Sunday, August 7, 2016

Joseph: How I Am Feeling Right Now

Isn't it a funny thing, how irrational the heart can be? It seems to have a mind all its own, moving independently from the rest of one's being.

This is perhaps the first time that I can recall that same-sex attraction, specifically, has been a cause for heartache. Since I had that conversation with Joseph two Sundays ago, I can't stop thinking about him. More than anything else at this very moment, I want nothing more than to be with him constantly, to get better acquainted with him and his burden.

I love him for the person that he is, more genuine and sincere than anyone else that I can think of. Perhaps for some, learning of another person's character weaknesses makes them less appealing, less attractive. Although I don't know if this is how God works, it seems to me that a more intimate awareness of someone like Joseph makes him so much more real. I can relate to his trials on a number of levels, and have so much more love, respect, and admiration for Joseph, as he obviously values vulnerability for what it truly is. His person alone draws me to him in an overwhelming way.

To be entirely honest, he is also...hmmm...perhaps "hot" is too crude a word for my vocabulary...handsome? Attractive? Gorgeous, maybe? Okay, perhaps that last one is going too far. Not that it doesn't describe him, but...anyways, you get my point. He was on a swim team in high school, and as a result, his muscle-to-overall weight ratio definitely exceeds mine and the few years I have of consistently trying to keep my lean frame in shape. His is a gentle face, with straight black hair that he keeps relatively short. But then there are his eyes. His eyes do something that stir up the soul. Though he generally comes off as very relaxed, his eyes have a sadness to them, not all too different than looking into the eyes of a puppy that didn't get the love that it desired. Those eyes, they make me want to erase the sadness in them, to make sure he never doubts his own value, to be certain he always knows how loved he is, whether by God or just by me.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't sexually attracted to him. There has been a few times, when he has sat near me during Church meetings, that I have felt a palpable heat and an energy emitting from him. Although I manage to keep sexual fantasies to a minimum during the daytime, there are some moments, such as when I sleep and during wet dreams, that my mind wanders to places that it normally wouldn't...

And then there's yet another confusing aspect. Call it the "gaydar", call it the "please-be-gaydar", but there is this powerful intuition that I can't shake that he's gay also. Yes, he has dated a number of girls in the time he has corresponded to our ward, but don't most same-sex attracted members of the Church? I know I have, even if I haven't been as diligent. It is not something I feel rationally, but a sixth sense that tells me that there is much more of a reason as to why I feel this resonance between our souls than appears at first glance.

Mine is a mind that likes to approach situations from a number of hypothetical possibilities. Even given the turmoil that I feel, I have made a few decisions. First of all, even if he was gay and the emotions I feel toward him were mutual (which that currently huge, irrational part of me wants so badly right now), I would not at any point allow any aspect of our relationship to become sexual. As unnecessary as that conclusion may seem at this time, I need it, because, however big or small the chances are that he could end up feeling the same way toward me, I have determined that, more than anything else, more than any lust, that I fully and truly love him, and that I wouldn't want to do anything to put his salvation in jeopardy.

Second, I have decided that I want to respect Joseph's agency as much as possible. There is a decent chance that he isn't gay at all, or at least, not totally so. It would be entirely unfair of me to expect, as my heart desires, for him to conform to my desires, be that being with me at all times (or even just more often), talking even more openly with me, or even being a "celibate boyfriend." Joseph has a life to live, and even though my heart wants that life to revolve around me, I want to respect him enough to (attempt to) release that desire.

I don't know you well as a reader. You might be staunchly behind my decisions or vehemently opposed to them. If you fall into the latter camp, I do wish to say that I respect your views and your feelings, no matter how radically different they may be. I do not expect you or anyone, for that matter, to agree with me. It would not be very difficult at all for me to find a guy to hook up with--gosh, it's such a hassle dealing with some of the ones with baser intentions whenever I post in the "strictly platonic" section of Craigslist--but I'm choosing the harder right. But boy, how much harder does it have to be to find and develop emotionally intense platonic relationships? Our society today has made it unrealistically difficult.

Anyways, this is me in a nutshell:  I love Joseph with all of my heart. I want to be with him at all moments. If it wasn't for the knowledge and understanding that I possess, I don't think I would hesitate for a moment before letting my sexual appetites run loose. That is why I appreciate so greatly the wisdom I have gained. Even now, I look at my phone every few seconds, hoping to see a response from Joseph, as I texted him to follow up to see how he's been (I didn't get to talk much with him at Church last Sunday).

I am lonely. Circumstances prohibit me from pursuing the progress in my career that I so greatly desire, so I have much more spare time than I really want. In relationships, I am searching for the profound in a world full of the superficial. I can feel a foreboding loneliness in a crowd of people, yet I can stand by one person, and feel all the solitude in the world vanish away in an instant.

Where is that person?

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