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Logan Lynn: In the Trenches – The Closet Trip

(Originally Published in the November 2012 Issue of Just Out Magazine)

“In the Trenches: The Closet Trip”

My partner and I took a trip to South Dakota this past summer to celebrate my grandfather’s 100th birthday. Before the trip began, we talked about how my extended family on my mother’s side had always been very accepting of me (and my gayness) in theory, but that I had never taken a man “home” and been around all of them while in relationship to test it out. Somewhere in me I knew that everything would be fine with all of them, just as it has been with my immediate family for years, so I didn’t think much more of it.

Almost immediately upon our plane landing in Rapid City, it was clear that we were not in Portland anymore. The woman at the rental car place made some snide comment about how only I could drive the car unless we were “married or domestic partners” which then made her laugh out loud. Imagine – two men married to each other? Ha!

By the time we arrived at the hotel we were exhausted and it was late. We chatted with my parents for a bit and then went to sleep. The next morning we woke up early and traveled to the Badlands, where we spent most of the day. The land was magical and our interaction with people was sparse. We hung out, took photos, and tried not to touch the very cute prairie dogs (which carry plague, come to find out).

We spent the weekend hanging out with all the people who have ever loved me in the world. It was really great for me to get to share them with the man I love, and him with them. My family all celebrated our relationship and welcomed him into the fold without batting an eyelash. It was extraordinary.

Family aside, I could tell some of the hotel staff and patrons were either afraid of my floral bike cap or the anal sex it implied, but Read the rest of this entry »

Logan Lynn: Grief. It’s What’s For Dinner.

(Originally Published in Just Out Magazine, August 2012 Issue)

My beloved Pomeranian companion of the past ten years died suddenly a little over two months ago and I have yet to make heads or tails of the whole thing. Truthfully, I’ve been carrying his cremated body around in a tiny tin box ever since, sleeping with him next to me at night, and am so far having a really hard time letting him go.

During the first few weeks after his death I was in a state of sheer panic around his absence. For over a decade, silence in the house meant little dude was up to some sort of mischief or that he was in trouble, so to be suddenly surrounded by this new, impenetrable quiet has been unsettling. I found myself calling for him in the night, looking for him all over the house in the morning, and waiting to hear the pitter-patter of his paws on the hardwood floor as I opened the front door or walked to the kitchen, but he is gone.

As it turns out, I had a great deal of purpose wrapped up in taking care of this tiny creature, and I’m finding that in many ways I was dependent on the love I received from him in return. He was the only consistent thing in my life for the past decade, and without him around everything just feels harder. I have yet to make it through a full day without some sort of tearful breakdown and was unable to control said emotional outbursts at all until very recently. It sounds crazy that an animal could make me lose my mind like this, but he was so much more than a dog to me. For many years he was my child, my family, the only reason I got out of bed in the morning, and the only reason I came home at night…so to call him my “pet” minimizes the depth of our relationship.
A few weeks back while I was talking to a close friend about my inability to let Dutch go, he challenged me that maybe it was feeling too hard to do because I wasn’t actually supposed to be doing it. He suggested that, instead of working so hard to let him go, I should learn to hold onto Dutch in new ways. His body is gone, that much is certain. All that’s left is this box of ashes…which isn’t all that comforting when I stop and think about it.

So, I took his advice. I began to look for Dutch again, minus the feeling of panic those initial searches held after he passed. I started to focus on all the ways he is still here with me instead of mourning all the ways he is not, and suddenly he was Read the rest of this entry »

Logan Lynn: The Recovering Christian’s Guide to Overcoming Godlessness

(Originally Published in Just Out Magazine, July 2012 Issue)

“In The Trenches: The Recovering Christian’s Guide to Overcoming Godlessness”

Having gone through an incredibly traumatic spiritual crisis centered around the very core of my identity as a young man, I spent many years dismissing all people and things which I perceived to be related to God. I escaped the fundamentalist Christian cult I was raised in around age twelve and any brand of faith practice I may have once engaged in (or longed for) stayed there on those pews when I left.

Pretty early on in my journey away from the church I figured out that there are a million different ways one can push away the heartbreaking feeling of being lost and the promise of being alone for all eternity. Drugs worked for me for many years, as did distance, and then closeness, then money, then sex, and anything else I could use to fill the empty space in my chest where faith and God used to be. This is the experience many queer kids growing up in conservative Christian homes are facing now, and that experience of Godlessness is something that many of us are still struggling to overcome as adults.

After intentionally not stepping foot in a church building for two decades, some recent community work led me straight into the doors of one of them. There have been times before where I have had to really look at the experience I had with organized religion years ago and work hard to develop a new relationship with those old walls in order to heal, but this new work unearthed ghosts and feelings which I had forgotten about. Occasionally it’s difficult for me to separate the believers who have caused suffering in my life from the believers who haven’t. I tend to size Christians up before they even have a chance to show themselves, and I have recently come to the conclusion that this is a flaw in my character.

The idea that all Christians are bad, based on my experience with bad Christians as a child, is false. Not all of Christ’s followers are evil and Read the rest of this entry »

Logan Lynn: Forgiveness Is A Huge Pain In The Ass

(This month marks the relaunch of Just Out, Oregon’s only LGBT glossy news magazine. I have a monthly column in the publication called “In The Trenches” which is on stands now or you can click HERE to read the online version. I have posted the original version of the piece, titled “Forgiveness Is A Huge Pain In The Ass”, here as well. Be sure and pick up your copy of Just Out all over Oregon or click on the cover below to download the PDF. I happened to write this month’s cover story too, which you can check out HERE if ya wanna.)

From Just Out, June 2012 Issue:

Forgiveness is a Huge Pain in the Ass.

by Logan Lynn.

There. I said it. My hurt is my hurt. As so many of us do, I carry it on my back, bring it with me to bed, and keep it fed and alive so it can grow alongside me as I make my way through the years. I notice more and more that there is deep sense of my identity found in and around my own history of suffering and that I still sometimes guard those old feelings with my life even now, years after the initial infliction occurred. Much of the connection I feel to my humanity seems to have been formed during sad times, more than once having had the experience of stepping closer to my true self in moments when all had otherwise been lost.

Recently, after I reviewed Lee Hirsch’s documentary “Bully” for another gig and recounted my own horror story of being tortured by my peers as a young man for being ginger, queer and different, I received a message on Facebook from a name I had not seen for nearly twenty years but instantly recognized. In a flash I was transported back in time and broke into an all-too-familiar sweat, my hands cold and clammy with panic. The message was from one of the ringleaders of this group of mean kids I had grown up with and I have always counted him as one of my primary tormenters from back then. Suddenly I was 14 again and all alone in the world, just me and my teenage fear.

As I had done many times before in locker rooms, classrooms and hallways when I spotted this particular bully, I puffed myself up and prepared for the worst. Once I had worked through the acute PTSD around even seeing his name in my inbox, I opened the message and, to my surprise, took in the following words: “Hey Logan, I read several of your stories on The Huffington Post. In short, I just wanted to say that I’m very sorry for any bullying that I did when we were younger. I know that’s not much (if any comfort), but I wanted to say it. I sincerely hope my own kids are more tolerant. Congrats on your sobriety and best of luck with your community work.”

It was strangely comforting. I burst into tears. This jerk had made me cry before, no doubt – but this was different. Read the rest of this entry »


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