…the parched land shall become a pool, and the thirsty lands springs of water…(Isaiah 35:7)

Hide Your Husbands!

Here Comes Rex!

By Rex Goode


Back in 1995, I announced to the world, via this web site, that I have always dealt with same-sex attraction. Since that time, being “out” has been a thoroughly interesting experience. I’ve learned who I can trust and who I can’t.

I figured out which people only identified themselves as friends and which were true friends. I’ve created controversies and opportunities for people to examine their own sensibilities and their own issues. In the process, I have come to a few conclusions that have surprised me.

Not the least of these is that there are an awful lot of dirty-minded people in the Church. In our sex-saturated, media culture, many Latter-day Saints have arrived at a sad point. They have begun to view everything through a sex lens.

Here are a couple of examples from my experiences in being open and honest about myself.

In the ward where I lived between 1996 and 2000, a certain priesthood leader told a family I was being assigned to home teach that the husband should watch out for me. He told the husband that I had “come on” to him and that he should be careful.

One day, at the temple, I was in the hall outside the men’s dressing room waiting with my wife and that same priesthood leader’s wife. We were due to go on a session, but the leader had not come out of the dressing room. His wife asked me to go see what was staking him so long.

Now, the locker room in a temple has stalls where people change their clothes. For modesty’s sake, the walls and doors around these stalls cover you very well. To really get a look at someone, you would have to stand on your tiptoes and peer down over the side. Yet, when I entered the locker room, not even within five feet of his locker, he panicked and acted as if I was going to bust down the door and rape him.

Once, when I was in my gym in the hot tub, I noticed a man from my ward who was on the high council coming out of the sauna. I said “hello” to him and even though he had been unashamedly walking around in his birthday suit, his towel went out in front of him hanging from shoulder height down to his knees.

It’s not just the men. I’ve had more than one wife be jealous over her husband’s friendship with me. They seemed to be sure that I was going to seduce their husbands and run away with them. Well, girlfriend, it takes two to tango and even if your husband might be interested, I am not.

I try to be understanding about people wondering about me. I know that I’m an enigma. I know that I and my story take some getting used to.

As annoying as some of these encounters have been, the one that wins the prize for the foulest is the man who thought that my revelation meant that my wife was up for grabs. Or, how about the guy who commented to me in the temple locker room, “I didn’t know they let your kind in here.”

A healthy attitude towards sexuality doesn’t place so much mental emphasis on it. If you see a sexual agenda in things as wonderful and sacred as friendship, consider what the apostle Paul wrote to Titus: “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled (Titus 1:15).”

I believe much of this problem in my life is related to a set of myths that are believed by people of a conservative religious bent. Mind you, I am, myself, of a very conservative religious bent. I am also a believer in truth and don’t think that any myth will do just because it is socially conservative.

The Myths

If He Is Attracted to Men, He Is Attracted to All Men

I don’t believe that if a man is attracted to women, he is attracted to all women. In fact, I think that a man who is attracted to all women is pretty sick. People probably think that because I am attracted to men, that I am pretty sick. Well, we’re all sick, but it’s a ridiculous premise. Yet, many people operate on it.

If He Is Attracted to a Certain Man, He Is Trying to Seduce that Man

It’s the strangest thing. So-called straight men walk around all the time noticing and sometimes commenting on attractive women. Those comments aren’t always in good taste. It’s like the woman my wife and I knew whose husband was always making lewd comments and noises about the women he saw on the street. We asked her once if it hurt her feelings. She replied, “Well, at least he looks at women,” implying that it’s better than looking at men.

Even so, no one thinks that men like him are trying to seduce all of those women. Similarly, just because I might think of a certain man as attractive doesn’t mean I’m trying to steal him from his wife. There’s a lot more that I get out of a male friend that has nothing to do with sexuality.

If He Is Attracted to Men, He Shouldn’t Have Male Friends

Where do I begin? There is so much wrong with this attitude that it almost defies any attempt to refute it. That’s because anything I might say would trigger someone to say, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” Nevertheless, methinks I will make an effort.

Male friends have been one of the greatest blessings in my life, especially when those friendships have been based on mutual respect and, yes, love. Even though not all of my friendships with males are mutual in levels of support, I’ve had plenty of very good friendships with very attractive men that didn’t result in them leaving their wives for me. I’ve never even invited one to do so.

A conversion therapy is a mode of therapy designed to reduce or eliminate same-sex attracted feelings.
One of the pillars of what are known as conversion therapies is for the client to be guided through the building of healthy, non-sexual relationships with people of the same sex. I neither discount nor personally subscribe to this theory. I’m of the opinion that healthy same-sex relationships are a must for anyone.

Finding and utilizing a same-sex mentor, according to the theory, should reduce the same-sex attracted feelings, or as some have claimed, cure them. I haven’t found this to be a viable option for me. I’ve already got a strong enough personality that any man trying to be my mentor usually ends up being mentored by me.  It’s lonely being this superior.

If He Is Beyond Merely Attracted to a Certain Man, He Shouldn’t Be Friends With that Man

I think it is not only OK, but imperative, if I were to find myself being overly attracted to a certain man, that I get to know him a little better. Believe me, most infatuations are based on a lack of real evidence. A healthy dose of reality about a certain man is almost a cure for any lingering sexual attractions I might have.

I have a gay friend at my gym. He is the maintenance man. Of necessity, he walks through the locker room a lot. His gay friends have expressed to  him that he has the dream job for a gay man. He just laughs and says, “Trust me. There is nothing there to see.”

Personally, I think that if there is a cure for male homosexuality, it’s the locker room at a gym where the reality is there in plain site. It’s a rare man in a locker room that would win any awards for attractive man of the year. In my experience, men look best in clothes.

For me, the experience of getting to know any man really well results in confirmation for me that I really am superior. The only thing I lack is humility.

The Benefits

Despite all of my complaining about the perceptions people have of me, it has almost always happened that an unkind or misinformed word has resulted in some kind of good. Remember the man I was assigned to home teach, you know, the one who was warned about me by a priesthood leader. He and I became the best of friends. I save his life once when he tried to commit suicide.

The member of the high council who frantically covered himself up with a towel showed up the next day and had a long conversation with me at our lockers, no towels, no nothin’. He figured out that I wasn’t warm for his form.

One time, a priesthood leader became suspicious of me and took me aside to grill me about my intentions for moving into his stake. Some gossip had written to the stake presidency a letter about me before I moved in. A couple of years later, after that priesthood leader had moved away and became a stake president, he visited my ward and took me aside again. This time it was to thank me for all he had learned from me in how to help men in his stake.

So, I’m actually OK with people finding me difficult to trust. Well, I’m OK with them expressing it, even if not always in the kindest way. It’s the people too cowardly to confront me that bother me.

A few years ago, a recently released bishop and I were talking as we sat naked in a hot tub in the locker room about homosexuality. I revealed to him my own struggle with it. We talked about it more as we headed to the shower.

After a pause in the conversation, he said, “So is this why you spend so much time in the locker room?”

I liked the question. I liked it because it was straightforward. There was no dissembling. As it turns out, I appreciate a cut to the chase. It’s better than some of the passive aggressive reactions I’ve had.

My answer to his question: “Don’t worry. I’m only attracted to attractive men. You’re safe.”

After we laughed about it a moment, I told him that he was right about me spending too much time in the locker room. It’s more out of laziness. I work out hard and a hot tub is like a trap. I just don’t want to leave, get dressed, and go to work.

I actually took his question seriously enough to realize that I was wasting a lot of time soaking in a hot tub after a workout. Instead, I decided I would spend just a few minutes in the hot tub and then go home early and work on blogs like this in the extra time I created.


1 person likes this post.

3 Responses to “Hide Your Husbands!”

  1. Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury said:

    Hey, Rex. Very useful post. Thank you.

    I strongly second that verse from Titus. It’s so true.

  2. Ross said:

    You know I’m not same sex attracted, but I have other issues. I can’t imagine opening up about them in our church culture. You are a very confident and brave person Rex.

  3. Rex Goode said:

    Thanks, Kathleen and Ross.

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