FFAQ VI vote! + we’re doing a fireside in Portland this weekend

Oh hi!

First, here is what we’re going to be up to this weekend. If you’re in the Portland area, we’d absolutely love it if you came to meet us. 
Here’s a copy of the announcement that was distributed:
Join the Beaverton Stake Presidency for a Fireside Panel Discussion and Question/Answer Session on Same-Gender Attraction
Adults – Saturday, February 23rd, 7:00 – 8:00 pm. @ Beaverton Stake Center: All the wards have now had a joint Priesthood/Relief Society presentation on the subject of same-gender attraction. This fireside is a follow-up to those Sunday discussions and will feature a panel discussion with a question/answer session. The panel consists of a father and his son (now an adult) who experiences same-gender attraction. They will discuss the family dynamics of the son’s coming out. The son, who is now married, and his wife will discuss how they are making their marriage work. Another panel member is an active member of the church and former Elder’s Quorum president who will discuss the challenges he faces in his sojourn through life. The final member of the panel is a recent convert to the Church who has experienced same-gender attraction his whole life. He will discuss how he has been able to make the changes necessary to live the standards of the gospel.
Most all of us have been touched by someone we know who experiences same-gender attraction. This panel discussion will prove to be a very informative and timely discussion related to the Church’s stand on this issue and the practical aspects of living the gospel. Parents of youth may want to attend the adult fireside to determine if they feel it would be appropriate for their youth (ages 12 – 18) to attend the youth fireside the next night.
Youth (ages 12 – 18)– Sunday, February 24th, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. @ Beaverton Stake Center: If you and your parents feel it is appropriate, please join us for this fireside which will include the same presentation by the Stake President as was given to the adults, followed by the same panel discussion as listed above. Your parents are welcome to attend with you.
Can I just say? It’s so incredible to be involved in this discussion in a stake. I’m so appreciative to the Beaverton Stake Presidency for allowing this fantastic opportunity. We already had a panel discussion with their stake leadership which was wonderful. These steps are an incredible way to help members become more conversant in this issue. I hope other stakes will follow suit!
Second, it’s time to ask FFAQ questions!! (I was late in my FFAQ response last time and just got it up yesterday, but it’s already time to vote on next Friday’s. So that I can answer it the next Friday. And then have a vote the next. And thus it will continue, so on and so forth, into perpetuity. Because I’m really good at consistency, you see.)
Anyhow, if you have a question you’ve been itching to ask, please leave it in the comments. If you see a question that you want answered, post “ditto” as a reply. The question asked that gets the most dittoes will be what I answer next week.
1. If you’ve asked a question in the past that didn’t make the votes, try it again. Several of the questions so far have been asked more than once before they won.
2. The earlier you ask, the more time you have to get dittoes. Voting closes tonight at 12:00. 
3. Questions that get dittoes tend to be relatively short, well written and clear. 
4. Don’t be afraid to post questions. Even ones that get relatively few votes have often inspired later blog posts. I do read them all (of course), and it’s good for me to see what people are wondering about.
All right, we’re off to Portlandia. May your weekend be merry and bright and filled with awesome. 


    1. Ditto.

      This is almost exactly the same question I was going to ask, though I'd like to hear her thoughts about supporting Josh pre-marriage too.

  1. The Beaverton Stake is awesome. I also wanted to thank you Josh for your post titled "Mission for a Gay Guy". I thought it was the greatest post ever- even better than your coming out post. I'd love to hear more like it that delve into the nitty gritty of what the emotional, spiritual, social, etc. struggles of dealing with same-sex attraction are.

  2. When and how did you decide not to date men, and to date women instead?

    (Reposting, since it's insanely hard to post on your blog using Firefox and the comments keep getting eaten.)

  3. could ever you imagine a world where people can be in straight or gay relationships and have it accepted by the Mormon Church? A world where the term SSA can be abandoned as a way to distance someone's sexual identity from themselves? Where people who feel 'called' to 'help' gay people wouldn't have a reason to do that anymore and instead might turn their attention to people actually in need? Where what you are doing in being a gay man married to a woman isn't seen as a great sacrifice for God but rather just one decision, equal to people living in gay relationships? Where gay men, pretty much forced to not live gay, won't have their natural attractions and needs labelled an addiction? Where people will stop trying to convince themselves and others that gay men can marry straight women and it will work out and that sex doesn't have to be an important part of marriage? where being gay and living gay is not seen as a sin anymore than being straight and living straight are? (once gay marriage is legalized nationwide anyway).
    Many questions but really just one.

  4. You mentioned in one of your earlier public appearances that you seriously considered pursuing more traditional gay lifestyle at one point of your life. How did that process go and what reverted you from that path?

  5. What are your feelings about the Boy Scouts of America and their recent refusal to allow a gay young man to receive his Eagle? Did the BSA's stance on homosexuality affect you as a young man? Did you find it harder to be active in the Young Men's program when that was so closely tied to the Boy Scouts? Do you have an opinion on the process the BSA is going through? (Their recent consideration of allowing individual Scouting groups to decide whether to accept gay Scouts and Scoutmasters, and their subsequent decision to put it to a vote that would apply to everyone?)

  6. I have 3 brothers who are gay. 2 are living the gay lifestyle. They bring their partners to family functions. I have asked them not to hold-hands, hug, kiss when they are around the family because i have 4 young children. I am very conflicted if i am right to request them to not behave gay around my kids?????

    1. I dittoed something up ahead, but I want to ditto this too. Anonymous – will you repost this question in coming weeks? It feels very important to me. I'd be grateful.

      Alternately (or also) – Josh – do you collect questions? I know, I know, silly to ask an organizational question of someone who struggles with attention issues… but there may be an easy way to do that and to put out a list for people to vote on some day… 🙂

    2. @ Anonymous 7:13. "request them to not behave gay"… yet your post starts with "I have 3 brother who are gay"… are you asking them to not be true to themselves around your kids? To present a false image?… for what purpose… to deceive or deny?

  7. Hi Josh, In the announcement for the Portland panel discussion, the word "gay" never appears. How do you personally feel about the term "same gender attraction" and why do you think it is used instead of words like "gay" or "homosexual"?

    *full disclosure… I totally dittoed the Lolly question.

    -Michael C

    1. so… I just thought I would comment on this, because I totally avoided using the word gay because it is specific to one sex, and I'm kinda feminist. However, I have heard that GAYS don't appreciate the phrase "homosexual" because it makes them sound like they have a disease, so the soft coat word left to me is same-sex attracted, however, they prefer the phrase gay, so I guess I will have to get over my beef with giving them a sex-specific title that is then generalized onto the other sex…

    2. So, I was totally at this kinda red-necky bar last week singing karaoke ('cuz I'm not nerdy at all) and this drunk toothless older hick-type dude was trying to set me up with his equally drunk (but only slightly less toothless) daughter. I gave him a huge smile and with a slightly apologetic tone informed him that I was a homosexual. He gave me this confused look like I had told him I was the President or something. After asking me "REALLY?" about five times he grabbed my hand a gave it a big shake. It was really a pretty beautiful moment for me.

      That being said, I do not have any personal issue with the word "homosexual." To me it's no more disease sounding than heterosexual. …unless it's being whispered. Any word can sound offensive if people only feel comfortable using them in a hushed tone. Gay and Straight are just faster to say.

      Never fear calling a lesbian "gay." Gertrude Stein would have it no other way. She (intentionally?) over-used the word "gay" to describe the relationship of Miss Furr and Miss Skeene before the definition had fully shifted. You might even be considered MORE of a feminist if you call lady-lovin-ladies "gay"!

      Thank you for being so sensitive to the feelings of others, you're pretty special.

      -Michael C

  8. Hey I really enjoy reading your blog. I'm going to be up in Bellevue at the end of March.. and then I am moving there at the beginning of June.. I saw that you're not too far from there.. maybe I can meet you some time this summer? Your family too. 🙂

  9. I was able to attend tonight and greatly appreciate the insight and strength of the testimonies offered. One of the greatest take-aways for me was the atonement and it's role in each of our lives. We need to seek the Lord for his direction as we each have a unique journey to make. The atonement teaches us to love and give to those around us without prejudice nor hesitation. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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