Last week, a blogger by the name of Josh Weed, posted a personal story that quickly went viral. Why? Because Josh Weed came out as a gay Mormon man who is happily married to a woman. I’ve decided to write a response to Weed’s story, not so much because of what he said, but mainly for what was not said: his omissions and the implications of his story on the wider LDS and LGBT communities.
You can read his story on his blog, The Weed, here: Club Unicorn: In which I come out of the closet on our ten year anniversary.
Last week, I came across a news article entitled, Gay Students vs. BYU Honor Code (archived here), which was an editorial showcasing three cases of how gay students were being discriminated against by LDS-owned Brigham Young University’s honor code. I found this article to be interesting since it touched on a few of the same issues that I have with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“the Church”).
After reading the article, I made the decision to share it on Twitter and Facebook (something I do regularly with articles I read). After clicking the “share” button, it asked me to add my own comments to the link, so I wrote the following:
Post-secondary education should be about challenging the status quo, pushing boundaries, innovation, exploring the world with new eyes, and free-thinking. Yet BYU’s Honor Code represses all of that, and is simply “about controlling the production of the next generation of Mormons”
(Note the last line being a quotation from the article itself.)
I knew that what I wrote would be provocative – especially for my LDS family and friends who would be certain to see it on Facebook – but this was kind of the point. I wanted the article to get people’s attention, because I feel that such discrimination happens all too frequently and shouldn’t be tolerated, let alone institutionalized, by a prestigious post-secondary institution. At the time, I didn’t expect to get much of a response from posting it on my Facebook wall, seeing as I post numerous other articles on a daily basis, with only a few comments here and there. This one, however, gained a lot more attention than I could have imagined, and turned into a large 4 day debate.
Tonya Miller, speaking at OUTSpoken (a LGBTQ week long event consisting of many public events and forums in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada – March 10, 2011
This is a touching speech from Tonya Miller about her struggles with the LDS Church and her bisexuality. I find this particularly interesting in that it deals with a topic that I have been in a heated debate over on Facebook for the past several days. (Ill have a post on that later.) Tonya is also from my own province of Alberta. The LDS stance on the LGBTQ community is not one of compassion as some might suggest.