Faces of Affirmation
People ought to be made aware that there’s a very good chance there’s a queer person sitting in their class, closeted or not, and I’m grateful to be at a place in my life where I can make sure they’re aware of it.
Today, I’m incredibly happy being me. Over the years I’ve heard so many stories of individuals who grew up LDS and were cut off by their families when they came out. But being out and having my parents not just tolerate but warmly embrace me is such an amazing feeling.
I have found another mission and opportunity to serve. I have been able to live with a new spiritual authenticity. For the last ten years, I have been holding the hands of those who have struggled like I did. I have been an advocate for equality, inclusion, diversity, and human rights.
I am unspeakably grateful that God has protected me and reclaimed me from my own homophobia. The Lord helped me hold on to this truth: that becoming fully myself was the best thing I could do for those I loved—only then could I give to others out of the abundance of God’s gifts to me.
Wagner Silveira Santos is a convert to the Mormon Church who desired to serve a mission, tried to submit his mission paperwork twice, and both times was denied by local church leaders for having past homosexual relationships. Today, he wants to help others who don’t have the support to live as they really are.
No one ever said it would be easy for an LGBT person to be an active member of this church. In this story, Tania’s parents have been her support. They provide her with the necessary support to persevere in her faith and religion.
Emmett Claren shares his experience as a transgender Mormon man. This video follows Emmett while preparing for his long-awaited top surgery, his reaction to the results, and includes a discussion with other transgender Mormons about why they stay and their hope to be accepted by the LDS Church.
Months of meetings and discussions between Affirmation leadership and church authorities in Argentina have opened the doors for LGBT people to attend church meetings and possibly return to the Church, including Sister Sonia, a transgender woman in the Tucumán Province, who had not attended church since before transitioning.
I did not feel alone, I felt sustained and surrounded by the arms of love and that sincere people are willing to give us their support when we need it.