakaway from the Church while still feeling satisfied in my life and not harbouring any harsh feelings towards the Church.

I've written this post mostly due to reading some other posts by fellow MoHos and reading about the all too familiar struggles that they're going through. I remember being in the exact same position and remember feeling how I could ever be at peace with a decision and be happy. I thought I had found it when I decided to live the Gospel with all my heart and stay faithful the rest of my life... I think I gave it a good shot. Although I can't and won't try to convince others of what to do, I can only share what my experience has been hoping it could give some insight into what 'could' be on the other side.

Growing Up:

I was such a good kid growing up. Always wanted to serve a mission, always did the right thing. Served as Deacon and Teacher's Quorum President and also the Assistant in the Priest Quorum. I gained my first 'testimony' at 14 - I use quotation marks because my interpretation of a testimony and the experiences I had may not be defined in the same way the Church defines testimony. It was still a special experience for me but I won't go into details here.

I dated girls growing up and I really thought I would live a happy fulfilling life in the Gospel and get married. Minus a few hiccups along the way during my rebellious teenage years, I was quite grounded in the Gospel. I promised the Lord that if I were to stay in the Gospel, it wouldn't be a half-assed attempt and that I would do it with all my heart and do everything He would want me to do. I served the most fulfilling 2 year mission I could've ever asked. I didn't have to think about girls, relationships or marriage. It was all about serving the Lord and that was probably why I loved it so much.

Post Mission:

After my mission I still tried really hard to live the Gospel. I was called to be the Ward Mission Leader when I got home, I was also teaching Elder's Quorum and became an EFY counsellor soon after I returned home. I dated but could never commit to any girl because I just didn't feel anything. I just kept serving in the Church. I remember I would go out teaching with the missionaries at least 3 times a week and amongst studying and working, I wouldn't have time to 'have a girlfriend'.

I continued like this for a few years. I was feeling somewhat fulfilled because I had great friends. I knew something was missing though. I couldn't put my finger on it but something was missing...

Self Exploration:

After graduating from university, I moved interstate which was probably a pivotal moment in my life because I didn't have my family and friends around and expectations to live up to. I wanted to explore a new life, a new me. Funnily enough... I started going to Church when I moved interstate and started making friends in Church because I had no idea where else to make friends or what else to do. I was like a fish out of water, I had no idea how people made friends outside of Church.

Right around this time I also met my first boyfriend. We had a 'discreet' relationship as I was still in the closet and while it probably wasn't the best looking back it helped me realise that maybe this could work. I wasn't totally convinced though and I was too scared to let go of the Church.. something so familiar and safe to me. But this was the first time I had a taste of what the other side could be like... I liked it... but I couldn't see myself at this point leaving the Church and living a 'gay lifestyle'. Nevertheless, my Church activity began to waiver, I still went but I began missing weeks here and there.

Coming Out:

Coming out to my friends and family (again) was a huge step for me in discovering myself and what I wanted. It wasn't an easy process and certainly it wasn't easy for my family either. It has been quite an adjustment for them as well (and I think an ongoing adjustment). If anything, I felt like I can now be honest with myself, I can go and discover what it is a really want and whether it was worth it. I started meeting with Bishop who was nothing but supportive. We tried many different things such as reading my scriptures and praying, nothing seemed to give me the peace I was looking for.

At this time, the Gospel probably moved more to the back burner for me. I wanted a boyfriend. I wanted to be loved. I want to love someone. This was when I met my second boyfriend who in my opinion played quite a bit role in my life even though we were only together for a short 3 months (it felt like a lot longer). He pushed me out of my comfort zone, we kissed in public, we held hands in public and we lived a 'normal' life. It showed me that a partnership wasn't just the promiscuity or the secret relationships, I could live happily with my partner and live a normal life. The relationship as mentioned before was short lived but what surprisingly remained with me was the will power to not go crawling back to Church. I needed to discover who I was and what I believed.

Cross Roads: 

My meetings with Bishop became less frequent but because I didn't want to talk to him because I really enjoy our meetings, just that I didn't feel the need to anymore. I started questioning why I believed the way I did. I began to ask questions, questions that I couldn't find the answer to in the Gospel. I started to have doubts, (and if anyone says to be again 'doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith' I'm going to punch them). We should be encouraged to question BOTH our doubts and our faith - neglecting to question one or the other just means it's blind and we're only scared of what the answer might bring which in my case I was scared for so long... scared to see what my life would be like without the warm, fuzzy comforting blanket of the Gospel I'd believed all my life.

It all began with a seed of question and it begins to grow just as the same principle the Church uses about faith. I slowly began to question the reason WHY I believed what I did growing up. i wanted answers; I couldn't find any. I tried testing this faith principle oppositely - what if the Gospel wasn't true? What if God doesn't condemn me being with another man? To be completely honest, I feel more at peace with the thought that God would love me regardless. The Gospel taught me who God was... but I really had to find what that means for me.

Inactive Mormon:

Step my step, little by little, I began re-framing my life. I don't have all the answers and I don't know everything but I am at peace. I began going to Church less... (2 day weekend is actually amazing!!) I actually don't even have a second thought when I buy something on Sunday.

I recounted an experience with my HT on Sunday which I'd pondered about a lot. It was an experience from my mission when I visited a less active family. Lovely family, long history in the Church infact their ancestors were pioneers. A few years prior to me getting to the area they had dabbled in 'anti-mormon' material and had gone less active. I remember distinctly sitting with this family asking them what they believe now. They answered they didn't know. I thought to myself, 'man, how stupid is that? Why would you give up something you know for the unknown?' I remember talking to my companion afterwards about how stupid we thought that was and swore we would never leave the Church. I retold this story to my HT because I was wrong those years ago. Just because you're afraid of the unknown, doesn't mean you have to hold onto something you're not even sure is true.

So there you have it. I never knew this day would come. I can't even comprehend it sometimes... it's a bit surreal thinking about it really. The best thing is... this is solely my decision, it hasn't been influenced by a partner or a friend. I am choosing this other path even though I don't know what it means... and guess what? I'm exciting to see what it brings and the adventures that will come along with it. Everyone's journey is different and I'm all for everyone taking a different journey so long as it brings them peace.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

An Old Acquaintance... A New Friend

So the past week had a bit of a blast from the past experience.

Let me rewind 12 years to my first year of seminary in 2002. I was a timid, shy 14 year old attending my first year of seminary. 6am in the morning (yes, we didn't have the privilege of seminary during school in Australia), I would unwillingly get up out of bed and get driven to Church. I never really paid much attention to other people in my class much mainly because I was half asleep most of the time. I don't think I was aware I was gay back then either but I do remember a very good looking guy in the class. We never really spoke but he was friends with my sister who was also in the same class so I knew who he was.

He was only there for my first year of seminary and I found out that he and his family moved interstate later that year. That was the last I'd heard from him until last week.

I was google-ing 'gay mormon australia' wondering what would come up and this radio interview came up. The interview featured an ex-Mormon talking about his experience. I was obviously intrigued by the subject and listened to the interview. I came across a picture of the guy being interviewed..... you guessed it! It was that guy from seminary 12 years ago!!

I stalked him on Facebook and sent him a messaging wondering if he would remember me from seminary... he did and we caught up for a chat. Interestingly enough, we both moved interstate and ended up in the same State years later, in fact we had both moved to the same city 2 years ago.

So we met up for a meal and chatted about what our lives for the past 12 years. Oh wait... did I not mention that he was also gay? Haha! I'm sure you would've picked that up already. Either way, it was good to hear him talk about what his views were on the Gospel. I found that my views were moving in a very similar direction. We're going to go to a few things together which will be great because I'm way too nervous to go by myself.

A few themes came out of that visit that really got me thinking and ultimately helped me clear things up on where I stand in the Gospel at the moment.

We both talked about the many years we spent praying, hoping that things would change, be different. We served faithfully in the Church, served a mission and tried dating girls. Countless tears shed and time spent on our knees wishing we would be different. We both came to similar conclusions in our own times;

If the Gospel were true, we would be judged according to our acts but also the desires of our hearts. Only God would know how hard we've tried to overcome this and the many years of pain we went through. We believe he would have mercy on us. The way I see it is, the Plan of Salvation is planned so that we will end up somewhere we will be happy and if I can be happy in this life then I'll be find whichever kingdom I end up in because I will be happy there. Our activity in Church isn't a direct reflection on how good of a person we are. We can still be a good person and that's what matters. 

At the same time, we both do have a lot of doctrinal issues with the Gospel which I won't expound on here.

All in all, I think this experience gave me the push that I needed to finally get off the fence and make a crucial decision.... I'll save that for another post.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Initiating Physical Intimacy.

Sometimes I feel like I'm only living through my teenage years now in regards to dating.

During my teenage years as I was trying desperately to date girls, I felt like I never really got to follow my instincts in what I actually really wanted to do especially when it came to physical intimacy on dates. You watch movies and you see the guy sneakily put his arm around the girl during the movie - smooth. I never had that because I never wanted to with girls. That's why I feel like I'm only living that stage of life now as I try to date guys... I get petrified of how to make a move.

That brings me to my date last night.

It was date #2 for us.

We texted a little bit during the week but not a whole lot. I didn't know how he felt and I'm sure he didn't really know how I felt. We were supposed to go ice skating on Wednesday but we had to cancelled because something came up for him so we re-scheduled to Friday night.

I must say I was a bit nervous about the plans because we couldn't really find a time that worked for both of us so we decided the best time was meeting up Friday night after his show which finished at 10pm. We decided to watch a movie at my house.

I picked him up from the theatre; we shared a quick hello hug and jumped in my car. We chatted casually about the week gone by which was nice.

We stopped by Subway to grab some take away dinner while we watched the movie because we were somewhat on a time schedule. You see, he didn't drive and he lives about an hour away from me and he was planning on catching a train home last night (the last one being at 1am). I would've given him a ride but I had work earlier on Saturday morning so I really needed to sleep... plus this date was wayyyy past my bedtime.

Anyways, we got home and put on a movie and ate our dinner... this is how it started....

We started on separate ends of the couch. My heart was pounding... do I move closer? Do I make a move? Does he want me to? Slowly I inch closer and closer... our legs would brush occasionally and I would put my hand on the couch next to me kinda like that picture up there. It was quite the 'typical' teenage dates most people went through during high school. I can't remember a specific point but somehow my arm just ended up around him and he put his head on my shoulder and his hand on my lap and our other hands linked together.

The movie finished and we continue to sit in that position and chat and it felt great. There were moments when our faces inched closer but it didn't happen.... yet. Either way, by the time the movie finished it was past 1am so I offered him to stay over (on the couch). He kindly accepted.

We continued to talk and eventually when we got up we just stood there and hugged... then we looked each other in the eyes... and it happened. We kissed... it was brief but it was sweet.

We got ready for bed and I offered for him to stay in my bed - WHAT THE HELL?! What did I just do? I was 100% certain I didn't want anything to get too heated because that just wasn't me - in the words of Kelly Clarkson: "I do not hook up". Then there I was with a guy I had just met for the second time... in my bed.

Believe it or not, nothing happened. I have so much more respect for him that he didn't make further advancements and proud that I didn't myself. We spooned and talked and fell asleep hours later.

So this is how it ended.

It was nice waking up next to someone. I really miss it. Although now comes the awkward part.

What are we now?

I don't have the answer. This morning was kind of rushed because I had to get ready for work and get to work so it wasn't my ideal way to end the date. I really hope I see him again.

I guess there's still a lot more of the dating phases to go through but it has been nice thus far.

(Come on! Text me!)

I'm sure you're all sick of hearing about my dating life by now! If not, stay tuned!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Dates, dates and more dates

So I was half way through writing a post for my last date and then got distracted (been a busy week!)

Since then, I've been on another date and interestingly enough it gives me a bit more incite into reviewing the first date.

So here it goes:

Date #1:

So I had been talking to this guy on the phone for a couple of days before we met up last Thursday night for dinner. When I saw him there wasn't any instant physical chemistry and to be honest there was probably zero physical attraction there. Nevertheless, I wanted to get to know him because looks aren't everything and we did have good conversations over the phone.

We met up just around the corner from my house and walked to the dumpling restaurant just around the corner. We had some good conversations and laughed a bit during the night. It was quite positive overall except for the lack of physical attraction.

After dinner we parted ways at the street corner of my house, just said our pleasantries and say goodnight, no goodnight kiss, hug or even a handshake. It was actually quite awkward. The date really caused me to reflect on what I was looking for and what I wanted. Was I looking for a good guy to settle down with or was I looking for a hot guy? I've never considered myself to be shallow in any way but for once in my life... I'm feeling shallow because the only thing negative about the date was the lack of physical attraction. I didn't want that to be me so I wanted to give it another try so I texted him the next day and said I'm not really sure how I feel yet but I would like to get to know him more. I guess the other thing that freaked me out is that this guy is about to have a kid! Crazy I know! So I mean he's seriously looking for someone to settle down with which I'm totally up for... but a kid?? Now?? I mean I would love kids but I think it would be a bit of a strain to have a kid this early!

Ether way, we've exchanged a few phone calls since and it's been pleasant and I'm open to seeing him again.

Date #2:

So I've been texting this guy for about a week now and we decided to meet up for dinner last night. He's a performer *swoon* so I was meeting him after a show last night at around 5pm. We met up and decided to have dinner first at a cafe. I was instantly smitten by his beaming smile and his horrible Dad jokes that he proceeded to tell during dinner. We finished dinner and grabbed ice cream and sat by the pier and talked while we ate our ice cream, it was quite romantic actually. It was also getting cold so we made our way back to the car and I offered to give him a ride home (he lived about an hour from where I live) so on the car ride it was a good time to talk and stuff. During the car ride we decided to go bowling because let's face it, who doesn't love bowling (we're sounding so Mormon aren't we? Ice cream and bowling for the first date!)

We got to bowling and had a blast teasing each other and it was fun. He beat me in the first game and I beat him in the second so we were pretty even. Then  drove him home. Oh I hate this part... such awkwardness... what do you do... so we chatted for a bit in the car and then we were kinda like, 'oookkkaaayy well thanks for a good night, I better go' and then we sat there for a few more seconds in silence as if we're waiting for the other person to make a move. Eventually he put his arms out to give me a hug and we just hugged for a few brief seconds in the car. I had the biggest smile on my face driving home singing along to show tunes.

I texted him when i got home because I hated paying the 'whose turn is it to text' game. It did take some convincing from my friend though... you know... you don't want to sound too desperate but if you don't put yourself out there you'll never know. Oh and we have a second date :) We're going ice skating this week.

The scary thing was... a lot of my insecurities started to show itself again... a lot of bad memories from my last relationship and how things would go wrong. I started even questioning whether or not I want a relationship and I'm sure that's really a way to protect myself from being hurt again.

I feel like there's so many more expectations for a follow up date as well. Do I kiss him? Are we meant to vocalise interest? Do I touch his hand? Oh I don't know!! I said I was bad at this dating thing!!

Stay tuned for how the second date goes.

Date #3:

I was meant to met up with this guy for a drink tonight which I didn't really didn't feel like after my date last night but I felt like I had to because I don't want to stand someone up. Thankfully he had to cancel but we were going to reschedule for sometimes this week... I know it's just a casual date but I just don't feel like serial dating - maybe that's why I failed at being a Mormon.

So I don't know where this one is at now but I'm hoping nothing happens...


So there you have it. I was on a dating drought and now I'm serial dating!

Dating is just such an intriguing activity. Sometimes you feel like you're going crazy or that you are crazy! Please reassure me that I'm not the only one like this, haha! Either way, I'm trying to remain calm and collected. I think I do have a tendency to settle sometimes or be blinded by the the excitement of it all but really... there is no logic to love and relationships, perhaps it's one of those things like the spirit... you can't explain it, you can only feel it.  

I love turning to wikihow in these instances!

Sometimes I'd rather have these dates:

Thursday, 26 February 2015


Here I am sitting nervously waiting to go on my first date with this new guy I've been talking to. I have about 15 minutes to kill before I need to leave so why not bog about my anxieties in the hope that it would calm it a bit.

One thing you have to know about me is... I suck at dating! Maybe it's the whole Mormon upbringing where you assume dating is just asking a girl to dinner and you have a great conversation and that's it. Casual dating right? Different YSA every weekend until I don't know, there's just this spark and you know that she's the one you want to take to the temple? Definitely not the story of my life...

So I met this guy on a dating site last week and we've exchanged a few phone calls during the week which were all very pleasant. Then you begin to imagine what life with him would look like - WAIT, you haven't even seen him yet! There are so many expectations with online dating and whilst I've been very clear with this guy that we are going to meet without expectations and as friends, I'm sure both of us have expectations somewhat. Will he likes me? Will I like him? Will I find him attractive? Will we have anything to talk about? Will we get along? Will I run into someone I know? Will it be awkward? What if one of us is interested and the other one isn't? So many 'what if's'!!

I guess I'll find out in 15 minutes! Yikes!

Stay tuned and wish me luck!

Monday, 16 February 2015

A Father's Love

I was wanting to post about my first experience going to an LGBT social group this past week but something happened yesterday that has taken precedence.

So I was on the phone to my Dad a few days ago and he made a comment to me in passing that took me a bit (or A LOT) by surprise. So we were talking about my new house (yes I bought a house, hooray!), he said in passing 'make sure you check the legal stuff around ownership of the house because there's some circumstances where if you live with someone for over 6 months they might have claim on it so when you live with your partner make sure you check all that out'. WHAT?! Did I just hear him correctly? My Dad who serviced as my Bishop when I was a teenager and still very active in Chuch, has commented on me having a 'partner' and talking about us living together?! I was gobsmacked! What caught me even more off guard was he said it so casually as if he didn't feel uncomfortable at all about the topic, (I actually felt like I was more uncomfortable than he was).

A bit of background on my relationship with my Dad...

My Dad is an intelligent and logical person. He rarely loses his temper and only a handful of times do I remember him lose his temper. He is somewhat of a conservative person in regards to showing emotion and I only do remember a handful of times he has verbalised that he 'loves' me. Despite the lack of verbal reassurance, there has never been any doubt in my mind that my Dad has an immense love for his family.

My Dad was always the one to approach if I wanted permission to go out with friends when I was younger. He was certainly more chill than my Mum but when it came to morals and values, he was as ancient as ancient gets.

During my first bout of rebellion (when I was on the verge of coming out at 17) my I distinctly remember my Dad sitting me in a room as stern as he had ever been letting me know that he could not allow anything contrary to the Gospel live under his roof. I was furious and contemplated running away from home as a naive 17 year old. I knew he said it out of love but my mind back then could not comprehend that. I'm sure he was only bluffing.

When I served a mission, my Dad was so proud because he valued his mission so much he wanted me to feel the same. We wrote regularly during my 2 year service and I felt like we grew closer together. My Dad was much better at showing emotion through letters than he was verbally and I felt like my mission helped me show my love for my family more.

Upon returning, we experienced some difficulties as our viewpoints on Gospel doctrines seemed to differ a bit. Our conversations became a bit more mundane and surface-y. So even now, although we have a great love for each other, we rarely verbalise it. We talk about sport, gossip amongst relatives, food, the weather even! Rarely about things that were close to our hearts.

When I started seeing this guy from last year, I knew I had to tell my family and I always dreaded telling my Dad because in my mind he would never approve. My sister told me to start with my Dad because she felt like he wold take it easier than Mum would so when my Dad was visiting me on one of his business trips I decided to take the opportunity....

We sat in the car as he was dropping me home from dinner... I told him I had something tell him.... I didn't know how to say it! I was 'umm-ing' and 'errr-ing' for about a good 15 minutes before I finally told him. He didn't react in any obvious way (no overwhelming love or disgust/hate). He was calm and just questioned my testimony and lectured me a bit about still keeping commandments. I was somewhat disappointed that he didn't show more love toward me but then again, it was much better than what I had expected... after that conversation that night in October, the subject was never mentioned again......

.....UNTIL THAT COMMENT! And he hasn't treated me any differently since!

I'm so grateful for the family that I have... even though we have our challenges, I know that he love me no matter what (even though they don't want to say it because it will feel like they condone my choices).

To everyone out there who are afraid to tell their parents, just hang in there! It seems like a scary and daunting thing to tell them but they might surprise you. That being said I think timing is very important as it was for me and my family so just take it at your own time and pace - when YOU are ready :)

I love this video so much and it was something that really helped me get to where I am now.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

#BestBishopEver #Hope.

This past week I met with my Bishop. We've been meeting since March last year (2014) and we try to get together monthly however scheduling conflicts and the end of year craziness made it difficult to catch up during the latter part of the year.

The last time I met with him was September, I remember I called him and wanted to speak to him because I had just gone on a date with a guy whom I liked very much, (we subsequently dated for about 3 months). So really, lots has happened since our last meeting.

I got to the chapel 10 minutes early and ran into the senior couple missionary serving in our ward. We made small talk but man those missionaries are forward! He starts off asking me if I was a member to which I answered 'yes'. he then said 'oh, I've never seen you here before'. Right... this has gotten a bit awkward... because I sort of have been there most weeks. Either way, Bishop turned up 5 minutes later and rescued me from an awkward conversation.

We walked into his office and sat down. I used to get really nervous entering the Bishop's office because I knew he was going to ask me those difficult questions and I would always have to panic over how truthful I was answering the Law of Chastity question. Now I just feel so peaceful because I had nothing to hide from Bishop because he knew everything about me.

We made some small talk and general banter about how our Christmas' were and the time we spent on holidays. He then asked the big-vague-can be interpreted in anyways-all encompassing question: 'so how are things going?' I knew what the question was referring to of course so out came my life in a nutshell over the past 4 months; falling in love, beginning a relationship, breaking up, coming out to my family, coming out to my friends and being somewhat inactive.

It was during this talk with him that I came to a profound self realisation. I have been happy. Despite not living the commandments of the Church, not attending Church regularly, praying or reading my scripture, I have been the happiest I have been in a long time. Even after my relationship ended (minus the grieving period right after the breakup), I'm still happy. I feel like there is hope is my life, hope for the future and for more happiness. This was an important moment for me because I was always fearful that my life would be miserable without the Church and while there are aspects I do miss in the Church, I am overall satisfied with life the way it is at the moment.

What Bishop went on to say gave me hope that perhaps one day, gay Mormons growing up in Church will have it easier then those that have past. Bishop reassured me that this happiness I've found is great. He went on to tell me that he'd been thinking a lot about the topic ever since we started meeting and that it has opened up his eyes and mind to this topic. He told me that he's been thinking about whether or not being gay and being in Church had to be mutually exclusive. He told me that it was good that I wanted to find fulfilling relationships in my life but did that mean I had to throw away the Gospel that I obviously still hold onto. He then proceeding to tell me an experience he'd had over Christmas when he met with a friend who was also a Bishop elsewhere. They got talking on the topic of homosexuality and this other Bishop told him that there was an openly gay couple in the ward he presides over. Members of the ward knew about it and just welcomed them in as anyone would. Bishop did acknowledge that it would be difficult and did not know exactly how it would work but he just emphasised that everyone should be welcomed into Church regardless - everyone is a sinner and sin differently so why should one be judged over another. Bishop certainly didn't say this is what I had to do but simply expressing thoughts that had been going through his mind.

Sure the process isn't that straight forward and I know there would be a lot of challenges but which path in life doesn't have challenges? I didn't feel like he was preaching to me one bit during our talk but simple empathy, understanding and love.

I am hopeful that Church members can emulate those Christlike attributes of love and acceptance as my Bishop so wonderfully showed me this past week. I hope the future of being gay and Mormon won't be as difficult as it has been for generations past.

Hope is a powerful thing and so long as we can continue to hope, there will be happiness.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Happy Straya Day!

Happy Australia Day! Or as it has more commonly become: Straya Day!

Perhaps you know us through Steve Irwin or Crocodile Dundee. Throwin' another shrimp on the barbie perhaps?

It wasn't until my mission in Canada that I realised the differences between Australia and North America. So to celebrate Australia Day let me give a rundown on Aussie culture!

How Aussie are you?! Test your Aussie culture knowledge! (Scroll down for answers!)

1. Brekkie
2. Mozzie
3. Bludger
4. 'Chuck a sickie'
5. Bloke
6. Fair dinkum
7. Heaps
8. Deadset
9. Arvo
10. Maccas

<------- Thongs: things you wear on your feet! (Boy did my companions laugh when I told them I usually wear thongs at home)

<-------- Vegemite: most popular bread spread equivalent to peanut butter in the US. I had a jar I used to share with members... who absolutely hated it 

<------- Pavlova: Delicious Aussie dessert.

<------- Golden Gaytimes: my favourite! (No pun intended!!) Seriously the best ice cream you will ever have.

<------ Tim Tams: Awesome blocks of chocolate-ness. 
Tim Tam Slams: warm milk, bite opposite corner on Tim Tam, place on top of milk, suck and throw in mouth as it melts.... Mmmmmm.... I will do deals of mail exchanging Tim Tams for American goodies ;D

Imagine the faces of my companions when they were listening to me talk to a fellow Aussie at Church saying 'it's so crazy that bitch is a swear word here', (bitch, damn, hell and ass aren't swear words down under - I was apparently the potty mouth missionary).

Check out the video below for more Aussie slang! (yes we do sound like the guy in this video)


1. Breakfast - "Let's have brekkie here"
2. Mosquito - "There's a lot of mozzies here"
3. Lazy person or someone who relies on others to do things - "You're such a bludger"
4. Pretending to be sick, taking a day off work - "I chucked a sickie today"
5. Guy - "He's a good bloke"
6. True / Genuine - "That's fair dinkum"
7. A lot / Very - "That's heaps cool"
8. Truth / True - "That's deadset"
9. Afternoon - "What are you doing this arvo?"
10. McDonalds - "Let's go to Maccas for lunch"

So to finish off... when you guys say you're 'rooting' for something... yeah... that has a COMPLETELY different meaning for us.... but I'll let you google that one ;)

Happy Straya Day!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Inactivity Acknowledgement Milestone

I was Facebook messaging one of my former mission companions this past week and all of a sudden out of the blue he asks me: 'I have to ask, are you still in the Church?' It took me a bit (or a lot) by surprise because I'm certainly not one for sharing every aspect of my life on Facebook and certainly I haven't publicly announced my challenges with the Church. 

I proceeded to say that I have been 'less active' but still go occasionally. To my surprise, he didn't judge nor make a big deal out of it but simply just moved on. I almost felt like I wanted him to ask so I could explain to him my issues however he didn't ask and I just moved on with the conversation.

This made me think about anything that could've given it away on Facebook because that's the only contact we've had except for the occasional Skype chat when we first returned home from our missions roughly 5 years ago. I noticed that over the last few months I've subtly 'unliked' all the Mormon related pages on Facebook such as 'The Book of Mormon', 'General Conference' and 'LDS missionaries' because they would fill up my news feed. I then thought about my lack of active 'Gospel related' posts and 'YSA events' I've attended which could've given it away. It's funny how even the omission of Gospel related posts could give it away from a once very active Mormon.

I certainly have moved away from trying to hide the fact that I've developed some issues with the Church but I've been a bit reluctant to make it public knowledge for a few reasons. I still keep in touch with some converts I taught on my mission and members that I've been really close to and I don't want to affect their testimonies and I didn't want them to see me differently... 

It was after that conversation that I realised that I had avoided to make contact with some of the closest families on my mission because I was scared they would see me differently. In one of my areas on my mission I was really close to a family and I would call them 'mum' and 'dad'. When I first returned home I would call them several times a year (her birthday, his birthday, Christmas, Mother's Day and Father's Day). I realised that I hadn't called them in about 3 years. I decided to change that and I called them this past week. We talked for about an hour on Skype and of course they found out that I was no longer 'completely' active in Church through asking what my calling was. I felt a little piece of my heart break but they didn't judge or hassle me. It reminds me of the loving nature that Mormons are striving so hard to obtain and gives me hope that although there maybe imperfect people in Church, they also possess a lot of perfect qualities.

I now notice that a lot of things that used to bother me no longer do. When I first started not wearing my garments I would be so scared that people would see so I'd often wear a jumper (sweater) or a jacket over my white shirt. I would be so nervous when I'd have to decline the invitation to give a prayer in class or who could see me not partake of the Sacrament.

I walked into Church today and stayed for the whole 3 hours block (how did I manage to go to Church for 3 hours my entire life?! It was SO long!) I no longer look at who's staring at me pass the bread and the water along without taking it or care who can see I'm not wearing my garments. It has taken me a long time to be comfortable to not fit into the Mormon mould anymore and I think that's a win. Once I can remove the social incentives of being a member, I can truly go on a spiritual, soul searching journey to find God in my life. I can still enjoy the wonderful musical items in Sacrament meeting and giggle at the travel log testimonies but I can take a step back and ponder about these things as an outsider looking in as opposed to being indulged in the emotion of it all. 

I am an inactive Mormon and I am O.K. with that.

Scripture from Elders Quorum today: Alma 34:26 - 'But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness'. 

Seriously Alma?! I think I've been in the closet praying for long enough!

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Open Doors for 2015

I'm usually not much for new year resolutions but what the hell.

I guess I'll just reflect and document on plans/goals for the year and see how they measured up at the end of the year.

Beginning 2015...


What can I say? I love my family. They have been nothing but supportive in the past year and I feel like I'm closer to them than ever before. We have no more secrets amongst us. Although the choices I have made do not coincide with the choices that my family wanted me to make, they still love me and that means the world to me.

As we've grown up and moved away, it has become harder to spend time together as a family but I'm grateful that in 2014 we were able to spend time together in March for my niece's baptism and in December for Christmas. While it may not seem like a lot of time during the long year, I'm grateful for the time we do have to spend together.

- visit my parents at least 4 times
- spend time together as an entire family twice


So if you've missed what's happened last year, here is the post that summarises my love life adventures recently.

Last week was a bit tumultuous when I found out that he deleted me on Facebook (it's funny how everything seems more real on Facebook - now I can feel my dad's pain when I blocked him on Facebook a few years ago). So this was the guy who asked if we could be friends after he just broke up with me and while I was trying to make sense of things deletes me on Facebook! I was quite furious to say the least. How could he? Were we not even friends now? Did he not even want to know what was happening in my life? I was so close to writing an angry post about it but I think it was at that moment things began to change for me. Perhaps this is what happens when you finally come to accept things. I felt like he has moved on and while I thought I had moved on, I hadn't - I was still secretly hoping he still cared and stalked my Facebook as often as I would stalk his to see what was happening in his life, (gosh I sound like a creep). I can proudly say that I have not stalked his Facebook or Instagram profile since and I'm content with that.

I feel like this song captured how I felt initially and now... I'm content with him being "somebody that I used to know".

'...but you didn't have to cut me off, make out like it never happened and that we were nothing.... I guess that I don't need that though, now you're just somebody that I used to know....'

So here's to one chapter closed and another one opening.

While I don't think I'm ready for love just yet, I do hope I will be able to fall in love somewhere along the line in 2015.

- fall in love


So I feel like I've totally slacked off last year in this department. You know how you have a few good friends and you're just content and not put in the effort to put yourself out there to make new friends? That was me.

I think I've already taken some plungers this year already though.

So, I hosted Family Feud for my department at work for Christmas last year and other departments heard about it. I subsequently got invited to host it for another department (twice the size of my original party with me only knowing about 3 of them). I think I may have just 'long jumped' out of my comfort zone. It wasn't too bad actually... I even scored a bottle of red wine as a gift for doing it ;) (anyone want a bottle of red wine??)

- don't say no to an invite for no good reason
- make 2 new good friends (friends that actually hang out together regularly)


If I haven't mentioned it before, I am currently a clinical social worker working in health and while I love my job, I feel like I want to experience other areas of social work and be challenged.

There are 2 areas of social work I've always wanted to steer clear of and that is mental health and child protection.... Guess what?! I want to try child protection now. Yep, call me crazy (I question that myself all the time ;)). I just feel like I would learn so much and whilst it is sad, there are a lot of children out there who need protecting.

So after much contemplation I decided I wanted to seriously give it a go and started on my application to work for protective services here in Australia. Wait. Curve ball coming. My supervisor at work suddenly resigned out of the blue leaving a more senior vacant position which are hard to come by. There are so many of my colleagues who are more experienced than I am but i decided to give it a go and if anything it's interview experience. So let's wait and see what happens.

- work for protective services OR get a promotion in my current field


I've decided this year is going to be the year of travelling.

Planning holidays are SO much fun! I've had a blast the last few days researching flights, how I want to fly, where I want to visit, where I want to stay, places I want to see, so on and so forth.

I've always loved travelling but for one reason for another it never pans out the way I want it to. This year, I've decided to just go ahead and do it. If no one else if organised enough to plan ahead then I shall do it alone (and it actually feels quite empowering!)

I will be visiting the US in November this year and I know it's still a fair ways away but if any Mohos would like to catch up while I'm there that would be awesome!

- travel to the USA


So I've just started my personal training again for the new year and I'm so mentally ready to go at it hard! I even went to the gym by myself yesterday without my trainer (now that's an achievement because I find it intimidating going to the gym without my trainer).

Whilst training may likely help with my chances of finding a partner, I think the most important aspect for me is boosting self confidence and health. 

- Fit into clothes the next size up
- Pick up a recreational sport
- Get ripped Be healthy

Church Faith

Last but not least. Probably the most difficult to analyse out of all because I don't exactly know where I want to be and probably the least tangible of the bunch.

For starters, I do want to distinguish the Church from my faith because I know that many Mormons will use the terms interchangeably, but I feel like they are separating for me. That's not to say I think the Church is wrong, simply because I feel separating the two will make it easy for me to process my thoughts.

- find God and develop a relationship with Him if He is there

So there you have it!

Anddddd.... here's my backup plan: