Mormon mom Wendy Montgomery received a standing ovation at the July 31 Utah premiere of “Families are Forever,” a 21-minute documentary describing her experiences, along with her husband’s, raising a family which includes a 15-year-old gay son.
“Having a gay son has been an unexpected blessing in my life,” Wendy told an audience of 300 people gathered for the opening session of the Sunstone Symposium. “It has made me a better Christian, and taught me more how the Savior wants me to love.”
“I have loved my son for 13 years,” Wendy stated. “I didn’t know how to turn that off.”
Wendy told the audience that growing up in a very traditional, conservative LDS home, she heard many things about the “‘evils of homosexuality’”. “So when I learned my son was gay, my mind went to all the negative things I had heard about the gay community,” Wendy said.
“I remember thinking that my son was NONE of those things,” Wendy added. “So I began the process of throwing out all of my old stereotypes, preconceived ideas and judgments – and re-learning what it meant to be gay. I became a master researcher – reading everything I could find from LDS and non-LDS sources. In the beginning, I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I was so driven to find answers to help my son, and figure out how to make this all work within the context of Mormonism.”
Wendy explained that she didn’t have any peace until she found the Family Acceptance Project. “It felt like sunshine in the midst of the darkest days of my life,” she said. “I will be forever grateful for this wonderful and life-saving organization.” Other points Wendy made during her presentation:
- Some of the greatest people I have ever met are gay. They have become my family. I love them so much!
- Every day of my life has been spent as a Mormon. And I am a mother of a terrific gay son. These two worlds sometimes seem irreconcilable.
- Having a foot in both worlds leaves us belonging to neither.
- I find I can reconcile these two worlds by following Christ’s two great commandments: To love God and love your neighbor. We should NOT be judging others. That is Christ’s job, and His alone. We should JUST LOVE.
- No more should we say, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” It should be “Love the sinner.” Period. We’re all sinners.
- My Dad (Jordan’s grandfather) is so much more supportive now than what is portrayed in the film. This is a journey for all of us and we have all progressed.
- One of the reasons I stay active in our church is for the other gay children for whom we can be a support. We have already had some of those kids come out to us.