It's July 25, 2012. This post has been way overdue. I've procrastinated it on more than one occasion, and today it is eating me up inside.
The year was 1982, I had graduated from high school and everyone, I mean everyone was asking me what I was going to do with my life. I enrolled in a night school course at Community College of Southern Nevada for the fall, I was turning 18 in October, and I was scared to death of my future. Why you ask was I scared? Because I knew my inner secret and the impact it would have on my dear family...pretty active and devout members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I didn't dare tell anyone at that time of my secret.
I met with my Bishop who wanted to advance me in the Priesthood from Priest to Elder...I declined. I didn't know if I would be going on a mission for the Church, or if I would be going away to school to study for at-the-time my intended profession of being a Pharmacist. I waited several months to pass and we met again. This time I told him my secret...I was same sex attracted...gay. I cried and curled up into a ball in the chair, I couldn't look him in the eye. He asked those questions, to which I answered that I was still a virgin in every aspect of my life. He counseled me to serve a Mission to help cure me. I was called to be a Sunday School Teacher to the 16 year olds...I almost threw up. I read my scriptures, I read the Miracle of Forgiveness, I prayed morning, noon, and night. I waited till I was 19.5 years old to submit my papers to Salt Lake City to obtain a mission call. I was worthy in every way except my thoughts.
I was called to serve for 18 months in the Asuncion Paraguay Mission. I was to learn Spanish and to labor among the people there. I was scared, anxious, excited...TERRIFIED! I had known since I was about 6 or 7 that I was different, understanding about 10 or 11 what I was...GAY...A HOMOSEXUAL. I wondered how this would play out during the 18 months to be in such close proximity to another man for so long. I'm happy to say that it all turned out to be ok, no problems, no issues, no worries. I served with some great young men, who I grew to love in a Christ-like manner and still cherish the memories I have of my Mission.
I had struggles, it was not all ice cream and cake. I got sick, dropping from my entry weight of 175 LBS to around 120, and still dropping. Ten months into my service in Paraguay after a Doctor's appointment, when I was at 110 LBS, I asked to return home. I was told no by my parents, my Stake President, and my Mission President as well as the Missionary Council in SLC. I was transferred to the Montevideo Uruguay Mission. I gained some weight back, about 9 LBS, and worked hard to loose myself again. The Mission President tried to get me to extend for 6 more months, but I had again dropped weight, getting to my low of about 107, and weighed a whopping 109 when I actually stepped foot in the airport in Las Vegas, NV on March 15, 1986, 18 months later.
I met with my Church leaders to report, all was well. I confessed to my Bishop that I was still the same and he encouraged me to date...women, fall in love, get married, and have babies...it would cure me.
On 23 March, I reported my missionary experience to my Ward...the Ward I had grown up in all my life. It was there, my dear friend Janae, introduced me to Princess. I was smitten. So vibrant. So full of life and Joy. Her big smile, her bright green eyes and her light brown hair (dark blonde she would insist). We saw each other at dances and firesides and other events, but on the night of 7 February after Janae's wedding reception, we began to date. We dated every night until the night I asked her to marry me. I was full blown in love/lust with this beautiful woman and wanted to be with her...but how would she be with me...a homosexual...a gay man...should I tell her? Well, she said yes and we were engaged and set the date for 14 August 1987 in the SLC Temple. I never told her...my biggest regret of my life.
We married. Tried to have babies for 11 years. Had none, only one pregnancy, and we made do with our lives. I became so anxious, so bound up, that I could not take the pressure any more and I met someone and broke my marriage vows. The affair lasted about 4 months, then I ended it. Then I confessed to Princess, breaking her heart. I promised never again. I was excommunicated and spent years alone and together in therapy "finding my/our way". We moved from Vegas in 2001 to Waco, TX for my job, built a house and settled in making friends. I sat alone in the chapel during Sunday School (Princess was in Primary), and again alone in Priesthood. Eventually I was deemed worthy to be baptized again and in August 2002 after 8 arduous years repenting Princesses Dad baptized me into the Church...again. I was called to be the sunbeam teacher, the scout advancement chairperson, and choir director 3 months later. I loved teaching and I loved the choir, scouts was not my forte and most new it well. But Choir, oh how I loved it! Princess poured her heart into it as well organizing the binders, music, etc. We had anywhere from 34 to 40 choir members and we sounded terrific (yes, i'm not modest on this one).
Princess and I made do, living, and working, but not really loving. Our intimate life faded to the back seat and I became more and more agitated with me, us, the state i was in with regards to our/my life. Then the summer of 2009, I was called in to meet with the Bishop, who presented me with a letter from Church Headquarters. Since I had not had my Temple covenants restored, they assumed that I was back to my old ways. I wasn't. I decided that if it took me 8 years to repent, It should be double that for me to be worthy to enter the Temple again. The letter told me of the Church policy that because of my repeated (really, they knew) homosexual activity, I was not allowed to work with any youth under the age of 18. I was in the same category as a rapist, child molester and one who practices incest! My heart broke. That was the beginning of the end for Princess and I. I became depressed and planned how I would take my own life on a business trip and make it look like a car accident. I could never be forgiven...contrary to what the Church teaches about repentance.
June 2010, I travelled home to vegas for work. I was there for almost two weeks. I counseled with my family, and when I returned home to Texas, having their support for me as a person, brother, family, son, Uncle, I asked Princess for a divorce. We cried that night. We cried for quite a while over the next week. Sometime in July, I moved into the guest room, where I stayed until relocating to New Jersey for my job. Oh, I just jumped ahead. We stayed married for Princess to have my insurance due to other health issues that she had developed. In June 2011 I found out my job was changing and I would eventually have to relocate from Texas to another city where my employer had offices/plants. Princess decided to not come with me...I offered for us to live as roommates but remain married so she would have insurance. She said no. She contacted her old employer in Vegas, was told there was a job in January and that it was hers. We packed her up and moved her to Vegas on 23 December 2011. I was awarded the job in New Jersey 16 December 2011, made two trips here, one in January, one in February, and moved into temp housing in March 2012. Our house sold in May...that's another story for another entry. I moved into an apartment near work, and now Princess and I are navigating the best course for our divorce.
To all who will read this let me say the following:
1) My biggest regret is not telling her my secret so long ago.
2) For the rest of my life, I will carry with me the look on her face when I broke her heart due to the affair.
3) My love for Princess is deep and real. She is, was, and always will be special to me and I will hold her in the highest regard of any woman or human being.
4) If there is an example of Christ-like Love on this earth...it is Princess. She embodies true characters of the Savior for all man-kind, and animal kind.
5) Princess is the most talented woman I have ever known (next to my Mom), and is very modest about it.
6) She is my best friend and the amount of dignity she has shown is incredible.
There are many more qualities that Princess embodies, but I will keep those between her and myself.
I share this with the world so that all will know that my decision was not light, was not easy, but was necessary for her to find the man that will make her happy...and for me too.