The Contract

I came home from work today to find my dog Josh chewing on a piece of paper on the bed. I tried taking it from him so I could see what it was, and after a drool drenched tug-of-war I finally wrestled it out of his jaws (just an FYI Josh is a ten pound Dachshund not a three hundred pound monster) I opened the once neatly folded paper to find a letter from the man I love. This surprised me because as much as I love writing trent hates it, so him writing anything to me proves he loves me.

It starts out “My partner, my best friend.” This letter means so much to me I will keep the majority of it to myself, but the closing line “Please know that you, and only you, are what I think of when I think of happiness, think of forever, think of love.” I sit here and wonder where was I before I met Trent? He is my light, my life, and my joy.

I think back a few years to our first Valentines day together. We were very poor, yet happy.  I had been thinking long and deep about how to take things to the next level. Had we been a straight couple I would have asked him to marry me, but obviously that was not an option. So I had to get creative, think outside of the box. I sat down at my computer and compiled this contract.

This is a contract made of promises and statements which must be agreed to by both parties. This document holds it’s authority not by law but by heart. This contract is just a symbol of things much deeper, feelings and devotion that can not be expressed though words. It has been drafted because of the nature of the world, unable to understand or accept a different form of love.

 

  • I promise to be honest at all times
  • I promise to be true and devoted in all situations
  • I promise to tell you “I love you”everyday
  • I will respect and honor you
  • I will keep open communication
  • I will help you achieve your goals
  • We will work together to make a positive impact on this world.
  • I will be your strength when you need me to be.
  • I will take care of you always
  • I will love you forever

By signing this document I  commit to you my whole heart, mind and soul.

We both signed, and have lived true to this contract ever since. I hope someday the law can recognize our union, but honestly even without that we are bound together by something far greater then law.

My Story

I think it is time to tell my story, why and how my life could have ended up this way. There are so many questions that need answers for so many people in my life, and I hope to answer a lot of them here and now.

I am the second oldest in a family of four kids. My dad and mom are celebrating their 30 anniversary very soon. We were raised in the church (the LDS church) the values and teachings of the church were taught in the home.  I achieved my eagle scout, played football, dated a girl. From the outside looking in my life was very normal, because it was. It’s not that I didn’t know I was gay, I did, it just didn’t matter. I was to serve a two year mission for the church and that is where my focus was. I thought maybe I would be cured if I could just work hard enough. I was called to the Louisiana Baton Rouge mission. I left my family and faithfully took on this task. I was placed in Mandeville Louisiana (just across the bridge from New Orleans) When a rather famous storm hit, Katrina. After the storm we went out each day and served, cutting trees off houses, checking on our friends from before the storm, and returning every night to a house with no water or electricity. We didn’t have much to eat, and the funny thing is, I didn’t care. I was so happy. After a time, and one more hurricane, my mission became very normal. I worked hard with a silent prayer in my heart that when this was all over I would no longer have this burden. I became a trainer three times, a district leader and shortly after that a zone leader. I was doing everything right. It came time to return home, I was sitting in the office, my family around me, as I was released as a missionary. I felt the weight of the world settle on my shoulders and I wept with despair. I wanted to do what I was supposed to do, get married, have children, but I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t hurt my “wife” and future children that way, I couldn’t make promises I knew I couldn’t keep. This was the first thing asked of me that I couldn’t do. Time went on and the questions in my heart mounted. Depression set in, as I realized God wasn’t going to “fix” me. I wanted to know what I had done to deserve this, did God make a mistake on me, did I do something wrong? I was being told I was wrong, not for any action I was taking or decision I was making, but for the very person I was. How do you fix that. Life became really dark for me, I was so alone. I couldn’t let anyone close to me because they might find out the truth. Thoughts of suicide went through my head often. One night I went to institute with my friends, I sat alone. In the lesson we opened our scriptures and I saw these words “Be still and know that I am God.” I was overcome with such joy and peace, I knew in that moment that I was not a mistake and I was as God made me and it was okay. From that point on the world began to have color again. It took time, but eventually I was able to accept and love myself for who I was. My family had a hard time at first but they came around. I was able to meet my soul mate Trent. My life has changed so drastically for the better, it hasn’t always been easy, but then again I never expected that. I know I am on the right track now.

So now you know a little more of my history, so you can understand how days like today can be tough. We found out this morning that the lawyers of the LDS church have drafted a letter to be sent to the Supreme Court explaining that when California adopted prop 8 “it violated no one’s civil rights.” and how marriage  should be defined as between a man and a women. This institute which I spent years of my life promoting has turned it’s back on me and most abhorrently it has turned its distain toward my family. I was so upset by this at work today but I couldn’t talk about it, because if I were to offend anyone there is nothing to protect my job because I am gay. You can see how frustrating this can be. How one in my shoes might feel like second class citizen. I knew it was coming but I had no idea the kind of emotion I would feel when it did. I will work day and night to make sure my family is awarded it’s rights and it’s protected under the law.

 

A Moment In History

You open your eyes, as you look around you begin to realize you are in a hospital. The feeling of fear begins to set in. After a few breathes you begin to realize it is becoming harder to breath, you don’t know why but your lungs ache and feel like they are filling with fluid. Your breathing becomes labored… Breathe… Breath (pain) … Breath… Every breath you take is bringing in less and less oxygen. Breath… breath… blackness sets in… breath… breath… and you slowly give up the fight.

This was the reality of so many of our gay brothers and sisters in the 60’s and 70’s. Doctors believed being gay was a mental disorder. They used many methods to “cure” homosexuality. One of these methods was a drug used to creat fluid in the lungs to simulate the feeling of drowning (a chemical waterboarding) other therapies include electroshock, castration, genital mutilation, and worse of all lobotomy. The thought was that if you couldn’t cure the gay then it was better to disable it, so it wouldn’t spead. I can’t begin to understand how a parent or a “loved one” could choose to put their gay sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and friends through this kind of torture. Being gay was literally against the law in 49 of the 50 states. Acts of violence towards gays were common place, with no consequences. If you were “found out” your whole life was over, you couldn’t find a job or a place to live. Fear, hate, and discrimination were taught in the home, in the school, and promoted by society in general. The body count of this movement (if added together) rivals the Veitnam war. Luckily for me and my little family the world has progressed, the problem is the laws have not. There have been no laws passed in Salt Lake City to protect the gay community. This city could revert back to the way things used to be. We can’t allow this to happen. There was a proposed bill in the last session of the state legislature (the anti discrimination bill) to protect and uphold the gay community. It was voted down! There is now a similar county wide effort being proposed, we need to make sure this one passes. This is a chapter in human history that should never be repeated, and it is up to us, our generation, to make sure it doesn’t. So please go out there and make the difference.