A note on terminologyThe terms "same-sex attraction" (SSA) and "same-gender attraction" (SGA) are used interchangeably throughout this blog and are the terms I most prefer regarding my own attraction patterns. Regarding my religious convictions and affiliation, I prefer the term "latter-day saint" (LDS). You are therefore probably wondering why I use the phrase "gay Mormon" to describe myself in the very title of this blog. This is a convention I borrowed from another blogger I admired long before I began my own blog. The blog is called "(Gay) Mormon Guy" and he mentioned on his own blog that he used those terms, despite a preference for LDS and SSA, because it allowed him to reach a greater audience. In his own words:
"Both gay and Mormon are common search terms that describe the nature of my blog. I'd definitely rather use different terms, but people don't search for 'Latter-day Saints dealing with Same-Gender Attraction.' ...People every day... find (Gay) Mormon Guy through search engines"
That being said, while I prefer and will most often use the acronym SSA in my blog, one needn't assume I'm offended by or scared of the word "gay." The problem (and yet also one of the advantages at times) of the term "gay" is its fundamental ambiguity. It can mean lots of different things to different people, and it would not be unheard of for someone like myself--who is attracted to my own gender but chooses not to engage sexually or romantically on those attractions--to describe one's self as "gay." However, this can open a large discussion on the concept of "labeling" and identity that can distract from more worthwhile things to discuss. On the disadvantage side of the term's ambiguity, it opens up the possibility that others will make assumptions about me based on how THEY use the term rather than the way I do. So, I generally avoid it. But I'm not offended by it. That would give far too much power to something as inconsequential as a word, for words are merely abstract constructs which carry only the power we allow them to.
Above all I generally stray from the term "homosexual" because it is often used to literally describe those who engage in sexual acts with their own gender. I know there will be disagreements with my description of these terms, but that really doesn't matter. What matters is that for the purpose of understanding MY blog as it is meant to be understood, you must understand MY usage of the terminology. I acknowledge full well that others may use all of these terminologies in other ways on other blogs and websites.
Places to start readingReally, you can start anywhere on this blog. Most posts are independent of each other, and if a post suggests you read another post first, it will let you know at the beginning. The tags list on the bar at the right may be a nice place to look to search the blog by what interests you. I hardly expect any of you to want to endeavor to read the entire blog, so if you really just want the "cream of the crop," I'll give it to you in two ways:
My favoritesThe following posts are my personal favorites that I've written. I return to these ones most often for personal strength. I do not present these in any particular order. All are basically equally important in my eyes and they are listed here in chronological order. (Well, actually I think "Grace and Gasoline" edges all the other ones out just ever so slightly):
Most PopularWhile the former list outlines the posts which I personally find most valuable, this list reflects what other people have seemed to find the most interest in, at least based on view count. In my ideal little world these two lists would be the same, but alas that is not to be (although two posts manage to make both lists). However, it should be noted that these are all fine posts, as are all of them on the blog. While picking my 5 favorites was very clear, I still wished I could add all of them, as each of the posts on this blog does denote some sort of milestone in my progress and very real thoughts and feelings. In those regards, there are really no "bad posts" on this blog. To be frankly honest, I think the following ones have been most popular mostly because some of them have stirred a bit of controversy because of their subject material. Anyway, here are the 5 most popular posts on my blog by view count (most views on top and so on):
- Choose the Right (2 Nephi 2:27)
- It Does in Fact Get Better, and with God it Gets Best (Ether 12:4)
- A Manifesto on Male Modesty (1 Peter 2:9)
- Grace and Godly Sorrow (Moroni 10:32-33)
- He First Loved Us (1 John 4:19)
I do love and welcome feedback, advice, questions, encouragement, animadversions, etc. :)