Paul and Susie Augenstein discuss why and how they became allies of the LGBTQ community within the Latter-day Saint community as active Mormons.
To those in our LGBTQ community: we see you. You are worthy. You are loved. You know who you are and we validate you!
Getting married to a man was hard for my family, but they were really great. I invited all my siblings and even some of my extended family. That being said, I was selective about who I invited. I didn’t feel the need to invite people that I didn’t feel particularly close to or people that I felt wouldn’t be supportive or happy on the day. My parents were still on the fence about things a bit, I think, but they were willing to come to support me and now they love my husband a lot.
Months of meetings and discussions between Affirmation leadership and church authorities in Argentina have opened the doors for LGBT people to attend church meetings and possibly return to the Church, including Sister Sonia, a transgender woman in the Tucumán Province, who had not attended church since before transitioning.
I love my LGBT tribe. Membership isn’t restricted by color. Every shade is welcome. We love and judge by other, hopefully higher, standards. We seek to find the good in each other, where we have common ground, and we seek to build true empathy by listening and learning, sharing and caring.
The Dominican Republic and Caribbean Affirmation Mormons LGBT, Families and Friends Chapter -www.afirmaciondiminicana.org- will host its first International Conference in Santo Domingo on 18-20 of August on the current year.
I remember entering the Metropolitan Church on Castro’s Eureka Street, where the Affirmation meeting was happening. A full battle was raging inside me. One side said, “Leave now!” and the other side said “Stay!” as I slowly walked up the stairs to the second floor.
The chosen theme, “Many Paths, One Heart,” honors the uniqueness of the lives and the choices of every member of the Affirmation family in or out of the Church, while recognizing that wherever our individual paths lead us, we are committed to the Zion-like quality of being “of one heart,” of rejoicing when others rejoice, mourning when others mourn, and making one another’s burdens a little bit lighter by bearing them together.
We desperately need an Affirmation that is united across the Church/faith divide, but just saying that we need it is not enough. If we really want it, we need to work at it. The tensions between folks on the opposite sides of that divide are very real.