Just my rambling thoughts about being gay and Mormon

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I've been reading, and am about finished with, "The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World" by Alan Downs. 
Link to Amazon for the book 

This is a really great book.  The following is from the introduction:
Rather than be depressing, I found the book to be uplifting, insightful, and helpful in understanding myself, my behaviors, and my feelings.  

Today at church I was thinking about gay priesthood leaders.  One of the many things this book has made me think about is how driven to succeed we (as gay men) generally are and how we often play an important role in many organizations.  Along those lines, it seems to me that more than the expected percentage of gay men in the church end up in leadership positions of one kind or another at some point in their church career, if they stick around.  I definitely fall into that category.  Right or wrong, as in the business world, people advance in the Church when they do more than average to help the organization succeed.  Unfortunately, in the Church we also tend to not stand up for gay issues because we are more focused on success in the organization to compensate for our underlying shame.  Sad, but I think true. 


  1. This is a true story...

    A global organization in an attempt to help farmers in a third world country provided seed to plant the next crop but the farmers were starving so they ate the seeds.

    How does this relate to your post?

    Sometimes one need is so primordial that it must be addressed before other needs can be addressed.

    And sometimes the so called experts don't see what is really going on.

    Let me explain...

    I have a theory that the reason the phenomena described in this book is so common in the gay community is because many gay men are so closeted that they are not aware of their need for intimacy and only venture into the gay world to get their sexual fix and as soon as that's taken care retreat back into the larger, somewhat gay-hostile straight world that they mostly inhabit.

    So to relate it back to the true story...gay men are the farmers and intimacy is the seed to grow the crop and sexual need is the starvation that forces gay men, like the farmers, to take care of their immediate need; leaving a larger, greater need unaddressed.

    However, unlike the farmers, these gay men are not aware of their greater need because the closet prevents them from having the kind of open and honest relationships they need to get comfortable enough with themselves to allow their need for intimacy to surface.

    Therefore, these men long for they know not what and go from one man to another to another wondering all the time why with all this sex the longing only seems to get stronger.

    But instead of questioning their understanding of what they need, they continue to attempt to satisfy this longing by having ever more and more sex.

    I read Velvet Rage. If I remember correctly the book gives example after example of this phenomena but never explains what is going on which leads me to think that the so called expert (the author) wrote the book not really knowing what was going on.


  2. I think the author of this book is on to something. I haven't read this book, but based on your review, it's something I guess I really ought to read.

    I think what would be profitable to do is to look at the exceptions to the rule -- to look at the lives of those gay men who have found extraordinary happiness.

    I think you will find men who have rejected the kinds of superficial materialism the author describes above as the hallmark of so many gay "lifestyles," who have understood the importance and nature of service and commitment...

    Just a guess...