Affirmation offers its enthusiastic congratulations to Encircle on the announcement of eight new Encircle houses coming to various cities in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah. The success of its first house in Provo, Utah helped uncover unmet needs in the local community, especially the need for a physical place of safety for LGBTQ+ youth to gather and make connections.
It can take as much or even more courage to seek help for depression, anxiety, or trauma as it does to come out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer. There is help though, and Rich Keys encourages anyone to seek it by sharing his own struggles and successes.
Conversations are happening now that would have been unimaginable a decade ago, but the sense of urgency is real among gay and lesbian Mormons to have other church members and leaders find love, understanding, and acceptance within church doctrine, policy, and culture.