“The major change since filming my interview for the Far Between project was the death of my mother in February of 2013. Having lived with her as her caregiver for almost five years, I was completely thrown off balance and suffered intense confusion and loneliness. What saved me was deep creative concentration and work, the writing of new weird fiction, which gave life a solid purpose. My faith in the Gospel and church activity has also sustained me, helped to give me focus and direction. Living alone in this big house with my companion will always feel strange, but making certain that the house is in good order is a way to pay tribute to the memory of my parents. The only bummer is yardwork. Oy, how I HATE yardwork…”
Wilum, 60, is a self-described punk rock, exhibitionist, gay Mormon.
After serving a full-time mission, Wilum came out to his family then attended therapy to “become heterosexual.” Wilum was ultimately excommunicated, but he found comfort and acceptance in the world of exhibitionism and punk rock where he felt free and authentic for the first time. “Being gay,” he says, “is natural for me. I did not choose to be gay, but thank God I am.”
Twenty-five years later a pair of missionaries knocked on Wilum’s door. After a two-year process, Wilum was again baptized into the church, and he hopes to receive the priesthood and participate in temple work in the future. Although Wilum is proud to be Mormon, he did not and will not abandon his pre-baptism lifestyle where he first found acceptance. Wilum has been celibate since 1985, which he feels makes it easier to live within both worlds of the Mormon faith and the gay and punk rock lifestyle he adores.