Ministering to LGBTQ+ Members, 2022 Affirmation International Conference (Spanish Only)
Note: While this session was streamed live in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, only the Spanish recording was saved successfully. We apologize for not being able to provide the recording of this session in English or Portuguese.
Panel discussion on how church leaders within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can better minister to LGBTQ+ members. This session was a part of the 2022 Affirmation International Conference at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, on October 8th.
About Paul Winward
Paul is a CPA specializing in serving nonprofit organizations. He currently serves as the Treasurer for Affirmation and also for Utah Humanities – the organization commissioned to engage Utahns in the humanities. He is married to Cynthia Winward, and together they have three children, including gay daughter.
About Cynthia Winward
Cynthia Winward is the co-host of the podcast At Last She Said it, a podcast that seeks to amplify and explore a variety of voices of women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A mother of three, including a gay daughter, she is an ally in the LGBTQ+ community. She teaches youth Sunday school in her ward, enjoys walking the Provo trail daily, and true to her Mexican heritage, makes the world’s greatest red chile enchiladas.
About Richard Ostler
Richard Oster is a former bishop of a Young Single Adult ward. He speaks at firesides and conferences about how to more fully embrace LGBTQ Latter-day Saints, see their gifts and contributions, and better understand their unique road. He also hosts the “Listen, Learn and Love” podcast, which provides a platform for LGBTQ Latter-day Saints to share their stories.
He is deeply committed to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to creating more understanding and support for LGBTQ members—a goal started during my service as a YSA bishop, where he learned to set aside past assumptions to better fulfill my stewardship responsibility to meet the spiritual needs of LGBTQ ward members. He is married to his best friend and eternal companion Sheila Juergens, and they are the parents of six great children and have several grandchildren.
About Meghan Decker
Meghan Decker is a respected speaker, teacher, and writer. Her new book, Tender Leaves of Hope: Finding Belonging as LGBTQ Latter-day Saint Women, chronicles her life as a gay Latter-day Saint and amplifies the voices of other LGBTQ women in the Church. Meghan is married to David, and they have five daughters and 15 grandchildren. She enjoys taking long walks in the woods, exploring new places, eating great food with her family, and listening to others’ perspectives and life stories.
About Valerie Nicole Green
Valerie Nicole Green is a founder and co-chair of Emmaus LGBTQ Ministry. Valerie is a transgender woman who is active in her ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Missouri. Before transitioning, she was married for 34 years and is now widowed. She is a parent to five children and a grandparent to six grandchildren. After five decades of waiting, she has been fully socially transitioned since January 1, 2019.
About Tyler Lefevor
Tyler Lefevor is a licensed therapist, researcher, and professor at Utah State University. His work focuses on how LGBTQ+ individuals raised in conservative religions can flourish. He was raised LDS and identifies as queer. He and his husband, Brock, live in Kaysville, UT.
About this Session
LGBTQ+ teens raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints face unique challenges, as do those who love and support them. Over the past two years, researchers at Utah State University have conducted interviews with 38 LGBTQ+ teens and their parents as well as with 25 LGBTQ+ Latter-day Saints about ways to best support LGBTQ+ teens. In this session, we present key findings from these interviews that focus on 1) the unique microaggressions experienced by LGBTQ+ teens in LDS contexts, 2) ways that parents can build positive relationships with their LGBTQ+ teens, and 3) how church leaders can effectively minister to LGBTQ+ teens within an LDS framework.
About the Affirmation International Conference
The Affirmation International Conference is an annual conference hosted by Affirmation: LGBTQ Mormons, Families & Friends for the worldwide LGBTQIA+ Latter-day Saint community.
About Affirmation: LGBTQ Mormons, Families & Friends
Affirmation creates worldwide communities of safety, love, and hope and promotes understanding, acceptance, and self-determination of individuals of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions. We affirm the inherent self-worth of LGBTQIA+ individuals as complete, equal, and valuable persons and support them as they define their individual spirituality and intersection with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Affirmation’s vision is to be a refuge to land, heal, share, and be authentic.