Me

Welcome to my blog. My name is Chris. I live in many different realities and am trying to figure out how they all can peacefully co-exist: I am a scientist, a husband and father, and am gay. I was born in northern California, spent most of my elementary school years in Illinois, and returned to California during the fourth grade. I joined the LDS Church in my late teens and within a year served a two year mission in Japan. I was a very active member for a decade and a half and my Church membership has deeply impacted some aspects of my life. However, today I am no longer closely affiliated with Mormonism because of my differing views on science, scriptural literalism, and human sexuality.

I attended UC Santa Cruz for college and had a wonderful experience studying marine biology. I moved to San Diego for graduate school, was married after two years in my program, and got my PhD in oceanography in 2005.

I came out to family and friends beginning in late 2010 after moving to a small town in the Pacific Northwest for work. In some ways, 2010 was a second coming out for me, because I had told my best friend and my wife a little about my same-sex attractions a short time before I was married. Despite those few conversations at the time, I went back into the closet for years. I knew practically nothing about homosexuality and had experienced more than my fair share of religious gravity keeping me from understanding and embracing my sexuality. Also, as a married person, I felt that I had made a decision about the course my life was going to take and that was that.

By late 2010, however, I was ready in a number of ways to begin to more fully understand and accept myself. One of the biggest factors was growing distant from the Church (initially over reasons other than homosexuality). I have a voracious appetite for information and once I was ready, I spent weeks devouring blogs and videos on-line, trying to absorb all of this new information about different aspects of the gay experience. I started to come out to family and friends, and began to make some of my first gay Mormon friends. Most people close to me now know that I am gay and thankfully I can say that almost without exception, people have been accepting and supportive of me during this difficult period of life.

Transitioning from the closet to open acceptance is difficult for just about every gay person in one way or another. For me, the challenges center around incorporating acceptance of my sexuality into my overall identity and being in a mixed orientation marriage. In her own way, my wife is facing these same challenges. Despite these difficulties, coming out and asserting my spiritual and psychological independence has been liberating and I would not trade the openness and honesty for the closet. As life unfolds for me, I do not know where I will end up. That uncertainty can bring anxiety, but it is also an unavoidable part of the human experience. I hope to meet each new day with optimism and hard work and to appreciate the things that I really love about life: discovery, learning, and forming enriching connections with the people and places dear to me.

This blog is an opportunity to share my experiences and my opinions.  Posts range from personal to political. Through thinking and writing, I will hopefully come to better understand my own history and process of self-acceptance. Perhaps my perspectives and experiencess will benefit others too, from gay and bisexual people who are just coming out of the closet, to straight friends and allies who want to better understand the what it is like to be gay and in Mormon society. I believe strongly in the supremacy of empirical evidence, so I have links on the facts page to informative sites that help clarify questions about homosexuality. Feel free to leave comments and share your own experiences and viewpoints. I enjoy making new friends, so you are also welcome to e-mail me privately at skye0317 at gmail.com. Please visit my other blog too, where you can see my naturey-nerdy side: awildernessjournal.blogspot.com.


 

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