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A message from the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of Affirmation: LGBTQ Mormons, Families & Friends

 

Affirmation functions to provide a safe place to affirm our humanity as LGBTQ individuals. We affirm that gender and sexual diversity, including healthy loving relationships expressing that diversity, can be consistent with and supported by the gospel of Jesus Christ. We speak of these things without anonymity or shame. To every LGBTQ person affiliated with the church, as an organization we stand to give you voice and validate the authority of your experiences.

Sexual orientation and gender identity are inherent parts of each individual. We understand that many people have prejudices and misconceptions about sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression. Eliminating those prejudices is in everyone’s interest.

Affirmation will continue to work for the understanding, acceptance, and self-determination of individuals with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions as full, equal, and worthy persons within the gospel of Jesus Christ and society, to help them realize and affirm self-worth.

We affirm God’s love for us. We seek understanding and acceptance of all God’s children. We support individuals’ self-determination regarding personal sexual orientation and gender identity. We affirm full human rights of all persons, regardless of sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Some have challenged our individual ability to self-determine and our sources of truth. Affirmation asserts that personal lived experiences including personal revelation are the most qualified methods for determining individual identity, expression, and orientation. Gender identity and sexual orientation are individual and eternal elements of each and every one of us.

If you are feeling isolated please know you are surrounded by thousands and thousands of fellow LGBTQ people and allies who love you and care very much about your happiness and health. Your life is of infinite worth. God is not preparing you for a lesser glory!

If you are hurting please reach out to speak with those you trust within your supportive communities. For our family and friends, please be aware of those who may be hurting and reach out to them.

To those in our LGBTQ community: we see you. You are worthy. You are loved. You know who you are and we validate you!

6 thoughts on “A message from the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of Affirmation: LGBTQ Mormons, Families & Friends

  1. This wording is incredible. Thank you so much for this. You may be saving many lives right now as individuals read this. I am feeling EXTREMELY conflicted at this moment, and yet supported. This statement helped me get through the weekend. Again, I thank you,

  2. I wrote a 6-page letter describing transgender issues to Elder Oaks that was received very courteously. He lives in my stake and visited with me twice about the contents of my letter and shared it with then-Elder Nelson and others over LDS Family services. After reading my letter, the Brethren’s position on transgender issues changed dramatically. Elder Nelson no longer said that “God doesn’t make mistakes like sending female spirits into male bodies.” I cited how individuals with androgen insensitivity syndrome appear and act and usually self-identify as completely female even though they have XY chromosomes, high testosterone levels, and undescended testes. I don’t think that birth defects that result in intersex conditions are “mistakes made by God.” They are simply part of our challenges as spirits, male and female, entering the mortal condition we decided to endure in our path to becoming like God who recognizes that everything has its opposite including usual and unusual, functional and dysfunctional, cis and trans, probable or likely and improbable or unlikely. I am a heterosexual autogynephilic transsexual who has decided not to transition. I cross-dress only in private and therefore have a temple recommend. I have never ceased going to church and revealed my trials to only a few select individuals who I knew were my friends as well as my stake president with whom I met with monthly for two years to discuss my circumstances. Understanding and accommodations are possible if one approaches the matter from a kind respectful and humble but truthful point of view. Indeed Elder Bednar has written in a friend of the court statement in a recent Supreme Court case that “Our Church recognizes the reality of gender dysphoria and feels that persons with this condition should be treated with kindness and compassion and that reasonable accommodations should be made to help them cope with their challenges.” I’m sorry that this may not be completely accurate since I am writing the quote without the text in front of me, but it encapsulates the gist of his message. The law of chastity as stated in the Temple and elsewhere will never by modified. Since gender is an eternal attribute of spirits, we need to figure out what gender our spirits are carefully and as accurately as possible. It is now internationally recognized that pediatric surgeons should do nothing to gender-related tissues in intersex infants until THE CHILD is old enough to say what their self-perceived gender is. Informed consent must be obtained from the person who will undergo any treatment before that treatment is administered. Only the person with transgender conditions can say what their brain is telling them about their gender. There is too much overlap in the characteristics of male and female brains to determine from any form of brain analysis to be precisely sure of what a brain will produce as a self-perceived gender. I think it can be presumed that the most likely gender of our spirits in the one that our brain tells us is our gender if this perception is consistent and persistent over time. A large number of children who express feelings of being transsexual, however, revert to a cis-gendered self-perception of their gender. To avoid emotional trauma to the child, which can solidify transgender feelings, social transition is encouraged as well as a wait-and-see attitude in regards to the stability of feelings of transsexuality. The Brethren are aware of these issues and the complexity of gender dysphoria. That complexity is manifest, I believe, in the fact that there is not a website yet for dealing with trans issues as there is for persons with same-sex attraction.

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