A friend posed to me to imagine my life without same-sex attraction. I’ve thought a lot about the question since. I could take it two ways: to imagine my life is same-sex attraction suddenly disappeared or to imagine my life if same-sex attraction had never been part of it.
The former is considerably more easy to do, but for me, still difficult. I’ve had a similar question posed to me before: If you could take a pill to make you straight, would you take it? I like drinks more than pills, so I always think, “If there was a drink called Straighterade, would I drink it?”The question doesn’t even give me pause. No, I wouldn’t drink it. I wouldn’t take a pill to convert me. I wouldn’t go to therapy that cures me.
So, what if someone “slipped me a mickey” I woke up feeling no attraction to men? What would change about my life and how would I feel about it?
I have long believed that all men feel same-sex attraction, though not all men feel same-sex sexual attraction. I see the way a lot of men really admire each other and are really drawn to be around each other. I’ve seen a good-looking man enter a situation and it’s more than me that eyes him up and down.
I’ve seen companies and even church organizations “promote” good-looking and charismatic men over some of us plainer men. What is considered attractive changes dramatically over time, but whatever is considered to constitute an attractive man in any culture will result in that man enjoying certain advantages. I think it is a human thing.
So, in truth, I think that any drug that would eliminate same-sex attraction from me would make me less human. The drug would have to be selective and eliminate from me only the propensity I have to have romantic or sexual feelings for other men. And yet, would I even want that?
I’m certain I wouldn’t. I know it would make life a lot easier for me in some ways, but there is always the problem that I like who I am just as I am while at the same time, thinking that life isn’t about having things fixed for you. It’s about the struggle to do what you believe is right in the face of challenges.
I considered my friend’s suggestion in the other potential meaning, about imagining my life if had never experienced same-sex attraction. I’ve already made the cases for same-sex attraction being a natural part of being human, so the same goes for this interpretation. No, I think men finding men attractive is normal. I wouldn’t want to imagine life without it.
Still, there is the idea to ponder what my life would be like if I had never felt same-sex sexual attraction, if I had never acted on those feelings as a youth, and did not experience them through the many years of my lengthening life. To me, it is an unfathomable question. How could I possible answer it?
I think that biologically and doctrinally speaking, I’d still be me, Rex Goode, son of Paul and Xyla. I’d still have been raised by stepfather and mother. I’d still have the same spirit inside me, the intelligence I’ve been throughout eternity.
The possible me’s extending out into a fantasy universe of different outcomes could end up being anyone. Would I have ever married Barbara? Would I have stayed faithful to the Church? Would I now have children and grandchildren?
Maybe I’d be a famous explorer, a race-car driver, or that guy in that stupid alcohol commercial, “The Most Interesting Man in the World.” For some people these fantasies might be enjoyable, but for me, I can’t imagine a life that could make me happier than the life I have now.
Not only can I not imagine my life without same-sex attraction. I can’t imagine anyone’s life without it. I know that there are a lot of straight men out there who pride themselves on having zero attraction to men. I think they’re in denial. They may not experience same-sex attraction the same as I do, but it happens to them all the same.
Men love men. They admire them. They watch them play sports on TV like it was a religion. Loving one another is a commandment of the Lord. He exemplified it. How could a bishopric or presidency in the Church function without same-sex love? How can we live in a peaceful world without brotherly love? A men where men don’t love men would be a dangerous world indeed, if it could even survive. I imagine annihilation is the only possible outcome for a world without same-sex attraction.