10416797_10152231218088883_1419483802_n“It’s been 3 years since I was interviewed for the Far Between Project, and I have a very different life. I graduated from BYU and moved home to Washington to start my life again. My sexuality is no longer an issue for me at all. I stopped letting others tell me what is truth and found my identity and peace. I am a lesbian and a Christian and I love who I am.

I attend the Mormon church, but I do so as a Christian and not as an active member. My relationship with God is still a huge motivating factor for me and is what guides my decisions. I am in a relationship with a wonderful woman who I cannot picture life without. Interestingly enough, when we first started dating, Erika watched the Far Between interview and was bothered by the part where I said, “I can’t picture being in a relationship with someone who isn’t Christian because the foundational belief in God is something I feel is very important”. Since Erika is agnostic we discussed whether we should break up over this fact. I eventually had a moment of clarity where I realized that Christian or not, Erika is one of the best people I know. She has goodness in her that surpasses any other Christian I’ve ever met. I would feel privileged to have her as a partner in raising our children because she will pass on the goodness and light that she naturally has within her.

To see how my life has evolved over the past several years makes me feel so grateful and hopeful. I am happier then I have ever been and happier than I knew I could be. I can’t wait to see what the next three years brings me.”

For Heather, happiness means following her values, and since church activity reminds her of those, she hopes to have constructive conversations in her future wards. When Heather found out, at 11 or 12, what her thoughts and attractions were called and how the church feels about them, she believed she was evil, corrupt, and somehow sick.  Depression set in as she thought God hated her as much as she hated herself, and she struggled with how to create a life that was happy.  When loved ones said, “That’s disgusting,” about a same-sex couple on TV, what she heard was, “Heather, you’re disgusting.”  But her relationship with her heavenly father has developed peace in her life, and she looks forward to a healthy relationship with a woman.  Her future relationships may be hard on family who oppose same-sex relationships, but she reminds herself to expect no less than the decade she took to come to terms with it, and she has felt no less than genuine love from them.