TW: Policy exclusion of transgender individuals
BRANDY: Several weeks before Christmas, I stood in my kitchen wrapping pralines. It’s tedious, monotonous, work, and the worst part of making the damn things. My mind was racing, stressing, about all the things I still had to do before bed, before tomorrow, before I left town for a few days, before Christmas. My husband walked into the kitchen and something in his expression made me ask what was going on. He said, “You have four sons.” And I felt the floor fall out from under my feet. Continue reading “My Trans Teen and the Sting of Being Active LDS”
TW: transphobia, brief mention of self harm
READER POST: I file into the restaurant with my beautiful (and often difficult) children. I gave birth to several boys—all gangly limbs, misplaced aggression, anxieties, and intense grudges. But they’re mine, and I love them, though maybe I regret this particular dinner decision. As we wait beside the Christmas tree, I notice the host is staring at my oldest with a puzzled look, one that feels judgmental and borders on disgust. For my oldest child holds a deep secret that only we know: a hard, life-changing, devastating, and beautiful secret. With this look my firstborn is receiving from a stranger, I realize his secret is becoming less so. For my oldest “son” is a girl. Continue reading “Love and Respect My Trans Child as if Your Own”
TABITHA:“As citizens we have the privilege and duty of electing office holders and influencing public policy. Participation in the political process affects our communities and nation today and in the future. We urge Latter-day Saints to be active citizens by registering, exercising their right to vote, and engaging in civic affairs.
We also urge you to spend the time needed to become informed about the issues and candidates you will be considering.” (First Presidency 2016 Letter)
In the United States, some version of this announcement is often read over the pulpit in LDS congregations shortly before Election Day. Since it’s election season (including the run up for presidential caucuses and primaries), I want to share a few of my experiences about how “becoming informed about issues and candidates” has lead me to positions that frequently put me in the minority of my family and church friends.
Immigration/Refugee Acceptance Continue reading “LDS Policy and My Political Journey”
SQ: After General Conference, the staff here at SQ realized we don’t need the Church to be true, but we do need it to be good. And consistently honorable. To this end, we’ve compiled a list of the top fifteen things we want the Brethren to know. Here is our list, in no particular order: Continue reading “We Need the Church to be Good: a Top 15 List for the 15 Top Brethren”
READER POST: Earlier this week, in a leadership session of LDS General Conference, Pres. Oaks said some really hurtful things about queer people. He’s ignorant and his statements were factually incorrect, scientifically speaking.
This is not the exception for Pres. Oaks or other members of LDS leadership, including Pres. Nelson, who also made really harmful statements in a BYU address recently. Because members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints view these men as speaking for God, their opinion, however hurtful and incorrect it is, carries a lot of weight. It can do a lot of good, and it can do a lot of harm. Continue reading “The Hard Work of Zion Building”
READER POST: Tonight, as I go to sleep, I am deeply troubled, and so are others in the LGBTQ community of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint. This weekend, at the bi-annual General Conference, our leaders waxed spiritual over the pulpit. Most speakers talked of Jesus Christ and of his healing atonement. However, one speaker chose another way and probably turned away both members and perspective members. Continue reading “Mormon and Transgender: A Human Response to Institutional Mormon Transphobia”
READER POST: About ten days ago, the Church put out its new style guide. In it, they asked that it be called by the official name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and made a plea to others outside the faith do use the correct name, not “Mormon” or “LDS.” Asking for the name change isn’t wrong, and leaders shouldn’t be called wrong for doing it. However, the announcement alienated LGBTQ followers and supporters. Continue reading “A Transgender Perspective on the Style Guide for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”
READER POST: I have been an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (aka Mormon) my entire life. I have served in numerous church callings. I am also a transgender member who came out in September of 2017. Continue reading “On Being a Transwoman in the Mormon Church”
READER POST: I stand at the bathroom counter brushing my teeth. Three of my four children are in bed and the oldest, a 15-year-old girl, is on her way home. Our house is locked, the windows drawn. I feel at peace, knowing that this day, I have successfully checked off all the religious to-dos; prayers have been said, scriptures read. My temple recommend is valid, my faith strong. While we are not perfect as a family, I feel God is cognizant of our efforts and pleased with our work.
I hear the front door unlock, footsteps on the stairs, and the bathroom door opens. My eldest daughter, the one we prayed to have, the one we were blessed with after a miscarriage and years of trying, stands, not looking at me, defiant and, I see now, scared.
“I’m bisexual and I don’t want to talk about it.”
Continue reading “You Are as He Meant You to Be”
LAURA: When I was a kid, my grandparents lived in a house with a closet that had stairs and a hidden cubby inside. It captured my imagination (imagine! secrets in a closet!), and I loved to play in there. Now, of course, I’ve grown too big to fit inside, and even my very best imaginations can’t make me believe that a closet really is another world. I miss that sometimes–being able to make my real world disappear and let my play one be real for a while.
Continue reading “Life Bi the Closet”