“The conversations there will be influential to the future of LGBTQ Mormons and the way we practice Mormonism”
Note: Adam White is one of the leaders of BYU’s Understanding Same-gender Attraction (USGA) Group
I am attending the Affirmation Conference this September because I believe that the conversations there will be influential to the future of LGBTQ Mormons and the way we practice Mormonism. Affirmation is the most inclusive group of LGBTQ Mormons generationally, so for younger LGBTQ Mormons like me and the students I lead at BYU, connecting with that life experience and that history of LGBTQ Mormonism is essential to moving forward wisely. This is especially true as the relationship between Mormonism and its gay practitioners is rapidly evolving. In today’s climate, it’s easy, I think, for my generation to forget where we’ve been and what sacrifices have been made. I want to honor that in my work and I’ll be more able to do so by attending Affirmation events.
Another reason that I believe in the influence of this conference on the future of LGBTQ Mormons is because Keith and I have the opportunity to bring USGA to the conference. It is exciting to be bringing USGA to Affirmation again. In the spirit of the conference’s theme, ‘New Frontiers,’ we will be exhibiting how LDS young adults are grappling with sexual identity, gender identity and their spirituality today. The kind of visibility and acceptance that we are demanding of our faith is, in essence, creating a new territory for LGBTQ Mormons. I hope that our presentations (USGA 101 and the Spirituality Panel) will demonstrate our determination to make this new territory a safe and viable space for LGBTQ/SSA Mormons.
See ya there!!!