Thursday, January 9, 2014

Brad Part 1


  Hello, my name is Brad and I have to start by saying that I am not a gay man, but all my life I have had tender  feelings for other men and it has been somewhat of a struggle to develop close male relationships in our culture.  It has caused confusion and frustration until with the help of the Spirit I was able to come to understand why I had such feelings and in the process I have learned the Eternal nature of my relationships with other men.  In this blog I will share with you my journey in coming to terms with who I am and my relationships with men.  I hope you learn and if you are carrying a similar burden, I hope it can be lifted.  


      This blog has been in the making I think my whole life.  I grew up in a small community in the White mountains of Arizona where if you were not a cowboy, hippy, jock, or Mormon you were an outcast.  I have to admit I was not a cowboy, hippy, or jock.  I was an inactive Mormon, thus making me an even bigger outcast.  To say the least I did not fit in at all.  Home was really hard, Dad was a cowboy and did not or could not understand this strange son of his that hated sports and boots, and loved playing with dolls and writing poetry. 

    School was the hardest.  I hated it with all my heart.  I had a low self esteem and I have to admit I was a feminine boy to say the least.  I hated school.  I did not fit in anywhere.  We were also poor growing up and children can be very hard on others.  When the teachers would take off my tennis shoes and wrap my feet in a blanket to keep them warm they really were doing me no favors.  Children pick up on the underdog and tend to make life terrible for him.  I was the underdog in every way.  As I grew older it got worse.  I was terrified of people and could not even look them in the face.
By the time I arrived at high school I was a mess.  My memories of high school are of being beat up by girls at the bus stop and bullies at school, teased, humiliated, and rejected in every way.  I remember one girl who got off my stop just to beat me up.  She did it quit often.  I remember trying to hide out from the hippy group so they would not beat me up.  It was a horrible experience to run from door to door trying to avoid them.  Each and every day was filled with dread and terror.

     I really tried to fit in, but was not allowed.  If I had an idea it was shot down with scorn only to be accepted a few minutes later by a popular person.  I have memories of being kicked down the hall by a huge football player.  The part that got me was the teachers allowing it to happen because the football player was popular.  I remember being spit on, pushed around, laughed at, harassed, teased, and called horrible names.

    I think the hardest part of the whole experience was being called a faggot.   From as long as I can remember I was called a fag (a very used term in the 70's).  Everyone in the school called me faggot.  I remember going into the locker room one day and hearing "Hey coach, have you heard the latest, Brad is a faggot".  I remember looking right at the coach thinking he would defend me, but he laughed with them and did nothing.

    It was all so confusing to me.  I knew I was not a faggot, or as we say now, gay.  Yes I liked doing so called girl things, but I had no sexual attractions to men at all.  I was what I like to call a tender sensitive person who didn't care for sports.   It is not that I didn't like sports, I tried, but I just was not that great at it and I enjoyed doing other things more.

    By the time I was 18 years old I was really confused.  Everyone, including family members told me I was a sissy, girl, fag.  I have to confess, I still had no sexual attractions for men.   At about age twelve I started working in a local coffee shop.  I spent many, many hours there with women mostly.  I think because of that and because I was sensitive in nature I developed some pretty feminine characteristics.  My voice was soft, and my hand gestures were feminine.  I worked in the restaurant business and often I was told the first impression of me is that I was gay.  The confusing part is that I knew I was not gay, but everyone else thought I was.  People can be so judgmental at times.  If we are a little different they assume or make up what they think in going on.

     By this time I was totally confused, but determined in my mind that I was not gay, what I was I had no idea, but I knew that I was not gay.

    I decided at 18 years of age to get active in the Mormon Church.  It was a hard thing to do.  Most of the people were the very ones that had abused me, but none the less I moved forward and a year later found me in the mission field.   I served two wonderfully hard years as a missionary and developed amazing relationships with companions.  It was a life changing experience for me to be loved and accepted as never before.  I grew to be confident and secure in who I was.

     I realized that I was a sweet, sensitive, tender man who loved others easily and in particular felt strong bonds with other men.   I was not sexually attracted to them, but I was emotionally, spiritually, and physically attracted to men.  It was still a struggle because I worked in the food and beverage industry and everyone thought I was gay.  Just last week I showed my family a video of me on a TV show when I was 25 years old and my daughter understood exactly why people thought I was gay.

   Until next time. By the way, the way this blog works is every one of us – me, Kent, Jim, and Jeff – will post.  So every four weeks you will hear from each one of us in turn.  For the first couple posts from each of us we will share our history and after that we will teach topics that are dear to our hearts.  Have a great experience.   Brad



  1. Thank you for sharing this Brad. I have found others who have shared their experience but yours is the first that I feel I can relate to and benefit the most from because it seems completely honest and well described.

  2. First, Brad, thank heavens you have devoted your life to cooking for and feeding the world--we THANK YOU! Secondly, this topic has been near and dear to my heart since high school, I believe, as I've looked on helplessly, watching narrow-mindedness destroy the most tender and loving men among my family members and friends. Out of my 7 brothers, the 4 most artistic and sensitive have faired the worst in life; and my son struggled with trials similar to your own. He wasn't thought to be a "fag," generally, (how well I remember that horrid term), but taunted and crucified by those who should have been supportive, simply because he shares your passion for life, love and beauty. Helen Reddy's "You and Me Against the World," defined the world for me and my was heart-breaking. Fortunately, a large part of his Jr. High and High School years in Maryland provided him with a rich assortment and collection of friends, who walked to a beat of their own. They frequented our home to play Risk, eat pizza and chips, and drink all the soda they wanted.

    What you and your associates are doing, in confronting this subject from a gospel perspective, in a personal way, is long over due. God bless you, Brad. The richness in living you've found will spread further than I think you can imagine, as others find a haven and purpose in their own.