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Finding My Way Forward as a Lesbian Mormon

Kathy Carlston
Kathy Carlston

March 22, 2015

Kathy Carlston

By Kathy Carlston

I’ve known that I was gay since I was a child. I grew up as a very diligent LDS woman and absolutely loved my experience in the church. But I knew that I needed to change, and desperately tried to do so. Unfortunately, years of therapy on top of decades of trying to change my orientation on my own seemed to prove unfruitful. I realized this in my late twenties and was devastated.

During a time in my life where I was near the end of my rope, I stumbled across a story written by Blake Hoopes in Brent Kirby’s Gay Mormons?: Latter-day Saint Experiences of Same-Gender Attraction. Blake talked about how he had spent most of his life begging for God to take away his attractions. Then one day it occurred to him that he’d never thought to ask God how He felt about his being gay. He prayed with that question and described his experience in his story. I immediately dropped my book and finally asked God what His thoughts were about my life.


Instantly, I had one of the most intense, if not THE most intense spiritual experience that I’d had. I was filled with peace, acceptance, and, above all, hope. I felt inspired that God was not just all right with me being gay, but excited for me to find someone to love and live with forever. He was excited for me to spend my life finding different ways to make her laugh and make her as happy as I possibly could. But on top of that, I had an almost physical sensation of a switch being flipped in the back of my head. Suddenly, that desire and longing that I’d had to be dead, (that I’d carried since I was a kid) was turned off.

I spent the next year doing visual effects for movies, including The Avengers, Oz: The Great and Powerful and RIPD.  I was shocked at the amount of energy that was unlocked in my soul as the result of that one, affirming prayer. All of the energy that I had previously spent in trying to fight and change my attractions was now free to go to other places. I decided to move to Utah as my home base for a number of reasons, including the fact that I wanted to find a dating pool with folks who knew why Mormonism continued to be extremely important to me.

Kathy Carlston at Affirmation

Berta Marquez and I became fast friends after I Facebook-stalked her, having heard her podcast on Gay Mormon Stories. She was the first one to hear the delightful news that my family said they wanted to come to my wedding, should that ever happen. She and I started dating toward the beginning of 2014. Later, she told me that three days before we worked together, she said a prayer in her car. She prayed for God to bring her someone brave who would help her to be brave, someone who would help with her advocacy work, someone who would always be kind, and a number of other things. For me, I feel like I recognized her more than anything else. Being in her presence feels like being home. It’s like someone took all of the attributes I’ve loved the most about past loves and put them in one person, and then made her a fellow Trekkie. We had both written songs for Sir Patrick Stewart independently of knowing each other.

In October, same-sex marriage became legal for the second time in the state of Utah. Berta and I gave our friends and family only one week’s notice of our wedding. We had around fifty people there who love us, including our parents and several siblings and cousins who made the trip. The memory of being enveloped in that cocoon of love still brings tears to my eyes.



At the beginning of my journey, I had no clue what the steps would be to get to a better place. But now I wake up every day with a wonderful wife. We’ve begun to attend church again, and have amazing leadership in a ward where we feel welcome and wanted. I feel secure in my heart and I trust God that the future will continue to work out. If there are any words of advice that I could offer, it would be to trust God, find your own path and know that you are worth of love and respect.

Berta Marquez and Kathy Carlston


  1. Dorothy Guinn on March 24, 2015 at 12:13 AM

    This is one of the most beautiful things I’ve read. Thank you.

  2. KaRyn Lay on March 24, 2015 at 10:29 AM

    This makes my heart happy. Your faithfulness and willingness to follow the spirit in all things is an example to me.

  3. Karlyn Kay Stebbins on April 2, 2015 at 12:45 AM

    I felt very touched by this story as my wife and I just got married last month. Thank you for sharing your story with us!

  4. Blaire Rosen on April 2, 2015 at 4:41 PM

    This article was really inspiring for me. I’ve found out that I was lesbian when I was about twelve (I’m fifteen know), and for the past two years, I’ve had this wonderful girlfriend; I love her so much, that I’d just like to tell everyone I know about her. Especially my family, who I think would love her. But, at the same time, I felt really guilty; especially with all the talks people kept on having about the proper family and God’s plan. I felt like a disgrace to Mormonism, and felt pretty alone. To this point, my only LBGT friends were non-Mormons and my one homosexual Mormon friend (my best friend) was lying about it all, just so she could seem cool to me. Darn it, I’m rambling. Anyway, I was surfing the Internet when I came about this website today, and found this article. This whole time, I’d been thinking wrong, I realised quickly. I wasn’t thinking about His unconditional love—I was thinking about my earthly Dad’s unconditional hate against liberals, and liberal views, especially on that of sexuality. Reading this made me…peaceful, hopeful. I finally realised that I am a daughter of God, one that He loves. So, thank you, for finally giving me the courage to be who I am. And for putting up with my incessant talking. That’s great, too.

  5. Christina on September 3, 2015 at 5:19 PM

    Thank you so much for this website and what you’re fighting for. I am a Mormon convert of five years, and the church’s view on LGBT has always been difficult for me.
    I am hetero, myself, but I have friends who are LGBT, and I find my heart breaks for them because of how many people still oppose their feelings.
    I find it so difficult to reconcile that a church in which I find it so easy to accept and follow almost everything it stands for, has this one thing with which I cannot agree.

    I’ll be watching your site frequently, and I’m so happy I found it. Thank you for being there.

  6. Mary Longorio on September 4, 2015 at 11:59 AM


  7. star Vargas on November 29, 2016 at 9:46 PM

    Thank you for sharing your story. i would love to be emailed if you ever have a news letter or events going on. I am a christian, yet for the past year been meeting with sister missionaries and have began to follow the believes of the church latter day saints. At the moment the fact that i am gay has proven to be a small set back with them because i refuse to take a husband. I would one day love to meet a mormon girl who LOVES GOD as much as i do and create a long lasting relationship with the foundation of god.

  8. Rachel on June 9, 2017 at 7:06 PM

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story.

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