"Ex-Gays" | Gay Marriage | Mormon | Relationships | Religion

Josh Weed Is Gay, And Loves His Wife Very Much

JoshAndLollyThis is, I promise, one of the most fascinating things you'll read this June: The blog post in which Josh Weed, full-time "marriage and family therapist" and part-time humorist, comes out of the closet.

Thing is, Josh Weed is a very devout Mormon, and he's married to a woman. He and his wife, Lolly, have three daughters. Lolly and Josh have been friends since they were kids, and Lolly's known Josh was gay since he was 16. They got married anyway, and they reportedly have a "robust" sex life. But Josh says he's not bisexual. From the blog:

Some might assume that because I’m married to a woman, I must be bisexual. This would be true if sexual orientation was defined by sexual experience. Heck, if sexual orientation were defined by sexual experience, I would be as straight as the day is long even though I’ve never been turned on by a Victoria’s Secret commercial in my entire life. Sexual orientation is defined by attraction, not by experience. In my case, I am attracted sexually to men. Period. Yet my marriage is wonderful, and Lolly and I have an extremely healthy and robust sex life. How can this be?

The truth is, what people are really asking with the above question is “how can you be gay if your primary sex partner is a girl?” I didn’t fully understand the answer to this question until I was doing research on sexuality in grad school even though I had been happily married for almost five years at that point. I knew that I was gay, and I also knew that sex with my wife was enjoyable. But I didn’t understand how that was happening. Here is the basic reality that I actually think many people could use a lesson in: sex is about more than just visual attraction and lust and it is about more than just passion and infatuation. I won’t get into the boring details of the research here, but basically when sex is done right, at its deepest level it is about intimacy. It is about one human being connecting with another human being they love. It is a beautiful physical manifestation of two people being connected in a truly vulnerable, intimate manner because they love each other profoundly. It is bodies connecting and souls connecting. It is beautiful and rich and fulfilling and spiritual and amazing. Many people never get to this point in their sex lives because it requires incredible communication, trust, vulnerability, and connection. And Lolly and I have had that from day one, mostly because we weren’t distracted by the powerful chemicals of infatuation and obsession that usually bring a couple together (which dwindle dramatically after the first few years of marriage anyway). So, in a weird way, the circumstances of our marriage allowed us to build a sexual relationship that is based on everything partners should want in their sex-life: intimacy, communication, genuine love and affection. This has resulted in us having a better sex life than most people I personally know. Most of whom are straight. Go fig.

So -- Josh's gayness somehow improved his het sex life. It's a crazy world.

Josh's blog post is a little bonkers -- less because of his love life (which, like most love lives, looks a little bonkers to those on the outside looking in) than because of his Mormonism (which is just bonkers, full-stop) -- but it's kind of sweet, too. If he's to be taken at his word, it seems he ignored the imperatives of his own natural attractions to settle down with the person he believed to be his soul-mate, and with whom he wanted to build a family. If he was an atheist or a Unitarian or a Buddhist who did that and wrote about it, he'd be proclaimed a bold sexual rebel. The fact that he just happens to be a member of a religion that condemns homosexuality makes the decision feel a lot less bold, and more like the result of brainwashing --

-- but he's so nice! So reasonable! From the blog:

About two years ago, I saw a psychologist to get medication for my ADHD-I.  She was a lesbian, and when I told her that I was a gay man in a heterosexual marriage, she spent an entire session hammering me with questions about my situation in a genuine effort to make sure I was happy. I didn’t love that she did this, but as a clinician myself, I understood where she was coming from.

During our conversation, she told me about her life with her partner. She spoke of a girl, whom she considered her daughter, who is the biological child of her ex-lover, with whom she lived for only three years. She told me of how much she loved her daughter, but how infrequently she got to see her. And eventually, when talking about my sex life, she said “well, that’s good you enjoy sex with your wife, but I think it’s sad that you have to settle for something that is counterfeit.”

I was a little taken aback by this idea—I don’t consider my sex-life to be counterfeit. In response, I jokingly said “and I’m sorry that you have to settle for a counterfeit family.” She immediately saw my point and apologized for that comment. Obviously, I don’t actually think a family with non-biological members is counterfeit in any way. I also don’t feel that my sex-life is counterfeit. They are both examples of something that is different than the ideal. I made that joke to illustrate a point. If you are gay, you will have to choose to fill in the gaps somewhere. She chose to have a family in a way that is different than the ideal. I choose to enjoy sex in a way that is different than the ideal for a gay man. It all comes down to what you choose and why, and knowing what you want for yourself and why you want it. That’s basically what life is all about.

True! And it would sound even truer coming from somebody who doesn't base his life decisions on a book that claims Native Americans first sailed to America from the Levant.

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  1. I can certainly see how a gay person can have a deep emotional connection to someone of the opposite sex. It really is how many people end up in a straight marriage. They fall in love with their best friends and only later realize that they are gay.

    But to translate that into "awesome sex" is pretty absurd.

    >"She chose to have a family in a way that is different than the ideal"

    And he here shows that is just a brainwashed Mor(m)on

    Posted by: Steve | Jun 9, 2012 12:09:11 PM

  2. As long as they're happy. I could really care less about the choices people make regarding sex and relationships. In a world where so many people think same sex love is wrong and disgusting, I can't really pass judgement a gay man who wants to have a wife and kids. We all get to make our own choices to get what we want out of life.

    Posted by: neo | Jun 9, 2012 12:12:02 PM

  3. Very, very interesting and memorable. The comments here are going to be wild. I would only say that Josh is the expert on himself and his feelings. When you meet the right person anything can happen. It is a good example of how it is that many essentially straight men can live happily ever after with a gay man to their mutual fullfilment. Orientation takes a back seat to love.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Jun 9, 2012 12:14:48 PM

  4. Agreed, Steve. I feel sorry for his wife, but then again, I suppose this is the life she chose. In my opinion, this article does nothing but justify delusion.

    And it's interesting that he insists he isn't bisexual. If it walks like a duck, and has sex with both men and women, then that's a damn bisexual duck. And that second paragraph of the blog post seems like a pretty standard bisexual response: "It's about two people connecting, nothing else."

    On the other hand, why should I care? If he's happy, then whatever, I guess.

    Posted by: finkles2000 | Jun 9, 2012 12:18:36 PM

  5. I think that he's engaging in deceptive wordplay based on his Mormon upbringing. And yes, he's most certainly bisexual.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jun 9, 2012 12:20:56 PM

  6. @Neo and Uffda
    The problem is Josh's post is going to be used to further shame gay LDS children into trying to become straight. If you read the comments on his blog, many of them are from gay people saying this gives them hope they too can change. There are also comments from people saying they are going to show this to their gay friends. I suppose to show them that they also can become straight. This is just more mormon ex-gay propaganda that will result in more LGBT children committing suicide after struggling to become straight and wondering why they can't like Josh.

    Posted by: ptip | Jun 9, 2012 12:21:25 PM

  7. I can see why this has the "ex-gay" tag on it, because it's a part of that broader discussion, but this isn't an ex-gay story at all. It's the story of a gay man who made choices a lot of us wouldn't.

    I know some other couples in this sort of arrangement, where religion is not a part of the equation, or at least, where their personal religion (as opposed to the way they were raised) is not a factor. So, while no doubt his Mormon faith informs his personal decision, it isn't accurate to imply it's the only reason similar people might have had.

    This doesn't bother me at all. Good for him if he is happy and if she is happy.

    I'll come down hard on it if anyone tries to use it as "proof" that it's the only acceptable choice for the rest of us, though, or if the religious view shifts from "cure" to this sort of "accommodation" as the standard answer that a denomination wants to impose on people.

    It wouldn't work for me. I can't imagine how it works for someone else. But the two of them get to be the ones who say that it does or doesn't.

    Posted by: Lymis | Jun 9, 2012 12:22:42 PM

  8. Whatever makes you happy as long as nobody gets hurt. Is it possible that nobody is getting hurt in this unusual marriage...perhaps. On a side note...I'm gay..maybe 99.5%...because for some strange reason Eva Mendez gives me a woody and desire to french kiss. My husband thinks that's "sick" and I can't explain why I find her so sexy...maybe she's just so beautiful in every way that it transcends my usual instincts. If she had a nice hairy bag of beans...that would be even better! I even tried calling my husband "Eva" the last time we made love...he slapped me hard!

    Posted by: Paul B. | Jun 9, 2012 12:25:54 PM

  9. well, there are all kinds of agreements, eh?

    he's allowed to marry without romantic love, and she's allowed to marry a man that sees her as a gosh-darn-great best friend.

    the sad reality, of course, is that all of this comes with the LDS baggage; namely - do this or you won' get your own planet and you'll end up spending Eternity on a lower-level of "heaven" as a servant (probably with non-mormons and "blacks").

    intent and motivation are everything.

    the reality of his circumstances, removing an LDS or conservative-religious influence, could be a relationship with a man he's attracted to, while still maintaining a terrific and close relationship with this (or another) female, and still being an active parent. the choice is not "be gay or be a father" - there are simply too many fathers and mothers and families of different makeup and dynamic for such a "question" to even be posed anymore.

    when i was teen dating a very-special lass in high school, i truly thought i could do it forever. why? because he was, and remains, freakin' amazing. the best friend, a thrilling intellectual partner, someone i love deeply, and *yeah*, we actually had a really good sex life. but "that something special" just wasn't there.

    and that something special only comes from a connection to a partner with which you're naturally oriented for attraction toward.

    so as "lovely" as this story may seem, in an LDS kind of way, i can't shake that basic truth - his happiness is indeed, without question, missing "that one special thing" - and in true LDS fashion, he doesn't see it. because he's doing what he's "supposed" to do, and that is "supposed" to make him happy.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jun 9, 2012 12:26:47 PM

  10. What I resent is the particular implications of his example; i.e., that a gay man can and thus "choose" to act out a heterosexual marriage, complete with wife, sex, and kids.

    Perhaps it is genuine in his mind--I have no right to discount that possibility--but Mormons and other nutcase evangelicals have made no effort to give the rest of us GLBTs any equivalent consideration that our lives are genuine. And so, despite his claims, I ultimately find his position unconvincing and extremely offensive because it is so clearly motivated by his religious thinking.

    Again, he is more than welcome to live his life according to the constraints he has imposed upon himself. But when he goes public to insinuate that this is what the cult of Mormonism expects gay men to do, that totally crosses the line. You can read it in his choice of wording--e.g., "different than the ideal." I'm sorry, but being gay is not different than the ideal, because to say something is ideal means that it is BETTER or a EXEMPLARY MODEL of the available alternatives. His language is full of weasel words that reveal his subtle biases.

    Posted by: atomic | Jun 9, 2012 12:31:30 PM

  11. His story includes a link to a book to which he contributed. The book is published by the Mormon church. It tells the stories of people like him and others who have chosen not to live the "gay lifestyle".

    Shame on him for contributing to that.

    Posted by: BobN | Jun 9, 2012 12:31:56 PM

  12. I just feel sorry for his wife. On my point of view here there are only two possibilities: He's bisexual or he try to live as his religion told him. I'm not here to judge but I feel sorry for him because he doesn't live the way he feels deep inside.

    Posted by: Luke | Jun 9, 2012 12:32:09 PM

  13. It's interesting and unusual, and definitely a great read. This would be far more easily digestible if he added the disclaimer that he doesn't think this arrangement should be the norm, or that it's more moral than being with a man. I'd have said that from the get go, because otherwise we're all left to make assumptions.

    Posted by: John | Jun 9, 2012 12:33:18 PM

  14. Brandon, thanks for the amazing job you do on the weekends- as well as everyone at Towleroad.

    I was reading through Josh's post- and while he seems very nice- when you read down, he doesn't sound that accepting of other gay people's choices. From a section of that same post under the heading,

    Should all gay people who are LDS or Christian choose to marry people of the opposite gender?
    "2. If you are gay and Mormon (or Christian), I want you to know how much love I feel for you, and how much I admire you. I know how hard it is to be where you are. I want you to do me a favor. I want you, right now, to take a deep breath, look in the mirror, and accept yourself as you are in this very instant. You are you. And your attractions are part of you. And you are totally okay! I promise. I want you to stop battling with this part of you that you may have understood as being sinful. Being gay does not mean you are a sinner or that you are evil. Sin is in action, not in temptation or attraction.
    I feel this is a very important distinction. This is true for every single person. You don’t get to choose your circumstances, but you do get to choose what you do with them. "

    Now, I appreciate that he says people should love their gay relatives, friends- however, we all know this part of the ex-gay movement's new language to make it sound better- "Oh, your attraction isn't wrong- but acting on it is- that's a sin." This is what that sounds like. I've read down in the post and he never states that other gay people being in gay relationships are ok. What do you think of this? Could you include that section of his post in your own post?

    I am happy for this guy- and I could care less who he sleeps with- but if he's of the camp that says "oh -you're born gay, yeah, but it's a sin to act on it- so be chaste" then he's not that nice. He doesn't advocate that in his post- but that's the logical conclusion from his answer.

    And we def don't need this horrendous ex-gay movement bolstered by anything or anyone.

    Posted by: scott | Jun 9, 2012 12:34:20 PM

  15. I met a beautiful man once, very good looking, who held many gay titles. After years living the typical gay lifestyle of a very good looking gay man, he felt chewed up and spit out. The result was that he married a woman, who had also felt chewed up and spit out by men.

    They found they shared a lot of the same interests, and they got married so the could pursue those interests together.

    He described the sex as forced, though only occasional, but that all other aspects of their life together was good.

    It really is too bad that we did not have to be so defined by gender in its many variations.

    Still, we each of us should be allowed our choices, free from the criticism of others, or at least the condemnation.

    Posted by: Ricco | Jun 9, 2012 12:38:18 PM

  16. the inescapable truth is THIS - he's a grown-adult man who is still convinced that the choice he is making is the only way to assure his place in Celestial Eternity Planet-Land.

    just sit and think on that, because at the end it is his motivating factor, and thus makes his choices pretty darn sad.

    all of my former-Mormon friends, gay and straight, say the same thing: they were raised to believe that following LDS doctrine was the only way to be happy in life. that without it, all joy would disappear.

    and every single one of them has stated, emphatically, that leaving the LDS' was the key factor in actually experiencing true happiness and joy in life.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jun 9, 2012 12:42:22 PM

  17. My one word reaction to this profile: Bullsh*t. And recycled Mormon bullsh*t at that!

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Jun 9, 2012 12:42:43 PM

  18. The thing I find most odd about his story is his use of the word "unicorn". A gay man -- or woman -- living heterosexually is probably, no, is definitely the most common "gay lifestyle" within Mormonism and in Utah.

    The only thing "unicorn-ish" about it is that he's honest with her about it, and even that's not as rare as a unicorn.

    Of course, telling the whole world on your 10th anniversary is rather unique...

    Posted by: BobN | Jun 9, 2012 12:43:05 PM

  19. @Scott
    Yeah, over at gawker he said that he's against gay marriage. So if he's against civil rights for LGBTs, then he's not truly accepting.

    Posted by: ptip | Jun 9, 2012 12:45:03 PM

  20. I don't know about you guys... but although I can love a woman, I could never make love with a woman. That engine just doesn't start.

    I too fear, that those that want to promote "choice of a lifestyle" will seize upon this man.

    He may not like the label, bisexual, but the evidence suggests that it what he is.

    Posted by: Pete N SFO | Jun 9, 2012 12:45:06 PM

  21. JUST what we need.

    More Mormon scum telling us that that we can choose to be straight.

    This time from one of the brainwashed Mormon brain-butchered victims himself. Beaten with the racist, sexist and homophobic doctrine of the Mormon cult, he tries to convince others that he's happy. That this is normal.

    He's not, it's not and she's not. But cults make it so scary to escape that people willing to do anything to stay in. I would feel sorry for him but I'm pretty sure he knows just how dangerous his words are.

    He can rot with the rest of those pig fuckers, if you ask me.

    Posted by: Jasun Mark | Jun 9, 2012 12:46:58 PM

  22. Put a guy on a desert island with just a tree and he'll find a way to make that tree his sex partner.

    He has the right to his own pretzel logic and his own life. So does his wife. If they are happy, who is to judge. But to call something "ideal" is to buy into a fantasy, a fairy tale. There's no such thing. To aspire to a cartoon is a waste of time. I'm in a great relationship with my partner and we have two beautiful children...it wouldn't be any more "ideal" if we were an opposite sex couple, nor would it be any less. It works for us. That's all that matters

    Posted by: Bart | Jun 9, 2012 12:48:54 PM

  23. Great post, save for the tacky little digs at the man's religion throughout. As an atheist, respecting people's faiths in the only way I expect my lack thereof to be respected. Classy as always, Brandon.

    Posted by: Cole | Jun 9, 2012 12:49:29 PM

  24. This was posted on Gawker and they arranged for Josh Weed to answer questions submitted by readers. I haven't read all the responses but if you have questions he may have been asked them there.

    While life is complicated and people make all sorts of accommodations peculiar to their situation, that usually comes at a later point when experience has taught us what we can/can't, will/won't settle for. Josh has short-circuited that dynamic in deference to a religion that someone quite literally pulled out of a hat (with a "seeing-stone" in it), if not a bodily orifice.

    IMO his wife *deserves* to be with someone who is attracted to her, a relationship where she is not a means to an end for HIM to get what HE wants, children and a "traditional" family. She was the booby prize at her own wedding, which is only slightly mitigated by the fact she knew that going in.

    And though he's careful not to say every gay person should do what he's done, how exactly is this different from "ex-gay" teachings? Even though they have accepted that change is NOT possible, the fundamentalists of various stripes have just changed their message to "Do it anyway. Get married and deny yourself, it won't be THAT bad and you might even find things about it you'll like."

    So, "reasonable" as he is I think the overall message is harmful, that subverting self and sexuality to religious and/or tradition is admirable and a worthy goal. Where have we heard that before? Oh yeah, from every Religious Right f8ckstick who comes down the pike. This is just a candy coated version of the same thing.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jun 9, 2012 12:53:28 PM

  25. So if you're a man who really prefers the company of another man on an /emotional/ level but not necessarily a physical one, why shouldn't you be able to enter into a homosexual relationship with him?

    Posted by: ohno | Jun 9, 2012 12:54:16 PM

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