Archives for category: values

It’s not often I take up a political stance (especially not on a Friday night when I should be out with friends); but unlike many arguments that center around partisan groupies or how much and from whom our government is taking money, immigration and illegal immigration policies encompass an issue to which I’ve seen serious negative impact to very good people.

I’ve seen it tear a father away from his wive and two kids. I’ve had a college roommate, who came to the states as a small child, who battled for a decade for the ability to get the papers he needed to stay. Although he grew up in the states just like me, he had to use someone else’s social security number just to be able to get into college. I’ve seen many smart and intelligent people struggle to find jobs and struggle to support their families… and what’s the difference between them and me? Nothing.

How is it that we as (United States of) Americans are so arrogant, so self-absorbed, so ignorant? We’re a country built from a backbone of immigration… we came in and slaughtered civilization after civilization of Native Americans, enslaved African Americans, warred against Mexico and put over a hundred thousand Japanese descendants into concentration camps (we called them “assembly centers”). Then we have the audacity to raise our flag and sing “God bless America!”, as if we’re deserving of it; as if we have some sort of entitlement.

Sure, we might say “why should we support, enact policies or help people who are coming here illegally?” First of all, lets consider what we really mean by “illegal.” Imagine we all lived in a desert, struggling for water. Then, a group of us stumbled upon a lake. There were already a few people camped at this lake; some were ok with sharing the water, others didn’t really want to; so we killed a bunch of them and drove the rest away. Then we built up a wall and made up a rule that said “anyone besides us who drinks from our lake is doing something wrong; something ‘illegal.'” Other people in the desert discover this lake, see our walls and try to negotiate their way in. They have just as much need for the water as we do, they have just as much to offer, but we turn our backs. In desperation, some of them make their way in anyways. We here about it and look at them like they’re scum; like they’ve done something immoral. We bathe in a body of water they merely want to drink from – a drink for which they are willing to work for.

ImageNow back to the policies. I started writing this post after seeing my mom like an image containing Arizona governor Jan Brewer’s new slogan “Doing the job the feds won’t do.”  The slogan is built on this politician’s opposition to an announcement that the federal government would stop deporting young illegal immigrants who are already in the country, and are pursuing education/military. This policy was in response to the failed Dream Act which was developed to help people of this criteria (with things like background and drug tests) to finally get their papers. It makes me sick to my stomach and sad to see people liking posts like this: with a politician building a campaign in opposition of a policy meant to help people in need.

Now whether or not you agree with the specifics of this policy, that’s one thing. But what bothers me is the fire behind most of those who do not support it (this flame obviously strong, considering a governor would slogan her entire campaign around it). We fear both illegal and legal immigrants and tag our fear with ideas such as “drugs”, “violence” and of them “taking our jobs.” With this fear, we put a blanket over them as a people, and seek for solutions to keep them out. We discuss this rather than actually focusing on “how do we keep more of those immigrants who can actually contribute to our society and to our economy in? How do we make it easier for them? How do we differentiate between them and those who are increasing violence and trafficking drugs?” Looking for ways to keep and bring in hard-working, intelligent, family-oriented, innovated people in our country should be our primary focus; this is, by the way, how we built our nation and economy in the first place.

So let’s not praise a governor who enacts policies to force legal immigrants to not be able to leave their house without proof of immigration status, and who focuses on kicking out any ‘illegal’ immigrant who we haven’t yet given permission to “drink from our water” – whether or not they’ve ever done a drug in their life or have ever gotten into a fight in their life; regardless of whether they have a family we would tear them from or if they’ve been here since they were a baby.

Rather, let’s seek out policy-makers who can see past America’s arrogant, self-absorbed ways. Let’s focus on solutions, not on fear.


A straight guy might be jealous at just how easy it is to get sex if you’re a gay man.  Gay men are constantly offering their bodies to the hottest profile pic that logged in within the last 20 minutes (as long as they’re within about 2,000 feet).  It seems a silly notion to question “Why this obsession with sex?”, but I intend to ask it anyways.

So… Why this obsession?

When I first came out, I was telling another gay man how I had never had sex.  He asked me “How do you know that you’re gay, if you’ve never had sex?”  I didn’t then, and I still don’t know why we give so much credit to sex.  I’m not gay because I want to get off with another man, as opposed to a woman.  My “gayness” came as a feeling, a longing, a desire to connect with another man; to share my life with him; to have him hold me; love me.  Sure I have a physical attraction to men, and sure I have sexual desires… and combining that all has the potential to roll into something beautiful and intimate.

But that kind of love, that kind of sex, that kind of intimacy is not what I see prevalent within the gay community.  It turns into a game, a conquest, a need to quench a thirst that never seems to go away.  Within time, the intimacy is lost.  Love is replaced with lust.  Compassion is replaced with your own carnal desires.  Passion is replaced with aggression.  Then we start to describe ourselves and others as a “bottom”, a “top”, “8.5 inches uncut” instead of as someone who is “caring”, “adventurous”, or “honest.”

What’s the harm?

Sex isn’t the problem… sex is awesome!  However, I think that we can abuse it.  When sex becomes more about “me” then it is about “them” or “us”, I think we’ve gone to far.  When sex becomes the end goal instead of an expression of the way we feel it means that sex has replaced intimacy, rather than enhancing it.  Then we forget the virtues, characteristics, and qualities we once sought for ourselves and others, and instead debase ourselves and others into a set of stats.

So I did some digging.  I went to an online gay profile site to see just how important certain qualities were to the gay community.  Here are the number of times the following words showed up in their profiles:

  • Fun – 13292
  • Honest – 4421
  • Funny – 2837
  • Happy – 2471
  • Smart – 2237
  • Caring – 2117
  • Outgoing – 2075
  • Intelligent – 1929

I’m not surprised that fun came up so often, since 47,763 profiles mentioned something about a hookup (although 67,510 want a relationship).  It’s interesting though that out of the words someone would generally use to describe themselves or others, honesty came up pretty high.

What is it about being honest that is so important?  And why is it so hard a thing to do?  I think answering the second question will help us better understand the first.

Why is it so hard to be honest?

There are a number of reasons why we lie, such as:

  1. We did something stupid, and we’re trying to cover it up
  2. We want to get out of something we really don’t want to do
  3. We don’t want to make someone feel bad
  4. We want to make ourselves look better; some sort of personal gain
  5. We want to hurt someone

I ordered them in what I think occur most frequently.  Ultimately, I think that we lie in attempt to live in an alternate reality that is easier for us to deal with.  It’s hard work to face reality.  If we make a mistake, it’s easy to just lie; it’s hard to admit failure and realize we need to change.  Just as we often don’t want others to know the truth about us, we know it’s hard for others to hear the truth about themselves; and so we lie to them too.  Generally, I would say that lying is the lazy way out.

Why do we care so much about honesty?

I think this is an interesting question.  I mean, who cares if someone lies?  Now, sometimes their lies affect you directly.  Say someone stands you up, lies about you to hurt you, promise you something they never intend to give; these things can negatively affect your life.

But what if they lie about their job, their weight, their age or what they’re up to tonight?  As soon as we find out they’re lying, it usually bothers us.  Even when it doesn’t impact us, we still hate a liar.  I think this has something to do with what the 67 thousand gays were looking for: a relationship!!

I — and I’m pretty sure everyone and their little poodle-dog — think that trust is the single most important thing in a relationship.  Even with extreme love, if you can’t trust your partner, the relationship is bound to go sour.  This doesn’t just apply to partners, but even with your relationship with your friends.

Your relationship with someone is only as strong as your ability to trust them.  The more you trust, the closer you become, the more you rely on them and they on you.  I like to relate trust to an Internet cable.  Why?  Because I’m a geek.  The better the cable, the better your Internet bandwidth and the better you can upload or download data.  Similarly, the more your trust someone, the better you can communicate, and the stronger your relationship becomes.  Just as having Internet off of a 56k modem sucks, so does having a boyfriend who’s a liar!!

So how do we become more honest?

Becoming honest is not just making a resolve to tell the truth; although that’s probably the first step.  The problem comes once we start to be honest… then all of a sudden we have to face reality.  The truth is, we don’t, and never will want other people to see just how messed up, how shallow, or how incapable we really are.  So a part of becoming honest is facing those things, and working to overcome them.  It’s easier to be honest, when you have nothing to hide.  It’s also easier to admit fault or weakness, when you know it’s your desire to change.  It’s hard to admit your issues, when you don’t intend to do anything about it.

You know how mormon missionaries always travel in pairs.  Well, what

happens is they pair you with another guy and, somewhere between 6 weeks and 6 months later, you’ll get a

call telling you they want you to move to a new city and be paired with a new guy.

One day as a missionary I got such a call.  I started asking other missionaries if they’d heard of this new guy I’d be with.  People told me he was weird and grew up “in a bubble” (which is to say very ignorant: or nicely put, innocent).

When I met the guy, I realized it was quite true how he had been described.  What I didn’t expect, however, is that I would like it!  Despite his awkwardness, he had a quality I had never quite seen in someone so strongly: he was completely transparent.  In other words, he was an open book.

I think a lot of people look at that as a weakness.  If you’re transparent people can take advantage of you.  You can’t hide your emotions; people will know when you’re happy, and they’ll know when you’re sad.  In fact, it’s hard to keep secrets, and people could use that against you.

Meeting him, however, changed my perspective.  I felt like I had lived my whole life kind of putting on a show for everyone.  I remember in high school talking about girls like I was the horniest little straight boy around.  Looking back, I think I must have felt that if people had known the real me, they wouldn’t have liked me.  At the time, and where I was growing up, that might have actually been true.  But on the other hand, if I’m putting on a show, then even if they do like me, I’ll never really feel like they’re liking the real me.

I decided then that I wanted to become transparent too.  I wanted people to see the real me.  I didn’t want to keep secrets; I didn’t want to lie.  My hope was that someone could meet me, look me in the eyes, and know the kind of guy I was; feel instantly that I was an honest man and someone they could trust.

I’ve found that as I’ve worked to become more transparent, my ability to have real and lasting friendships and relationships have increased.  People actually prefer to be around someone who isn’t trying to prove anything, who isn’t acting like someone he’s not.

After 11 years of not once admitting to myself that I was gay… sure the first “porn” I looked at was the statue of David in the Encyclopedia; I would feel highschool-girl butterflies when a cute boy accidentally brushed up against me; and I would just melt at the thought of being wrapped in the arms of a man who loved me… but no, not until over a decade after my late nights with Michelangelo’s masterpiece did I finally sit myself down and say “Marcel… you are a flaming homo!! Now deal with it.”

Now this blog is not a coming-out story. It is also not my diary… that I have under lock and key beneath my scrapbook! This is my attempt to write, ponder, explore and hopefully receive feedback about life – and particularly life as a homo. This is also where I will be acting out my severe fetish of using ellipsis (…)… the greatest punctuation in the english language.

Now, a couple things about me (in case I haven’t already embarrassed myself). My name is NOT Marcel, although that is what I’ll call myself until (or if) I decide to actually make myself known: not sure I want future employers reading this blog just yet. I lived as a Mormon for 25 years; until about the time that I got kicked out of a religious university for homosexual activity. Since then I have been in a number of relationships and have learned a little about myself, relationships, love, etc., etc., etc.

It is this “learning” that has motivated me to start writing. For, the more I learn, the more I realize just how little I know (didn’t Socrates say something like that).  This is my attempt to figure out the truth about us gays, and they way we should be living our lives.  From the people who believe that gays will literally crush all decent men, women and children who get in its way; to a guy who, like the Beatles sing, just wants somebody to love; to the open relationships; to the search for happiness; to the search for love; to obtaining love and then watching it slip away.

I am on a quest for truth. I am on a quest for happiness. How do we obtain it? How do we hold on to it? What are the principles, morals and values that we need in order to find it. Are they the same for everyone? This is the purpose of my blog. I am asking you to join me; to teach me; to learn from my experiences; and to share your own. Add a comment, or if too private, send me an email.

I look forward to meeting new acquaintances and sharing a part of my life with you. To all you other flaming homos… welcome to my blog!

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