Los esfuerzos internacionales de Affirmation están dirigidos por un comité ejecutivo voluntario y una junta directiva con el presidente de Affirmation elegido cada dos años por los miembros de Affirmation.
Nathan R. Kitchen
Elected as Affirmation President in 2018, Nathan Kitchen (he/him/his) grew up in Orem, Utah. When he was 15, he moved to Illinois and finished high school. He served a two-year mission in Alabama, where on a lonely Tuscaloosa country road, he had a tooth knocked out during a head-on collision. The dentist who saved his tooth was so cool that Nathan decided right then and there to become one himself. He received his BS from BYU Provo and a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from Southern Illinois University.
After a residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, he moved to Arizona and opened his private practice in Mesa. Nathan is the proud father of five remarkable children who are the pride and joy of his life. When Nathan was 17 he came out to his bishop and, as was all too common in the 1980s, was counseled to ignore his sexuality, tell no one, get married, and things would turn out okay. Over the years Nathan served faithfully in the church, twice as a counselor in ward bishoprics, as stake young men’s president, and on the high council until the lack of authenticity slowly created a dangerous collapsing shell of a man.
Realizing the path to self-care and healing for all involved was to abandon the counsel of the 80s, he came out to himself, spouse, brothers, sisters, parents, children, friends, and staff. Much was lost, including his marriage of 23 years. But much was gained. Nathan is the co-founder of Fathers in Affirmation, Affirmation’s GBTQIA/SSA father’s group. In 2015 he spoke out nationally in print and television media highlighting the devastating ramifications of the November 5th exclusion policy on his children and LGB Mormons worldwide.
As a speaker, he opened the 2018 annual ALL Arizona conference exploring the lifesaving issue of identifying supportive communities as an LGBTQ Mormon. As a writer, he is a permablogger at Out of Obscurity (outofobscurity.org) where he regularly explores issues we grapple with as a community of LGBTQ Mormons.
Jairo Fernando González Díaz
The family of Jairo Fernando González Díaz was among the first LDS converts in Colombia, hence the unusual trajectory of an active Mormon since boyhood in a conservative and Catholic society where Mormonism was barely known. The mission he served in different cities of Colombia, accentuated his leadership skills and his religious convictions.
His professional training included a professional degree from the Colombian Polytechnic, as well as the development of his expertise as an auditor in renowned law firms such as Price Waterhouse Coopers and Nexia International. In the latter, his performance included the assembly of a conceptual technical structure that is still in use today. In more recent times, he established himself as a Founding Partner of Infinity, an accounting and consulting firm that develops its activities in important companies in western Colombia and Ecuador.
Laurie Lee Hall
Laurie Lee Hall was raised in New England and was trained in architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York. A practicing architect for over thirty years in New York and Utah, her career has included managing worldwide construction programs and many of the largest projects of the LDS Church. Today she is in private practice in Kentucky. Ms. Hall also served the LDS Church in several prominent leadership capacities ecclesiastically but has recently been excommunicated from the church. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Affirmation LGBT Mormons, Families & Friends, an administrator of the TransActiveLDS Facebook Support Group, and founder of the Families and Gender Variance Project As a transgender woman, she has powerful life experience with family communication, stages of grieving and mindfulness. She has worked within her own family and with many other transgender youth and adults to navigate the challenges and triumphs of living authentically. This passion has developed into a program at Encircle House in Provo, UT, for gender variant youth and their families. Laurie’s focus is to help families remain viable and successful, to foster dialog, listening, and respect. She has blogged and written extensively on the subjects of gender variance and marriage and the intersection of gender and faith traditions. She is the parent of five children and 12 grandchildren.
Carlos Castillo Casas
Carlos is a psychologist in Bogotá, Colombia, who completed his studies at Konrad Lorenz University. He is a member of the Affirmation Board of Directors and is an experienced speaker and trainer.
Chelsea Gibbs is a writer, film historian, and archivist who recently relocated from Los Angeles to her home state of New York. She loves the ways storytelling can help people find their own voices and also help them become more empathetic to others – whether those stories come from movies, books, or conversations shared in spaces like Affirmation. Since coming out as queer in 2014 she has been an active part of Los Angeles’ Affirmation chapter, serving as a cultural translator between LDS and LGBTQIA communities. Her priority is to help foster a sense of belonging in LGBTQIA folks so they feel empowered to share their stories on their own terms.
Shauna Jones (she/her) lives in Idaho with her husband and three children. She has served as the Affirmation board secretary since the beginning of 2018. She has also been involved with planning/running the youth conference portion of the Affirmation International Conference for several years. Shauna runs a local LGBTQ youth group in the Boise area and loves all things rainbow. She looks forward to serving on the board.
Melissa-Malcolm King is an author whose current projects include a monthly exhibition for Exponent 2 Magazine, a columnist for Innerversion Magazine, contributor and board member for the West View Media Newspaper eagerly supporting the West Side of Salt Lake in showcasing diversity, intersectionality, and the unique communities evolving there. Utah State Universities Department of Education – Office of disabilities and inclusion has offered Melissa-Malcolm the opportunity to showcase her motivational essays as a monthly correspondent. Melissa-Malcolm has been recently published in two anthologies: New World Coming: Frontline Voices on Pandemics, Uprisings, and Climate Crisis and “I Spoke to you with Silence”: Essays from Queer Mormons of Marginalized Genders. Melissa-Malcolm is the Mid-West Regional President and Director of the People of the Global Majority in Affirmation and President of Asexuals Utah. Melissa-Malcolm runs a non Profit – Project B.E. S.A.F.E. that supports women and gender minorities.
Mike Klein was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona in a very devout Latter-day Saint family. He is a Gay father of 7 and has served on the Fathers In Affirmation leadership team since it was created. He is a financial advisor, with his own practice and currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona. He was married to a woman for 21 years, and served in many LDS church leadership callings before divorcing his wife in 2015. In his spare time, Mike loves to work on puzzles, hike, and hopes to start traveling again soon with his partner, David. The many life experiences, both positive and negative, have shaped Mike into who he is today and “Affirmation has been a life saver through that journey.”
She is a Brumado girl in Bahia, Brazil, and is 40 years old. She is the oldest of five siblings, she is married to her wife Viviane Moraes, lives in San Bernardo del Campo – São Paulo. She is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, served as counselor of the Relief Society and Youth leader. She served on a full-time mission from 1998 to 1999, serving honestly in the Porto Alegre Sur and Santa Maria – Rio Grande do Sul – Brazil missions.
She has said: “To serve in the work with LGBT Mormon Affirmation, it is much more than executing a job, it is to rescue the children of God from the state of despair that many fall. It is to show these children of God that the atonement of Jesus Christ is also for them”.
Kate Mower is a nonbinary lesbian from Riverton, Utah. They were raised in a Latter-day Saint household and continue to identify as a Latter-day Saint. They are a PhD candidate at the University of California, Riverside specializing in Romanian and Black Sea history of science. They teach 20th Century World History. Their dissertation focuses on decolonization, critical race theory, and gender. They are currently working on a digital humanities database of sources for ‘The Family: A Proclamation to the World.’ They were a 2016-2017 Fulbright researcher and are now awaiting approval from the US State Department to resume research in Romania. They create educational content on Instagram at @latterdaylez that centers on the intersection of LGBTQIA2S+ and Latter-day Saint identities as well as suicide ideation and sexual assault. They consider California, Utah, and Constanta, Romania to be home.
Juan Carlos Peralta
Juan Carlos Peralta is a dancer who studied art, folklore, and dancing. He is currently studying haute couture. He is 38 years old and is gay. He became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2002 and served as a full-time missionary in the Peru Arequipa Mission from 2007 to 2009. Before joining the Affirmation Board of Directors, Juan Carlos served as a leader in Affirmation Peru for six years.
Heidi Ramírez (she/her) lives in Orlando, Florida with her husband, children, and Goldendoodle. Heidi was born and raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Although she vividly remembers many of the Young Women’s and/or Relief Society lessons that were taught about motherhood and forever families, she was never taught how to best support LGBTQ+ family members and friends. Heidi is grateful for members of Affirmation who have helped her to navigate the intersectionality of being the mother/ally of a gay son and how to seek out alternative expressions of faith/spirituality that include ALL her family members and friends. She is an English for Academic Purposes adjunct professor at Valencia College and Ana G. Mendez University. She also serves on the Mama Dragons volunteer team as a QPR Suicide Prevention instructor. When Heidi is not working or volunteering or cheering her children on at their extracurricular activities, she enjoys traveling the world. Before joining the Affirmation Board of Directors, Heidi served for two years as vice president for the Affirmation Florida Chapter.
Francisco served as senior vice president of Affirmation in 2018. He also served as senior vice president of Affirmation Mexico and has helped organize the Affirmation International Conference.
Samuel currently works as a systems administrator for Flourish Therapy, a Utah-based non-profit offering subsidized therapy to LGBTQ individuals along the Wasatch Front. Originally from northern Florida, Samuel has called Utah home since 2018. He served a full-time mission for the Church in Yekaterinburg, Russia, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from Florida State University.
Samuel was appointed as Affirmation’s board secretary in March 2021. His long-term interests are in non-profit management. He recently returned to school for a Master’s in Public Administration degree at the University of Utah. He is passionate about helping marginalized groups and individuals, especially in connection with his experience as a queer person of faith.
Joel was a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was baptized at the age of 17 while his family lived in Okinawa, Japan. At 19, he served as a full-time missionary in the Colorado Colorado Springs Mission, returning home in 2006. In 2008, Joel resigned from the Church. In 2009, he came out as gay. He found Affirmation in 2015.
Joel was hired by Affirmation in 2017 as the English online content manager and then later became the online content & data manager. In this role, he produced content for the website, social media, and print. He redesigned and developed a new Affirmation website. He also established systems to better manage subscribers, donors, membership, events, and more. In 2020, Joel became the director of operations for Affirmation.
Joel earned a Bachelor of Science in political science from Old Dominion University in 2014 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in nonprofit management, also at Old Dominion University. He lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia, with his partner, Jason.
Alejandro Alcántara Carbajal
Alejandro discovered Affirmation in 2014 and helped organize the Mexico Conference that same year. Ever since he’s been active in Affirmation, collaborating with regional leadership and helping to organize other activities. Since June 2020, he has served as Vice President of Affirmation Mexico.
As Latin America Network Coordinator, Alejandro focuses on building relationships with LGBTQIA+ organizations promoting virtual and in-person events; collecting and updating vital information for members, chapters, and regions; managing social media, improving and increasing communications; and increasing visibility of Affirmation as a resource for LGBTQIA+ current and former Latter-day Saints.