In the latest episode of Richard Ostler’s Listen Learn & Love Podcast, Jena Peterson talks about being Mormon, being gay, and being in a mixed-orientation marriage. Jena grew up thinking that it wasn’t possible to be gay if you were Mormon. She served a mission and married her husband, Todd. After being married for a while, she developed romantic feelings for a friend and realized she was gay. She immediately came out to her husband, but they continue to be married, in what is known as a mixed-orientation marriage.
Jena shares how she believes that when someone who is LDS realized that they are gay, the truthfulness of that is as strong as the truthfulness of the gospel. The conflict between the two, where the gospel includes the teachings of the church regarding gay people, causes a huge amount of turmoil. Since coming out, Jena has tried to balance the two truths so that one of them doesn’t need to die. “My sexual orientation is a major part of my soul,” she says.
On mixed-orientation marriages, Jena shares that one of the reasons she is so public with her story and experience is because people need to understand the realities and challenges of mixed-orientation marriages; that people really need to take the time and be educated before deciding that a mixed-orientation marriage is the right path for them.
Speaking at the 2016 Affirmation International Conference
Jenna was also a speaker at the 2016 Affirmation International Conference. You can view her talk below.