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Neca Allgood was raised in Southern California. She attended BYU and Princeton, where she earned a PhD in Molecular Biology. She and her husband, David Moore, live in Utah and are parents of three sons. Her middle child, Grayson Moore, is FTM transgender. Since he transitioned (in 2011) at age 16, Grayson and Neca have been active working to extend non-discrimination protections in Utah to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
Neca is an active Mormon. She and her husband own a small engineering consulting firm.
Jen Blair was born and raised in the Wasatch Front of Utah and lived all her school years in the same house. She attended Brigham Young University and earned a B.A. in Elementary Education. After college graduation, she and her young family joined her husband on the adventure of medical school and spent time living in Missouri, Ohio, and Iowa before settling down in Twin Falls, Idaho. She is interested in politics and recently served a term as a precinct committeewoman. She has 4 amazing, talented, and beautiful children that occupy most of her energy.
Frederick “Fred” Bowers has been a part of Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons for over 20 years. Fred has served in leadership roles at the chapter and national levels for many years including: Washington DC Chapter Director; Chapter-at-Large Director; Assistant Vice President for Strategy and Development; Affirmation National Board of Directors; Conference Director; and founder and current Director of the Affirmation People of Color and Allies Group.
Beth Ellsworth grew up in Austin, TX, but now calls Minneapolis, MN home. She comes from a devout Mormon family with ancestors on both sides who joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in its early days. She served a Spanish-speaking mission in New York City from 2000-2002. The stories and experiences of the people she met in her mission led her to an interest in immigrant rights and social justice issues.
A convert to the church, Judy Finch is retired from a long career in elementary education. For nearly twenty years Judy has had a private psychotherapy practice, currently from her home office in the Oakland hills. Judy and her husband Richard have blended their family of six children in three states, soon-to-be 12 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.
“My interest and commitment in Affirmation results from a gay son and two[…]
John Gustav-Wrathall is an adjunct professor of American Religious History at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. He is the author of Take the Young Stranger by the Hand: Same-Sex Dynamics and the Young Men’s Christian Association (University of Chicago Press, 1998). He has also published articles in Sunstone and Dialogue on being gay and Mormon, and is the author of the Young Stranger blog. Though excommunicated from the LDS Church, John has a testimony, and has been active in his south Minneapolis ward since 2005.
Jamison Manwaring lives in New York City and publicly came out in March of 2013 via a Youtube video. Subsequently, he and members of his family have done interviews with NPR’s Weekend Edition, and other news organizations, about the experience of being a gay Mormon. He has found peace and happiness being his authentic self – an active believing Mormon and a gay man. He is dedicated to providing a supportive community at Affirmation for all LGBT Mormons who live with honesty and integrity regardless of life path including those who are a) in same-sex relationships, b) celibate, or c) enter into a mixed-orientation-marriage with full disclosure[…]
Wendy Montgomery was born and raised in Southern California. She has always been a member of the LDS Church. She and her husband were married in the Los Angeles Temple in 1995. They had 5 children in 7 years – not recommended. They found out in January of 2012 that their oldest son (13 years old at the time) was gay. It has at times been unbearably painful. But it has also been an enlightening, spiritual and joyful journey. Wendy has many new LGBT-supportive heroes in the LDS community. The Montgomery family lives in Central[…]
Carol Lynn Pearson’s first contribution to the LDS gay community came in 1986 with the publication of her book Goodbye, I Love You, which tells the story of her marriage to Gerald Pearson, a homosexual man, their divorce, ongoing friendship, and her caring for him as he died of AIDS. The book is credited by many as opening the conversation in many homes about the subject of AIDS and about homosexuality in general.
Dr. Gregory A. Prince was born and reared in Los Angeles, California. He attended Dixie College from 1965-67, graduating as valedictorian. He attended the UCLA School of Dentistry from 1969-73, again graduating as valedictorian. He received a Ph.D. in Pathology from UCLA in 1975, studying respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the primary cause of infant pneumonia worldwide. Over a period of fifteen years at the National Institutes of Health and Johns Hopkins University, he and his co-workers developed the thesis that RSV disease could be prevented[…]
Ron Raynes, 58, loves his mixed orientation family. He and wife Sue have managed to come out of the closet together during the last ten years. They are proud parents of three beautiful, all grown up now daughters. Ron and Sue joined Affirmation three years ago, and have worked to establish and build the Affirmation Affinity group for Mixed Orientation Families, which is a healing place for a variety of people impacted by mixed orientation marriage in their family life.
Ron Schow splits his time between residences in both Pocatello, Idaho and Salt Lake City. He is Professor Emeritus at Idaho State University (ISU) where he has taught since 1975. Although semi-retired he continues to teach some in the School of Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences in the Division of Health Sciences.
A fifth generation Latter-day Saint with ancestors from Denmark and England, Ron grew up in Preston, Idaho. He served a mission for the LDS Church in the Central Atlantic States Mission[…]
Sam Wolfe is a civil rights attorney and advocate with the Southern Poverty Law Center who has led high-profile litigation of national significance. Sam founded and continues to help lead the Southern Poverty Law Center’s LGBT Rights Project. His work, often set in the Deep South, focuses on achieving greater respect and equality for LGBT people.
His cases include the first-ever, consumer fraud lawsuit challenging conversion “therapy” that purports to change sexual orientation from gay to straight.
Sara Jade Woodhouse is a transgender woman active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She has been a professor of film at Salt Lake Community College for the past 13 years and acts professionally in theatre, film, and television. Sara Jade is an accomplished writer and currently working on an auto-biography. She has volunteered with Mormons Building Bridges, worked for Equality Utah, and seeks to promote better understanding of transgender people everywhere.
Yvette Zobel is originally an Idaho girl who spent her growing up years in Idaho Falls, Idaho . She journeyed next door to the state of Utah to attend Utah State University and has a degree in music with an emphasis in piano. After great adventures living in Washington, Oregon, and California, she and her family now reside in Highland, Utah. She has taught piano in her private piano studio for many years. She considers teaching music one of the most joyful professions possible! She is a wife and the mother of 4 children[…]
Ex Officio (Executive Committee)
Randall Thacker grew up in Taylorsville, Utah, the youngest of three children. He recognized his attraction to the same sex when he was about 8 years old. He grew up focusing prayers, fasts, and birthday candle wishes on removing this attraction.
Not long after returning from a Spanish-Speaking mission to North Carolina, he reached out for help to his BYU bishop who referred him to counseling. The counseling focused on changing Randall’s orientation.
Todd Richardson was raised in a loving Mormon home in Western Colorado. He served a mission in Alaska, an experience that he considers to be the best two years of his life. Upon returning home, Todd graduated from BYU and joined the Americorps, which brought him to Harlem to teach special education. He is currently a full time Master’s Degree student and consults for charter schools in New York City. Todd is an active member of the LDS church.
Through the support of friends and family, Todd was able to come out as a gay Mormon. He counts living authentically as a true blessing, remembering all too well the feelings of confusion, pain, and self-hatred during his formative years in the closet. He is grateful to volunteer for an organization that promotes spirituality, continues dialogue with the church, shares resources, and creates safe spaces for his LGBTQ brothers and sisters.
Kathy Carlston grew up in the Denver area in a strong LDS home. She reveled in the gospel and was continually inspired to become a better person by her family and the members of the church around her. After graduating with a degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development from BYU, she went back to school to study Animation & Visual Effects in the San Francisco Bay Area.
With the help of many friends and family, Kathy has walked a long journey to accept her sexual orientation and has recently married the love of her life, Berta Marquez. Together, they work towards making the world a better place and celebrating their Mormon heritage. She served as the 2014 Annual International Conference Co-Chair with Justin Keyes, has been a co-host of the Affirmation Podcast with Peter van der Walt, and helped in the filming process of the video campaign, ldswalkwithyou.org.