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Becoming a Mormon LGBT Ally: My Story

Lismarie Nyland (left) with husband Michael
Lismarie Nyland (left) with husband Michael

Join me and thousands of Latter-day Saints in channeling your love into action.

by Lismarie Nyland

As a child, I was extremely sensitive, overly observant, and deep thinking. This often led me to a state of worry. I worried A LOT about whether or not I fit in and was sure that I didn’t. I also worried about everyone else that I noticed not fitting in. I worried and I worried and I worried, but I didn’t know how to do anything about it. I didn’t have the tools that I needed to feel empowered. On my journey to adulthood, I hope that I have held on to the positive things about that anxious little girl while also having the courage to develop the skills that allow me to be force for positive change in the world.

I will forever have a soft spot in my heart for those who are treated unfairly. That is my place of integrity. In 2012, marriage equality went to vote in my home state of Washington. As I left church one Sunday in the spring of that year, I saw several women from my ward gathering signatures and holding signs supporting traditional marriage. My heart sank. I felt violated. How could this happen in MY ward at MY church. What would my children think? How did LGBT members, especially youth, feel as they were leaving church that day? What about the women gathering signatures? I know them. They are kind and loving people. Didn’t they understand that they were creating a hostile environment in the very place that should be a spiritual refuge for all? It was that day that I realized that within me was a previously untapped, deep well of moral courage that I could no longer contain. Although I had always been an ally in my heart, that was the day that I officially came out as a Mormon LGBT ally.

In the Affirmation Ally team we have been discussing how to help our fellow Latter-day Saints to come out as allies. As a result of this discussion, we created this simple one-pager. Please read it, share it with others, and join me and thousands of Latter-day Saints in channeling your love into action.

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