We have been writing this blog for almost 6 months now. We have enjoyed having pseudonyms and being somewhat anonymous. The time has come for us to be the real us now. This wasn't an easy decisions but it is the right one.

The thoughts and feelings we express on this blog are as raw and open as we can make them and so it is with much trepidation that we post these.  We are real people.  We have a family whose lives will likely be affected by our decisions to be open about this.  But one thing we have learned is that it is much better to move forward with courage and love than to hide behind a pretense of perfection.  We are expecting some to be critical; we are all entitled to our own opinions and beliefs.  But our hope is that most that read this will do so with an open mind and a sincere desire to understand.  We know of so many who carry so tremendous amounts of shame and pain silently in their hearts because of a fear of not being accepted for who they are.  These feelings are not unique to those dealing with SSA and we have gained a great deal of compassion for all those suffer in silence for any reason.  But our story is that of a family living with one who is same-gender attracted and we share it to allow you the opportunity to walk a mile in our shoes.

Here is the message we sent out to many of our friends and family:

Last June, June of 2012 that is, our life distinctly altered course. It wasn't anything traumatic like a cancer diagnosis, nor was it thrilling like finding out you are expecting again when it is not statistically possible. But it has been one of the most interesting journeys of our lives, and we have spent the time since then figuring it out.

In a few days (coincidentally just short of one year later) we will be open about it.
What we are going to share with you is nothing new to me and Wrylon has known since we were engaged, even though it really didn't mean anything to her nor did she have any frame of reference. I wasn't going to start the most important relationship of our lives by keeping a secret. As scary for me as it was, it just felt right to tell her. It was something I needed to do. Likewise, we have talked about it and as nervous as it is for us to share our secret with you now, it is the right time.

And our secret is that I, Lucas, am same-gender attracted. I have known since I was a young child but there is nothing in my life that would indicate why. What I do remember understanding is that I was curious about boys when the other boys were curious about girls, and that I probably didn't want to bring attention to the fact. As the realization of my attractions grew so did my understanding that it was not socially acceptable. Comments about “those queers” or statements like “why would they choose to be like that?” stuck in my mind. Also, I was taught clearly that homosexual behavior was a serious sin and that people choosing that were not OK in God’s sight. To my young mind it was obvious that there was something wrong with me and that I was in some way sinning. In spite of my best efforts, my attractions grew, as do those of all teenagers. It was a constant struggle between attractions that felt natural but which I was convinced were a sin. But I was determined that I was not going be be gay, and I did everything in my power to make sure no one knew that I really was.

Wrylon: So Lucas had spent almost 3 decades scared that someone would figure out his deepest secret. He avoided looking people in the eye because they might see through him. He had spent his whole life to this point trying to make sure no one perceived him as gay. He was getting really tired of doing this. It was wearing him out emotionally and he didn't know how much longer he could do it. Then in June of last year, Josh Weed of joshweed.com, a popular LDS blogger with a large following, came out, with his wife’s support, on his blog on his 10th wedding anniversary about him being married, Mormon, and gay. That post turned our world upside down! Neither Luke nor I had ever heard of Josh Weed but a friend posted a link on Facebook and the title of the post intrigued me. I finally got it--I finally understood. I called up Lucas at work and told him he had to go read this blog post and that he was Mormon, and married, and gay and it was ok! Here was someone else just like Lucas who was making a marriage work and was ok with being married to a woman and gay.

Lucas: I was really surprised when Wrylon called me and brought this to my attention. This was the first time in over ten years that we had talked about my attractions, and rarely before that. I was sure that if Wrylon ever really understood what went on inside my head, what it was like to be attracted to men instead of women, that she would want to leave me. How could anyone want to be married to someone like me? Even though she was aware of it, I had tried to pretend that it didn't exist. So when she came to me, excited and openly talking about it, I was astounded. I was as one long imprisoned finally seeing the light again.
A thought went through my mind at this point: maybe I’m OK? No sooner did I think this than I felt an overwhelming feeling of God’s love for me, that I was acceptable in his sight, and that, as difficult as it was, this was as my life was meant to be. I understood, and have seen manifest many times over, that this is the challenge I need to learn the things I need to learn in this life.

Wrylon: Lucas always, like Josh, wanted to live a “normal” life. He wanted to go on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he wanted to get married and he wanted to have a family. So that is what he did. When he met me, it was different. He was attracted to me. He has found that that attraction is still different than the attraction he has to guys, but it was enough and our marriage does work quite well.
Looking back he still didn’t quite act like a “normal” guy acted that liked me when it came to holding my hand and kissing me the first time but I didn’t think too much about it at the time except, a for little frustration. Our marriage has worked just fine intimacy and otherwise and I really didn’t notice anything that different to have sent up any red flags.

Now, let me back up just a little more. Lucas has always really enjoyed being around girls. He dated a lot, because he liked and was comfortable being around girls. (Lucas: I can appreciate a beautiful woman.) He understood them but guys were complicated. So any of you that dated Lucas and are frustrated that he never held your hand or kissed you, even when he took you to incredibly romantic spots, know that it really was because of him, not you.

So back to last summer. With Luke being able to accept that he was gay, that also allowed him to move on emotionally. See, once Luke reached the age where people start noticing attractions in a more mature way, in other words early teenage years, his fears were confirmed that he was attracted to guys not girls. He would rather be dead than be gay so he started squashing all those emotions and trying to start looking for ways to “fix” himself. He lived this way for the next 20+ years. That also halted some part of his emotional development. So, last summer and fall, once he started accepting himself, he had to go through all those emotions to catch up developmentally. He did it with a very childlike sweetness and cuteness. So it really wasn't stressful or worrisome at all. It was amusing and interesting, I was at ease with it, and so for the most part so was he. He was still fighting almost 3 decades of shame and feeling like it was wrong, but for the most part he was able to go through those emotions anyway without much trauma.

Lucas: I think the single thing that has helped me the most has been the patience and understanding of Wrylon. We have talked about everything. She has been my safe place, my haven from the storm. We joke about it, and laugh about it.

Wrylon: In September at a working-through-your-issues/improving-yourself type conference, coincidence a.k.a. Divine Intervention, he met another man that was SSA. Together and by himself, and with a little help for me, Lucas starting working through a lot of his feelings of shame, embarrassment, frustrations and many other feelings of him being SSA.

Through this time he allowed himself to feel and experience normal human attractions just in his own way. He noticed for the first time people (guys and later even girls) checking him out. He stopped feeling shame for finding men attractive. He even had to work through his first crush. Through it all he continued to face it with childlike sweetness and so I've never been worried. It was a progression, he never stayed in one stage very long, sometimes every day was some new feeling or emotion or experience. Just like children developmentally if they skipped the crawling stage, they have to go back and crawl because the brain needs that step, Lucas had to do the same thing emotionally. He had to go through, emotionally, all the steps that normal teenagers go through, as he squashed and subconsciously didn't allow himself to feel. (Note: I was in college with him, girls did check him out, maybe guys too but I wouldn't have noticed that.)

Lucas: It’s really been quite amazing. Never since my mission have I felt more guided by God. Maybe even more than then. I feel as if I am being directed and lead from one thing to the next. People are continually put in my path or in Wrylon’s to tell us things we need to hear, to answer our questions, to comfort, and support. It has been amazing.

Wrylon: December of this year was another life changer; we both felt strongly that we should attend a Christmas Fireside put on by an organization called North Star. It is an organization that supports people who want to remain faithful to their beliefs as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and who also are SSA. We met many wonderful men there of all ages. We came home and looked many up on Facebook to help us remember names with faces. Luke really started his blog that week too; I soon started posting as well. We also joined a social networking group for other SSA people and their spouses (if married). Many of those that we met that night were part of that group.

From December until now Lucas had continued to progress emotionally. We very much felt like the fast forward button had been pushed. We were in one place and God needed us to get to a very different place and he needed us to do so--quickly!--and we did. It was hard and at times scary because of the unknown but I think we have made it through. Luke has pretty much caught up emotionally to his current age (or close enough) and he has learned what his needs are as a gay man living a non-typical gay lifestyle. We still have things to work out--life always has you doing that in one way or another--but I think we are at a really good place with all this. We had a strong marriage and friendship before all this but now both of those are even stronger.

Luke is a much different person now than he was a year ago. I was on his facebook page today for just a minute. I was astonished to find that my introverted husband now has more “friends” that I do, by a bit. This will come to a shock and maybe as an impossibility to many of you but I think he is now even more social than I am! He is no longer introverted AT ALL! It has been wonderful to watch him come out of his shell.
Through some turn of events we realized that not many are sharing their stories. Josh Weed’s story had gone viral, the church had their mormonandgays.org website up, and Ty and Danielle Mansfield had been in LDS living, but their stories were still a novelty. That’s nice that it is working for them but they are just a few couples. For something to be seen as an option there has to be more than a few willing to have their stories told. There are so many young SSA men desperately wanting a family and a wife and it is very discouraging to them. Most of the stories are full of sadness and heartache. Those are the ones that are being shared and things need to change. On Lucas’s blog, with pseudonyms, we starting telling our journey.

Quickly I became comfortable as “Azalea Adamson” and could happily be Azalea Adamson telling my story and supporting my husband. I had a Facebook page and likes and was real enough, in my opinion. Through some other events, the Lord softened my heart and allowed me to realize how important it was to share our story, the story of Wrylon and Lucas. The real us. Scary as it was, we started telling, just a little bit. The first few that we told were so loving and accepting.

There have been and continue to be people that needed to hear our story from us. So in June we are “coming out”. I realized that we should tell our close friends before that. Shaking and scared absolute to death, we started coming out.

Lucas: It’s been amazing. While coming out is always scary, emotionally exhausting, and a grab-bag of emotions, it’s been surprising, humorous, and even anticlimactic at times. We’ve had jaw drops, exclamations of surprise, and questions like “So are those your kids?” All in all everyone has been wonderfully accepting and supportive. It’s allowed me to be much more comfortable in my friendships, many of which have deepened with the sharing. In fact, the exact opposite of what I had believed would happen has come true. It was exactly what I needed to find healing.

Wrylon: We have been amazed at the outpouring of love and acceptance. Many didn’t even think anything about it. So, now you know the deepest skeleton in our closet. Feel free to ask any questions. We have been an open book for several months now on many, many different aspects of all this.

If you would like to read our blog it is: http://findingstrengthofwill.blogspot.com

Thank you for your love and friendship!
Love,
Lucas & Wrylon 
Posted by Azalea Adamson On 6/01/2013 08:49:00 PM 4 comments

4 comments:

  1. Wonderful post, Lucas & Wrylon (aka Will & Azalea);) - you are extremely brave and clearly guided by God to share your truth. Mr. I Define Me and I have enjoyed reading/following your blog since the beginning, and we are excited for this new step you are taking to increase awareness and help others.

    We completely agree with your comments that more of 'us' (mixed orientation married couples) need to share our stories. We have been at a bit of a standstill with our blog recently as we have been so busy with weddings-missionary leaving-missionaries returning-family reunions, and work, etc.... but we have been talking recently about getting back into it as we also know and feel guided by God to continue to share.

    We have ALL come such a long way in the past few years. Awareness, acceptance, patience and understanding are growing - it truly feels good. We are definitely being blessed.

    Keep up the wonderful writing and please know that we love and support you 100%. God Bless You both and we hope to meet you some day.

    Mr. & Mrs. I Define Me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I liked seeing your faces (from your wedding, too) on your home page, putting faces to your names. What a lovely couple! This "Being Real" post describing your journey, with your real names, was moving. However, I'm not so sure about some of the things you wrote (like the thing about crawling, and crushes). But I think you explained it well. In revealing your real identities, and putting faces to your names, I feel concern for you. I imagine people who know you personally will feel even more concern. Still, it took guts to reveal your true names. I join all those who must be praying for your success. I will continue to follow your blog as I have done, praying you'll keep "Finding Strength of Will."

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, Amazing post and blog! I'm a gay Mormon, but have decided to not live a gay lifestyle. I'm only 18 and haven't really had anyone to talk to in-depth about my attractions, because either I don't feel comfortable enough with the person, or the person I feel like I can trust turns me down. I really found what you wrote inspiring though, about how a baby has to learn to crawl first. I have to work through my attractions before I can begin understanding them. You guys are a real inspiration and examply to me and I'm sure many others! Thank you for your faith and courage! I appreciate it so much! Stay strong and fight the good fight!

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