Latter-day LGBTQ+: personal experiences of growing up LGBTQ+ in the LDS faith
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ stance on LGBTQ+ issues has often been a topic of discussion for many members and non-members alike. For those that are both LGBTQ+ and LDS, this isn’t just a subject in a church meeting — it’s their life.
The LDS church believes that only marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. Over the years, they have expressed this opinion in many ways that created controversy in the community, such as supporting Proposition 8, a 2008 California ballot that would have made gay marriage illegal. Another notable controversy was a change that relates to a policy created in 2015. The original policy stated that children of LGBTQ+ individuals could not be baptized into the church until they turned 18 and ruled that any member in a same-sex marriage was an apostate.
During a leadership session in the church’s general conference in April 2019, the church reversed this ruling. Children with parents in a same-sex relationship would be able to be baptized into the church and same-sex marriages would no longer be ruled as apostasy.
The change in the policy created mixed reactions. Some believed the church was moving in the right direction, and others felt that it did not correct years of hurt.
For many, the church’s stance on LGBTQ+ orientations and issues was a reason to leave the church. Others believe that it’s difficult, or even impossible, for an individual to be both LGBTQ+ and LDS. Some members of the faith don’t see the need to choose between two parts of themselves. Whatever an individual decides, their voice deserves to be heard. These are their stories to share.
This section will be updated as we share more accounts from LDS and LGBTQ+ individuals. Names denoted with an * have been changed at the subject’s request.
LeGrande Lolo: Growing up gay
Connor Smith*: Transgender testimony
Illustration by: Basil Baggerly