4—Being LDS in France and in the closet
6—Mormon missionaries: the subject of gay men’s fantasies. I recently met a handsome gay Mormon who BECAME the subject of mine and brought back memories of A missionary.
Not long ago a male co-worker said to me, “I didn’t believe in Mormonism but the missionaries were hot, so I kept taking the discussions.” When I contacted Elder Patrick about his post, he asked if I thought he was cute with his “elf hair.” ¹ I wasn’t attracted to him but his hair was captivating. If I joined the LDS Church for many reasons, his being cute was not one them. Yet the missionaries being American and the fact that some of them were “hot” was a bonus whenever I attended meetings or participated in our branch (then little ward) activities.
Is it rather strange that some adult movie productions specialise in ‘Mormon missionaries’ scenarios? I suppose it is the same as with teachers or nuns: an impossible situation, off-limit people, and in the case of the Mormons, wholesome straight-looking clean-cut men (in suits for those with a suit fetish). I get it!
An American gay Mormon in his late thirties contacted me to discuss religion, and how we can make it fit in with our sexual orientation. After corresponding a while, I met him in London last week. He was hot! And quite the cliché too, with his white shirt and slacks. “I went to church and didn’t have time to get changed”, he explained. He even had a rucksack to complete the look.
We jumped straight into theological questions. Because I’m a Fundamentalist he brought up the Adam-God doctrine ² and shared with me his most interesting perspective. I smiled when he mentioned the King Follett Sermon before making points I had never considered before. It felt so good! Better than enacting an adult movie scenario with him. Because this was the sort of discussions I can never ever have with LDS friends— or with gay men!
My gay friends can’t understand my Mormon faith is a fundamental part of me; my Mormon friends can’t understand my sexual orientation is fundamental part of me too. He understood it all. How special to be able to talk about religion—our religion!—and about homosexuality—and sex!—with another gay Mormon (and a hot one to boot!)
I was in the presence of an Adam-prototype. The ideal man. The kind that could take you to Kolob and back.
“I’m active in the Church and I wear my garments”, he said in his deep sexy voice. The garments excite the imagination of non-Mormons who call them “magic Mormon underwear” or “Jesus jammies.” Originally onesies, the modern LDS version of the garments consists (for both sexes) of a plain white undershirt and (a more peculiar) underwear that goes down to the knees. Members in good standing receive them when undergoing Masonic secret rituals in the Mormon temple. Masonic marks are stitched on both pieces as reminder of the covenants made during the ritual. They then must be worn at all times.
Naturally, some people have a Mormon underwear fetish. My old boss even asked me one day if I wore them. I don’t wear them and I don’t have a fetish. But that piece of information inspired fantasies nonetheless. Not sexual ones. Worse. The hot gay Mormon brought back half-baked dreams I buried long ago. Dangerous, because impossible, dreams. When the Londoner said he was wearing his garments, it made me go weak in the knees.
I was in the presence of an Adam-prototype—the ideal man—the kind that could take you to Kolob (the place near to where the Mormon God lives) and back. Because of the worthiness the garments implied—and the prospect of exaltation (the highest level of the Mormon heaven when you become a God too).
There are many gay Mormons out there. But most come out and leave the Church—and even God—behind, while others want to remain in the Church and become psychotic and confused. He agrees. The fact that I am out but still a staunch believer is what made him want to meet me. And the fact that he is comfortable with being gay and yet active in the LDS Church makes me fantasise about being in a relationship with another Mormon. I do realise that a relationship of that kind would lead to serious complications, and yet, what a blessing that would be! I have always felt fragmented with my ex-partners, and I prefer being single for that reason.
We spoke nonstop for three hours. But maybe I was not seeing too clearly. The hot gay Mormon told me he takes off his shirt to dance on the stage of trendy gay clubs. That part is quite a turn off. And I thought he said he was wearing his garments? We are from two very different worlds. We are not at the same stage: he’s figuring things out, still active in the Church but experimenting, and I’ve been out for 20 years, not in the Church and I did all the experimenting I wanted to, even if my “vanilla” nature means it never amounted to that much.
It was getting late. “I have to work tomorrow”. How I wished we could stop time. It had started raining but he walked me to the bus stop and waited with me. How handsome he looked in the wet London lights shining all around him and on the pavement under his feet. I wanted to hold him close and kiss him. I didn’t want the bus to ever arrive. But the bus did arrive and it took me back to the summer of ’96 I have been writing about in this series of posts. There was another pale, blonde guy in a white shirt in France back then. He was athletic-looking, clean-cut, and religious too. I mentioned Elder Jefferson before.
He stood in the doorway with his shirt so wet it stuck to his skin and the marks on his garments showed.
People said I was so enthusiastic when I did missionary work with Shawn’s replacement. Did they guess the reason why? Elder Jefferson and I quoted the Bible to each other. He said he loved how passionate I was about missionary work. I said I was not ashamed of the Gospel because it was the power of God. And that was true, but the other reason was that I lived for these moments. Being with Elder Jefferson sent an electric shock from my brain to my toes. I was so embarrassed as my body reacted whenever he stood too close to me. I was terrified someone would notice and out me.
One afternoon we got soaked and he decided to do push ups in the middle of the road while singing his army songs—as you do! He was so straight-laced (yet different) and I liked that. When we got back to his flat he threw me a towel. He stood in the doorway with his shirt so wet it stuck to his skin and the Masonic marks on his garments showed. He dried his light blonde hair in a towel and took off his shirt in front of me.
Another gay Mormon I met told me that, like me, before his mission, missionaries in his ward in Idaho did splits (separated from their companion) and went with him to do missionary work. The missionary put his hand on my friend’s knee in the car, and with time brought his hand higher, until one day he touched his crotch. Another time the missionary pushed him against the wall of their apartment and made out with him. My gay Mormon friend from Idaho reported him to his Bishop. The missionary denied it all and my friend was put on probation.
None of that happened to me. Elder Jefferson disappeared to his room, leaving me standing in the lounge, picturing him getting changed, out of his slacks. In my head I was with him, against him. And we kissed and sat on his bed and then it became a little X-rated. I stood there, letting my imagination run wild like any 20 year-old virgin would, until he reappeared all dry and dressed.
One night, after we talked about doctrine, Elder Jefferson looked me in the eye and said, “I like you!” It meant the world to me, but probably not much to him. He reached out to hug me and said, “I’ve always had problems expressing myself but you make me feel at ease, brother.” He let down his guard and that soldier persona of his disappeared for an instant. He said he was scared to open up to people because he didn’t want to get hurt and be betrayed. Was he gay? He gave me the impression that he was a loner. He always talked about his brother and his granddad but never about his friends—or girls.
He said, “Some missionaries become friends with their companions but that’s never happened to me.” I guessed he was an awkward child who had joined the army in search of something. He was a little scared of going home now that his mission was coming to an end. I understood. My Idaho friend said it was the same with him on his mission. He did not become friends with his companions because his being gay made him timid. Especially when he was attracted to them. And he is still angry to this day about the hypocrisy. Some of them had sex (with each other or the opposite sex, I did not ask) and he said he did not even masturbate for months during his mission. Yet he was “the bad one”.
Was it the same with Elder Jefferson? I wanted to protect him and be there for him and I wanted him to protect me and be there for me too. We would sustain each other with the Word of God. It was crazy but it was me.
I have to say that I felt attracted to my gay Mormon friend from Idaho. I guess I am just like a girl desperate to marry a returned missionary! I had shared with the Londoner that dream of mine: getting down on my knees to pray with my partner every night before going to bed. Like every night I prayed alone. No big deal. But the next day I felt blue. I knew it was not about him. It was about what he represented. But maybe we all long for something we can never have, and I guess that’s what makes those Mormon missionaries adult movies popular.
My LDS friends and I went to see The Book of Mormon, the smash-hit musical featuring missionaries in Africa. We knew the show would be disrespectful but we also knew we’d laugh out loud. Because you can laugh about your parents with siblings but you wouldn’t with strangers, I wanted to see it with Mormons. I’ve always enjoyed those guys’ work—including their treatment of Mormons in South Park. Because they do their homework and you need to give them credit for it. So, they never offend me. It’s only ridiculous nonsense from mean-spirited and clueless people (like those behind The Godmakers) that offends me and angers me.
Some parts in The Book of Mormon were spot on: “Don’t feel those feelings! Hold them in instead. Turn it off, like a light switch. Just go click! It’s a cool little Mormon trick! We do it all the time.” ³
I started feeling lighter. There’s nothing like some unhealthy Mormon coping mechanism to get other those Mormonboyz! I have used it too with my Idaho friend too!