Friday, January 17, 2014

Kent Part 1

Hello my name is Kent and this is my First Post for the Jonathan and David Experience. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you now and in the future. Our Group is dedicated to teaching men how to develop "Healthy" relationships with other men while staying true to the Faith in Jesus Christ.

Throughout my life, I have never felt like I quite belong or fit in.  Until recently I always thought this was a bad thing.  It was when I decided to actually start to see who I was, what my wants and needs were when I finally started to be happy.  

Now I actually had a pretty good childhood.  I grew up on a ranch living in Snowflake.  I worked with my cousins and was always very busy.  I realized that I was attracted to other boys when I was around 12.  I thought it was just curiosity and didn’t really think a lot about it.  If there was one thing that I craved growing up though, was for me to have a best friend.  

This was something I really never had time for.  I was always very responsible and got whatever job done that I was asked.  I also really liked working with my hands and figuring things out and was always the go to person.  I felt this tremendous weight of responsibility to do all ranch/farm work before I took time for myself.  I never wanted to let anyone down.  Growing up I was definitely a people pleaser.  

In High School I played football because that is what everyone, especially in our family, did.  I actually really enjoyed it but never felt like I was good enough at it.  I think the reason for that was that I felt I had to be perfect and to be honest, there was a part of me that was scared of getting hit too hard.  It seems a bit ironic now that I played lineman on both offense and defense and was hitting and getting hit every play.  I just lived in fear that someone was better than me because I messed up ever so often.  

During High School was a great student and studying came easy for me.  It was also during this time that I never truly felt like I had that one person that I could just talk to about anything.  I knew that these attractions to men weren’t going away and that I really didn’t want to date much for any reason other than that is what we were supposed to do.  I think up to this time I was still just curious of another boys body and I felt different in my mind.  I was so preoccupied with these thoughts and I never really thought much about girls.  I still didn’t know what this meant.  

Like so many others that I have since talked to, I thought that if I just go on a mission, the attractions would leave and I would be able to get married and live the “typical” mormon boy life.  It was for this reason that I never told another person, including bishops, about these attractions.  I just needed to be more faithful, read my scriptures more and pray more.  I would be doing all these things on my mission and things would end up great.  

I served my mission in New Zealand and was actually very lucky.  My first companion was another ranch kid from Idaho that I got along with so well.  Everything clicked and it was also when I could just be myself and I had a mentor/friend to look up to which I never quite felt that I had.  The other part of the mission that I just loved was the camaraderie and love being missionaries.  Any time we greeted another elder, it was with a hug.  I loved these hugs.  Time kept going on and I realized that a lot of the attractions to guys was not near as strong.  They were still there but not as strong.  
It came a time when we started teaching a gay guy (although at this time, I didn’t know he was gay).  The first lesson was great and we set up another one.  When we came back he let us in on some of his true colors.  I got uncomfortable but also curious again about what it was like to be gay.  We found that he had no intentions on joining the church, just that he wanted to have some good looking missionaries over.  It triggered some stuff in my head that I couldn’t really get out.  

I knew the time was when I needed to tell someone else but it was not going to be my companion.  I finally got the courage to talk to my mission president and let him know.  He didn’t really know what to do other than give me a blessing and stay focused on the work.  There were definitely times throughout the mission that the attractions had come, but they never lingered.  I really enjoyed my mission and was excited to come home and start a family just like I “should.”  

In my next post I will talk about life after the mission to current times and about how I came to be where I am now and where I am now.

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