Thursday, February 6, 2014

Brad Part 2

    Scroll down to read  Brad Part 1

     After serving a mission for the LDS church I began working in the Food and Beverage industry again.  I have to say my mission was great and the friendships developed there have increased in depth and love.   On my mission I learned just how wonderful companionship with other men could be.  I had really only experienced one friend before my mission and that happened about a year before I left.  So my experience with building friends was really limited.  On my mission  I experienced just how wonderful companionships with other men could be.  It was great having a companion and growing together spiritually, spending time together, and serving.  Those friendships have grown and I am grateful for that experience in my life.  It would prove to be a life changing experience for me in my view of healthy male relationships.

    The Food and Beverage industry is filled with gay men and I was surrounded by gay men all the time.  And they all thought I was gay.  I really enjoyed my friendships with them and was frequently thought of as being gay.  As I mentioned before I was feminine in my mannerisms and I don't blame them for thinking I was gay.  Although I was constanlty confronted with that issue I felt no sexual attraction to them.  I wondered about this often and I easily developed great friendships with many, but I still lived in confusion.  Everyone on the outside said I was gay, but inside I was confused.  Especially when I would meet certian men and feel a strong attraction to them,  sometimes overwhelmingly so.

     My gay friends totally respected my standards and so we enjoyed great times together.  As I look back I can totally see why everyone assumed I was gay.  My dearest friend Michael and I were very close.  We would go shopping together and buy matching clothes, wearing them when we went out.  We were very close and had a deep love for each other.  He defended me often as others would tell crud jokes or stories.  He would make them stop until I left the room.  He was a wonderful friend in so many ways.   Once he knew I had no intentions of a phyical relationship with him, he defended my honor many many times and never pushed the issue.  I explained to him how I desired loving friendships with men and nothing more. The confusion  I felt was how comfortable I was with men that dealt with Same Sex Attraction.  It seemed I was drawn to these tender sweet men.  The thing I enjoyed about my friendships with them was how comfortable they were with showing affection.   I had come to understand that I needed that strong bond with other men in my life.  And in the process I learned that it did not need to be sexual.

      About this time I meet my wife.   I have to say she was a little taken back when she would see me in matching cloths with Michael.  But she loved him and enjoyed his company and she totally accepted me as a flamboyant sensitive man.

     It amazes me how when we have struggles and stay focused on what we know is right and seek the guidence of the Spirit of the Lord how we can be taught.  This is what happened to me over the next few years.  I married my wife and she has been a great blessing to me.  She totally excepts my unique ways and is an amazing woman in every way.

    We started a family and I cannot express the joy at being a father.  Seeing those babies for the first time was one of the most amazing experience in my life.  Holding them and understanding that in partnership with God we created these little spirits.  And with that came the resolution that I would love them and teach them.

     Still working in the food and beverage industry would find me faced with the challenges of being a different man acccording to the standards of the world.  It brought confusion to me and I struggled with why I was attracted to men so strongly.   I remember meeting a man at a bridle convention.  It was love at first sight.  I knew we were going to be best friends.  Please understand that there was no sexual feelings, just a strong feeling of closeness to him.  I felt as though I had know him forever.  the moment I meet him it felt like our friendship picked up from already  knowing him and it continued to grow.  I had no clue and did not even care if he was gay or not,  I just knew I loved him.   We were close friends for a long time.  A funny thing did happen one day.  We were in the elevator going down 24 floors.  As I said we had grown close as friends.  What happened next totally suprised me, my friend leaned in to kiss me.  He saw the look of shock on my face and hugged me instead.   I was totally surprised and hugged him back and went up to my office and sat on the floor dumbfounded at what had just happened.  The next day we went to lunch and I explained to him how much I loved him, but I was not gay.   He was wonderful and understood.   What a great man.

     During this time of life my one of my dear friend died of aids.  It was a really hard experience for me.   I loved him and pondered our lives side-by-side.    Our parents could have been twins.  We were raised the same, abused emotional, made fun of, and often ridiculed for our feminine behavior.   I learned the difference between him and me was the choices we made.  At the same age, around 18 years old,  we made different choices.   I choose to follow the teachings of Christ.  He chose to follow the natural man.  I learned that such choices are often predicated on life experience.  I don't judge him for his choices, but I was taught that because of my choices I had a family and " spiritual increase".   He was gone, his life ended early  likely because of the choices he made.

     During this hard time I moved into a new area.  I had prayed for a friend.  A male friend, a buddy, someone to hang out with.  I have always had a need for male companionship.  I will never forget the day I meet this new friend.  I saw him and the moment I set eyes on him I sat down and wept for joy.  I knew him and I knew we were going to be  best friends forever.   I saw him several times and could not contain my joy.  One day his wife was walking in the neighborhood and stopped by.  I broke down and cried in front of her as I told her how much I loved her husband.

       The spirit told me we were friend before we came here.   After a few days I could not stand it any longer.  I went over and I had to grasp my hands behind my back the urge to hug him was so strong.  I  left knowing that we were going to be friends.  That was 23 years ago and we are still best friends and will be forever.  Our friendship picked up where I believe it left off before we came here.  We instantly knew each other and instantly our friendship formed with out any work or effort.  We understood each other and loved each other from that very first meeting.

In my next blog post, part 3,  I will continue my story and explain more about "Increase".   Thank you for reading and please feel free to comment below.  


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  2. You have an amazing spirit and dedication to God and yourself. I have also experienced confusion from feelings towards other men and with the way the world handles this situation. I desire authentic and loving friendships with both men and women because I feel a need to surround myself with good and supportive influences.