Mormon rule changes aimed at gay church members

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PhotoMormon church issues rules aimed at gay members, their kids

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Mormon church officials have issued a rule change that says members in same-sex marriages can be kicked out and their children must wait until they’re 18 and disavow homosexual relationships to be baptized.

The revisions triggered a wave of anger, confusion and sadness for a growing faction of LGBT-supportive Mormons who were buoyed in recent years by church leaders’ calls for more compassion and understanding for LGBT members.

“It feels like they are extending an olive branch and hitting you with it,” said Wendy Montgomery, who is Mormon and has a 17-year-old gay son. “It’s like this emotional whiplash.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints disseminated the handbook changes this week to local church leaders around the world. The goal was to provide clarity to lay leaders who run congregations, church spokesman Eric Hawkins said. He noted the church has long been on record as opposing same-sex marriages.

“While it respects the law of the land, and acknowledges the right of others to think and act differently, it does not perform or accept same-sex marriage within its membership,” Hawkins said in a statement.

Montgomery said Friday the news left her son sobbing and forced her and her husband to consider leaving a religion they’ve belonged to for generations. The couple has been trying desperately to stay in the church despite a harsh reception to their son coming out.

Montgomery also echoed a response shared by many on social media: She can somewhat understand the hard stance on same-sex marriage, but she can’t comprehend singling out gay couple’s children.

“We just put a scarlet letter on these kids,” Montgomery said. “This isn’t my church. I don’t see God in it. I don’t see divinity it. It just feels evil.”

I was a Mormon once upon a time, but I’m not even a Christian anymore, and with good reason. Christian churches hate gay people. Remember in the last couple of years when the Mormon church announced they are accepting gay people? Well, now they’ve slapped all those gay people in the face with this new rule saying they will be kicking out all gay members, and children of said gay people will not be allowed to be baptised or even attend church until they are 18, and they have to move out of their family home and disavow homosexuality, and that includes disavowing their parents.

Tell me how that is fair to a child? Tell me how that is fair to a family, like the Montgomery family who have been Mormons their entire lives. They used to live in Bakersfield and the church here gave them such a hard time, so much so that their son Jordan stopped going to church altogether. They were so excited to leave Bakersfield and move to a whole new city in a new state to be in a new community with a huge gay/gay friendly Mormon population, only to now be told that Jordan can’t attend church anymore because of this new rule.

Do the Mormons realize what they are doing? They are alienating not only gay people, but also the friends and families of gay people. It’s really no wonder why people are becoming atheists every day. This is exactly why I turned into an atheist.

When I was 17 and came out of the closet to my mother, all she could do was tell me “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” and that I was going to hell, and she called me a faggot. My own mother. My boyfriends mother called me a faggot and she also told me that she wanted to know where we lived so when God caused an earthquake, she’d know where to dig for her son’s corpse. Then when I was no longer homeless, my sister found me and invited me to live with her, and she started telling me how I was going to hell too. I went from being a born again Christian, to Atheist in less than a year. I had been told at least 100 times in 10 months that I was going to hell, and there was nothing I could do to change it. So yeah, I said screw that, I’m done with religion.

Look, I’m not going to tell people what to do with their lives. You can be a Mormon, you can be a Christian, or you can choose what religion you want to practice, but there is one thing you cannot choose, and that is to be gay. No one chooses to be gay. We don’t just wake up one morning and say “I think I might like to suck a dick today.” We may decide today is the day I will come out of the closet to my parents/family/friends, but we’ve always been gay. We came out of the womb gay, and we will die gay. You cannot change that fact. And I don’t care what anyone says, it’s not a choice. Deal with it.

If I ever decided to go to church, which will happen when hell freezes over, you can believe that I won’t give a crap what they think about my sexuality because it’s none of their business. I don’t think they should worry about who is gay and who is straight. They shouldn’t be focusing so much on hating gay people, because Jesus is not about hate. Jesus never said one thing about gay people, so why is the church so focused on hating gay people? Isn’t the church supposed to be all about love? I mean, that’s what I used to think. Now it seems the church is pure evil. If I wanted to go to an evil church, I’d choose the church of Satan. And you know what? I heard that the actual church of Satan actually accepts anyone, and they give food to the homeless and they donate money to charity. The church of Satan actually does a lot more good for society than the church of God. What does that tell you?

Anyway, I’m getting off my cross, er um I mean my soapbox. I’m sick of this subject. I wish all religions would just go away.

Family is not about blood

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They say blood is thicker than water. Well, if that is true, why are so many parents kicking their LGBT children out of the house? Why are so many siblings burning their bridges over something trivial? Blood may be thicker than water, but you don’t have to be blood related to be family.

I was homeless when I was 15 and again when I was 17, and neither time was by choice. No one chooses to be homeless. There are children on the streets because their family gave up on them when they came out of the closet. Children are selling their bodies for sex so they can eat and have a roof over their heads. They are getting hooked on drugs, being raped and in most cases getting murdered because they are LGBT. Why is that, because they were gay? No, because their BLOOD tossed them into the streets to fend for themselves. Some are killing themselves because of the rejection.

Trust me when I say that blood is not thicker than water. Not just anyone can be your family, but that all depends on who YOU consider to be family. I have friends who I consider family more than my sisters and one cousin. I have a friend from when we lived in Van Nuys who I haven’t seen since 1981, but we are Facebook friends and I consider him more of a brother than I ever considered either of my sisters and my cousin. I have friends here in the Bakersfield gay community who I consider family. There is a family who just recently moved to Arizona who I barely got to know, and I consider them family more than my sisters and my cousin.

So just know that if you treat your own blood like crap, you may think that you are not replaceable, but trust me honey, you are. You need them more than they need you, so don’t treat your gay children, siblings or cousins like crap. If you never hear from them again, maybe think next time before you tell them they are going to hell, or in my cousins case, think before you tell them that you are voting for Prop 8 because he doesn’t think your relationship is worth a piece of paper.

It Gets Better!

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To the kids going back to school now and have already been called a gay slang, I can tell you from experience that it will get better.  It’s going to be rough, you will be called names, pushed, shoved and probably beat up during lunch hour or while going to your class.  I know, it happened to me many times.

My first year in junior high was the worst.  I was jumped one day, someone literally jumped on my back and he was at least 50lbs heavier than I was.  I fell on the ground with him on top of me and he began punching the heck out of me.  Because he was straddling me, I couldn’t defend myself.  I was absolutely helpless.  There was a crowd chanting about the fight and not one person helped me.  Eventually my sister did see that I was the one getting beat up and she beat the crap out of that jerk to get him off of me, and little does she know, I praise her all the time for doing that for me.

I missed PE class one day because I had gotten kicked in a very sensitive area so hard that I was on the ground for at least 10 minutes, I even got detention for that and I was the victim.  I had to look over my shoulder and I would pray everyday that I would make it home.

I tried to commit suicide many times that year because I couldn’t take it anymore.  I was called so many names, like faggot, queer, geek and nerd.  I honestly don’t know what I did to deserve that treatment, but I took it for 2 years until we left Reseda and moved to Simi Valley where things did get better.

School is such a small part of your life and once you graduate, you will find that as an adult people are more accepting.  Not that you need anyone’s approval mind you, but it is still nice to have people accept you for who you are, not who you are attracted to.  Life is so much more and your adulthood is waiting for you, so it may seem too difficult to take the abuse and you may be sick and tired of being sick and tired, but trust me, I know from experience.  It WILL get better!

Just hang in there kiddo, the future needs you.  Your family needs you.  Your future husband or wife needs you.  Heck, if you are lucky, your future children and grandchildren need you.  Without you, we wouldn’t have lawyers, judges and politicians to change laws for the better.  Without you, we may never have a gay president.  Yes, I said it!  What if you were our future president?  This country needs you to hang in there because it will get better.

I am pleading with anyone who will listen, whether it is a gay person, a mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandparent or friend.  Protect your family and let them know that you are on their side.  I am so sick of seeing on the news that another child has committed suicide because they were bullied.  Not just LGBT children, straight children as well.  I’m sick of it.  My heart breaks with every death.  So please, just go to that person who is being bullied in school and tell him or her that you are on their side, because that can make all the difference in the world.  They need to hear that someone is on their side and that you will always be there for them.

I am always on Facebook, so if you need someone to talk with, don’t be a stranger.  Send me a direct message, or tweet with me @DiaryofaGayNerd.  I will be a shoulder that you can cry on, but please hang in there.  School will be over in the blink of an eye, it won’t last forever.  You can do it, I believe in you!

New Front Page Design

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The first page of a website is the first thing that people see, and first impressions are everything.  After all, we all judge a book by its cover, and this page is for my book Diary of a Gay Nerd, so I have to make sure the front page is pleasant to look at.

I liked my other image, but it has been on the website for over a year and I thought it was time for a change.  So here is the new image with icons.  I thought about adding some more pages like my other website, but I honestly don’t know what to add that isn’t already on the blog, so I think I will just keep it the way it is for now.

I would like to blog more, but I spend way too much time on Facebook which is where most of my audience is, so I don’t really know what to blog about that isn’t already on Facebook.  I don’t know if it’s writers block, or if I have just said all that needed to be said with the book.

I didn’t make the frame, I got that from an app on my phone called Picsart.  I did however create the images inside the frames as well as created all new icons so they all matched.  I hope it’s nice to look at.

Please buy the paperback at Amazon as well as the ebook for the Kindle, the ebook for the Nook and help support LGBT businesses by buying the ebook at Rainbow eBooks (the .mobi file works for the Kindle and the .epub file works for the Nook as well as iBooks for the iPhone/iPod/iPad and Aldiko for the Android) and they always have sales.  Make sure to add it to Goodreads and please give me a review and rate my book.  I really appreciate that.  Also make sure you visit me on Facebook and say hey on Twitter too.

I donate 30% of all profits to 3 charities (they each get 10%) which are PFLAG Bakersfield, The Bakersfield Gay & Lesbian Center as well as the Bakersfield AIDS Project: Ricky’s Retreat.

I really appreciate all the support I have received since I published my book and I thank you all for reading and listening.

Self doubt

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I had a conversation yesterday about self doubt.  When I was a kid and we were living in Bakersfield, around Christmas time, my sister accidentally knocked down and broke a lamp.  It was completely by accident.  As soon as it happened I looked at her and she had her hands over her mouth with a look of horror on her face, which is a typical reaction when you accidentally break something.  But then she had a different look on her face, a more devious look.  She looked me directly in my eyes and with a smirk on her face she yelled “MOOOOOOOM!  MICHEL BROKE THE LAMP!”  I couldn’t believe she ratted me out like that.

My sister was trying to avoid trouble for herself, but what she didn’t realize is that by throwing me under the bus like that, she was setting me up for failure for the rest of my life.  I would have defended her because I knew it was an accident, but I don’t think she would have cared because she is a sociopath, yes even as a teenager she was a sociopath.  This is the same person who would chase me with knives when I was 8 or 9 years old when she was babysitting me.  She was supposed to protect me, but she did the opposite.

From that day when she threw me under the bus with the lamp, she started breaking things on purpose and blaming me.  My parents believed her because she was older and I guess they believed that a girl would never lie and boys always lie, so I became a liar.  My mother even gave me the nickname “Liar.”  She would ask me about something and as I was trying to explain what happened, she would interrupt me with “LIAR!”

Whenever I would tell someone what I heard someone say, or what someone said to me about someone or something, even if I wasn’t trying to get them in trouble, they would ask that person about it and they would lie and say they never said it.  Because they refused to cop up to what they said, that made me doubt myself.  Next time it would happen they would say “Are you sure that’s what you heard?”  I would start to doubt myself again.  Yes, that is absolutely what they said to me, then they would lie and naturally I was the asshole because now everyone thought I was lying about what people said to me.

I have been doubting myself my whole life because of people doing that to me.  When I wrote Diary of a Gay Nerd, I was so confident in everything that I wrote that I knew that everything I wrote was absolutely what happened and absolutely what people said.  I have no doubt in my mind.  Naturally, my sister had someone do her dirty work and write a negative review calling me a liar on Amazon, saying that not only did I lie about everything I said in my book, but I wasn’t abused, I was the abuser.  I couldn’t help but laugh when I read that.  I didn’t doubt myself because I knew I was telling the truth.

The reason this came up in conversation is because I believe nearly everything people say.  The reason I believe everything people say is because I know what it’s like to be called a liar constantly and for people to never believe what I say.  I like to see the good in people.  I like to think that I can tell when someone is telling me the truth, because why would someone make up being abused, sexually, mentally or physically?  It’s natural for someone to say they didn’t abuse someone because they know it’s wrong, so naturally I wouldn’t believe them because my parents lied about my abuse.

If someone is going, or has gone through what I just described, just know that you are not alone.  I am sure this goes on everywhere.  If you know you are right, then that is all that matters.  You have to stop letting people get in your head and allow you to doubt yourself because that can negatively affect you for the rest of your life.  You will have low self-esteem and you will probably end up with suicidal thoughts like me.  Don’t succumb to that negativity.

I believe in karma.  What goes around comes around.  If you do negative things, it comes back to you x10 and if you do positive things, it comes back to you x10.  As long as you know you are a good person and you are doing the right things, you don’t have to worry.  If you know someone is acting negatively, then you can count on it coming back to them, so don’t get mad, just know that karma will take care of things for you.  Karma is the best revenge that I can think of.

My Christmas Giveaway Ends With A Winner

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I published my memoir “Diary of a Gay Nerd: Life After Child Abuse, It Gets Better!” earlier this year in February and I had my first giveaway for my birthday in June.  I wanted to give my book away as my birthday present to you.  I actually gave 2 books away.  I couldn’t wait for Christmas so that I could give another book away, but sadly I could only give 1 away.  The giveaway has finally ended and a winner will be announced shortly.

I am very humbled tonight as my second giveaway comes to an ending because of how many supporters I had this time around.  There were 321 people who signed up for the June giveaway, but this one had a whopping 545.  I couldn’t believe it!  It has just made my whole year.  I have felt my whole life that people didn’t really care about hearing my story (or my side of the story anyway) and to have this many people wanting to read my book just brings tears to my eyes.

So I am happy to name a winner… 

Sandie W. of Brigham City, UT.

Way to go Sandie!  I will ship that book out to you as soon as I wake up in the morning.  Thank you so much for entering and I cannot wait for you to get your book.

For those who didn’t win, you can buy my book in paperback format and Kindle format on the Amazon website and for the Nook from Barnes & Noble (paperback coming soon to Barnes & Noble) and as always Rainbow eBooks which has 3 formats, .epub for the Nook, iPhone,iPod and iPad and Android phones and tablets, .mobi for the Kindle and all you have to do is email the file to your kindle email address.  PDF file is also available.  You can also save 30% by entering the code “GAYNERD” at the Rainbow eBooks checkout.  That code ends in January so if you want to save money, use that code now before it goes away.

Any format you buy, even with a coupon, just know that your money is going to a good cause.  30% of all profits will be going to 3 different charities so that each of them gets 10%.  The Bakersfield Gay & Lesbian Center who by the way is running on steam, a piece of string and hopes and dreams, PFLAG Bakersfield and The Bakersfield AIDS Project aka Ricky’s Retreat.  All three of these non-profit organizations are in desperate need of funding to keep them going.  This year in October I was so thrilled to make my first donations and was so happy to see the looks on their faces when I handed over the check.  I tell you, it brought me joy to be able to finally make a donation to so many worthy causes.

Follow me on Twitter and I will follow you back, Like my Facebook page and check in on GetGlue, my sticker should be there, if not let me know.  I am also on Google Plus, but not often.

Congrats go out again to Sandie W. of Brigham City, UT.  Thank you so much for making this my most exciting giveaway.  I will have another giveaway again in the near future.

My First Charity Donation

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I have been waiting for the Amazon check to arrive to be able to write out checks to the organizations that I will be donating 30% (10% each) of books sales to, and it finally came. I’m sure most people would wait a whole year, but I’ve been chomping at the bit to give the money because it would make me feel good to help out where I can.

October the 4th 2012 is the monthly PFLAG Bakersfield meeting, and Audrey Chavez who runs Ricky’s Retreat, the Bakersfield AIDS Project is going to be one of the guest speakers, the other is Robert Petersen who is PFLAG Bakersfield’s Vice President, so I will take that opportunity to give them each my first donation.  I will have to mail the check to the Gay and Lesbian Center of Bakersfield.

Book sales haven’t been as great as it was in the beginning when I first published it, so I’m not sure when I will be able to make another donation.  I really feel bad about that, but I have basically no advertising money; it’s all word of mouth.  I’m sure if I will ever be able to make another donation from book sales, it will probably be next year in October as well.  I hope they will be bigger checks than these are.

Donations Are Coming Soon

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I published my book “Diary of a Gay Nerd” in February this year and had intended on donating 10% to 3 different charities.  10% would go to PFLAG Bakersfield, 10% would go to The Gay and Lesbian Center of Bakersfield and then another 10% would go to Bakersfield AIDS Project, Ricky’s Retreat.

My profits haven’t been as high as I had hoped, but whatever I have made is still money and I can start making my first donation hopefully either in late September or early October, but it might be late October, who knows for sure.  I am just waiting on Amazon.

You know it’s funny, I feel kind of excited about giving the money away lol.  I don’t know why, most people would be hesitant especially when they are always broke, but I want them to have some money too, you know?  I can’t describe the feeling, maybe someone out there understands what I mean.

Anyway, it will be soon and I can’t wait!

Bully and the National Day of Silence

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I have been invited by two groups here in Bakersfield to see the movie Bully at the Maya Cinemas theater.  I think Bully is an important movie that everyone needs to see because it shows the reality for the victims of bullying.

I myself was bullied in junior high school.  They called me a faggot and a queer and many other horrible names.  Being a bully does not show me how cool you are, it only shows me what an animal you are.  It wasn’t just the kids in school who bullied me, no it was my step-father who began the bullying when I was less than two-years-old.  I suffered at the hands of an abuser throughout my entire childhood so I know all about being bullied.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8kNYV5EAVw

April 20th isn’t just a day to go see Bully, it is also the National Day of Silence.  You don’t have to be silent the whole day, just remember those who were kept silent when they were killed for being gay.  You can celebrate any way you want to, just as long as you remember the innocent victims of bullying.

Just Words T-Shirt

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My friend Alyce sent me this t-shirt in, I want to say 2002, but I could be wrong, it was around that area.  Anyway, she was at a thrift store and she saw it she said that it screamed BUY ME FOR MIKE! so she did.  She and I were in a conversation via AOL instant message and she told me she bought me a t-shirt, but she wasn’t sure if I would wear it because of where I lived.  Whenever anyone thinks of Bakersfield, they always think redneck, republican and homophobia.  I waited for her gift and when it arrived I was more than thrilled.

I wore that shirt all the time.  Sometimes I would wear it two days in a row just because I loved its message.  I wore it every week no matter if I was going to the mall or the grocery store.  I didn’t care because I’m here, I’m queer, get used to it!  Besides, I really didn’t think anyone would even understand what it meant, I mean besides it having rainbow colors, I knew people would think it was a gay t-shirt, but I didn’t think they would get its meaning or what statement I was making.

It simply says “JUST WORDS” in random colors with lines of words all mixed together into 1 long sentence in rainbow colors.  The words behind JUST WORDS are simple words like milk, tree, bed, nipple, cock, breast, fag…. you know, your typical average every day words.  There are some that were so offensive that I was afraid that those words would stand out only to those who they offended, but nobody really got it so I felt comfortable wearing it out in public.

I was standing in the express lane at the grocery store one day and this woman glanced at my shirt and looked away, then glanced back at it a couple more times then said to me “I like your shirt” and I so wasn’t expecting to hear that.  I was expecting to hear “You got some nerve…. yadda yadda yadda” but it was quite the opposite.  Then another person, and another and another and it made me feel confident every time I wore it.  Of course some people needed an explanation, so I had to point out a few choice words and explain that the whole message that no matter what word you see on this shirt, it’s just a word, fag has no more meaning to me than the word cigarette which in fact is what they refer to it in the UK.  I don’t get offended when someone calls me a cigarette, so why would I get offended when someone calls me a fag?  It’s just a stupid insignificant word that means nothing to me.

I wore that shirt for so many years that it got so faded and now you can’t read anything because it has been washed so many times that the colors are fading and the words are cracking, so you can’t really read it at all.

A few years ago I decided that I wanted another one, but more in my current size since I had gained weight since the last time I wore my shirt.  I put the shirt on my desk and I just started typing those words out.  Of course I had to add some, delete some and change some because it was so difficult to read behind the big words that I just had to improvise.  I  came up with something that looks nearly the same as the very original, and I think I did a great job if I do say so myself.

So here is the image, if you like it then grab it so you can print it on your own shirt and wear it with pride.

Of course, I encourage anyone who wants to duplicate this to just go into gimp or photo shop and just start typing words and making it any way you want, or you can just click the image above and save it to your computer and print it (backwards) on iron-on paper and print it as is.   This is a replica of the above shirt but with a few modifications.

Enjoy, and let me know if you printed it and wore it somewhere.  Take a picture of you wearing it so I can see and share it with me on TwitterFacebook and Google+.  I’d be very curious to see how you look in it and what your friends and family had to say about it, whether they loved it or hated it lol.

UPDATE: LOL I had to make a few corrections…