New FFAQ–Bring on the questions and cast your dittoes

All right guys, it’s Friday and I’m ready for a new question! (If you’re new here, FFAQ stands for Friday’s Frequently Asked Question.)

You know the routine. Ask a question you’ve been curious about. If you see a question you’d like to see answered, leave a “ditto” and I’ll respond to the most commonly asked one or two questions.

Today I’m at my third day of a really long, heavy training about sex addiction. (I’m becoming a certified sex addition therapist (CSAT).)  The training is the Real Deal. It’s intense and involved and goes through the whole weekend, which my mind can’t wrap around (“wait, what? I’m working on Saturday???”), but I’m in it to win it. My FFAQ response will probably come on Monday of next week, but I’ll drop a few posts to let you know how bored I am much I’m learning in training.

See you guys. Have a superb weekend. And thanks for your general sensitivity to my post yesterday. I appreciate it a lot. You guys are seriously awesome, and one day I want to have a party and hang out with you all and meet you in person and tell jokes with you all over some hummus and carrots. Or celery if you prefer.


    1. ruined my marriage, too…

      When we were splitting up, he had an online profile for sexchats, I somehow got into it. I changed his profile to something like 'I collect women'. The worst thing: they didn't mind and kept writing to him.

      My Dad had porn books (mostly writing with some few pictures) in his nightstand. I read them, not good for my development. I still haven't talked to him about it, and I don't think I ever will.

    2. I think most kids found their dad's porn during the 'snooping' years when kids snoop through their parents nightstands. I know I found some magazines. Now, granted, parents should be hiding their personal stuff better because most kids will snoop.
      At the same time, it was none of my business what my father was looking at. Was it gross? Of course. Was it my business? Absolutely not. And it would never ever occur to me to talk to my father about what I found in his nightstand when I was snooping through it.
      Sex and porn addictions should absolutely be taken seriously, especially now that people can cyber cheat. Awful. Or spend hours and hours looking at porn online. Equally awful.
      But if it's a matter of a person having a magazine or two in their nightstand, then I think it's pushing the label of porn addict. If a religion, any religion, says basically that the only kind of sexuality that is permitted in in a bed with your partner in missionary position (sorry, that's a bit too graphic perhaps) then anything outside of that could become labelled an addiction. And along with that would come massive shame and hiding and what was not a problem would become a problem. I am not at all saying that is what the commenters above are talking about. I am speaking in general terms. I also remember Josh's point that this is a family friendly blog, so I'm not sure we can even really be discussing this topic on here.

    3. The word "Addiction," does not refer to whether a behavior is good or bad, allowed or forbidden. It just means that the behavior (whether originally good, or always bad)has taken over.

    4. Raina:
      Was finding the porn (that you snooped around for) in and of itself bad for your development, or was what made it bad your religious communitie's zero tolerance policy toward normal human sexuality?

      Porn has been around almost since the beginning of mankind. It doesn't appear to be going anywhere. Maybe a healthier approach would be to acknowledge that in small and infrequent doses, it is normal adult sexual male behavior that doesn't have to be an all or nothing proposition. You can wax philosophical about how a particular religious group's standards are just so much higher than the rest of the world's. But that argument doesn't seem to take away from the very real fact that porn is commonly used both in religious communities and outside of them In communities where woman struggle to have healthy sex drives (because of chidhood shaming that they can't seem to get past once the "I do's" are over), men seem to be even more driven toward any sort of an "outlet". The guilt involved seems to exacerbate the issue and create an obsession and a downward spiral. I think it would be much more healthy to just acknowledge that most men enjoy porn in small doses and move on. Those who aren't overburdoned with guilt are probably not going to develop a complex that leads to addiction.
      It doesn't have to be a deal breaker. It doesn't have to be a home wrecker.
      A man who occasionally looks at porn doesn't automatically become a negligent father and a terrible husband. To state otherwise is, IMHO, propaganda. Though if you can control a person's sexuality you can come closer to controlling that person.

    5. BQ- I used to roll my eyes at women who left their husbands over porn use. Or so they said. But then it became my world, and I met many women whose marriages were destroyed by sex addiction. For my divorced friends, not a single one left her husband over occasional dirty magazines or YouTube videos. Porn is just an easier answer than revealing their husbands indiscretions to the whole world. And by indiscretions I mean sexual relationships outside of the marriage.

      I know it seems like the guilt exacerbates the issue. But for myself and all the women I know, the porn use only became a problem when it became an addiction, meaning my husband stopped looking. And then he stopped again. And then he stopped again, and again and again.

      Having said all that, I fundamentally believe that pornography is wrong, regardless of my religious beliefs. You can say it's between "consenting adults", but more often than not it involves sex trafficking and abuse. So I disagree that porn use is part of "normal human sexuality."

      My husband is neither a negligent father or terrible husband. I love him dearly. If you read my blog, or any of my friend's blogs you will find nothing but love for porn users and addicts alike. But I believe sex addiction is real. I believe addictions are progressive. And unfortunately for some of my friends, that meant lying on an exam table at the GYNO's getting checked for STD's.

      I would just ask that before condemning women for divorcing husbands with a "porn problem", give them the benefit of the doubt, considering there is probably more to the story. I admire these women for maintaing their dignity and perhaps protecting their children from the cruel reality of their situations.

  1. My spouse was addicted to prescription pain pills and we were graciously admitted to the Lifestar program. Even though I was the only one there whose spouse had a chemical dependency I was going through the same experiences as those spouses whose husbands were going through porn addiction. Good luck with the training. We need good therapists to help both the addict and their loved ones!
    My question is..have you heard about Dr Bradley Nelson or anything about natural healing through muscle testing? Do you think it's legit or can cause more harm than good?

    1. You don't know me and have no way of trusting me but I have had really good results with natural healing and muscle response testing. I cleared allergies I had for ten years and anxiety I had for my whole life. If you find someone you can trust it is the real deal. I can share some info with you if you would like.

  2. When you posted your fabulous birthday present to Lolly, you mentioned that you were madly in love with her. I'm just curious "How does that work?" Since I'm not gay, I don't quite get how this works. As I've pondered this, I am trying to equate it to myself (although it's probably not anywhere the same). I can understand how I could really, really like my female friend (I'm also female) and I could even love her, but I just don't know that I could be "in love" with her. So I'm just wondering how if you are attracted to men that you could be 'in love' with a woman. Thanks!

    1. Ditto, I'd wondered the same thing. Not doubting Josh, but just curious! For some reason this response posted on the question below, and I meant for it to post here. 😛 It won't let me delete the one on the post below either.

    2. Not getting competitive about questions, but… ;o)
      I don't know what more Josh could say that he hasn't already said in the Club Unicorn post and Lolly's birthday post.

    3. Ditto!!! Some friends and I were discussing this last night, and I believe it's possible for a gay person to be in love with someone of the opposite sex because you have said you are. But I would love to know more about that.

    1. Of course 🙂 Romantic orientation specifies the gender of the people you're romantically attracted to, just as sexual orientation specifies the gender of the people you're sexually attracted to.

      So a woman who is heteroromantic and bisexual can only fall in love with men, but is sexually attracted to both men and women. A man who is biromantic and homosexual can fall in love with men and women, but is only sexually attracted to men.

    1. Ditto–I find myself agreeing with everything you say on this blog about how you can't judge a situation you don't understand and so when the church spoke out against gay marriage, I really didn't know how to feel. I have faith in living prophets, but I felt like asking people to throw their support behind Prop 8 was like trying to take away others' agency. How do you reconcile this conundrum?

  3. I'm still curious about what your family and friends did "right" as they found out you were gay and what things they did "wrong"

    It seems like a nice way to help many of us learn how to be the most loving and supportive as possible when we experience it in our lives.

    1. Ditto. I would like to know as much detail as you can share about conversations and actions of your parents and siblings over the years. I want to know how to be as supportive as possible for my children through whatever struggles they have in life.

    2. Ditto! for those of us who don't struggle with SSA I think this would be so helpful. Well intentioned people who don't know what they are talking about have hurt me so I really want to know how to give actual support

    3. DITTO, DITTO, DITTO, DITTO!!!!!!!!

      I have a brother who is gay. There has been lots of strife, frustration, hurt feelings, etc b/ we have rarely seen eye to eye.. on a lot of things, from how things happened way back when to current views on politics, and religion, to who is "sacrificing" more to maintain the relationships.

      I would really love to hear from "the other side"– what does "acceptance" and "tolerance" look like?.. what can I do to be blatant that I love my brother?.. even if I disagree with him.

  4. Actually this is a request for a guest Blogger. Since your sister outted herself as your sister, I would like to hear some of her perspective more. Also, you have gotten altogether too serious. Don't get me wrong. I love the dialog going on here, but I too am addicted and would like to fet some sleep. Please, please…I want another I crapped must pants while running story.

    1. Ditto. I like the serious stuff too, but I'm dying for another funny post. I have been going back through your old posts and some of them get me laughing so hard.

  5. This is a long article but I'm mostly curious how you feel about #2. If Vines opinion was correct and your sexual orientation is natural, does that mean you are sinning by being with a woman?

    I know this is an Christian evangelical publication vs. Mormon, but if the world's views evolve in this direction, how would you reconcile people telling you that are sinning by being with a woman?

    1. Not to preempt Josh but I can give a little LDS insight here. In the Book of Mormon (Mosiah 3:19) we are told that the "natural man" is an enemy to God and are exhorted to put off the natural man. Control over our instincts and urges is something which sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. Some anthropologists say that is is not "natural" for men to be monogamous. Would anyone, Christian or otherwise, argue that men are sinning by commiting to one person?

    2. Interesting question and one that would render a very fun hypothetical answer, one I don't imagine Josh puts much thought into at all. Simply because it would never happen. This is why I think that. The LDS faith defines "Sin" as behaving in contrary to the will and law of God.

      Marriage between a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation is the fundamental basis of the LDS faith. In the LDS "Plan of Salvation" as well as "Proclamation to the World", notice the phrase "Heavenly Parents", modern Prophets reiterate principals taught anciently through ancient prophets. Members of the LDS church depend on more than the bible for these principals. Both modern day Prophets as well as an addition ancient scripture the "Book of Mormon" shed a little light on the situation. Two passages come to mind, "For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord." (Mosiah 3:19)

      They also talk a lot about living in the world but not being OF the world so the idea that the "world view" might evolve and change is prophesied in the scriptures. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)

      "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." (John 15:19)
      So you kind of acknowledged this in your question but to reiterate the definition of "Sin" and "Nature" varies between the "World" "Christians" and "Mormons" so most of the "Nature" arguement has already been covered in LDS teachings in reference to all temptations to behave in contrary to the will of God.

      I realize those references and words seem harsh, I don't mean for them to single out those who have same sex attractions. Prophets of the Lord have always spoken harshly about sin so they just come across that way. It's simple the train of thought I have come to understand. This by no means says that a man fantasizing about another man is any worse than a man fantasizing about a women to whom he is not married.

      I don’t speak for Josh or any other Mormons in general. This is simply my understanding as far as the issue goes. This life is hard and whatever anyone does to obtain joy, happiness, or simply cope with life’s trials is fine by me. For those that choose the LDS Faith, no teaching has been clearer or more important than procreation physically and spiritually.

    3. Alma also talks about "Bridling your Passions" "also see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love; see that ye refrain from idleness." (Alma 38:12)

  6. This question is similar to Natasha's, above.

    I noticed in the Nightline interview you said that you aren't attracted to women but you ARE attracted to Lolly. I've been thinking about your stance on "reparative therapy" and wondering how those two pieces of information fit together. Has being married to your best friend been a type of reparative therapy, or not at all because you are still not attracted to women in general?

    1. Ditto. I've heard that sexual response can be learned – that if, for example, you always burn a vanilla candle when you have sex, then fairly soon you'll get aroused just by smelling vanilla, because we're all victims of Pavlov's research :). Is your attraction to your wife related to that? Is it possible that any aspect of same sex attraction is influenced by that? (That's the argument I've always heard, and I'd love to know how to refute it.)

    2. I can't speak for Josh, but as another man who is in a MOR, this is how I would explain it.

      When you share a life with a woman and everything that entails, and you find yourself often in situations where you are really communicating heart to heart, mind to mind, and you understand and care about one another in a very deep way, and you are totally committed to one another, the hormones just work right. Getting turned on isn't a problem. Josh explained that it is real intimacy that makes it work. He's right. It is easy to be hot for someone that you connect with like that. I suppose if you are straight you might say, "well, if I felt that way with a really close same-sex friend, that doesn't mean I would want to have a sexual relationship with them." Perhaps not, but on another level, don't you feel like giving someone like that a big hug? It is a natural reaction. When you are married to the person, and you know that you are permitted to have a sexual relationship with them, it is the same kind of thing, but with hormones added somehow.

      Maybe some people out there couldn't get turned on by a member of the opposite sex no matter how emotionally intimate the connection. A MOR like that probably wouldn't work. Hopefully they know that and don't create one.

      I don't know all the science behind it all, I just know that it is possible to generally be attracted to the same sex, and in the proper context be sexually attracted to the opposite sex.

      I think my wife and most women with her would agree that when their husbands are cold, distant, or just jerks, who may also be straight as the day is long, the sexual attraction kind of disappears.

      Intimacy in most marriages is the fuel to a fulfilling sexual relationship. If you can get turned on by your opposite-sex mate, intimacy makes it happen and lack of it kills it.

      Of course there are always exceptions. The point is, if you are looking to the physical alone for sexual fulfillment, regardless of sexual orientation, you probably are going to find the relationship wanting.

    3. Anon @3:18, I think your explanation deserves greater prominence and distribution, because very rarely there is a discussion about the issue you just brought up. And I believe there are tons of young single adults with same-sex attraction who are willing to give MOR a shot, but simply do not have insight into how these things can actually work.

      I think it may be interesting to expand on what "communication heart to heart", "mind to mind", "deep care" etc mean as well as "hormones somehow".

      These are very interesting & important questions that haven't been discussed in depth, because the environment here is not necessarily safe for obvious and understandable reasons. After all, this is a public place, at which the stark moderation is not preferable.

      The reason why such a discussion can only develop in a heavy moderated forum is because insights into how mixed orientation marriages actually work on a deep, fundamental level can terribly upset those who strongly believe that pretty much the only option for gay individuals is same-sex relationship. So, their reactions may destroy a tender spirit in which such a discussion can only occur.

      Unfortunately, I don't see such a forum on the internet right now. There I see an opportunity for Josh, because his eloquence, his prominence and his experience can actually help such a forum to be established, developed & maintained. I hope he will some day manage to figure that out in a midst of his ever present ADD distractions and then bless us with an additional place where we could delve ever so deeply into the issue of SSA and MOR.

      I need such a place even for myself, as I'm trying to be a better person and a husband, and I need all his wisdom he has amassed all these years and still is amassing.

    4. I really like Anon's description above about how sexuality works for him. I agree that it just somehow works. The hormones kick in and do their job. Another thing that needs to be said is that I would never suggest to a gay guy that he should get married to a girl simply because he wants to be married or wants to have kids. At some point, I would like a discussion of what are the important considerations for a gay guy when wanting to be married to a girl, or for a girl who is considering marrying someone who is gay. I have my own experiences, but I'm not sure how typical they are. Josh has his, and they seem somewhat similar to mine. He has already hinted that there will someday be a post about this, so I don't think it's necessarily something for the FFAQ, but it's something I'm waiting hopefully for.

    5. FG: There seem to be many conversations that can only take place in a heavily moderated environment because dissent might destroy a "tender spirit". I have learned to be wary of such admonitions to stay away or heavily moderate conversation. That's Mormon speak for "please don't question me because I have no answers".
      It is my opinion that truth can withstand scrutiny and it can stand on its own. If you find that you have to set up very secure parameters for a conversation in order to shelter it from being torn to shreds, that can be a good indicator that you are off on your reasoning; not that everybody else is off.
      Of course people can do with their lives what they wish. Even if it is unpopular and misunderstood. That's the point isn't it? And this can include, for some, a marriage devoid of sexual passion. I would never choose such a marriage for myself and I would always hope that sombody else who would not choose such a marriage would not get sucked into such a marriage unknowingly. I would also hope that people who are being encouraged to enter into such a marriage would be well advised before hand what they are getting themselves into.
      But just as I try to take people at their word when they say they cannot change what they need to be happy, I try to take them at their word when they claim to be happy with something that seems like it would not typically result in happiness.

    6. Per the commnter above, if sexual response can indeed be learned, I wonder if anyone would be interested in learning to be sexually responsive to someone they have zero attraction to. Not just suggesting it for others, but doing to for themselves as well. Way way way too easy I think to sugget someone can do this if the suggester has not and never will have to.

    7. Perhaps you have a point, Tammy. I worry about the word "heavily" in "heavily moderated". Perhaps abusive language should be moderated out but not strong language. Nor should opinions that are difficult to hear be excluded

    8. BQ, let me give you an example what I mean by safe environment for sensitive topic by using this exact issue of mixed orientation relationships (MOR).

      In order to fully explore a desire of a gay person to marry a member of the opposite sex, it is necessary to delve deep into that desire by giving the gay person opportunity to figure out for themselves what is the real origin of that desire. Is it a societal pressure or is it a deep innermost urge? Or is it something totally else?

      The only way how that can be properly done is that the person assumes one position and then explores it to the fullest without distraction, and then assumes the other position and explores that to the fullest without distraction.

      By assuming a position, I mean assuming that the position is genuinely true and then letting the logic lead them where it may.

      When the person assumes a position, they should explore that position only by taking a consideration voices of people who are supporting that position in all the richness of it, and not by listening opposing views. The only opposing view should be brought up by the person herself in a inquiring spirit and to the best of her ability.

      One may argue that in such a case person is not capable of critically questioning a position to which I say that's true, but that is why the person should repeat this exploration of the opposite assumptions back and forth for as many times as necessary to make the final weigh in of the matter.

    9. I read FG's comment as simply saying in a bunch of words that if you are gay and Mormon, then don't let anyone tell you what you should or shouldn't do – explore both sides without bias. That's not possible though because of the stated and or unstated pressure to marry heterosexually. The pressure would again come frome one's religion assuming they have grown up in a religion that believes the only right thing to do is to marry heterosexually and procreate. If that is the environment one has grown up in, then it has been internalized and it is all that they know. There is absolutely no way that that person can make an unbiased decision.
      As for people only listening to people who support their decision – that is pretty much the case for every single human. People ultimately hear what they want to hear and all else will be thrown out, mocked or disputed with partial facts.
      On a separate note, I find the most intelligent writers those who express themselves clearly without the need to 'fancy it up' for lack of a better way of saying it. Down to earth type thing.
      And finally, it is nice to read how some commenters have been saying that they know gay people and consider them just like everyone else. Indeed. At the same time, knowing gay people and loving them as you would any other human doesn't excuse discrimination against them either through excommunication of some sort or voting to deny them rights. In other words, I wouldn't pat yourself on the back just quite yet.

    10. Karen, we all have our preferences, but I have to say that attacking someone's style of writing for being "fancied up" and implying that they are unintelligent because their style isn't "down to earth" enough for you is rather mean.

    11. Karen, thank you for your critical assessment of myself and my literary style. I was not born in the church, I joined the church in my late 20-ties, long after I experienced very strong same-sex attraction, after I allowed myself to seek a gay partner, and after my staunch atheism melted away. So, I hadn't been restrained by a religion as I was seeking a homosexual partnership.

      What I was saying is that one should listen every single voice about the issue, and not only the loudest ones. And the loudest ones are typically those that draw attention away and distract us from thinking.

      The word "discrimination" is thrown out as an evil label and an evil concept, and that's bad thing to do. Actually, I like to discriminate. And I like to be discriminated. Like, right now, I find BQ more acceptable than yourself. And if I had choose to hire between two of you, other things equal, I would hire her. That's discrimination. And I don't like a legislation that would say that I should hire you instead of her, because, you are, I don't know, gay. And if I hire her and not you, although you are demonstrably better, everyone should rejoice in my discrimination, particularly my competition. They would choose you and not BQ and would be much better off, and I would suffer, which is fair, because I'm an evil discriminator.

      If a church discriminates against gay people, that is a reason to rejoice, particularly for other churches that do not discriminate against them. Instead of putting up a legislation against discrimination, let's starve churches of their members by competition of other churches.

      Violence is another thing. One should not keep one's members in place with violence or threat of violence. That's plain wrong, and you & everyone else has every right to object against such practice. But not against discrimination.

    12. Hey, Tammy. Thanks for the response. When I say that I'm against legislation that forbids discrimination, I include the legislation that forbids bigotry. And I am against it for a reason. You cannot legislate bigotry out of existence. You can only starve it by competition.

      The problem with Hitler was exactly the anti-racial legislation, not the bigots. If you forbid bigotry, it does not cease to exist, it only is removed from the view, brews under the surface and morphs into more, much more sinister variants, waiting to erupt when least expected.

      I don't think my world view is unattainable, because that would mean the United States of America as envisioned by founding fathers had been unattainable. But even if it isn't attainable, I find it worthwhile to pound that drum ever so boldly. One can say that it is politically impossible to expect that a wrong legislative is repealed. But logically, it perfectly is possible. You simply go and repeal them just as slavery laws had been.

    13. Any government is as much buyable as it is powerful. The more power We the People vest in her, the more the big business can purchase it.

      On the other hand, if we refuse to empower her, there is nothing to be bought. And then instead of voting the governmental power out of existence every four years in the ballot booth, we vote *every single day* with our greenbacks out of existence all those evil corporations by buying stuff from their competitors.

    14. Tammy, you misinterpret my viewpoint. Government can and should swiftly deal with any kind of violence against anyone who didn't themselves initiate violence. Including of course against you and your wife. That could be a proper role of government. But you would and should be protected against violence not because you are gay, but because you are human being. To kill and steal is wrong and should always be punishable. "The Lynching Church of the Deep South" can do whatever they wish, but as soon as they begin to kill and/or steal, the government has every right to neutralize them. And you have that right independently of the government, for that matter.

      And yes, there should be no structured classes or schedules in schools. And yes, let's have teachers set up in rooms and post what they'd like to teach and have the kids decide which classes to attend, if any. I have actually seen a primary & secondary school like that in Denmark, in late 1980's. And I have a friend on Facebook who attended that school, and he is very happy, successful person.

  7. I really don’t have a profound question and I can see that there are plenty here that have questions I couldn’t even articulate, but I was wondering if Lolly could find some time and write a blog or two. I would love to hear from her, just about daily things she struggled with. Things she thinks might help other wives in MOR marriages. Thank you and love you both!

    1. Yeah!!! Thanks, Tammy! 🙂

      Btw, I am SO enjoying reading your comments… A: Because you are absolutely hilarious and have me literally laughing out loud as I scroll through the comment sections and B: Because you have a way of bringing people together in love. I don't know if you even realize how your presence is transforming the comment sections. Even though we don't agree on everything, I have really come to respect you for your attitude of respect for all viewpoints. Thank you for showing by your example that we can all respect and love each other even when we disagree. I know you've been getting this a lot, but I want to be your friend, too! 🙂

  8. Serious question: is the Mormon Church extra obsessed for lack of a better word with the idea of sex addiction? How did you get into the field of sex addiction?

    1. I wouldn't say that the Mormon church is "extra obsessed", rather I would say that they are adequately concerned and perhaps the rest of the world is either consciously avoiding it or unconvinced it is a problem. Having spent a weekend with wives of porn/sex addicts, in my small little sphere of influence I have seen it's devestating effects. I hesitate to use such dramatic language, without offering you the details of the stories of these women, but you'll just have to take my word for it. In the words of an SA support group member "I have stories that if I shared with my friends, would melt their ears off." Imagine the worst case scenario, and then add in a touch more scandal and bizarre sexual deviancy. If ever someone you love has a life destroyed by sexual addiction, it might seem clear to you the church's stance. And to the credit of all the non-LDS organizations who are equally passionate on the subject, they exist, and I'm personally grateful for them.

    1. ditto! and even if it isn't for religious reasons Josh. Just to know who you're voting for and why. I'm guessing Obama still 🙂

    1. For real therapists, who abide by the ethical guidelines of their profession – this type of therapy is no-bueno. I guess I'd be interested in who is actually providing this type of therapy.

    2. It's not just about "changing" sexual orientation. It gets a lot more detailed than that, saying that therapists can't even address behaviors or attractions toward the same sex. Obviously, a therapist shouldn't be trying to change a child's sexual orientation. But if a child is disturbed by their same-sex attractions (even if the child is bisexual or predominantly heterosexual), it can't be addressed in the context of that child's value system if that value system doesn't match the value system of state laws. It's denying access to care. People might not agree with others' value systems, but should they be legislating those beliefs to limit others' choices? It's a little ironic, all things considered…

    3. I am so excited and pleased that this lw was passed. It recognizes that being gay, like being left-handed, is not a behaviour or a value that needs to have morality place on it. Hopefully more states will follow.

  9. Josh, I feel like we're buds. Thanks for coming out in such a spectacular fashion, because your posts are like hanging out with friends for me.
    I regularly talk to my husband about some of the issues you bring up and I'm like, "So Josh said…" and he just assumes it's you. So you and Ree Drummond are like my homies in the computer that I talk about all the time and whom I would LOVE to have hummus with sometime. Except I'm partial to fancy what crackers with mine. Hope you're not worrying about carbs!

  10. Josh, thanks again for your very wonderful serious posts, and your very wonderful humorous posts. And Lolly, thank you for accepting that this means you basically have very little privacy in your life, as well.
    I'm a straight female who has not experienced hardly anything you describe, yet your process of dealing with life, questions, dilemmas, difficulties, growth and all that really strikes a chord with me. Your approach frequently has me in tears, so I guess there must be something overall human about it that even with all the differences shows a commonality of human experience and really connects with my heart. The world can always use people willing to stand up and make it a better place.

  11. Josh, I know I'm not going to get any dittoes, because I'm way too late with my question here, but maybe you could briefly answer few more anyway? 😛 😀
    Ok so my question is, Do you think that raising a son would have been more difficult in your life, with you having to explain to him your life choices as a gay man?

  12. Josh, do you really believe you can get rid of your same sex attraction, and do you believe in reparative therapy?

  13. I know this is also too late for any dittoes, but maybe you can address this at some point.

    The Spring 2012 issue of Women's Exponent II had an article, "Loving, Valuing, Nurturing and Empowering LGBTQ Youth in the LDS Church." In this article, a young women wrote

    "I understand, now, that a lot of the hardship I faced stemmed from my feelings of isolation. I am sure that if I had just talked to someone, I could have spared myself a lot of pain. Unfortunately, I didn’t know whom I could trust. I don’t regret the way things worked out for me, but not everyone who suffers the way I did makes it to a better place. So, my advice to any youth leaders, teachers, and other members who want to create a safe environment for LGBTQ youth is this: We need to know who you are before we can tell you who we are. My ward was filled with so many people whom I respected and admired, but no one with whom I felt safe enough to confide in. If just one person had stepped forward as an ally, it would have made all the difference in the world."

    I think of this, and I think of your comment on Lolly's birthday post, "That was the only safe place I had that year" (which broke my heart, by the way). And the question I ask is, How do I, as an adult woman, step forward as an ally to our youth? I don't really interact with our youth, except to say 'hi' in the hallway, so I continue to ponder what I can do; your advice would be welcome.

    1. I wonder about this, too. I don't know if there are any LGBTQ youth in my ward and I actually have never had the opportunity to work with the youth, other than teach Sunday school several times. I always seem to have either a Primary or Relief Society calling. But I would wonder what I could do also? One of my daughters is in the military, but also serves as a counselor in the Singles Branch RS in our stake. Two of her dearest friends are a lesbian couple who she met through the military, one of whom was her battle buddy during their deployment to Iraq. Another of the females in her unit is lesbian also. I love these young women and the wonderful people they are. They are not members of the church, but I love them like they're my own daughters.

      When I first met her battle buddy before they deployed, I liked her right away. Neither my daughter nor I knew she was lesbian at the time and this was before "don't ask, don't tell" was repealed. One I found out she was lesbian, I still loved her for herself. Nothing changed in my view of her. She had no "agenda" to change my daughter (something stupid people think, that gays are recruiting) to a lesbian and neither of them were uncomfortable sharing close living quarters as they roomed together.

    2. Robin, your question is very, very, very good. Probably one of the best ever.

      And the answer is at the same time very easy and very difficult.

      It is easy because we simply need to show to the world in words and deeds that we love gay people.

      It is difficult because by doing that we can become a target of severe attacks from most surprising, unsuspecting quarters. And that can hurt very, very much.

      That is actually why are gay people reluctant to come out.

      I like a comment of a gay person who said that one of the best things of being openly gay is that, unlike of being openly straight, you know exactly who are your friends and who are not.

    3. Please oh please oh please answer this one, Josh! I am a Sunday School teacher for 16-17 year olds. I want to be safe and kind and helpful. I have so much love for these teens. It would break my heart if they felt they couldn't trust anyone.

    4. Awesome question! I think so many of us who would really like to call ourselves alliances of LGBT people, still find it difficult to openly, publicly profess support in conservative society.

    5. Aunt Sue
      All teens are extremely sensitive to adult words and tone of voice and judgments about things that are important to them. If an adult makes kind and thoughtful comments about such issues, they are likely to view this person as safe to talk to about the issue.

  14. I don't know where else to post this question…… Before you get too excited, it's just a question about blogging. I know how to post to this blog from my desktop computer (as evidenced by this post). What I want to know is: I receive Josh's blog posts in the email box on my iPhone. I have twice written replies on my iPhone back to the email with a lot of gut feelings shared in those replies but it's like my replies have disappeared and frankly, I'll get over it, but it hurts. It feels like I'm being ignored. My adult mind tells me that the problem isn't caused by anyone ignoring me but it's most like likely a problem with blog protocol that's not getting my feelingful replies sent to the right place where my feelings can then be acknowledged (or ignored or whatever). Any recommendations please? Thanks!

    1. There is an option at the bottom right-hand corner, just under the Reply box that says you can subscribe by email. I don't know if it's possible to reply to posts that way, though.

      Art2d2, if it's email, maybe it's just not showing up here because I don't think you're being ignored. We're truly not seeing your replies.

    2. Art2d2, when you receive a comment by e-mail, and then you reply back, your reply goes into a black hole, which means that the system of commenting here does not support comments sent by e-mail.

      The only possible way of commenting is by actually getting on the web page, clicking "Add comment" and then writing it there in the text box. There is no other way.

  15. So the email receiving of The Weed on my iPhone is only one way: from Josh to me. I think my replies are in my iPhone's sent folder. I'll see if I can retrieve them, send them to my desktop computer's email box and copy/paste them here. But not tonight – It's way past my bedtime already. Thank you so much for your input.

  16. Josh, there's a new policy in the Church. Apparently now, if you confess to homosexual 'slip-ups' as the Church would call it, your Bishop puts an "*" on your record, next to your name. This * is not removable, and is there for the rest of your life. This * prevents the person from ever taking part in ward activities with youth. This * equates homosexual activity (even rare, mistakes) with someone being unable to spend time with the youth. WHAT DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THIS? 🙁

    1. The source appears to be this interview with an ex-Mormon:

      He says:

      "They called me in and explained [I would go through] disfellowshipment, a time where we don’t participate in activities in the church, can’t pray in public. Every member has a church record, and during the time when you’re disfellowshipped, you have a little asterisk by your name, explaining what’s going on with your situation.

      As of early last year, when I went through it, my stake president said, that asterisk will stay forever on your record. You can still become active after this year, but there are some limitations. You won’t ever be able to serve with the youth of the church. And I thought to myself, I am no pedophile, and in no way does homosexuality equate to pedophilia. I never doubted one thing in the Mormon church until they changed that policy. Then I had a spiritual experience that said, it’s time for you to leave. It was the most divine, true, soul-searching experience that I’ve ever felt."

      In other words, the asterisk indicates that the member has been disfellowshiped, regardless of the reason. As for equating homosexuality with pedophilia, it's unclear from the intervew whether that was the stake president's personal bigotry or actual policy.

    2. I've never heard it called "slip-ups". There's been a longtime policy that if there's an inappropriate incident between an adult and a juvenile of the opposite sex, that is noted on the membership record so that that adult can't work with kids again. It makes sense that the same policy would apply to an inappropriate incident between an adult and a juvenile of the same sex.

      It's not a matter of discrimination. It's done to protect the juveniles. Maybe it would be a good idea for schools, Boy Scouts and other groups dealing with young people to adopt the practice.

      "Inappropriate" in the context of my reply means the same thing in the Church as it means in public schools and similar institutions.

    3. Anonymous @9:26,
      It was NOT regarding a matter of an inappropriate incident between an adult and a juvenile of the same sex. It was regarding a matter of homosexual activity between two consenting adults.
      @Shayla, Yes, the source was Benji Schwimmer's interview, but I also asked around thereafter for clarification.

    4. I had been through Benji's interview, and I am aware of his situation for couple of months. My understanding of his words is that his stake president warned him because Benji went through a formal church discipline because of the issue of homosexuality.

      The unfortunate fact is that he went through the church discipline not because he actually did something unacceptable to the church, but because he requested the formal discipline upon himself because he wanted to go through the process to sort out his own thoughts through restitution.

      I find his case very poignant, and I believe that he shouldn't have been treated that way. I happened to wrote about Benji just days before Josh Weed published his coming out post, and I declared Benji my personal hero.

      You can find it here:

    5. It's still crazy because the fact remains that the reason why someone won't be allowed to interact with youth in activities IS homosexual behavior. I find that SO sad. Basically equating homosexual behavior with pedophilia, REALLY?!

    6. Those are the moments I know Churches that claim they're true and whatever are… well, not. Not just the LDS, i.e.
      I mean, you cannot, you just cannot treat members who base their entire lives on the Church, like that. It's so terribly cruel. And some of these things, like the * thing, isn't even an OLD policy. They're actually bringing NEW policies like that in. Such bs man. :/

  17. Also, I'd like to add that Benji goes on to say that he had a great relationship with his stake president, who was saddened and nervous to break the news to him, and who actually urged him to pray about it and then PROTEST it in Utah!
    It was definitely not personal bigotry from what I can see.
    Does anyone know anything else about this?

  18. For some reason I can't hit reply. This is in response to Tammy's quotes of Brigham Young regarding African Americans.
    Tammy, I've brought that up before as well. But there seems to be some rationalizing going on (doctrine vs. covenant or something. That is not correct and I'm sure someone can correct me!) that attempts to explain away the whole racism thing. It explains it away and then notes how the gay thing is different. I don't agree but Mormons see it differently which you'd have to with that kind of quote in the church history.

  19. So Lolly said something in a video you posted. You were on a panel answering questions and mentioned this option may not be for everyone, but it has worked for the two of you. I feel like this blog addresses things very well from Josh's perspective (which makes sense), but I want to hear more about Lolly's views and what kind of woman it takes to make this work.

  20. Josh, your childhood experience from this post fits the model of a reparative therapy candidate. Can you elaborate more on why you reject reparative therapy, considering your childhood fits their consistent descriptions of boys failing to bond with others of the same gender leading to inadvertant homo-erotic desires at puberty which are not a pathology in themselves but an unconscious (though misguided) attempt to repair a pathological childhood development? I have my own ideas why reparative therapy doesn't work for most(that aren't the simplistic media-saturated ones of "you're just born that way") but am curious why the incongruity here for you personally? You seem to be the "perfect candidate" for reparative therapy, not because I think you are but because you fit much of the childhood background they would claim caused your homosexuality AND you seem to have a longing to fill the very vacuum they claim to address head-on. It just seems like a good match (for you?). And you already have a head-start because you have a wife you feel intimate with. Have you read Joseph Nicolosi's newest book Shame and Attachment Loss? If so, any thoughts on it?

  21. Thanks for deleting my comment. I can see how it could affect you being as it were:
    1) Polite
    2) Personal opinion stated clearly
    3) Put in a pleasant manner

    But I shall forgive since you asked us to for the sloppy comment clean-up. Since it CANNOT be JUST because our opinions differ, right? -_-

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