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 was the subject of mine and brought back memories of the missionary I used to like.
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 on a sexual level when we met in the street but I was his hair was captivating. I joined the LDS Church for many reasons but the missionaries wasn’t one of them.
I most certainly understand the appeal missionaries have. I did find a few were hot. Is anyone surprised some adult movie productions specialise in ‘Mormon missionaries’? You have an impossible situation, the forbidden fruit, wholesome straight-looking clean-cut men (and suits for those who have a suit fetish). Success guaranteed.
I met a hot Mormon in London last week. The cliché: Tall, blonde, open-faced, athletic, with a fantastic smile, with a white shirt and slacks (as he’d been to church and didn’t have time to get changed). He even had a rucksack to complete the look. He’s in his late 30s but he could be in one of those films. He contacted me to discuss religion and how we make it fit in with our sexual orientation.
We jumped straight into theological questions. Because I’m a Fundamentalist he brought up the Adam-God doctrine ² and shared his interesting perspective on it. I smiled when he mentioned the King Follett Sermon and made points I had never considered before. It felt so good! Because I cannot have that sort of discussions with LDS friends— and most certainly not with other gay men!
Because my gay friends can’t understand the Mormon faith is a fundamental part of me, and because my Mormon friends can’t understand my sexual orientation is another fundamental part of me, it was so special to be able to talk about religion—our religion—and about homosexual feelings—and even sex.
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. Another cliché—this one for those in the club. The garments excite the imagination of non-Mormons who call them “magic Mormon underwear” or “Jesus jammies.” The modern version consist of a white undershirt and some Long Johns—going down to the knees. You receive those when undergoing sacred rituals/covenants in the temple—which are different from Mormon churches—and must be worn at all times. Masonic marks are stitched on both pieces as reminder of the covenants made.
The garments feature in those adult movie productions with ‘missionaries’. He inspired me fantasies—or brought down higher dreams. Dangerous ones. Impossible ones. If some people have garments fetish, I don’t. Those are sacred and I object to such use. But when the Londoner said he was wearing his, it made me go weak in the knees.
He inspired me some dark fantasy: I did not want to have sex with him. It was worse. I was in the presence of an Adam-prototype—the ideal man—the kind that could take you to Kolob and back. Because of the worthiness the garments implied—the prospect of exaltation. In that fantasy I am in a relationship with a Mormon. And if I called it dark it’s because a relationship of that kind would lead to serious complications.
There are many gay Mormons out there. But most come out and leave the Church—and even God—behind. He agrees. The fact that I am out but still a staunch believer is what made him want to meet me.
We spoke for three hours nonstop. It was getting late and he had to work the next day. He walked me to the bus stop and stood in the rain, close to me. How handsome he was in the pouring rain and those London lights shining around him. How I wanted to hold him close and kiss him. I didn’t want the bus to ever arrive.
But the bus did arrive. It took me back to Chelsea but in my head I traveled back to France—to the summer of ’96 I’ve been writing about in this series of posts. There was another pale, blonde guy in a white shirt there. 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’s 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 sometimes when my body reacted. And I was terrified someone would 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 marks on his garments showed. He dried his light blonde hair in another towel and took off his shirt in front of me. He disappeared to his room, leaving me standing there, picturing him getting changed, out of his slacks and then 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 wander like any 20 year-old virgin would.
One night, after we talked about deep doctrine, he looked me in the eye and said, “I like you!” It meant the world to me but probably not much to him. But 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 disappeared. He said he was scared to open up to people because he didn’t want to get hurt and betrayed. He gave me the impression 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. And 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.
The Londoner also told me about how awkward he felt before and how he never dared to approach girls or anyone. I would have never guessed. He was so self-assured. But it was before he came out. Now he takes off his shirt to dances on the stage of trendy gay clubs. That part was quite a turn off. We are from two very different worlds. We are not at the same stage: he’s just coming out, 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.
I got back to the AirB&B Chelsea apartment where I was staying with Elder Larson (the missionary who baptised me in ’95) and his wife, Tandy, visiting from Utah. We had bumped into Elders a couple of times in York and London. How young the missionaries are! To think we were their age when the three of us met.
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 perhaps that’s what makes those Mormon missionaries adult movies so popular.
Elder Larson, Tandy 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!