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Posted by: MadameRadness ( )
Date: December 03, 2011 12:09AM

This is probably going to sound a little rude. To any gay folks on the board I apologize for my ignorance, i'm just honestly not around many openly gay people myself.

I am just curious, is there a large number of closeted gay men in the Mormon community? I mean, a larger number than anyone else? I come across a LOT of Mormon men that make me just sure they are gay.

I remember the first couple of times I was in a Mormon sacrament meeting. I kept coming across men who I was just positive were gay. I had absolutely nothing to base that feeling on, I mean a lot of Mormon guys seem a little feminine to me but that's not always a good indication of sexual preference. It was something other than that though, their "loving" interactions with their (usually very pretty) wives just seemed....forced? It didn't look natural. I can't really put my finger on it.

Then I remember when I got divorced I had a friend ask me if my ex husband (uber TBM) was dating again. I told her that I thought he was seeing a girl from his ward and she seemed legitimately shocked. When I asked why she was surprised, it was because she thought he was gay and maybe we got divorced because of it. Of course that wasn't the reason why, but she was just SURE that my ex was gay. Then she said something to the effect of "well, with a lot of guys I can't tell if they are gay or just Mormon..." Which kind of made me laugh, but then I realized I wasn't the only one who had these weird feelings.

(By the way, i'm pretty sure my ex is NOT gay. I just thought it interesting that someone else did.)

So are there a lot of gay men in denial? Or do Mormon men just give off that "vibe"? I'm not sure if I believe in the whole gaydar thing, that just seems kind of silly. I know a couple of gay men that I honestly had no idea of their orientation until they told me. But those odd gut feelings I had....I just don't know.

Again I apologize if this is rude and upsets anybody, I just don't know of a tactful way to ask this question.: P

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Posted by: MJ ( )
Date: December 03, 2011 12:18AM

An attraction to people of the same sex. That's it.

It seems to me that you may be looking at superficial things and determining, based on stereotypes that you think a person is gay, closeted or otherwise. From what I have seen, the LDS church turns out a lot of men that lack many behavior patterns many tend to associate with masculinity, thus, with straight men. Not fitting the "masculine == straight" mold, many assume the person is gay. Such assumptions are not a good thing.

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Posted by: Gay Philosopher ( )
Date: December 03, 2011 12:35AM

Nonsense, "MJ!"

Stereotypes exist because they're generally valid. It's exceptions to stereotypes that are unusual. Stereotypes are the best indicator that anyone has of underlying reality.

Effeminate males are generally homosexual, period.

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Posted by: MJ ( )
Date: December 03, 2011 01:19AM

I know way more masculine gay men than I know of effeminate gay men.

You have to get over your own misconceptions.

Oh, and because there is the "all gay men are pedophiles" stereotype, are you going to claim that gay men are pedophiles because "Stereotypes exist because they're generally valid"?

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 12/03/2011 01:44AM by MJ.

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Posted by: xophor ( )
Date: December 03, 2011 12:41AM

Yup...stereotypes of every kind exist for a reason.

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Posted by: MJ ( )
Date: December 03, 2011 01:25AM

Or the stereo type of blacks promoted by the KKK.

How about the stereo type that all gay men are pedophiles believed by so many Christian fundamentalists?

How about the stereo type of Japanese that people in the USA believed during WWII?

The Native Americans as savages that was used to justify Genocide ?

Yes, stereo types may exist for a reason, but that does not mean that they are based in truth, very often they are used to demonize and scapegoat whole classes of people UNJUSTLY.

The idea that gays are mostly effeminate comes from that fact that people ASSUME effeminate men are gay, that effeminate behavior can be seen and identified, masculine gay men ARE NOT NOTICED. People don't really have a good idea of how many masculine gay men there are out they, they just justify their prejudicial reliance on stereotypes by claiming that there is some reason even when that reason may be PROPAGANDA to scapegoat and marginalize a whole class of people.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 12/03/2011 01:30AM by MJ.

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Posted by: J. Chan ( )
Date: December 03, 2011 10:52AM

Some exist because there is some validity to them. Some exist as a result of deliberate propaganda. Many exist because of misconceptions, misunderstandings and unfounded assumptions.

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Posted by: untarded ( )
Date: December 03, 2011 02:14AM

A lot of stereotypes are bunk. My sister assures me that all (or even most) Black guys are not extremely well endowed.

But, to answer the question, I would say that there are as many closeted gays in the church as there are openly gay members. I base my hypothesis on the statistics of a gay population of 6% to 8%

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Posted by: baura ( )
Date: December 03, 2011 11:22AM

untarded Wrote:
> A lot of stereotypes are bunk. My sister assures
> me that all (or even most) Black guys are not
> extremely well endowed.

Well, they've only been allowed to go to the temple since 1978.

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Posted by: kolobian ( )
Date: December 05, 2011 04:00PM

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Posted by: thingsithink ( )
Date: December 03, 2011 03:58AM

Yes, because it's even tougher for them to come out. I assume more gay mormons marry women that gay non-mormons - essentially same reason.

Stereotypes? Sure, it may not be possible to tell if many, or even most, gay men are gay. But, there is definitely a percentage that it is obvious based on appearance/actions/speech. Isn't that obvious? I've met plenty of people just in the course of an ordinary day that I knew were gay before they said a word - may have been wrong here and there. I don't reach that conclusion based on a negative stereotype. I'm not concluding anything negative about the person. I'm just making the observation that they are gay. Big deal.

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Posted by: george ( )
Date: December 03, 2011 07:48AM

A gay friend in Long Beach told me years ago that he knew a dozen married LDS men who would slip into the local bathhouse to find boyfriends. Human beings are human beings, they act out what they must to keep their sanity. Not every male loves being married to Molly Mormon and having half a dozen kids to occupy every minute at church events.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/03/2011 07:50AM by george.

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Posted by: Chris ( )
Date: December 03, 2011 09:15AM

A lot of Mormon boys appear to be asexual with the way they were raised. Most of us that were raised in very conservative homes were taught not to be overly sexual beings. Sometimes this makes Mormon men seem feminine or even gay.

There is a huge community of gay Mormon men that are married to women and are desperately trying to make their marriages work. If you google "mixed orientation marriage," you will find a lot of blogs out there about these couples trying to keep their marriages in tact knowing that the husband or wife is gay.

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Posted by: lulu ( )
Date: December 03, 2011 09:21AM

We might be able to get back on track if you answered the question of how many is A LOT?

Second, what characteristics are setting of your gaydar.

And finally, in a closed in homophobic culture (Mormonism would be one such) it would not be surprising that some of the gays would be closeted. Some forever, others just until they figure out how to get out.

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Posted by: Villager ( )
Date: December 03, 2011 11:33AM

When I watch the Mo tab choir sing, I guess around 50%.

On a regular sunday sacrament meeting day, 15%.

But I have no idea, I am just blabbering.

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Posted by: gemini ( )
Date: December 03, 2011 11:38AM

What is interesting is that when my husband came out in 1992, he was so eager to tell me about other men in the ward, the community, our hometown, even his family who he suspected to be gay also. To my knowledge, not a one of those people he thought were gay have come out. It was shocking to me then. Now it seems he was wishful thinking or something.

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Posted by: Inverso ( )
Date: December 03, 2011 12:09PM

Anecdotal evidence is completely unreliable, but I'll toss some out there anyway. I shared a house at BYU with 4 other guys (5 total). It wasn't until middle age that we all reconnected and realized that it was a majority-gay household. Three of us were gay and not out even to each other. Too bad, really, because we needed and deserved to have each other as support. BTW, none of us got married to women like we've seen so often on the board.

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Posted by: bezoar ( )
Date: December 03, 2011 12:11PM

As a formerly mormon gay man I can say the answer is definitely yes.

Before I met my partner I used to chat in local (Utah) gay chat rooms on the internet. There were quite a few times I'd be chatting with someone who sounded interesting, so I'd ask them if they'd like to meet in person sometime. Their response was usually something along the lines of "Yes, but it has to be right now. My wife and kids are out of town and coming home in the morning." I'd say the majority of the time these men lived in Utah County. (And needles to say that was the point where I ended the chats.)

Then there's my favorite mormon garments story. I have a (trashy?) friend who moved to Salt Lake from the south. He met a guy in Liberty Park in Salt Lake who talked him into having sex with him in his van. They were getting down to business, undressing each other. My friend tried to take the guys underwear off, and he freaked out! The guy had promised his wife he'd never take off his garments. So they proceeded to have gay sex with the guy's garments around his ankles.

The LDS Gym used to occupy the site where the LDS conference center now stands. For years everyone in the gay community knew that was the place to go for anonymous gay sex. One guy I know used to skip out of school when he was 14 and go blow men in the showers of LDS Gym. And for a while one of the places to go to meet up for gay sex was outside the side entrance of Temple Square on Wednesday evenings after the Tabernacle Choir rehearsal ended.

I think there are a lot of closeted gay men in the mormon church. I'm sure we're all aware of the enormous pressure you feel as a mormon to conform. And that includes men staying in the church and marrying women because that's what you're supposed to do. I'm so glad I never married a mormon girl, just so I'd fit in with everyone else. I would have ruined some woman's life just so I could follow the path everyone else has to follow in the mormon church.

And a comment about gaydar. It's not infallible, and it's not an inborn trait or anything. I think it's more like a developed sense of pattern recognition. A lot of us have spent years as members of the mormon church. And I'm pretty good at being able to tell if someone's mormon or not. It's probably a lot of subtle things - noticing garment lines, styles of dress more often favored by mormons (white shirts?), words used in conversation that are more common in mormon populations, etc. It's not infallible, but I'm surprised at how often I'm correct.

Same thing with gaydar. If you spend a lot of time around gay people, you'll start noticing things in strangers that remind you of gay friends. It's not always accurate, but it's surprising how often you're right. That being said, I don't judge people or treat them differently because they set off my gaydar. For me it's just an interesting insight.

And it's true that a lot of mormon men have traits and behaviors that set off gaydar. And I find it especially irritating - why the hell do mormon men suddenly start speaking like gay men when they're trying to act "spritiual"??????? (As irritating as mormon women who suddenly sound like Snow White when they're trying to act spiritual.) My boyfriend is from the midwest, and he says he was really confused when he first moved to Utah because so many mormon man have mannerisms that are more often associated with gay men in the rest of the country.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: December 05, 2011 04:48PM

My ex's last partner is a convert who moved here from San Diego. He has lived all over--Boston, born and partially raised in Brazil, converted by his first lover as a teenager, attended BYU.

He moved back to Utah in his early 40s to be with my ex. He told me there are more gays in Utah than in San Diego--from his experience--most of them closeted.

My ex could give you info on the craigslist guys--all the married ones. He had several married ones he was seeing. I don't think he is any more.

All his high school friends are gay and 2 are still married (I've said it before). All but a few married--there are about 12 of them--so that was significant. His lesbian sister is married. His older brother was gay, but died in a car wreck not long after his mission.

Anyway--my ex isn't what I'd call masculine looking, but he can easily pass as straight because he hasn't a decorating bone in his body--let alone fashion. You should see the cars he usually drives (he finally has a normal looking one again). Anyone from Cache Valley would recognize his van--but he doesn't drive it much anymore. He can fix ANYTHING and make cars run for years and years and years. He can lay floors, put on roofs, cook, and sew, but he sews things like new motorcycle seat covers (for his motorcycle).

So . . . stereotypes don't work--but I do believe bezoar has it right--there are little inuendos. I have excellent gaydar as do my children (even my sister and niece).

I have told the story before of we used to go to the same dentist. I went in last fall and the new assistant I knew immediately was gay. Then he said, "My wife" and I thought, "Oh, not another one!?" I got done and called my ex and he said, "Yep--I thought the same thing." I, myself, used to think if someone was married, it meant they weren't gay . . . no matter what. We really just have no idea how many there are out there.

I had a friend ask me once--her sister's BIL got picked up at sugar house park. He said he was just curious. . . Of course he's not just curious.

**I have to add--this is a HUGE CLUE--being raised a good little mormon girl, we good little mormon girls thought if a guy didn't touch you, he just respected you. Many ex-wives of gays got taken in by this issue. How many mormon girls wanted their first kiss across the alter (from my age group)?--MANY. We wanted to be PURE. It was drilled into us.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2011 04:51PM by cl2.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: December 05, 2011 05:09PM

These questions always get to me.

Thinking of gemini's answer.

I had a neighbor growing up who I'm sure is gay--but I'm also sure he suppressed who he was. He has a son who is gay--who is actually in a very long-term partnership (about 35 years or so). He and his partner met at BYU and live in Utah Valley. (My sister dated both he and his partner.)

I think of the guys I knew in my home ward growing up--and several have come out as gay. Some married and left their wives.

My ex told me the same thing when I found out he was gay--that if I thought about it, I could probably pick out some who are gay.

I worked with a guy who is still married (if he is still alive) some 29 years ago and he was gay. He really struggled with the whole issue. I was going through my own insanity having just found out my boyfriend was gay and he and I became really good friends, though we never talked about it--we just both KNEW.

Mormons have to suppress their sexuality--and though there are several "we" think are gay in this ward or in other wards we lived in--most have not come out. Doesn't mean they aren't gay. I don't know what the answers are for them. I hope in the future that less and less gays marry straights--mormon and nonmormon, but mormon gays are in a no-win situation.

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Posted by: vasalissasdoll ( )
Date: December 05, 2011 10:39AM

The simplest answer to this question would be to take a look at the mfm Craigslist for Mormon-centric areas, particularly BYU or BYUI.

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Posted by: MadameRadness ( )
Date: December 05, 2011 10:59AM

"A lot of Mormon boys appear to be asexual with the way they were raised. Most of us that were raised in very conservative homes were taught not to be overly sexual beings. Sometimes this makes Mormon men seem feminine or even gay."

^THIS makes a ton of sense.

And Vasalissasdoll, that was an interesting experiment. I just checked out the craigslist for provo. Wow. Most of those ads clearly state they are BYU students. I go to a very liberal college of the same size with a fair amount of diversity, and our craigslist isn't half that busy.

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Posted by: Tabula Rasa ( )
Date: December 05, 2011 11:10AM

I'm a gay woman in a man's body.

Just sayin'...


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Posted by: michael ( )
Date: December 05, 2011 03:11PM

A FB friend (who used to be on here) asked me this question:

"How can you tell a gay Mormon in Utah?"

After pondering upon it, I told him I didn't know.

His answer: "They're married."


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Posted by: brett ( )
Date: December 05, 2011 04:33PM

When I was in a young adult ward in the S.F. Bay Area, there were several gay members, and 2 of them held leadership positions. (obviously they were not out at that time) To their credit, they all left the church and ended up in gay relationships - instead of marrying a Molly in the temple.

I agree with some of the other comments about mormon men having more feminine traits than the average male. Bravado and overly masculine behaviour is not encouraged in TSCC. It's more important to be meek and soft spoken. For some reason, mo's see this as being Christ like.

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Posted by: tumwater ( )
Date: December 05, 2011 05:31PM

A family friend's son in gay and out and works as a home decorator. He's comfortable with his situation. A number of years ago he got pretty sick, some thought it was HIV. Anyway, he got better and I ran into him at a family function.

He said things were pretty rough there for a few years but when he got through, he said he wasn't afraid of dying.

He figured out that God didn't want him and the Devil was afraid that he'd would try to redecorate hell.

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