Bijtje (she/her/hers) is a convert to the Church in her 20s. She is currently finishing up a STEM degree at a Church university and working in her field of study in a place that is thankfully not the Morridor. Bijtje enjoys reading (mostly non-fiction and speculative fiction), creating art of all kinds, and working her way through the “LGBT” section of Netlix with her girlfriend. She has been out and involved in LGBT activism for over a decade, and was briefly involved in an MOM.
Dan B. (he/him/his) is a passionate software developer working in the mortgage lender collaboration and e-recording industry. On the side he
is a civic hacker and is developing a web app that benefits the LGBTQ/SSA/LDS community. He graduated in 2015 from BYU with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and a Bioinformatics emphasis. Born and raised as Mormon as they come, Dan served a mission in Mexico City 2010—2012. Following his mission and during his studies at BYU, he came to terms with his sexuality, morality, spirituality, and religiosity. Having met a variety of LGBT people and having explored varying ideologies in LGBT/LDS support groups such as North Star International, Understanding Same-Gender Attraction (USGA), and Affirmation, he’s currently defining and refining what sexuality, morality, spirituality, and religiosity each look like for him.
Ellen K. (she/her/hers), originally from Defiance Ohio, is currently working toward her bachelors degree in Political Science and Mormon studies at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Ellen is a convert to the church, joining at 19 as a devoutly orthodox Catholic. After a failed mission that forced her to come out, she slowly moved away from Mormonism; often not even realizing it. Simultaneously, she reconnected with her Catholic beginnings, and now practices a sort of hybrid; adopting and nurturing whatever inspires her. Latter Day Saint by summer, but Powder Day Saint by winter, Ellen is often caught sneaking out of the house in the early morning hours, skis in hand, to catch first tracks. In milder seasons, Ellen trades in her ski boots for sandals, classical music, and a hammock.
Erik L. (he/him/his): is currently working towards his Ph.D. in sociology. After serving a mission in Milano, he returned to BYU to graduate in sociology and Italian. Now living in Chicago, he enjoys reading, playing soccer, running, being involved in a city orchestra, teaching, hiding from the worst winters, and eating cookies with milk while playing Settlers of Catan with his roommates. In thinking about sexuality and religion, he has been involved with many groups and finds it important to respect each individual’s interpretations of their bodily and revelatory experiences.
GoWithKindness (she/her/hers) is a true blue, down to the core, fiber of her being Mormon; and a true blue, down to the core, fiber of her being lesbian. She is courting the impossible marriage between the two, while also navigating her decade+ mixed orientation marriage (MOM) with her husband. The manaja twa of faith, sexuality and chosen partner has at times vacillated between ecstasy and suicidality. She loves being an Aries because it gives her permission to always be right. She is trying very hard to make friends with uncertainty and discomfort, but they keep demanding she stop being so controlling. Her passions are empathy, dialogue, the elusive AND, and New England clam chowder. She thinks random acts of kindness, curiosity, and belly laughs are super sexy. She thinks a lot about what it will be like to be 90 and look over her life. She will be proud, if in the end, she was an instrument of peace, a champion of beauty, a believer in the power of love, and that she went with kindness.
Grayson Moore (he/him/his) is a 21 year old transgender male and an active member of the LDS church. He also identifies as asexual and polyqueer. He and his family worked with Equality Utah on the passage of SB296, which gave housing and employment protections to LGBTQ people in the state of Utah. He’s also a member of Affirmation: LGBT Mormons, Families, and Friends. Grayson is a linguistics major at the University of Utah, with a minor in mathematics. He enjoys Homestuck, kazoo music, and memes.
Jon A. (he/him/his) is one of nine children in a faithful Mormon family. The faith runs deep in his roots: he was born less than 20 miles from Kirtland, OH, and has at various times lived a short drive from Nauvoo, IL, a hop/skip/jump from Salt Lake City, UT, and a short stroll from Gethsemane. He now lives in the Bay Area and loves to hike the rolling hills, especially on Steep Ravine-Dipsea-Old Mine Trail. He is gay, left-handed, and fluent in Argentine castellano.
Kent B. (he/him/his) is an incurable idealist, ardent music-lover, and aspiring software engineer who was raised Mormon and turned out gay. He comes from a devout and loving LDS family, and he served as a Spanish-speaking missionary in the Independence Missouri Mission. He’s currently studying Symbolic Systems and Computer Science at Stanford University. He is also president of Queerituality, a group of students who strive to build bridges between LGBTQ and religious individuals and communities at Stanford.
M.J. McAwesome (she/ her / hers) Writing to you from the Seattle area, M.J. was born and raised in Northern Utah, and in the church. She served a mission in the Baltic States speaking a mixture of Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian and Russian. She graduated from Utah State University with a BA in French. In matters of spirituality, M.J. has been a very active, card carrying member until about 5 months ago. She has recently resigned from the church, but deeply believes in many parts of the gospel, focusing on a deep and personal relationship with God to navigate her post church but still very Mormon spirituality. She is also currently in a deeply loving relationship with a most wonderful spiritual woman of a non-Mormon, Christian back ground. M.J. loves sports, music, and languages and dreams of one day becoming a sports psychologist.
Max W. (they/them/theirs) is a sophomore at the University of Utah studying Middle Eastern Studies and Social Work. They are currently researching the experiences of Queer and Trans Disabled individuals in medical spaces in the hopes of creating a fact sheet/curriculum guide for medical students, professionals, and spaces attempting to better accommodate this undeserved population. Max is also attempting to start a student organization at their university for Queer and Trans Disabled individuals in an effort to carve out some space in academia and hopefully beyond. Max personally identifies as Genderfluid and Queer, chronically ill, disabled, and mentally ill. They have experienced several psychiatric hospitalizations and are quite conflicted about these experiences. Sometimes they toy with reclaiming the slur cr*zy, and they spend a lot of time yelling about doctors.
Megan H. (she/her/hers) is a quiet, introverted Hufflepuff who nevertheless has gotten involved in feminist, LGBTQ+ and other types of activism, showing that you don’t need to be loud and flashy to work for social justice. She writes for the blog with an A (asexual and aromantic) perspective. She has also lived with multiple autoimmune diseases for close to a decade, giving her a unique perspective on invisible illness and ableism. Megan is a lifelong Mormon with pioneer heritage and served a service mission in Family History as a less-physically-taxing alternative to a proselyting mission; while she is now investigating Community of Christ (formerly known as RLDS), a part of her will always be Mormon. Megan recently bought a little house in Logan, where she lives with her cat Noel, is learning how to be a homeowner through trial and error, and works in tech support.
Nathan K. (he/him/his) is the father of five children and a dentist. As a teenager in the 80s he followed the counsel of his bishop to ignore his sexuality, tell no one, get married and things would turn out OK. He served a full time mission in Alabama, graduated BYU Provo, and entered a mixed orientation marriage in full faith that things would indeed turn out OK. He held on faithfully for 20 years living the absolute Mormon heterosexual dream of a life until the lack of authenticity slowly created a dangerous collapsing shell of a man. Realizing the path to self care and healing for all involved was to abandon the counsel of the 80s, he came out to himself, spouse, brothers, sisters, parents, children, friends, and staff. Much was lost, including his marriage of 23 years. But much was gained. He currently serves on the leadership team for Affirmation’s gay fathers group: Fathers in Affirmation. Most recently he spoke out nationally on the devastating ramifications of the “policy” on his children.
Nick K. (he/him/his) is a behavior analyst who works with kids who have autism. A strong proponent of self-compassion, he enjoys writing nerdy fantasy novels, reading whatever he can get his hands on, cooking, and summoning the motivation to workout regularly. Certain he’d be Sorted into Ravenclaw, he is still upset he didn’t get a Hogwarts letter. Nick wrote about his perspective as an active gay Mormon through an article he wrote for Millennial Mormons.