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When trying to explain to others who I am and what I feel, it is hard for me to slap a label on who I am… It is the use of the labels and stereotypes that help us classify information, and understand others world views. Being classified as a mormon typically brings ideas to others that is either exaggerated, or what gets perpetuated about those who are LDS without holding much value or truth. I believe in many ways this same type of stereotyping brings many ideas and misinformation that gets portrayed onto me, by using the term Lesbian, from others when they only use stereotypes to understand the world. We cannot solely rely on labels to have a greater understanding of others.

I use the term Lesbian because I know that this is not something that is superficial, it is more than an attraction, it is more than a feeling. My sexuality changes everything about my world view, how I make relationships and connections with others, and it even changes how others interact with me.

Using the terms LDS is part of me because there are things and doctrines that I have learned and that are part of me being that can never ever be taken away because they are part of my life, my view, and the way I interpret the world around me.

I am realized I am and never will be a stereotypical Lesbian or a stereotypical member of the LDS church. I truly am not. I have morals and values that I was raised with that will stick with me always. I do not believe in promiscuous activity, I was raised and still believe that if I do not have integrity I am limiting my ability to be authentic. I was raised to love others, and not be judgmental. I also was taught that it is important to try to understand the perspective of others without thinking or treating them as if I am better than them.

And as an untypical Mormon I believe that my sexuality was part of who I was before I came to earth, and I know that God loves me as I am right now. I am still sorting out if sexuality is something that will be part of me when I pass on, but from everything that makes sense to me this concept does and in some ways I focus more on the fact that it will be sorted out after this life. With that being said I still want to have a family, a wife and kids. I want to have and create the best life I can here that will not only help me but others become the best versions of themselves.

I am not alone in the LGBT Mormon community and I am not alone in facing the struggles of life. But my sexuality is not a temptation or a struggle. Dealing with the effects of it, the treatment from others, the unkind words they say and the ways they treat me for being different, finding a place in the world where I fit and feel safe, that is the trial of being LGBT, my sexuality is not a trial, and in many ways it is a blessing.

So as I press forward with faith, and dare I say hope, I seek to continue surprising others when they find out that I still have things that resonate with me from my upbringing and that I will always focus on being true to my whole self, and to God regardless of what others think I should or shouldn’t be.