Coming Out in Public

A little over 6 years ago I was on my mission in Madrid. I was transferred to new area at the same time as another elder. I remember asking him if was really from Hawaii, since he was so tall and blonde. We ended up serving together in the same district for nearly seven and a half months and had a lot of good times together. He was actually nice to the sisters and a hard worker, without being too zealous and overbearing. I knew he was going home just a month before me and planning on being an English major when he got back to BYU. When I was transferred out of that area, we exchanged emails and addresses and promised to get back in touch some day, like I did with a lot of other missionaries. I got home in January and started trying to contact some of the people I'd been friends with back in the mission. I emailed this particular elder and found out that he had gone to the computer lab that very day in order to email me. We started emailing each other and talked on the phone a few times. He even visited an apartment I was hoping to move into in order to check it out for me. At the end of April I flew back to Provo to start school again. The afternoon I got back there was a knock on my door, and I opened it to find my friend from the mission, now looking very different with bleached, spiky hair and funky red jeans. We hung out that afternoon and made plans to walk to class together since we were in the same Spanish class. Later that week he took me out to lunch for my birthday, and even bought me flowers and a book. The next thing we knew we were hanging out all the time, holding hands, kissing, etc. Things got serious rather quickly and by the end of May we had both started bringing up the idea of marriage. It scared both of us, so we kept trying to put it off. But for some reason it kept coming up again and again.
Then in early June we went to a session at the temple together. On the way home we stopped by Taco Bell, got some food to eat in the car, and drove around trying to find a private place to park. I thought Master Fob was acting a little odd, but I wasn't sure why. Then he turned to me and told me that for most of his life he'd felt like he was attracted to other guys. To be honest, I wasn't sure what to think or how to react. Since he hadn't ever done anything with any of them and obviously enjoyed dating me, I trusted the fact that he wanted to get married. I still wanted to get married. And so when he asked me a few weeks later, I said yes. We got married and have been working on it for nearly five years now. I don't know if my marriage is any "harder" than anyone else's, because I've never been in any other marriage. We've had our ups and downs, but most of the time things are great and I feel like I really did marry my best friend.
About two years ago Master Fob decided to write a personal essay about his experiences and it was published in Dialogue last fall. Since then we've been semi-famous in certain circles because of our willingness to publicly acknowledge our mixed-orientation marriage. Tomorrow the Salt Lake Tribune will be running an article that is now online here. On Wednesday the reporter and photographer came and talked to us about things, and of course after they left I immediately started going over everything I had said worrying that I was going to sound like a complete idiot. Luckily there weren't very many direct quotes from me in the finished product. I did mention my parents' marriage difficulties simply because I wanted to point out that I was grateful not to have a naive view that being married was a piece of cake and that you never have to work on anything once you get married. I do still feel a little nervous about being so public about our situation. It gives people the chance to discuss our life and whether or not what we are doing is right (in their eyes). But, on the other hand, we haven't made any major decisions without studying them out first and really praying about them. And just because this works for us doesn't mean it will work for anyone else. I would never presume to tell another couple in the same situation to do the same thing. That's up to them and God.
I think my feelings about this can best be summed up by saying that the fact that Master Fob is attracted to men simultaneously means everything and means nothing for us. It means everything because it is a vital part of who he is and a major issue for him. It shapes our marriage and how we interact with our families, our church, and each other. On the other hand, it means nothing because we are committed to each other and have decided to be faithful and remain married. There are many other facets of our lives and our relationships besides this one issue. More than anything, I am grateful to be married to someone who has the courage to be himself, the optimism to always assume that the best will happen, and the trust in me that I am the person who can help him along his journey.


Master Fob said…
Thanks, Foxy. Beautiful post (and not just because it's about me). I love you too.
Silly Marie said…
I admire you both. It would be much easier (in some ways) to not go public with it all and just try to ignore it.

It's hard because it's such an emotionally, religiously, and politically charged subject. Everyone has something to say, and it's not always pleasant. But then again, it's not always unpleasant. I think there are a lot more people in similar situations that need support and help from each other. I'm glad you're willing to speak out.
amyjane said…
It's interesting to hear from you on this subject. I can't say that I haven't wondered many times hat that must be like for you to live in your particular marriage. My only previous experience with a "mixed orientation" LDS marriage (my roommate and cousin) did not end well. Totally different circumstances but... it's refreshing to everyone to see ya'll working things out in what seems to be the best possible way. Props for being willing to share so publicly. You're both amazing.
Tolkien Boy said…
You guys make me pretty happy.

This is a beautiful post, a wonderful love story. Thank you for sharing it.

I can imagine that it was a difficult decision for you both to come out so publically. The story is very well done, and I can imagine that this will cause many ripples of awareness in several different communities. Just pay attention to the good ripples.

Always remember, you have made a beautiful family, a little pocket of happiness, you both are wonderful people, and your friends love you.
Desmama said…
I echo what everyone else has said, especially the beautiful little family and little pocket of happiness. I have always admired your commitment to one another.
TK said…
This is an excellent post! First, I enjoyed hearing YOUR side of the story (the same as his, but in your words). I also applaud you (both) for stressing that this is your decision, but that you're not trying to tell anyone else what to do; that it should be between those individuals and God, instead. As I thought about it, I realized that this should be the case regarding ANY decision, shouldn't it. I mean, we can take someone else's advise, but even if it's the prophet's advise we take, to be really committed to our decision, we have to have a personal testimony that it's what the LORD wants us to do. Thanks for sharing!
TK said…
Oops, sorry. I think that should have been spelled 'ADVICE'.

After I published, I read the other comments. As I read: 'Always remember, you have made a beautiful family, a little pocket of happiness', the thought that came to my mind was that this 'beautiful family' and 'little pocket of happiness' you have made is ETERNAL, no matter what else is said or done as a result of you're 'going public'.
skyeJ said…
FoxyJ and Master Fob are my favorite sister and gay brother-in-law combo!!! I liked the article, love you guys. Keep it REAL, because there really is no other way. I love you guys, and I'm excited for the ripples. You truly have a little pocket of happiness, and I'm glad I get to be a part of it sometimes!!
Rachel said…
I appreciate hearing about your's and Master Fob's relationship. It's so different from my cousin's mother and brings me joy to know that it can work.

And, P.S., you two really do have the cutest kids!
I thought the article in the paper was well written and I also echo all the nice things everyone else said. I really didn't know anything about being gay and married and mormon before your blogs.
Samantha said…
I loved reading this. Thank you.
Audrey said…
Perhaps you remember me, perhaps not. We were in the Span/Port MA program together for a short while before I moved off to PA. I read the Trib article after following a link from Blurbomat, and what would have been just an interesting story hit me like a ton of bricks because there was a face I recognized in that picture. People are living all kinds of things that you would never know.

I applaud you and your husband for choosing to share this with the world. You've shared a beautiful story, and you're a beautiful family. I hope you meet with nothing but love and support.
Spottie said…
I am an english major at BYU and was in a writing workshop 3 years ago with your husband. I wanted to let you know how amazing I think it is of the two of you to so publicly share your beautiful love story. My husband and I have discussed what it would be like to so publicly discuss these issues. I guess my question for you would be, what ramifications do you foresee on your children as they grow up? Do you think the openness will balance any questions they may have? I admire the two of you greatly, (aside from being insanely jealous of the writing talent displayed by both of you) Thank you for being a VOICE.
Anonymous said…
So, I would be amyjane's roommate who was married to her cousin. I am glad to hear things are working out for the two of you. I think complete honesty is the only way this can ever work. I was the lucky girl who got blindsided. ;) No, things didn't work for us, and I wouldn't choose to go through it again in a million years. But I sincerely hope the two of you will continue to love and care for each other. You are both an example of the Atonement at work. Best of luck.
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