There’s no doubt in my mind that pausing amid our daily activity to take note of what we have in our lives right now helps to calm and center us and renews our appreciation for what we might take for granted. Whether you share your gratitude for the world to see on social media or just silently count the blessings in your life, I hope you do find the healing power of gratitude as we begin the holiday season.
An August 2019 El Tiempo investigative report titled “Inclusive Religious Make Up the Resistance” and featuring Affirmation Colombia won a 2020 Ortega y Gasset Award. The report highlighted several religious organizations inclusive of sexual and gender minorities in contrast to the efforts of conservative politicians and organizations in Colombia marginalizing this community.
This year everything turned odd, quirky, strange or bizarre, even tragic—anything but normal, and by June, most of us were ready to give up on the year, flip the calendar, and move on to 2021. Gay Pride was no exception. Throughout the world, all things Pride were shut down, canceled, or reduced to a virtual reality online, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each year on November 20th, remember transgender people, gender-variant individuals, and those perceived to be transgender who have been murdered because of hate. For many left behind, there is a feeling of obligation to speak for those who can speak no more, to tell their stories, and to support one another.
This discussion is intended to bring a greater understanding of what it means to be intersex. We’ll discuss the challenges of being at the intersection of being intersex and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and how the LGBTQIA+ community can ensure that it is inclusive of intersex individuals in its advocacy for all sexual and gender minorities.
To tell our youth that any sexual activity is tantamount to murder and to threaten them with God’s wrath is not only dishonest: it is destructive. Our youth want to do the right things; they believe their parents and church leaders. Their spirituality—like the emotional, social, intellectual and sexual aspects of their lives—is undergoing rapid and precarious development. These are not times for unfounded exaggerations and threats of damnation.
Course corrections come in all different shapes and sizes. A torpedo may look like it’s aiming directly for its target, but it’s actually a series of small course corrections back and forth to keep getting back on track until it hits the bullseye. I’m grateful for a God in my life who helps me make those course corrections and get back on track, and also for my drinking buddies* who are always there, especially when I need them the most and I don’t realize it.
Occasionally we come across a person who has had a lifetime impact with such a remarkable scope in the LGBTQ community and society in general. To recognize such a person and capture such an accomplishment, the Board of Directors of Affirmation has created a lifetime achievement award. This award, to remind us of the qualities for any other future recipients, we have named the Carol Lynn Pearson Lifetime Achievement Award.
The 2020 recipient of the Affirmation Mortensen Award is Cristina Moraes. Cristina has been leading Affirmation in Brazil for over four years and has helped hundreds of LGBTQ Mormons come into Affirmation. She was one of the founding members of Affirmation in Brazil almost five years ago. She has given literally thousands of hours of service to Affirmation and has traveled all over Brazil helping organize conferences, meetings, and events in various cities.