Sunday, June 24, 2018

A Thing I Decided I Want You To Know

I'm pretty gay.

I know. You're all shocked. NO ONE guessed this. I'll give you a moment to recover.

This is something I just never thought I would really address on Stranger because I never felt like I needed to.

But several things have changed for me. The most important one is the mounting internal pressure to be more open about this because being open about being gay can literally save lives. It opens dialogue, and it helps people who feel alone feel less alone. Honestly, in recent years a part of me has felt a little selfish for not being open.

Coming out as gay to anyone is kind of a scary thing. Even in 2018. It took me many many many many years to come out to the people I'm closest to. Like, 29 or so years. A lot of this was because I didn't exactly grow up in a community that has a great track record when it comes to treatment of The Gays.

Flashback to a very gay boy in the 90s sitting in many lessons at church in which the teacher explained that no one is born gay but the wicked choose to be gay and for that reason their souls are lost.

Flashback to a college roommate my freshman year who sua sponte told me that if any of his brothers turned out to be gay, he and his dad would "beat the crap out of them" until they "snapped out of it or died" and that it was better that they be dead than be "a pervert."

Flashback to another time in college when a different roommate opined that the reason gay people often get involved in charity is to compensate for the darkness they feel in their souls--and my other roommates agreed.

Flashback to one day after I came out to my first confidant ever when a woman at church I hardly knew told me that she thought that gay people were "mentally ill and selfish" and that she wished they would all "get AIDS and die already."

Flashback to the 90s when my uncle came out as gay and several people wouldn't let him be alone with their children for years as a result.

Flashback to . . . oh you get the point. There are a number of flashbacks.

Fortunately, even through all of those flashbacks, I had the seemingly illogical sense that there was a silent majority of people who would instinctively feel empathy on this issue, if I ever did become brave enough to come out. I think I must have had this optimism because there was a deep feeling within me that the religion I grew up learning about was doctrinally much kinder than the version I saw practiced by its worst vocal members.

I was right about that, and I'm eternally grateful that I was.

I don't bring up those flashbacks, by the way, to skewer the people in them, many of whom I know would be embarrassed about their comments today. I mention them only to give you some perspective on what a gay child in Utah experiences (or at least what this one experienced), and why it can feel so intimidating to talk to someone about such a confusing thing.

In any event, it wasn't just a fear of being condemned and ostracized that kept me from being open about this for so long. The much more powerful deterrent was the very real fear that all of those people were right. That if I was to come out, that would somehow make this thing real. Never mind that it already was real, regardless of my silence about it. And I was terrified to my core that making this real truly would have severe implications on my soul.

I'm not going to detail that spiritual journey here and now. I'm just going to cut to the chase and say that several years ago I finally got to a point, a wonderful hard-fought point, where I realized in a deeply personal way that it didn't matter what anyone else thought about my soul and that being true about this part of me was actually the best thing for it anyway.

Coming out to people has never been a sobbing affair for me. It's usually done with some humor, and I've been sure to make it purposefully unapologetic. That was the case with the first people I ever told.

One Saturday afternoon in 2013 I was sitting in a cafe with my friends Kimberly and Tyler and it just sort of came out of my mouth. "So, I'm incredibly gay," I told them. It was so casual, the way I said it, that you might have thought it didn't take a great amount of courage. You would have been wrong to think that.

They smiled and laughed and could not have been more warm to me.

I cannot explain to you what that felt like.

I didn't know that I had never felt peace in my entire life until those words left my mouth.

There wasn't a feeling of fear or sadness or regret. Not even elation. Just. Pure. Peace.

I remember thinking "holy crap. Is this how everyone else feels all the time?"

Obviously I don't think everyone feels peace all the time. But the point is that this feeling was so foreign yet wonderful to me that I couldn't believe I had just basically lived three decades without it.

I was so relieved and so anxious to say it again that the very next day I told the first person I saw. She was someone I had gone to law school with a few years before, although I didn't know her well, and now we were living in the same building in Salt Lake City. She had stopped by my apartment because she found a checkbook with my name on it (I had dropped it somewhere). It was Rebecca. She instantly became one of my best friends in that moment and she remains so to this day.

Over the next few months I came out to nearly everyone else in my life (sorry if you're a close friend and I forgot to tell you. P.S., I'm pretty gay.).

I found that it was much easier to come out to people I didn't know as well compared to coming out to my closest friends and family. In almost every instance the experience was positive. But even when it wasn't, I never regretted doing it.

Coming out made me a better person.

No. You read that sentence with insufficient emphasis. Let me try it again.

Coming out made me a better person.

I found it suddenly much easier to be more kind and thoughtful and empathetic. I was no longer bogged down by the weight of this horror. AND NOW I'M PERFECT.

But really, I found it much easier to like myself. I found myself recognizing and appreciating that literally everything I ever liked about my personality and who I was throughout my life was made better by the fact that I was just a really gay child who became a really gay adult.

I always worried that if I came out, my life would get confusing. But it's strange. Coming out gave me clarity. For the first time in my life, I feel like I know what I'm doing. For the first time in my life, I feel like I'm actually living with purpose.

Over the next few years I started dating. And I was mostly terrible at it. But I had fun doing it. Then in 2015 I met an exceptionally crazy human named Skylar, who was on a one-hour layover in the Salt Lake airport on a Saturday evening. He had never been to Utah before and had no intention of coming back. Now he lives with me and breaks all of the stuff in my house.

Some stuff happened between the airport layover and Skylar breaking things in my house as recently as today. I'll tell you about those things in the near future. And I'm looking forward to that. Because one of the reasons I'm most excited about writing this post is that I finally get to really tell you about this exceptionally crazy human. I've been wanting to for a while. Because although Skylar drives me absolutely insane and he is always late and he loses everything and OMG LEARN HOW TO LOCK CAR DOORS SKYLAR YOU ARE ASKING TO BE ROBBED--even though all of that--Skylar is the best person I have ever met.

Not just the best person for me.

Skylar is the best person in the entire world.

I'm sorry. Skylar is better than all of you and your grandmas. He just is. He's unbelievably funny, and kind, and thoughtful, and sweet, and open-minded, and totally without guile, and loyal and HE LOSES EVERYTHING, but I'm getting away from the point.



He is beloved by everyone who meets him. I can never let this relationship end because he would get all of my friends and family in the break-up. Well, except for Matt. But that's only because Matt doesn't like change and he's known me longer. Also, Skylar breaks everything at Matt's house, too.

So that's the thing I decided I want you to know. Not because I need help figuring anything out. Not because I need validation or approval. And not because you are entitled to know.

I decided I want you to know this because it makes me happy, and because I hope it will make you happy, too.

1+1=furrrrever.

~It Just Gets Stranger

211 comments:

  1. OH MY GOD ELI I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO EXCITED OR SO INVESTED IN A STRANGER’S LIFE BEFOFE BUT — AHHHHHHhhhhhhhHhhhhhhhhgggggghhhhhjhhdjwkfbsoxbdkfo!!!!!!

    This post made me run a gamut of emotions:
    ACTUAL SHOCK. Eli is telling us his sexuality? And seriously?
    ANGER AND SADNESS because who would say or think such horrible things? I’m genuinely sorry you’ve had to deal with that.
    JOY. And also pride in a weird way. Because it’s wonderful that you had the personal growth and the support you did in coming out.
    And then SHEER FUCKING ELATION TO THE POINT OF CLASPING A HAND OVER MY MOUTH AND KICKING ME FEET IN GLEE because AHHHHHHHHH you and Skylar are PERFECT and how did I never even THINK of this possibility?!

    But all personal glee aside, seriously Eli, what a wonderful, poignant post. Thank you for sharing it. Congratulations on finding that peace. And most importantly — HAPPY PRIDE!!

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    Replies
    1. Not that we know what ELATION is Cathie!

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    2. Way to make it sound naughty, The SuzzzzzZZZZZzzzz (exactly as God intended).

      I almost did throw in an apology to Bob and Cathy for my gratuitous use of language, but...it didn’t feel gratuitous.

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  2. I want you to know that even though I don't support your lifestyle, I still love you.

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    1. I don't support my lifestyle either. Being a divorced, straight woman, pushing middle age in Utah and trying to date is a special kind of emotional suck. So I've given up men in favor of working out and watching netflix. So far netflix and I are very happy together.

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    2. This comment made me mad until I realized it was Skylar, and that he was being ironic.

      Let me add that I want you to know that even though I don't know you, I still love you. And I'm proud of you.

      Delete
    3. I wish you would support my lifestyle. I'm sick of having to maintain a job so I can pay for things.

      Delete
  3. Yet another celeb comes out! The world reacts with a yawn, a shrug, and loves you just the same.

    But seriously, thank you for putting in so many words why Pride Month is so important to us. These stories and testimonials are crucial for others to read and hopefully take into their hearts. From the struggling LGBT teen looking for someone who knows what they are going through...to the parent faced with how to relate to their questioning child, the gift of your story can help so many people.

    And don't let go of Skylar. He may break things, but based on the smile on your face, he fixes plenty of other things too. And he is insanely pretty.

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    Replies
    1. Yes. Skylar is so pretty that that’s pretty much all I remember from this post.

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  4. Eli you are an amazing person and I am so incredibly proud of you. I am so sorry that you had to sit and listen to those closed minded and insensitive comments all those years. It really hurts my heart and I hope nothing like that ever came out of my mouth. Also, I love Skylar and love being around him. I am so happy you found each other and that we get to have him as part of our family.

    (Krishelle - my phone won’t let me log in)

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  5. Thanks for opening up to us Eli! You and Skylar are so lucky to have found one another. As for breaking everything in your house, you just need to make sure Matt always lives close so he can come over and fix all of the things Skylar has broken!

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  6. I think I speak for all the Strangers- we love you, Eli, for the beautiful soul that you are. Gay or straight makes not one bit of difference.

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    1. Exactly. I know it probably too weird, but I honestly look at you as one of my closest friends because of your openness and ability to explain yourself without casting blame or hurt on others. As far as I'm concerned you have perfected the art of producing "a soft answer [that] turneth away wrath" and that my dear friend is a gift that keeps on giving and changes hearts more efficiently and more permanently than anything other method I know of.

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  7. "Skylar is the best person in the entire world."
    ...I think I just heard Paul Simon's heart break. Who knew your loyalty and love was so weak?! EVEN AFTER HE MADE EYE CONTACT WITH YOU. Now THAT is what you should be ashamed of.

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  8. I googled "sua sponte" and it means "I'm a fancy-pants lawyer who likes to throw in fancy-pants lawyerly jargon all voluntarily-like." :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for doing this so I didn't look foolish when I pointed out a typo . . . .

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    2. WHY IS THERE NO LIKE BUTTON FOR THE COMMENTS SECTION?!?! Who do we need to petition at Google to fix this very much of a "first world problem" that isn't really a problem, but I freaking LOVE every single comment made here.

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  9. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ so happy for you both! Crying tears of joy!!!! LOVE YOU GUYS

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  10. You’re so dramatic. Now tell Skylar to stop breaking stuff at my house.

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    Replies
    1. If Skylar will bake for me he can come and break stuff at my house.

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    2. I just can’t believe I had to find out this way.

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    3. Don't feel bad Matt, he was going to make everyone a cake but Meg wasn't available to supervise so that got put on hold.

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  11. This is making me so happy! I know it's extremely weird, but I've been waiting for YEARS for you to get a partner and knowing that you have one that makes you happy makes me happy too! I wish I knew any Strangers IRL so I could do a happy dance with them!

    Also, when are you guys getting married? Because I think it's time you make your living-in-sin-roommate your husband! (Apparently, the 10 seconds I've known about this is too long for not being married, I guess?) I'm sure all the strangers here are (like me) DYING to make you a quilted couples snuggie where we all contribute a patch or your wedding.

    And lastly, is Skylar Norwegian? That would make a lot of sense.

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    Replies
    1. "Also, when are you guys getting married?" And when are you going to start a family? Babies...we need pictures of babies AND dogs! Hahaha I've spent years dodging people asking me when I'm going to settle down and have kids, feels good to pass that misery on to someone else.

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    2. I told myself that I would never become _that_ person. Yet here we are.

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    3. It happens to us all eventually. We pinch babies cheeks, tell people "when I was your age...", and we harass people about getting married and having babies.

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    4. Not harassing people about having babies will be the high horse that I die on. It is seriously THE WORST!
      I have, however, already started the "when I was your age..." to people 5 years my junior at work, so I'll be plenty annoying and assume superiority because of age none-the-less.

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  12. I'm curious if anyone who has been following this blog is actually surprised? I've been reading a few years and assumed this, not in a huge-secret way but more like an I-guess-he-also-has-brown-hair kind of way, does that make sense? I enjoy learning about you simply because you are eloquent, kind, hilarious, and a joy to follow on this site. Thank you for sharing more with us.

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    Replies
    1. HAHAHA! Exactly how I feel tool:)

      But when my brother said you needed a boyfriend and I said "he already has one" and now I get to tell him "I told you so", so thanks for coming out officially:)

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  13. I’ve known forever, but my gaydar is pretty well developed. Seriously, though, I love having this regular and vicarious look into your life and I’m really happy for you.

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  14. I have a deep love for the LDS church, and my heart aches to read of members' cruel words. It means a lot to me that you separate their actions from the actual doctrine, and that you're not out to bash anyone. That's a recurring theme I love in this blog, just being kind and thoughtful. And of course sometimes hilarious. You're wonderful!

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  15. Love is Love! And this is just beautiful and poignant! So happy for you!

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  16. Thank you for making me cry at work. So happy for you.

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  17. This makes me so incredibly happy that I’m actually posting a comment instead of just continuing my status as a longtime invisible reader ❤️ all the peace & love to you & Skylar ❤️๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’œ

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    1. It is the same for me. I’ve just shed tears of happiness for you, Eli. I rarely comment as I am not eloquent or clever or witty, but I have to say, this...this is the most pleasing thing I’ve seen in a long time. (Well, I am always pleased with your posts). I am very happy for you both! Love and hugs from the lurker section to you! ๐Ÿ˜˜

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  18. Thank you for sharing this part of yourself with us. Is it weird for you how all these Strangers (myself included) feel like they "know" you when they really don't? I feel like a friend whom I've always suspected was gay finally came out to me and I'm both completely unsurprised and still honored that you trusted me (us all really) with this part of yourself.

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  19. Not surprised but incredibility proud and thankful for you to share this.

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  20. I love this.... it made me tear up more than I expected. I just... love this.

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  21. I'm shocked...just kidding. I think 95% of your readers kind of had an inkling that you're sort of, maybe, incredibly gay and they're so cool with you and your truth that they never needed to talk about it. There were a few who were a little slow on the uptake but I think they'll be totally cool with it too, because despite my low opinion of humanity there are times when we aren't all complete garbage to each other.

    I think at the end of the day we all realize three things. #1 - We're all human, flawed and amazing, broken and magical. #2 - None of us get out of this life alive. #3 - So since we're all human and we're all in this thing together the easiest way to go through life is to help each other out and try to be as kind as possible.

    It's not easy to talk about true things about ourselves that other people might react negatively about. Whether it is your sexuality, a mental illness, political beliefs, music preference (I love you all even if you like Nickelback, but I will stage an intervention if you try to play that in my car), or religion...I believe that every single person who has ever existed has struggled with sharing a personal truth. Feeling different from those around you is hard, feeling different and alone and scared...it's a special hell. Those who are brave enough to be open about it know what a relief it is to be able to share it and stop worrying about what other people think (except maybe Nickelback fans, sorry about that).

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    1. I was pretty sure. But I was also aware of the stigma of homosexuality in the Mormon faith and knew it might be causing conflict with the willingness to be open about it, both internally and externally. I'm very happy for Eli that he found support among friends (and hopefully family and church members) that helps him be the man and internet paragon he was meant to be. And happy that he feels comfortable enough to share some so personal (though possibly less personal than some other things he's written about) with so many strangers.

      Keep up the good work

      Delete
    2. Totally off topic but is Woolslayer your actual last name? Because if so, that is awesome and it also sounds like a badass nickname for someone who knits.

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    3. hahahahahahahah

      Sorry - I'm her aunt and while I've heard MANY comments about that last name I can't say I've ever heard that it's a badass nickname for someone who knits!

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    4. Here, I made you a think: https://www.customink.com/designs/woolslayer/xce0-00bf-kpww/share?pc=EMAIL-40778&utm_campaign=shared%20design&utm_source=share%20link&utm_medium=shared%20design&utm_content=shared%20desktop

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    5. I wish it were my name, it should be since I have hauled a large knitting and spinning and weaving stash around the country and world now!

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    6. Well geez - now I wish it were MY name too because I'd have to buy those shirts! Karina - do you need 6 shirts with your name on it??? Actually - I'm pretty sure Kimberly and Faith would wear them too . . .

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    7. That shirt ALMOST makes me want to try knitting again just so I could wear one.

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    8. This blog is so gay that the comments section almost always turns into a discussion about knitting.

      Delete
  22. I also felt peace as I read your words. I'm happy that your transparency will allow you to write more freely on this blog. I've enjoyed reading and know that it'll get even better as you don't have to pick your words or phrasing as much regarding this part of your life.

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  23. For a while I have been trying to figure out if you were dating Skylar or Matt. Both are equally pretty, but I always thought Skylar sounded like a better match for you because he seems like the gay man version of Rebecca. So I'm really happy about this. (I would have also accepted a throuple.)

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  24. nice. seriously nice. I've been getting sucked back into the closet lately cause whenever you make a new group of friends, you either come out are assumed straight. and i, for some reason, was worried about it all over again, in spite of the fact that i've been out to hundreds of people for year, probably because it's drama friends, and i let my fear take over that they wouldn't want to act in scenes with me.

    reading this reminded me of the peace of not pretending, not "acting" just being me.

    i mean i would have bet money on you being gay, but what affected me was when you said you're a better person for coming out. and i know that's true in my life as well. thanks for reminding me.

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  25. Congratulations on finding someone who make your world a better place! Thank you for sharing more of your life with us. ❤๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’œ

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  26. I'm so glad you've come out to the Stranger community! I know that takes a lot of courage. We love you Eli and can't wait to see where your future with Skyler takes you.

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  27. I'm not surprised, but I'm glad you felt comfortable enough to share. You're still just Eli to me. :) (Not to downplay your announcement or courage; it just doesn't affect my perception of you.)

    And I'm grateful that you're able to separate the doctrine of the Church from the misguided things that members of the Church say. It makes me so frustrated when people do thoughtless things that drive others away from the gospel, whether it's comments about homosexuality or judging people with tattoos or a host of other things. Good for you not letting that get to you, and I hope your encounters with that kind of nonsense become fewer and far between (or better yet, nonexistent).

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  28. Happy Things-Just-Get-Stranger-Coming-Out, Eli! Your sharing of stories and personal reflections have created an amazingly fun community that we've gotten to enjoy for years! I'm really happy that it is a place where you're celebrating this part of your life, too! All the love!

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  29. So...that’s a hard “no” on Grandma Georgia’s granddaughter who is still praying for a blind date with you?

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  30. This filled my heart with joy. So. Much. Joy. Thank you for constantly opening up to us Strangers, creating this amazing, loving community, and giving voice to so many of my own thoughts and feelings so much more eloquently than I ever could.

    Also, The Suzzzz, thank you for your contributions as well. You voiced so many of my thoughts as I read this post. (But also, Nickelback is the worst.)

    Eli, it is amazing that you live your truth, and that you're willing to share that with us. I'm so excited to see what happens next.

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    Replies
    1. Kylie, Nickelback is the worst, but we still must love and support Nickelback fans...love the sinner, not the sin.

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    2. I have to chime in here. Nickelback is awesome. Seriously, This time, this place, misused, mistakes; too long, too late, who was I to make you wait. Just one chance,just one breath, just in case there's just one left, cause you know, you know you know, I love you, I've loved you all along, and I miss you, been far away for far too long. Awesome.

      Delete
    3. It's OK Carolyn, we still love you just the same.

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    4. The Suzzzz loves me!!!! I love you all too. This is how you remind me. .. just kidding, I won't go there

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    5. Pushing it Carolyn, pushing it...

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    6. We love Carolyn, even though we don't agree with her lifestyle.

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    7. Oh, so much love...how about if you'll be my bodyguard, I can be your long-lost pal. I can call you Betty, And Betty, when you call me, You can call me Al, Call me Al

      Delete
    8. OK Al, I will accept that, but don't bring me down...Bruce.

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    9. Deal. Sail on silver girl, sail on by
      Your time has come to shine, and all your dreams will run their way
      See how they shine, oh, if you need a friend, I'm sailing right behind
      Like a bridge over troubled water, I will ease your mind

      Delete
    10. Hey, don't I know you from the cinematographer's party?
      Who am I to blow against the wind?

      Delete
    11. Oh Carolyn, I just wanna tell you how I'm feeling, Gotta make you understand, we're never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you.

      Delete
    12. If everyone cared and nobody cried
      If everyone loved and nobody lied
      If everyone shared and swallowed their pride,then we'd see the day when nobody died... oops, I did it again ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Delete
    13. I can't let this die

      Oops, I did it again
      I played with your heart, got lost in the game
      Oh baby, baby
      Oops, you think I'm in love
      That I'm sent from above
      I'm not that innocent

      Delete
    14. Slow down, you move too fast. You got to make the morning last. Just kickin down the cobble stones, looking for fun and feeling groovy!

      Delete
  31. I'm seriously happy and proud of you for living your truth. It's not easy, especially in this politically hateful climate. You and Skylar are super adorable and every time I saw a picture of the two of you I just couldn't help but think, "that's what happiness looks like" and it's a good look on both of you. :D

    p.s. Your hair looks fantastic today!

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  32. Thank you. I teach elementary school. Last week there were 2 students who committed suicide. I write this because it breaks my heart that those kids used to walk my halls. Also, they were gay. Friends of theirs say they were struggling with being gay. Because you say this, I hope others will have courage, realize it is ok, and come out. So thank you, and your hair looks great.

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    Replies
    1. My girls have a friend at their Catholic (very conservative) school who is gay and struggling. And I'm so worried about him. He also just got kicked out of a very conservative Christian camp that they were all attending. One of my daughters had rumors going around school about her being bi-sexual because she is openly supportive of gay rights. She also has another friend who's parents sent her to a therapist to "help her realize" she wasn't gay. I swear the look on my face when she told me that must have been very telling about how I felt. But to deny the existence of who these kids are, is hurting them more and it breaks my heart.

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  33. I feel like from "Skyler is the best person in the entire world" until the end are the work of Skyler hijacking the post. Regardless, I stand by my assessmemt that Skyler is the pretty one!

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  34. Yay!! Thank you for sharing your honest, adorable, and hysterical self with all of us! It is so wonderful to hear that you are happy and enjoying your life with Skylar. Though I may not know you (as the millenials say) IRL, I totally adore you and am happy you felt comfortable sharing this with your friend!

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  35. As a long-time, silent reader and lover of It Just Gets Stranger, this is the post that has made me the happiest. Thank you for being you...and for sharing yourself with us. :)

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  36. I’m so happy that you’ve reached a point in your life where you feel so secure and happy and loved and supported that you want to tell the world. I’m also sad that anyone who lives a ‘alternative’ lifestyle has to tell people for any reason. Why should you have to ‘announce’ your gayness while I don’t have to say anything about my straightness. Let’s drop assumptions and just accept everyone!

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    Replies
    1. I also wish for a time when no one has to announce their sexuality. I have never once discussed the fact that I am straight with anyone; hopefully, there is a time coming when gay people don’t have to discuss their preference, either. Hopefully, that day is soon.

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  37. How wonderfully brave and gracious of you to share this so openly. I wish you nothing but peace and happiness throughout your future.

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  38. Okay, guys, where's my fandom peeps? We going with Skyli? Esklar? lol

    This makes my heart happy :) Skylar does seem like the most amazing person ever in the history of the world lol I break, like, everything too so I can relate. Though I still want to hear more on how you got together, when the wedding will be, if you're going to live stream it so all of us can watch, etc. (: (: (:

    Congrats!!! (:

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    Replies
    1. I keep wanting to say SkEli.

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    2. SkEli has a nice ring to it!

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  39. I’m not surprised either. It was your amazing hair that gave it away :) In all seriousness, i’m So happy that you feel you can share this with us now and feel so sad about all the comments you have been told, overheard, and pretty much just had to live surrounded by for so long. When you and Skyler get married are all of us Strangers invited?? ;)

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  40. Dang I was envisioning a Matt/Eli love affair this WHOLE time and now I have to change my entire perception of you as a Skylar/Eli combo. I’m happy you finally are stranger out so we can get some good Eli relationship posts that we know this blog has been missing!

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  41. Oh my god this post makes me so happy!!! Though I was kind of hoping it was going to end with an engagement announcement haha! Like someone else said, within 10 seconds of this knowledge it’s like when are you guys getting married?! Anyways, thank you so much for sharing this with us; it means a lot! So very happy for you and that you have found someone amazing!

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  42. I love this. Period.

    Also, I'm sorry I never comment because whenever I do on my phone it posts duplicate comments for some reason, and I just can't with technology anymore now that I'm a woman of a certain age. Also, sorry if this posts twice.
    Also, I'm so very happy for you.

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    Replies
    1. I've been wondering what happened to you, Donna! Glad to hear you are still alive.

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  43. You can just never go wrong loving someone from Vancouver, WA. My husband will attest to that.

    I am so happy that being authentic and open and vulnerable and honest has brought you joy, and LOVE (from friends and family, and even more so the romantic kind). I think you’re the bees knees and your happiness makes me feel all the warm fuzzies. I’m glad to know you, and grateful to you for sharing your life and talents so openly on the interwebs with all us Strangers out here.

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  44. I love that you explained your perspective a bit. ๐Ÿ’š

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  45. I'm so happy for you, and proud of you (I'm not sure I have ever been proud of an internet person before ever in my life?). I'm even happier for you that the people in your life love and support you and Skylar <3

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  46. I am not at all surprised by this. I mean, your hair IS fabulous. I adore living your life vicariously through your blog and if you ever come up to Washington and want to crash in the suburbs of Seattle with two crazy young boys, you're welcome to our guest couch. You'll have to bring puppies though, to play with our newfie.

    You're amazing - it doesn't matter who you love, you're simply amazing.

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  47. I am a long time Blog reader/stalker. My cousin and your uncle were good friends. I was lucky enough to tag along with them and became good friends with your uncle. I adore him and you. Move to Norway, so you and skylar can be in my saturday coach squad.๐Ÿ˜€

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    Replies
    1. *couch squad. We are a very elite gang. ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜‚

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    2. I don't know what a coach squad or a couch squad is. Please elaborate.

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    3. You don’t have a couch squad? We are a small gang of friends who are too lazy to go out, so we sit on my big huge couch in our kose pants and watch all our favorites. We (joklingly) complain a lot and maybe have a living room dance party at the end END of the night. Might include nice beverages. Everyone should have one...

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    4. OK now I get it, that is my kind of squad.

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    5. Does this squad include children? Because we do the same thing but calls ours a tribe.

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    6. My kids are older and usually have no interest in my squad goals,but you do you. I feel like I must also say that i haved lived in Norway so lang that I am not capable of writing in Norwegian or English well.

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  48. I've been reading since the Snuggie texts era. I am so sorry that it has been unsafe to share this with people!

    Bonus points for the lawyer/Latin phrase. I thought it was a typo, but Google set me straight.

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  49. As a gay mennonite I feel some of the same pressure as you I think! But the coming out is so so amazing! And I am beyond happy that you have found happiness within yourself as well as with another person!!

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  50. THANK YOU! As a rather newly out lesbian, this post lifts my heart. I'm moving into an apartment with my girlfriend of almost one year(!) soon and I've been really worried over the reaction of my church leaders and everything. Dating a woman has led me towards distancing myself from the church because it is just too painful to be continually reminded that I cannot live up to the standards they have set. I love what you said about not caring about what anyone else thinks about your soul and only you can know what is right for yourself. Thank you for sharing your joy and the love you have for Skylar. This post gave me a sense of peace and relief that I hadn't realized I needed.

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  51. Ugh, you two are so damn adorable! I am so happy for you both!!! Continue to break things, get mad, crack each other up and hug it all out. I absolutely adore your posts and felt real pride in knowing you have found happiness in who you are.

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  52. 1. 5 of the 7 days of the week I still consider myself mormon
    2. I've suspected for a few years that you were gay
    3. Still think of you as a wonderful acquaintance and someone I'd like to get to know better as a friend - aka, I'd still say hi to you (and reintroduce myself due to that whole face blindness thing) if I were to run into you around town. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Suzzzz, It's that dang testimony thing of knowing what I know. However, I often strongly and abhorrently disagree with the culture that tooooooo often is confused as doctrine in our fine state of Utah.

      Maybe having a baby on my own this next year (my surprise reveal), and the assured self-righteous judgement that will be slung my way by not only family members but other church members that don't even know me might be that nail in the coffin - stay tuned. ;)

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    2. Oh Amanda I get it, the whole having faith in the gospel but finding the Utah Mormon culture so stifling and at time repellent, especially when they confuse urban legend and heresy for principles. That's a pretty brave "out" of your own that you just shared there. Being a single mom is tough, being a single Mormon mom, double tough. I hope you find the love, support, and compassion you need from your friends and family to help you with this new chapter in your life. Something tells me you're going to be a great mom. (((xxxHUGSxxx)))

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    3. My phone autocorrected hearsay to heresy, I don't know why but I find that funny.

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  53. I know we have only chatted very briefly during that one time I read a story for the podcast, but this made my day. You are a wonderful human, and I love seeing you have such great love. Keep sharing. It makes the world better.

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  54. I am so happy for you!

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  55. Well, I' glad you figured that out and finally feel comfortable enough to say something. I knew and it didn't matter to me. I love you no matter what your sexuality is. You are good person. Your spirit, wit and humor has made my days brighter. My life is fuller because you are a part of it. As a long time supporter, I can't wait to see where you go and what you do next. Hugs from California.

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  56. Stranger fans - we need to pitch in and get them matching embroidered snuggies to mark the occasion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And one for Duncan. Must not forget about Duncan. :)

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    2. I was thinking a block letter sign saying something like "happily ever after" might be cuter. Maybe blocks with their initials??

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    3. Like no bunny no froggy no way?

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    4. Amanda, good one!

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  57. The two of you have always been enviably gorgeous together, congrats on the public coming out!

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  58. WAIT!!!!!! This means you're not going to marry Jolyn and live happily ever after????

    I didn't actually think this was a possibility and was pretty darn sure you were gay. Yet I still had some Full House music sequence in my head of you and Skylar and Matt raising yours and Jolyn's kids someday . . . .

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  59. Love you Eli and Skylar! Totally agree with everything you said about Skylar! I am proud of you and have always looked up to you! You are simply amazing! ��

    Krisanda

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  60. SHUT UP I'M NOT CRYING YOU'RE CRYING <3

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  61. Love, love, love! Thank you for sharing and I wish you all the best. I met Skylar once on a flight to Boston, and he was so nice to me, the crazy stranger who whispered his name, (just in case it wasn't actually Skylar and I needed to pretend it wasn't me being a wacko on the plane)... Seriously, I love you guys together...!

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  62. Hallelujah. I have been hoping you two were dating. I love this so much!

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  63. But what about your wife, Meg Walters?

    JK. But seriously, so happy for you, and for your happiness! SOO MUCH HAPPY!

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    Replies
    1. Don't worry. This is being addressed on the next Strangerville.

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  64. I'm reading this at work, trying real hard not to cry, so I hope you're happy with yourself.

    You are wonderful and I'm so glad you felt comfortable enough to share this.

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  65. I've been following your blog since the Snuggie texts, and the thought that you were probably, very likely gay has only gradually occurred to me since listening to Strangerville. Even then it was more of a "Huh, he sounds more gay when he talks than when he writes" followed by a shrug and then either laughing or crying at the story being told. That being said - I guess I missed the fact that Skylar has been living with you so that was a surprise! I don't think the world can handle that much fabulous hair in one relationship.

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  66. This was lovely, thank you for sharing!! I appreciated as a reader that you didn't feel like your sexuality was something that needed to be specifically addressed for years. I remember you once mentioned rude commenters assuming your sexuality and how ridiculous that was. So every time you refused to address the topic I was like "YEAH STICK IT TO THE MAN, ELI!!! IT DOESN'T EVEN MATTER!!" However this was heartwarming to read and I am grateful for your perspectives - especially about the Gospel doctrines being much better than the people attempting to live them! I am sure this will help others, you are such a light ❤️ Thank you for your humor, candor, and level headed attitude. I seriously love everything you create and can't wait for my turn with the Snuggie.

    Also, ditto to everything The Suzzz said, she is the best. Well second best. Since it has already been established that Skylar is THE best ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Also also, I'll have to admit my expectations for the next episode of Strangerville are super high bc OMG YOU ARE GAY AND MEG IS PREGNANT! Such drama!! Please have very good jokes and banter prepared or I'll never listen again. Ok thanks.

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    Replies
    1. How are those two things related? Find out next time, in Strangerville!

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  67. Gretchen in PA here chiming in with real delight that you chose to share this with us. Kudos and congrats- for your courage and for having a bf who is an absolute biscuit :)

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  68. I just came out to my family a couple weeks ago as not having a testimony of the LDS church. Long story short, my depression robbed me of my ability to feel the Spirit, and when the depression left my testimony did not return. I’ve been so conflicted as to how I should live my life, but my parents were super supportive and told me that I should live the way that I think is right. The plus side of all of this is now I don’t feel conflicted at all about LGBT+ people. Your blog helped me laugh through the dark times, and I’ll always be grateful to you for that. I know you through this blog well enough to say that you are always trying to be the best person you can be, and I think your soul is great because of that. Thank you for being a good example for the rest of us.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Leslie,

      Your story of not having a testimony rings so true of at least two close friends of mine. My heart broke for them as they tell their story of feeling shamed as they met with their leaders who told them they weren't praying/reading/(place seminary answer here) "enough".

      Both of them left the church and have gone on their own spirituality paths to connect to God or whatever higher power they identify with.

      There are soooooooo many ways to expand/connect/build your spirituality, and there shouldn't be any book answer to how that's done. I do have a testimony in the LDS doctrine, but it wasn't built on scripture study and prayers, it was attained through nature, music, in person experiences in spiritual places, reading books other than scripture, influences of other people around me, etc.

      Please know you have another cheerleader to find and live the life right for you!!

      Delete
    2. Thank you Amanda, I can use all the cheerleaders I can get. :-)

      Delete
  69. I am so EXCITED for you - I have been reading this blog since 2009, so, this was not a surprise. I follow you on FB, IG and your podcasts. Kind of a quiet stalker - My family knows you as "Eli McCann, my favorite gay guy on the internet." I am kind of sad that you aren't available for me but then again, I am a 43 year old happily married woman. anyways, this is not about me.

    Congratulations - I am so happy for you - and Skylar. You should think about getting married and doing a registry with target and amazon, so all your stranger friends can shower you with gifts. Happy PRIDE month. Xoxo

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    Replies
    1. HA!

      My husband knows Eli as "My Blogger" and this is simply "The Blog" - - I read more blogs than this but if I say either of those things he knows exactly what I'm talking about!

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  70. Have you told your kids? I'm curious to know how they took it. Except for Casper, of course. His opinion doesn't matter.

    Seriously, I loved reading this. I can relate with the sense of peace and purpose that comes when coming out. I also think that your statement about how coming out can literally save lives can NOT be overstated. No one needs to feel alone because of something that is a part, a beautiful part, may I add, of who they are.

    Thanks, Eli.

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  71. I'm happy for you and glad you are living out loud.

    There may be reasons you're going to hell, but this isn't one of them.

    Those pictures of Tami, though...

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    Replies
    1. Karen we need to start a Survivors of Tami Photos support group.

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  72. This makes me so god damned happy. Most beautiful couple <3 <3

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  73. I’m so happy for you!!! You guys make such a great couple! Now you must write about all the things Skylar breaks. ��

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  74. This is so confusing to me, because I thought you were dating Britney Spears!?

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  75. Happy for you/this is great/yadda yadda yadda. But mostly I just want to tell you that this is phenomenal writing. I think this is you at your writing best.

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  76. Eli, I'm glad that this brings you peace. Want you to know how proud of you I am and that I love you. I've always wanted nothing but the best for you. Skylar is awesome as well. Love, dad

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    Replies
    1. So, Bob’s comment just made me cry a lot of tears. This family is the greatest. Love, your #1 favorite cousin, Kim

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    2. YAAAASS!!!

      I read through the comments to see if Bob and Cathie chimed in. So glad Eli is supported by Bob and Cathie!!!!

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  77. Well said Eli McCann. I've always admired you and I'm sure Skylar is an amazing man just like you. Hopefully we can meet him soon. You guys look so happy it makes me smile.

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  78. You are the same Eli to me. Wonderful person and son. It has been wonderful to see you at peace the last few years & especially lately. Love you always.

    I dearly love all your friends & our family who have made such positive, supportive comments. (This means I don't have to beat anyone up...A big plus - since I am old. LOL) Love & kindness are key to our own well being and it affects & influences all those around us as we put it into action. I love how this works.

    Mom XOXOXO

    PS. Today I found your famous illusive disappearing "robbed" gigi. :) I feel a blog coming on..... LOL

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    Replies
    1. And This.

      PS - Not that I want any negative comments, but I'd really love to see Cathie beat someone up...heck, I'd hold her purse while she did it.

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    2. If you held her purse, what would she used to beat them up?

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    3. Eli, you "get me"....I would use my purse.....it's BIG. :)

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    4. I may be modeling my motherhood choices after Cathie . . . just sayin'

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    5. Her fists of fury Eli...or the shiv I hand her when I take her purse.

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  79. I can't be the only one giggling at your Halloween photo being your "coming out" photo. I think you shared it before, but slightly cropped. The dice numbers are as much of a coming out as anything you said. Awesome!

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    Replies
    1. THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS!

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    2. It may have been unintentional, but we were all thinking it, Eli.

      I'm sure Freud would have something to say about the whole thing.

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    3. Technically it says 96, which isn't really a thing...I think...

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    4. Contrary to Brandon's comment - we weren't all thinking it. It wasn't until The Suzzzz said it's 96 that it clicked.

      SOME OF US HAVE PURE MINDS!

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    5. What is that like Nicole? I can literally make anything sound dirty.

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    6. I'm lying - my mind isn't pure - I just missed that one . . . .

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  80. Cathie, I want to be you when I grow up. Love, Kim

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    Replies
    1. Kim, you are very, very dear to me.

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  81. Coincidentally 2013 is also when I asked you out! XD Haha embarrassing! (for me) I'm so happy you've found happiness! ❤

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  82. I'm so happy that you are happy and at peace, and that you found someone as great as Skylar! I'm sorry that he doesn't support your lifestyle, which I can only assume means he doesn't like snuggies and Survivor, but I'm sure he'll come around in time. Maybe you can bribe him with some homemade pies or cakes. Or I can recommend a great blend of essential oils that will have him expanding his views very quickly. I mean, as a last resort, woo him with pictures of Tami and Leotrix. No man could resist that and you'll have him in a snuggie with you in no time!

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  83. Love,love,love! I am beyond happy for you.

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  84. Omg I’m so mad I didn’t email you a few days ago and tell you to just admit you were in love with skylar already. I was in a massage session and wondering when you might hit puberty and thought “Gosh, I hope Eli knows he loves Skylar.” NO JOKE. And now I’m mad I didn’t say it to anyone else because I have no proof that I KNEW you were going to tell everyone eventually. Seriously so mad. More importantly what’s your mashup name? Skyli? Ellar? I need this answered.

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  85. I’m so happy that you are at peace! And so happy that you have found someone who makes you so happy can’t wait to meet Skylar at the next family reunion. You are amazing Eli! ❤️
    Lindsey

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  86. Thank you, sincerely, for sharing this wonderful part of yourself with us. You have a beautiful soul - thank you for sharing it with us.

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  87. Longtime readers in Wisconsin here - We are all so happy for you! :-)

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  88. Eli I'm so excited for you... but more importantly I'm so excited for all of us who are FINALLY going to get the doofus representation we deserve. #FreeSkylar

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  89. I almost didn’t comment because...commenter’s anxiety. But this is me throwing myself on top of the giant Stranger group-hug we are all giving you. Congratulations to happiness and peace. You (and everyone) deserve nothing less!

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  90. My first hint was my tiny crush on you because the last three turned out to be gay...really love that you finally felt we loved you no matter what and could tell us all! And not to bring up bad memories because it's really none of our business, but will we now hear some truth about Daniel?! Also have you watched the new season of QE yet? No spoilers bc I'm waiting to binge!

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  91. I'm as happy for you as I can possibly be for someone I've never met. And now, for no particular reason, some Paul Simon lyrics:

    Once in a while from out of nowhere
    When you don't expect it, and you're unprepared
    Somebody will come and lift you higher
    And your burdens will be shared
    Yes I do believe, if I hadn't met you
    I might still be sinking fast
    I've had a long streak of that bad luck
    But I pray it's gone at last

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  92. So happy for you :)

    Living in Seattle, perhaps I have a skewed vision, but part of me feels bummed out you even felt like you had to tell your audience. I've never seen a mom blog with a post decreeing their heterosexuality. I hope that one day no one has to 'come out' in regards to their sexuality (or maybe everyone should come out?). That you are just like, 'yup this is my boyfriend, moving on.'

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  93. This post makes me incredibly happy! I've followed It Just Gets Stranger ever since the infamous Snuggie texts, and I've read all the pranks, your opinions on more serious subjects, and just the general ups and downs of life you've experienced.

    I love this post especially, because it is so incredibly relevant. I've known for years that I was gay. I only really admitted it to myself toward the beginning of this year (only took 29 years, no big deal). But since January, I've had "the discussion" with many close friends and family. And like you said, since having these conversations more and more frequently, I've felt so much better about myself. I feel like I'm finally being true to who I am, and I don't have this big, awful secret that needs to be kept at all times anymore. I can just be me.

    So thank you for making this post! It meant a lot to me to see someone else who has gone through a similar situation. Especially someone whose life I've followed in blog form for over 7 years! I couldn't be more happy for you and Skylar!

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  94. I have followed Stranger for a quite a bit and enjoy your writing tremendously. While I never comment, I was compelled to offer you my best wishes today. I cannot imagine how difficult being you in your circumstances must have been (and may still be). You should be proud that you are strong enough to be able to be openly true to yourself. Congratulations to you and Skylar - I wish you much happiness.

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  95. Oh, Eli. I am so happy that you have found Skylar. And peace. You deserve both.

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  96. Awww! Eli! Thank you for sharing your relationship with all of the Strangers. (The "incredibly gay" part wasn't really a surprise, but then, you remind me of a couple of my family members who are also "incredibly gay" :) )
    I'm very happy for you and Skylar, and that y'all won't starve to death, because between the two of you, I think you make one very good baker. ;)

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  97. It probably hapend because of Russian banya.... :)

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  98. I've been re-reading all the Skyler posts... how did we not know?? There's one picture where he's looking at you with what we should have realized was love. Congrats to what seems to be a wonderful relationship!

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    Replies
    1. Which one?! I wanna see!

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    2. I can't find it again ☹ I'm pretty sure it was under Pictures & Distractions.

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  99. I thought I knew you were gay. But then I was BAMBOOZLED when you posted about past relationships and the gender of said person wasn't revealed. I'm glad we live in a time and place that you can come out and still be viewed as a human. People that won't associate with others based on orientation don't know what they're missing.

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  100. Hey Eli - awesomesauciness here...and my first response to this post was, “Holy shit, you mean this was some kind of revelation?”

    Second response - and mind you I’m WAY older than y’all - is really a kind of ‘meh’. Might shock you to learn most people really don’t care. Even crazy old women.

    Hugs and much happiness honey.

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  101. The funny thing is: I kind of figured you were gay but didn't really care as that's your business and you are just really funny on your blog and that's why I read. But I NEVER realized you were with Skylar and I started crying a little bit when I realized what you were saying. So I'm so happy for you--that you are happy with him, that you are happy with you, that you are happy. I hope your happiness continues!!

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  102. Is no one else offended by this post? I mean, Eli kind of just insulted all of us AND our grandmothers. What would GMac say? The gay part isn't offensive or surprising though - I've never met a straight man who would call his hair "magic" on a regular basis.

    Seriously though, I loved that you wrote that you are sharing this not because you feel you need to or that your readers are entitled to know, but simply because you're happy and you hope it makes your readers happy, too. Which it obviously does.

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    Replies
    1. Meh, all my grandma's are dead so they aren't really pulling their weight.

      Delete
  103. Yay! This makes me so happy! I always had a feeling you were gay, but I was genuinely worried that that could be a problem for you (being Mormon). It is such a relief to read that you are good, your family's good, you're happy being you, and all is well. Keep on doing you! Much love!

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  104. I think you should celebrate this by adopting Arnie. Skylar needs a pup of his own.

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  105. There are no words to describe how happy I am for you, so here's so love! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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  106. Long time stalker...I mean follower here. Like many others, I too was not surprised by this announcement. I am happy you would share something that truly is none of our business because it might save lives, because I’m sure it will.
    I ask these next few questions knowing full well it is none of my business, but since there are 2 observations I made that led to my guessing this years ago I just have to ask to satisfy my curiosity.
    1-Daniel. I know you ended your time in Palau badly and that your year on the island was one of the hardest years of your life. I can only assume this “announcement” is why. It hurts my heart that anyone could hurt as much as you did during that time.
    2-Church. I’ve noticed in the last few years you haven’t really talked about church anymore. For the most part anyway. You’ve talked big picture stuff but not about you so much. I always felt (and still do) that the youth of this world need your guidance and testimony.
    Okay, so those really aren’t questions, but they are observations that led me to guess this announcement was coming. I am curious as to how it all fits together , but that’s just the loyal follower...I mean stalker in me.

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  107. You said coming out can save lives. I honestly think this post may have just saved mine. Thank you.

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