Gay Man Is Excommunicated Twice For Being Homosexual

Gay Mormon Man Excommunicated Twice For Homosexuality

Hello, my name is Robin Lee Johnson (real name in case you are wondering) and I am an ex-Mormon with over 50 years of experience with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I knew that I had “Same-Sex-Attraction” since I was 4 years old. I am a male that is 51 years old and I still love the Church. I grew up in the church and was part of a semi-active family as a youth, then totally active and devout from age 15.
Two things I would like to mention here is: 1) I have believed in Heavenly Father since I was 4 years old, mostly because my parents believed and also, because I had a vision, in a dream, when I was four that has given me an everlasting testimony of the existence of God and the Eternal nature of the spirit. The dream:
I had this dream one night that I died and my spirit wandered for some time on earth until such time that I saw my funeral. At the funeral I saw my family and relatives and I could not speak to any of them and let them know that I was there. After the funeral was over I did not know where to go, but I was sad to be dead, so I retreated to my grave and I stayed with my body. I tried to sleep but could not. I thought to myself that I must no longer exist and therefore I must go into a non-existent form, so I tried with all my might, but did not prevail. After some time passed I gave up, and it was like this still small voice told me that the spirit can never die and that I would eventually go to heaven where God dwelt with his Christ. It is hard to explain my experience for two reasons, first reason:
I was only four years old and had a limited understanding of God and things; which made it hard to understand death and all that.
Second Reason and the most important one:
This was a highly spiritual experience that left me fully assured that there was an afterlife, we are eternal beings, the spirit can not simply stop existing and that God and Jesus Christ were real beings from an unseen world that loved me with all of an infinite heart.
With my faith intact I now had an early understanding of spiritual things and was prepared for life, or so I thought. Then one day soon afterwards, I had another memorable experience. Some friends of my Mother came over to visit and this female friend had a 3 year old son with her. My Mother told her friend to let the boy go outside with all the other kids and play. There were older teens who could baby-sit and about 8 other children altogether. The woman resisted because she had never let her son leave her side before. My Mom and her other friend that lived with us told her not to spoil the child and let him go outside with the others, and that he would be safe, etc. However, the boy cried and cried and even became hysterical. Even at my young age, I thought the situation to be ridiculous. That night came a second dream as follows:
I found myself dreaming that I had my hands around that little brat’s neck (the one from earlier that day) and perhaps wanting to strangle him because of his incessant crying. Then I said to myself, no! I do not want to hurt him after all; it is his mothers’ fault that he is doing that anyway; and more especially, I thought to myself, “besides, he is so adorable and cute, I would rather kiss him, than hurt him.”
When I awoke I realized that I was attracted to boys and that the attraction was powerful. I grew up having many a crush on other boys and this did not bother me because of my other dream, the one that let me know that God loved me and so I thought their was nothing wrong with me. I read the bible a great deal, not all of it though, just some of the Old Testament and this and the Church teachings began to form a greater understanding of Heavenly Father to me.
I was now being taught that my same-sex-attraction was just a phase and that it was curable. But I did not want to be cured, because my thoughts were innocent to me. I would dream of boys and only wanted friends and someone to hold hands with and maybe steal a kiss from now and then. I never thought of sex though, with anyone.
I stayed away from all boys most of the time, and because of this I made no friends at all, but became a loner, until high school at which time I made only 3 friends at the same high school in four years. Michael, Craig, and Joseph a Mexican friend of mine! Joseph met me actually in junior high, and he asked me to stay over one night at his uncle’s house. All three of us slept in the same bed in just our underwear. Joe also asked if he could sleep with his arm over my chest. I was shy, but I said yes. I could not sleep that night because I was nervous with his arm there. About an hour later he moved his hand to my crotch and began to squeeze, and then he fell asleep. I was relieved, but I figured he must be gay, so I stopped seeing him. 3 years later, in high school I met him again, and now he was one of the most popular kids in school. He would sit at the head of one double table, and all the other kids sitting there (about 17 of them) were all his friends. By this time I had decided to befriend him and give him another chance. One day after school he asked me to accompany him home to his grandma’s house. I went with him and when we got their, no one else was home. I sat down and he got me a bologna sandwich and a soda. Then he couched down in front of me and put his elbows on my knees, looked up into my blue eyes and talked to me so sweetly. I thought to myself, yep, he is still gay. After my sandwich and soda was gone he cleaned up and asked me to go into the bedroom, and I did so, but apprehensively and slowly. He asked me to lie down on the floor on this mat so I did. He told me to close my eyes and he would teach me how to relax and meditate (this was the 70’s you know).
He used his fingers to softly stoke over my face and body and I did become very relaxed. He then lay down beside me, and proceeded with out warning to kiss me on the lips. I let him do it, but when he tried to put his tongue in my mouth I resisted and clinched my teeth as well. He finally stopped, and then said: “I am sorry. Please do not tell anyone at school about this,” I said that I would not. He then told me, that he had done the same thing to a couple of other boys and they surprised him and took over and kissed him back. I just said in a very sheepish manner, “Oh!” More on Joe later!
Michael was probably gay also, but was also shy like me, and soon he moved away to Sacramento. Then there was Craig, the most effeminate one of them all and definitely gay. Michael and Craig each asked me to go home with them after school, on separate occasions, but nothing happened with them. I knew that Craig must be gay and his effeminate nature did not turn me off like it does to straight guys, but instead it not only turned me on, but made me love him all the more.
Because my family was semi-active and because we moved a lot, I was not baptized until I was 10 years old, and I did not receive the priesthood until I was 16 years old, at which time I was ordained a Priest. During my interview with the bishop, he asked if I was “morally clean,” to which I responded, “What is that.” The bishop (Bishop Mark) who was also my boss, and my dentist, (he thought he knew me well) responded by saying: “never mind, I believe that you are.” So I was ordained a Priest, and immediately after the ordinance, I literally turned around and placed my hands on another boy and participated in ordaining him to the office of Priest also.
Soon after that, I became very involved in the Mormon Church with a perfect attendance record. I blessed the Sacrament every Sunday and sometimes cleaned up and or set it up. Then came the time for my 2 younger sisters to be baptized, and I prepared to baptize them myself as a 16 year old Priest. I passed another worthiness interview in order to baptize my sisters. One week before the baptisms, I spotted a small pamphlet of the Church’s entitled: “Why stay morally clean.” Forgive my naiveté but I still thought I was answering the question correctly when I was asked if I was morally clean in my interviews. After I finished reading the pamphlet, I thought uh-oh! Oops! And I immediately went to talk with my bishop. Before this time, I had only told my bishop that I was concerned, that I was not attracted to girls whatsoever; and I was told in response: “that is normal, don’t worry about, you have plenty of time.” But now I felt that I must confess two things to my bishop after my reading of the pamphlet.
1. I told him that I had had quite a few experiences with boys, just messing around or experimenting sexually.
2. I also explained that I had had sex with a woman several times also.
Bishop Mark (first name only) asked me when I last had any encounter with boys, and this woman. I told him that I had not been with the woman for almost a year now and even longer with any boys or men. He informed me that I was worthy in his eyes, and that I should go ahead with the baptism of my two sisters. I did so, and it was a wonderful spiritual experience for me.
Now to tell you the truth, I had been molested since I was 4 and ½ years old by several men, and/or had some experience with other boys, sexually that is, and that this happened every year of my life from 4.5 years old to 18 years old with the only exception of 12 years old. More about this later!
I was actually raped by a drunken woman when I was barely 15 years old. This woman was a close friend of my Mom’s and was 2 years older than my Mom. She also knew me since I was an infant, and she had become quite close to me since I was 13 years old. To make matters worse, I had a year long affair with her after the rape and no one knew about it. I wish to say that sex with her was horrible, painful, and disgusting to me and did cause me much shame now, but she would not leave me alone. I was never attracted to her, and I still consider that affair to have been very abusive to me.
I also did not like being molested by the men that molested me, but I was an easy target since I was gay, and they sensed that in me, and therefore, sought after me. As far as the several experiences with other boys, I sometimes was a more willing participant; however these were minor encounters anyway.
From about 17 on, I began to experience guilt over being gay and over masturbating frequently from the time I was 6 years old. Whatever you might think, I know that these experiences did not make me gay or have same-sex-attraction because I was already gay since I ever could remember, (remember my dream and my early childhood conviction) and I always knew that I was not attracted to girls either. In other words, it is my contention that I was gay (looking back retrospectively) because I was born this way and my Heavenly Father was OK with this long before I knew what the implications would be for my life.
Because of the teachings of the Church I began to feel guilt and depression over my homosexual feelings and past sexual experiences. Like so many others though, I thought that the Priesthood would heal me, or that God would heal me. When it did not happen, I continued faithful in the church and did all I could to change. I went to seminary my senior year, and was secretary in my class. I was secretary in the Priest Quorum as well and I later received the Melchizedek Priesthood and the office of Elder. During these years I was not sexually active any longer, but while I was in a Mormon foster home, after 10 months there, I was molested by the High Priest in that home. I spent 5 months in another Mormon home, and later 6 months in another Model Mormon Home, preparing for a mission. My bishop Mark, and dentist, was now Stake President Mark and it was he that took me to the temple for my own Endowments.
None of these things changed me, so I prepared to go on a mission against all odds. My family was poor, and I had very little money to go on a mission, but I believed that the lord would change me or fix me somehow if I went. I worked for “The Corporation Of The Presidents, Of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints” as a custodian of my local Stake Building House of Prayer for 13 months, and after my Mission I did more of the same work for several months and even worked in the Oakland Temple for about 9 months.
Prior to my mission I raised about $2,500.00 toward my mission and another $240.00 from my tax return. The rest of my mission expenses came from five anonymous families that loved me so much that they requested of the bishop, that they be able to help me specifically, but wished to do so privately. My dad promised to pay $200.00 a month, but because of my father was unreliable the bishop told my father about the other families, and said that he would only need to pay $100.00 a month to my mission fund. As it turned out, my dad never paid one red cent toward my mission, and nothing for my college either. My mom was unable to help me in any way either.
On my mission to the Eastern States Mission, Philadelphia, PA mission to be exact, I worked hard, and even put in more hours with my companion, than any other companionship of the entire mission; for 5 different weeks we set the record (88 to 122 hours a week) and they honored us in the newsletter of the mission as “Extra-Mile Missionaries.” I obeyed all the rules, the spirit of the Lord spoke to me several times to help me with people’s questions, or to get into the door to teach.
They even had a competition to see how well someone could “pass-off” (know and perform) the discussions of the mission and although I won, and was told that I did them all word perfectly and without error, no one else in the Zone could even do half of them. I have to tell you of my experience at the MTC (Missionary Training Center):
I went in 1981 and was using a new pilot program, (the one right after the “rainbow discussions” ended) and my rather large district of 8 Elders and 4 Sisters set a new record at the MTC for knowing our discussions and Scripture Mastery. I also took Jewish Proselytizing Classes for the East Coast, and was there for 3 weeks and 6 days. We were visited by General Authorities and went to the BYU campus to see a Play that was very funny about a Guardian Angel.
On the last Sunday, which was a Testimony Sunday, I had the greatest spiritual experience of my lifetime. I remember it so well, even now, some 31 years later. A Sister Missionary who was going to Australia for her mission, was giving this sweet testimony of the restored gospel, of Joseph Smith being the restoring Prophet, Seer, and Revelator of the 19th century, of modern Prophets, and that the Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl Of Great Price were all true modern day scripture, and that we had the only true and living Priesthood on the earth today. Also, she testified of Spencer W. Kimball’s divine calling. As she was so testifying, and as I had a Prayer in my heart, I was truly moved, or even seized upon by the unmistakable Holy Ghost. I had read about the “burning of the bosom” in scripture, but felt that Heavenly Father would not do that for me, at least not until I grew old, I figured. But sure enough, I received an intense burning of my bosom, from the top of my head, down to my waist, that warmed me up and made me feel so good inside, like I was being embraced by the Lord Himself. During that moment, I heard a voice like the rushing of many waters and yet it was a still small voice, say to me simply, in only my left ear, that “everything that sister is saying is true.” It was made known unto me so powerfully in my heart, and at the same time, if was more clear in my mind than anything had ever been in my life at that time. The Church is true and I know it now; I do not just have to have faith, for my faith has been tested and I now have a sure knowledge. I have also witnessed several amazing and astonishing miracles in my personal life.
I believe that all these things have happened to me because of my faith in Him. I have a faith that God gave me when I was 4 years old and then the Lord brought that faith to a sure knowledge when I was 20 years old. I also believe that the Lord wanted me to be a great missionary, especially in light of my former circumstances prior to my mission. The Lord made me a great missionary, on my mission and for many years afterward, in fact, I have led more souls to the waters of baptism since my mission ended, then on my actual mission.
Despite all of this, I became mentally ill, with depression due to my own self hatred of who I was, a gay Mormon. My mission was not easy though, and my Mom died while I was on my mission, and the Mission President talked me out of going to the funeral, so I did not go. I had 9 companions, and I was really attracted to only one of them. And I truly thought that I would go home and date a girl and marry a woman or Sister in the Church. I thought that I was cured! However, when I came home early on a medical leave, and was not allowed to finish my mission in the Philly Mission, I was then to be called as a Stake Missionary instead, I had been one before my mission.
After my mission was over, and I worked in the Temple for nine months, I quit my job at the Temple because I did not feel worthy. I was not able to date anyone, and I was lonely and miserable and depressed. It was this depression that made me feel unworthy. Then I got this roommate who was a straight man, who was Anti-Mormon and he would bring home anti-Mormon literature almost every day. He would ask me questions and I would answer them fully, and then he would get mad at me for being able to answer them. He would say to me that; “they said you would not be able to answer these questions, but you still did so.” I would explain to him that I knew more than your so-called average Mormon, because I was a Latter-day Saint that had the Holy Ghost as my constant companion, and the Lord would not let me be confounded. He continued to get angry with me anyhow, and began to threaten me with violence.
I spoke with my bishop about this situation, because he had sent the roommate to me, because he had shacked up with 3 sisters in the ward, and that was a no, no. The bishop recommended to me, another brother in the church, who was 34 years older than me, and a High Priest in the Church who had a Temple Recommend (signed permission to enter the house of the Lord) and that he was looking for a new roommate. I met the man, whose name is Stan K. T. and he seemed very nice, so I moved in. Stan became my very best and first best friend. There was a catch though; Stan was gay as they come. He simply kept his homosexual life hidden from the Church. Other than this he was a model Mormon, he always went to Church and Temple and did not cuss or swear. He followed the “Word of Wisdom” accepted callings, paying Tithing and a generous Fast Offerings, and even had 5 years of food storage and he was very wealthy. It seemed confusing to me that God would bless him so much, when he was this way, and he was comfortable with it and did not feel guilty. Stan continued to be my friend for 13 years. However, from the get go, he started a sexual relationship with me, and I was not ready for that.
I got a very stressful job, and after Stan started with the sex, although I did not have to do anything back, he caused me to have a mental breakdown and I had a serious suicide attempt. I overdosed on every pill in the house, about 257 of them, and I took a bottle of Tum’s and a bottle of Pepto-Bismol so that I would not lose the pills, or so I thought. Stan found out what I did, and took me to the emergency room, where they induced vomiting, put a hose down my throat and put charcoal in my stomach (to absorb the pills) and then washed my stomach out, gave me an antidote for Tylenol, but not for the Aspirin or Maximum Strength Anacin or other pills. I came near death, and for 4 hours, they could not tell Stan if I was going to make it or not, while I was in ICU.
This was a difficult experience for me to say the least. The day I was released from ICU, I was put in a regular room, but then two psychiatrist came to talk with me, and told me that my health insurance had stopped on my 23rd birthday, which I just had not too long before this incident. I was asked if I would please leave the hospital, and promise them that I would not try to harm myself again. I had been in the hospital for only 2 days; first the emergency room, then ICU for one night and then one day in ordinary hospital room. This hospital has a policy, to not charge for your last day, so I would only have to pay for the one night. Two days later I got the bill from the hospital already, and it cost me almost $1.500.00 to save my life; so I became depressed even more and slit both of my wrists four times each. Stan called the police on me, and they took me to a mental hospital, and I stayed there for five and one half months. Then my hospital bill was over $140,000.00 which was a lot of money in 1983.
During this time period, my doctors signed me up for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Medicare, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid of California, called Med-I-Cal. I asked them why they did this to me, and they said that I was now 100% disabled due to severe chronic mental illness and besides, how else was my bill going to get paid.
My 5 months in the hospital, was on an acute psyche ward, and it was sure hell for me. I ripped my wounds open with my fingernails, and tried to kill myself several times. I was strapped down for 3 days and 3 nights because I wanted someplace besides the hard floor to sleep on. I was doped up on Thorizine, Mellaril, Elavil, Librium, Norpamine and more. I was not given a room, because I was on suicide watch day and night. So I was led to the only room that was safe for me, which was to be strapped down.
However, the day crew of Friday forgot to put in my chart, why I was in that room, so when the night shifts, and weekend shifts came on, they assumed that I did something wrong to be put into that room, so they would not let me out or let me eat myself or go to the bathroom. They took off all my clothes except my Temple Garments, because I would not let them have them. So I was laying there in my G’s only and I wanted to die so badly, that I broke one of the metal and leather straps on my left arm (I am a strong boy) and I took my Temple Garment and twisted it around my neck until I could no longer breath, but someone whose turn it was to check on me through the little window in the door, saw me and called for help. They cut my Garments Off and let me lay there naked. And put a new strap on. I was put into 21 point restraints, instead of 5 points restraints. I was simply reacting to being treated like an animal. While I spent these 3 full days in straps, I began to have Charlie horses in all my major muscle groups for lack of being able to move. The Staff was afraid of me because I was a big, football player type looking person, and they were cold and heartless to me all weekend. If I could have gotten away, I surly would have done myself in for sure. They caused me to want to die, ten times more than when I came into the hospital.
It turns out that I was in County Hospital and it was known for the abuses and/or neglect that went on there.
Would you believe that the only person who showed any compassion at all, was a gay therapist/orderly who came in Monday morning and allowed me to move my arms and legs, one at a time, out of the straps, and then let me feed myself for the first time and be able to eat something after being starved for 86 hours (that is over 3½ days). I still cry about it, when I think about it some 28 years later. Much later in that stay, one of the other gay evening and night shift orderlies came into my room while I was asleep, and pulled down my blanket, and also pulled down my pajama bottoms. When I awoke, he was performing oral sex on me. I became totally depressed and ashamed, even though it was not my fault, and I felt guilty. The doctor said I had pseudo (false) guilt. One lady social worker came and talked with me and told me she could see that something was troubling me and she wanted to help. She said that anything I told her was confidential and that I could trust her. I told her about the orderly and what he had done to me and she immediately reported it. The orderly, came to me after he had been informed what was going on, and he told me that he thought I wanted it. You see, a gay story movie had been on TV at the hospital the night before, and this sparked some conversations around the table where I was playing cards (I know that Mormons are not supposed to play cards but what else can you do in a mental hospital) and this orderly was playing with us. He said that because I spoke sympathetically toward the gay guys in the movie, that he thought I was gay, and would be open to the experience. I told him that he should have woke me and asked my permission at least. In any event, I had been tricked into telling on him, so now we were to both go up before the Hospital Administration and the Patients Rights Advocates people. So this orderly told me that he was going to lie, and deny that anything had happened, because he was not going to lose his career or get fired. He begged for me to just say that it was a dream or something. I was still a strong Mormon and could not lie. I would not lie even for myself, let alone anybody else.
Well the day came for the meeting, and several people were there, and I told the truth, and even told them what the orderly had wanted me to say, and what he told me he would say also. It was all so embarrassing to me, and the orderly did deny it like he said he would. They did nothing to him except ask that he not be on my wing of the hospital at night. I had told the truth and the truth did not set me free, like the scripture says it would. I was crushed, but at the same time, I did not want to see another gay man get in trouble, so I let it go after that. The reason nothing was done to him is that it was the word of an employee over a mental patient.
After awhile things got better. I was made the first President over one of the hospital wings in the mental hospital. Then I was voted President over 2 other wings in the hospital. Elections were held every 2 weeks, and I was voted in 5 times in a row. I don’t know if it is great to say this but I was popular with the other clients at the hospital. Even when the staff rallied for others to get a turn, and even voted against me, I was still elected by the clients (patients) of the hospital due to my popularity. I even became the chair person for the administration of the hospital and patients rights people and I was not eligible for that position and the President of the wing at the same time, but they voted me in anyway to both positions simultaneously. No one knew I was a Gay Mormon.
When I got out of the hospital I had no place to go, except back to Stan’s house. Stan made me promise him that I would not try suicide again, or else he would have me move from his house.
I spent the next 3 years trying to work for employment agencies, and my old Bishop/Stake President Mark told me to try and go to college. I had been out of high school for 8 years now but I just went down to the college and applied. Because of my 3.66 grade point average in high school, I got into college. I went on and off to college from 1981 to 1996 and after roughly four years worth, I had a 3.96 GPA at a college that was known for being difficult. In fact, more people were transferred and accepted into UC Berkeley from my school than any other school west of the Mississippi and that was impressive. I was also a student of the LDS Institute of Religion and became a Vice President of the Latter Day Saint Student Association (LDSSA). I was Chairperson for that club the LDSSA and the Tutorials Club at the College as well, and Chairperson for the Alpha Gamma Sigma, The Honor Society of which I was a Lifetime Member. Like at the hospital, I was doing several jobs at once but I was popular enough that they let it slide.
After my first 3 years of College, I reached another crisis, I was now 27 years old, and I knew that I must be gay, and I still had not dated a girl in all these years. Well when I was 17 I was set up on a date with a shy girl, who went home before it ever got started at the Young Men’s, and Young Women’s Mutual Dating Party at the Leaders home. Then I was left without a date, so I do not count that for much.
So I go to President’s Marks home, and tell him that after all these years of me telling him that I am not at all interested in women, I believe that I forgot to mention that I have loved boys and men all my life and I think I am gay, at least I must find out for myself. Mark knew about Stan, and he knew that I was struggling to be straight. So he said to me, and I will never forget his understanding, and sympathetic words: “Robin I would want for you to be gay, if I thought that you could be happy that way, I just do not know if you could be happy this way.” I replied, “Then I must go and find out for myself.” So I left his home and went looking for the nearest gay club. The first one I went to was called the Cazbar. This club and the next one called The Castro which I thought that it was named after that famous street in San Francisco’s Gay Community, turned out not to be gay at all. But, I did know where one was for sure, a famous club called The Turf Club, where everyone wore cowboy hats and tried to look tuff. I had gone to this club with Stan once just for the fun of it and both of us had a couple of sodas. Also, I once was traveling on the local bus, and saw my old high school buddy Craig, the effeminate one, coming out of the bar in leather chaps and leather hat and leather vest with chains etc. I made eye contact with him and he saw me also and then immediately looked down like he was embarrassed. I had hoped to see him soon at the mall where he worked for Sears in the suit department. This was years after high school and I knew that he worked there. So I went to The Turf Club and it was pretty dead there, but definitely a Gay Club! I asked the bartender, “Where are all the gay clubs near here, if any.” He told me: “honey, Big Mama’s is one block down the street on this same side as this one, and across the street from there was The Spoiled Brat. Oh but next door to the one I was in was Very Video, a video store that catered to the gay community, and right next door to that was The Circus Lounge, but it was just an old beer, malt liquor and wine bar. Also, he said that about seven blocks up the street was The Driftwood but baby don’t go there, it is only a Lesbian Bar, and you need an invite.
I asked him which one was the best, and he said that The Spoiled Brat was a club for young queer guys like me. So I went to The Spoiled Brat and their was a cover charge, but the man at the coat check, said that if it was my first time, I could go in for free. I went in to this huge bar and dance club and the music was loud and there was a much younger crowd there and so I stayed and had me several cokes.
My purpose for going to The Spoiled Brat was to meet other gays but only to investigate, if you will, the gay lifestyle and hopefully determine once and for all if I was truly gay or what. I kept going there and spending so much time there that the staff got to know me well, and I never did have to pay for the cover charge and my new friends that I was making, were wondering how I pulled that off. You see, in the first month investigating this club and other clubs, I spent 157 hours in just this one club alone. I thought to myself, that I had spent more hours in a gay bar, in just one month, than I had spent in church for a whole year, being fully active.
What I discovered in these clubs was that the other gay people were just like me and I was just like them. So many people told me their stories as I inquired after them, and they unanimously believed that we were born gay. One day, my old friend Craig came in and when he saw me watching the dancer’s and I turned around and there he was, he threw open his arms, and gave me a great big hug, and exclaimed loudly, “I am so happy!” We were both on the badminton team (how appropriate) for two years, and other than that he did not even know that I was gay. He seemed to be relieved about that day that he was embarrassed because knew that I say him coming out of that bar in leathers. We completely renewed our friendship and grew closer than ever before and everything was now in the open. I knew that he was Catholic and now he told me that he went to “Dignity” a Catholic Group for Gays and Lesbians. I told him that I had attended some Affirmation meetings (for Gay and Lesbian Mormons) and that I really liked them.
One day I saw this young man that looked like a younger version of my friend Craig. Craig had very unique looks and like I said before, was very effeminate. This young man looked like Craig when he was back in high school. I was intrigued so I went over and began talking to him. It turned out to be Craig’s younger brother, and he was even more effeminate than Craig was. We hit is off right away and I began dating him, but just kissing and no sex. I began to have strong feelings for him and I believed that I loved him. I told Craig that I was seeing his younger brother, and he was overjoyed with that news. Craig told me that his brother had AIDS, and that he would never have sex with me. I said that is fine with me. A year later, Craig’s younger brother died of an AIDS related illness. I cried hard, but did not go to the funeral, although I was invited. I wanted to show support to the family and the fight against AIDS, but I could not handle crying in front of all those people at the church. Later I gave my condolences in person to my friend Craig and he told me that his brother had said to him, that he love Robin (me). I was touched, but still hurting. However this would not be the first friend I lost to the AIDS disease, I lost 8 close friends and 4 other acquaintances.
Before you know it, I began to come out of the closet. I also to my regret began drinking alcohol in the third month that I was going to these bars. The bartenders were shocked, as I had always been a non-drinker before that time. No one had ever taught me how to drink, and even though I did not like any of the taste of alcoholic drinks, I somehow managed to have a couple of black outs on my very first day of drinking. Because of this drunken state, I went around to all the Clubs, first to The Spoiled Brat, then to The Turf Club and then ended up at The Circus Lounge where a drag show was going on. I ran into Bruce, literally, who was the “proprietor of that establishment,” and he told me it was a beer and wine bar and I said, yuck! But I ordered a glass of wine anyway. I sat down to watch the drag show and one of the Queens that was lip synching to the music, sat on my lap, and whispered into my ear and kissed me on the cheek. This Cross dresser who sat on my lap soon became my first boyfriend, and lover. I was not with him because he did drag (don’t get me wrong, he looked good in drag) but I fell in love with him because he was a man. He was known as the Lady Amanda (stage name) otherwise known to me as David Paul Anthony Goodwin. We dated for over a year and then he moved in with me and we lived together for approximately 2½ years. David told me that since I had just finally come out of the closet at 27 years old (he had come out when he was six or seven years old), that he wanted me to date as many men as I wanted to, as long as I came back to him at night; no questions asked. I had been so pent up in my emotions for so long, that I took him up on his offer. For the next four years almost, I had 123 partners and well over 400 encounters of cheap, sometimes anonymous sex. I quit school for awhile, stopped going to church for 3 years or more, and I stopped going to institute also.
Except one Sunday when I woke up and it seemed that the Spirit spoke to me and told me to go to church that day. So I asked David, who was an ex-Mormon already, if he wanted to go with me, he said yes and so we went to the Hayward Second Ward. I soon learned why the Spirit had led me to the church that day, even though I did not feel worthy to receive any revelation. It was the day that THE FIRST PRESIDENCY LETTER OF NOVEMBER 14TH 1991 was read over the pulpits from Ezra Taft Benson. In this letter we were told that, among other things, that we gays were not responsible for being gay, and that it may not be our fault, and other things such as that. Because of this letter, the church would adopt its present policies and doctrine, that gays should not blame themselves for being gay, not blame their parents or God either; and that at long as we did not act on these feelings, we would not be sinning. So I learned that the Lord was still aware of me and trying to guide me, even when I was sinful.
I went by Bruce’s Video Store, and verbally applied for a job. The couple that worked there asked for my full name, but I told them to tell Bruce that the Mormon kid named Robin was interested, that said that was not good enough, I just said I will check back tomorrow. The next day, the couple told me that they had told Bruce what I said, and to their surprise, Bruce said, that Mormon boy wants to work for me, why didn’t you hire him on the spot. Bruce told them that Mormons were the most honest people in the world, and he would love for me to work for him.
So I was hired to work at the Video Store and in just five months I went from clerk to Manager of the store. Bruce would take me out for dinner and slip me some extra cash and tell me that he did not know what he would do without me. I increased the profit margin by over $1,000.00 a month.
I simply stopped most of the stealing, and organized his entire operation. I had managed the custodial business in the church, and now in a gay Video Store and next I worked at Bruce’s gay bar, The Circus Lounge, where I had met David. While working at the bar, I had six boyfriends at the same time, and I began to have an Anxiety attack. I worked with Pablo and he promoted me to Bar Manager, which was his job, but he said that he could not do it as well as I could. I thought to myself one evening, how different my life had changed, from Mormon missionary, to Gay Bartender and Manager. Also while working at the Bar, I met up with Joe my old high school buddy and I hired him at the Bar, and we saw a lot of each other. One time while he was working behind the bar and I was at the bar, he said to me, remember this and he kissed me, and this time I kissed him back, he then told all the patrons there that I had just given him the best kiss of his life, and then he told them, I taught him how to kiss when we were young. I thought to myself, not really! But I was a natural, and all those years of imagination paid off. Joseph propositioned me, but I was his friend and did not want to sleep with him, so I never did, although he wanted to. I became very popular and could pick up 3 gay guys in one day and still go home to David at night.
Despite my sexual activity I never contracted AIDS or any other STD’s; however, I got tested every six months. Looking back on this wild time, I deeply regret it though because I was not raised that way, at least not entirely.
After these four years were up, I became disillusioned with the gay community due in part because guilt began to creep back in and also the drinking of alcohol for me and seeing it in others, and the drug abuse etc. was getting to me not to mention the smoking and coffee use. Not me, I mean that I hated to see so many others over using drugs and things because they had a hard time living with themselves. Drinking alcohol was the only part of the only part of the Word of Wisdom that I violated.
So, when I got a DUI and later wrecked my car a little, and was having real trouble living this lifestyle any longer, I broke up with David. After that, I gave up drinking, lost my apartment and became homeless, left all my gay friends and said goodbye to the gay life. I was very fearful at this time, because when I had come out of the closet, my mental illness got better, and I was off the psychotropic drugs. I was happier than I had been in my entire life. Yet now I was planning on going back to the church and the repressive lifestyle; yes, back into the closet.
I repented of all my sins and I forsook them and tried to make restitution but I did not know how to make restitution and I needed to confess all. After six months I went to President Mark (who was Stake President for 14 years) and I made a complete confession of all that I was doing, including some things not mentioned here which I will continue to keep private. President Mark had told me many times that he wished all the members could be as open as I was and that I had always been so easy to talk with. Mark also told me that despite my many sins, he really did not want to excommunicate me. I told him that I did want to be excommunicated, not because I wanted to leave the church, (after all I had come back 6 months prior to this meeting) but because I had disgraced my Lord and his Holy Priesthood, and broken my Temple Covenants and sinned openly in the eyes of God and Man and Members of His True Church.
Soon my court was held and Mark spoke with me first, and then I went into the High Counsel Room before those 15 brethren. Mark had told me that he was the judge in Israel and that no matter what the vote was, he could still say no to the excommunication. One of the High Council members was my old Seminary Teacher, and another in the Presidency was my old bishop brown, and another was a Hawaiian brother who loved me dearly, as I did him, and of course President Mark had been my priest quorum advisor, my young men’s president, my former bishop, my dentist, my boss, my high council member, a councilor in my Stake Presidency, my mentor, and most importantly my friend, and now my Stake President for many years. President Mark had loved me into the Church, played basketball with me before early morning seminary, had approved my Patriarchtical Blessing, and ordained me to the office of Priest, and later Elder, had taken me and sponsored me to the Temple for the First time, helped send me on a mission, and was always there for me. At my missionary farewell, he said that he felt like a second Father to me. He is just 18 years older than I am and I loved him with all of my heart and soul, he was my truest friend, and the only reason I stayed in the church for so long. The only thing that I ever kept from him, is that In addition to all these things, I also was very attracted to, not only his looks, but also to his soft and tender hearted voice and his sweet disposition. But then so was everyone else, also!
Now this great man, my Savior on Mount Zion was about to judge me and try to be lenient to me, when I did not deserve leniency. So when I was talking to those 15 men, President Mark, told me, “Robin, please tell the brethren here why you want to be excommunicated.” He was hoping that they would soften their hearts toward me. The Elderly Hawaiian brother I mentioned earlier was so shocked by all that he was hearing that he was just beside himself, he kept saying “but you are such a good person, how can this be” and several times he almost began to cry. He caused me to cry back then and now all these years later. I told the brethren, that I had repented sorely, but that I could not go any further due to the serious nature of my sins. And that I would be justly punished if I were excommunicated and that I knew this is what a Loving Heavenly Father wanted also. After about an hour, I was excused for several minutes and I waited alone in the same building that I had been a custodian in all those years ago. Then I was called back in, and they all stood up, and I sat down, then they sat down. And I was told that I was excommunicated and that I would receive a formal letter to that effect in the future. President Mark expressed how much he loved me and then I went around the room and thanked each man, and every man in that room, most of which I had known for 26 years, every one of them gave me a warm embrace and many told me that they loved me, and shook my hand as well, and we were all crying at that point, and then I left.
I left the building, and it was like the proverbial ton of bricks had been taken from my shoulders, and I felt a great sense of relief. I got in my Ford Mustang and drove across town and parked by a park, because I was still homeless, and had nowhere to go and of course I was not going to ask my former church to help me. Despite the relief that I felt, I began sobbing, and I then wept bitterly for four and one half hours without stopping. I went through a whole box of tissue.
Afterward with my nose stuffed up, my eyes still watery and puffed up (I must have been a sight to look at), this young man came by my car and saw that I was upset. He asked if he could help me, I said no. He asked if he could get into my car and talk to me, and for some reason I said yes. I thought that I wanted to be alone, but now this stranger was trying to comfort me. He asked if I would give him a ride to the Hayward hills that I had just come from, and take him to this other park. I did so and after we were there we both got out and stretched our legs. He asked me to walk with him and I did so and he led me deep into the canyon park, and we found a park bench down there. We sat and talked for awhile, and then he began touching me, and this led to him giving me oral sex and I did not feel guilt at all, instead I felt comforted. I kissed him and left the park and went back to my car.
That night it was too late to get into one of the shelters or even go to a food line, so I starved, and slept on the street and cried myself to sleep. Though my ordeal was hard, it was also full of love and was wonderful to me.
I put everything behind me and for the next 3 years exactly I was homeless, friendless and alone but I stayed in the church and became devout again. I had all my things in storage, and so I went to Texas for a whole month and visited Stan (who had moved there) and we had a nice visit. Stan had given up on the church, he had told his last bishop that he was in love with me and that there was nothing that he could do about it, and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. Despite these things, I decided to say goodbye to Stan the Man for ever. I thanked him for helping me buy my own car, and motorcycle and for selling me his recliner and gun, and for giving me a couch and bed and the best friendship I had ever had, except for Mark, and that I wished him well, and I hoped he had a nice life and that he could find happiness. I also told him that my life was going another direction and I would no longer keep his phone numbers or address, and since he was moving and I was homeless, I would probably never see him again in this life.
I then went to Oklahoma and stayed with my middle sister for a week, and my dad for 3½ months, and my older sister and her 5 kids, for 3 months, all in Oklahoma. Then I went to Salt Lake City for 5½ months in Utah. When in Utah, I let my guard down and had several gay encounters. I thought that I was safe in the “land of the Mormons” but the gays were everywhere, at the lakes, in the Salt Flats, in the pubic parks etc. I began to work again while in Utah, and did very well and lost a lot of weight. I got real trim! I attended the Eagle
Gate Stakes, 18th Ward (nicknamed the Prophets Ward) for 21 weeks and I also went every Sunday to Music and the Spoken Word and hung out at Temple Square a lot. I went to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, to The LDS Genealogical Library, The Church Museum, to Church Headquarters and the Beehive House and the Lyon House. In other words, I reconnected with the Church like I never had before. I went to the Church Distribution Center and literally bought every video and DVD and church tape that the LDS Church had made up to that time in 1994. I even bought a film strip projector and screen and many film strips. When I left Utah I needed a small U-haul trailer to take all my things back home with me and my car was full also. I also almost froze to death in the snow one night. After this one year and 14 day trip, I felt a lot better, and I went back to the Bay Area of California.
In my life I had personally met Ezra Taft Benson, Howard W. Hunter and Gordon Bintner Hinckley, and Thomas S. Monson; four Presidents of the church and Prophets of the Lord. I also met Jeffery R. Holland, James E. Faust and rubbed shoulders so to speak, with Russell M. Ballard; three of the Lord’s Apostles on earth. I also personally met Paul H. Dunn, and several other Seventy’s in the Church. These men all inspired me and I knew for myself that they were true men of God. I also had a personal witness of the validity of President Spencer W. Kimball and Joseph Smith.
I was homeless for 3½ years and I stayed in shelters all over and when between shelters, I slept in my car, showered at the college, and dressed up for church on Sunday and went to church and no one knew the better.
In Utah I met a lady from Paris, who was Greek and she found out I was homeless and on the street and she took me in to her hotel room for a few nights at Howard Johnson’s hotel. I met her in the Salt Late City Tabernacle and we hit it off very well. She had a PHD and her husband was a Psychoanalyst back in Paris, France. I had been escorting her everyday for 10 days around SLC and then she discovered that I was homeless. She went to the President of Temple Square and brought him to me and he talked with me. He told me, that it did not matter that I was excommunicated by the Church, and that my Bishop should be ashamed of himself for not helping me. I just told him that it was my fault.
I went back to California and soon entered a homeless project that eventually helped me get a subsidy for rent. It took more than a year of working with this African American man, with many interviews and telling my life history and answering all his questions. When the year was up, and I was approved for the program, he told me his story. A story of drug addiction and alcoholism and losing everything and living on the street before, homeless just like I was; and he told me that he had something to tell me. He reached out and shook my hand and said to me: “Congratulations on being 60 years old;” but I did not understand, I was only 34 years old and this man had learned my life history and many things not in this Blog as well. He then explained to me that I was 60 years old or more in life experiences, not years of age; and he told me that his suffering in his own past paled in comparison to mine. How you have come through so far without killing yourself, I do not know, but I have heard many life stories that were tragic and hard, and yours is the most extreme I have witnessed thus far, even after doing this job for 20+ years now. The fact that you have not lost faith in your God amazes me. He then congratulated my on my acceptance into the program, and wished me good luck and Gods speed. He had moved me to tears, and I thanked him for his comment to me, but told him that I did not believe in luck; but that I only believed in the blessings of God, and that it was a loving Heavenly Father that had sustained me through all that I had gone through. I also told him that my Elder Brother, even Jesus The Christ would sustain me through the rest of this life.
Back in California and 3 and ½ years after my Church Court, the church, or I should say Brother Mark (now released from Stake President Duty) asked me if I was ready to let the Church help me. I said yes and they did so. I began attending my old Hayward 1st Ward and I soon met a new Sister in that ward who was a Stake Missionary. We bonded rapidly and became very close. After some time passed, she became my best new friend. I never had a best female friend before besides my middle Blood Sister. The Sister’s name was Catherine Louise Frazier. She got very close to me and eventually asked me to marry her. It never occurred to me to get married any longer; I had given up on that prospect long ago. I was still gay, but I had abandoned the Lifestyle and very effectively went back into the closet. Mark told me that few people had ever gone as far as I did, and then went back, he admired me for it.
I did not think that it would be fair to any woman for me to marry them and so I said no to Catherine. Catherine knew that I was gay, the third day that she met me, and yet she fell in love with me anyway, even though she herself, was a closet lesbian. She asked me to marry her a second time and a third time and I said no two more times. I was flattered but I was afraid of divorce, and I would not marry anyone who I thought would possible divorce me. We were 20 years and 5 months different in age, she being my senior. She was from the East Coast, Boston, and I was from the Bay Area of California, and we both had mental illness and we were both really gay and she was African American at least half Black anyway, on her dad’s side. We would be a mixed race; mixed sex oriented and age different family. She could also no longer have children, because an emergency hysterectomy had been performed in order to save her life. Yet with all this going against us (or so I thought) she asked me to marry her a fourth time. I said no as clearly as I could. Soon after this, she did all she could to seduce me, and I did not make it easy for her either, which was easy for me since I was gay. However one night that I stayed over her house (I was acting as her County Paid, Home Caregiver which was a new job description for me) and she came to my bed and managed to arouse me and seduce me and she gave me oral sex. A week later she asked me to marry her a fifth time and I said no.
After this, a few days later she told me that she wanted to marry me for sure now, and that if I told her no a sixth time, that she would never see me again, because she could not continue this way without being able to love me more. She also told me that when I stood up one day in the Chapel to sing a hymn while she sat next to me and looked up at me, that she saw a halo around my head, and that this was a sign from God to her that she would one day be my wife. After this I did not answer her, but said let me think about it. I went away, to my car and cried my heart out, how could I lose my best friend this way. One of only a half dozen friends, close friends, in my life so far and only one of three best friends I had so far.
She had told me that she had six grown children who each had a different father, and that she had been gang raped at 17 and because of it, and the abuse she got from her own father, that she really hated men especially really dark men and all white men. She also had numerous other boyfriends in her past and two other husbands that she did not have children by. And all of this told me this would not be a good marriage; besides I was a 35 year old, white, male, fag who was not attracted to women or any African’s in a sexual way at all. This would be doomed from the start, but I was only thinking with my head, and not my heart. For I did love her, although it was a love of friendship, a plutonic love, and sisterly love!
So I cried bitterly to the Lord again, this time for supplication and an answer to my prayer, for which I fully expected an answer this time. That voice that spoke to me so long ago at the MTC in Provo, Utah, spoke to me again, in the same left ear. This time the voice quickly stated to me that marrying this sister would be the opportunity and blessing of my life at this time. Wow! I thought what a revelation to me.
So I trusted in my Lord and prepared for a special day. I went to the local Christian gift shop and bought something of pewter, and a fiber optic red rose and something else very special for her. I had them all gift rapped and put into a decorative bag. I dressed up in my Sunday best and went over to her house and asked her if she would please go with me to the Oakland Temple to see the Christmas lights. She almost said no, but I talked her into it. We went to the Temple roof; there is a garden there, open to the public. We sat on a marble bench between 2 olive trees that actually came from the Mount of Olives in Palestine. I then told her that I had some good news and some bad news and I wanted her to pick which she wanted first. She said the bad news first, so I told her that she was right, and that we could not be just friends any longer. She started to almost cry, and said, and then what is the good news. I told her, that I wanted to be her husband, and so will you marry me. She screamed and grabbed me at the same time and hugged me, and this time they were tears of joy streaming down her face. I tenderly wiped her face and kissed her. We went back to my car and where I told her that there was one thing we must do first, before we got married, and that was that we must tell our bishop about our messing around and stuff.
We actually messed around a few times since that first time, but no intercourse. We told the bishop, and said that we had already put a stop to it a few months ago and that we wanted to get married now. He thanked us for our honesty, and said that if we did not fool around any more, and brought in fruits of repentance, that we could be married in a month’s time. So we dedicated ourselves to this goal, and we achieved it. My new Stake President G. married us in the Relief Society Room a month later, and Mark was my best man of course. Also at this time, Stake President G. and the appropriate leaders in Salt Lake City approved my application for rebaptism into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was thus married on January 4th 1997 and I was baptized for the second time on February 4th 1997 and on February 26th we moved to Oklahoma at Enid. We came here to take care of my new step-daughter who had contacted AIDS from the HIV.
The first 10 months were very hard, full of fights and contention, and I worried that I had been right in not wanting to marry Catherine, who I found out that her maiden name was Johnson also. Then my daughter died from catching a Cerro Micro Virus and my wife left me for California, to be with her family. She fully intended to come back, but did not have the money do so. You see, her oldest son bought a plane ticket for her to California but would not help her come back home to Oklahoma.
This was due to the fact that he did not like Mormons, and he did not like white people and he did not like fags, and I was all three. The other five children of Catherine had come to love me already, and her youngest son even threw me a bachelor party. He did not know my friends and so he invited some church members, but the bachelor party ended up being just me my son, and of course Mark. We simply had a very conservative dinner at an expensive Italian restaurant. Well, what did you expect, Mark and I were Mormons you know. Several members were invited, but none came. This is how you are sometimes treated amongst church members when you have been excommunicated; they may not know why it happened to you, but they judge you anyway.
So my wife and I were separated for 20 months, 2,800 miles away from each other. She saved up until she could buy a bus ticket to Enid, Oklahoma; and this was no small task, since we were both disabled and on disability, and we were burning up the telephone wires with our long distance calls that also burned up our money along with it. My wife would ring up a $700.00 phone bill and had to pay it. We were physically separated but not emotionally or mentally. We missed each other terribly and it was especially hard on me.
When my wife was in CA I lost my apartment again, and became homeless for five months in Oklahoma. Then I had to live at the Salvation Army and they threw me onto the street again when they discovered I had mental illness. Another so-called Christian shelter, refused to take me, or consider me because I was Mormon. After that I took a lot of pills again, and attempted suicide. I went through another ordeal of stomach pumps, this time they had to force me, because I refused to cooperate with them. I never went back to a mental hospital since I was 23. But now that I was 36 and living the straight life again, I was unhappy and suicidal. I have been to Mental Institutions 9 times here in OK.
But my wife made it back to me, and we lived together for 7 more years, and our marriage got better and better each month until it was almost perfect. Almost no sex to speak of, but I was with my best friend. By the way, my first guilt free sex was on my honeymoon, and it was to someone I was committed to and loved and it was the best I ever had.
On March 22nd of 2006 my wife died and left me in a nursing home that I was in for 6 years and 9 months with Catherine, because of my Diabetes. Can you imagine being in a nursing home environment that long from the age of 39 to 46 and can’t get out. Finally I was kicked out of the nursing home for refusing to eat their food for six months. I lived on one carton of milk and a cup of Orange Juice each morning, and then I would only have diet pop and water, but no food at all. I had become depressed about all my weight gain which had gotten bad. This diet of mine caused me to become
anorexic, great, now I have an eating disorder like I do not have enough problems. I lost 161 pounds from 6 months of dieting this way, but I got very sick and my kidneys got bad. I got liver damage from my overdoses, and swollen prostate from denying myself any sex for five years.
Yes! That is right, I stayed celibate for over five years after my beloved wife passed away. So they kicked me out of the nursing home right, even though I am such a likable guy. (I.e. I was informed that all of the staff with the exception of the Director of Nursing [she was the one who gave me the boot] and all of the other residents cried when they heard I was not coming back). The mental hospital sent me to a Residential Care Facility in North fork, OK. I was only there for 10 months when I was kicked out for being suspected of being gay. I was moved to a shelter for December of 2008 and had a real bummer of a Christmas. Then they found a place for me in Muskogee, OK, where homophobia runs rampant. I did not have any choice in the matter, so I moved to this town and all was well for awhile, then I blew it.
In 2010 I wrote a letter to my bishop, in Muskogee telling him that I did not have the Priesthood back, due to the fact that an orderly touched me inappropriately while giving me a shower in the nursing home, and when I was about to get the priesthood back, my Stake President changed his mind after I told him of the incident. To me, that is like blaming the molested person for being molested while doing nothing to the molester.
In fact, the Sheriff was called and an investigation was held. The Sheriff told me that he had 16 years of experience with these kinds of cases, and therefore he believed me; but he told me that not much could be done about it. I told my wife what had happened with me and this CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) who forced his will on me.
By the way, you may be wondering to yourself, how someone does, in their 40’s become molested in the first place. Well doctors and LDS Social Services call it a condition known as “learned helplessness.” I even studied it in college, in psychology class and I had it bad. When a person is molested for so many years, and frequently like I was, and starting at a young age, the victim learns to be helpless in these situations. So when someone victimizes you, believe it or not, you shut down mentally.
I will give you two examples of this happening to me:
1. When I was 18 years old and I was still in a foster home (I had recently turned 18) the father in that home molested me. I did not know how to stop him because I had been molested so many times, and just because I was suddenly no longer a minor, did not change the fact that I felt helpless in this situation. It happens to thousands of people every year, mostly women, and is caused by life long victimization. It is especially true when the perpetrator is someone close to you, like a family member, or loved one.
2. Again when I was 18 and ½ years old, I was picked up by a man who had given me several rides around Hayward, CA in the past. I had a 3½ mile walk home from high school (five years of Special Education had left me a year behind) and I was late getting home. I accepted the ride, even though I suspected the man was a pervert. He did not take me home right away, but instead drove to a remote spot and stopped the car. He tried touching me and asking if it was OK with me. I just mentally shut down, and was silent, he finally asked if I wanted to go home, and I said yes. So he took me home, and by this time it was nighttime and I lived with my Dad and Grandmother. My father was at work and my grandmother was bed ridden. This man did not care that I had grown totally despondent, and I was obviously disturbed by his presence. So when I got out of the car, it was all I could do to walk into the apartment, and go to my bedroom. The man followed me into the apartment and locked the front door. He followed me to the bedroom and continued to try and talk me into having sex with him. This was the umpteenth time someone was trying to take advantage of me and I did not know what to do, but I was in a really weird state of mind. You may find this to be strange, but I suddenly stood up from the bed, and I stripped off all of my clothing including my underwear, right in front of this pervert. Then I put on my pajama’s climbed into bed, under the covers, turned my face to the wall, and just lay there without saying anything. I was in hell, and I despised myself for not cussing the man out, and telling him to leave. He kept asking me if he could lay down with me over and over again. I finally nodded yes and he did so. He then asked if he could get under the covers with me, and he went on and on and on, saying things like, we are both adults here and we can do anything we like, etc. etc. I tried with all my might to say no to this man, and it was the hardest thing for me to do, I did not know why at the time, however. Finally, with God’s help, I managed, with all my mental capacity, to squeeze out a very sheepish no! He finally left, and I got up went to the front door and locked it, then I went to bed and cried for hours.

In case you didn’t know, I had grown a hundred fold that day simply by using my God given right to Free-Agency and I was strengthened from that day forward and began to overcome this Learned-Helplessness. It was from this point on that I stopped being molested any longer, I could finally say no to all the predators out there, and did so several times.
It was not until this incident, when I was 43 and in the nursing home, that I let it happen one last time. I was unprepared for this situation, and caught off guard again. But this time I was determined to end it and so I reported him for what he did to me (he basically masturbated me in the shower).
After the State investigation was over, and I felt truly violated, only my wife and the authorities stood by me. The nursing home staff did not understand how it happened, although they knew the CNA was gay, and very bold about it. Even his boyfriend worked there. The church only punished me for what happened and nothing happened to the CNA and after he left the nursing home, he later returned and they hired him back, showing how much they believed me.
So back to this bishop, I tell him that I have been living the gospel for 14 solid years now, and that I was married faithfully to a woman for 9 years, 2 months and 18 days. And I then tell him that I have been celibate for over five years now and gave him some of my history as well. But then I tell him that I am unhappy, lonely, miserable and depressed because I have no one in my life now and I am almost 49 years old. But then I try to explain to him that after 49 years of life, and fighting homosexual feelings for 44 of those years, I STILL HAVE THOSE FEELINGS OF HOMOSEXUALITY.
Suddenly this seemingly wonderful Bishop who I had known for several months in the Muskogee Ward, and a few more months in the Fort Smith, Arkansas Stake, as a counselor to the Stake President; he suddenly, like I was saying, goes all homophobic on me and decides to cut me off from any help should I ever need any, and then treats me like the worst sinner in his Ward, and a pedophile also. He specifically told me to stay away from all the youth in the Church and even not to make any friend’s amongst the Brethren in the Ward. He also told me to stay away from all men, even non-members and certainly the priesthood members. Next, I find out that he has told the Stake President and the Elders Quorum President and other ward members. He did not ask my permission or tell me in advance and when I first questioned him about these facts, he flat out denied that he had told anyone. I continued to be assertive with him, and finally he told me that he had told the Stake President only, but no one else. As I pressed upon him further, in his office or course, he finally admitted that he told others including the Elders President, but he said that he had to, because they needed to know, in case I might want to do something like teach a lesson or say a prayer, or give a talk. Apparently he no longer felt that I should be allowed to do any of these things.
In fact, I had been asked to teach the Elder’s Quorum Lesson and after I had prepared it, at the last minute on Sunday, my Elder’s President said that he needed to teach the Lesson instead of me, because he had something special in mind. But he lied to me as well, and only taught the same lesson out of our priesthood manual that I had prepared for. When I questioned him about it after church, he just told me that I needed to talk with the bishop about it.
My question is this, if they thought they were doing the right thing, then why lie about it and try and mislead me. Why couldn’t they be honest with me, after all, I am not an intimidating person at all, therefore, there was no reason for not being truthful with me at all. I felt like I had been put on a disfellowship or at least a probationary status, but on an unofficial basis.
The bishop had been very kind to me, previous to my letter to him, and even helped me out with a food order from time to time, not on a regular basis, but only when I asked for help. Now he was voluntarily informing me that I would not be receiving any more help of any kind, including food orders. I have been on disability for 28 years and I have been impoverished for many years. Nevertheless I do not ask for help very often, instead I volunteer at the bishop’s storehouse and do much more voluntary work as often as I can. I was poor and now the bishop was unwilling to help me again.
When I was leaving California, my bishop there said to me that they were really going to miss me, especially at the bishop’s storehouse because He told me that I had put in so many hours at the storehouse that I had exceeded the hours of the Stake Representative whose calling it is to go down there on a regular basis.
I have worked on church farms, and in the canneries, and the LDS Thrift stores, and in several stores doing inventory at night, in addition to the bishop’s storehouse, all because I believe in helping out. And I was not even receiving help from the church most of the time. I know that others were more physically challenged than I was, so I helped out all that I could, because “when ye are in the service of your fellow man, ye are only in the service or your God.” Or “when ye do it unto the least of these thy brethren, ye do it unto me” the Lord said.
In all my dealings with the church, I have never been mistreated until now. The bishop was poisoning the whole ward against me, and my friends were telling me what was being said about me, and they were asking me: “what is going on Robin.” The saddest part about this whole thing, is I expected the bishop to congratulate me on my progress, on my 14+ years of being morally clean and keeping the law of chastity, and having fidelity with my wife for over nine years and now my five plus years of celibacy. I should have been praised for keeping the commandments so well, especially considering my family background and upbringing which was not so good. I had made some mistakes sure, but they were largely in the distant past. I had overcome incredible obstacles and jumped many hurdles. I was a third generation Mormon, on both sides of the family, yet I was the first one to go on a mission, the only one of my siblings to go to early morning seminary. My own parents had never been to the Temple, and neither had my three sisters. I paid tithing and fast offering when the rest of my family did not. I was the most active member, the most devout member of my family. Thirty other bishops’ and nine other Stake Presidents, my Mission President, and numerous Priesthood Leaders and other members alike could testify to my intense devotion to the church, and of my faith and understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I had never turned down a calling in my lifetime, and I had always confessed all my sins and never tried to cover them up or lie about them.
Ever since I moved to Oklahoma, I have carried with me the stigma of being gay, yet I had not committed a single gay or homosexual act while in this State. I was refused what is called the “restoration of my blessings” and not given much more opportunity to serve in this part of the Lord’s Vineyard. And now that I have grown older and my health has not been as good, and I am more disabled than before (for instance, I am now physically disabled and was using a walker, and now a wheelchair) and I need more assistance than ever, instead I have been cut off and cast out of the house of prayer and I have been denied any chance to serve anymore.
They can do to me as they see fit, but I will never lose my testimony, my faith, my hope, and my charity towards all people. I have read the bible all the way through twice, and the New Testament three times, the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Christ eight times, and the Doctrine and Covenants three times, and the Pearl Of Great Price four times if I recall correctly. I have only read one book of fiction in my life, because I have shelves of church books and books on tape, and on computer, because that is all I have studied my whole life, besides school and college.
Spencer W. Kimball once said that if the average person could only meet God, and then inquired of him what was most important in this life, they would quit their jobs, and all other purposes, and put all of their effort into building up the Kingdom of God here on earth (I paraphrased). I have tried to follow this example most of my life.
But now this bishop has pushed me to the brink of destruction and has begun to test my soul. I feel pushed out of the Church that I love so dearly and the result of his actions and attitude toward me is that I have fully come out of the closet again.
I felt that I might as well act on my homosexuality since I was being treated as though I was doing this already. I began to wear pink clothing even if it were women’s clothes. I paint my nails on my hands and feet, pink of course, and I tell everyone that I am gay, queer, a homosexual or faggot. I wear colorful socks and rainbow socks all the time. And I even prayed for a boyfriend to the Lord.
The Lord gave ancient Israel meat, when they asked for it and a king when they begged for it, even though it was not his will to give them meat or a king, because He was their King. I even told the Lord, that if he sent me a beautiful 19 year old boy to love me and who I could love, that this would be a sign unto me of his approval of me.
Two years ago, or a little more, a young man did come into my life and he was 19 years old and very cute. We have been happy ever since, and I have started to write these Blog’s. I am now happier than I have ever been in my entire life. I have recently got off of all my psyche meds and my depression and mental illness seems to be gone. The Lord has answered my prayers and blessed me with better physical and mental health. I now know that the Lord gave me those dreams when I was a child, so that I would love him and myself, and know for myself that he accepts me for who I am. I have suffered enough, and to Lord has seen fit to allow me much happiness and joy in this life now.
The bishop sent people to spy on me, and they reported that I have a boyfriend, and the bishop even got my first Blog that I put on the internet, explaining my struggles with the church and its homophobic members like Boyd K. Packer who I still Love, but do not agree with. On January 19th of 2012, almost a year ago now, the bishop held a church court for me and my boyfriend came with me. This court took about 3.5 hours and of course he excommunicated me again from the church a second time. He was more concerned about my Blog than anything else.
My boyfriend told the bishop at my court, that they were wrong and that I was the most righteous and spiritual man the he ever knew. My boyfriend George Allen Circle has been a great support to me through all this. Now about my Blog!
You see, in my first Blog, I took several talks by Boyd K. Packer and one by James E. Faust, Jeffery R. Holland, Ezra Taft Benson, Gordon B, Hinckley and two by Dallin H. Oaks and Elder Wickman. I read them over and over again, and underlined passages from the text, and also read the accompanying scriptures that they used to back up their claims and I included or quoted these statements in my Blog. I said that these are the things that these brethren say about homosexuals and homosexuality and that this is what my bishop agrees with also. Much of it was quite negative, as you may have already heard before. I researched these things on the internet and Church Websites as well as stuff from Affirmation: the Gay and Lesbian Mormons.
I discovered for myself, what the brethren were saying about me, and thought of me; and no wonder my bishop felt the way that he felt about me. However my bishop did not agree with me and said that I “misrepresented the brethren” and that I was apostate for disagreeing with Boyd K. Packer. I guess that Elder Oaks is Apostate also, for saying that these things that were said amounted to Verbal-Gay-Bashing and should not be said any longer.
Since my departure from the church I have read hundreds of other members and ex-members stories and seen for myself that many people have experienced all that I have.
I am waiting for the other shoe to drop, in other words, I am waiting for more revelation on the gay situation from the Lord. I have received confirmation in my own heart that God the Father loves us gay children just the way that we are and that he has his purpose for doing so, and it is for our salvation that He has done this.
I also know that I would not have been the strong person I am today, if I had not been born gay. I know that this revelation will come soon, and has not come already, because the members are not quite ready for it. Things are changing fast and I know that I will now be able to marry soon, the boy of my dreams, who is still by my side today.
Is homosexuality a struggle? For some it can be and for others it is not, but it is a challenge for us all, and if we take on that challenge and trust in the Lord, he will bring us to a beautiful place of peace and joy in this life and in the world to come!
Because of my own difficult struggle I have done much of the work that I was sent here to do. I just needed to accept myself the way that God made me and love myself too. My Patriarch Blessing said that I would have a great memory, I do; that I would go to the House of The Lord, I did; that I would serve an honorable mission, and I did. It said that in the due time of the Lord I would take an handmaid of the Lord to wife, and I did that. The Lord said that I would bring many souls unto him through baptisms and by my example to others and the love I have for those around me, and I have. The lord said many other blessings that have been realized as well, except for one; the Lord said that I would have a second mission in my later life. I now know what that second mission is, to help my gay brothers and lesbian sisters that are in and out of the church; and I will.

First thing I recommend is, that you read the rest of this Blog, but that you also read: “Homosexuality: A Straight BYU Students Perspective, draft 2T.” by Brad Carmack, just search for Brad Carmack in your search engine. Brad can help you with the emotional part of being gay and lesbian or transgender. Then in chapter two he will help you understand why you are who you are from a science perspective. He will also explain how you can fulfill your eternal destiny, and be happy in this life, and a great deal concerning Gay and Lesbian Marriage. It is 261 pages, and I have never read anything so fast before (three days) and that was so helpful to me and gave me such a spiritual understanding, and a renewed strength to do what is right. Remember we are all here to help one another and to build each other up and to strengthen one another.

Next, accept your self for who you are, a child of a Loving and benevolent God. Gay or straight, black or white or any other color, man or woman or intersexed or transgendered it does not matter anymore than your hair color or eye color, God Loves all his creations. Remember that Heavenly Father is omnificent (know all things) and he knows that you are Gay, just as he knows that almost 10% of the worlds population would be gay in the Latter Days of this world and he has a plan for each of them. So if you are still rejecting yourself, stop it now, for to do so is to reject Gods plan for you also.

Next, love yourself as you love others, for this is the great commandment in the law. When you love yourself, you can forgive yourself, and begin to help yourself also. If you love others, you will love God also, and you will begin to forgive everyone and be in a position to help all others as well.
Here in this Muskogee ward, I said in the Gospel Essentials Class, that the key to forgiving every one, was to love everyone and I said that God had given me the gift of loving all of his children unconditionally, and that I had always had this gift of the Spirit my entire life. Would you believe the whole class laughed at me, and one old man said under his breath: “I suppose that he loves his enemies as well” and as a matter of fact, I do; just as the Lord Jesus Christ commanded us to. Then the teacher of that class said softly, “well that’s nice for you!”
Do not be as these hypocrites, who do not follow in the Lord’s footsteps. God is Love the Bible tells us so, and the Lord said that it would be well with us on judgment day if we had charity, and charity, as the great apostle Paul put it so long ago, is the “pure love of Christ” (see second Corinthians chapter 13, the entire chapter).

Next, accept the truth and it will set you free. I have been telling you the truth in this Blog and I cannot do otherwise. So do as my wife used to tell me and “suspend your disbelief” and listen to my words, they come from a loving heart and mind. Remember, that this world which is our Temporary and imperfect home, is full of hate and disbelief and that all these things will shortly be done away with and we will sit with our Lord and Savior and drink wine, fresh wine with him.

Next, because of the preceding remark I want you to stop listening to all the hate around you and learn to listen with your spiritual ears to the whisperings of the Spirit. And do not be afraid of the answers either, like Ezra was when he received revelation on gays, but stopped listening because he did not like what he has heard so far.

If you can you can do the above steps then I recommend that you find someone else to be in your life that shares your new beliefs also. God said: “it is not right that man should be alone” and so he made an helpmeet for Adam, the first man. Notice that the scripture does not say helpmate, like so many people say that it is supposed to say. But it says helpmeet, in Genesis; and the word helpmeet as explained in the dictionary, means someone who will help you meet all of your responsibilities. So chose someone that you love and that loves you, and that is also willing to be helpful to you. Like I have done and I tell you that it is wonderful.

Next, remember to love God with all your might, mind and strength. After all, you now know that he loves you, and that anyone that says different is a liar and does not love God as they should and they may not even love themselves.

Next, if you have any questions that you would like to ask me at this time or if you wish to say hello or leave any kind of remark or comment of your own, then feel free to use one of the emails below, they are all mine and all linked together. – or this one – – or this one if you prefer –

I promise to get in touch with you as soon as possible, thanks and in advance, I love you too.

Finally be good to yourself and go out and do something nice for yourself and possibly your significant other as well. And remember we (my fiancé and I) love you unconditionally.

This is not the end of my Blog, but I will be adding more to it as time goes on and I continue to learn more; this is just what I typed out on my first day. Look for more later on, and I hope to be hearing from you as well. Until then, Peace and May God be with you until we meet again (or even for the first time).

Lots of Love, Robin Lee Johnson!

Robin Johnson

I am Gay and Ex-Mormon, 51 years old, White and Indian, and I have blue eyes, brown hair and I am 6 feet tall and I am Loving, kind and compassionate. I am interested in helping other same-sex-attracted Mormons and Ex-Mormons deal with this issue and to be a support to them, and lend advice to anyone that seeks after it. I also wish to create a greater understanding of these issues for straights and gays, Mormon or not, so that we all may show greater Love to one another and be willing to bear one another's burdens that they may be light. My goal is to stop the bullying and hatred on one side of these issues and the suicide and self-loathing of individuals on the other side of these issues. Hopefully this will cause there to be more Peace, Love and reconciliation between gays and non-gays and also between Mormons, Ex-Mormons and Non-Mormons alike.

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3 Responses

  1. Chris F. says:

    Wow, what an amazing, powerful, and beautiful story. You have truly had a full life. Thank you for writing this. I am not gay, but your story touched me so much that I, who only has internet at work due to no connection at home, and who has ADHD and reads slow, spent all of my slow work time yesterday, and then came back as soon as I could this morning to finish reading it.

    I believe that you have the true light of Christ, and that you don’t need the CoJCoL-DS, or any other organized church, to develop or show your love and wisdom to the World. May God never foresake you. May all of your righteous desires be met. And, may you continue to inspire people toward the True Path.

  2. Mike says:

    Robin, your story is amazing and heartbreaking. I feel for you in all your sufferings and pain, truly it is a miracle you are alive. It breaks my heart to see people suffer, to struggle and lose all that matters most. I want you to know one thing I have learned and seen to be true. Everyone is born with a weakness, notice the word born, anyway the reason for the weakness is to teach us and to help us grow. It, the weakness must be overcome for it is a weakness and it will either destroy or build one up. If I may say there is so much strength in you as far as a disciple of Christ, but a lot of confusion and a need to take responsibility for your decisions. I have a weakness and you have a weakness, I have been blessed to see it and I know your gay feelings you have dealt with all your life are not you and you are more than you know. You can be free of those feelings if you want, I know that as well as I know we exist. I ask your forgiveness if I have in any way offended you and I think God is waiting for you to come home for you are still alive. I too am ex,d for the second time but I will make it back. For different reasons the ex. Fight the good fight robin.

  3. Kittywaymo says:

    God bless you brother. You are in my prayers. Remember your spiritual experiences and read your scriptures each day. Let go of the past completely and please come back to the fold, we love you!

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