By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
Salmon invited Flake out on a date, and the two went to dinner, long boarding, and to see the movie The Blind Side. "We were together for eight hours," Salmon says. "And we just talked nonstop and hit it off really well."
On their second date, they rented Hannah Montana: The Movie from Redbox. Salmon had his hand on Flake's leg for most of the movie, and afterwards, Flake asked him to take a walk, where he told Salmon he was gay. "I always joke and tell people our first date, he wasn't gay, but he became gay on our second date," Salmon says.
Flake came out to his family. It didn't go well. "My parents were distraught by it," he says. "My dad [said] that . . . I was shaming their name."
A month after they started dating, Flake broke up with Salmon. He said he wanted to try and live the life the church wanted him to live.
"He went on and started talking about how he needed to live a righteous life and blah blah blah," Salmon says. "And then he said, 'I think someday I could marry a woman and have kids.' And that's when I got angry. And I said, 'You will ruin her life, as well as the lives of your children.' I just went off on him."
Flake was torn. "I knew how much I was in love with Matt, but I had the whole religious swaying. I didn't know what I was doing," he says.
They ended up staying together. After that night, Flake decided he wasn't going back to the church.
He, like Salmon, had his name officially removed from church records. Neither man believes in the Mormon doctrine anymore, but aside from occasionally drinking coffee and alcohol, they're both still clean-cut young men.
They've been a couple for 10 months, and things haven't gotten much easier with their families. Flake says he hasn't had a real conversation with his father since March and hasn't visited his family in Snowflake since a quick day trip in June. His family has no interest in meeting Salmon.
"I've asked them many times to meet him, and they don't want to see him," Flake says. "My dad's last comment to me was that he didn't want him around our family, his kids, or his grandkids."
When Flake started dating Salmon, he says, his sister called Salmon a "fag" and a "pedophile." Flake's sister, Trisha Rogers, tells New Times, "A lot of things were said in the beginning that caused contention. It's really important to me that people know there's no hatred there. It was just such a shock, because Kent seemed to change so quickly. He was different from the brother I knew for 25 years. We felt like we'd lost our brother, in a sense, and Matt got some of the blame."
Rogers says Flake's family still talks to him, even when gay issues come up. "We don't love him any less," she says. "There's just no desire to see him in a gay couple."
Flake's little brother, Wade, is the only member of his family who's met Salmon. Salmon says they're "cool" now, but "Wade had a problem with it at first and even sent me a message saying I better not be messing with his brother. That kind of stuff."
Salmon's family hasn't exactly been thrilled about his relationship with Flake, either, according to Matt. Last Christmas, before their families knew they were a couple, Flake spent the day with his family in his Snowflake. When Salmon's parents headed to their cabin in the same area, Salmon and Flake went snowboarding, and that night, Salmon's parents had Flake over for dinner at their cabin.
When Salmon's parents learned in January that Kent wasn't just a friend but was dating their son, he was no longer invited to come around. "The thing is, they like Kent," Salmon says. "They think he's an awesome person. They just don't like me being in a gay relationship. They don't like that we're together."
"Everybody's pretty much told me, 'You're fine, we love you, but your partner's not welcome because we don't want gay around us,'" Salmon says. "And I'm like, 'Well, I am gay. What if he doesn't act gay? Is that okay? Can he come around?'"
None of Salmon's three siblings met Flake until recently, after a fall-out on Facebook. For months, Salmon's been posting pro-gay comments on his Facebook and talking about nights out with Flake at local gay bars like Amsterdam. In late August, Salmon's siblings de-friended him.
He sent them an e-mail saying he wanted to repair the relationships. Afterwards, one of his sisters came over to meet Flake, and the other e-mailed Salmon and said she would like to meet Flake sometime, too.
"That may not sound like much, but it's a definitely a step," Salmon says. "They told me before that they wouldn't want to meet my partner."
Salmon's siblings still haven't re-added him as their Facebook friend.
He's still close to his cousin, Krista Salmon Gohus, who lives in the Valley. She has recently left the Mormon Church, too, and considers herself a Libertarian. "Matt and his boyfriend, Kent, have been to my home many times, and my 10-year-old son knows Matt and Kent are a couple," she says." I'm teaching my children that being gay is just like being left-handed or being born with curly hair. It's not right or wrong, it's just the way you were born."
I don't have any kids yet, and sometimes I worry I'll screw up parenting. But then I read this and take comfort in the fact that I would never do to my children what the Salmons and the Flakes did to their sons. I honestly can't understand how people could treat their families this way.
It could not have happened to nicer, right wing, Mormons. For all those that prayed that Salman's kids might grow up gay, prayer does work. For over 40 years the state legislature has been under the control of republicans and Mormons. Though an occasional Dem has held the governor's seat, we all KNOW that all they can do is sign or veto bills. Now, we are in the worst shape this state has ever been in. Thanks again to the policies of the republican/Mormon cabal that runs this state's legislature. To hell with their gay problems. This state is last in education, health care for the indigent, etc. But, the governor signed a health care program that pays for her molester son's care in the state hospital with her line item veto pen. Way to go, brain dead, Brewer.
So, because he is gay, this bright young man's mother and father have a 'strained' relationship with him and his siblings stopped speaking to him for a while. That, absolutely, is their loss, not his.
"There were a lot of us 10 years ago that prayed one of Matt Salmon's kids would turn out gay," says Steve May Nice steve.
um yeah can we get a picture of the two of your kissing for the cover.... yeah and maybe one of you could sit on the other ones lap... thats the money shot... its a wrap.
After reading the story I admit that I am confused as to the point. Was it that you can be gay and still be a Republican? Or was it an expose on the son of a prominent Mormon politician coming out of the closet? As a conservative and as a Mormon, my NATURAL tendency was to assume the latter. However (and my whole point in posting), the most redeeming information in the story was Matt's comment at the very end about how it took him 20 years to come to grips with his lifestyle and he could appreciate the fact that it might take his parents some time as well.
I think people on BOTH sides of this issue could learn from that. I have definite beliefs that I know not everybody shares. I have very real and personal reasons for holding and reinforcing those beliefs that I don't expect everybody to understand. Conversely, I don't understand the gay lifestyle and don't want to be expected to understand it. However, I can associate with individuals who are gay, respect them for the good they contribute to an organization or society as a whole and as long as their lifestyle and/or belief system doesn't infringe upon my rights or my pursuit of happiness, I can honestly say, I am fine with them choosing to live life as they desire. When their lifestyle and/or belief system in some way (in my perception) imposes upon my rights or my pursuit of happiness, then there needs to be rational discourse and I need to expend energy to try to understand the other's point of view and would expect the same of the other side.
This is my first time commenting on a story in any publication but have been an avid reader of many stories surrounding gay marriage (and other issues) and the various comments posted from either side. As a general rule (and there are always exceptions), the comments from BOTH sides are very much intended to intimidate or belittle the opposite side. Can't we all just allow each other to take some time (and make an effort) to understand each other?
Wow, how do you like that, the article alludes to the fact that maybe the notable Republicans in the story should be ashamed that their progeny or relations are gay. How typically liberal; spewing out of both sides of their sleazy mouths.
Gays supporting Republicans...not very different from rape victims supporting the neighborhood rapist and black Americans supporting the KKK.
This is one messed up, conflicted dude. Log Cabin Republicans, what a joke. More like Jews for Hitler.
This whole article reads as if Matt wrote it about himself, by himself. I'm sure he loves the attention.
Yup! Keep hating the gays. There's this thing in life call Karma. The more hate you got the more you'll be confronted. Hate is never about someone else but yourself. Like masturbation it's a self gratification act in a very bad way. It might not literally make you blind. But intellectually and spiritually you are.
Yo Randy_blackmer - please, we don't subscribe to your delusion. Why is it that you obvious a gay man think straight guys are all curious? "May like it a lot?"
Feel the need to go on and on about it & actually get mad trying to prove your point. Put your hand on the wrong man Randy-your going to get your clock cleaned.
Sounds like their are a whole lot of "straight guys out there" that are actually "curious". Watch out straight man, you may like it alot.
Thank God that we can now see that all religions, all faiths and all people are not compelled to be straight. Some try very hard to be what they percieve as the expectation of parents and their religious leaders. And why wreck a spouses life trying to be straight. Explore you sexuality and enjoy it, it is a part of you, you can not change it. Their is no cosmetic surgery to add alittle here and take away alittle there. Too bad the Mormon church is not better educated and up to date on real life, I feel sorry for all Mormons.
Randy, I don't need or want your sympathy. You read one ex-Mormon's view and recollection of the church's perception of homosexuals, one that has been edited with some creative license (Matt Jr. would obviously know that "ministers" in the Mormon church are actually called "bishops"). I recall clearly the Sunday that the proposition was briefly discussed in our meeting. No money was ever solicited, although volunteers were accepted to aid in the phone center. Nothing demeaning AT ALL was said about gays. Our bishop even said, and I quote, "If the purpose of this is to target and attack homosexuals, I would not be up here talking about it and I would not support it.". He then went on to define how our faith, and many others, defines marriage -- by it's definition in an official church document called "The Family: A Proclamation To The World" (http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index..... It states that a marriage between a man and woman is ordained of God, and that the family is central to His eternal plan. It was presented on September 23, 1995 by President Gordon B. Hinckley...well before the 2008 election cycle. Our bishop never mentioned "homosexual promiscuity" or anything like it, and I doubt any bishop from the pulpit would. I think, assuming he was quoted accurately, Matt Jr. is being less-than-honest in his portrayal of his former church leaders. Maybe it's retribution to the church after years of feeling guilty, I don't know. Hopefully he and his family can iron things out.
Either way, it's unfortunate that the New Times has chosen to publish another hit piece (indirectly) about the LDS. Until they insist on more accurate reporting and less bias, they'll never be taken too seriously. FOXNEWS.com of the left, maybe?
Pdog2006, you talk like you know what was said in every meeting around the state. You were not in the meeting I was in that day. I know what I heard, and I heard a high councilman say exactly what Niki quoted. Yes, she inaccurately quoted "minister" but as far as what was said, she got it right on. As you may know, men have a tendency of adding their own interpretation, that is what the councilman did at that time. In no way did Niki claim that every single leader said that over the pulpit, she was however relating a story of my past for which I stopped actively going to church. We all have different experiences, accept that, just because your bishop did not say ignorant things, doesn't mean ignorant things were not said elsewhere.
In no way am I seeking retribution, as it is not something I require here.
Holy Crap! Like I want to see a pic of 2 dudes kissing. Disgusting! Pics of unnatural acts is not news! If mother nature doesn't support it = not natural, no matter how much you try to brainwash yourself into thinking that it is. Your life, your choice, I'm fine with. But a spade is a spade and don't call it something else. :)
Speaking of Homosexuals, how about Benji? He steals the article of a Cincinati writer, plants it in a Scottsdale testerone laden sophmoric rag to make him look masculine. He fakes a family photo.... classic closet gay ploy. Hires a wife, and lives at Mommy and Daddy's house in Paradice Valley.
This story was on a radio talk show in DC, and that's how I found out about it.
Wishing you two all the best in your relationship.
Oh big whoop. There are way more important things going on than whose son likes to plow whose nephew's back forty. This is just a bunch of irrelevant gossip.
True. I don't know you. What do I know is your community, your life style, and the many issues that surround both.
So, if you donated blood around 18 or 19, did you know you were gay then?
Untrue [about anal sex]. Where there are heterosexuals that do, they are probably even more in the minority than homosexuals (let's face it, Mike, NO ONE has stats on THAT particular subject). But (all pun intended) because anal cancer is more representative in the gay community, I would ball-park it and say anal sex was not common among heteros. Anal Cancer is common in people who regularly participate in poo-fun. Eww... even a 5 yo old knows to stay away from someone else's poo, Mike.. I mean, dude... seriously. Get a grip.
And the big blue ribbon award for World's Most Ignorant, Venomous Asshole goes to...ByteRider. May the membrane-eating affliction in your brain spread to your ever-flapping poisoned tongue and then rapidly to your righteous rectum. Clearly, no one can save you.
Think I'm being harsh, Smarm?
Yesteday the CDC announced, and it was on a lot of headlines, "1 in 5 America homosexual males have HIV".
But the CDC must be filled with homophobic ignorant, venomous assholes too, huh?
How do I UNASSHOLE myself? "Oh, I'm sorry, poo is fun, those 5 yo's were misled by their hetero parents, shame on them". Face it dude, truth hurts.
What the CDC actually said was "Nearly one in five gay and bisexual men in 21 major U.S. cities are infected with HIV, and nearly half of them do not know it, U.S. health officials said on Thursday."
They expressly did not apply the statistic to all homosexual males, as the statistics can not be defended in a peer review.
Of note, however, you were discussing the occurance of rectal cancer, not HIV, so what really was your point, other than to demonstrate you can't be trusted to accurately use sources you cite?
Please don't forget our most popular gay politician. PAUL BABEU. Gay Republican Sheriff for Pinal County. Ask him, don't listen to silly comments here. PAUL IS GAY. If he would do like responsible practicioners, he would admit it and move on with his political life. Another time we will visit with you about the ages of some of his male lovers.
hmm anyone else think this article is a little biased? apparently if you're not pro-gay anti-religion you're wrong?
What is disgusting about Arizona is not that it has gay politicians. Whatever. What is more important than these people's personal lives is their political stances, whether those stances benefit Arizonans in general, and how they spend their time in the legislature on the public dime. What disgusts me about Arizona is how it's OK in this antiquated outpost of a territory for men to be gay and be in politics but for women's rights and issues to be so anathema to the legislative, political and judicial systems here.
I would hope that Arizona someday becomes a little more open and progressive and less run by bigoted individuals motivated by religious insanity.Gayness does not automatically mean that one is feminine and the other masculine. This is an old misconception. Two men can fall in love with each other am make very good partners and contribute every bit or more to society.
As reported by the CDC, Sept. 23rd, 2010: "1 in 5 male homosexuals in America have HIV".
Still feel so open minded about things, Henry? This is a community that espouses promiscuity and debauchery. Proof is in the numbers. Don't take my word for it.. yes.. I am biased, no doubt about it... so, don't listen to me, people, just look at the numbers and forget I even exist.
No, dipshit, as reported by the CDC:
"Nearly one in five gay and bisexual men in 21 major U.S. cities are infected with HIV, and nearly half of them do not know it, U.S. health officials said on Thursday."
They specifically did not state that one in five of all gay men have HIV, as they don't have the stats to back that up.
You must learn to read critically, and to cite accurately. Today - you get a big fat fail.
Hell, I've known gay men that you -would not- want to be in a fight with...
Labels suck (except when they don't - geek and proud of it!).
Whats sad is the feminization of men in this country our culture is very i'lland it's examples of this lifestyle that is bringing our nation to ruin.If the maker had intended for such a life style, he would have created us all as dual genders.the facts are the facts, if all of us where gay we would become as the Dinasours.I too had desires of sex with boys when young, I think we all have that as we are growing, but I realized that it was not right, and thought why would I want to live such an empty life
I think you are just still closeted, thats all. Someone has brainwashed you into believing your desires are wrong and go against your "maker". Sad that you can't just accept yourself for who you obviously are. I known and highly respect many gay men and women. You are wrong though that everyone has desires for the same sex while growing up. I believe I firmly fixated on the fairer sex when in second grade a pair twin girls and I would crawl into an empty 55 gallon barrel and play doctor during recess. We did that often and I'm certain that I fell madly in love with the female during those exquisite hours of forbidden play. My family moved to a ranch that summer and I remember vivid dreams of those wonderful girls and their beautiful bodies when I had to take my nap every afternoon. In the following years I would seek out girls who enjoyed that type recess and after school play, but they were few and far between until my early teens. Never had the slightest interest in males though.
Gotta love that binary thinking style, you have there. There must be no dawn, nor any evening in your small world...
If there is one thing I have learned from my study of biology, its that there is no "black and white"; everything is a "shade of gray". To think that sexuality is somehow different, is to be blind to the reality of evolution (which, as a process, can't help but produce gradations).