Friday, March 02, 2007

Benediction, Part I: Integration and Reconciliation

HURRICANE is winding down. This blog was an invaluable part of my coming out process. But its moment is passing as I find myself on ever more solid ground as a out gay man. It occupies a space in the blogosphere that corresponds with a space where I no longer live: gay, married and Mormon.

But before I go, I am going to write a series of posts on themes that are important to me at this stage of life: integrating and reconciling the past, covering, and belonging.

I have written on this blog about integration in the way that many gay people talk about it after coming out. Bringing my identity and my sexuality into alignment lifted a dark fog from my mind. Integration is an essential part of the coming out process. But that's not the integration I have in mind now. Over the past few weeks I have intensified a different type of integration process. This one involves reconciling my current self to my past self. Part of that has been forgiving, myself and others, and essential to forgiving is recognizing and celebrating the good things about my old life. With my immediate family, that is easy. My love for my children knows no bounds. My friendship with KK remains strong and an important part of my life, and I value the good things that came as a result of our marriage. Other relationships, such as those with parents and old friends, are also worth holding on to and strenthening, and I am striving to do that. I have struggled more with forgiving other presences from my past. In particular, I have felt anger and bitterness toward the LDS Church. But lately I've found myself forgiving there as well, and remembering the good things that came from my Mormon experience.

HURRICANE is not my first blog. I had another one that I called Outer Boroughs in a nod to my place of residence at the time I was writing on it: Brooklyn. I used it to write about politics and culture and religion and the Mormon experience. After my faith fell apart, I took the blog down. But a few months ago I went back and read some of the posts. I still like many of them. They don't reflect my current reality or my current faith for the most part, but I think they reflect the kind of Mormon I was and they honor the good that Mormonism brought into my life.

So in this, the first part of my HURRICANE benediction, I share a handful of my blog posts from Outer Boroughs that I think capture who I was then, and who I hope in many respects I still am now:


Civil Breakdown
Convert Soul
Is God a Muskie?