LGBTQ+ Mormon Inclusion Contact List
The idea of “allyship” has been weighing on my mind lately.
Several months ago, I posted an article about “15 Ways To Be More Inclusive.” In it I gave 15 suggestions on how every-day, active LDS Mormons can be more inclusive of LGBTQ+ folks. I’m pleased to hear many Mormons implementing these ideas. Several of you have had firesides and special lessons planned, which I applaud! Thank you so much for taking these ideas seriously! You’re doing great work!
Many of you are my dear friends and in no way do I want to deter you from the great work you’re doing, so please look at this as an opportunity to improve on the great foundation that’s already been built. Hopefully you can be patient with me, as I am with you.
Most of the feedback I am hearing is that these events, lessons, firesides, and programs have not been led by, or even included LGBTQ+ folks. This is a problem. If the idea is to be more inclusive of LGBTQ+ folks, yet they aren’t being included in the planning or implementation of these activities, there is a problem. My hunch says that LGBTQ+ people will start to feel more welcomed in LDS meeting houses if they are invited and actually asked to participate in these activities. Sadly, implementing these ideas without LGBTQ+ folks is counterproductive. If an “ally” is speaking at a fireside about LGBTQ+ inclusion, yet the same ally didn’t suggest having an actual LGBTQ+ person speak, what does inclusion even mean?
Some may argue that LDS folks are more comfortable listening to a cisgender, heterosexual, male priesthood-holding ally. That may be true, but they will never feel comfortable talking to us until we are actually invited to speak at the same table. This takes trust from the LGBTQ+ community, our allies, and the LDS community. Allies need to have more faith that LDS Mormons can handle listening to an LGBTQ+ Mormon in your Young Women’s lesson, fireside, or Sunday School. If you, as an ally, can’t trust us to speak to an LDS Mormon audience, then how can we expect other non-allies to trust queer folks? Queer youth are watching, and they may hear nice words from an ally, but the prevailing message will still be “If you love and care about queer folks, why didn’t you invite them to minister to me? Where are the queer adults like me? Your words feel dishonest when queer folks are nowhere to be found.” If you are worried about the health and spiritual needs of queer youth, invite queer Mormons to minister to queer youth. I promise it will make a difference.
With that being said, I also understand that it is not the sole responsibility of the LGBTQ+ community to carry the emotional labor required for shifting LDS culture. Many LGBTQ+ persons can’t, nor have the desire to speak to or build bridges with LDS communities. I get that, and I respect and honor that choice. Safety first. However, I don’t want the understandable exhaustion of some people in the LGBTQ+ community to be an excuse for not including us—or for poor allyship.
Here’s what I’m suggesting:
If you are an LDS ally and you have been asked to lead, speak, or plan an event about LGBTQ+ love and inclusion, I challenge you to bring at least one LGBTQ+ person with you to actively participate in your lesson, fireside, or event. Some might say, “Well, I don’t have access to LGBTQ+ people who are capable of speaking to an LDS audience in a productive manner.” To mitigate for the risk, I want to compile a list of LGBTQ+ Mormons who are willing to speak in such a setting in a productive manner. You might even consider inviting an LGBTQ+ person to speak instead of yourself.
Below you will find a list of LGBTQ+ Mormons enthusiastically willing to participate in your local class, ward, stake, or project. Please, take advantage of the opportunity and lift the voices of LGBTQ+ folks in your congregation! Thank you everyone for your efforts toward LGBTQ+ inclusion!
LGBTQ+ Mormon Inclusion Contact List
(last updated on 9 Aug 2018)
Blaire Ostler. I’m 35 and I can speak to the experience of being bi/pansexual and intersex (gender variant). I can speak to the experience of being a queer parent, suicide ideation, queer biology, and queer theology. I can also speak academically on a broad range of gender and sexuality studies. I’m an LDS Mormon and I also feel comfortable speaking about these topics in a bridge-building manner. I can speak anywhere in the Utah corridor. You can reach me via Facebook PM or email: email@example.com
Peter Moosman. I can speak to gay Mormonism (growing up gay in an LDS home/culture), same sex relationships in the Plan of Salvation, queer theology, mental health, suicidal ideation and prevention, public speaking, interfaith work and religious pluralism, activism and community engagement, etc. I'm a "born in the covenant," single, semi-active RM. I am as active as I can healthily be, which has decreased attendance as of late. I live downtown SLC, but can easily travel from Ogden to Provo. Even farther with enough notice (and incentives like donuts). Facebook PM, text, or call (801.808.0206).
John Breeding. I’m 49, active LDS RM married (to a woman), gay. I’m in Utah County. I am free on Sundays. I am comfortable talking about the experience of growing up gay in a conservative Mormon home, rejection, and what science has to say about the experience. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Estelle Hafen. I'm 21 and I can talk about being bi, how the church has played a part in my journey, mental illness, and how it affects my queer story. I can also speak to how accepting and the good things my parents have done when raising me. I'm in NV but don't mind traveling to UT. I can be DM'd or emailed at email@example.com
Kris Irvin. I’m a 31-year-old parent and spouse. I’m an asexual, non-transitioning transman. I also identify as genderqueer and nonbinary, but personally those are just different ways to say I don’t fit the gender binary. I am a BYU student. I have a chronic illness. I live in Bluffdale, UT and can usually travel up to an hour or so. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Bird. Bisexual, active Mormon. I'm pretty good at talking to Mormons about LGBTQ+ issues. And I'm in Tucson AZ. Email: email@example.com
Conor Hilton. I’m a 27-year-old ace (asexual) Mormon. I’m happy to talk about my experience, (soon) being a queer parent, queer theology, broadly well versed in gender & sexuality studies from an academic and literary theory perspective. I’m an active, invested LDS Mormon and happy to talk on ways to bridge the queer (LGBTQ+) & Mormon communities. I live in Provo but am happy to speak anywhere in Utah County & the Salt Lake Valley. You can reach me via PM or email firstname.lastname@example.org
John Gustav-Wrathall. I’m gay, white, male, married to a man (for 26+ years). We live in Minneapolis, MN. I have a testimony and have been active in my very loving, inclusive ward for 13+ years. The church is my sanctuary. The one place where I am loved and accepted as a gay man, my husband is loved and accepted, and our relationship is respected, and where I can also be 100% of my believing Mormon self and that is also embraced and supported. I’m excommunicated from the Church, which I recognize can be an issue in official church events. I’m certainly willing to speak if the necessary permissions can be had. I have spoken at firesides that are not officially church sponsored. Always willing. Email: email@example.com
Samantha Richardson. Trans woman, active LDS, at your service. Currently in Bountiful, UT, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Morgan Burdi. I’m 34, married to an amazing woman, and mother to a 2-year-old boy. Live in Las Vegas, not active, love the gospel. Willing to speak about suicide, depression, the importance of family support and loving and embracing who I am as a gay child of god. Email: Moday7@gmail.com or phone: 801-870-7000
Amanda Farr. I can speak to being a queer Mormon and raising a queer kid. I’ve been inactive since the November exclusion policy. I’m in San Diego. Email: Afarr04@gmail.com or text: 484-682-8880
Kimberly Anderson. I specialize in transgender, intersex education, suicide education/prevention, mental health, communication difficulties, personal loss, and grief relative to family exclusion/religious exclusion within the LGBTQ+ experience. Trauma regarding LDS teachings and how that is experienced by queer people. How to talk, and listen safely, with former-Mormons. I have great relationships with Mormons. I have no relationship with Mormonism. I have resigned my membership of 48 years. I’m in the Sacramento/San Francisco/Oakland, CA area. Email: email@example.com
Vinnie Jones. I’m an active Mormon in San Francisco Bay Area, and I’m willing to speak on anything. Email: Vprisbrey@gmail.com or Facebook Messenger
Grayson Moore. I’m a trans man (transitioned when I was 16, I’m 23 now). I describe myself as asexual and polyqueer. I can talk about my own experiences, along with my thoughts on theology and ethics pertaining to the LDS LGBTQ intersection. And I do musical numbers! I live in Utah now, but I’ll be living in the UK for about 9 months starting sometime this Fall. You can message me on Facebook, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or text me at (801) 645-8654
David Doyle. I’m a gay, active Mormon. I live in Tampa, Florida. I've spoken at Stake youth firesides and with the bishops in my Stake. Email: email@example.com
Laura Root. I’m in a gay marriage. Excommunicated, and active LDS. I can speak on pretty much anything. I live in Boise. Contact me via Facebook Messenger.
Michael Haehnel. I’m gay and active but choosing not to have a temple recommend or callings. I am willing to talk about anything pretty much. I live in upstate NY. Call or text 607-745-0911. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Jodie Palme. I’m a lesbian, active Mormon, in a mixed orientation marriage for 13+ years. Willing to speak on inclusion, creating safe space, developing dialogue, mixed-orientation marriages. Willing to have my bishop contacted. Can speak within a 4-hour range of Salt Lake. Willing to travel farther with enough notice. email@example.com
Lacey Keller Smith. I would love to share my experience as a bisexual Mormon. I’m currently inactive for a variety of reasons, but the November policy of exclusion and the Church’s lack of protection of our kids are two big reasons why. I’m in Bountiful, UT and am happy to travel in the area. Text is the best way to contact me: 208-534-8425
Brother Jones. I’m bi, can talk about lots of stuff. I live in Beijing, but I travel frequently. I am active LDS and in my branch presidency, so I can talk to very trad LDS audiences. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phoebe Frazier. I am 17 and extremely comfortable speaking and I love doing it. I am not active, but I’ve grown up Mormon, all of my family is Mormon, and most of my friends are. I live in Salt Lake City, UT and I prefer to be contacted through calls/texts to my cell: (801) 230-2373
Randall Chadwick. I'm a conservative gay Mormon, and will be able to speak on any subject, from my experience, relating with this type of issue including the conflicts that arise between my sexual identity and the church. I am an active (self-requested), disfellowshipped member. I have a testimony of the gospel and separate this from the Church. I'm out to my Bishop and ward. I live in Utah county. Please text: 385-309-0390
Linda Swayne. I’m transgender and from Tucson, Arizona. Email: email@example.com
Rene Frost. I’m from Phoenix, AZ was an active member of the LDS faith until at age 44, where I began to self-identify as Cisgender Lesbian. I am a member of the Board of Directors for Affirmation: LGBT Mormons, Families & Friends and a certified QPR instructor for Suicide Prevention training. Email: B66living@gmail.com
Nathan R. Kitchen. I’m gay, divorced father of five. 49 years old. Comfortable talking about coming out later in life; what to do when you are married/active/Mormonormative and undergoing a sexual identity crisis, faith crisis, and divorce; loss of privilege in the church once you come out; issues facing children when a parent comes out and is divorcing; infantilizing of the gay male in the church; suicide; life in a MOM; facing excommunication if you marry someone of the same sex and you realize this will unseal your children from you; the policy, navigating children's advancement in the priesthood and temple weddings as a gay father; handling well-meaning priesthood leaders who want to parent your children because they see you as unable to because you are gay; creating supportive communities for LDS LGBTQ. I’m a member in good standing but haven't been in over seven years. Located in Phoenix metro area, Gilbert AZ. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ben Schilaty. I teach Spanish at BYU and work as a social work intern at Wasatch Mental Health in Provo. I began a Master’s in Social Work at BYU last Fall and hope to work with LGBTQ+ Mormons and their families. I write a blog about my experiences as a gay Mormon and started a support community for LGBTQ Mormons in Tucson, AZ. I am a lifelong member of the Church and served as a missionary in Chihuahua, Mexico, from 2003-2005. I currently serve in the Elders Quorum presidency and as a temple worker in the Provo Temple. Email: email@example.com
Lisa Grimm. I am a 54-year-old bisexual woman. I have been married to my husband (he has always known) for 29 years. We have four children. I can speak of my experience of being a closeted bisexual and a member of the Church. The difficulty this caused, depression, self-hatred, Suicide ideation. How I have worked on overcoming these things and learning to love myself. What it was like coming out especially to my children, family and close friends. Speak of loving and inclusion. I was a convert to the Church at the age of fifteen. I was a faithful member, served a mission, married in the temple, raised my children in the gospel and served in many callings. When the Nov. 2015 policy came out I stopped attending church and came out publicly. I live in West Jordan and am willing to speak in Utah County and Salt Lake County. Other places with Advance notice. Message me on FB or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Craig Watts. Growing up in Provo and serving a mission as a gay Mormon - how damaging it was - the shame, the self-loathing, the suicidal thoughts. What it felt like to be excommunicated at 25 for having a boyfriend. How my parents and siblings all left the church over a period of 10 years after I was excommunicated. How hard it is to live in the Mormon community and not participate. How much I appreciate and respect my family for rallying around me instead of the church. Why I feel like I have PTSD from growing up Mormon and gay and what that feels like. I was excommunicated for having a boyfriend nearly 30 years ago. That experience ended any remaining belief I had. I’m in Provo/Orem. Preferred contact means email: email@example.com
Bobbee Trans Mooremon. I can speak on transgender issues, living with multiple Disabilities, Autistism, HIV/AIDS, youth homelessness, safer sex, speaking your truth even when people wish you would be quite, self advocating. I’m a 7th generation Mormon, bishop counseled family to kick out and disown me, inactive for many years, atheist, resigned September 5, 2017. I’m located part time San Francisco, part time Provo. Contact me by Facebook pm, firstname.lastname@example.org, or text message 415-205-7194
Madeline Duffy. I can speak on anything, LGBTQ+ issues, theology, feminism, other religions, mental illness, chronic illness/disabilities, abuse, all that good stuff. I'm bisexual, grew up LDS and was very active, recently stepped away from the church but still have a lot of respect for it. I'm in Washington State. Email: email@example.com
Brian Tipton. I'm an active gay Mormon and am comfortable talking about my experience being gay while growing up in the church, eventually leaving the church, being in gay relationships, and my return to the church. I am a worker in the Provo City Center temple and serve as the ward assistant executive secretary. Message me on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dallin Steele. I live in Eagle Mountain, Utah. I am active in my Young Singles Adult ward and I am fully out and open about being gay and a member of the restored church. I can talk about being a gay man being raised in the church, bridging gaps of understanding between LGBTQ+ people and members of the church, how depression and therapy played a big part of my story, and being a gay missionary in Mexico City. Facebook private message or email (email@example.com) work best.
This is not an exclusive list. Any LGBTQ+ folks or organizations who would like to be added or removed are welcome to do so at any time. Just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you do not see anyone available in your area and are looking for LGBTQ+ folks to participate in faith-promoting dialogue with the LDS community you can also contact these organizations, and they can help put you in contact with someone in your area.
Mormons Building Bridges: email@example.com
Thank you everyone for your work, support, and love!