Wednesday, June 13, 2012

He Reminded Me the Only Way to Keep Aliens from Reading Your Mind

This is a message I received a while back, I thought you guys would be interested in reading the message and my response.


I appreciate your comments and would like to offer a suggestion. If, as you say, you would like to "down the straight pill" that would remove same-sex attraction, consider visiting Jan Graf of Graf Stress Management (St. George, UT) or me, Elizabeth Richardson (Rockville, MD). I have written about the technique we use on my website ( although I don't specifically address its use with homosexuality there. However, I'd be happy to discuss it with you if you get in touch with me.

People divide into two camps on homosexuality: it's either a condition of birth or a choice. From what I see, neither is correct. My perspective is that when we're under extreme stress (and with homosexuality, that stress was often molestation), we become vulnerable to being bothered by negative entities (what the scriptures refer to as devils and evil spirits, the latter being disembodied spirits of those who once lived on earth as we do now but linger here rather than continuing to progress for a variety of reasons) who can actually get in us as "squatters" or "poachers," if you will.

As stated in The Family: A Proclamation to the World, spirits have gender. When they gain access to us, they then can express feelings and opinions which sound to us as though they're our own -- even complete with corresponding physical symptoms -- but which really are not ours. Get a female spirit into a male body and you have someone who feels like 'a woman trapped in a man's body,' a common statement made by gays. The female spirit occupying space in the man's body is still naturally attracted to males and expresses this preference, but to the world (including the man whose body she's occupying) it appears to be a man attracted to another man. I know it sounds weird in our scientific age, where we prefer to believe in chemical imbalances and gender identity issues and so forth, but I have seen this borne out again and again.

Graf Stress Management works quickly and efficiently with this problem, but ONLY when the client wants to address it. As with anything else in life, individual agency is the bedrock principle.

Frankly, I'd welcome a chance to talk this over with you or anyone else. My biggest frustrations is that this simple, gospel-based solution is not widely known. Instead, there is the constant back-and-forth hostility between two completely false (and insoluble) options, that homosexuality is a choice vs. that it's an accident of birth.

Elizabeth Cardon Richardson

Thank you for reaching out to me through that blog. I apologize for taking so long I get back to you. Your post was not published but Kathryn shared it with me. I admit when I first read your post I was ready to fight. As I have let my reactionary emotions subside I was able to hear the love you undoubtedly are expressing.
While I know you are offering help I respectfully decline. I would like to offer my perspective however, and discuss some of the points you make that are at least inaccurate for my experience but likely for many.
The first being my desire for the straight pill. The desire is weakening and only exists because of desperation for my father's approval. Being straight would allow me to marry the way he expects me to marry. Also life as a straight man is generally easier than life as a gay man.
The second point being the notion that a gay man is a woman trapped in a man's body. This is often offensive to gay men. A woman trapped in a man's body is better defined as transgender. While I trust that gay men have described this to explain their gay  experience, I'd argue that it often is misunderstood. The gay men I associate with do not feel like a woman but some use this expression to describe their effeminate qualities. In fact a lot of gay men are insecure about others seeing them as women, because we are clearly men (transgender woman my biologically be a man but consider themselves women trapped in a man's body). I hope the Distinction makes  sense.

This leads me to your explanation that reminds me of Scientology, that people under stress are possessed by squatters. While I admit I am skeptical of this hypothesis, I recognize I don't know everything and this maybe the case. My experience would support the theory that my sexuality is innate and natural. As I have become more accepting of my sexuality I have gained more peace. Stress in my life have been decreasing, I am less worried about being perfect and more worried about improving myself. I believe that the new authenticity I am expressing is the cause for decreased stress.

I would never actively stop any persons who would like to use the Garf method. If a person is benefited from thus program than I support them. Like you stated the participant must believe it'll work. I go not believe my sexuality will change or should change. I feel my work is to now rid my mind of the toxic shame that has been my motivation in life.

I want to express my gratitude to you again for reaching out to me. It was very kind to do so. I hope you have not taken offense to my objections but see them as me reaching out to you to create better understanding of gay men.

Thank You

Sunday, June 10, 2012

We are Stronger Than Before the Strain Had Broken Us and There is Fight in Us I Know

I just got home from church and don't have much time before the Echol's arrive for dinner. However I feel the need to share my experience today at church.  I wish I could be boosting of an experience that Zach shared moments ago on the USGA page.  I am struggling to keep understanding and empathy in mind when I think of my church experience today.

During sacrament meeting a talk was given, and well spoken I might add.  However, erred on the judgmental and imposed definitions side.  This brother spoke about being a liberal vs conservative latter day saint.  He was not speaking of political liberalism or conservatism, but more in the interpretation of the practice of mormonism.  He spoke of liberal mormons intelectualize their reasons for following the church's teaching, where conservative follower only need faith to obey.  His talk mirrored the rhetoric that you can not be a "cafeteria Mormon," a true follower of the religion accepts all or nothing.  I actively changed my thoughts to judging this man to trying to see the good in his message and understand the principles that resonate with me.

After his talk I went out to use the restroom and a sister stopped to talk to me.  She had recognized me from the video.  It was so sweet of her to not only talk with me.  She left the room because of the talk.  She was offended by the his comments about proposition 8.  After I went back in to listen to the other speakers, their message focused more on love and becoming Christlike.  They resonated with me and gave reason to continue to attend the remainder of the meetings.

In sunday school, proposition 8 was brought up again.  The message of not supporting the amendment was going against the Prophet and a sign of apostasy.  The rhetoric changed to being unified in all aspects of the church with the Prophet was equivalent to being unified with God.  I again fought the urge to judge, stand up and leave.  Luckily the same girl and others started to direct the conversation away to a message that was less offensive about agency and love.

Elder's quorum just isn't Elder's quorum with out a discussion of home teaching in the opening exercises.  This week was the week that they passed out the new assignments.  The Elder's quorum president who not only has a profession similar to that of Jason Bourne and hot, has the task of helping me not hate the popo.  Back to home teaching. The Elder's quorum president told us that accepting this slip of paper was a commitment to fulfill the home teaching assignment and if we did not want to accept the commitment we were to give it back at the end of church.  I had decided a while ago that home teaching was not a way that I would participate with in the church, even though I did my final semester in the Lanai ward (only because I respect and fully supported my companion and roommate). I had to disappoint this good looking man by declining the offer.

My heart was already hurting when I attended and am considerably more sensitive to these experiences due to a conversation with my niece.  She told me even though she loved and supported me, she didn't like my decision to date men.  While I respect her decision to conform the conclusions she wishes, it still hurts to not have the validation.  The statement may or may not be a reflection of her parents feelings and conclusions.  I was in no way surprised and tried my best to prepare.  The preparation probably helped but didn't prevent the hurt (if you are reading this my beloved niece, please do not worry about hurting me, I know you love me regardless, I prefer honesty to silence). I then proceeded to break an important rule, I drank while sad.  Now I have to live with the previously prescribed self inflicted consequences.

These experiences this weekend are in contrast of last weekend and a reminder of why a productive conversations is necessary.  I don't think that these people who have had a negative impact on me are evil, bad or intentionally did so.  I do believe there is room for more understanding of each other.  I hope that I can continue to push through my own insecurities and pain to be apart of the change.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Shake it, Shake it Baby, Shake Your Ass Out on the Street

Pride weekend was fun, emotional, and arousing. (winking emoticon)

USGA received a courage award for the 'It Gets Better' video. As they introduced us they showed the last little bit of the video.  The emotions started.  We were invited on stage and Nathan was given the award. Again I got emotional. The support and love from the crowd was unexpected.  I looked out into the crowd and it hit me how far I've come.  A year ago I was at home binging on food and television.  That weekend my roommates were out of town.  I had just come out, or started coming out.  On that stage not only was I very much out, I was happy about it.

Sunday I joined the Mormon Building Bridges in marching in the parade.  Even though I was exhausted from all the partying the two previous days, I was full of energy.  A couple of my straight friends marched with with me, I was greeted by my USGA crew, and the turn out was incredible.  All of those people was energizing.  What really pumped me up was the crowd.  They were so loving and thankful.  I realize the crowd's love and gratitude were directed to the straight marchers. It meant a lot to me to see the crowd so welcome of these Mormon allies.  Many have been hurt deeply by the church and/or its members, including myself.  I can not imagine a happy life with out the two identities being at odds with each other.  The two communities have hurt and fought each other for years.  I am seeing the healing begin between the two parties.  That healing is helping me heal.

I have to once again thank Kendall.  I'm sure he is annoyed with my praise, I borderline worship him.  While I realize that he is not the only force behind the change that is occurring, it appears to me that he is the leader of it.  As far as I am considered Kendall Wilcox is the Gay Mormon.  Kendall has been key on making USGA what it is today through his guidance and leadership.  Kendall was also a major reason Erika's plan to march in the parade was such a huge success.  He is and continues to inspire people to make this world better, through his Far Between project and encouragement.

Now that I have successfully created a literary shrine for Kendall I can talk about the results.  Mormons and the LGBT community are speaking with each other and abandoning talking at each other.  This change in conversation is healing, brings understanding, and love.  I am so grateful I get to witness this process, I have been apart of it.

I have a strengthened hope for the awkwardness among family members and friends to end.  I new hope that all of my family will love and accept my future husband (assuming I can catch one). Maybe my dream of living next door to my brothers can still exist, even with one less sister in law and an additional brother in law. My children can be accepted the same as the birthers in the family.  The probability of a natural death in my future has increased significantly.