Study of Gay Mormons Presented at USU
[Graduate student John Dehlin] surveyed 1,635 Mormons who classify themselves as gay and said the study found the average age gay women and men reported feeling different from their peers was at age 10.
On average, by the age of 22 those people have come out, saying they are gay or lesbian. And 31 percent reported being at some point in their lives in a heterosexual marriage, and 16 percent reported staying in a heterosexual marriage. About 65 percent of LDS respondents reported trying to change their sexual orientations.
“The most common ways of trying to change are being more righteous by praying, fasting and reading the scriptures,” Dehlin said. “The second most common is counseling with a bishop or stake president. However, research shows these are the most damaging things to do for those people.”
“If you work with a therapist who just tries to help you accept your situation, 85 percent found that either highly effective or moderately effective,” Dehlin said.
“Research Examines Same-Sex Attraction”
Catherine Bennett for The Utah Statesman
SPLC Discusses LDS Conversion Therapy in Provo, Salt Lake City
Next week Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center is coming to town on a mission. It wants to bring down conversion therapy.
[SPLC’s civil-rights staff attorney, Sam] Wolfe talks from personal experience, although in his case his brush with gay conversion therapy ultimately proved more of a wake-up call than destructive. He attended BYU and, struggling to follow what he calls “the established path” of finding a female partner for marriage, out of desperation called a number he’d found in advertisement that said, ”If you suffer from same sex attraction …” He felt like “I needed to cure myself,” but the group he reached out to, Evergreen, ultimately proved an “eye-opening experience.”
Wolfe had always assumed once you married a woman, life would turn out well. Instead, he met Mormon men who had been married, fathered children, only for their marriages to fallen apart in tragic ways, their former spouses and children hating them. The men “felt very attentive to me,” at Evergreen, giving him lingering hugs and nestling up to him during prayer.
“Has Someone Tried to ‘Cure’ You of Being Gay?”
Stephen Dark for Salt Lake City Weekly, 6 April 2012
Live Blog: BYU Panel of Gay Students
Shirley Grover for The Student Review, 4 April 2012
Mormon Authors Write Experiences with Gay Rights, Gay Family
Raised by rock-solid Mormon parents in Southern California, [Joanna] Brooks details the community and security of her religious upbringing in her passionate prose. Her journey hits turbulent waters at Brigham Young University, where dissonance over church positions on intellectuals, feminism and gay rights compels her to return her diploma.
By the time Emily Pearson, daughter of renowned LDS poet Carol Lynn Pearson, sat down to write Dancing With Crazy, her life was nearing its highest threshold for pain … Opening her writer’s vein … Pearson chronicles the pain of dual allegiances — to a church she loved as a girl and a gay father she adored … She walks San Francisco’s gay Castro District on weekdays, attends LDS church on Sundays and gets stoned with her father’s friends at a Bette Midler concert. Her father succumbs to AIDS. She grows up and falls in love, only to watch her sweetheart die of cancer. Then, in a last-ditch attempt to reconcile “unfinished business,” Pearson marries a gay man in the Salt Lake Temple.
“Two New Memoirs by Women Consider Falling Back into, And out of, the Church”
Ben Fulton for The Salt Lake Tribune, 29 March 2012
Struggling Bi-National Couple Includes Gay Mormon
It seems like something out of a movie: two lovers meeting on the Internet, thousands of miles away from each other, pouring their hearts out through a computer screen. However, this romance may not have a fairy-tale ending, thanks to a passport-related rule limiting same-sex couples.
Mike Roach and Carl Barlow first met on an Internet forum for newly out LGBT members. The two men were coming to terms with their sexuality; Roach was a newly out gay man and Carl was a former Mormon whose marriage to a woman was ending.
“Travel Regulation Affecting Gay Couple’s Future”
Natasha Hemley for the Windy City Times, 7 March 2012
Sandy Russel: ‘Gay Mormon’
Weighing almost 30 stone and with a fat-riddled liver that doctors have warned is about as dangerous as it gets, Sandy Russell is used to being told how he is going to die.
The flamboyant character, from Stirling, who identifies himself on the internet as Gay Mormon, has had to cope with several weight-related obstacles in his life, often in the public eye.
He appeared in the Daily Record 11 years ago after appealing for help to lose weight in order to make love to his then wife, Janet. Shortly after that story, Sandy came out as gay. He has been living in Wolverhampton for the past two years.
“Super-Sized Sandy Russell Has Found a New Lease of Life After Shedding Weight on Sky Reality Show”
Brian McIver for the Daily Record, 28 February 2012
Young Mormons Leaving over Prop 8, Interview with a Gay Mormon
The cheeky hit Broadway musical “Book of Mormon” has also thrust the church into the forefront of pop culture, but that hasn’t stopped younger members from reportedly leaving the church in droves over conservative doctrine including backing Proposition 8, banning gay marriage in California. Now, church leaders are asking tough questions about the future of the LDS, and how to turn that trend around. On the line to explain is Peter Henderson, West Coast Enterprise Editor for Reuters.
And joining us also is Tyler Tomsic-Taylor. He’s 24 years old, and a global business student at Suffolk University in Boston. Tyler is a member of the Mormon church who finds being active in the church difficult because of his sexual orientation.
David’s “I’m a gay Mormon” profile.
“A Latter Day Crisis”
Direct link to audio.
Virginia Prescott for New Hampshire Public Radio, 7 February 2012