In thinking about how much I love Robert Hannibal, and how surprised I am to have fallen in love with a man, it feels strange to remember that I used to have to “try to like” a guy.
In a recent email to my younger sister, who knows I’m a lesbian, I told her that Robert Hannibal is the first man I’ve ever been attracted to. My sister responded by asking about a Hispanic guy from church with dark skin who I had told her was good-looking, so I had to explain that he was another guy I was “trying to like,” before I knew what it was like to actually legitimately like a guy!
This is my email to her that I sent on Feb. 20, 2011:
no, i have never actually *liked* a guy before. when i was in junior high and high school, i would tell my friends i would like guys, so that i could seem normal and bond with my friends because girls always bond when they talk about guys they have crushes on. but i always chose guys who were older and who had girlfriends so that my friends couldn’t try to set me up with them.
as i got older and back into the church, i deliberately did try to like guys, and i was determined to have dark kids so i looked at dark guys. the hispanic guy was cute, but i wasn’t attracted to him. i talked it up as more than it was because i really wanted to find him attractive. you know how you can think someone is good-looking but you’re not attracted? that’s how it was with him.
but i was so determined to like a good mormon guy because that was right after i decided to go back to church and be celibate and get married to a mormon guy and i was reaching for someone i could be attracted to. i wanted to be excited about someone who was a guy.
plus, i was a little upset because when i had prayed to the Lord and promised to be celibate until i got married my old hairy bearded mean professor came into my head and i just couldn’t believe the Lord would want me to marry someone like that so i was very determined to find someone who looked how i wanted my future husband to look, with dark skin and no facial hair! and i think the mean prof came into my head to test me to see if i would really marry who the Lord told me to marry.
and then there was my friend [mormon friend], from [city], who is half black and half-white, and a very good mormon, and very smart, a former [political officer] to [country], etc. and i convinced myself that he was who i was supposed to marry and i told all my friends here that i was trying to like him (everyone thinks it’s so weird when i say that but that’s what i was trying to do!) and i went to go see him in [different city] when he was giving a talk.
but on my trip to [different city] i realized i was forcing something that wasn’t there – that he wasn’t interested in me as more than a friend. on my end, i wasn’t attracted to him, but i didn’t expect to be attracted to my husband. i figured it could develop into at least somewhat of an attraction after we got married and we had sex and bonded more, but i never could wrap my head around actually being attracted to my husband.
but knowing robert hannibal has changed my previous attitude. i was attracted to robert hannibal right away, though we also had sex right away, so it’s hard to separate the two, but i am so attracted to him. i am even in love with him. so now i know it is possible for me to be attracted to a man and to be in love with a man, and now that is what i want in my husband.
In my email, I was referring to the prayer and promise I made to be celibate in Nov. 2008. This was right after I had been seeing “Dan,” the Filipino guy I was willing to marry so I could have an open marriage and have orgies and girlfriends. I realized while seeing him that such a marriage is not the best environment in which to raise children. And I want to be a mother more than anything.
So that November 2008 I prayed and promised the Lord that I would be celibate until I got married (a promise I obviously did not keep), and that I would marry whoever the Lord wanted me to marry.
One of my former professors, who is bearded, white, hairy, and brilliant but extremely condescending, came into my head, so that is the reference I am making in that email. I think the Lord just put my condescending professor in my mind to test me, because there is no way I would marry someone like that. I’ve always wanted dark kids with brown skin, and I need to marry someone dark in order for that to happen.
Besides, now that i know what it’s like to be attracted to a man, to love a man, I can’t just marry anyone. I want to love who I marry.