When I first began to realize that I might be queer, I was terrified. Like most Mormons, I was afraid of being queer because of the implications it had for the possibility of a future marriage, my relationship to the Church, and even my eternal salvation. I spent countless hours viewing online organizations, articles, testimonials, and interviews designed for queer Mormons, hoping that I could find some comfort and camaraderie as I tried to understand my sexual orientation. Unfortunately, I found little reassurance or fellowship in these online resources simply because they were not designed for me. These online resources overwhelmingly catered to gay men, as if queer women did not exist (some women appeared on these online resources, but they were usually straight allies of their gay friends, husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, etc.). These resources told the stories of gay Mormon men who had known that they were gay since they were very young, who found strength through their trials in having the priesthood, and who had used their sexual orientation as a way to explore and celebrate their own masculinity. As a young Mormon woman who had just barely discovered her sexuality, I found very little in common with these men, and it made me feel very lonely. My sexuality had made me an outsider in the predominantly heterosexual Mormon world; now my gender was making me an outsider in the queer Mormon community. Was there a safe place for an outsider like me?
When I learned about Far Between, I assumed that it was yet another male-oriented website, and so I didn’t get my hopes up. But my attitude changed when I viewed the website and the interview series. I still remember sitting alone in my room, watching Lauren’s interview and crying. It felt so good to finally listen to another young woman whom I could relate to. Like me, Lauren (pictured here) had just recently come to recognize and understand her sexuality, and also like me, she still had a lot of questions about LDS doctrine and its teachings about human sexuality. I was reassured by her authenticity and fearlessness, and it was so good to hear someone speak candidly without pushing the agenda of the website that they were speaking for. Listening to Lauren’s interview was an important step for me to feel accepted and loved in the queer Mormon community.
I laud Far Between’s efforts to display a diverse range of experiences and to encourage their interviewees to speak candidly and openly about their experiences. As I work to create a voice for women in the queer Mormon community, I will always be grateful for listening to Lauren’s interview and finally feeling like I could belong.
by Anonymous For Now
The author of this blog post recently shared her story with Far Between on film, but needed’s to remain anonymous for now. She shared this experience with Far Between as a means of giving back to the project that has meant so much to her. We will release her video as soon as her timing is right.
Watch Lauren’s video: http://farbetweenmovie.com/lauren/