2 Steps Forward

In 2012, the Mormon Church launched a website called “Mormons and Gays.” I saw that as HUGE progress. It asked for members to have love and compassion for their LGBT sons and daughters. Sure, I didn’t love everything about the Mormons and Gays site. The Mormon Church still believed that marriage was only between a man and a woman, so those of us who are gay should either remain single and celibate or be in a mixed orientation marriage. Neither of which felt authentic to me.
After the site launched, I finally came out to my family. While they weren't necessarily thrilled by the news, they weren't shocked either. I was happy with myself. I was fine with where the church was. Eventually, I believed it would not merely tolerate its LGBT members, but embrace us. And that overall sentiment of love was a win in my book. That feeling of gratitude  did not last long because then came the “exclusion policy.”
In a nutshell, the “exclusion policy” labels “homosexual relations” as “Serious T…

I Speak For Me

Allies are incredibly important to have. When we feel like we don’t have a space or a voice, allies can make all the difference. Kindness and truly seeing someone goes a long way and its effect is larger than people can imagine. It’s easy to feel like no one gets you or cares about you. But even just one ally can show that people are invested in you and your happiness.
I love it when people ask me “what can I do to help?” Allies multiply in number. Just by simply existing and standing up for minority communities, others are encouraged to open their minds and be accepting as well.
We all need people on whom we can depend and who we know accept us for who we are.
Allies have quite literally saved my life.
But there are times when it’s too much. With all of the racial tension that is still happening, I don’t pretend to speak for my black friends. I sit with them. I listen to them. I cry with them. I show up for them. But I in no way speak for them. It’s their story. They are the ones being m…

Finding My Voice

I was born and raised in the DFW Metroplex in Texas. I’m a pale white girl, with strawberry blonde hair and lots of freckles. And while I wasn’t persecuted growing up based on what I looked like or who I was on the outside, I had a deep-seated fear that I would be if people only knew the real me.
See, I wasn’t like everyone else around me. First off, I was a Mormon. And there weren’t that many of us. Growing up, I had many conversations with friends trying to “save me” because they truly believed that Mormons weren’t really Christians. But the second thing that sets me apart from most of the people that I grew up with is that I’m gay.
Looking back, all the signs were there. While other girls’ walls were covered with pictures of boy bands and teen heartthrobs like New Kids on the Block, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Jonathan Brandis, mine was covered with pictures of women I admired like Shannon Miller, Mia Hamm, Rebecca Lobo, etc. As a young Mormon kid, I didn’t have the vocabulary to verbali…

Affirmation 2017

This weekend I went to the Affirmation Conference in Provo, Utah. Before I get into sharing my experience, I will say that I was incredibly fortunate to see and meet some truly remarkable people. People like Troy Williams, Tom Christofferson, Jana Reiss, Peter Moosman, Jen Blair, Jodie Palmer, Blaire Ostler, Drew Ostler, Amanda Farr, Lindsay Hansen Park, Mica Nicole, John Bonner, Laura Skaggs Dulin, Augustus Crosby, Jason Michael Walker, Michael Klein, Heather Deklerk Kester and her brave daughter Savannah and so many more. For all that you do and contribute, I see you and I truly thank you.

I’ve been debating how to share my experience, so let’s just start at the very beginning, because it’s a very good place to start.

I went in to this conference a little nervous, but cautiously optimistic. I know a couple people who are involved with Affirmation and was told by friends that it would be really good for me. So, I took those things into consideration and went.

Saturday morning started ou…