my experience, being young, gay, and living in Utah
is not all that different from being young and gay in
other places. While my family is one of those typical
Mormon families--strong in their beliefs--they have
accepted me, as have my coworkers at the toy store where
But because it's a predominantly Mormon state where
a lot of gays and lesbians are closeted, there are not
very many opportunities for gay youths to meet up and
date. If I were into the club scene, I could go to Club
Axis in Salt Lake City on Fridays, which is gay night.
If I were Mormon, I could go to events held by the Gay
LDS Young Adults.
But the club scene is not for me. I'm a horrible dancer.
I'm also not one of those good-looking guys out there--confident
enough to just walk up to someone and ask him out. And
I'm not a practicing Latter-day Saints member. So the
only option I have seems to be online personals.
My first date was with a guy I met online when I was
19. We went to the Gateway mall in Salt Lake City, walked
around, got coffee, and talked. It was nice. No one
really paid all that much attention to us. We didn't
hold hands or anything, so we didn't exactly stand out,
but we also didn't feel we had to hide. Later I met
my first boyfriend online, and we dated for six months
before he dumped me.
I may not like the closed-mindedness of a lot of the
locals here, and it may be hard to find other young
gays to date, but this place is home. I have great friends,
so I'm going to stay here and search for Mr. Right.