Just my rambling thoughts about being gay and Mormon

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Loss of a friend ... to suicide

This past week a friend who worked at the same place that I work committed suicide. He was a very quiet, shy and reserved guy and I did not know him well. No one will ever know why he decided to end his life. I know this much about him; he was active LDS having served in many callings including in a bishopric. He served a mission, he was married in temple and he had several young children. 

I offer the following thoughts, not because they are true because I will never know, but because they are my feelings.

There is such a thing as gaydar and I got the vibes from him.  I can't help but think that he felt very trapped in an impossible situation. He had done everything he was taught to do as a good Mormon but inside he was deeply unhappy. Was he gay? I don't know. 

I'm out to anyone who cares to ask but no one at work has asked and so I have not outed myself to anyone there. I'm sure some suspect because I don't fit the straight Utah Mormon man mold too well.

I can't help wonder if I had been more out at work if I could have somehow helped him. He obviously needed a friend with whom he could talk about his innermost secrets. I was not that person because he did not know I was available.

Maybe I'm just grieving and making all this up in my head. I don't know, but there is enough of a pattern to make me wonder...and make me very sad.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Movie Review - Yossi

Yossi (2012) is the sequel to the 2002 Israeli movie,Yossi and Jagger.  

Yossi and Jagger, a brief synopsis - This is a touching film about two Israeli soldiers stationed on the border of Lebanon during the winter. The film is in Hebrew with English subtitles. Ohad Knoller plays the unit commander, Yossi, who is in love with his second in command, Jagger. In the army they must keep their relationship a secret. Jagger who is more laid back, wants Yossi to quit the army and live with him. He tells Yossi that he wants them to go away together to the resort of Eilat on the Red Sea. However, after an argument Jagger is killed on a patrol during a nighttime mission. In the end Yossi does not tell Jagger's parents about their relationship, which he lives to regret.

The movie Yossi picks up the story of the commander 10 years later. He is now a single, closeted cardiologist at an Israeli hospital. It is an emotional movie about how he finally comes to terms with Jagger's death and begins to move on and find love again.  
The movie is a slow but engaging drama as Yossi sheds his past and begins to live again. He has a chance meeting with Jagger's mother but does not at first reveal himself to her. Eventually, after a painful explanation of his former relationship with Jagger to Jagger's parents he decides to visit the resort of Eilat where Jagger had wanted them to go together.

Another chance encounter leaves him transporting 4 solders who are also going to the resort on military leave. One of the soldiers is openly gay and Yossi gets a sense of how things have changed with the acceptance of gay men openly serving in the army.
If you like a quiet emotional drama with a great story line you will probably like this movie. It could have been dark and gloomy but instead it is engaging and hopeful. It's a short movie, only about 1.5 hours and worth your time. Ohad Knoller is a convincing actor and plays this part particularly well.